12 Ukrainian Dishes for Christmas Eve Recipes (Plus bonus recipes for Christmas Day!) (2024)

12 Ukrainian Dishes for Christmas Eve Recipes (Plus bonus recipes for ChristmasDay!)

Dobryj vechir, Sviaty vechir. Dobrym liudiam na zdorovja.

“Good evening, Holy evening. To good people for good health.”

12 Ukrainian Dishes for Christmas Eve Recipes (Plus bonus recipes for Christmas Day!) (1)

Kristos Rozdiatzia!

The supper on Holy Night differs from other evening meals, having twelve Lenten dishes, symbolic of the twelve Apostles who gathered at the Last Supper. The dishes are prepared with a vegetable shortening or cooking oil, omitting all animal fat, milk and milk products because Christmas is preceded by a period of fast which ends on Christmas Day after midnight or morning church service. The day of the Christmas Eve is a strict fast in commemoration of the hardships endured by Mother Mary en route to Bethlehem.

While the women of the household are busy preparing the multicourse meal (sometimes as many as 12 to 13 courses, representing the apostles and Christ) that varies from family to family and region to region, the children are assigned the task of decorating the Christmas tree and searching the night sky for the first star. When the star is sighted, it is a signal that the meal can begin. Throughout the day only light snacking is allowed, so the family eagerly awaits the meal. The table is set with the best linens and china, and a sheaf of wheat tied with a ribbon (Didukh), along with a bread known as kolach. As with other Slavs, an extra place is set for departed family members and / or the Christ Child. Before one morsel is eaten, prayers are recited and either the kolach or prosfora (blessed bread) is broken and dipped in honey (and sometimes grated garlic) and shared with each member of the family, from eldest to youngest, with wishes for good health and prosperity in the coming year.

After dinner, carols are sung and poems are recited by the children. Some presents are exchanged but most are left to be opened on Christmas Day. Everyone attends a midnight church service with the smallest children taking a gift to present at the manger for the needy children of the congregation. In the old days, gifts were not given on Christmas except for candy and other sweets. St. Nicholas Day was the primary gift-giving occasion.

Here are the recipes for many traditional Christmas Eve dishes. To check out the step by step photos for each recipe, go to:http://www.claudiascookbook.com/category/ukrainian-dishes/

They are amazing instructions and make these recipes look so easy to make!!

Note: Some recipes have the measurements for meat, for the Christmas Eve meal, please omit the meat for the traditional meatless dinner (and where butter is listed, you may be able touse margarine in place of butter). The measurements were kept in the recipe for the meat and butter and are there for you to make them on days when there isn’t a fast or for special days like Christmas day. There are also some extra recipes that are included below that have meat and dairy that were some of our favorites and we thought that you can use them for Christmas day!

If you would like fully vegetarian recipes go to:A 12 Course Traditional Meat-Free Holiday Feast (Fully Vegetarian)Recipes:https://ucymb.wordpress.com/a-12-course-traditional-meat-free-holiday-feast-fully-vegetarian/.

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Kutya is also known as kutia, koljivo, colivă, koliva, sochivo, and more depending on which country you happen to be in. This first-course Christmas Eve pudding of sorts is typically made with wheatberries that are sweetened with honey and sometimes augmented with poppy seeds, dried fruits and nuts. The kutya is eaten from a common dish to symbolize unity and, in some families, a spoonful of kutya is thrown up to the ceiling. If it sticks, a plentiful honey harvest can be expected

1 pint (2 cups) cooked wheat

6 tablespoons ground poppy seeds

1/4 cup honey

1/4 cup roughly chopped pecans

3/4 cup hot water

To cook wheat:

Dry wheat in 205F oven for 1 hour, stir occasionally. Wash, soak in cold water overnight. Next morning, bring wheat to boiling point, simmer 3-4 hours, until kernels burst open.

To prepare the poppy seeds: Scald poppy seed, simmer 3-5 minutes. Drain, grind twice using the finest blade of food chopper.

Add ground poppy seeds to wheat. Combine honey and sugar in hot water. Add to wheat.Finally add your roughly chopped pecans.


(Note from a visitor to the site: Thank you for the additional info to help out all our cooks!)

The ideal type of wheat to use is “pearled wheat” – however, this has become unavailable this year (Karpaty Meats and Sausage Makers/Central Products bring it in if it is available – they both said it wasn’t available this year). Pearled wheat has the husk removed (and possibly the bran), so it cooks faster. My recipe indicates it needs to simmer for 2 hrs. This year I used “hard red wheat berries” from Bulk Barn – after toasting and soaking overnight, I cooked it in a slow cooker and left it for 4 hours on high. This worked well.My family doesn’t use nuts (personal preference). I also use 1 cup of dry wheat, 1/2 cup of ground poppy seeds and 2/3 cup of clover honey mixed with 1/2 cup of boiled water.Smachnoho!

There are a couple of issues with the kutya recipe as posted:1. It advises to grind the scalded poppy seeds with the “finest blade of a food chopper”. Having just made kutya (from my Baba and mother’s recipe), I doubt this will work. First, poppy seeds are very small – you need a grinder, not a chopper. Secondly, the optimal grind for poppy seeds is quite specific – you can try grinding them to a medium coarseness in a spice grinder, but to do this properly you really need a “poppy seed grinder” or “poppy seed mill”. This is a hand-cranked grinder similar to a small grain grinder (indeed, mine says it can also do grains, although I’m saving it for just poppy seeds). I just received a new poppy seed mill for Christmas – I was told it was purchased at Pollock’s Hardware, so they are still available (and yes, it is harder work to grind them by hand, but it is worth it).2. The recipe also doesn’t say explicitly how much water to soak/cook the wheat in. My recipe uses 4 1/4 to 4 1/2 cups of water for 1 cup of wheat.

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12 Ukrainian Dishes for Christmas Eve Recipes (Plus bonus recipes for Christmas Day!) (4)

3 cups short grain rice

6 cups water

3/4 cups margarine (divided into 1/2 cup and 1/4 cup)

1 tsp salt

1 lb ground beef (omit for Christmas Eve meatless meal)

1 onion

1 can tomato soup

2 heads cabbage (steamed, sectioned, frozen and then thawed)

1/4 lb bacon(omit for Christmas Eve meatless meal)

Salt and pepper to taste

Bring 6 cups of water, 1/4 cup margarine, and your 3 cups of short grain rice to a boil and simmer until cooked.While your rice is cooking, brown your ground beef with 1/2 of your onion chopped.While your rice is cooking, brown your ground beef with 1/2 of your onion chopped.Keep your cooked rice in the large pot.When your ground beef and onions are cooked, mix in with your white rice and set aside.Mix your can of tomato soup with 1/2 cup water and set aside.Next step, bring out the margarine (or butter) and melt with your remaining 1/4 onion chopped.Lay aluminum foil on the bottom of a large casserole dish and spoon one layer of your tomato soup, bacon and onion mixture.Take a cabbage leaf (roughly the size of your hand) and lay it flat.Take a small spoonful of your rice and beef mixture and place it on the top 1/3 of the cabbage leaf.Begin to fold the edges over the rice/beef mixture.Shape and roll the cabbage leaf and rice/beef mixture to the bottom.Tuck in both edges of the cabbage roll.Place in your casserole dish.In between the first and second layer, and on top of the second layer, add more tomato soup mixture along with bacon and onion. Remember that margarine (or butter) and onions we melted? Pour it over the two layers of cabbage rolls. Cover second layer with a few remaining cabbage leaves and place foil over top. Bake in a 325 F oven on the middle rack for approximately 3 hours or until cabbage is soft. You can also freeze cabbage rolls and cook them at a later date.Place uncooked cabbage rolls on a baking pan lined with plastic wrap. Wrap thoroughly and freeze up to a few months.http://www.claudiascookbook.com/2010/10/18/cabbage-rolls/

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Pyrizhky (Ukrainian Cabbage Buns)

2.5 cups warm water
1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp sugar
2 packages of yeast
2 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp salt
8 cups all purpose flour
1 jar sauerkraut
1/2 onion
1/4 cup butter
1 tsp pepper

In a large bowl (large enough to fit 8 cups flour later), combine 1/2 cup warm water with 1 tbsp sugar and 2 packages of yeast. Let stand in a warm place for 10 minutes to allow it to activate.Should look foamy after 10 minutes.In a blender combine your 2 eggs, vegetable oil, 1/2 cup sugar, and 2 cups warm water.Blend until completely combined and a little frothy.Add your mixture into the large bowl with your activated yeast.In another bowl, sift together your flour and salt.Add flour and salt mixture to your wet ingredient mixture. Mix well.Turn all your dough onto a well-floured surface.Knead very well. This is meant to be a very soft dough.Once kneaded, wrap in plastic and allow the dough to rise for at least 30 minutes. While your dough is rising, rinse your sauerkraut. Squeeze as much liquid out as you can.The next step of boiling the sauerkraut is optional. Fill a large sauce pan with water and your sauerkraut. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10-15 minutes.Drain well.Squeeze as much liquid out as you can. In a food processor, finely chop your onion. Empty into a bowl.Next, place your sauerkraut in the food processor and pulse until finely chopped.In a large pan, fry your sauerkraut and onion together in 1/4 cup butter.Add your pepper.Place your sauerkraut mixture in a baking pan and set on the counter until completely cooled.By now your dough should have risen nicely.Punch it down.Cut or pinch off small pieces and flatten in your hand. Place maybe a tsp of the sauerkraut filling in the middle. Be careful not to have any filling along the edges as they will not seal properly.Pinch to close. Pinch well. Place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet about 1 inch apart. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 – 12 minutes. Allow pans to cool on a wire rack then transfer to a towel on the counter. Store in ziplock bags or tupperware. You can also freeze theseand thaw when you need them.http://www.claudiascookbook.com/2012/12/23/pyrizhky-ukrainian-cabbage-buns/

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Some of our favourites are potato and cheese, sauerkraut, prune and raisin. Blueberry is also amazing as well.

You can make perogies with any type of filling you want. I’ve had cottage cheese, blueberry, poppyseed, chokecherry, you name it! But the best and most favourite fillings I grew up on are as follows: Sauerkraut with bacon (my second favourite), Sauerkraut without bacon (for a meatless dish for Christmas Eve), Potato and cheese (the most common, most favourite, and most delicious!), Poppyseed, Raisin (a little sweet for my taste but still very nice), Prune (not shown in above picture – not too sweet but delicious!)

To make the sauerkraut filling you need:

1 quart sauerkraut

4 strips of bacon(omit for Christmas Eve meatless meal)

1 medium onion, chopped

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

Cook sauerkraut, about 20 minutes or until done. Drain and press out water. Saute onion in oil until golden. Add sauerkraut, salt and pepper. Fry for 10 minutes. Cool before using as filling.

For raisin filling:

1 cup raisins

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup sugar

Boil fruit for 20 minutes. Drain and cool before using as filling.

For prune filling:

1 cup prunes

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup sugar

Boil fruit for 20 minutes. Drain and cool before using as filling.

For potato filling:

1 medium onion, chopped

1/4 cup butter

3 cups cooked potatoes, mashed (reserve water used while boiling potatoes)

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1 cup grated cheddar cheese

Saute onion in butter, add to mashed potatoes. Add salt, pepper and cheese. Mash well. Cool the mixture completely until using as filling. Yields about 5 dozen perogies.

For the dough:

4 cups flour

2 tbsp vegetable oil

1.5 cups lukewarm potato water (VERY IMPORTANT)

1 tsp salt

Combine the above ingredients. Knead a bit and allow to stand for at least 30 minutes before rolling out dough (very important and key to soft dough).After your dough has rested for over 30 minutes, take a piece of it and begin to roll it out into a thin sheet on a floured surface.Note – wrap the dough currently not being used in plastic wrap and then cover with a damp towel to ensure it does not dry out.Using a disk-shaped cutter, press out as many circles of dough as possible.Now the folding process:Place filling in the center of the dough. Be careful not to overfill or have any of the filling touch the edges, as this will not allow for them to adhere and they will break open in the cooking process.Fold.Pinch edges around – hard! Note: with the raisin filling, dust a bit of sugar in this step rather than after cooking the fruit. The fruit becomes too juicy if you do that. Best to sprinkle some on right before you fold them.If you are making ahead of time and want to freeze these, line a baking sheet with wax paper and ensure perogies do not touch each other. Place saran wrap over top of the bottom layer and place perogies on top in opposing directions.When we use any sort of fruit filling (i.e. raisin or prune), we typically create a different shape for them so we know what they are. The ends of the perogy are turned in. Those are our fruit ones!If you don’t do this, you have a harder time distinguishing between them all once cooked.

To cook:Place some butter, and onions in a frying pan and cook until tender.In a large pot, bring water, tsp salt and 1 tbsp of vegetable oil to a boil Place perogies in boiling water and gently stir so they don’t stick to the bottom. Cooking time varies – I’d say about 10 minutes but you want to check them. There is a theory that once they rise to the top they are done. Not really so…a lot of the time the edges are still raw. Best to just watch and test them accordingly. Once done, scoop out with slotted spoon and place in a bowl. Toss with butter and onions.http://www.claudiascookbook.com/2010/12/15/perogies/

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Ukrainian Blueberry Varenyky W. Blueberry Sauce (Perogy/Pierogi)

YIELD36 varneyky
• 2cups blueberries (wild blueberries preferred)
• 1⁄2cup granulated sugar
• 1tablespoon all-purpose flour
• 2tablespoons lemon juice
• 2tablespoons butter, melted
• sour cream, at room temperature
• 2⁄3cup granulated sugar
• 1tablespoon all-purpose flour
• 2cups blueberries
• 3cups all-purpose flour
• 1⁄2teaspoon baking powder
• 1egg
• 3⁄4cup milk
• 2tablespoons butter, melted
• cold water
1. FOR THE SAUCE: In saucepan, stir together blueberries, sugar and flour; add lemon juice and 1/4 cup water. Simmer over low heat until blueberries are soft and sauce is thickened, about 5 minutes. Set aside.
2. FOR THE DOUGH: In large bowl, whisk together flour and baking powder. In separate bowl, whisk together egg, milk and butter; stir into flour mixture. Add cold water, 1 tablespoons at a time (6 to 7 tablespoons total), until soft dough is formed. Knead until dough is smooth. Cover with plastic and let rest for 10 minutes.
3. Roll dough to scant 1/4 inch thickness. Cut out 3 inch rounds.
4. FILLING: Whisk together sugar and flour; set aside. Stretch out cut out dough rounds slightly and fill each round with scant 1 teaspoons flour/ sugar mixture and 1 tablespoons blueberries. Pull dough over filling; pinch edges together to seal.
5. Continue until dough and filling are used up, letting reworked scraps rest slightly before rolling (keep unrolled dough and filled dumplings covered with a clean tea towel).
6. In large pot of lightly salted boiled water, boil dumpling, in batches if necessary, until dough is tender at thickest edges, about 10 minutes. Remove with slotted spoon to serving plate; drizzle with butter to prevent sticking. Serve with blueberry sauce and sour cream on the side. Makes 32 to 36 dumplings.
7. FOOD TIP: any leftover dough can be rolled into noodles, boiled and served with butter or sour cream.

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12 Ukrainian Dishes for Christmas Eve Recipes (Plus bonus recipes for Christmas Day!) (9)

Beets. Lots of beets. How many is really dependent on how big they are and how much you like in your soup. When I asked Claudia why her written out recipe says “3 beets – size of an orange” and we’re shredding about 15, she replied: “Jaime, I want to be able to find the beets in my Borsch! So shred enough to fill half the pot we are using”. There’s your gauge folks!

1 diced carrot

4 cups water

4 cups chicken broth(use vegetable broth for Christmas Eve meatless meal)

2 tbsp lemon juice

1/2 cup frozen green peas

1 large sliced onion

1-2 diced potatoes

3 tbsp butter (aka: Ukrainian gold)

1 can tomato soup

1.5 tbsp flour mixed with 1/2 cup cold water

2 tbsp fresh chopped dill

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

Begin shredding your beets with a regular ol’ cheese grater. A great tip for you first beet-timers: use gloves.Add your diced carrot to the pot with beets.Add your 4 cups water and 4 cups chicken broth. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer for 20 minutes. Add lemon juice. We don’t really use this for flavour but merely because the lemon juice keeps the red colour in the beets. Add your potatoes. Simmer again for 10 – 15 minutes.Add some colour in there by throwing in your frozen peas and simmer until tender.After you throw in those peas and waiting for everything to simmer and tenderize, saute your chopped onion in butteruntil soft.Stir onions into the Borsch. Next add your can of tomato juice, and water/flour mixture. Stir well. Add your fresh dill. Bring to a boil again. Add salt and pepper.Serve hot and with some sour cream (optional but amazing) and enjoy! http://www.claudiascookbook.com/2010/09/16/borsch/

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12 Ukrainian Dishes for Christmas Eve Recipes (Plus bonus recipes for Christmas Day!) (11)


1 lb. fresh mushrooms or canned mushrooms

4 Tbsp. Oil

4 Tbsp. flour

1 clove garlic, cut up

Salt and pepper

2 c. water

Vinegar (optional)

Clean, wash and drain mushrooms. Cut mushrooms up with garlic. Add 1 cup water and let simmer for about 1/2 hour. Make a brown sauce (Zaprashka), blending oil and flour together in a frying pan. Keep on medium heat and keep stirring until lightly browned. Cool slightly and add 1 cup cold water and blend until smooth. Pour this brown sauce into the cooked mushroom mixture. Cook the mushrooms until tender. Add salt and pepper and a little vinegar to taste.


(Dried mushrooms with gravy)

2 cups dried mushrooms
1 large onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp oil for frying (optional)
1 Tbsp flour
4 cups hot water
salt and pepper to taste

Soak mushrooms overnight. Drain and wash well. Cover mushrooms with water and boil for 15 minutes. Drain and rinse again and set aside. Steam fry or saute onion and garlic in oil. Sprinkle flour over the onion and add hot water to make a smooth paste. Add drained mushrooms, salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for 15-20 minutes.

Adapted from Ukrainian Women’s Association of Canada, Ukrainian Daughters’ Cookbook, p. 19.


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Honey Fungus or pidpenky (Ukrainian: підпеньки) are considered in Ukraine, Russia, Poland, Germany and other European countries to be one of the best wild mushrooms and highly prized. They are commonly ranked above morels and chanterelles and only the cep / porcini is more highly prized. However pidpenky must be thoroughly cooked as they are mildly poisonous raw. Additionally one of the four UK species identified can lead to sickness when ingested with alcohol. Therefore for the non expert mycologist it is advisable not to drink alcohol for 12 hours before and 24 after eating this mushroom to avoid any possible nausea and vomiting. However, if these rules are followed this variety of mushroom is a delicacy with a strong distinctive mushroomy and nutty flavour. Recommended reference text for identification are Collins Complete British Mushrooms and Toadstools for the variety of field pictures in it and Roger Philips Mushrooms for the quality of his out of field pictures and descriptions.

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Dill, cheese and butter. I don’t think I need to say anything else. Nalysnyky is rich, savoury and dreamy.

Nalysnyky (pronounced NAL-YES-NAH-KEH) Nalysnyky is essentially cheese filled crepes (slathered in butter of course and baked). This recipe takes a total of one hour from start to finish and truly is worth every minute.

You will need :

4 eggs

1 heaping cup milk (1% works well)

1/2 cup water

1 cup flour

1/2 tsp salt

For Cheese filling:

2 cups Quark Whole Milk Cheese (if you cannot find this, you can substitute cottage cheese)

2 egg yolks

2 tbsp whipping cream

1 tbsp dill (or more to taste – use fresh if you have. If not, the dried stuff works great as well)

Beat eggs one at a time. Add the milk, water, flour and salt and beat enough just to blend and get rid of any lumps.Pour 1 tbsp canola oil in a hot non-stick pan and scoop 3/4 of a ladel full of batter and swirl around creating a thin circular layer. Flip when side is golden brown (approximately 45 seconds). Oil pan in between each crepe as needed.Makes approximately 8 – 10 crepes. Beautifully golden brown!Next, melt 1/4 cup of butter and ensure your cheese is at room temperature.Mix egg yolks, whipping cream and salt with cheese.Add your dill.Lightly spread an even layer of cheese on each crepe.Roll up gently.We cut each crepe in three equal pieces. However, you can easily keep them in tact. I find the pieces are easier to fit into the bowl if they are sectioned.Spoon a small amount of the melted butter into the bottom of a large foiled casserole dish.Now start layering in your Nalysnyky.Make sure to butter in between each layer and on top of your final layer. You don’t want any layers to stick together. Wrap the sides of the foil loosely over the top of the Nalysnyky. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes.The Nalysnyky puffs up nicely as it bakes.http://www.claudiascookbook.com/2010/06/23/nalysnyky/

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Ukrainian Beet Leaf Rolls with Bread Dough Filling Recipe – Holubtsi z Khlibnoho

In the summer, beet, lettuce and spinach leaves can take the place of cabbage, and in the grape-growing regions of Ukraine, grape leaves are often used. This recipe for beet leaves stuffed with bread dough, or holubtsi z khlibnoho testu zapovnennya, is yet another interesting variation. This will work with any good bread recipe, thawed frozen bread dough, or the one I provide below. If beet leaves aren’t available, fill cabbage leaves with the bread dough. Serve this with Creamy Dill Sauce.

  • 1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 cup warm milk
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1 ounce melted butter
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 large beaten eggs
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • About 2 bunches beet leaves
  • 1 recipe Creamy Dill Sauce
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes Cook Time: 60 minutes Rising time: 180 minutes
  • Total Time: 270 minutes Yield: About 24 Beet Leaf Rolls
  1. To make the bread dough: In a glass measuring cup or small bowl, use a fork to combine yeast with 1/4 cup warm water and 1/2 teaspoon sugar. Let stand for 10 minutes.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together 1 cup warm milk, 2 cups warm water, melted butter and yeast mixture. Add 4 cups flour and mix just until well combined. Cover with greased plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled (about 1 hour).
  3. Punch dough down and transfer to a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, if desired, and add beaten eggs, salt, sugar and remaining 3 1/4 cups flour. Knead until dough is smooth. Smear top with melted butter or oil, cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled (about 1 to 2 hours).
  4. Meanwhile, wash the beet leaves and blanch in boiling water for 30 seconds or until pliable (especially if using mature leaves). Let drain.
  5. When dough has doubled, punch down. Take a walnut-sized piece of dough, elongating it to a rectangular shape, and place it on a beet leaf. Roll up loosely, as you would forcabbage rolls, except leave the sides open to allow for the dough to expand as it rises and then bakes. If you like larger rolls, use more bread dough but, remember, it will grow. If you have leftover dough, form it into a loaf and bake it after allowing it to rise.
  6. Line the bottom and sides of a Dutch oven or other large pot with beet leaves. Place a layer of beet rolls in the bottom. Brush with melted butter or other fat and salt. Repeat layering, ending with melted butter or fat and salt on top. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled (about 1 to 2 hours).
  7. Heat oven to 350 degrees. When holubtsi have risen, remove the plastic wrap and cover with a layer of beet leaves and a tight-fitting lid whose inside has been brushed with butter or fat. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour and serve hot with creamy dill sauce. http://easteuropeanfood.about.com/od/ukrainianmaincourses/r/Ukrainian-Beet-Leaf-Rolls-With-Bread-Dough-Filling-Recipe-Holubtsi-Z-Khlibnoho.htm

Dill Sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup meat broth (to match the protein being served, i.e., chicken, beef, pork)
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill or to taste
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons butter

To make the dill sauce by melting 2 tablespoons butter in small saucepan. Stir in flour and cook until mixture bubbles. Add broth and, whisking constantly, bring to a slow boil. Cook until thickened, whisking frequently. Temper sour cream with 1 or 2 small ladles of broth mixture, then add tempered sour cream back into the sauce, whisking until smooth. Add 3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill, and adjust seasonings. Keep warm until ready to serve.http://easteuropeanfood.about.com/od/polishvegetables/r/brussels-sprouts.htm

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Ukrainian Vushka Dumplings Recipe

The recipe for this Ukrainian mushroom-filled dumplingor vushkais from Kramarczuk’s Family Classics” by Orest & Katie Kramarczuk (Beavers Pond Press, 2013).The authors say, “This is a delightful little dumpling if you are a mushroom lover. It translates to ‘tiny ear’ because of the final shape it takes. We would always eat them served in a steaming bowl of borscht. The beet and mushroom flavors are a wonderful combination.”

Vushka Dough:

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon butter, at room temperature
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • Mushroom Filling:
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large onion, chopped fine
  • 2 (8-ounce) cans large mushrooms, minced
    • (dry or fresh mushrooms are best if you can find them!)
  • 3/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • Prep Time: 60 minutes Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 90 minutes Yield: 40-50 vushka

To make the vushka dough: Warm milk in a small pot but do not let it come to a boil. Place butter in a large mixing bowl and gradually add lukewarm milk. Start to mix at slow speed on an electric mixer. Add egg and egg yolk. Alternate adding flour and cream cheee. Add salt. Mix about 5 minutes or until a soft dough forms. Allow to stand 10 minutes before forming dumplings.

To make the mushroom filling: Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a medium saucepan. Add onion and cook until tender. Add mushrooms and cook mixture down until juice has disappeared (about 20 minutes). Meanwhile, melt 1 tablespoon butter in a small saucepan and fry breadcrumbs until slightly golden. Add breadcrumbs to mushrooms along with garlic and salt. Cook another 2 minutes. Remove from heat and allow mixture to cool. Add egg yolk and mix.

To assemble the vushka: Place dough on a lightly floured surface and roll to about 1/8-inch thickness. Use a pizza cutter to create 1-inch squares. Take a square and slightly stretch it out. Place about 1 teaspoon of filling in the center and fold over to form a triangle. Pinch the sides shut, making sure they are completely sealed. Bring the corners of the dumpling together to create the final shape or a three-cornered hat (similar to Italian tortellini or Chinese wontons).

To cook the vushka: Bring a large pot ogf salted water to a boil. Set aside a slott4ed spoon, colander, and 2 to 3 tablespoons melted butter. Place filled dumplings into the boiling water and cook until they float. Remove with the slotted spoon, drain in the colander, and coat dumplings in melted butter and serve with cracklings and sour cream or slip unbuttered vushka into hot borscht.


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Rollmops Recipe – Polish Rolmopsy or Herring Appetizer

love herring? — pickled, creamed, fried, whole, fillets — and in this rollmops appetizer – rolmopsy. Store-bought pickled herring can be drained and wrapped around your choice of dill pickles, pickled mushrooms or onion. This makes a great starter course anytime of the year but especially for UkrainianChristmas Eve.Makes 12 Rollmops

  • 4 pickled herring fillets, cut into 3 pieces, pickling juices from jar reserved
  • Dill pickles
  • Pickled mushrooms
  • Pickled onions
  • Dill
  • Prep Time: 15 minutesTotal Time: 15 minutes
  1. Place a slice of pickle or mushroom or onion at one end of a herring piece. Roll and skewer with a fancy frilled toothpick. Repeat. Cover with plastic and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  2. At time of service, if desired, drizzle rolls with reserved pickling juices or serve the juices separately in a small bowl for dipping. Garnish each rollmop with a sprig of dill or parsley.http://easteuropeanfood.about.com/od/appetizers/r/rollmops.htm

Mock “Zakusky”
Normally this course consists of pickled herring. Here we’ve suggested a relish with cooked, marinated cucumbers.

2 cucumbers, peeled and thinly sliced
2 tsp margarine
1 small onion, peeled and minced
1 Tbsp fresh dill, finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Saute all the ingredients in a large frying pan over medium heat for 5 minutes. Serve warm.

Wasserman, The Lowfat Jewish Vegetarian Cookbook, p. 162.


12 Ukrainian Dishes for Christmas Eve Recipes (Plus bonus recipes for Christmas Day!) (17)

Ukrainian Pampushki Recipe

Makes 12 Pampushki

  • 3/4 pound (about 3 medium) potatoes, peeled and grated
  • 1 cup freshly mashed potatoes (about 1 large)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup farmers or feta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons snipped fresh chives or dill
  • All-purpose flour
  • 1 large egg beaten with 1 teaspoon water
  • Fine, dry breadcrumbs
  • Prep Time: 20 minutesCook Time: 10 minutes
  1. Squeeze excess water from grated potatoes. Place in a medium bowl with mashed potatoes, salt and pepper, and mix well. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine cheese and chives or dill. If using farmers cheese, add 1/4 teaspoon salt. Set aside.
  3. Scoop up an egg-sized portion of potatoes and flatten to a circle in the palm of your hand. Place 2 teaspoons cheese in the middle and fold edges over, pinching to seal. Roll into a ball. Repeat with remaining mixtures.
  4. Dredge balls in flour, then beaten eggs and finally in breadcrumbs. Let balls dry while you heat oil to 340 degrees in a deep fryer or heavy-bottomed saucepan. Fry for 10 minutes to make sure raw potato is cooked.
  5. Drain on paper towels and serve hot.

Note: If poaching dumplings in stock or water instead of deep frying, add 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour and 1 egg to the potato mixture. Gently poach the balls for 20 minutes.


12 Ukrainian Dishes for Christmas Eve Recipes (Plus bonus recipes for Christmas Day!) (18)

Polish Doughnuts

fried rounds of yeast dough with rosehip, prune, apricot, strawberry, raspberry or sweet cheese filling. My babamade them without filling and dusted them with granulated sugar.

  • 1 1/2 cups warm milk (no warmer than 110 degrees)
  • 2 packages active dry yeast (remember to proof yeast before you begin)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 ounces (1 stick) room-temperature butter
  • 1 large room-temperature egg
  • 3 large room-temperature egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon brandy or rum
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 1/2 to 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 gallon oil for deep frying
  • Granulated sugar (optional)
  • Confectioner’s sugar (optional)
  • Fruit paste for filling (optional)
  • Prep Time: 45 minutesCook Time: 6 minutes2 rises: 180 minutes
    • Total Time: 231 minutes Yield: 2 dozen Polish Paczki
  1. Add yeast to warm milk, stir to dissolve and set aside. In a large bowl or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together sugar and butter until fluffy. Beat in eggs, brandy and salt until well-incorporated.
  2. Still using the paddle attachment, add 4 1/2 cups flour alternately with the milk-yeast mixture and beat for 5 or more minutes by machine and longer by hand until smooth. My grandmother used to beat the dough with a wooden spoon until it blistered. Dough will be very slack. If too soft, add remaining 1/2 cup flour, but no more.
  3. Place dough in a greased bowl. Cover and let rise until doubled in bulk, anywhere from 1 to 2 1/2 hours or follow this Quick Tip to cut the rise time. Punch down and let rise again.
  4. Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface. Pat or roll to 1/2-inch thickness. Cut rounds with 3-inch biscuit cutter. Remove scraps, and re-roll and re-cut. Cover and let rounds rise until doubled in bulk, 30 minutes or longer.
  5. Heat oil to 350 degrees in large skillet or Dutch oven. Place pączki top-side down (the dry side) in the oil a few at a time and fry 2 to 3 minutes or until bottom is golden brown. Flip them over and fry another 1 to 2 minutes or until golden brown. Make sure the oil doesn’t get too hot so the exterior doesn’t brown before the interior is done. Test a cool one to make sure it’s cooked through. Adjust cooking time and oil heat accordingly.
  6. Drain pączki on paper towels or brown paper bags, and roll in granulated sugar while still warm. Note: You can poke a hole in the side of the pączki and, using a pastry bag, squeeze in a dollop of the filling of choice. Then dust filled pączki with granulated sugar, confectioners’ sugar or glaze.
  7. Pączki don’t keep well, so gobble them up the same day you make them or freeze.
  8. Note: Always use caution when working with hot oil, especially around children. Have a fire extinguisher designed for grease fires at the ready.http://easteuropeanfood.about.com/od/desserts/r/Paczki.htm

12 Ukrainian Dishes for Christmas Eve Recipes (Plus bonus recipes for Christmas Day!) (19)

Dried Fruit Compote/Kompot

It is a traditional Christmas Eve (wigilia) dessert and originally was made with 12 dried fruits to represent the 12 apostles (I wonder which one was Judas?). When made thicker, it’s great dolloped on toast or ice cream. It’s also a great edible gift, but it must be refrigerated. It keeps for about 1 week. Makes 12 servings of Dried Fruit Compote

  • 1 1/2 pounds dried fruits (prunes, apricots, figs, apples, peaches, pears, berries)
  • 8 cups water
  • 8 whole cloves
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • Lemon zest, optional
  • 1 cup sugar, or to taste
  • Prep Time: 0 minutesCook Time: 20 minutes
  1. In a large saucepan, place fruit, water, cloves, cinnamon, zest, if using, and sugar. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently, and simmer, covered, for about 20 minutes or until fruit is tender and syrup has thickened slightly. Add more water if you like a liquidy consistency or reduce by further simmering for a thicker compote.
  2. Cool in an ice water bath and transfer to impeccably clean containers. Refrigerate for up to 1 week. http://easteuropeanfood.about.com/od/polishdesserts/r/fruitcompote.htm

12 Ukrainian Dishes for Christmas Eve Recipes (Plus bonus recipes for Christmas Day!) (20)

Ukrainian Christmas Bread Recipe – Kolach

This recipe for Ukrainian Christmas bread or kolach is a slightly sweet yeast bread that is braided and shaped into an oblong loaf or three round braids stacked one on top of the other. In the latter case, a candle is placed in the middle and is an essential part of the Christmas Eve supper (Sviata Vechera). The bread isn’t eaten until Christmas Day because it contains eggs and Ukrainian Catholicsfast for Advent, including Christmas Eve. Kolach is a symbol of good luck, eternity, prosperity, and is also featured at memorial services for the dead.

  • NOTE: This recipe will make 1 braided oblong or round loaf. To make three round braided loaves to be stacked on top of each other, triple the recipe. The three loaves should be baked in 3 tube pans of decreasing size, 12-inch, 8-inch and 10-inch would be perfect.
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/3 cup warm water
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg yolk beaten with 1 teaspoon water for glaze
  • Prep Time: 20 minutesCook Time: 60 minutesRising: 180 minutes
  • Total Time: 260 minutesYield: 1 loaf Ukrainian Kolach
  1. In a small bowl, mix yeast, 1 teaspoon sugar and 1/3 cup warm water. Let stand 15 minutes or until bubbly.
  2. In a large bowl or a stand mixer, beat eggs until thick. Beat in the yeast mixture, 2 tablespoons sugar, oil and salt. Then add the 1/2 cup warm water and mix until fully incorporated. Add 2 cups flour and mix well. Add remaining flour and knead until dough is smooth and blistered.
  3. Place dough in a greased bowl. Cover with greased plastic wrap and let rise 1 hour or until doubled. Punch down dough and let rise again until doubled. Knead by hand a few times and then turn out onto a lightly floured board. Divide the dough into three equal pieces and braid. Shape into an oblong loaf and place on a parchment-lined pan. Or shape into a circle, joining the ends, and place in a greased 10-inch tube pan. Cover with greased plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until almost doubled.
  4. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Bake 50-60 minutes or until instant-read thermometer registers 180 degrees. Brush bread with egg yolk-water mixture the last 5 minutes of baking or until thermometer registers 190 degrees. Remove from oven and turn out of pans to cool completely on a wire rack. http://easteuropeanfood.about.com/od/ukrainianbreads/r/Ukrainian-Christmas-Bread-Recipe-Kolach.htm

12 Ukrainian Dishes for Christmas Eve Recipes (Plus bonus recipes for Christmas Day!) (21)

12 Ukrainian Dishes for Christmas Eve Recipes (Plus bonus recipes for Christmas Day!) (22)

Bread Balls with Poppy Seeds and Honey

  • 2 cups water
  • 3 tablespoons plus 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 5 tablespoons canola oil or butter (if not fasting)
  • 2 packages active dry yeast
  • 6 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup poppyseeds
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • Prep Time: 15 minutesCook Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: About 36 Sweet Bobalki
  1. In a medium saucepan, bring to boil 2 cups water, 3 tablespoons sugar, salt and oil. Cool to lukewarm. Meanwhile, dissolve yeast in 1 tablespoon sugar and 1/2 cup warm water.
  2. Place flour in the bowl of a stand mixer or a large bowl. Add lukewarm water-sugar mixure and yeast mixture. Combine thoroughly and knead until smooth, about 7 minutes in the mixer and at least 10 minutes by hand. Cover and let rise until doubled.
  3. Punch down dough and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll dough to 1/2- to 1-inch thick and cut into pieces that will result in 1-inch balls when rolled between the palms of the hand.
  4. Place on a parchment-lined or well-floured cookie sheet with dough ball sides touching. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Let rise, covered with oiled plastic wrap until nearly doubled. Bake 15-20 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool completely.
  5. Meanwhile, grind poppyseeds in a mortar and pestle with a little water or milk and set aside. When bobalki are cool, break the balls apart and place in a colander. Pour just enough boiling water over bobalki to soften but not turn them into mush. Drain well. Pour warm honey and ground poppyseeds over all. Stir lightly and serve immediately.
  6. Savory Bobalki: Instead of using poppyseeds and honey, rinse a 1-pound can sauerkraut and squeeze out all moisture. Saute with chopped onion in butter (or oil if following a strict fast). Mix with bobalki and season with salt and pepper to taste. Source: Charlotte Pribish Conjelko, Indianahttp://easteuropeanfood.about.com/od/slovakbreads/r/sweetbobalki.htm

12 Ukrainian Dishes for Christmas Eve Recipes (Plus bonus recipes for Christmas Day!) (23)

Bobalki With Sauerkraut Recipe

  • For the Sauerkraut:
  • 1/2 cup water or sauerkraut liquid
  • 1 pound sauerkraut (I usually do not drain and rinse my sauerkraut.)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • Chopped garlic to taste
  • Caraway seeds to taste
  • For the Dough Balls:
  • 12-16 ounces homemade bread dough or 1 tube of store-bought Crusty French Loaf dough
  • Prep Time: 10 minutesCook Time: 70 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings Savory Bobalki

To make the sauerkraut: Combine water or sauerkraut liquid, 1 pound sauerkraut, onion, salt and pepper, and garlicin a Dutch oven. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is almost gone. Add caraway seeds, stir, cover, and turn off heat.

To make the dough balls: Heat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a baking sheet. Cut dough into manageable pieces and roll as if making breadsticks, about 3/4 inch in diameter. Cut into 1 inch-long chunks and roll into balls. Repeat with remaining dough.

Bake balls until golden brown on top and the dough balls feel somewhat “stiff” when squeezed. Remove from oven and let stand 10 minutes.

When ready to serve, reheat sauerkraut mixture until it just begins to produce steam. Add the baked dough balls and mix thoroughly. Cover, turn off heat, let stand 2-3 minutes, and serve immediately.

Note: At this point, if not being served in the context of a meatless Christmas Eve dinner, all this needs is some kiełbasa, and perhaps some good mustard. http://easteuropeanfood.about.com/od/crossculturalnoodles/r/Walt-Gachs-Slovak-Bobalki-With-Sauerkraut-Recipe.htm

12 Ukrainian Dishes for Christmas Eve Recipes (Plus bonus recipes for Christmas Day!) (24)

Poppy Seed Roll Recipe


  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 2 cups warm milk
  • 8 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 5 eggs
  • 4 ounces (1 stick) butter, melted
  • 2 (11-ounce) cans poppy seed filling (or make your own, see below)
  • Poppy Seed Filling:
  • 1 pound ground poppy seeds
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 ounces softened butter (1 1/2 sticks)
  • 1 cup hot milk
  • 1 lemon rind, grated
  • Prep Time: 120 minutesCook Time: 60 minutes
  • Yield: 2 Polish Poppy Seed Rolls
  1. If making your own filling, grind the poppy seeds in a poppyseed grinder, then combine all filling ingredients. Beat well and set aside.
  2. In a small heatproof bowl, dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup of the warm milk.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer or a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt and eggs. Add remaining 1 1/2 cups warm milk, butter and yeast mixture. With the paddle attachment, or by hand, beat until smooth. Dough will be sticky at this point.
  4. Scrape dough into a clean, greased bowl. Sprinkle the top with a little flour and cover. Let stand in a warm place for 1 hour or until double in size, or follow this Quick Tip to cut the rise time.
  5. Punch down dough and turn out onto a floured surface. Divide dough in half and shape each half into a rectangle.
  6. Spread 1 can or half of the filling you made on each rectangle of dough and roll up like a jelly roll. Turn ends under so filling will not leak out.
  7. Place on a parchment-lined or greased pan, cover and let rise again until double in size.
  8. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Brush tops of rolls with additional melted butter. Bake 45 to 60 minutes or until rolls are golden brown.
  9. Remove from oven and cool. Dust rolls with confectioners’ sugar, if desired.


Cinnamon Horns – Ukrainian Scuffles


  • 1 Tbsp. active dry yeast (or one package)
  • ¼ cup warm water
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 Tbsp. granulated sugar
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 cup butter, softened at room temperature
  • ½ cup milk room temperature
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 C granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon, for rolling


  1. Dissolve yeast in warm water and let stand 10 minutes.
  2. Mix together the flour, 3 Tbsp. sugar and salt.
  3. Add the butter, cutting it in with a fork or pastry cutter, add the butter gradually, and mix it up with your fork until you have pea-sized amounts in the mixture.
  4. Add the milk, eggs, and yeast mixture to the dry ingredients.
  5. Mix well (by hand) and knead a few times until you’ve got a round ball of dough.
  6. Cover bowl and refrigerate overnight (important to have it well-chilled)
  7. Preheat oven to 350°F. Divide dough into 6 parts, keeping one part out and putting the rest back in the fridge to keep chilled.
  8. Combine cinnamon and sugar in a bowl. Spread generously on a piece of parchment or wax paper and roll each piece into a circle on the sugar mixture. Use a saucer placed on top to create the perfect 7-8 inch (1/4 inch thick) circle.
  9. Cut your circle into wedges like a pie with a pizza cutter. Cut into 4 pieces and then cut each in half to give8 wedges from each circle.
  10. Roll each wedge from the widest end inward to the narrow end.
  11. Place on a lightly greased baking sheet about about 1 inch apart and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until golden.
  12. Remove from baking sheet immediately and cool. These freeze well.

(Our family called these Cinnamon horns.)

Adapted recipe from Food.com


12 Ukrainian Dishes for Christmas Eve Recipes (Plus bonus recipes for Christmas Day!) (25)Perishke – Ukrainian Cottage Cheese Buns in Creamy Dill Sauce

(For Christmas Day!!)

You will need:

For the bun dough:
2 tbsp yeast
1 cup lukewarm water
3 eggs
1 cup water
6 tbsp canola oil
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp white sugar, divided
1 tsp salt
6 cups all purpose flour

For the cottage cheese filling:
2 lbs. dry curd cottage cheese
2 eggs
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1 cup fresh dill, finely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

For Dill Sauce:
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/4 fresh dill, finely chopped
2 tbsp butter
2 cups whipping cream


  1. Place yeast and sugar into a small bowl.
  2. Add 1 cup of lukewarm water and stir. Let rise for about 10 minutes, or until very frothy.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk eggs together.
  4. Whisk in canola oil, 1/2 cup sugar, salt, water and frothy yeast mixture. Stir well.
  5. Add your flour 1 cup at a time. Mix well until flour is combined with the wet ingredients.
  6. Transfer your dough onto a well-floured surface.
  7. Kneed until dough is soft and elastic, about 5 minutes. Form into a ball.
  8. Place dough into a large oiled bowl, turning the dough ball once to coat completely.
  9. Cover and place in a warm area for about 1 hour to allow dough to rise and double in size.
  10. Punch dough down and knead again briefly. Cover and let rise again for another hour or so.
  11. While your dough is rising, make the cottage cheese filling.
  12. Place cottage cheese in a large bowl. Using a potato masher or a fork, mash the cottage cheese to make the curd smaller. You don’t want any large chunks of curd in your filling as it is harder to seal the dough around it.
  13. Add your eggs, sliced green onions, fresh dill and salt and pepper. Mix well.
  14. Pinch off small pieces of your dough. Flatten with your fingers and place a teaspoon amount of filling into the center of the dough. Be careful not to have any filling touch the sides of the dough, as it won’t seal properly.
  15. Pinch sides together and shape into crescents, then little balls.
  16. Place onto a greased or parchment lined baking sheet. Cover with a clean damp towel and let rise for about 20 minutes.
  17. Bake in a 325 degree Fahrenheit oven for approximately 15 minutes, or until the dough is golden brown. Brush with melted butter.
  18. Now while your Perishke is in the oven, make your creamy dill sauce.
  19. Melt butter in a medium sauce pan over medium-high heat.
  20. Add onions and dill to the melted butter. Saute together until onions are soft and translucent, about 8-10 minutes.
  21. Pour in your whipping cream.
  22. Bring to a light boil and reduce heat to simmer for 15 minutes, or until sauce thickens considerably.
  23. Place your desired amount of cottage cheese buns in a bowl. Pour over your delicious creamy dill sauce.
  24. Serve immediately and enjoy!


  1. These buns freeze very well. After baking and cooling, transfer to a freezer bag and place in the freezer. All you need to do in the future is heat them up in the oven or microwave.
  2. You can also freeze unbaked in a single layer on a baking sheet wrapped with plastic wrap.


12 Ukrainian Dishes for Christmas Eve Recipes (Plus bonus recipes for Christmas Day!) (26)Ukrainian Beef-Filled Pyrizhky

(For Christmas Day!!)


  1. 1 cup full fat sour cream
  2. 2 eggs, separated into yolks and whites
  3. 2 cups all purpose flour
  4. 1/2 cup melted butter
  5. 1/2 tsp sugar
  6. 1 lb. extra lean ground beef
  7. 1 white onion, diced
  8. Salt and pepper, to taste
  9. 2 tbsp canola oil


  1. In a medium sized bowl mix together sour cream and egg yolks. Add in melted butter, then flour and sugar. Mix well.
  2. Spread dough on the counter and knead until soft and elastic, about 5 minutes.
  3. Form dough into a ball and place in an airtight container. Refrigerate for at least 8 hour or overnight.
  4. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add in ground beef and onions. Add salt and pepper. Brown beef until it is no longer pink and the onions are soft and translucent.
  5. Remove from heat and set aside to cool completely.
  6. Roll your dough out onto a well floured piece of parchment paper to 1/4-inch thickness. Dough will be a little hard and sticky. This is what you want as it’s easier to roll out.
  7. Cut out 2-inch circles using a cookie cutter or cylinder. You can cut out larger circles but we prefer bite-sized buns.
  8. Spoon 1 teaspoon of the meat filling into the center of the dough circle. Be careful not to get any meat on the edges of the dough as it won’t seal properly.
  9. Fold dough in half over the filling and pinch the edges to seal. You should have a crescent shape. Smooth edges over into an oval shape.
  10. Place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet approximately 1 inch apart.
  11. Brush tops of the dough buns with unbeaten egg whites.
  12. Bake in a 350 degree Fahrehneit oven for approximately 25 minutes, or until the buns are golden brown.
  13. Remove from oven and allow to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes or until ready to serve.
  14. Transfer to a wire rack to either cool completely if you are freezing for later.


  1. These buns freeze very well. After baking and cooling, transfer to a freezer bag and place in the freezer. All you need to do in the future is heat them up in the oven or microwave.
  2. You can also freeze unbaked in a single layer on a baking sheet wrapped with plastic wrap.


Extra requested Recipes!



1/2 c. oil

1 small onion, chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

Peel and cut potatoes as for mashed potatoes. Cook until done. Drain water just before potatoes are finished cooking. Fry onion in oil trying not to get the onion brown. After water is drained from potatoes, add the fried onion and oil, salt and pepper, and mash and mix well. This can be eaten with fish or can be placed in soup bowl and put either a bean, mushroom or pea soup over it and eat it that way.



2 large cans kraut

1/4 c. margarine or oil

1 heaping Tbsp. flour

3 cloves garlic

Salt and pepper

1 medium potato

Rinse kraut in pan of cold water and drain. Place the kraut in a kettle of fresh water. Water level should cover kraut about 1 inch above kraut. Cook for 1 hour 1q. and add 2 mashed cloves of garlic, adding salt and pepper to taste. Grate the potato and add to the kraut. Let cook for 1 1/2 hours.

Sauté I chopped garlic clove in the margarine; gradually add the tablespoon of flour and fry until lightly browned. Add to kraut; continue to cook mixture for approximately 1/2 hour. Makes 8-10 servings.


Zaprashka is a brown sauce used for seasoning vegetables, especially on strict fast days. It is also used to thicken soups and stews.

1 Tbsp. oil

1 Tbsp. chopped onion liquid

1 Tbsp. flour

Heat oil and add flour and onion. Stir constantly until mixture thickens and turns a golden brown. Add liquid from vegetables or soup and stir until smooth. All is then returned to soup or vegetables.


Christmas Eve Holy Supper or Svjatyj Vecer

In many areas of Eastern Europe, more specifically Slovakia, Carpatho-Russia, Ukraine, Poland and Byelorus, a strict-fast Holy Supper or Svjatyj Vecer is observed on Christmas Eve. The customs differ from area to area.

According to custom, the meal begins after the first star appears in the sky.

Everyone is standing. The father exclaims for the first time the Christmas Greeting:
Christ is Born!

The family replies:
Glorify Him!

One of the children, with ewer and basin, washes the hands of each of the family members, in order from eldest to youngest. A silver coin may be placed in the basin, then given to the youngest child.

After this is complete, the father takes a rope, sprinkles it with holy water and ties it around the legs of the table. This symbolizing the ever-lasting bond of the family.

The mother sprinkles the family members with holy water so that their souls and minds may be receptive to the meaning of the Birth of Christ.

The father then sprinkles the animals of the household (if there be any) with the holy water reminding the family of the animals in the stable when Christ was born.

A single candle, placed near the center of the table, is now lit. This reminds us of the apperance of Christ, the Light of the World, who was born this day.

The father leads the family in a prayer of gratitude to God for the past year. It includes petitions for health, happiness, long life, salvation and that the family may be united in love forever.

The entire family now joins in the singing of the Troparion and Kondakion for the Feast:

Tone 4 – Your Nativity, O Christ our God, * has shone to the world the light of understanding! * For by it, those who worshipped the stars, * were taught by a star to adore You, * the Sun of Righteousness, * and to know You as the Orient from on high. * O Lord, glory to You!

Tone 3 – Today the Virgin gives birth to the Trancendent One, * and the earth offers a cave to the unapproachable One! * Angels with shepherds glorify Him! The Wise men journey with the Star! * Since for our sake the Eternal God was born as a little child!

The father then blesses the food:
Lord Jesus Christ, Who was born in a manger for our sake and salvation, bless this food and drink of Your servants, for You are holy, always, now and ever, and forever.


The “Christmas Greeting” is now exchanged.

Everyone may now be seated.

The father breaks the bread, first making the sign of the cross on the bottom of the loaf with the knife, and gives a piece to each member of the family. The bread is a symbol of Christ, the Bread of Life. The bread is then eaten.

The father then toasts:
Good Christians! I greet you on the Feast of Christ’s Nativity and wish that the Lord grant us good health and fortune to praise the eternal God for many years.

Grant this, O God!

The mother takes a tooth of garlic, dips it in honey and makes the sign of the cross over the forehead of each family member. The honey sybolizes sweetness in life, and the garlic, bitterness.

The meal now begins. No one is permitted to skip a dish.

After the dinner is complete, the father reads one of the accounts of Christ’s birth from Holy Scripture. Then kol’day – traditional carols – are sung.

Composed by David M. Mastroberte – 1995, revised 1997, 1998

Traditional Christmas Eve Supper (12 Courses)

Oplatky (Christmas Wafers) with Honey
Mushroom Soup
Fish, Beans, Peas, Sauerkraut
Mixed Dried Fruits or Stewed Prunes
Assorted Fresh Fruits
Mixed Nuts
Nut and Poppyseed Rolls


12 Ukrainian Dishes for Christmas Eve Recipes (Plus bonus recipes for Christmas Day!) (2024)


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