Lenivye Vareniki – Cheese Dumplings

These little Russian dumplings, a cheesy version of Italian gnocchi, are a real favourite of mine, but be warned, they require some time to make.  Personally, I think the easiest thing is to make up a huge batch once or twice a year, freeze in small batches, and simply defrost and reheat when you want them.  This is such a typical little East European dish which can be eaten either savoury, such as with bacon, or as a dessert with smetena (sour cream) and sugar.


Lenivye Vareniki

Ingredients (serves 4)

500g ricotta cheese (or cottage cheese but as this is quite different in the UK, ricotta is probably best)

2 eggs

200g plain flour, sifted

2 litres of water

25g butter


Smetana (sour cream) or creme fraiche


Put the cheese, eggs and a pinch of salt in a bowl

Mix well


Add the sifted flour and fold in, with a metal spoon, until thoroughly combined


The dough should form a soft ball

(Flour can vary, you may need more to dry up the mixture, use your discretion)

Put ball on floured surface

Cut the dough into 8 sections

Roll each section into a sausage shape as thick as a finger

Cut each sausage into 2cm / 3/4 in sections


Bring a large pan of water to boil and add 1 tsp salt

Put batches of the dumplings into the water and simmer for 2 minutes until they begin to float to the surface


Remove using a slotted spoon and transfer to a colander

Run under cold water to prevent the dumplings sticking


Heat the butter in a large pan

Saute the dumplings until thoroughly warmed and slightly golden


Serve immediately with a bowl of smetana, creme fraiche and sugar or bacon


Lenivye Vareniki

About Charlotte J

Graduate, journalist, blogger and follower of all things media.