Zelda’s Varenikis

My mother-in-law Zelda is famous for her varenikis. These are different from the pyroghy recipe I posted at the beginning of the year,,,,Peroghy…Pirogi…Pierogi anyway you spell it, they are delicious The peroghy have a dough that has sour cream in it & the dough for the varenikis is dairy free.

They are also different then kreplach… the dough of these varenikis are so soft…the filling is less oniony then the kreplach…they are just different.

Every year we would go to visit Murray’s’ parents in British Colombia. Zelda makes so many great dishes that we looked forward to every time we went. Her Simple Coleslaw, these varenikis & her pancakes are beyond delicious. ( I will post her recipe for pancakes ….) chicken & rice, bbq chicken….Kobe Marinade for Chicken on the BBQ & the list goes on…..

My mother-in-law, Zelda, only makes these varenikis with a potato & onion filling The onion is sautéed just until soft, not browned. There is no dairy in this recipe so it is perfect for anyone who needs a parve (non-dairy) dish. It can be eaten just with some parve margarine & salt & pepper…. or if you want …. eat it with sour cream…

I have heard from several people that they like the recipe I post on my blog because they are simple & easy to prepare…but sometimes spending some extra time in the kitchen is very rewarding & worth it!!!!

There are several ways things you can do with these once they are put together

  • you can boil them all & just eat the leftovers for a few days, reheat by pan frying them in some oil….yum
  • you can cook some & freeze some *** see instructions for freezing below
  • you can freeze all of them to use at a later time


  1. take a couple of baking sheets & sprinkle flour on them…this will ensure that the varenikis don’t stick to the baking sheet.
  2. put your prepared raw varenikis onto the prepared baking sheets so that they are not touching each other
  3. put the sheets with the varenikis into the freezer
  4. let them freeze completely, then remove each one from the baking sheets & put into ziplock bags *** if there is a lot of flour on them, brush it off
  5. store in the freezer

TO USE AFTER FREEZING…..boil a pot of water & put as many varenikis into the boiling water as you want to eat, bring the water back to a boil & turn  the water down so that it is not boiling too hard. Allow the varenikis to boil & when they bob to the top they are done. DO NOT JUST POP THEM INTO A FRYING PAN AS THEY HAVE TO COOK FIRST…JUST PAN FRYING THEM WILL NOT COOK THE DOUGH ENOUGH….

Here is the recipe


Potato Filling

10 potatoes

2 onions, diced

oil to sauté the onions in….maybe 4 tbsp

1/4 cup non-dairy margarine *** I use the Becel Vegan Margarine

salt & pepper to taste


2 eggs

2 cups water

2/3 cup instant potato flakes UNFLAVORED

3 1/2 – 3 1/4 cup flour

you will need some flour to roll the dough



To make the filling

  1. Peel & cut the potatoes & boil them until soft. Drain them well once they are cooked …you do not want any water left in the potatoes…if there is the dough will get wet & will come apart.
  2. While the potatoes are cooking, cook the diced onions in some oil until they are translucent, if they brown its ok but not too brown. You will see in the pictures just the edges of some of the onion pieces are brown…not all of them
  3. Mash the drained potatoes so that there are not any lumps left or if there are at least they aren’t big!!
  4. Add the sautéed onions & the leftover oil that might be in the onion pan…
  5. Add the margarine to the potatoes & margarine, mix well
  6. Salt & pepper to taste
  7. Set aside to cool

To make the dough

  1. In a large bowl, put the 2 eggs in & beat them
  2. Add the water to the eggs & mix well
  3. Add the instant potato flakes & mix well
  4. Add the flour starting at 3 1/2 cups…,mix well….if the dough is too sticky add the other 1/4 cup of flour….the dough needs to be soft but also needs to be firm enough to roll
  5. Flour a work surface…
  6. Dump the dough onto the floured work surface & then knead the dough until you have a smooth dough…
  7. Now you will roll the dough
  8. I divided the ball of dough into 4 pieces
  9. Roll each section of dough out to about 1/4 thick
  10. Using a glass… so here is an issue…what size glass….i used a glass that had a diameter of 3 inches at the open end…so you can use that as a guide….cut out circles in the dough…you can cut them all out at once & pick one up at a time or as my MIL likes to do it, she cuts a circle, fills it then cuts another one…etc
  11. Put the potato filling into the circle & bring up the edges to form the half-moon shape *** you will have to stretch the dough around the potato filling
  12. Pinch the edges tightly since you do not want the vareinkis to open up in the water & all the potato to leak out!!! That would be a waste of your hard work!!
  13. Put the raw prepared ones onto a baking sheet to take over to your boiling pot of water… that way you will be able to pop several into the boiling water at a time
  14. Hopefully…your filling & dough will match up…meaning you will have the right amount of dough for the amount of filling you have made…. these amounts worked for me….
  15. Now you can cook some & eat some, freeze the rest….freeze them all….cook them all & eat left-overs… cook them, eat some & freeze the left-overs… your choice.
  16. To cook them…boil some water, salt it & then pop the varenikis into the boiling water, let it come back to a boil but them turn the heat down so that it isn’t a real rolling boil..this can break the varenikis apart… just have a medium boil…then boil them until they float to the top of the water…& let them bob around in the water for a few minutes. Remove from the water with a slotted spoon. Put them into a bow with some parve margarine & shake the bowl so that the margarine gets on all of them…this way they will not stick together…
  17. This recipe makes a lot!! I didn’t count them..sorry

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask me…in the comment section, on my Facebook page…marilyndishes… or on  my instagram  page… which is also marilyndishes


Drain the potatoes really well & mash them so that there are not  too many lumps left
Saute the onions in oil
Add the onions to the mashed potatoes
Mix together & add some parve margarine & slat & pepper taste
Here is the dough…it is soft
Ready to form the varenikis
Divide the dough into 4 balls
I used this biscuit cutter first then switched to a glass that was bigger…your choice of size
Put a generous amount of filling on the circle
When folding the dough around the potato, stretch it to bring the sides together
Tightly pinch the edges together so that they are well sealed…
Put them onto a baking sheet to take over to the boiling water to cook them



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Marilyn Dishes

Many people ask me "how did you do that?" "will you show me how?' So I decided to make a blog about what I cook and bake. I am in no way a professional cook, but I love to feed people and try new things as well as making the "old foods" My friends are wonderful cooks, each with their own 'specialty' and i will be having guest cooks here, showcasing their favourite things to cook as well!! I hope you enjoy this blog and maybe decide to make some of these foods yourself! I am always available to answer any questions you might have about anything you see here. Some of my recipes are unique to me but most are not. They are all recipes I have found in a variety of ways, some are old family recipes that date back decades and some are new ones!

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