Ukrainian Pirohi / Aka Varenyky

"Pirohi (or varenyky as they are called Ukrainian because they are boiled).. are a mashed potato, cheese, onion filled dumpling.. that is boiled, drained and then served with sautéed onions and butter. I've been making this recipe for 35 years and watched my mother and grandmother make them as a child. It's a very, very filling and tasty main dish served along with Kolbassi and a salad. (Potato,Onion and Cheese-filled Dumplings)"
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Ready In:
3hrs 10mins
80-90 pirohis




  • Prepare potatoes as you would for mashed potatoes until tender and then drain and keep in the pot.
  • At the same time the potatoes are cooking, sauté the onions in the entire pound of margarine.
  • When the onions are done, using a slotted spoon, scoop out about 3/4 of the onions and put into the pot of potatoes.
  • You will be saving almost all the margarine for the end of the recipe with a little bit of the onions.
  • Also add the shredded cheddar cheese to the potatoes.
  • Then using an electric mixer, mash the potato mixture until as smooth as possible.
  • It will be lumpy somewhat with the onions in it.
  • At that time, add garlic and salt and pepper to your own taste and mix until done.
  • Set aside to cool while you work on the dough.
  • In a large bowl, put about 6 cups of flour in making a well in the middle.
  • In the well, put in one teaspoons.
  • Salt, both eggs (already slightly beaten), and about one cup of water.
  • Mix well with a strong wooden spoon and add water or flour as needed until the dough is formed.
  • When it's almost ready it will no longer stick to the sides of the bowl.
  • Place the dough on a well-floured surface and knead it until it is smooth and shiny.
  • Use flour as needed, but not too stiff.
  • Set aside and let the dough rest.
  • Fill a large 6-8 quart pot with water, add a teaspoon of salt, and bring the water to rolling boil.
  • The process of the making the pyrohis is easy but it is a long one.
  • Extra hands are always welcome in making this delicious meal.
  • On one side of your table, place a clean sheet folded to fit your space and flour this very well.
  • It will be the place you will set your pirohis between the making and actual boiling of them.
  • If your surface is not floured, they will stick and fall apart in the boiling process.
  • Cut off about 1/3 of the dough and rolls with a rolling pin until thin (not too thin).
  • Cut circles with a round biscuit cutter or a glass.
  • Keep hands floured so the dough doesn't stick to them and stretch out dough a little a a time until there is enough space to put the potato mixture inches.
  • With a teaspoon, fill the center of the dough with the potato mixture and fold the dough over and pinch the edges tight with floured fingers to form a crescent.
  • Put the completed pirohi on your well-floured sheet and continue the process until all your pirohi are done.
  • If the water is boiling too much, turn down until you are ready to boil them.
  • Now the actual cooking starts.
  • Put about a dozen of the pirohi in the boiling water and stir once easily to loosen them.
  • Now let them boil until they float to the top of the pot and let them boil for another minute or so.
  • Remove them one at a time with a large slotted spoon and put them into a colander to drain.
  • Use a large cake pan or a roaster pan and drizzle the bottom with the extra onion margarine.
  • Place the drained pirohi in the pan and cover them with a little margarine mixture and shake the pan back and forth to keep the pirohis from sticking to each other.
  • Repeat the process until all the pirohi are done.
  • Keep the large pan or roaster in the oven only on warm and cover them with foil or lid to keep them from drying out.
  • Any extra dough: Roll out thin on the floured surface and cut into strips, boil, drain and use for buttered noodles or holushki (sautéed cabbage and noodles.) I guarantee-- if you take the time to make these babies-- your family will LOVE them-- and you will have tasted two of the best of the Ukrainian cuisine around!
  • MMM-MMM Dobreeeeee (good).

Questions & Replies

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  1. sandim
    This was a very easy recipe to make and the dough was just the right consistency. I would prefer a little drier for my filling but a little instant mashed potatoes fixed the problem.
  2. Georgia Sawhook
    I know this is really a time consuming meal..... but WELL worth it.. especially when you get all the applause and oooooooooooooooohs.. and aaaaaaaaaaaaaaahss.... If you want a good mushroom recipe to serve over top of the pirohi.. go to There's all of my Ukrainian Recipes on that page.. Dobreeeeeeeeee..... which means "Good" in Ukrainian..


I'm a pastor's wife and mom of 7 and grandmother of 13 and 57 years of age.. LOVE to cook... and share my foods.. I am from Ukrainian descent and have lots of recipes from that as well as many others at my Recipe Heaven.
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