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A knish is very similar to other common “stuffed dough” recipes from around the world: empanadas, pirogis, samosas, and the like. The knish originally became popular in eastern Europe in areas with large Jewish communities, and really took off in the neighborhoods of New York City in the early 1900s. This portable comfort food is commonly stuffed with potatoes, grains, or meat, and are frequently served by street vendors.

Knish are potato-filled dumplings that were originally made popular in areas of eastern Europe with large Jewish populations, eventually gaining huge worldwide popularity in Jewish-heavy communities of New York City. This potato-stuffed street food gained instant popularity when introduced to Belarus—a savory dumpling featuring the nation’s favorite ingredient was not a difficult sell.

Recipe Servings: 6

Prep Time
40 minutes
+ 2 hours resting
Cook Time
2 hours
Total Time
4 hours 40 minutes
Gluten Free
Dairy Free


  • 1½ lbs potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters
  • 2 tsp salt, divided plus extra for cooking water
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1½ lbs onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 cup whole kasha (roasted buckwheat)
  • 1¾ cup water, plus more for cooking
  • Ground black pepper, to taste
  • Nonstick cooking spray, as needed to grease baking sheet
  • Stone-ground mustard, as needed for serving


    For Dough:
  1. Pour the flour into a food processor. Slowly pour olive oil in the top and pulse. Scrape the sides as needed.
  2. Add salt, seltzer, and apple cider vinegar to the mixture in the food processor and pulse for about 30 seconds.
  3. Place dough on a floured work surface and knead until smooth. Flatten into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
  4. Remove the dough from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before making the knishes.
  5. For Filling:
  6. Put the potatoes in a saucepan and cover them with salted water. Simmer until they are tender, about 25 minutes.
  7. Drain the potatoes and discard the cooking water. Mash the potatoes in a large bowl. Set aside.
  8. Over medium-high heat, pour 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet. Add the onions, garlic, and 1 teaspoon salt, and cover.
  9. Cook about 5 minutes. Then uncover, stir, and continue cooking about 15 more minutes. Add onion mixture to the potatoes.
  10. Add the remaining olive oil to a small pan and cook the kasha in it over medium heat until toasted, about 4 minutes. Add the water and remaining 1 teaspoon of salt. Cover and simmer for about 10 minutes, until the water is absorbed.
  11. Add the ground black pepper to the kasha, and then add the kasha to the bowl with the potatoes. Mix well.
  12. For Assembly:
  13. Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease a baking sheet using nonstick cooking spray.
  14. Cut the dough into six equal pieces and place them on the baking sheet.
  15. Divide the filling equally among the six pieces of dough.
  16. Fold the dough over the filling, making a bowl-like shape. Leave the top open or pinch it closed.  
  17. Bake for 30 minutes. Then remove and brush the dough with olive oil.
  18. Bake another 30 minutes until the dough is golden-brown.
  19. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
  20. Serve with stone-ground mustard on the side for dipping.

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