Plate of mushroom hamantaschen topped with sour cream and pickled onion

Savoury mushroom hamantaschen recipe

Since I often write about the overlap between Soviet food and Jewish life/food, I started thinking about how Jewish holiday foods may have started to develop in the Soviet Union, had it been permitted — much like it has here in North America. Since zakuski — appetizers — are such an important part of the Russian celebratory table, I developed these mushroom savoury hamantaschen, with a very traditional mushrooms-in-sour-cream filling. I’ve also used this filling in mini tart shells to serve as a party appetizer.

Stalin, who is widely believed to have been plotting mass deportations of Jews before his death, suffered a stroke on March 1, 1953, which happened to be Purim. He died a few days later, making the holiday one of particular significance for Soviet-Jews, who felt they’d been delivered from their own Haman. Since Jews were not permitted to celebrate our holidays or practice Judaism under the Soviets, I like to think of these hamantaschen as an homage to my grandmothers – something that perhaps, given the chance, they would have served on their own holiday tables. I wrote about this a few years ago in Tablet (Hamantaschen of Our Own), where I also shared a recipe for salmon hamantaschen, using a very Soviet-era canned salmon.

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Plate of mushroom hamantaschen topped with sour cream and pickled onion

Savoury mushroom hamantaschen

  • Author: Lea Zeltserman
  • Yield: 45 hamantaschen


Serve up some savoury mushroom hamantaschen for a Russian twist to your Purim baking rotation.

Note – I use a food processor for the dough, but you can also do it by hand, ideally with a pastry cutter to blend in your butter, or in a stand mixer. The key is to avoid over-mixing, so turn off your mixer as soon as the dough starts to come together.


• 3 cups all-purpose flour
• ¼ tsp baking powder
• ¾ tsp salt
• 1-½ sticks unsalted butter – chilled and cut into pieces
• 1 cup full-fat sour cream (avoid low- or no-fat options)
• 1 large egg

• 1 lb mushrooms, chopped
• 1 cup sour cream
• 1 small onion, chopped
• 2-3 garlic cloves
• 2 tbsp flour
• 1 tsp salt
• ¼ tsp pepper (or more, to taste)
• 1-2 tbsp dill (to taste)
• Olive oil and/or butter for frying

Egg wash
• 1 egg, beaten


Make the dough

  1. Place flour, baking powder and salt into a food processor. Pulse for a couple seconds to distribute the baking powder and salt.
  2. Add the butter. Pulse for 1-2 minutes until the mixture resembles dry crumbs.
  3. Mix the egg and sour cream together in a separate bowl. Pour the mixture into the food processor and pulse again until a dough forms, approximately 1 minute. It’s very important not to overmix at this step, so your dough doesn’t become too dense.
  4. Take the dough out, gently squeeze together if needed, and separate into two balls. Flatten into discs with your hand, wrap each individually, and place in fridge for one hour.

Make the filling

  1. Melt oil or butter (or combination) in a frying pan on medium-high. Fry the onions for up to 10 minutes on med-high, until browned. Add the garlic and fry for another minute or so.
  2. Add mushrooms and fry for up to 10 minutes until browned and giving off juices.
  3. Add flour and sauté for a minute. If your mushrooms are particularly wet, add a bit more flour; or a bit less if they’re really dry. You don’t want the mushrooms leaking during baking, but you also don’t want an overly dry filling.
  4. Add sour cream and leave to sauté for another 5 minutes or so. You want a thicker sauce, so the mixture doesn’t run in the oven, but not completely dried out.
  5. Mix in dill.
  6. Remove from heat and set aside to cool. The mixture needs to cool completely before
    filling your hamantaschen.

Make the hamantaschen

  1. Turn the oven on to 350F.
  2. Remove one of the dough discs from the fridge and roll out onto a lightly floured work surface. Roll to about 1/16.” It’s important that the dough is thin, or it will puff too much in the oven.
  3. Cut out circles using a 3” cutter. You’ll want to work quickly, as the dough starts rising the longer it sits out.
  4. Place 1 teaspoon of filling into the centre of each circle. Try not to over-fill, or your hamantaschen will burst open in the oven.
  5. Fold into triangles – fold over the left side, then the right side, then the bottom. Close the triangle as much as possible, without completely covering it. Pinch the corners closed with slightly wet fingers.
  6. Place onto a parchment-covered baking sheet, brush with the egg wash, and freeze for 10-15 minutes.
  7. Bake for about 20 minutes, until the corners are a light golden-brown. Repeat with the second disc.

Allow to cool before serving. Top with sour cream and dill. Pickled onion, though not traditionally Russian, makes for a surprisingly tasty crunchy contrast.


  • Mushrooms – I like to use a mix of basic cremini and shitake mushrooms, for a stronger mushroom flavour. You can also use oyster or portobello mushrooms, or other similar combinations.
  • Sour cream – Use a high-fat sour cream for best flavour and consistency. You can probably substitute Greek yoghurt, but I haven’t tried it myself. The key is to use one that has that slightly sour tang, which is more akin to Russian style sour creams. And definitely nothing that’s been sweetened.
  • Dough and humidity – When I used to make these in Toronto, which is far more humid, I had to work fast or the dough would continue rising while I filled the hamantaschen. This has been less of an issue since we moved to a drier climate. (My mushrooms also sweat a little less, though that may be that I used a frying pan with edges that tilt out, which also retains less moisture.)
  • Make ahead  – The dough can sit in the fridge overnight. If it’s too hard to roll, let it come down in temp for 30 minutes or so (depending how warm your kitchen is). You don’t want it back to room temperature. You can also make the mushroom filling the night before, and assemble the next day.
  • Pickle variation – I also tried these with some chopped pickles (which I’d made with a Polish friend last summer, using her mother’s recipe) that I threw into the chilled mushrooms, just before filling the circles. I liked the addition, but some of my testers (aka, the fam) preferred the smoothness of the mushroom-only filling. But if you feel like experimenting, throw them into half a batch and see how you like it. Important pickle caveat — sours or half-sours or traditional dill pickles are the way to go here, not sweetened gherkins.
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