Crepes With Cheese (nalisniki)
Crepes with Cheese (nalisniki): thin and delicate filled with farmer’s cheese filling that melts when you cook in butter or oil. This dish can be made ahead of time, either in full or in part. It’s one of the major dishes at weddings, holidays and major events. You can also enjoy them for breakfast, lunch or during snack time!
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Cheese crepes, nalisniki, cheese blintzes – this dish has many names. It’s very popular among Slavic families, not just at weddings and different events, but also for breakfast, lunch or as a snack. There are many ways to make crepes and many varieties of fillings to fill these. They seem complicated to make, but once you make them once, you will always make them. They are so easy, slightly time consuming, but always turn out amazing and you can never go wrong with them!
This crepes recipe was shared with me by my sister Alla. They are sweet, creamy, cheesy and always in demand. She likes to fill them with a cream cheese filling, but I’m more on the farmer’s cheese side so I always fill them with homemade farmer’s cheese. This recipe is always a crowd-pleaser and always gets so many compliments. The results are always beautiful!
Can Crepes be Made Ahead of Time?
Yes! This dish can be made ahead of time, either in full or in part. The crepes may be cooked, cooled completely, stacked and wrapped well one day and filled the next day. They can also be filled and frozen for up to 2 months and heated when ready to serve.
Can Crepes be Reheated?
Yes! We do it all the time, especially when we are making crepes for the crowd – there are always leftovers. Refrigerate cooled leftover crepes until are ready to use. To reheat, add 1-2 tablespoons unsalted butter or oil to a skillet over medium-low heat and heat crepes until heated through and golden brown (if desired).
Secrets to Perfect Crepes:
- Use a non-stick skillet. I always use small skillets so these turn out smaller in size and you don’t have to cut them in half once filled.
- Use a thin-edged spatula to flip over the crepes.
- Use eggs with really yellow egg yolks. Egg-Land’s Best or Happy Egg are my favorite.
- Use whole milk for truly creamy results.
- Cook crepes at lower temperature to prevent from burning and having hundreds of darker spots.
Can Crepes be Frozen?
Absolutely yes! I do it often myself. Layer filled crepes in a plastic container with parchment paper or plastic food wrap in between the layers. You can also wrap each crepe in plastic food wrap and place into freezer bag. Preheat a skillet over medium heat, add some oil and heat until golden brown. These crepes freeze very well and good up to 2 months.
Crepes Batter Ingredients:
Crepes Cheese Filling Ingredients:
Quick Tips for Crepe Recipe
- Use blender for easiest and quickest way to make the batter
- If batter turns out too runny, add couple tablespoons of flour
- Use a cookie scoop to ensure all crepes are equal in size and thickness
- Use a thin-edged spatula to flip the crepes and prevent from tearing
- Cool crepes completely before stacking and wrapping with food wrap
How to Make Crepes with Cheese:
Scroll down for the printable Crepes with Cheese recipe.
- Combine all ingredients in a blender until smooth and well combined.
- Pour crepes batter into pre-heated skillets and cook until golden on both sides.
- Combine and cream together: farmer’s cheese, cream cheese, cool whip, granulated sugar and vanilla extract to make cheese filling.
- Fill crepes generously with cheese filling, fold and roll in.
- Refrigerate and enjoy throughout the week.
Crepes for Weddings, Events and Large Parties:
When I make crepes for a big gathering, I always increase the serving amount. I would double the ingredients for blender and then do another double, making 4 servings or so. The easiest way to serve these for the crowd is to stack them in a baking dish and heat in the oven. I don’t think anyone would want to stand or even have time to heat these on the stove, especially if there are hundred crepes to be heated.
When I roll the crepes, I single layer in a glass baking dish, brush the first layer with melted butter and do another layer. I do maximum 3 layers in a 5-quart baking dish, brushing with unsalted melted butter between the layers. Adding more than 3 layers will take longer time to heat crepes thoroughly and will take forever. The butter between the layers prevents the crepes from sticking to each other once heated.
While my guests are enjoying the main course, I preheat the oven to a 300°F. Cover the crepes with foil and heat for 50 minutes. Remove the foil at 35-minute mark to get a bit of golden finish to the crepes. Crepes are heated through if all butter is completely melted and the baking dish is really hot on the bottom. Make sure not to keep them in the oven for prolonged time or the crepes will start cracking. High oven temperature will also lead to crepes cracking before they are even heated through.
More All-time Family Favorites to Try:
- Mimosa Salad – layered egg and cheese salad
- Olivye Salad – Ukrainian potato salad, every family’s staple
- Shuba Salad – layered beet salad with herring
- Ukrainian Pork Meatballs (kotlety) – baked in oven, freezer-friendly
Crepes with Cheese (nalisniki)
To Make Crepes:
- Place ingredients for crepes batter into blender in order they are listed: 4 large eggs, 2 tbsp granulated sugar, 1/8 tsp fine salt and 1 cup all-purpose flour.
- In a glass measuring cup, microwave 1 1/2 cups whole milk for about 40 seconds. In a separate bowl, melt 4 tbsp unsalted butter and then combine with milk. Pour the liquid over flour in the blender. Blend together for 1 minute or until smooth and well combined. (If batter seems too watery, add 1-2 tbsp flour).
- Preheat 2 non-stick small skillets over medium heat. (2 skillets will make the process go faster). Wipe the skillets with oiled paper towel.
- Pour about 2-3 tbsp of crepes batter into the skillet. (I use a 2-tbsp cookie scoop). As you are pouring into the skillet, swirl the crepes batter to evenly coat the bottom. If you get small gaps, you can fill them with more batter. Cook until the bottom is lightly golden (about 1 minute), then flip the crepe using a thin-edged spatula to easily get under the crepe. Let the other side get golden and transfer the crepe onto a cutting board. Don’t worry about first crepe not turning out all nice; happens most of the time to all of us!
- Repeat with the remaining batter, wiping skillets with oiled paper towel every 4-5 crepes. Don’t stack hot crepes on top of each other. Layer crepes in a single layer on a large cutting board to cool. Then stack crepes on a dinner plate and wrap with plastic food wrap, leaving tiny hole for air, but covering the crispy edges. The edges will soften and will not break when filling with cheese.
To Make Cheese Filling and Complete Crepes:
- In a large bowl, cream together 1 1/2 cups farmer’s cheese, 4 oz cream cheese, 2 tbsp cool whip, 1/2 cup granulated sugar and 1/4 tsp vanilla extract until smooth and creamy. (Set aside until ready to use or refrigerate if not using right away).
- Using a small spatula or dull knife, spread 1 generous teaspoon of cheese filling on each crepe, in a thin layer. Fold 2 opposite sides of crepe and roll the crepe into a log with the cheese filling on the inside. Refrigerate crepes that aren’t being served. These will stay fresh and delicious in fridge for up to a week.
To Serve Crepes:
- Melt about 1 tbsp of unsalted butter in a skillet over medium heat and saute the rolled cheese crepes until golden brown on both sides. Be careful not to burn them. Serve with dollops of sour cream, jam or fresh berries on a side.
- To heat crepes for the crowd: Preheat the oven to a 300°F. Cover crepes in baking dish with foil. Heat for 50 minutes. Remove foil at 35 minute mark. Crepes are heated when butter is melted and the bottom of the dish is really hot.
- To freeze crepes: layer filled crepes in a plastic container with parchment paper or plastic food wrap in between the layers. You can also wrap each crepe in plastic food wrap and place into freezer bag. These crepes freeze well up to 2 months.
*This crepe recipe was first published in June 2019.