Cheese Dumplings Recipe
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Traditional Ukrainian cheese dumplings (aka Lazy Vareniki) are made with Tvorog; a homemade farmers cheese. This is an even lazier (I mean easier) version. The Ricotta cheese is inexpensive and simple, but I do have the recipe for farmers cheese posted.Well, here you have it. Enjoy!
This is a modified version of SheSimmers recipe.
Ingredients for Lazy Vareniki:
15 oz Ricotta cheese
2 large eggs
3 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt + 1/2 Tbsp of salt for water
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour + more to dust
4 Tbsp butter, soft or melted
How to make Cheese Dumplings:
1. In a medium size bowl, whisk together 2 eggs, 3 Tbsp of sugar, 1/2 tsp salt and 15 oz of Ricotta cheese just until well blended.
2. Use a spatula to mix in 1 1/2 cups of flour, add more flour if needed just until you can form a ball. Don’t over-mix or dough can become tough. The less you mix the dough the softer it will be.
3. Dust a cutting board with flour and divide the dough ball into quarters and roll each section into a 1/2″ thick strip. Cut each strip into 1/4 to 1/2-inch pieces on the diagonal (only because they are prettier at an angle).
4. Bring a pot of water with 1/2 Tbsp salt to a boil. Carefully drop in the dumplings (try to keep them close to the level of the water when dropping them in or they may splash).
5. Lightly boil for about 2 minutes without stirring until dumplings float to the top. Remove with a slotted spoon into a colander and lightly rinse with cold water to remove excess starch. Toss/swirl with melted or softened butter. I boiled it in two batches using the same water, but you could probably boil them all at once.
Serve with sour cream. We love to sauté dumplings; especially leftovers. Oh yum.
Cheese Dumplings Recipe
- 15 oz Ricotta cheese
- 2 large eggs
- 3 Tbsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt + 1/2 Tbsp of salt for water
- 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour + more to dust
- 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, soft or melted
In a medium size bowl, whisk together 2 eggs, 3 Tbsp of sugar, 1/2 tsp salt and 15 oz of Ricotta cheese just until well blended.
Use a spatula to mix in 1 1/2 cups of flour, add more flour if needed just until you can form a ball. Don't overmix or dough can become tough. The less you mix the dough the softer it will be.
Dust a cutting board with flour, divide the dough ball into quarters and roll each section into a 1/2" thick strip. Cut each strip into 1/4 to 1/2-inch pieces on the diagonal (only because they are prettier at an angle).
Bring a pot of water with 1/2 Tbsp salt to a boil. Carefully drop in the dumplings (try to keep them close to the level of the water when dropping them in or they may splash).
Lightly boil for about 2 minutes without stirring until dumplings float to the top. Remove with a slotted spoon into a colander and lightly rinse with cold water to remove excess starch. Toss/swirl with melted or softened butter. I boiled it in two batches using the same water, but you could probably boil them all at once.
Serve with sour cream. We love to sauté dumplings afterwards until they are golden brown; especially leftovers. Oh yum.
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These were delicious! I substituted cottage cheese for the ricotta, and served with Bulgarian-style yogurt (which is super popular where I live) and berries. I felt like it was a very Slavic meal (which is one of my faves)!!
Hi Rebecca, good to know that you loved this recipe!
when leftover (if any) i save for next day breakfast – sauteed speck- chopped and chopped onion add dumpling – crack 3-4 eggs stir well to coat all
Thank you so much for sharing that with me!
My mother made the same dumplings no ricotta boiled fried with onions and covered with sour cream. My mothers mother was from Ukraine.
That’s so great and sounds delicious! Thank you so much for sharing that with me, Catherine!
I made it with farmers cheese and it was so good!!! 😋 thank you for the receipt!
Glad you liked it, Inna. You are very welcome!
Hi Natasha, when does the softened or melted butter go in? I don’t see it anywhere in the instructions. Thank you!!
Hi Yana, we used it in step #5: “Remove with a slotted spoon into a colander and lightly rinse with cold water to remove excess starch. Toss/swirl with melted or softened butter.” I hope that helps.
My Lithuanian, Grandma Rose, made these for us on holidays, and then I made them for my kids. It is always a favorite with everyone! We made them with farmers cheese, and that is how I found your site. I misplaced my recipe, and needed to find one that will duplicate, my Grandma’s. I have never sauteed them. We rolled them in a ball, and before boiling, They were always baked after boiling in a big bowl of heavy cream and butter. Can’t wait to try your recipe this Thanksgiving! My daughter, Katy will be making them, since I have ti drive back to Chicago to have dinner with my family.
I love the idea of the big bowl of heavy cream and butter. Yum! Happy Thanksgiving!
Hi NatAsha. Do you think I can freeze these ? If so at what step ? After you boil. Or just the raw dough cut up ?
Hi Vicky, I haven’t tried freezing the dumplings but I would probably freeze them as raw dough cut up.
Hi! Would it be possible to use half whole wheat flour? Thanks 🙂
Hi EK, I honestly have not tried that substitution so I’m not sure what it would do to the texture of these. Sorry I can’t be more help.
Yes…they taste a lot better…much more tender.Try 1/2 to 3/4 cup flour.
For anyone who has wondered in the past or will wonder in the future, I used 16 oz of Russian tvorog (farmer’s cheese) and this required 1 cup of flour (instead of 1.5 cups).
Thanks for sharing your helpful tip with other readers Polina!
Thank you!! I am just about to try these and glad I saw this post!!
I ended up using just a bit more than a cup of flour! Turned out great!
Thank you for sharing that, Nat!
I love all your recipes!! i tried a few of them already 🙂
by the way, what camera do you use? your food picture looks great!
I’m so happy to hear that! 🙂 I use a canon 6d and for food I use a 100mm lens. I have more info on these in the resources section of my blog.
I like vareniki very much but I cant imagine that i can make them with Ricotta. I will try! thank you!
Hi Kristina! It does work with the right proportions. I hope you love it!
I like many of your recipes and I have made several of them and they come out perfect, but this recipe does not taste neither salt nor sugar, I add the flour content that you say taking great care of not over mix and I could form a ball, but when I had to put on the counter I need add a lot of flour in it to be able to grind it a bit .For me took more than 2 minutes to cook, ??. My question is what flavor does it have ?, I think the amount of flour in the recipe is not enough, ? what texture should it have ??
Hi Martha, these are supposed to be very mildly sweet. They are similar to the classic dough-only dumplings but adding the cheese gives them a little more flavor than just flour, milk, egg and salt. They should be boiling for 2 minutes so once you add them, bring the pot to a boil and boil 2 minutes. I hope that helps!
I made this on the weekend. Super easy and really yummy.
I’m happy to hear you enjoyed the recipe! Thank you for sharing 🙂
My mother made this dish, only the cheese is rolled flat with flour, then cut in a diamond shape. After they were boiled, she fried them sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon. I made some years ago, but it didn’t taste as good as it did when I was a child. Thank you for posting. This is an old recipe called Serinicki (spell?) in Lithuania.
Mm that sounds so yummy sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar! 🙂
I remember my Polish Grandmother making these with 5 year old me helping to roll out the dough and sitting on a stool by the stove watching for the fluffy diamond shapes to float to the surface of the boiling water, then fried in browned butter. I have searched for this recipe for years with no luck. Of course, I’ve been looking for a Polish recipe.I’d forgotten that Grandma could taste something once and replicate it perfectly no matter what country the dish came from. Reading your comments, with the name brought back a flood of memories. Thanks!
My mom did the same thing, but added some bread crumbs. So delicious!
Hello-what can you substitute for flour in all of your recipes for someone who is gluten free?
Hi Natalie, it really depends on the recipe. I haven’t tested gluten free options but I have had readers tell me that gluten free flour works for some recipes such as my sponge cake (biskvit).
I made these yesterday and served them with a lemon-dill sauce. They were incredible – thank you!
I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe! 🙂
what if I use farmers cheese would I get the same results? I know it is dryer…. would I mix I with something? add sugar?
Hi Olga, I think they would be yummy with farmers cheese; that’s the original way Ukrainians made them! 🙂 However since it is dryer, I would suggest using less flour. I don’t think you would need to add any more sugar.
I just used farmers cheese and left out the sugar(personal preference) and it turned out great. Still used same amount of flour.
I will be making these today for the first time, and hope that they will come out great. I’ve been checking several recipes for Ricotta gnocchi (with parmesan, without sugar), and those are served with tomato sauce or browned butter. But I do like the idea of sweet lazy vareniki, so will make both versions just in case. Do you think a berry syrup would go well with these? My husband does not care for sour cream. I appreciate your website, Natasha! Used your recipes so many times, and still coming back for more ideas.
Mmm I think a berry syrup would go well with these. You’re making me hungry! 🙂
Lithuanian cheese noodles
my Lithuanian grandma made these with farmer’s cheese or dry cottage cheese 60 yrs ago. She patted them flat and simmered them for a few mins, removed with slotted spoon and added butter. She called them “Bundukies”
Mmm that sounds lovely! Thank you for sharing that with us! 🙂
Thank you for this recipe. I am always looking for something that both the 1 year old and the 5 year old will/can eat. This sure did the trick! They came out fluffy and soft so the baby can eat them no problem and they have a nice texture for the 5 year old too. I have had numerous unsuccessful attempts at making tvorog and its really great being able to make these with ricotta. I have made these several times now and they come out perfect every time.
Zhanna, thank you so much for the great review. I’m so happy your family enjoyed it and I agree that it’s awesome to discover recipes that your whole family can eat together :).
I am making them right now but its terrible! they’re sticking to the pot when I saute them with butter and they stick, help please 🙁
I need them for tomorrow for my russian class
Hi Alina, these work best in a non-stick pan. You don’t have to sautee them; they can be eaten as is, but we like to do that with leftovers. It’s best to sautee cooled dumplings and not while they are hot and stickier after boiling. I hope that helps!
I used organic rice flour and the texture was a bit grainy..wondering if it’s because i didn’t use regular flour? Sauteed them with onions and drizzled maple syrup to eat with the sour cream. Tasted just like German cottage cheese dumplings that we make:)
I haven’t tried the organic rice flour so I’m not sure the difference it would make, but they do have cheese so they will have some of that texture naturally and won’t be as smooth as plain dough dumplings. German cottage cheese dumplings sound amazing!
Great recipe, Nata, thanks a lot! Quick and easy and taste good!. G
In so happy you enjoyed it 🙂
Natasha, a mozno real tworog ? U menja jestj iz ruskowo magazina… Thank you! Blessed resurrection day to you and yours!
My mom used to make these with real tvorog. That would probably work great! 🙂 Real tvorog is dryer than ricotta so you might need less flour.
Great and easy to make. Thanks for the recipe. Even though I’m Mexican I sure delight in other culture’s cooking. What can I do with the leftover? Freeze or just refrigerate. Thanks. xxx
I haven’t tried freezing, but we have refrigerated and just sautéed them up on the skillet in some butter to re-heat.
Skip the sugar. Fry up some chopped bacon and onions or mushrooms (or both) -> Galushki so shkvarkami, nyaaaammm.
Oh my gosh that sounds so so good! Major craving now! Thanks alot! 😉
Natasha, these were delicious. I had to add about 2 cups of flour because the dough was beyond sticky. I did not sauté the dumplings because I grew up eating them straight from the pot with some sour cream. Yum yum yum.
I’m so glad you liked the recipe! Maybe it was a difference in the cheese? I’m not sure, but I’m really glad it worked out 🙂
I made these and they were great! My Ukrainian husband had never had them but loved them!
One thing that I had a problem with was the stickiness of the dough. After I made the first quarter of dough, I decided to add some more flour to reduce the stickiness but then they became tougher from the extra mixing. Is your dough sticky? Do you use more than 1 1/2 cups of flour?
Yes it was pretty sticky. I dusted with flour when rolling it into a log, but yes it was sticky. They turn out softer if they are still sticky 🙂
I made these yesterday. I did not saute them but it was so delicious:) This morning when I wormed them up I sauteed them and it was sooooo good!! I had them with vanilla yogurt because I did not have sour cream. It was amazing. My 2 year old girl inhaled them!! My husband said he wants these for breakfast and also for lunch or dinner with meat sauce:) I am from Japan and my husband is from Brazil so these dumplings as breakfast were so new for us but this is going to be our breakfast menu from now on for sure;) Thank you for sharing your awesome recipe. I am going to try more recipes from your blog. By the way do you eat these dumplings for lunch or dinner? If yes, what do you serve with??
I’m so glad you all really enjoyed the dumplings! We usually serve them for lunch with sour cream or plain yogurt. My son is wild about them too 🙂
Natasha I want to say thank you so much for all your recipes. I just made this and they are beyond yummy. I never before made anything with dough(I’m married now for 6 years, how embarrassing) but your site brought me to baking and I’m glad. They taste so good both of my kids approved. One question my husband likes Varenyky with potato would it be possible to just mix in mashed potato with onion? Would they still come out right?
I just checked with my mom and she said you can use potatoes and finely diced and sautéed onions instead of the cheese. Let me know how it works out! 🙂
I just made these with mashed potatoes and onions. They are very very good. Especially if you sauté them on both sides.
That’s my favorite way of eating them as well :).
Actually, Varenyky is Ukrainian version of pirogies, and what you made is called Tvorog Galushki
duly noted 🙂
You might want to add you logo to these lovely print outs so that people will always remember where they can get more recipes from! 😀
That’s a great idea! Thanks Galya!
I am super excited to have found this recipe! My grandma is Ukrainian and she (and later on – my mom) made them for us all the time! Note that these are not typical in Russia’s north, for instance (neither are cherry dumplings, by the way), so I am psyched to be able to make these for my husband who is from Tver’.
And thank you Natasha for the wonderful blog! I am always happy to see a fellow Russian- or Ukrainian-American sharing our culture with others. I teach Russian to adults in NYC and I just emailed the link to your blog to my students. I brought I few things I made to class before and this blog just inspired me to do more! 🙂
Dasha, you are awesome! Thanks for sharing my blog with your students. I hope you love the recipe and hope it brings back memories for you!!
I grew up in Moscow, and my mother used to make these, with tvorog, all the time.
Vareniki with sour cherries – we had a friend who visited from Ukraine, and she made those for us. As well as the real vareniki – the dough filled with tvorog filling (a lot of work, not for a Lazy person…;))
For sure! Vareniki take some work but they sure are my very favorite things in the world!! 🙂
Natasha with sugar and cinnamon 🙂
I have a son adopted from Ukraine and a daughter adopted from Russia and I like to incorporate little bits of their first culture into our family. My son especially – because he was adopted at age 14 – likes to have Ukrainian food. I made these tonight for my family and they were a huge hit! I will be adding this to the regular rotation. Thank-you!!
That’s awesome! Thanks for sharing your story with me 🙂
OH MY GOSH! I’m from Ukraine, and I’m definitely going to make this sometime this week as part of a dinner, I’ll tell you what I think of them, they look delish!
Hope you love the recipe!
Do you think they will still work well without ricotta cheese? so if i only use the farmers cheese? I’m making some right now 😀
I think they would be yummy with farmers cheese; that’s the original way Ukrainians made them 🙂
Oh yes! Does this bring back childhood memories!!! My grandma used to make these! Love them! Will make them for my little trouble now! Thanks, Natasha!
You are welcome Sveta, let me know how they turn out :).
Hm, it’s an interesting idea to panfry them after boiling. Never seen that before. My husband would love this! He panfries perogies, buckwheat, potatoes, spaghetti, you name it after they have already been cooked.:) I guess different traditions in different parts of former USSR.
I agree. Never seen that before. But it _is_ interesting idea, I love it 🙂
Can I replace honey for sugar?
That should work; I bet it would taste even better! 🙂
I just had one quick question about the tvorog. I was walking around the store earlier today and noticed there are wetter tvorogs, and dier; for this recipe which type of tvorog would you recommend?
It’s hard to say without looking at it myself. You don’t want too dry or too wet. Pick the one that’s closest to ricotta cheese. Hope that helps.
Made these yesterday, doubled the recipe and they turned out great! I sautéed them like you recommended and husband just ate them up. Natasha, thanks for helping us all to be better ‘hospodinyas’. I have to say, your web site is quite popular among my relatives. My mom told me the other day that she was talking to her sister (my aunt), and she was saying that her daughters rarely ask her for recipes anymore, they just use Natasha’s kitchen all the time, lol!
Uh oh 😉 I hope your aunt isn’t unhappy with my blog! Well, as they say, nothing beats mom’s cooking so I hope they still try to get their Mama’s recipes 🙂
I’m sure they still do, but it definitely helps us be more independent 🙂
Just got done making these yummy babies!. They are delicious! Thank You for your always so yummy recepies!
Oh so happy you liked the recipe 🙂
I don’t have ricotta cheese, but I have fresh mozzarella. Do you think it will still work? Or I could just wait and buy ricotta. 🙂
I don’t think the fresh mozzarella would blend well with the rest of the ingredients. I haven’t tried it, but I don’t think it would work.
Hi Natasha. How much flour do you add? Thanks n
1 1/2 cups
I love how easy these are. I bet they’re a dream with sautéed onions and sour cream. Great recipe!!
Yes, they are, just omit the sugar in :).
I made these once with Farmer’s Cheese and absolutely LOVED them! Can’t wait to try this recipe! 🙂
Let me know if you can tell the difference after making them, between Farmer’s Cheese and Ricotta.
These look super yummy. A must try for my Hubby. One question though, you have ricotta cheese on the recipe but on your first instruction it says cottage cheese? I’m thinking cottage cheese is a typo. Thanks for another yummy recipe Natasha!
Good eyes Rosie, just got it fixed in both places, thank you :).
My grandma used to make them a lot..except she didn’t saute them.. they look delish 😉
They taste great either way :).
My mom made these too when I was little! They go great with sour cream.
They do indeed, we ate ours in two sittings :).
Oh yum! I remember my mom making these for us when we were little! Yum!!
These were my husbands memory 🙂 my mom made them plain; just the dough from pelmeni in water; my favorite!
I made these last night and they were yummy! Very easy to make. Thank You for sharing. =)
They are very easy indeed, I’m glad you like them Yana :).
I love making these, it so easy and the taste is rewarding:)
They are very easy :), my 3 year old ate them with sour cream and jam.