Dumplings are an essential part of Czech cuisine. There are many types of dumplings from different ingredients, sweet and savory. Served as side dish, dessert or main course. Here’s an overview of the variety of Czech dumplings with recipes.
A dumpling or in Czech knedlík (plural knedlíky) and regionally also šiška (plural šišky) is a dish made from dough and boiled or steamed. They are as popular now as they were hundreds of years ago and they are so important in the Czech cuisine that half of the traditional dishes wouldn’t exist without them. Knedlíky can be made from yeast dough, potatoes and even meat. Let us show you some of the most typical Czech dumplings and if you want the recipe, just click on the links in the text.
Our Czech flour guide might come handy for the recipes.
Savory Side Dish
Dumplings accompany several famous Czech dishes such as svíčková na smetaně, rajská or roasted duck with cabbage. They are the ideal side dish for sauces. If you’re a beginner in cooking Czech we recommend starting with Yeast Bread Dumpling (kynutý houskový knedlík), which is delicious and you can whip it up with minimum effort. If you want a more sophisticated version that not only tastes great but also looks amazing, go for the Carlsbad Dumpling (karlovarský knedlík). With just a few more ingredients it will give your dish a hint of nutmeg and parsley. And to make the basic trio complete we mustn’t forget about the Potato Dumpling which is great to go with cabbage and meat gravy.
Main Course Savory Dumplings
Savory dumplings don’t need to be just a side dish, they can be the star of the plate! In Czech cuisine it’s mainly the case of the potato dumpling. The first way to make a side dish potato dumpling into the main course is to stuff it, typically with smoked meat or spinach. Here is the recipe for Stuffed Dumplings.
An easier way is to change the shape of the dumpling completely. Potato dumplings cut into thin pieces are called šišky or šlejšky and they are served mixed with all the delicious things that the stuffed dumplings are stuffed with. So typically smoked meat and fried onion or spinach and fried onion. You can find the recipe here.
Dumplings in Soup? Yes, please!
Liver dumplings are the cherry on top in good Czech beef broth with spring vegetables and noodles. Making them is no science and you can learn it here.
Dumplings Sweet Way
Sweet dumplings are a main course in the Czech cuisine. Bohemians, Moravians and Silesians have always known how to utilize the few ingredients they had to make the best from them. And so taking some fruit and wrapping it in yeast dough, cheese-dough or any other dough you like will give for a delicious meal you’ll want to repeat. See our various recipes for Fruit Dumplings right here.
A special category of sweet dumplings are Poppy Seed Dumplings. You can prepare them from fluffy yeast dough filled with povidla, or if you prefer potato dough, try making the potato pockets with povidla and poppy seed. Or try the simple version called šišky.