Meat Stuffed Potato Pancakes (Draniki)
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These are classic old world classic potato pancakes well loved by Slavic people. We call them draniki or deruny and they are super yummy for breakfast, lunch or even dinner. These potato pancakes are made by grating raw potatoes into the batter – weird but so good! They are a favorite in our house.
This is my Mom’s recipe and the pancakes are amazing as is but this time we added a tasty meat filling (inspired by one of my favorite bloggers, Olga). The filling takes these classic potato pancakes over the top. You can get creative and sub pretty much any ground meat for the filling; beef, chicken, turkey,..
Watch How to Make Stuffed Potato Pancakes – Draniki:
Ingredients for Stuffed Potato Pancakes (Draniki):
1 1/2 lbs (5 medium) potatoes (we used yukon gold), peeled
1 medium onion, peeled and divided (use 3/4 for potatoes and 1/4 for meat filling)
1 large egg
3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp sour cream
1 tsp salt, or to taste
1/8 tsp black pepper, or taste
Cooking oil (we use extra light olive oil)
1/2 lb ground pork
1 Tbsp reserved grated onion (see above)
1/4 tsp salt and a pinch of black pepper, or to taste
How to Make Stuffed Potato Pancakes (Draniki)
1. Into a large bowl, grate potatoes on the star grater. It should be the consistency of applesauce. Use a spoon to skim off 1 Tbsp excess potato water that floats to the top.
Note: If grating by hand, protect your fingers and use safety gloves like these. Grating is the most annoying step so once you get through it, you’re golden! We’ve made these by dicing potatoes and blending in our blender or using a good food processor like this one and they tasted great, but the texture was not as authentic as grating by hand.
2. Grate onion into the same bowl (reserving 1 Tbsp grated onion for the meat mixture). The onion will keep potatoes from browning.
3. Add 1 egg, 3 Tbsp flour, 1 Tbsp sour cream, 1 tsp salt and 1/8 tsp black pepper and stir well.
4. Mix together ground pork, 1 Tbsp reserved grated onion, 1/4 tsp salt and black pepper to taste. Form into 16 skinny patties and place them on a clean surface (I put them on a cutting board lined with plastic wrap).
5. Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat and add 2-3 Tbsp oil. Once oil is hot, add 1 Tbsp of the mixture at a time into the skillet, flattening it out. Top with a thin meat patty and cover the meat with another Tablespoon of potato batter. Saute until potatoes are golden brown then flip and continue sautéing until golden brown and cooked through (about 4 min per side). Repeat with remaining batter, adding more oil as needed. Remove to a paper-towel lined plate and server warm with sour cream.
Tip: if liquid starts to rise to the top of the potato batter, give it a quick stir – this will prevent excessive splatter when the batter goes into the skillet.
Meat Stuffed Potato Pancakes (Draniki)
- 1 1/2 lbs 5 medium potatoes (we used yukon gold), peeled
- 1 medium onion, peeled and divided (use 3/4 for potatoes and 1/4 for meat filling)
- 1 large egg
- 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1 Tbsp sour cream
- 1 tsp salt, or to taste
- 1/8 tsp black pepper, or taste
- Cooking oil, we use light olive oil
- 1/2 lb ground pork
- 1 Tbsp reserved grated onion, see above
- 1/4 tsp salt and a pinch of black pepper, or to taste
Into a large bowl, grate potatoes on the star grater*. It should be the consistency of applesauce. Use a spoon to skim off any excess potato liquid that floats to the top. Note: If grating by hand, protect your fingers and use safety gloves.
Grate onion into the same bowl (reserving 1 Tbsp grated onion for meat mixture). Onion keeps potatoes from browning.
Add 1 egg, 3 Tbsp flour, 1 Tbsp sour cream, 1 tsp salt and 1/8 tsp black pepper and stir well.
Mix together ground pork, 1 Tbsp reserved grated onion, 1/4 tsp salt and black pepper to taste. Form into 16 skinny patties and place them on a clean surface.
Heat large non-stick skillet over medium heat and add 2-3 Tbsp oil. Once oil is hot, add 1 Tbsp of potato mixture at a time into the skillet, flattening it out. Top with a thin meat patty and cover the meat with another Tablespoon of potato batter. Saute until potatoes are golden brown then flip and continue sautéing until golden brown and cooked through (about 4 min per side). Repeat with remaining batter**, adding more oil as needed. Remove to paper-towel lined plate and serve with sour cream.
*Shortcut: dice potatoes and puree in a blender or food processor - tastes great but the texture is not as authentic as grating by hand.
**If liquid starts to rise to the top of the potato batter between cooking batches, stir it to prevent splatter while cooking.
If you make this recipe, I’d love to see pics of your creations on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter! Hashtag them #natashaskitchen
Read comments/reviewsAdd comment/review
I had a few slices of cooked roast beef leftover. I put them in the food processor with a little gravy and onion and garlic and used that for the meat layer. They were delicious. Had people fighting over the leftovers. Just a little creativity.
That’s a nice one, I’m sure that was great!
This recipe is great! It’s authentic and easy. The pancakes come out just like in the picture. My family loved them.
That’s awesome! I’m happy to know that your family loved this recipe, Sarah.
Hi Natasha! Would these work with sweet potatoes instead?!
Hi Sherri, I haven’t tried this with sweet potatoes to advise. If you happen to try that, please let me know how you like that.
Hi …..we have an ‘international dinner group’ and next month is our ‘Russian’ dinner. I’d love to make these potato pancakes. I can make meat ones for mostof the group but do you have a suggestion for making some for non-meat eaters?
Hi Lea, you can definitely make these without the meat. Check out our classic deruny recipe here. You essentially just leave out the meat.
Delicious! Thank you Natasha! However, draniki with meat are called “kolduny” 😉
You’re welcome. Thanks for the info and note!
Hello! I would like to use a food processor instead of grating. Would this recipe still work, or is the texture of shredded potatoes in a food processor completely different than what this recipe requires? (I imagine using the star grater results in MUCH more water than a food processor)
Hi Julia, I totally forgot about the food processor! I wrote about the blender but forgot about my trusty food processor! I bet that would work!
Absolutely incredible. I’ve used this recipe several times (because it’s that good, and everyone who I’ve served it to has agreed) and serve with the sour cream and chives in the picture, as well as fresh dill.
I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Barak! Thank you for the wonderful review!
Hi Natasha – made these and they were a hit! I used russet potatoes which worked well. My only concern was that the batter seemed to be quite watery and the deruny turned out more gummy. Still tasted good, but wondering if the texture should be more firm and how to do that? Thanks
Hi Olenka, I’m so glad you enjoyed this recipe! I’m curious, was anything altered in the recipe by chance? It’s hard to say without being there but I’m happy to troubleshoot.
Everyone loved them! Thank you!!
Thank you so much, Kathy. That is so awesome!
Can you use Russet Potatoes instead of Yukon Gold, as this is what I have in my pantry at the moment?
Hi Nancy, yes that will work. We have used them when russets are what we have on hand.
Hi Natasha, do you think I could use ground beef for the recipe?
Hi Anna, you can substitute for pretty much any ground meat, just don’t use the leanest meat.
I’m going to make these as an appetizer for Thanksgiving. Can I make ahead and freeze? I would quickly place under broiler to reheat. They sound really good. Thank you.
Hi Jeannie! I imagine it can be done but I have not frozen these before. If you experiment I would love to know how you like that!
I frozen them before and microwaved one a time when needed.
Thank you Luiza!
Scrumtous ! Delicious !
You’re welcome! I’m so happy you enjoyed that!
Natasha, these sound great and I am going to make them for an appetizer but I am going to use ground chicken. I’m a little concerned the chicken will cook in just around 4 mins inside. Is that enough time?
They cooked through just fine for us. You can always run a test run and check the meat temperature.
I’m originally from Belarus and draniki is our traditional food. I never made it until today, normally my mom makes them as a holiday treat. Since i’m doing Whole30 diet I omitted sour cream and used almond flour instead of regular. It turned out amazing. My oldest daughter said: Mom they are more delicious then babyshka’s.
Wow! Thats so great! I’m so happy this worked out of your diet! Isn’t it great when kiddos love that we moms make for them?
The recipe worked perfectly! It wasn’t amazing! Almost like a dumpling, almost. We used turkey (the thigh) instead of pork and it worked perfectly, we just added a bit of flour to the meat mixture to thicken it a little bit so that we could add it to the patties and WOW this was a treat! If you’re in one of those moods when you know you’re hungry for something but you’re not sure what, try this. It’s super super easy to make And the recipe actually works and creates tasty results. We made this for dinner, made to many, reused the leftovers for breakfast with an egg on top, AMAZING!
Awesome, I’m glad to hear how much you enjoy the recipe! Thanks for sharing your excellent review with other readers!
Blin is this good!
I’m so glad you like the recipe! 🙂 Thanks Boris!
I used the potatoes by suggested weight (slightly more), and there wasn’t nearly enough mixture to yield 16 – just barely managed 12. Consider increasing your potato amounts so things balance out better.
Hi Elena, it depends on how large you form the patties. There can be more or less depending on their size.
Yum! We made this for the first time today and will definitely be making it again.
Angie, I’m so glad you liked them, thanks for sharing 😀
I love your posts, I too am Ukrainian & love the good food
You have some really awesome recipes that bring back fond memories.
Keep up the good work, I wish we could get a couple every week. I sure look forward to them.
You have a lovely little family, the kids are adorable, always nice to see the updates on them too. Take care
Thank you so much for the great compliments Linda! I’m happy to hear you’re following 🙂
Hi Natasha, We grew up eating these all the time. I love these but HATE the grating so i never actually attempted these on my own. I have a vitamix and was wondering on what speed and is there a certain order in making the potatoes/onion mixture? Thank you.
Hi Galina, you can put the potatoes and onions together in a blender and blend until pureed. It’s not the identical texture of the classic pancakes but it’s a close second and they taste just as good 🙂
Hello Natasha. Can these be made simply without meat filling?
Yes, absolutely!! Here is where I made them plain 🙂
I love foods from all over the world and I would love to learn more about Ukranian food and how to make it.
Have a great day,
I hope you find my blog helpful Tim!!
Can these be made with left over mashed potatoes?
Hi Leah, for meat-stuffed mashed potato pancakes, the meat should really be cooked. Here is an example of where I did just that 🙂 I hope that helps!
These pancakes are very delicious however mine for some reason didn’t stay together. Meet filling would slide out so it looked like a sandwich lol. What am I doing wrong? I followed the recipe exactly.
Hi Alisa, I wonder if maybe your leftover mashed potatoes are too loose? Some mashed potatoes recipes call for hefty amounts of butter or cream, making the leftover mashed potatoes pretty soft. You may need to add slightly more flour.
I made these just now after stumbing across your site and this recipe only yesterday. They are awesome! So delicious and easy to make. Thank you (and Olga) for sharing this.
Lulu, welcome to the site and thank you for the nice review. I hope you’ll find lots more favorites here 😀.
Oh, boy – these are my favorite thing ever. You can ask my husband. I’m embarrassed to admit how often I make them. Thanks for mentioning me, Natasha. That was very sweet of you.
I totally love your idea of putting meat inside of them! Just when I thought they couldn’t get any better, they did! 🙂 Thanks Olga!
I am using groun turkey instead of pork and from 1/2 pound it doesn’t come out 16 piece. In the picture patties don’t look too tiny?
They are pretty small and skinny patties – about 1 1/2″ in diameter. You also want to make sure they are skinny little patties so they cook through properly. Even if you are shy a few patties, you can make remaining batter as plain pancakes – they are still super yummy even without a filling! 🙂
I would like to know can I make half mixture one day and keep it in refrigerator for next day? looks so yum….can’t wait to make it today. Hope it will be as perfect as yours:))) you’re an amazing person and of course your recipes are perfect.
Thank you so much for that sweet compliment :). I don’t think the batter for this recipe would store well in the refrigerator overnight – it would probably discolor by morning. I would just sautee all of the pancakes and then reheat them on the skillet the next day.
Potato Pancakes. What a lovely variation on an old favourite. Can’t wait to try them.
Re: Raspberry Pretzel Jello: I wonder what I can substitute for Cool Whip if I can’t find it anywhere? I’ve never heard of it. What are the ingredients in it? Wonder if I can replicate it. Bless your beautiful recipes and your style. Seashalia
Hi Pamela, I do have a note on that recipe regarding the use of whipped cream instead although it tends to soften the pretzels and isn’t quite as good. It’s normally in the freezer section of the grocery store next to other frozen desserts and ingredients like puff pastry or frozen berries.
Natasha, is it really 16 patties from 1/2 pounds of meat? I know that you are very precise in your recipe, that’s why I am checking. From other hand I understand that it’s quick cooking inside of potato layers.
Hi Yelena, yes, they are thin small patties. If you make them too large, they won’t cook through properly. I weighed out the meat to get an exact 1/2 lb and then formed 16 skinny patties.
Hi Natasha, what do you call all purpose flour? Here in England we have plain flour or self-raising flour. Sorry if I sound ignorant, want to try and make these pancakes because they look delicious.
John, our all-purpose flour is your plain flour. Let me know how they turn out 😀.
I’ve had draniki my whole life but my grandma and mom never made them stuffed with meat. I didn’t even know that was a thing!! I am so bummed that I have been eating un-stuffed draniki my whole life – what a waste! lol
Going to have to make these sometime, they have to be SO good with meat!!
I admit the unstuffed ones are seriously amazing on their own and we probably make them that way more often but these are a treat! 🙂
Do you always grind the potatoes on the grater? I put them through the food processor… I love my fingertips way too much lol..yeap, I’ve done that haha
I totally forgot about the food processor! I wrote about the blender but forgot about my trusty food processor! Oh boy. 🙂 I always use safety gloves when using the food grater because it’s a little scary otherwise 😉
We make these too (plaki’s) never tried with meat. We serve with apple sauce or sour cream. Polska…
I’ve never tried with apple sauce! I love that different regions make them differently! Do you make them plain or fill them with something else? We love them plain also served with sour cream 🙂
Mmmm yummm always love how u post new recipes can I sub farmers cheese of i don’t have ground meat or are they better off with meat yo my mouth is watering right now
Hi Tzivia, I haven’t tried with farmers cheese but that does sound interesting. I really like them with meat but it might be worth experimenting. If you test that out, let me know how it goes. 🙂
I love meat it just never hurts to be prepared on one of those days lol u use pork was wondering if it would work with ground turkey or beef @ long @ it’s not lean but yea if I do try it with farmers cheese I will definitely let ya kw gurl keep things coming hun gnite sweet dreams cheers
You can use pretty much any ground meat you like. 🙂 thanks Tzivia!
Thanks Natasha, my husband just did it last Saturday, yammmmmmm.
I’m so glad you liked the recipe! 🙂
Made them on Saturday. Delicious!!!
I’m so happy to hear that! Thank you for sharing your great review!
Goodness gracious………… these look good! Pinned. Thanks for sharing.
Thank you Mary and you are welcome 😀.
Can a different meat be used instead of pork? I can’t eat pork.
Yes, you can substitute for pretty much any ground meat, just don’t use the leanest meat.
Does the sausage get completely
cooked inside the potato in that amount of time? That would be my fear that for some reason my meat wouldn’t get cooked all the way through. I’ve got to try this though. it looks so good.
Ginger, meat cooks through since it is a thin patty. Give it a try, it won’t disappoint 😀.
I am really enjoying your blog. It’s great to see the occasional Ukrainian recipe posted. My Baba passed away about 8 years ago. Her Ukrainian delicacies are really missed by all of her grandchildren. I have given a few of these a try and they are close to what I remember.
That is the best when recipes bring back some nice memories. I hope you’ll find more favorites here 😀
Looks delicious, my husband asked me to make them for today, so let’s do it :))
Thank you for the recipe!
Thank you Galina! I hope you both love them. 🙂
Those are my favorite. Love them.
Thank you Vera! I can’t seem to get enough of them either. Such a treat!