Kreplach are like Jewish dumplings with a range of different fillings. They're often stuffed with potato or brisket, and pan fried until crispy, or boiled and kept soft for soup dumplings. This version comes together more quickly by using Asian wonton wrappers as a shortcut for the dough.
This post from 2012 was updated in 2023 with more photos, recipe tips, and improved instructions.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- Two filling options - potato and brisket - both can be made with leftovers!
- You can choose to fry them crispy, or keep them soft for soup.
- They freeze well to save some for later.
What is kreplach?
It seems like every culture has their own version of a filled dough pocket. There are wontons, ravioli, dumplings, pierogi, empanadas, and in the Jewish culture, there is kreplach.
Kreplach is a pocket made from thin pasta-like dough and commonly filled with chicken, beef, or potato. They are especially great for using up leftovers as filling. Think of them as Jewish wontons or dumplings.
Making kreplach isn't difficult, but it is a labor of love to wrap each one. It is a great rainy day project! It's also a good idea to make a large batch and freeze some for later. Traditionally kreplach is made with dough from scratch, but using store bought wonton wrappers is a helpful shortcut.
For this kreplach recipe, I am giving two filling options, potato or brisket. You can serve them boiled for soups, or pan fry them until crispy for appetizers and snacks.
For more Jewish holiday recipe favorites, see Yom Kippur, Rosh Hashanah, Hannukah, and Passover.
Dana's note: I have fond memories of eating kreplach as a child. My mother's best friend Lila served them at all her parties. Too bad nobody wrote down the recipe. In 2012 when I originally posted this recipe, I realized I hadn’t had kreplach since I was a child. It seems like subsequent generations don’t make them, but I decided to change that!
I have made this recipe many times since then, usually as an appetizer for holidays or dinner parties. It is always a hit. I like to serve it as a pan-fried appetizer with a couple of dipping sauce options. It’s also common to boil the kreplach which keeps the dough soft, and then serve them as dumplings in hot chicken soup.
Kreplach is especially fitting to serve for Hanukkah, where fried foods are traditionally eaten, like latkes! The food is cooked in oil to celebrate the time the oil in the temple that was used for light lasted for eight days even though there was only enough oil to last for one day.
This traditional dish is also great to serve for Purim since they have a triangular shape. The triangle is thought to represent the ear or hat of Haman, a villain in the Torah who tried to kill the Jews of Persia. Eating something triangular in shape is symbolic of consuming your enemies, like hamantaschen (triangle-shaped cookies).
It’s also traditional to eat foods that have hidden ingredients (like dough pockets) because in the Purim story, Queen Esther concealed her Jewish identity for most of the story in order to keep herself safe.
Boiled or fried, these kreplach are perfect for any Jewish holiday!
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
See the recipe card below for a complete ingredient list and measurements.Jump to Recipe
- Wonton wrappers - You will need 80-90 pre-made wonton dough squares for this recipe. Using wontons saves a lot of time instead of making your own dough, and they taste just as great! The best wontons to use are ones that are thicker. I found a brand called House Foods All Natural Square Wraps that works well at a specialty Asian market. Plus they are kosher.
- Yukon Gold potatoes - are especially creamy and tasty for the potato filling. You can also use leftover mashed potatoes if you have them on hand. It’s a great way to use up leftovers.
- Onions - Caramelized onions add great flavor to both the brisket and potato kreplach.
- Fresh dill - To flavor the potatoes. Dill is an herb commonly used in Eastern European Jewish cooking. However, if you don't have any, try basil or parsley.
- Leftover brisket and gravy - This is the base of the beef kreplach, and another great way to repurpose leftovers. If you don’t have any leftover brisket, substitute ¾ pound ground beef sautéed with onion, salt, pepper, and garlic until cooked through.
Step by Step Photos
See the recipe card below for complete directions.Jump to Recipe
First make the potato and brisket filling and set aside until you are ready for assembling the kreplach.
To assemble, line up wonton wrappers, and fill with 1 teaspoon of filling. Seal with water or egg wash. Keep the unused wontons and filled uncooked kreplach under a damp cloth so they don't dry out.
You can choose to boil the kreplach for soup, or fry them crispy for an appetizer.
Serve warm with optional dipping sauces like creme fraiche with chives or an apricot sauce.
- Work with a few wontons at a time, and cover the rest with a damp cloth so they don’t dry out.
- Use a melon baller to make perfectly sized filling scoops.
- If your wonton dough is thin and delicate, it's best to fold in the corners like an envelope so they hold up better to boiling and frying.
If you plan to serve the kreplach later or to freeze them, follow the directions through assembly (and boiling if using the boil method), then let them cool.
Store the kreplach in an airtight container with wax paper or parchment between the layers.
Refrigerate for up to two days or freeze for a few months.
When you are ready to serve, defrost the kreplach in the refrigerator for one day, or let them sit out on the counter for one hour.
If you plan on serving the fried kreplach later in the day, you can pan fry them and let cool. Temporarily store in the refrigerator. When you are ready to serve, warm in a 350°F oven until warm throughout and sizzling, being careful not to get them too browned.
Storage and Reheating
How to store: Store kreplach in an airtight container between layers of wax paper or parchment in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
How to freeze: Make kreplach through the assembly step (or through boiling if using that method) and cool. Store them between layers of wax paper and freeze for a few months. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator or on the counter for 1 hour.
How to reheat: For crispy: Reheat the kreplach in the oven at 350° until warm, sizzling, and crispy. For soft: Reheat kreplach in chicken broth until hot.
Other Jewish holiday favorites
- Passover Flourless Chocolate Cake with Nutella
- Potato Latke Muffins (Mini Potato Kugels)
- Sweet Noodle Kugel (parve / pareve)
- Easy Blintz Soufflé Casserole
Linger at Dana's Table a little longer for more free recipes.
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Shortcut Kreplach with Brisket or Potato Filling
- Food processor optional
- Large skillet
- Food mill or potato ricer Optional
Potato filling (for 40 kreplach)
- 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
- ½ onion medium-sized, sliced thin
- ½ pound Yukon Gold potatoes peeled and cut into chunks (or leftover mashed potatoes if available)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon butter room temperature
- ¼ cup low fat milk
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 teaspoon fresh dill finely chopped
Brisket filling (for 40 kreplach)
- ¾ pound leftover brisket Can substitute with ¾ pound ground beef.
- leftover gravy and onions
- ¼ onion chopped and sautéed until browned (if there are no leftover onions)
- ½ cup low sodium chicken broth to moisten the meat if there's no gravy, may not use it all
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- 1 egg optional for binding
- 80-90 premade wonton wrapper squares Thicker wontons work better
- 1 egg beaten with a little water for egg wash, optional
- grapeseed or avocado oil, or neutral oil for frying
Dipping sauces, optional
- Creme fraiche substitute for sour cream
- Fresh chives thinly sliced
- Apricot jam pick one that isn’t too chunky or sweet. I like Trader Joe’s apricot preserves
- Major Grey’s mango chutney or dijon mustard optional
- Sauté onions in olive oil over medium heat stirring occasionally until caramelized and light brown, about 20-30 minutes.
- While the onions cook, prepare the potatoes. (If using leftover mashed potatoes, skip to step 3.) Put potatoes in a saucepan, and cover with water. Stir in ½ teaspoon salt, and bring to a boil. Cook for about 20 minutes until soft when pierced with a fork. Drain water. Ideally, mash the potatoes by using a ricer or food mill to achieve a smooth consistency. Or use a masher. Have the warm mashed potatoes in the saucepan, and then add milk and butter. Mix to melt the butter and incorporate. Turn heat to low if needed to melt the butter.
- Stir in caramelized onions and salt and pepper to taste. Taste the potatoes for flavor and consistency, and adjust as needed. When the potatoes have cooled somewhat, stir in the chopped dill.
- Taste the brisket and gravy and add salt and pepper if needed. Once the raw egg is added, the mixture cannot be sampled for seasoning until after it is cooked.
- Place the brisket, onions, and egg (optional) in a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Make sure the meat is surrounded by some liquid, add gravy or broth if needed. Puree the meat into a smooth, moist paste that can hold its own shape. Add more gravy or broth as needed. The consistency is similar to pâté and a little more moist than chopped liver. Do not make the mixture excessively wet. Alternatively, you can finely chop the meat with a knife.
- On a flat surface line up four wrapper squares next to each other so that they form a large square. Scoop 1 teaspoon of filling onto the center of each square. I make some filled with meat and some filled with potato. Use a melon baller to scoop; it's the perfect size and shape, or use a measuring spoon. Then brush egg wash or water across the two perpendicular inner seams, so that each square has egg wash/water on two sides. If the wontons are sticking, sprinkle work surface lightly with flour.
- Fold each square in half into a triangle. Lightly press along the two seams to seal. If your triangle corners are extra floppy and fragile, fold in 2 points of the triangle like an envelope and seal with two dots of egg wash. As you work, keep the unused wrappers and the folded kreplach covered with a damp towel to prevent the dough from drying out. Continue working in groups of four squares until finished wrapping.
Cooking method #1: Boiling (for soft kreplach)
- Bring a large pot of water with salt to boil.
- Add kreplach to the boiling water about 12 at a time. Do not crowd the pot or the kreplach may stick to one another. Boil for the amount of time recommended on the wonton wrapper package. It should be about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove kreplach with a slotted spoon or spider strainer.
- Place kreplach on a cooling rack with a towel underneath.
- If you plan to serve the kreplach later, let them cool. Store them in an airtight container with wax paper between the layers. Refrigerate for up to two days or freeze. When ready to serve, defrost the kreplach in the refrigerator for one day, or let sit out on the counter for one hour.
- Heat soft meat kreplach in chicken broth with cooked carrot slices. Serve hot in bowls.
Cooking method #2: Pan Fried (for crispy kreplach)
- Coat a large frying pan with a layer of oil about ⅛ inch deep. Heat the oil on medium high heat until the oil has a wavy pattern in it, but do not burn the oil. Take care not to splatter yourself with hot oil; turn the heat lower if necessary. Place the kreplach in the pan in a single layer without touching each other (to prevent sticking together).
- Cook on one side until golden brown, then flip and cook on the other side until golden brown as well. It should take about 5 minutes per side. Remove the crispy kreplach from the pan, and drain on a cooling rack lined with paper towels. Serve warm with dipping sauce and enjoy.
Optional Dipping Sauces
- Creme Fraiche: Thin creme fraiche (or sour cream) with a little milk and stir well. Stir in finely sliced chives.
- Apricot Sauce: Thin the jam with a little water and stir well. Optional: mix in a little Major Grey's Mango Chutney or some Dijon mustard to add some tang.
- This recipe is for both potato kreplach and brisket kreplach. You can choose to make some of each, or choose one or the other.
- The recipe also gives directions for boiled kreplach for soup, or pan fried kreplach to serve as a crispy appetizer.
- If you don’t have leftover brisket or pot roast, substitute ¾ pound ground beef and sauté with onions, salt, pepper, garlic salt until cooked through. Break up the ground meat into small pieces as you cook.
- Other dipping sauce options include store-bought duck sauce or sweet and sour sauce.
- How to store: Store kreplach in an airtight container between layers of wax paper in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
- How to freeze: Make kreplach through the assembly step (or boiling step if using that method and cool). Store them between layers of wax paper and freeze for a few months. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator or on the counter for 1 hour.
- How to reheat: For crispy: Reheat the kreplach in the oven at 350° until warm, sizzling, and crispy. For soft: Reheat kreplach in chicken broth until hot.
Dorothy at Shockinglydelicious says
These were so, so, soooo good! Loved them!
Thank you Dorothy, and thanks for organizing the recipe links.