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Varenyky are Ukrainian national dish that is not inferior in popularity and importance even to borscht. Varenyky are made from fresh dough and a variety of fillings, such as meat, potatoes, mushrooms, vegetables, fruits, cheese and many more. Their fillings can be salty or sweet, lean or meaty. Recipes vary greatly depending on the region. Thus, in Polissia, crushed beans are added to the filling, in Zakarpattia  it is cheese, in Chernihiv region bacon crisps are added to the dish.

Varenyky also have important folklore and even magical significance. Our ancestors invested great symbolism in this dish. The shape of the varenyky resembles the new moon, so the dish was used as a sacrificial offering. The process of kneading the dough was identified with the origin of the universe, and the filling symbolized the continuation of the genus. Dumplings were a must-have dish at important events. For example, girls brought varenyky to recently delivered women. People ate this dish also when the cow was calving to keep the calf healthy. Varenyky were eaten during the harvest, while people believed that this food should give inspiration and strength to the reapers.


“There are firewood and water present, if there were cheese and flour, I would make varenyky!” From this proverb it is clear what ingredients are needed to make varenyky:

  • milk — ½ glasses;
  • water — ½ glasses;
  • wheat flour — 3 cups;
  • sunflower oil — 1 tablespoon;
  • salt — ¼ teaspoon;
  • bryndza cheese — 200 grams;
  • cottage cheese — 100 grams;
  • eggs — 3 pieces;
  • breadcrumbs — 2 tablespoons;
  • garlic — 1 clove.

Video recipe

The cooking process

  1. Start by making the dough. You need to pour the flour into a deep bowl, make a deepening inside and pour milk and water there. The dough can be kneaded by hand. At the end of the kneading, add sunflower oil. Leave the dough for 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare the filling: mix the cheese, bryndza cheese, eggs, breadcrumbs and garlic until smooth.
  3. Roll out the dough into a layer 2 millimeters thick and squeeze out slices of the same size. Put the filling in the middle and pinch the dough. If wanted, you can make a decorative braid on varenyk’s edge to make the dish look more elegant.
  4. Varenyky should be cooked in salted water for about 5 minutes. Then place in a deep plate and grease with butter. Varenyky taste best with sour cream, fried onions and bacon crisps.

Other dishes

Sprat rissoles

Area: South of Ukraine

Hrechanyky (Buckwheat Cutlets)

Area: East of Ukraine