Jewish Meat Knishes Recipe (2024)

A Jewish meat knish (kuh-NISH) is a baked dumpling filled with meat, potatoes, kasha, sauerkraut, onions or cheese (and lately spinach, sweet potatoes, and other ingredients), that is traditionally baked but sometimes fried. It's similar to a British pasty, Mexican empanada, Russian pirozhki, and an Italian calzone. Since this dough recipe is made with butter, cream cheese, and sour cream, and filled with beef, it would not be considered kosher.

The recipe for the filling was provided by Lloyd Weinstein of Benjie's Deli in Santa Ana, Calif. The knishes can be individually quick frozen on baking sheets and transferred to freezer bags for storage if desired.

Here is a potato knish recipe you might like to try.

“I thought I preferred potato knishes, but that was before I tasted this particular meat version. The addition of pastrami as one of the filling ingredients was absolutely brilliant. It kicked the flavor up to another level. I didn’t have access to a meat grinder, so I pulsed the ingredients in a food processor instead.” —Diana Andrews

Jewish Meat Knishes Recipe (1)

A Note From Our Recipe Tester


For the Knish Dough:

  • 8 ounces (1 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature

  • 1/2 cup sour cream, at room temperature

  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, more as needed

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

For the Meat Filling:

For the Egg Wash:

  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten

  • 1 tablespoon water

Steps to Make It

Make the Knish Dough

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Jewish Meat Knishes Recipe (2)

  2. In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, process the butter, cream cheese, and sour cream until smooth and well combined, scraping down the bowl once or twice. Add flour and salt and pulse to blend.

    Jewish Meat Knishes Recipe (3)

  3. Turn dough out onto a sheet of plastic wrap.

    Jewish Meat Knishes Recipe (4)

  4. Using floured hands, form into a ball and wrap tightly. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or up to overnight.

    Jewish Meat Knishes Recipe (5)

Make the Meat Filling

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Jewish Meat Knishes Recipe (6)

  2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat until it shimmers. Add the onion and sauté until translucent, 3 to 4 minutes.

    Jewish Meat Knishes Recipe (7)

  3. Raise the heat to medium-high. Add the ground beef and cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon until no longer pink, about 9 minutes.

  4. Drain the mixture of excess fat. Add the pastrami and mix well.

    Jewish Meat Knishes Recipe (9)

  5. Pass meat through a grinder with the small hole setting. Alternatively, pulse then process the mixture in batches in a food processor fitted with a metal blade until finely chopped, taking care not to over process.

    Jewish Meat Knishes Recipe (10)

  6. Transfer meat to a large bowl. Let cool to room temperature. Add the salt, garlic powder, and white pepper and mix to combine. Adjust the seasoning to your liking. Add the eggs and mix well to combine.

    Jewish Meat Knishes Recipe (11)

Assemble the Knishes

  1. Lightly flour a work surface and place the dough on it. Cover with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel and let come to room temperature, 15 to 20 minutes.

    Jewish Meat Knishes Recipe (12)

  2. Meanwhile, position two racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 350 F. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone baking mats.

    Jewish Meat Knishes Recipe (13)

  3. Roll the dough out to 1/4-inch thickness.

    Jewish Meat Knishes Recipe (14)

  4. Using a pizza cutter, cut the dough into 3-inch squares. Re-roll any dough scraps until all the dough is used.

    Jewish Meat Knishes Recipe (15)

  5. Make the egg wash by combining the beaten egg with the water. Brush each square with the egg wash.

    Jewish Meat Knishes Recipe (16)

  6. Place 1 1/2 tablespoons filling on one of the dough squares.

    Jewish Meat Knishes Recipe (17)

  7. Stretch the dough over the filling and fold the points to meet in the center, similar to an envelope, pinching the edges closed. Continue with the rest of the dough and filling. (You might not use all the filling.)

    Jewish Meat Knishes Recipe (18)

  8. Place knishes on the prepared baking sheets and brush with the egg wash.

    Jewish Meat Knishes Recipe (19)

  9. Bake until knishes are golden brown on the top and bottom, rotating the trays in the oven halfway through baking, about 30 minutes total.

    Jewish Meat Knishes Recipe (20)


  • Serve these meat knishes with some sharp deli-style mustard, which pairs especially well with the pastrami in the filling.
  • Any leftover filling can be used in omelets and stuffed baked vegetables, stirred into a chili, or eaten in a burrito or taco. Just be sure to cook the filling thoroughly again as it contains raw eggs.

Recipe Variations

Before baking, sprinkle the tops of the knishes with sesame seeds, poppy seeds, or even a little flaky salt for a subtle crunch.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
20g Fat
16g Carbs
13g Protein


Nutrition Facts
Servings: 22to 23
Amount per serving
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 20g25%
Saturated Fat 10g50%
Cholesterol 89mg30%
Sodium 321mg14%
Total Carbohydrate 16g6%
Dietary Fiber 1g2%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 13g
Vitamin C 0mg2%
Calcium 34mg3%
Iron 2mg11%
Potassium 187mg4%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Rate This Recipe

I don't like this at all.It's not the worst.Sure, this will do.I'm a fan—would recommend.Amazing! I love it!Thanks for your rating!

Jewish Meat Knishes Recipe (2024)


What is a Jewish knish? ›

Knish is a classic baked or fried Jewish street food. Traditionally, knishes are mashed potatoes or kasha (roasted buckwheat grain) wrapped in a thin layer of dough. This hearty kosher comfort food has modern variations, including pizza, sweet potato, and sweet cheese with fruit.

What are the different types of knish? ›

Other varieties of fillings include beef, chicken, sweet potatoes, black beans, or spinach. Knishes may be round, rectangular, or square. They may be entirely covered in dough or some of the filling may peek out of the top. Sizes range from those that can be eaten in a single bite hors d'oeuvre to sandwich-sized.

What is the difference between a knish and a pierogi? ›

“You never get tired of eating them,” said Bronsther. If you've always wondered the difference between a knish and a pierogi, the pierogi is typically fried or boiled, not baked, resulting in a dumpling texture rather than a pastry shell. But the kitchen full of cooks Sunday was clearly partial to the knish.

What is the difference between round and square knish? ›

Round knishes can have sweet or savory fillings — potato, kasha (buckwheat groats), mushroom, spinach, or sweet cheese with fruit fillings whereas square are generally potato, through and through, the crispy exterior a result of frying.

What is usually in a knish? ›

Knishes are fist-size snacks consisting of mashed potatoes wrapped in paper-thin pastry dough and then baked or fried. Other varieties include fillings made from sweet potatoes, mushrooms, spinach, broccoli, cabbage, cheese, or kasha, which is made from buckwheat groats.

What is knish dough made of? ›

For the Dough: In a large bowl combine flour, baking powder, and salt and whisk to combine. In a separate bowl whisk together egg, vegetable oil, lemon juice, and water. Pour wet ingredients over dry and using a wooden spoon mix until a dough forms.

What do you eat with knishes? ›

There's no wrong way to eat a knish, but we like ours served hot, with a side of good mustard. Enjoy one as an appetizer, midday snack, or served alongside a soup or sandwich.

What is the outside of a knish? ›

A staple of Jewish cuisine, a knish (pronounced kuh-nish) is a hearty snack of cooked carbohydrates (usually mashed potatoes) wrapped in buttery dough. Knish were brought to the US by European immigrants in need of hearty and affordable meals in their new home.

What is a New York knish? ›

A bomb of starchy fillings like nutty kasha groats or mashed potato with caramelized onions, wrapped in a thin sheet of dough and baked, the knish is claimed by Russians, Poles, and Ukrainians, and came to New York on the backs of Jewish immigrants.

What is the difference between latke and knish? ›

LATKE (pronounced 🙃 LAT-ka) is like a Jewish hash brown. It's also called a potato pancake! 👌Served with sour cream & apple sauce. POTATO KNISH is pastry dough on the outside & 😜mashed potatoes on the inside!

Should knish be warm or cold? ›

Bake knishes until the pastry is golden brown, about 40 minutes. Serve warm with spicy brown mustard.

What is the English version of pierogi? ›

In Polish pierogi is the plural form of pieróg (“dumpling”), but in English the word pierogi is usually treated as either singular or plural. In Polish tradition, the dumpling was introduced to the nation by the Dominican missionary St. Hyacinth, who died in Kraków in 1257.

What is a Coney Island knish? ›

A pillow of mashed potato, wrapped in dough and deep-fried.

Can you eat a knish cold? ›

Our potato knishes have a perfectly flaky dough surrounding a filling of seasoned mased potatoes and Schmaltz Onions. We've baked them golden brown for you, and they can be eaten hot or cold. Serve them as a snack or a side dish.

How do you cook Gabila knish? ›

Oven: Preheat oven to 375° F. Heat 10-15 minutes or until desired temp. Microwave: 1-2 minutes on high. Frying Pan: 2 minutes on each side.

How do you eat knishes? ›

There's no wrong way to eat a knish, but we like ours served hot, with a side of good mustard. Enjoy one as an appetizer, midday snack, or served alongside a soup or sandwich.

What does a knish taste like? ›

There's a deep, hearty satisfaction when it comes to knishes, the richness of the smooth potato providing a smooth, filling note, almost like a hand-held mashed potato ensconced in buttery, flaky dough. It's deeply savory and super filling, but also more of an appetizer or side than anything else.

Why is it called a knish? ›

The name “knish” actually means “a small person” in Ukrainian. While the origins of knish remain controversial, we know the basic recipe traveled to America in the hands of many European immigrants, which is why there are so many different fillings, including caramelized onions, cheese, mushrooms, spinach and meats.

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Msgr. Benton Quitzon

Last Updated:

Views: 5958

Rating: 4.2 / 5 (63 voted)

Reviews: 94% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Msgr. Benton Quitzon

Birthday: 2001-08-13

Address: 96487 Kris Cliff, Teresiafurt, WI 95201

Phone: +9418513585781

Job: Senior Designer

Hobby: Calligraphy, Rowing, Vacation, Geocaching, Web surfing, Electronics, Electronics

Introduction: My name is Msgr. Benton Quitzon, I am a comfortable, charming, thankful, happy, adventurous, handsome, precious person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.