Meat Stuffed Potato Pancakes (Draniki)

These are classic old world potato pancakes with a surprise inside! Mom always made these draniki growing up. Yummy for breakfast, lunch or dinner!

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,..

These are classic old world potato pancakes with a surprise inside! Mom always made these draniki growing up. Yummy for breakfast, lunch or dinner!

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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

These are classic old world potato pancakes with a surprise inside! Mom always made these draniki growing up. Yummy for breakfast, lunch or dinner!

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.

Meat Stuffed Potato Pancakes-2 

2. Grate onion into the same bowl (reserving 1 Tbsp grated onion for the meat mixture). The onion will keep potatoes from browning.

Meat Stuffed Potato Pancakes-3

3. Add 1 egg, 3 Tbsp flour, 1 Tbsp sour cream, 1 tsp salt and 1/8 tsp black pepper and stir well.

Meat Stuffed Potato Pancakes-9

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).

Meat Stuffed Potato Pancakes-10

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.

These are classic old world potato pancakes with a surprise inside! Mom always made these draniki growing up. Yummy for breakfast, lunch or dinner!

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.

These are classic old world potato pancakes with a surprise inside! Mom always made these draniki growing up. Yummy for breakfast, lunch or dinner!

Meat Stuffed Potato Pancakes (Draniki)

4.93 from 14 votes
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
These are classic old world potato pancakes with a surprise inside! Mom always made these draniki growing up. Yummy for breakfast, lunch or dinner!
These are classic old world classic potato pancakes. They are made by grating raw potatoes into the batter - weird but so good! You can get creative and sub pretty much any ground meat.
Author: Natasha of NatashasKitchen.com
Skill Level: Medium
Cost to Make: $3-$5
Servings: 16 stuffed pancakes

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  1. 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.
  2. Grate onion into the same bowl (reserving 1 Tbsp grated onion for meat mixture). Onion keeps 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.
  5. 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.

Recipe Notes

*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.

 

These are classic old world potato pancakes with a surprise inside! Mom always made these draniki growing up. Yummy for breakfast, lunch or dinner!

These are classic old world potato pancakes with a surprise inside! Mom always made these draniki growing up. Yummy for breakfast, lunch or dinner!

Read comments/reviewsAdd comment/review

  • Jennifer
    January 26, 2018

    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! Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      January 27, 2018

      Awesome, I’m glad to hear how much you enjoy the recipe! Thanks for sharing your excellent review with other readers! Reply

  • Boris
    September 28, 2017

    Blin is this good! Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      September 29, 2017

      I’m so glad you like the recipe! 🙂 Thanks Boris! Reply

  • Elena
    June 30, 2017

    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. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      June 30, 2017

      Hi Elena, it depends on how large you form the patties. There can be more or less depending on their size. Reply

  • Angie
    April 9, 2017

    Yum! We made this for the first time today and will definitely be making it again. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      April 9, 2017

      Angie, I’m so glad you liked them, thanks for sharing 😀 Reply

  • March 19, 2017

    Hi Natasha,
    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 Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      March 20, 2017

      Thank you so much for the great compliments Linda! I’m happy to hear you’re following 🙂 Reply

  • Galina
    March 19, 2017

    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. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      March 20, 2017

      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 🙂 Reply

  • Nadia
    March 5, 2017

    Hello Natasha. Can these be made simply without meat filling? Reply

  • Tim Clute
    February 10, 2017

    Natasha,
    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,
    Tim Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      February 10, 2017

      I hope you find my blog helpful Tim!! Reply

  • Leah
    January 13, 2017

    Can these be made with left over mashed potatoes? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      January 13, 2017

      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! Reply

  • Alisa
    December 7, 2016

    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. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      December 7, 2016

      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. Reply

  • Lulu
    September 4, 2016

    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. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      September 4, 2016

      Lulu, welcome to the site and thank you for the nice review. I hope you’ll find lots more favorites here 😀. Reply

  • April 14, 2016

    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. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      April 14, 2016

      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! Reply

  • m.grigoryan88@yahoo.com
    April 6, 2016

    Hi Natasha,

    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? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      April 7, 2016

      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! 🙂 Reply

  • Mariam
    April 6, 2016

    Hi Natasha

    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. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      April 7, 2016

      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. Reply

  • Pamela Shell
    March 29, 2016

    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 Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      March 29, 2016

      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. Reply

  • Yelena
    March 27, 2016

    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. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      March 27, 2016

      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. Reply

  • John Reilly
    March 18, 2016

    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. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      March 18, 2016

      John, our all-purpose flour is your plain flour. Let me know how they turn out 😀. Reply

  • March 17, 2016

    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!! Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      March 17, 2016

      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! 🙂 Reply

  • March 17, 2016

    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 Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      March 17, 2016

      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 😉 Reply

  • Sandie Netupskii
    March 15, 2016

    We make these too (plaki’s) never tried with meat. We serve with apple sauce or sour cream. Polska… Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      March 15, 2016

      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 🙂 Reply

  • Tzivia
    March 15, 2016

    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 Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      March 15, 2016

      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. 🙂 Reply

      • Tzivia
        March 15, 2016

        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 Reply

        • Natasha
          natashaskitchen
          March 15, 2016

          You can use pretty much any ground meat you like. 🙂 thanks Tzivia! Reply

  • Ninchik
    March 14, 2016

    Thanks Natasha, my husband just did it last Saturday, yammmmmmm. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      March 14, 2016

      I’m so glad you liked the recipe! 🙂 Reply

  • Liliya
    March 14, 2016

    Made them on Saturday. Delicious!!! Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      March 14, 2016

      I’m so happy to hear that! Thank you for sharing your great review! Reply

  • Mary
    March 13, 2016

    Goodness gracious………… these look good! Pinned. Thanks for sharing. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      March 13, 2016

      Thank you Mary and you are welcome 😀. Reply

  • Bilal
    March 13, 2016

    Can a different meat be used instead of pork? I can’t eat pork. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      March 13, 2016

      Yes, you can substitute for pretty much any ground meat, just don’t use the leanest meat. Reply

  • Ginger
    March 13, 2016

    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. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      March 13, 2016

      Ginger, meat cooks through since it is a thin patty. Give it a try, it won’t disappoint 😀. Reply

  • Alan Iskiw
    March 13, 2016

    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. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      March 13, 2016

      That is the best when recipes bring back some nice memories. I hope you’ll find more favorites here 😀 Reply

  • Galina
    March 12, 2016

    Looks delicious, my husband asked me to make them for today, so let’s do it :))
    Thank you for the recipe! Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      March 12, 2016

      Thank you Galina! I hope you both love them. 🙂 Reply

  • Vera
    March 11, 2016

    Those are my favorite. Love them. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      March 11, 2016

      Thank you Vera! I can’t seem to get enough of them either. Such a treat! Reply

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