potato pampushky

Potato Pampushki – Cheese Stuffed Potato Cakes

Pampushki are starchy bites usually served with soup, such as borscht.  Much of the time, pampushki are yeast rolls, usually drizzled with butter and garlic. Pampushki (singular – pampushka) is common in Russia, Ukraine, and other parts in Eastern Europe. These pampushki are made with potatoes, stuffed with cheese, and pan fried until cooked and crispy…need I say more?!

Think of these pampushki as stuffed potato pancakes!

What sets these pampushki apart from generic potato pancakes is that they are made with both mashed potatoes and shredded raw potatoes.  Creamy, crunchy, and fried to golden, brown, and delicious, they contain a luscious cheesy filling made from farmer’s cheese, Parmesan and chives.

You can use shredded mozzerella cheese or the cheese of your choice and add to or change up the filling to suit your taste; caramelized onions, bacon,or chopped mushrooms, etc. Potato pampushki can be served as a main course, side dish, appetizer, or snack.

Potato Pampushki – Cheese Stuffed Potato Cakes

Recipe by A Coalcracker in the KitchenCourse: Side Dishes, Entrees, Snacks, AppetizerCuisine: Eastern European, Coal RegionDifficulty: Easy


  • 2 and 1/2 cups mashed potatoes (Yukon Gold preferred because of medium starch content)

  • 1 and 1/2 pounds raw potatoes, peeled (Yukon Gold)

  • 1/2 cup farmer’s cheese or ricotta

  • 1/8 cup grated parmesan cheese, mozzarella, or cheese of your choice

  • 1 Tablespoons fresh chives, minced OR

  • 1 teaspoon dried chives or to taste

  • 2 to 4 Tablespoons heavy cream (as needed)

  • Salt, pepper as needed

  • Oil as needed for pan frying


  • Cook potatoes until tender, mash fairly smooth. Measure out 2 and 1/2 cups. Set aside.
  • Peel and grate the 1 and 1/2 pounds of raw potatoes on the large grate side of a box grater. Spread the grated potatoes onto a clean kitchen towel or cheesecloth and squeeze out all moisture you can.
  • In a large bowl, combine the grated potatoes with the mashed potatoes. Season with 1 teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon of pepper. Mix thoroughly. Set aside. OPTIONAL: You can also add caramelized onions to the potato mixture for added flavor.
  • In another bowl, combine the farmer’s cheese OR cheese of your choice, the Parmesan cheese, the chives, and 2 Tablespoons heavy cream. Add additional cream if needed to bring the mixture together into a thick paste.
  • Take about a 1/4 cup of potato mixture and form into a flat patty in your palm.  Place about a tablespoon of the cheese filling into the center of the patty.  Fold the potato mixture over the cheese filling, pinching it shut completely enclosing the cheese filling in the potato mixture. Add more potato mix to the top if needed to completely seal the filling inside. Slightly flatten the patty and shape it into an oval shape. Repeat with remaining potato and cheese mixture.

  • In a nonstick skillet,add enough oil to cover bottom about 1/4 inch, heat to medium.  Once oil is hot, add the pampushki. Cook the potato pampushki about 5 to 7 minutes per side, until golden brown.
  • Drain the potato pampushki on paper towels.


  • Make these pampushki half the size as directed to use as appetizers.