Homemade Pierogi

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Recipe photo
Hands-on time:
Total time:
Yield: 1 to 2 dozen pierogi, depending on size

Recipe photo

Pierogi, or boiled filled dumplings, were originally Polish peasant food. But these savory dumplings eventually overcame class boundaries and became popular among those in all walks of life. They're served at many festivals; and family gatherings just have to have pierogi to be complete. At the 2007 Pierogi Festival in Kraków, 30,000 pierogi were consumed daily.

Homemade pierogi are also an important part of Christmas Eve celebrations in many homes. Pierogi are very flexible and can be stuffed with a number of savory or sweet fillings, including potato and cheese (below); sauerkraut, cabbage, spiced meats, and even fruits. Because pierogi freeze well, they make quick, satisfying last-minute meals.

Homemade Pierogi

star rating (38) rate this recipe »
Hands-on time:
Total time:
Yield: 1 to 2 dozen pierogi, depending on size
Published: 11/15/2010

Ingredients

Dough

Filling

  • 1 cup warm mashed potatoes
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

To finish

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 large shallots, diced; OR one medium onion, thinly sliced

Tips from our bakers

  • If your filling is a bit watery due to the potatoes, add a tablespoon of flour to help thicken it up.

Directions

1) To make the dough: Mix together the flour and salt. Add the egg to the flour and combine. The dough will be quite clumpy at this stage.

2) Work in the sour cream and soft butter until the dough comes together in a slightly rough, slightly sticky ball.

3) Using just your fingertips, knead and fold the dough without adding additional flour until the dough becomes less sticky but still quite moist.

4) Wrap the dough well in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 to 60 minutes, or up to 48 hours.

5) To make the filling: Combine the warm mashed potato and cheese. Stir and mash until the cheese is melted and the filling is cool to the touch. Taste and adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper.

6) To fill the pierogi: Roll half the dough 1/8" thick. Use a 2" round cutter to cut circles of dough. Repeat with the other half of the dough. Save the scraps; these can be snipped into small pieces and added to simmering soups.

7) Place 2 teaspoons of filling on each round of dough. Gently fold the dough over, forming a pocket around the filling. Pinch the edges of the pierogi to seal, then seal again with the tines of a fork.

8) At this point the pierogi can be frozen for up to 4 weeks, or refrigerated overnight, or cooked in a large stockpot of boiling salted water. Only cook about 10 pierogi at a time, so that they have room to float without sticking. When the pierogi float after about 10 minutes, they're done.

9) Sauté the shallots or onion in the butter i a large skillet until the onion begins to brown. Add the drained pierogi and cook until browned and crisped. Serve hot with additional sour cream, applesauce, or other condiments.

Yield: 1 to 2 dozen pierogi, depending on size

Reviews

1 234  All  
  • star rating 04/02/2015
  • Walter from Columbia, SC
  • After reading the recipe comments, I realize there are as many "old family recipes" for varenyky as old families. My old family recipe, taught to my Irish mother by my Ukranian grandmother in 1944, is somewhat different from the one you offer. The dough calls for four cups of flour, three large beaten eggs, 1/2 cup of melted butter and one tablespoon of salt. Make a well in the flour and pour the cooled butter/egg/salt mixture into the well. Toss the flour into the well with a fork until a dough begins to form. Add teaspoons of water as necessary. Pat the dough together and roll by hand into long sticks about an inch in diameter. Cut off pieces large enough to roll out dough circles about five inches in diameter, about 1/16 to 1/8 inch thick. Place the cheesy mashed white potatoes by heaping tablespoons in the dough circles. We used three pounds of potatoes and Velveeta and Kraft deli-deluxe cheddar slices primarily because they were cheap - good quality shreaded cheddar would be better - just keep tasting the potatoes until you like the taste and consistency. Fold over, seal and place on kitchen towels to let dry a bit (turn over to dry both sides). Meanwhile, prepare butter and lightly browned fried onions for coating the varenyky. Boil until the varenyky rise and serve as soon as possible. I have difficulty making this rather simple sounding dish because I suppose I have a heavy hand with the dough. Usually rather tough. Your sour cream addition is helpful, I think. By the way, my grandmother's recipe is intended for a large Christmas Eve gathering.
  • star rating 03/14/2015
  • Baker George from salt lake city, utah
  • star rating 02/24/2015
  • Regina from Vermont
  • This dough is frankly much better than my family recipe which contained no fat because of poverty. It is much easier to handle and makes very tender pierogi. I want to suggest that King Arthur consider selling the Ukrainian-style pierogi-pelmeni presses that produce 18 or 24 dumplings at a time. There is a plastic version that is made in Canada as well as many Ukrainian metal versions. I have made literally thousands of pierogi by hand in my 70 years and only recently learned about these presses from my Warsaw step-daughter's Ukrainian nanny.
  • star rating 02/22/2015
  • yircha_374 from KAF Community
  • The dough is usually best if fresh. I have never heard of refrigerating the dough. Over mixing makes bread not pyrohi dough. Frozen dough can turn a dark color if it's not wrapped tightly! Wow what a tremendous amount of cheese. I did not do this. I know my baba did NOT have cheddar cheese! We make fresh dry curd cottage cheese for another filling.. The potato filling had some butter that was fried in some onion for flavor, NO CHEDDAR CHEESE, just some salt and pepper to taste. My mama preferred idaho baking potatoes. These have a drier texture, not watery/ They are peeled, cut and boiled and then mashed with some butter. . I also do not slice the onions to fry, I cut them into medium chunks and fry them. I chose large sweet onions. There are so many fruit filled varieties. Our favorite is bluebetty. In Ukraine they are called " vareneky" which are ones that are " boiled". There are also fried and baked pyrohi. The baked ones my mama made had a yeast dough and fruit filling. We loved a filling with german prune plums. Cut your rounds (platsky) close together. The scraps can be rerolled. I have never had to use a fork to crimp the edges and in fact have never seen that done. Some flours and OVERMIXING can make the dough tough to seal. If necessary use water to seal the edges if your dough becomes too dry. Do NOT let the platsky sit around and get dry while you do something else. One of us will roll dough and other will pinch. Put them on an oiled cookie sheet, etc. until you are ready to cook. . This dough has sour cream and is very tender. Mypersonal favorite sour cream recipe does not have butter in it. Mix and let the dough rest for a bit before using. 10 minutes is entirely too long for cooking time. They will float when they are ready! Drop into full boiling water with some oil in it. Please use a wooden spoon for the first stir to make sure that they are not clinging to the bottom of the pot. I have a slotted plastic coated spoon to remove them. To freeze, par-cook, then drop them into ice water to cool, drain thoroughly and place on slightly oiled cookie sheets to finish cooling. Freeze and then put into bags.
    We are pleased you tried this recipe and our readers will certainly appreciate the tips you provide on authentic variations! Elisabeth@KAF
  • 02/22/2015
  • Barbara from Tehachapi, CA
  • I haven't made them yet, but it sounds like a Polish version of Chinese Pot Stickers! Those I have made, so I might as well work my way around the world with comfort food.
    We hope you come on back to tell us what you think! Elisabeth@KAF
  • star rating 02/22/2015
  • Bill_Lundy from KAF Community
  • Just as good as baba's, although she has never heard of putting fruit in them. Maybe that has something to do with the lack of fruit trees, etc in Saskatchewan!
  • 02/13/2015
  • Kathy from Canandaigua, NY
  • You left out how much mashed potatoes to use in ingredient section so I can't try the recipe.
    Thanks for the catch, Kathy - we've alerted our web team that the mashed potato amount is missing from the filling recipe - thanks to your sharp editing, we'll all see the mashed potato amount soon. Happy Baking - Irene@KAF
  • star rating 12/21/2014
  • mash307 from KAF Community
  • Just like grandma made! Maybe better! This is amazing! Followed almost exactly and they turned out amazing. I did not need to boil as long as it said, maybe because my pot was a huge canner half full of water for lots of good movement! I doubled the recipe without any problems. Only rerolled scraps once then sliced them into pierogi noodles!
  • star rating 09/25/2014
  • 1moreCookie from KAF Community
  • No longer living in an area where excellent, fresh, uncooked pierogi are available at every local store, I set out to find a recipe so I could make my own. After a dozen recipes, I landed on this one, and it is perfection! The dough is a dream to work with, but letting it rest is the key. It fries up great, crispy with brown spots (almost blistered) yet tender. Our favorite filling is mushroom/sauerkraut. Using the tip in this recipe, I added a little flour to the rather wet mushroom/kraut mixture and it tightened it up just right. My pierogi were perfect and nicely looking! This dough works great with all kinds of fillings, even sweet versions.
  • star rating 04/16/2014
  • Marian A. from Cleveland, OH
  • This is a great Pierogi dough recipe which I have used many times with success. In anticipation of making a large Polish Easter dinner this year, I started to make pierogies in advance to freeze. Because I was doubling the batch, I followed other reviewers advice about adding an extra egg to the dough batter. After resting the dough in the refrigerator for an hour and a half, the dough was too moist. Because I have been making pasta dough for years, I was able to make adjustments but, the dough was difficult to work with. The second double recipe I made, I stuck with just the two eggs and the dough came out perfectly. So much easier to work. Rolling out the dough and the assembly took half the time. My advice is to stick with original KAF recipe.
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