Potato Verenika Recipe

February 12

potato verenikas
I grew up eating verenikas, a crescent moon shaped pocket of boiled dough, stuffed with creamy potatoes, and topped with sweet caramelized onions and sour cream. Since I left Montreal, I don’t really see them around anywhere. You don’t realize what is special to the place that you live until you leave, and verenikas is definitely one of those things. Also, once I left I became a lot more nostalgic about the food. I don’t imagine regularly buying verenikas if I lived in Montreal, but it’s something I think about now that I don’t. Anyway, now when I come back to Calgary, my suitcase is filled with bagels, cheese bagels (these are next on my list to tackle!) and verenikas. It is not a sustainable model for addressing my food cravings.
caramelized onions
verenikas filling
After realizing that verenikas was not a common food, I turned to google to find out where it was actually from. I have to admit, a lot of the photos of verenikas was not something that I recognized. Wikipedia tells me that it’s a Ukrainian dish (are they actually called varenyky?) and another site tells me the dish stems from Northern Europe. I wouldn’t be surprised if all of the above was a little bit true since there are so many cuisines with dough stuffed with potato (for good reason, it’s so delicious!). The most confusing part was knowing how they differ from pierogis. It’s all very confusing. All I know, is what I grew up eating and that’s what I set out to re-create here: a chewy, boiled dough, filled with creamy potatoes, topped with deeply browned onions, and a generous dollop of sour cream.
verenika dough
potato verenika dough
filling potato verenikas
potato verenikas
I couldn’t have asked for anything better than the final result. It’s a bit of a time intensive process, like most dumplings are, but like other dumpling recipes they are great to stash in your freezer and pop out when you need a warm pocket of comfort, as a side or a hearty snack to tide you over through the afternoon. I also made the filling the night before, which made it seem like a much less onerous task. I also decided to fold some of the caramelized onions into the mashed potato, which I’ve never had before but thoroughly enjoyed. The potatoes are smooth, the onions are sweet, and the dough has the perfect balance between tenderness and chew. It looks like my suitcase will be just a little bit lighter the next time I come back from a visit to Montreal.
potato verenika
potato verenikas

Potato Verenika Recipe

18 verenikas

Potato Verenika Recipe

Dough recipe adapted from allrecipes.com

If you're boiling the verenikas from frozen, they will take about 4-5 minutes before they're ready.

1 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium yellow onion, sliced
1 lbs yukon gold potatoes, peeled and halved
1/2 teaspoons salt
freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 1/4 cup (315g) all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
1 cup sour cream
1 egg
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

In a large pan, over medium heat, melt butter and heat up olive oil.

Add onions and reduce heat to low-medium.

Cook onions, stirring often, for about 45 minutes, until they are nicely browned.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil.

Boil potatoes until tender. You should easily be able to pierce with a fork.

Let potatoes cool as onions finish cooking.

Mash potatoes with 3/4 of the onions (reserving a bit for garnish), salt and pepper until the are fairly smooth. (I mash roughly and then use an electric mixer to mix until smooth).


Mix all ingredients for dough together in a bowl, with a wooden spoon.

Dump onto counter and knead for about 30 seconds, until the dough comes together.

Cover with bowl and let the dough rest for 15 minutes.

Roll out dough until 1/8 inch thick.

Using a drinking glass, cut out circles of dough (about 3 inches in diameter).

Place 1 tablespoon of filling in each piece of dough. It will look like too much filling but the dough will easily stretch to cover it.

Fold dough over and seal by pinching the edges with your fingers. Repeat until all of the dough is used up (re-rolling scraps as needed).

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil.

Boil veronicas until they float to the top of the water (about 2-3 minutes).

Serve with remaining onions and sour cream


Potato Verenika was last modified: February 12, 2015 by My Second Breakfast

12 thoughts on “Potato Verenika Recipe

  1. My grandmother used to make these. After boiling she would fry them in just melting butter that wasn’t browned. So delicious. I’ve never found any as good as hers. I will give this recipe a try, since it sounds a lot like hers.

  2. In Ukraine, they are called varenyky and Pierogie depending what part of Ukraine you are in. Varenyky is a Ukrainian word that can be used synonymously with Polish pierogi, as both of them mean dumplings with various fillings. In English, pierogi is a generic term especially popular in North America to call all types of filled dumplings./ In Ukraine they can be savory or sweet (using fruit fillings). They even make them in Poland and Ukraine like a Gnocci without filling and cheese it used in the dough to make the little dumplings. A great winter dish.

  3. Terrible outcome. Dough was too thick and would not roll thin enough. Cooking time is so short. Just checked other recipes and they cook 20 minutes

  4. A little late to this… these seem similar if not identical to perogi’s maybe that’s why you couldn’t find much under the other name? Probably called something different depending on what country. All I know is they are yummy!!! Even add a little cheddar or bacon…. I know unhealthy, but mmmm! Lol

  5. My Grandmother made these all the time when I was young. I remember her teaching g me how to make them. It the recipe was never written down and I of course forgot! This is so close to her recipe and making them brought back such fond memories!! Thank you so much for this recipe!

  6. I love the old touches. The glass to cut out the dough, the bowl to let the dough rest. It brings back wonderful memories and tastes of my Bubby! She also used to fry them as a treat. Thanks!

    1. I can hardly wait to try these. I’m 68 now, and my Bubbie has been gone for many decades. But I’ve often thought about the summers we’d go back to visit her, and the special meal that was always waiting for us the night we arrived. Like you, Alan, my Bubbie also fried them to reheat them, and I can still remember the wonderful texture. She immigrated from Russia as a young woman, and I so wish I had been able to learn how to cook some of the special things that made for warm memories, like her verenikas!

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  8. Gosh these look amazing. I am a massive fan of pierogi which I only discovered a couple of years ago, thanks to a Polish housemate. These look even better, the sour cream in the pastry is a game-changer.
    I’m very glad I followed you over from Instagram 🙂

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