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Traditional Ukrainian Dumplings (Varenyky Recipe)

Heard of Ukrainian dumplings but don’t know how to make them? Well, you’re in luck because I’ve got a delicious recipe passed down to me from my grandmother.

Traditional Ukrainian Dumplings Varenyky Recipe featured image | Girl Meets Food

We are making varenyky, one of the best dumplings you’ll ever taste. They’re soft, comforting and absolutely delicious.

The dough is made of only three simple ingredients while the filling can be virtually anything. You can even make dessert varenyky.

But this time I’ll focus on the legendary potato dumplings.

I can’t wait to share this varenyky recipe with you so let’s go!

What are Ukrainian dumplings?

A plate of varenyky (Ukrainian dumplings) on the table. A bowl of sour cream and onions are next to the plate | Girl Meets Food

Ukrainian dumplings, also known as varenyky, are a national dish in Ukraine. A simple unleavened dough is filled with potatoes, cheese, cabbage, mushrooms or even berries.

You can enjoy both sweet and savory dumplings, but today I’ll focus on the most classic version—varenyky with potatoes.

A dollop of sour cream and some fried onions make the perfect topping for these dumplings.

Varenyky are a symbol of traditional Ukrainian cuisine and they come shoulder to shoulder with borshch, an iconic beet soup.

So make sure to try both dishes for a full Ukrainian experience. Or try some other Ukrainian soups and unique borshch variations.


Here are all the ingredients you’ll need to make the dough and filling for your varenyky. Let’s start with the dough ingredients:

All-purpose flour

Varenyky are made with wheat flour. But it shouldn’t be too difficult if you want to sweep in something else.

You can try using whole wheat flour or even gluten-free flour with minor taste differences.

You’ll also need a bit of flour for dusting your work surface.


I suggest using room-temperature water because it makes the dough easier to stick together when shaping your varenyky. But warm water is also fine.

Another option is to use milk in the same proportions as water.


A pinch of salt is necessary for taste and better texture. Add about ½ teaspoons to your dough.

Egg (Optional)

Egg is an optional ingredient and it’s totally fine to skip it, especially if you want to make vegan varenyky. 

The dough prepared without eggs will be a bit softer.

Since I mentioned “vegan”, why not check out other tasty vegan Ukrainian recipes?

Varenyky making process | Girl Meets Food

Now, straight to the potato filling:


You’ll need about 3 medium potatoes for this recipe. Feel free to use your favorite variety.


One onion for the filling and one for the garnish should be enough. Yellow onions are the traditional choice, but you can use white or sweet onions or even shallots.

Black pepper

Black pepper can add a nice kick to the filling. Make sure to season it to your liking.

Vegetable oil for frying

Sunflower oil is commonly used in Ukrainian cuisine, but you can use any neutral oil for frying. You can also fry onion in butter.

Sour cream to serve

Varenyky need sour cream. Period.

Just kidding, you can skip it if you want or use something else for dipping. Greek yogurt or your sauce of choice should work.

How to Make Varenyky

Woman is making varenyky (Ukrainian dumplings) with potato | Girl Meets Food

I’d start by preparing the dough because it would need some time to rest. You could also start by boiling the potatoes while you make the dough.

  1. To make the dough, mix flour, salt, water and egg (if using) in a bowl. Knead the dough until it’s elastic. Cover and let it rest for about 15-20 minutes.
  2. Start on the filling by boiling the potatoes. It should take around 20 minutes. Drain and mash them in a bowl. 
  3. Peel the onions, cut them into small cubes and fry them in a pan with some oil. 
  4. Mix half of the fried onion with your mashed potatoes; leave the rest for garnish. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Roll out the dough on a floured surface until it’s thin (around ⅛ inches). Make circles out of the dough (a glass works perfectly for me).
  6. Fill the middle of each piece of dough with a tiny scoop of filling. Form a half-moon shape by folding the dough over the filling. To close, press the edges together tightly.
  7. Add your varenyky to a big pot of boiling water. Cook them for about 5 minutes. You know they’re ready when they float to the surface.
  8. Remove the varenyky from the water with a slotted spoon and place them on a plate. Top with fried onions.

The best way to serve varenyky is with a dollop of sour cream.

A plate of varenyky (Ukrainian dumplings) on the table. A bowl of sour cream and onions are next to the plate | Girl Meets Food

Traditional Ukrainian Dumplings (Varenyky Recipe)

Enjoy making traditional Ukrainian dumplings with this classic varenyky recipe. Homemade food just hits different, right?
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Main Course
Cuisine Ukrainian
Servings 3


For the dough

  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour (240 g)
  • 1 cup of water (240 ml)
  • ½ tsp of salt
  • 1 egg (optional)

For the filling

  • 3 medium potatoes (18.5 oz = 525 g)
  • 2 onions
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • vegetable oil (for frying)


  • Mix flour, salt, water, and egg (if using) in a bowl to form dough. Knead the dough until elastic. Cover and rest for 15-20 minutes.
    2 cups of all-purpose flour, 1 cup of water, ½ tsp of salt, 1 egg
  • Boil potatoes for the filling. It should take around 20 min. Drain and mash them.
    3 medium potatoes
  • Peel, dice, and cook onions in oil.
    2 onions, vegetable oil
  • Mix ½ of the fried onion with mashed potatoes and leave the rest for topping. Season with salt and pepper.
    Salt and pepper to taste
  • Roll the dough very thin (about ⅛ inches) on a floured board. Make dough circles (I use a glass).
  • Place one scoop of filling in the middle of each dough circle. Form a half-moon shape by folding the dough over the filling. To close, press the edges together tightly.
  • Boil a pot of water. Add the varenyky to boiling water and cook them for about 5 minutes. You know they’re ready when they float to the top.
  • Drain the varenyky and serve on a plate. Top with fried onions. I also recommend trying them with sour cream.
Keyword Ukrainian Dumplings, Ukrainian Recipes, Ukrainian Varenyky Recipe, Varenyky

Ukrainian Dumplings FAQs

What are Ukrainian dumplings made of?

Ukrainian dumplings are made of flour, water, salt, and optionally egg, then filled with potatoes, cheese, cabbage, mushrooms etc.

What do varenyky taste like?

The taste can vary depending on the filling. Varenyky are typically savory and comforting. The dough is soft and tender.

Can I freeze varenyky?

Yes, you can freeze varenyky. Simply place them on a baking sheet in a single layer and freeze until solid. Then transfer them to a freezer-safe bag or container.

When ready to eat, you can boil your frozen dumplings until they float to the top.

Looking for more foods from Eastern Europe? Try some traditional dishes from Poland like Polish pierogi, very similar to Ukrainian varenyky.

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