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  • The Czechs call them "vareniki"

  • The Germans call them "kase knoeph"

  • The Polish call them "pirogi"

  • The Ukrainians call them "varenyky or pyrohy"

  • The Americans call them "cheese buttons or dumplings"


Whatever they call them, they all agree: "They are delicious." No Ukrainian meal is complete without well-filled, plump varenyky - pyrohy made with soft dough and served with generous portions of cream.  Another benefit is that the varenyky - pyrohy can be prepared in a few minutes thus enabling working people a homemade meal quickly.

Directions for boiling:

  • Traditional method:  Place three quarts of water into a kettle.  Add salt and a few drops of oil.  Bring the water to a rolling boil.  Drop 12 to 15 buttons into the boiling water.  Stir gently with a wooden spoon to prevent buttons from sticking to the bottom or to each other.  Bring to a boil.  As the buttons boil gently, they will float to the top.  Continue to boil gently for three to five minutes until they are well puffed.  Drain in colander.  Place in bowl, sprinkle with salt, toss with onions sautéed in butter or oil. Serve with sour cream, fried bacon bits, or bread crumbs fried in butter.

Creative Methods: 

  • Place frozen buttons into a frying pan, add water, oil and cream.  Cover pan and fry gently until nice and brown.  Use a spatter screen while frying.

  • Place boiled buttons into a pan, add cream and oil and heat at low temperature.

  • For lasagna, arrange boiled cheese-filled buttons in a pan, cover with Ragu sauce, and heat at a low temperature.

  • Left-over boiled buttons may be frozen, deep fried in hot oil or pan-fried in butter.

As part of a main course, buttons go well with beef stroganoff, meatballs and gravy, or country style sausage.




Frozen pyrohy is available at the Ukrainian Cultural Institute any time during normal hours of operation.


Available fillings include, potato, sauerkraut and cottage cheese.


You can also find frozen pyrohy in 2-pound bags at:

  • Family Fare in downtown Dickinson, on Hwy. 22 and in Bismarck

  • The Wurst Shop in Dickinson

  • Jack & Jill in Hebron


Want to see pryrohy at your favorite grocery store? Let the manager know you'd like to see pyrohy from the Ukrainian Cultural Institute in their stock.


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