Varenyky (Dumplings) Recipe

Lastest Updated April 19, 2024
Home » Recipes A-Z » Varenyky (Dumplings) Recipe

Varenyky is the scrumptious Ukrainian dumplings revered and enjoyed worldwide. Overwhelmed by the idea of creating these delightful dumplings in your kitchen? Don’t worry, I am here to guide you.

This article reveals the compelling reasons behind the global adoration for Varenyky, providing insights on crafting perfect dumplings at home. You’ll also learn the secret techniques to achieve that perfect texture and the tantalizing filling that sets these dumplings apart.

By the end, you’ll have the confidence to create these gastronomic delights, satisfying your cravings and adding a wonderful dish to your culinary repertoire. Read on, and let’s bring the magic of Varenyky into your home.


What Is Varenyky?

Varenyky (Вареники) is a much-loved national dish from Ukraine, just as famous as borscht and lard. Varenyky, or Ukrainian dumpling, is a simple dish made from dough that’s filled and then boiled or fried. It’s enjoyed in many flavors, from sweet to savory.

People worldwide know and love Varenyky, but its true home is Ukraine. In fact, Ukrainians love Varenyky so much that you can find Varenyky in their songs, poems, movies, and even statues!

How Does Varenyky Compare To Other International Dumplings?


If you compare, a traditional Ukrainian dumpling is twice as big as a Russian Pelmen and four times bigger than an Italian Ravioli. The shape is different, too: Ukrainian Varenyky is shaped like a half-moon, Russian Pelmeni are round, and Italian ravioli are usually square.

In Poland and Belarus, Ukrainian dumplings have a similar dish called Kalduny. So, no matter where you go, you’ll find a version of Varenyky.

Is Varenyky Different From Pierogi?

The difference between Varenyky and Pierogi may seem significant, but in reality, it’s almost non-existent. Both dishes are half-moon-shaped stuffed dumplings, a staple in Eastern European cuisine.

One subtle difference between Varenyky and Pierogi is the devotion to sour cream. Ukrainians have a particular fondness for this creamy delight, generously drizzling it over almost anything, including Varenyky.

Size also sets Varenyky and Pierogi apart: Pierogi often have a slightly larger footprint than Varenyky.

What Tools Are Required To Make Varenyky?

Choosing the right tool for Varenyky can make the difference between a good and a great dumpling. The essential tools for Varenyky are listed below:

Varenyky Tools
  • Kitchen pan: Your go-to for boiling potatoes to tender perfection.
  • Skillet with non-stick coating: Ideal for frying onions to a golden-brown hue without sticking.
  • Spatula for stirring pan: Your essential assistant for mixing ingredients in the pan and combining the potato-onion filling.
  • Kitchen knife: An indispensable tool for all your chopping tasks, like cutting potatoes into pieces.
  • A kitchen board: The sturdy base you need for any and all slicing and dicing.
  • Rolling pin: Your key to transforming small pieces of dough into the perfect wrappers for your dumplings.
  • Slotted spoon: Makes removing your boiled dumplings from the pot a breeze, while leaving the boiling water behind.
  • Potato masher: The tool to ensure your boiled potatoes transform into the perfect dumpling filling.

What Are The Ingredients Needed For Varenyky?

The following ingredients are needed for Varenyky, and they play a starring role in this traditional dish. The dough is made from basic ingredients like flour, water, and eggs, while the filling consists of onion, potato, and black pepper.

Varenyky Ingredients

For the Dough:

  • Flour: Your everyday baking flour works perfectly. Feel free to opt for specialty flour, like gluten-free, if that’s your preference.
  • Water: Just plain, clean drinking water will do the trick.
  • Egg: A fresh chicken egg is ideal. Quail eggs can be used too, but it won’t make a noticeable difference.
  • Salt: Use your go-to, everyday salt.
  • Butter: Fresh and good quality butter is key. However, steer clear from spreads, as it might affect the taste.

For the Filling:

  • Onion: A fresh, firm, medium-sized onion, whether yellow, red, or white – your choice!
  • Potato: Opt for a variety that gets nice and soft when boiled.
  • Ground Black Pepper: While various seasonings can be used, classic recipes call for good old black pepper.
  • Sour Cream or Greek Yogurt (optional): Traditionally used when serving dumplings, be they sweet or salty.

How To Make Perfect Varenyky At Home?

To make Varenyky, there are three main stages: preparing a hearty potato-onion filling, crafting a smooth, easy-to-work dough, and finally boiling these beautiful half-moons to perfection. This guide walks you through the process, ensuring you can create this comforting dish with ease and flair, right in your own kitchen.

Step 1: Prepare The Potato Filling

Begin by peeling and chopping your potatoes. Pop them into a pot with a little salt and get that heating on a medium flame.

Varenyky Step 1 Prepare the Potato Filling

Meanwhile, chop an onion and let it sizzle in a pan with olive oil or butter until it takes on a rich, golden hue.

Varenyky Step 1 Prepare the Potato Filling1

When the potatoes are ready, drain the water and mash them with a potato masher. Add fried onions to potatoes, salt, and pepper to taste and mix well. Now, leave it to cool while we deal with the dough.

Varenyky Step 1 Prepare the Potato Filling2

Step 2: Prepare The Dough

Next up, it’s dough time. Combine your flour, hot water, salt, and an egg in a big bowl. Knead it until you have a smooth, soft dough.

Varenyky Step 2 Prepare the Dough
Varenyky Step 2 Prepare the Dough1

Take your dough and roll it out into a log-like shape. From this, slice off chunks roughly the size of a walnut.

Varenyky Step 2 Prepare the Dough2

Roll out each ball with a rolling pin, put the potato stuffing inside and mold it into the shape of a dumpling.

Varenyky Step 2 Prepare the Dough3

Arrange your dumplings on a board and pop them into the freezer for about 20 minutes. Or, if you want, you can freeze them for later – they’re always ready when you need a quick, tasty meal.

Varenyky Step 2 Prepare the Dough4

Step 3: Boil The Dumplings

Lastly, it’s time to bring those dumplings to life. Fill a pot with water, season with salt, and get it boiling.

Gently drop in your dumplings, stirring them until they rise to the top. Allow them to boil for another 5-7 minutes.

Varenyky Step 3 Boil the Dumplings

Then scoop them out with a slotted spoon into a bowl. Add a dab of butter and the remaining fried onion, mix it up, and here you go!

What’s The Secret To Perfect Varenyky?


The secrets for perfect Varenyky involve fresh ingredients, careful crafting, and a boiling water start. Whether you prefer them sweet or savory, hand-making your dumplings guarantees authenticity and taste. Your culinary creativity is the key to mastering this dish.

In this section, you can also have a good chance to learn about pairing suggestions for Varenyky, storage and reheat tips, as well as other Ukrainian delicacies.

  • Dumpling Do’s: Want perfect dumplings? Add them to boiling water. If you drop them in cold water, they’ll stick together and ruin the meal.
  • Fresh is Best: Use fresh ingredients, especially potatoes. Old potatoes can taste a bit off.
  • Seal the Deal: Be careful when making your dumplings, especially around the edges. If they’re not sealed well, they’ll break while cooking.
  • Hands-on Experience: A dumpling tool might be useful, but nothing beats handmade dumplings. Top restaurants always serve them this way.
  • Cool Storage: If you’ve made too many dumplings, don’t worry! They can stay in the freezer until you’re ready to cook.
  • Dough Hacks: For a softer dough, use hot water when you’re mixing it.
  • Flavor Boost: Want more flavor? Use more onions. If you like your filling firm, that’s okay too.
  • Customize Your Way: Don’t like onions? Leave them out of your potato dumplings.
  • Easy on the Filling: Don’t overfill your dumplings. It can make them hard to close.
  • Flour Choices: Wheat, rye, buckwheat, barley or a mix – choose your favorite for the dough.
  • Filling Fun: The filling can be anything you like: potatoes, cabbage, mushrooms, cheese, beans, fruit, or even organ meat.
  • Savory Options: Try a savory dumpling with potato and mushroom or liver and cabbage fillings.
  • Sweet Surprise: Want a sweet dumpling? Use cottage cheese, cherries, or strawberries. Try different fillings and find your sweet spot!

What To Pair with Ukrainian Dumplings?


Traditionally, Ukrainian dumplings are paired with sour cream, sautéed onions, melted butter, crispy fried lard, and an assortment of sauces. For a sweet twist, they’re often dusted with sugar or drizzled with honey.

You can also serve Ukrainian dumplings with fresh veggies like greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, radishes, or bell peppers. For a tangy contrast, try pairing Varenyky with salted or pickled goodies like tomatoes, cucumbers, cabbage, or mushrooms.

How To Store and Reheat Ukrainian Dumplings?


You can store Varenyky by making them and freezing them while they’re still raw. Arrange them on a tray, freeze them, then store them in a freezer bag. This way, they won’t stick and you can cook the amount you need later.

When you’re ready to eat, drop the frozen dumplings into boiling water. After about five minutes, when they start to float, they are ready to be enjoyed.

If you have leftover cooked Varenyky, keep them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days.

To reheat Varenyky, use a pan with some butter or oil for a crispy finish. Alternatively, you can heat them in the microwave. Just add a bit of water, cover them and heat for about a minute. Continue to heat in 30-second increments until they’re hot enough for you.

What Are Other Ukrainian Dishes To Explore?

Some must-try Ukrainian dishes are the savory Lard (Salo), a cured fatback staple, and the heartwarming Stuffed Cabbage Rolls (Holubtsi), an embodiment of Ukrainian comfort food. The exploration of these delicacies, coupled with the famous Chicken Kiev and nourishing Borscht, encapsulates the extensive and flavorful culinary tradition of Ukraine.

  • Traditional Ukrainian Lard (Salo): is essentially cured slabs of fatback. Often served raw with a sprinkle of salt and garlic, it’s a rich accompaniment to rye bread and a staple of Ukrainian tables.
  • Classic Ukrainian Chicken Kiev: is a mouthwatering dish made by rolling a tender chicken fillet around a hearty piece of garlic and herb butter. Coated in breadcrumbs and fried until golden, this dish delights with a burst of flavor at first bite.
  • Traditional Ukrainian Borscht: This is the quintessential Ukrainian soup, packed full of hearty vegetables and often beef. Deeply rooted in tradition, Borscht combines beets, cabbage, potatoes, and tomatoes into a ruby-red broth that’s as warming as it is delicious.
  • Delicious Ukrainian Buckwheat Kasha: A beloved Ukrainian dish, Buckwheat Kasha is a simple, yet satisfying grain dish. Toasted buckwheat groats are boiled to perfection, yielding a fluffy, nutty side dish that goes well with just about anything
  • Tasty Holubtsi (Stuffed Cabbage Rolls): The epitome of comfort food, Holubtsi are cabbage leaves stuffed with a mix of rice and meat, then rolled into bundles and baked in a tangy tomato sauce. A plate of these delicious rolls is the epitome of home-cooked Ukrainian food.

Are You Ready To Cook Up Some Delectable Varenyky?


Thus, I and you have journeyed through the process of preparing potato dumplings, a simple, yet universally loved dish! If you’ve enjoyed Varenyky, don’t hesitate to experiment with various fillings. Your success with the basic preparation indicates that you’re ready to venture into more exotic fillings enveloped in dough.

I truly value your engagement, dear readers! Do share your personal experiences and twists on the classic potato dumplings. I’m eager to hear your thoughts on this dish.

Don’t forget to leave your comments, hit the like button, and share this scrumptious recipe with your friends. Stay subscribed for more mouthwatering and intriguing recipes. Thank you for reading, and stay safe!


Varenyky or Ukrainian Dumplings (Вареники) Recipe

Craving some authentic Varenyky? Let me guide you through the enticing world of Ukrainian dumplings, where each bite promises a burst of comfort and tradition.
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main
Cuisine: Ukrainian
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 5 Servings
Calories: 615kcal


For dough:

  • 250 ml hot water
  • 1 egg
  • 1.41 ounces soft butter
  • 1.1 pounds flour
  • 0.5 teaspoon salt

For filling:

  • 5-6 potatoes cubed
  • 2 onions
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 0.5 teaspoon black pepper

For serving:

  • Parsley and dill
  • Green onion
  • Sour cream


  • Start by peeling and cubing the potatoes, then boil them in a saucepan with some salt over medium heat.
    Varenyky Step 1 Prepare the Potato Filling
  • While the potatoes are boiling, sauté the chopped onion in olive oil or butter in a separate pan until they turn golden brown.
    Varenyky Step 1 Prepare the Potato Filling1
  • Once the potatoes are cooked, drain the water and mash them. Then, stir in the fried onions and season with salt and pepper.
    Varenyky Step 1 Prepare the Potato Filling2
  • As the potato mixture cools, start preparing the dough. In a large bowl, combine flour, hot water, salt, and an egg to form a soft dough.
    Varenyky Step 2 Prepare the Dough
  • Take small portions of this dough, roll them into sausage shapes, and then cut off walnut-sized pieces with a knife.
    Varenyky Step 2 Prepare the Dough2
  • Next, flatten each piece with a rolling pin, place some potato filling in the center, and shape it into a dumpling.
    Varenyky Step 2 Prepare the Dough3
  • Place these dumplings on a board and freeze them for about 20 minutes.
    Varenyky Step 2 Prepare the Dough4
  • In the meantime, fill a saucepan with water, add salt, and bring it to a boil over high heat. Once the water is boiling, add the dumplings, stirring until they float. Continue boiling them for an additional 5-7 minutes.
    Varenyky Step 3 Boil the Dumplings
  • Finally, use a slotted spoon to transfer the cooked dumplings into a bowl. Add some butter and the remaining fried onions, then stir everything together.



  • These instructions are for preparing 5 servings.
  • Always add the dumplings to strongly boiling water for optimal cooking.
  • Using fresh ingredients, particularly potatoes, can greatly enhance the taste.
  • When shaping the dumplings, take extra care to seal the edges properly. Failure to do so may result in the dumplings falling apart while cooking.
  • Frozen dumplings can be stored for a significant time before cooking, making them a convenient meal for later.
  • For a softer dough, use hot water during the kneading process.
  • If you prefer a juicier and more flavorful filling, don’t hesitate to use a generous amount of onions.


Calories: 615kcal | Carbohydrates: 118g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 50mg | Sodium: 1011mg | Potassium: 1082mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 252IU | Vitamin C: 45mg | Calcium: 58mg | Iron: 7mg
Olena Medvedieva

Olena Medvedieva

Content Writer


Content Writer, Meal Planning, Recipe Development, Food Editor, Cooking-video Maker, Culinary Storytelling, Food Photographer, Food Stylist, Chef


Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Ukraine

  • Program: Educational and Scientific Institute of Philology
  • Focus: Deepening students’ understanding and expertise in languages, literature, and cultural studies.

Introducing Olena, a culinary enthusiast from Ukraine, whose journey from philology studies to the world of food photography and styling is nothing short of inspiring. With a deep-seated love for both cooking and capturing stunning visuals, Olena’s work reflects her passion for culinary arts and her commitment to showcasing the beauty of Ukrainian cuisine. Her expertise extends beyond the kitchen, as she combines her creative talents to produce captivating images that grace numerous online platforms and publications.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *