Farmer’s Cheese Dumplings (Lenivye Vareniki)


I made these traditional Russian dumplings for lunch today. I had played with the recipe for a while to figure out the right consistency and size. I wanted the finished product to be very delicate and soft, yet hold its shape. I also added just a tablespoon of sugar, but you can add more, or sprinkle some on top of the cooked dumplings.

Now, about the main ingredient in this recipe. Farmer’s cheese is widely used in Russian cooking. Please don’t try to use cottage cheese in this recipe. Although the consistency is quite similar, the plain cottage cheese sold in the States is very salty. I have seen some recipes use ricotta cheese instead, but I have not tried to use it here, so I can’t be responsible for the end result if you do 🙂

Makes 4 servings


  • 16 oz farmer’s cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • butter and sour cream for serving


Place farmer’s cheese in a bowl of a food processor and pulse on low for 30 to 45 seconds. Add an egg, sugar, salt and flour, and pulse on low until a very thick batter forms. (Alternatively, you can push farmer’s cheese through a fine sieve, add the remaining ingredients, and mix with a spoon)

Dust a countertop or a wooden cutting board with some flour. Dump the batter, knead a few times, and roll into a ball. Cut the ball into quarters. Using your fingers, roll each quarter into an inch-thick log. Cut each log into 1/2-inch pieces.


In a large pan, bring 3 quarts of water to a rolling boil. Salt the water a bit less than you would for cooking pasta. Drop your dumplings into the boiling water one by one, let them come to float on the surface for one minute, and carefully remove into a bowl. Serve immediately with butter and sour cream.



5 thoughts on “Farmer’s Cheese Dumplings (Lenivye Vareniki)

    • Yes yes yes! You are correct – stuffed dumplings are called vareniki. These are lenivye vareniki, which means lazy dumplings:) as for the regular ones, try the ones with fresh cherries or farmer’s cheese:)))

  1. Hello! This looks/sounds delicious; I’ve pinned it. I’ve never heard of farmer’s cheese before. Should one be able to find it in one’s local supermarket?

    • Thank you! 🙂 I do live in the Boston area (I didn’t realize you did too!)…I used to be in Brighton, and come to think of it, I think there was a small Russian grocery store across the street from me. The at-home directions are great too, as I’m about to leave the area and I’m not sure my new place will be as gastronomically diverse as Boston. Thanks for the tips and directions…Looking forward to trying this!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s