Coney Island Knishes


One of my earliest notable food experiences was eating potato knishes with my dad in Coney Island. I mean, mashed potatoes in a warm, flaky pastry? This potato fiend will have two, please. Back then, their secret was the copious amounts of chicken fat, aka schmaltz, but here I'll show you how to succeed without it. Leftover corned beef really shines in these, but anything goes, as long as the base is mashed potato spiked with onions and fried in lots of fat.

Prep Time:
30 mins
Cook Time:
1 hr 15 mins
Additional Time:
1 hr 15 mins
Total Time:
3 hrs
16 knishes



  • 2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour, or more as needed

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • ½ cup canola oil

  • ½ cup warm water

  • 1 large egg, beaten

  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar


  • 2 ½ pounds russet potatoes, peeled and quartered

  • 8 ounces corned beef

  • 1 cup finely chopped cooked cabbage

  • ½ cup butter

  • 2 cups diced yellow onion

  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt

  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste

  • salt and ground black pepper to taste


  • 1 large egg

  • 2 teaspoons water, or as needed

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, or as needed


  1. Make dough: Whisk flour, kosher salt, and baking powder together in a large bowl. Make a well in the center. Add oil, warm water, beaten egg, and vinegar. Mix by hand until dough pulls together. Turn dough out onto the counter and knead until soft, smooth, and elastic. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

  2. Meanwhile, make filling: Place potatoes into a large pot and cover with salted water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain, then transfer to a mixing bowl. Mash and set aside.

  3. Chop corned beef and cabbage into fine pieces.

  4. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, corned beef, cabbage, and kosher salt. Cook and stir until onions are soft and golden brown and beef fat is rendered, about 10 minutes.

  5. Transfer beef mixture to the bowl with mashed potatoes. Season with cayenne pepper, salt, and black pepper. Mix until combined, then let filling cool to room temperature.

  6. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Line 2 baking sheets with silicone mats.

  7. Divide chilled dough in half; flatten one half into a rectangle on a floured surface. Roll out into a larger rectangle about 1/8-inch thick, pulling the corners as needed.

  8. Place 3 cups filling over one long end, about 3 inches away from the edges. Beat egg with water in a small bowl and brush egg wash over the opposite end and a little on the sides. Stretch dough to cover filling, then roll up toward the egg-washed side. Fold the last 3 or 4 inches on top. Press in filling; roll over so seam-side is on the bottom.

  9. Trim off excess dough from the ends if desired. Mark, but do not cut, dough into 8 equal pieces. Flour the side of your hand and press into the marks. Rub back and forth against the counter to separate each piece. Position each piece with one cut-end facing down and the other facing up. Squish down the top and tuck everything into the center to form a round knish.

  10. Repeat with remaining dough and filling. Brush bottoms with olive oil and place on the prepared baking sheets. Brush leftover egg wash on top.

  11. Bake in the preheated oven until lightly golden brown, about 40 minutes. Let cool until just warm or room temperature.

Chef's Notes:

You can substitute 1/2 teaspoon fine salt for the kosher salt and lemon juice for the vinegar if needed.

I think the baked version is the easiest, but if you feel so inclined, these can also be deep-fried or pan-fried.

You may end up with extra filling.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

301 Calories
17g Fat
31g Carbs
7g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 16
Calories 301
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 17g 21%
Saturated Fat 5g 26%
Cholesterol 46mg 15%
Sodium 629mg 27%
Total Carbohydrate 31g 11%
Dietary Fiber 3g 10%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 7g
Vitamin C 23mg 115%
Calcium 44mg 3%
Iron 2mg 11%
Potassium 423mg 9%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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