July 21, 2020

Gluten Free Knishes


The very first knish hit the streets of New York In 1910.

An Ashkenazim ( Eastern European ) pastry filled with mashed potatoes, onion and chicken fat for flavor. I guess you could call it the Jewish version of Pizza.

These days we don't use chicken fat so I substituted broth in the potato mixture.

This is not a dish my grandmother made however, a staple Comfort food . Served hot in a brown paper bag, "So you want mustard with that? "

Spicy brown mustard is what we ate with our knishes.

Later came Kasha Knishes, a staple in the Ukraine and eastern European kitchens. Kasha is Buckwheat groats, really not a wheat but in the rhubarb family .

I no longer make pastry as now I am gluten free but you can use regular defrosted pastry dough as well as Gluten free pastry dough. The magic is in the onions.

Here is a simple recipe, make it ahead for parties. No need to buy already made, This is much better, and you'll be glad you did. .... Now remember make believe your bubbe ( grandmother) is teaching you.

Thank you to Hungry Harvest, for trusting me to do your produce justice. This box of vegetables, is winning the war against food waste. They provide service to the community by selling rescued well deserving produce to homes that will honor the power of food. My grandmother is probably smiling.

This is the food of my ancestors. It's our soul food .


  • 4-5 russet potatoes washed peeled and cubed

  • 1 very large onion diced.

  • 1 pkg frozen pastry dough defrosted at least 24 hours before use.

  • 1 egg with with a table spoon of water/ added in a dish

  • 1 cup chicken or vegetable broth .

  • a little olive oil

  • salt & pepper


  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Line a rectangular baking dish with parchment paper..
  • Put a medium sized pot of water on the stove, salt it and place the potatoes in the cold water.
    Bring to a boil, drain when fork tender. Drain and cool .
  • While the potatoes are cooking, saute the onions until they are caramelized in a little olive oil.
  • Mash the onions in to the potatoes,
    These potatoes are not supposed to be like a regular mash, they have to hold up to make the knishes, add in some broth for flavor, salt and pepper to taste.
    Allow to cool in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
  • Roll out the dough on a clean surface, that has been dusted with a little flour * gluten free or other ).
    Just like rolling sushi take some potatoes and make a log out of it and place at the edge of the dough. If the dough is too large cut it in half horizontal .
  • Roll up the pastry and brush with a little egg wash to seal it. You should now have a potato stuffed log. Now slice it into 2 inch pieces . You should get 6 or 7 per roll. Pinch the top and dip the top in the egg wash.
  • Place the dry side down on the parchment and bake for about 15 minutes or until gold around the edges.
  • Serve with mustard.

You can substitute these with sweet potato or even some sautéed drained greens. As we always say, enjoy it in good health..

Laurel Herman
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5 comments on “Gluten Free Knishes”

  1. I miss knishes! I'm gluten-free and low-fodmap; I can't digest onion or garlic but the green part of leeks could add flavor. I'm also vegan so I use Kosher Bob's Red Mill Egg Replacer. Your recipe gives me hope that I may be able to again enjoy my favorite family tradition of potato knishes. I finally got the latkes right so why not knishes.

    1. Dear Cheryl, Thank you SO much for commenting! I feel you ! I just stopped eating eggs as well. You can use a brush of oil to replace the egg wash. Or even a nut milk if you can tolerate that. My favorite vegan broth powder is by Frontier. There is a no chicken powder I use ( It may contain onion so you would have to check the ingredients, OR keep a homemade veggie stock on hand that you can defrost as needed. We are also off nightshades. A good substitute for that could be sweet potatoes or Asian yams. Have you made gf kasha Varnishaks yet ? Happy New year to you and your family.

  2. wow frozen gluten free pastry? where can i find that?? i am thinking i can get the pie crusts and defrost them. would that work?

    1. Hi There Sorry it took so long to get back to you . Shar had gf puff pastry and there is another company called g free. Now the down side it that it contains soy. Its a calculated risk. Sometimes you just gotta have a knish !! Thank you so much for commenting !!

    2. Hi there so sorry for the late response! There are tow brands that I'm aware of GEE fREE is one brand Shar is another . They may contain soy. I figured it waa worth it for once a year ... Even Pepperidge Farm has a GF pastry/.. I'm not sure what stores carry it Whole Foods and if you are in Richmond Va the Good Foods Grocery would have it Hope that helps!!

Discover more blogposts:

It's more than food. Culinary experience | Food substitution guidance | Culinary medicine
Copyright Laurel Herman aka the blissed out chef
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