Dinner/ polish/ Side dish/ vegetarian dinner

Kopytka recipe (Polish potato dumplings)

15 May 2021 | Last Updated: 17 May 2021 By Aleksandra

Kopytka are delicious, tender, melt-in-your-mouth Polish potato dumplings. They are so easy and quick to prepare and make a fantastic side dish to serve with any main dish with sauce or gravy.

Kopytka with buttered breadcrumbs in a white-blue bowl.

Polish potato dumplings

What does “kopytka” mean? Literally translated, kopytka (already plural) means ‘little hooves’ – it’s because of their characteristic diamond shape that resembles the hooves of small animals. Kopytka is pronounced koh-pit-kah, you can listen here how to pronounce this word.

Kopytka vs Gnocchi: Kopytka are very similar to Italian gnocchi – the recipe is basically the same, but the shape of the dumplings and what they are served with are different.

Kopytka are also similar to German potato dumplings with the difference that the latter are made with potato starch (and not flour) and are seasoned with nutmeg. Butter is also added to the dough. There are shaped into large balls.

Ingredients

You only need 4 ingredients to make kopytka: potatoes, an egg, all-purpose flour, and salt.

The best potatoes for kopytka are starchy/mealy potatoes like Russets and the second best are all-purpose potatoes like Yukon Gold potatoes. Russet potatoes are perfect for making mashed potatoes – they are also super starchy which helps bind the ingredients and don’t release too much water, thanks to that you don’t have to add much flour

Do not use waxy or young potatoes as they are very watery, and hold their shape well after boiling – mashed potatoes made from these potato types won’t be smooth and fluffy.

You can use leftover mashed potatoes to make these dumplings, but don’t use mashed potatoes mixed with milk and butter, just plain potatoes.

Recipe variations: you can also add pumpkin puree, beetroot puree, spinach puree, minced parsley or dill to your dumplings.

Vegan potato dumplings: Yes, it’s also possible to make kopytka without an egg – just add 1 Tbsp of flour + 1 Tbsp of potato starch (or corn starch) to the dough. They are very good, but slightly more chewy.

Labeled ingredients for Polish potato dumplings.

How to make kopytka step by step

Cooked potatoes in a pot. Potatoes are being mashed with potato ricer.

STEP 1: Cook the potatoes.

How long to boil potatoes?
I cut my potatoes into 1 1/2-inch (4cm) chunks and cook them for about 10-15 minutes. Check with a fork if they are ready – they should be soft enough to be pierced with a fork.

Drain the potatoes and put back in the pot. Put the pot back on the burner and cook the drained potatoes for about a minute over medium heat to let the excess moisture evaporate. Take the pot off the heat.

STEP 2: Mash the potatoes (while still hot). Do not mash them for too long or they will be gummy.

How to mash potatoes:
– You can use a potato ricer or a potato masher – the best tool to make mashed potatoes is a potato ricer (pictured).
– Use an electric potato masher.
– You can mash them using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.
Make sure your mashed potatoes are super smooth or your dumplings will be lumpy.

Flour is being added to mashed potatoes in a bowl. Dough for kopytka on a wooden board.

STEP 3: Let the potatoes cool (they can be cold or just slightly warm). Add lightly beaten egg, salt, and flour to the potatoes.

How to measure flour: if you will use a kitchen scale to measure out all the ingredients, it all goes easy breezy! But if you’re using measuring cups, remember that 1 cup of flour can weigh 120-150g, depending on how you’re filling your cup. Don’t scoop the flour directly into the measuring cup, which can compact it! 1 cup of flour in my recipes weighs 125g. To correctly measure the flour, you need to:

  1. Fluff the flour by stirring it in the bag/flour container with a spoon.
  2. Spoon the flour and sprinkle it into your measuring cup.
  3. Sweep off the excess flour with the back of a knife.

STEP 4: Knead the dough until it comes together but do not overwork it (I usually start mixing the ingredients with a wooden spoon and then knead it with my hands). You can add more flour if the dough does not come together and is sticky. The amount of flour specified in the recipe is an estimate – the amount of the flour needed may be different depending on the potatoes and the flour type/brand. The dough should be soft but not sticky, it should hold together.

Dough for kopytka divided into 4 parts. Dough for kopytka shaped into logs.

STEP 5: Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and divide into 4 parts.

STEP 6: Roll each part into a 1,5-2 inch (4-5cm) thick logs. You can dust the dough and your hands lightly with flour.

Uncooked kopytka dumplings on a wooden board. Kopytka taken from a pot on a slotted spoon.

STEP 7: Cut at an angle into 2 inch (5 cm) dumplings.

STEP 8: Cook the dumplings in batches (about 10 dumplings per batch) in a large pot filled with salted water, about 2-3 minutes, counting from the moment when the dumplings float to the surface of the water. The cooking time may be different depending on the size of the dumplings – you can cook test one dumpling and cut it in half to see if there is raw batter in the middle. Remove from the pot with a slotted spoon.

Enjoy!

How to serve them

How kopytka are served in Poland

Savory toppings/sauces:

  • Serve them with just melted butter or with brown butter (cook butter over medium heat until is light brown in color and smells nutty – it adds great flavor to plain butter).
  • With buttered breadcrumbs (bułka tarta, pictured) – this is one of my favorite toppings ever – not only for kopytka but also for plain boiled/steamed cauliflower (this is a very Polish way to serve it). If you are not a fan of cauliflower, try it with bułka tarta – you will be a convert! So, how to make it: add 1/3 cup of plain breadcrumbs (40g) to a dry pan and toast them, stirring constantly and making sure not to burn them, until they are golden brown in color. Next, add 1/4 cup of butter (60g) and stir until the butter is melted. That’s it! You can add more butter if you want it more runny.
  • Crispy crumbled bacon or pan-fried thick-cut bacon and sauteed onions.
  • Sauteed onions and pan-fried kiełbasa (smoked Polish sausage).
  • Mushroom sauce (for example like this chanterelle mushroom sauce – you can use any mushrooms with this recipe).
  • Any roast or meat main dish that comes with sauce or gravy (like goulash, beef stew, roast duck with gravy, chicken with creamy mushroom sauce, like this chicken in butternut squash and mushroom sauce or beef/chicken stroganoff)
  • Dill sauce (like the sauce from this creamy dill salmon recipe, this is another delicious Polish sauce).

Sweet toppings:

  • Toasted breadcrumbs (or buttered breadcrumbs, see above) and cinnamon sugar.
  • Fruit sauce (just pureed fruit with sugar, for example strawberries are great).

You could also serve them Italian way, like gnocchi

Potato dumplings with buttered breadcrumbs in a white-blue plate.

Top tips

  • mashed potatoes should be really smooth otherwise your dumplings will be lumpy
  • use right potato type – the best are starchy/mealy potatoes like russets
  • don’t overwork the dough, knead the dough until it just comes together
  • you can use leftover mashed potatoes to make these dumplings, don’t use mashed potatoes mixed with milk and butter, just plain potatoes
  • mash the potatoes while they are still hot! they will be more smooth, they are more difficult to mash cold

Storage and freezing instructions

How to store kopytka: you can store cooked dumplings in the fridge for up to 3 days. Toss them with melted butter so they don’t stick to each other.

How to reheat them: The best way to reheat kopytka is to pan-fry them in a pan with butter until golden and crispy.

How to freeze potato dumplings: you can freeze uncooked or cooked dumplings.
Uncooked dumplings: place them on a tray dusted with flour (spacing them apart), freeze until solid (about 2h), then transfer to a container/zip-lock bags. How to cook them: do not thaw them, add them to the boiling water straight from the freezer. Cook like freshly-made dumplings (about 2-3 minutes).
Cooked dumplings: first, let them cool completely. Freeze them like described above. You can thaw them on the counter/in the fridge, then pan-fry with butter in a pan or add them to boiling water for a brief moment to thaw them and warm them up.

How to make them ahead:
– you can make mashed potatoes, store them in the fridge for up to 3 days, then make the dough
– you can also make the dough and store it in the fridge for up to 24 hours, add more flour before shaping the dumplings if the dough is too sticky

Did you make this recipe? RATE THE RECIPE or tell me in the COMMENTS how you liked it! You can also add a photo of your dish. It would make me very happy and will help other readers. Thank you!!

Kopytka recipe (Polish potato dumplings)

Kopytka are delicious, tender, melt-in-your mouth Polish potato dumplings.
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Kopytka with buttered breadcrumbs in a white-blue bowl.
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Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 3 minutes
Total Time 28 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 229kcal
Author Aleksandra

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs (900g) potatoes starchy/mealy type like russets
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 cups (190g) all-purpose flour + more for working with the dough
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt

Instructions

  • Peel and cook the potatoes until fork-tender. Drain and put back in the pot. Put the pot back on the burner and cook the drained potatoes for about a minute over medium heat to let the excess moisture evaporate. Take the pot off the heat.
  • Mash the potatoes (while still hot). The best tool for mashing potatoes is a potato ricer but you can also use a regular potato masher. Do not mash them for too long.
  • Let the potatoes cool (they can be cold or just slightly warm).
  • Add lightly beaten egg, salt, and flour to the potatoes.
  • Knead the dough until it comes together but do not overwork it (I usually start mixing the ingredients with a wooden spoon and then knead it with my hands). You can add more flour if the dough does not come together and is sticky. The amount of flour specified in the recipe is an estimate – the amount of the flour needed may be different depending on the potatoes and the flour type/brand. The dough should be soft but not sticky, it should hold together.
  • Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and divide into 4 parts. Roll each part into 1,5-2 inch (4-5cm) thick logs. You can dust the dough and your hands lightly with flour. Cut at an angle into 2-inch (5 cm) dumplings.
  • Cook the dumplings in batches (about 10 dumplings per batch) in a large pot filled with salted water, about 2-3 minutes, counting from the moment when the dumplings float to the surface of the water. The cooking time may be different depending on the size of the dumplings – you can cook test one dumpling and cut it in half to see if there is raw batter in the middle.
  • Remove from the pot with a slotted spoon.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

  • Mashed potatoes should be really smooth otherwise your dumplings will be lumpy.
  • You can use leftover mashed potatoes to make these dumplings, but don’t use mashed potatoes mixed with milk and butter, just plain potatoes.
  • Kopytka without an egg – just add 1 Tbsp of flour + 1 Tbsp of potato starch (or corn starch) to the dough. They are very good, but slightly more chewy.
  • How to serve these dumplings:
    • savory: with any sauce (like mushroom sauce) or gravy, with buttered breadcrumbs (Add 1/3 cup of plain breadcrumbs (40g) to a dry pan and toast them, stirring constantly and making sure not to burn them, until they are golden brown in color. Next, add 1/4 cup of butter (60g) and stir until the butter is melted. You can add more butter if you want it more runny.).
    • sweet: toasted or buttered breadcrumbs and cinnamon sugar – fruit sauce (there are more examples written in the post).
  • How to measure flour: Fluff the flour by stirring it in the bag/flour container with a spoon. Spoon the flour and sprinkle it into your measuring cup. Sweep off the excess flour with the back of a knife. 1 cup of flour can weigh 120-150g, depending on how you’re filling your cup. Don’t scoop the flour directly into the measuring cup, which can compact it. 1 cup of flour in my recipes weighs 125g.
  • Storage and freezing instructions:
    • How to store kopytka: you can store cooked dumplings in the fridge for up to 3 days. Toss them with melted butter so they don’t stick to each other.
    • How to reheat them: The best way to reheat kopytka is to pan-fry them in a pan with butter until golden and crispy.
    • How to freeze potato dumplings: you can freeze uncooked or cooked dumplings.
      • Uncooked dumplings: place them on a tray dusted with flour (spacing them apart), freeze until solid (about 2h), then transfer to a container/zip-lock bags. How to cook them: do not thaw them, add them to the boiling water straight from the freezer. Cook like freshly-made dumplings (about 2-3 minutes). –
      • Cooked dumplings: first, let them cool completely. Freeze them like described above. You can thaw them on the counter/in the fridge, then pan-fry with butter in a pan or add them to boiling water for a brief moment to thaw them and warm them up.
    • How to make them ahead:
      • you can make mashed potatoes, store them in the fridge for up to 3 days, then make the dough
      • you can also make the dough and store it in the fridge for up to 24 hours, add more flour before shaping the dumplings if the dough is too sticky
  • Calories: 1 serving (1/6 of the recipe). This is only an estimate!
Course Side Dish
Cuisine polish
Keyword kopytka recipe, polish potato dumplings

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