With Ukrainian snacks, you can have both centuries-old recipes and modern twists that mirror the country’s dynamic spirit.
Picture this: delectable combinations of sweet and savory flavors, textures that twirl in your mouth, and a treasure trove of cultural history packed into every bite.
Even as someone born and raised in Ukraine, I continuously discover fresh nuances about Ukrainian foods with each new city I visit.
A few months ago I didn’t know what gombovtsi were. Fast forward to today, and I’m thrilled to share not just the secret of gombovtsi but at least 20 more snacks that are going to make you drool!
Ready to snack like me?
Savory Ukraine snacks
Deruny, a word for Ukrainian potato pancakes, are crispy, golden-brown treats made with flour, grated potatoes, and onions.
Flavored with grated onion and/or garlic and seasonings, they make for a delicious and filling snack that goes well with sour cream.
Deruny can also be stuffed with mushrooms, meat, or cheese or topped with these ingredients.
I love deruny with mushrooms and sour cream! The authentic Ukrainian flavors shine through in this delightful combination.
As a simple and healthy snack, roasted sunflower and pumpkin seeds are popular among Ukrainians.
Commonly seasoned with salt, these seeds make for a crunchy and tempting nibble that works well for parties or as a portable snack.
Their rustic tastes capture the spirit of Ukraine’s bountiful harvest. I must say they’re quite addictive and hard to stop eating!
Chocolate-covered sunflower seeds are also common flavors I remember munching on as a kid, delighted not to have to shell the seeds.
Salo (Cured Pork Fat)
A classic Ukrainian food, salo is thin slices of cured pork fat that are loved for their rich and salty taste.
You can have salo by itself, with some rye bread, or in a typical spread. It’s usually seasoned with salt and served along with borshch (traditional Ukrainian soup), some garlic cloves and green onion.
Salo does sound a little bit weird, right? Check out more weird Ukrainian foods to get a taste of Ukraine’s culinary quirks.
Ukrainians love their homemade pickles, which they make from cucumbers, tomatoes and other veggies, for their tangy and refreshing taste.
Crisp and flavorful, these pickles are marinated with dill, garlic, and spices.
The skill of preservation is on full display in traditional Ukrainian home cooking with homemade pickles, which are delicious on their own or provide a tangy twist to salads and sandwiches.
Whenever I go to the country, I love to eat my grandmother’s pickled cucumbers for a midnight snack. She typically makes them a bit spicy and so satisfyingly crunchy!
Fried pelmeni or varenyky dumplings are a delicious variation of the classic boiled kind.
The crunchy outside and tender inside of these pan-fried dumplings—which can be filled with cheese, potatoes, or meat—make for a delicious contrast.
Ukrainian fried dumplings go well with sour cream or melted butter.
Historically, knysh was reserved for Christmas or funeral feasts. And somewhere it was food for every day.
Knishes might be either round or oblong, constructed entirely of dough or filled with other ingredients.
The pre-made soluble dough was used to shape a round patty, which was then cut along the bread’s edge using a spoon dipped in oil.
Using a spoon, the collected “petals” (five or seven in number) were extracted, folded into the bread’s center, and pressed lightly.
Onions sautéed in oil were occasionally placed inside under the “petals.”
Dried Fish (Taranka)
Salted and air-dried fish, usually herring or perch, make for a chewy, delicious Ukrainian snack.
Taranka is a perfect blend of robust flavors with the simplicity of dried fish, which is often consumed as a beer snack.
Traditional Ukrainian borshch is accompanied by delicious pastries called pampushky with garlic.
These fluffy treats are topped with a garlic-oil mixture, making for a pungent and savory side dish to the classic Ukrainian soup.
I love pampushky with garlic, and I often have them by themselves for a snack.
Ukrainian cuisine is known for its mastery of flavor combinations, and one example is the wrapped and filled meat dishes called kruchenyky.
Stuffed with a variety of ingredients like mushrooms, onions, or bacon, thin slices of meat (usually pig or beef) are rolled up and baked until they’re moist and tasty.
Kruchenyky are a delicious and filling snack that are great for parties or eaten alone.
An aromatic and adaptable stew, lecho is made with paprika, bell peppers, tomatoes, and onions.
Although lecho is most commonly eaten as a side dish, it can also be enjoyed as a snack with some bread.
Stuffed Buns (Pyrizhky)
Ukrainian Stuffed Buns, or Pyrizhky, are a delectable and iconic pastry dish from Ukraine. A variety of tasty fillings are enveloped in these buns, which are created from a soft and slightly sweet dough.
Minced beef, cabbage, potatoes, cheese, mushrooms, and even fruit or jam are some of the many possible fillings.
Their portability and ease of consumption make them a go-to snack for parties, picnics, and on-the-go munchies.
Sweet Ukraine snacks
Ukrainian sweets called gombovtsi are steamed pastries filled with dough. It is a staple in Transcarpathia and the Carpathian area of Ukraine and is cooked in nearly every home there.
The so-called steam buns are quite delicate, light, and fluffy. They can be made with different fillings: fruit and berry.
Ukrainian pampushky are little round doughnuts that are so light and fluffy that practically dissolve in your tongue.
Usually filled with sweet cream or fruit preserves, these delectable treats are deep-fried and heavily coated with powdered sugar.
Pampushky are a delicious snack that goes well with hot tea or as a festive treat on special occasions.
Halva is a crumbly, sweet treat that combines crushed sesame or sunflower seeds with honey or sugar.
The rich and nutty halva is available in a variety of flavors in Ukraine, including chocolate and vanilla.
Cottage cheese, flour, and eggs come together to form the miniature, pan-fried cheesecakes known as syrnyky.
Served with a dollop of sour cream or a drizzle of honey, these Ukrainian delicacies feature a soft, cheesy center and a slightly crispy outside.
Syrnyky are a popular snack and breakfast food because of the way their flavors and textures are so basic but so delicious.
Bublyk, a traditional crunchy bread roll from Ukraine, is shaped like a ring. It’s a multipurpose snack food often seasoned with poppy seeds.
Compared to bagels, bublyky tend to be drier, denser, and “chewier” in texture.
The type of bublyky I was most familiar with growing up were small and crunchy bread rings with a mildly sweet taste.
Some people like to soak these crunchy rings in milk to soften them and then stuff the center with ground meat. The next step is to coat them with an egg wash before frying them.
I’ve tasted this kind of fried snack at numerous family gatherings, and I have to say it’s a pleasant mix of slightly sweet and savory flavors.
Makivnyk (Poppy Seed Roll)
A poppy seed roll, or makivnyk, is a type of sweet pastry filled with sugar, pulverized poppy seeds, and occasionally nuts.
Makivnyk is made by rolling tender dough so that when you cut it open, you will find a delicious swirl of poppy seeds.
The brightness of flavors makes it a popular Ukrainian dessert for celebrations and get-togethers with loved ones.
A variety of sweet and savory fillings can be placed within the thin Ukrainian crepes called mlyntsi.
These light pancakes can be filled with everything from fruit preserves to cottage cheese to minced meat, making them quite flexible.
With Mlyntsi, you can create a personalized and delectable snack that is perfect for any event, showcasing the variety of Ukrainian cuisine.
Nalysnyky are rolled crepes from Ukraine that can be filled with a wide range of sweet and savory ingredients.
A variety of fillings, such as cottage cheese, fruit preserves, or even minced meat, make these bites a real treat.
The most common version of nalysnyky is made with cottage cheese. My personal favourite is the savory version with spinach and cream cheese.
Made with fruit puree, sugar, and egg whites, zefir is a sugary treat that looks like a marshmallow. These light snacks are available in a variety of fruit tastes.
Zefir is a popular sweet snack and dessert option due to its excellent balance of sweetness and airy texture.
Verhuny, or Khrustyky
Traditional deep-fried pastries from Ukraine, known as Verhuny or Khrustyky, are a hit at parties and other gatherings.
These pastries are typically constructed with a basic dough, often spiced with alcohol, and deep-fried to golden brown perfection.
Powdered sugar is a common topping for Verhuny, which gives them a sweet undertone.
If you like these sweet dishes so far, you can check out my full compilation of Ukrainian desserts for more!
Ukrainian paska is a symbolic and flavorful traditional Easter bread. After being baked into a braided or circular form, it’s frequently embellished with elaborate symbols and ornamentation.
Easter festivities wouldn’t be complete without the sweet, egg-enriched bread, which is also a great snack on its own.
You can find more traditional dishes among other Ukrainian recipes for Easter, which I collected to showcase the unique cuisine of Ukrainian Easter.
22 Authentic Ukrainian Snacks (from a local!)
Savory Ukraine snacks
- Sunflower/Pumpkin Seeds
- Salo (Cured Pork Fat)
- Homemade Pickles
- Fried Dumplings (Pelmeni or Varenyky)
- Dried Fish (Taranka)
- Pampushky with Garlic
- Stuffed Buns (Pyrizhky)
Sweet Ukraine snacks
- Sweet pampushky/ponchyky
- Makivnyk (Poppy Seed Roll)
- Mlyntsi (Crepes)
- Verhuny (or Khrustyky)
- Paska (Easter Bread)