Varenyky with salty curd cheese is a popular recipe from the past, when cheese was preserved with salt inside wooden barrels by regularly adding new layers of cheese.

As a result, vanenyky with salty curd cheese mixed with chopped dill, dressed with smetana or a sprinkling of pork crackling have become a signature dish in the Ukrainian cuisine.   

We recommend to dress the vanernyky with smoked smetana – it is easy to make and simply delicious. The recipe is using a pate a choux dough which is absolutely perfect for the dish, this will be a real hit on the dinner table. The recipe for the publication was developed by Yaroslav Artiukh.

So let’s get started.


Cooking time: 150 min.
Serves 2 people.



For the dough: 
• 60 g milk 
• 30 g butter, 82.3 % 
• 1–2 eggs 
• 130 g wheat flour 
• 3 g sugar 
• 3 g salt 

For the filling: 
• 200 g home-made soft cheese with high fat content 
• 10 g fresh dill
• salt to taste.

For the smoked smetana dressing: 
• 20 g smoked bacon or ham  
• 60 g smetana

For the sauce: 
• 20 g hard cheese 
• 100 g cream, 30 % fat


Cooking method

Prepare the smoked smetana dressing. Slice the smoked bacon or ham and place the slices in a bowl together with the smetana; cover with cling film and let rest for 2 hours.

To make the filling: mix the soft or curd cheese with minced dill, season with salt and mix with a blender.

To make the cheese sauce: bring the cream to the boil, remove from the heat and add the grated cheese. Stir with a whisk until the mixture starts to thicken and becomes smooth; season with salt.

For the dough: pour the milk into a saucepan, add the butter, salt and sugar. Bring to the boil. Lower the heat and gradually add half the flour. Keep stirring energetically with a wooden spatula until the batter has thickened. It should turn into a smooth ball; at the bottom of the pan the batter should form a lightly golden brown crust. Take off the heat and continue to stir. As it cools down to 65–70 ˚С, gradually one by one fold in the eggs. Keep stirring for 2 more minutes, add the rest of the flour and knead the dough for 5 more minutes. Cover the ready dough with a cloth and refrigerate for 1 hour. Then remove it from the fridge and roll it out 3–5 millimetres thick. Cut out the varenyky with a cutter or use a cup. Distribute the filling and seal the varenyky, then place them onto a chopping board sifted with flour. 

Cook in lightly salted boiling water for 3-5 minutes until the varenyky rise to the surface. 

Arrange the varenyky and smetana on a plate. Dress with cheese sauce.

On the photo the varenyky are decorated with fresh dill and cucumber.



Photo by Oksana Sybydlo




Український інститут

The recipe is part of “Ukraine. Food and Culture”, a coffee table edition developed to promote Ukrainian food culture overseas and published by їzhakultura/їzhak publishing with support from the Ukrainian Institute.