Homemade Pierogi

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This Homemade Pierogi recipe comes from my Grandmother. A tender dough filled with a cheesy potato filling. 

These crescent shaped-dumplings are just like Babcia used to make using ingredients that are probably already in the pantry.

Serve them hot with a dollop of sour cream for a savory side or main dish!

close up of cooked Homemade Pierogi in a pan

Perfect Homemade Pierogi

  • This recipe comes from my Polish grandma and is one I made next to her many times.
  • The ingredients are pantry ingredients you likely have on hand.
  • These can be served as a side dish or main dish.
  • Comfort food from the Old World, perogies come out perfectly every time.
  • They freeze beautifully and cook right from frozen.

Ingredients for Pierogi

What are Pierogi

Pronounced ‘puh-row-gee’ this dish has multiple spellings including pierogie, perogie, or perogy.  Any way you spell it, pierogi (which is actually plural but we do still call them pierogies) are one of Poland’s greatest dishes, and an eastern European favorite.

Simply made by filling a flour-based dough with a variety of sweet or savory fillings like blueberries, cottage cheese or even sauerkraut. They are boiled in water until they float and then pan-fried until golden brown.

This recipe is for basic potato and cheese perogies (pierogi ruskie) are often served with sour cream, caramelized onions, and butter.

Ingredients

DOUGH: Pierogie dough is different from pasta because it’s softer and less dense, and will remain soft even after cooking.

In order to get the right consistency, I do not recommend substitutions in the dough. While some recipes contain sour cream, this recipe is made without.

FILLING: These traditional pierogi are filled with a very smooth mixture of potatoes and cheddar cheese with a little bit of finely diced sautéed onions.

    • Potatoes – The filling is mashed so choose a starchy potato such as russet or baking potatoes for this recipe, just as we use for mashed potatoes.
    • Cheese – Finely shredded cheddar is added to the potatoes, it’s best to shred the cheese yourself from a block.
    • Seasonings – White onion is very finely diced and cooked in butter (be sure not to brown). My grandma always used white pepper to maintain the creamy color but you can use black pepper if it’s all you have.

How to Make Pierogies

Making this recipe takes time so we set aside a day to make many batches. It’s fun to do as a family and one of the memories I grew up with.

  1. Make the Dough: Prepare the dough (per the recipe below) and gently knead a little bit. Do not overwork the dough and be sure to allow it to rest.

adding ingredients together to make Homemade Pierogi dough

  1. Make the Filling: Cook the potatoes and cook onions in butter.
  2. Mash and combine with shredded cheddar cheese. Allow to cool.

process of adding ingredients to potatoes to make Homemade Pierogi filling

  1. Roll the dough into circles 1/8″ thick and 3″ in diameter.
  2. Fill each circle with the mashed potato filling and press the edges to seal.

adding filling to Homemade Pierogi

  1. Cook or Freeze: Cook the pierogies according to the instructions below.

top view of Homemade Pierogi before cooking

Tips for Great Pierogi

Filling

  • Ensure the filling is mashed well so it is very smooth.
  • Be sure to shred your own cheese, a sharper cheese will have more flavor.
  • Do not brown the onions, just cook gently.
  • Mix the filling and taste it, adjust seasonings as needed.

Dough

  • Don’t overwork the dough, you want to knead it gently until it’s smooth and pliable. If you overwork the dough it will become tough and too elastic, this will cause it to spring back when rolled out.
  • The dough should be rolled 1/8″ thick and cut into 3″ circles. If you do not have a 3″ circle cutter, try a jar lid about 3″ wide.
  • A second option for the dough is to pinch off a piece and roll it into a circle about 3″ in diameter and 1/8″ thick (I weigh all of my dough and divide it into 65 pieces). This is how my grandma always made them and how I usually make them too.
  • Ensure the part that is pinched together is pinched quite thin so the dough isn’t too thick.

Homemade Pierogi in the pan before cooking

How to Cook Pierogi

Before cooking the pierogi, cook some finely diced or sliced onion in butter over medium-low heat. You want the onion to soften but not to brown.

Boil: While onions are cooking, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pierogi and cook until they float. Once they float, they are done.

Panfry: Pierogi can be boiled and eaten but we love to panfry them in butter to golden brown after boiling.

close up of plated Homemade Pierogi

How to Freeze

Once assembled, pierogies are easy to freeze and they will last up to 3 months in the freezer! Place pierogi on a parchment-covered baking sheet in a single layer and freeze. Once frozen, place them into a zippered bag with the date written on the outside. No need to thaw before boiling!

Pair With…

Did you make these Pierogies? Leave us a comment and a rating below! 

 

close up of plated Homemade Pierogies
4.98 from 49 votes
Review Recipe

Homemade Pierogi

Prep Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings 65 pierogies
Try these tasty pockets of dough filled with smooth and creamy mashed potatoes!

Ingredients

Dough

  • 6 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 cups cold water divided
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 6 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt

Filling

  • 3 ¾ pounds baking potatoes
  • 1 white onion finely diced
  • cup butter divided
  • 4 ½ cups cheddar cheese finely shredded
  • salt to taste
  • white pepper to taste, or very fine black pepper

For Serving

  • 1 onion thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons butter or as needed for frying
  • 1 tablespoon sour cream optional, for serving

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Instructions

Dough

  • Place flour in a large bowl. Add eggs, oil, salt, and 1 ½ cups of the water. Mix well to form a dough, adding more water if needed.
  • Knead the dough on a flat surface until smooth and pliable, about 3-4 minutes.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rest for at least 30 minutes or up to 1 hour.

Filling

  • Peel potatoes and cut into 2" cubes. Place in a large pot of salted water and bring to a boil. Cook potatoes 15 minutes or until tender.
  • While potatoes are cooking, heat 2 tablespoons butter over medium-low heat. Add onions and cook until tender without browning.
  • Once potatoes are cooked, place in a large bowl and mash. Add onions, cheese, and remaining butter. Continue mashing by hand until potatoes are very smooth.

Assembly *see note

  • Using half of the dough, roll it out ⅛" thick. Cut out circles of dough using a 3" cookie cutter.
  • Place about 1 to 1 ½ tablespoons filling in each pierogi. Fold the dough over to form a semi-circle and pinch the edges closed. Place on a baking sheet.
  • Pierogies can either be cooked or frozen at this point.

To Cook

  • Heat 3 tablespoons butter in a large skillet. Add sliced onions and cook on medium-low heat until tender. Remove onions from the pan and set aside for serving.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Gently add pierogies and cook until they float. Remove with a slotted spoon.
  • Transfer pierogies to a hot skillet (adding more butter if needed) and cook until browned on each side, about 5 minutes.
  • Serve warm with onions and sour cream.

Recipe Notes

Dough
In order to get the right consistency, I do not recommend substitutions in the dough. While some recipes contain sour cream, this recipe is made without.
Don't overwork the dough, you want to knead it gently until it's smooth and pliable. If you overwork the dough it will become tough and too elastic, this will cause it to spring back when rolled out.
Ensure the part that is pinched together is pinched quite thin so the dough isn't too thick.
Filling
Choose a starchy potato such as russet or baking potatoes for the filling. Be sure to shred the cheese yourself from a block.
Do not brown the onions, cook gently until tender.
Once mixed, taste the filling and adjust seasonings as needed.
Rolling the Dough
A second option for the dough is to pinch off a piece and roll it into a circle about 3" in diameter and 1/8" thick (I weigh all of my dough and divide it into 65 equal pieces). This is how my grandma always made them and how I usually make them too.
Storing and Freezing
Once assembled, pierogi can be frozen up to 3 months.
  • Place pierogies on a parchment-covered baking sheet in a single layer and freeze.
  • Once frozen, place them into a zippered bag with the date written on the outside.
  • No need to thaw before boiling, cook right from frozen.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 109, Carbohydrates: 14g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 4g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 17mg, Sodium: 136mg, Potassium: 137mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 127IU, Vitamin C: 2mg, Calcium: 64mg, Iron: 1mg

(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

Course Dinner, Entree, Lunch, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Polish
close up of Homemade Pierogies with sour cream and a title
plated Homemade Pierogies with writing
process of filling Homemade Pierogies with plated dish and a title
Homemade Pierogies with a bite taken out of one with a title

 

About the author

Holly

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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!

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Comments

  1. Great recipe and taste amazing!

    Only thing is that when i tried to both save and print the recipe it did not save or print properly… Still highly recommend this, it’s very good!!!5 stars

    1. Sorry to hear that Andrew, I tried saving and printing without issue so I am not sure what happened. But I am so glad you enjoyed this recipe!!

  2. Lots of great things here! I was looking for a pierogi recipe and found this one. Oddly enough, when I was in Poland, none of the pierogis I encountered contained cheddar, which is an English cheese. Here, all of the recipes, even family recipes, have cheddar, and often a lot of it. I found one frozen brand who used strictly potatoes for the filling, and now they discontinued that in favor of potato and cheddar, and frankly they taste terrible. So I am making my own and did a recipe search. This cheddar addition seems to be an American thing, so maybe a different kind of cheese was used, native to Poland, or they stuck with vegetables (potatoes, sauerkraut, mushrooms)? Any recommendations for a substitute cheese? Ricotta, perhaps?5 stars

    1. I always make them with the cheddar as my Polish grandmother taught me. You could try another cheese if you prefer, perhaps cottage cheese. Enjoy Mary!

    2. I think my Polish grandmother used farmers cheese which she made herself. I remember seeing it hanging in cheesecloth over a bowl when I was younger. Also my mother didn’t want to do that so she used cream cheese.

    3. Let me help on the question about the cheddar. This is kind of my thing. Half of my family hailed from Northern Poland, the other half from the mountains near the Slovak/Ukrainian border. I grew up in the Midwest.

      Pierogi are well-known comfort food throughout Eastern Europe. Slovaks, Poland’s neighbors to the south, commonly use a sharp-tasting goat cheese called Bryndza as a filling for their version. Hungarian born chef Andrew Marton of Cleveland in the 1920s would have grown up eating the Slovak version of pierogis. Classic cheddar cheese, imported to the U.S. from its birthplace in Somerset, England, has a flavor that is sharp, pungent and earthy, much like bryndza. Although Marton certainly wasn’t the first of the many Central European immigrants in the U.S. to make the substitution for easily-available cheddar, he was the first restauranteur to sell pierogi with a cheddar filling, around the late 1920s at the onset of the Great Depression. The inexpensive combination was so successful in the New World that it was even reportedly incorporated by the famous Polish chef Franciszek Trześniewski in his restaurant in Vienna.

      The most common traditional filling is a farmers’ cheese, usually homemade with fresh raw milk, mixed with sautéed onion and butter (potatoes, another New World innovation, are also commonly added now to give body). Other traditional fillings are kapusta (sauerkraut with bacon and onions), various other meat fillings or also seasonal herbs with mushroom (more typical in the late summer and fall), but as far as fillings go, there’re really no rules other than those of your traditions and your creativity and palate. I’ve made the original farmers cheese version myself although raw milk is hard to come by in America so that I usually just use a high quality grass-fed organic milk instead. Having grown up with pierogi, made expertly and often by both grandmothers, and having traveled far and wide through Central/Eastern Europe and sampled many varieties of it there in both restaurants and home kitchens, I do love the cheddar cheese-flavored filling of the New World and that’s the version I plan to make in a few days for our Polish Easter Sunday meal. I’ll be using a beautifully aged white Wisconsin cheddar, maybe one that incorporates horseradish or maybe one that is smoked (I haven’t been to the grocery store for it yet). Here in Wisconsin we’re spoiled when it comes to varieties of cheddar. ;)5 stars

  3. Oh wow!!! The taste brought me back 40 years ago & the Lenten Fridays at my Slovenian & Polish grandparent’s home.
    The recipe was perfect from the dough portions perfectly matching up with the filling portions, the delicious taste of the filling & the dreaminess of the dough to work with.
    My tip: Do Not use a silpat liner to freeze the perogi on, the bottom dough stuck & layer peeled off. Use parchment paper, if you plan to freeze before bagging them.
    Can’t wait to make more…as long as I have an extra person or two to help. It is a time consuming recipe. So we’ll worth it!!5 stars

  4. The dough was a bit doughy even after cooking—it was hard to get the dough thin enough! And be prepared—I had LOTS of leftover filling! Going to save it and make more dough sometime. Thanks :)4 stars

  5. I make a combination of both grandmothers recipes . Theirs calls for sour cream instead of water. If not overworked the dough is soft. I’m going to try your version tomorrow to see how it differs.

  6. I made your recipe for pierogie today. The dough was wonderful to work with. I am so happy I found this recipe. My mother used to make the potato and cheese and they were wonderful. I cut the recipe in half and got 24 dumplings and froze them. Thank you so much.

    1. It can vary slightly. Weigh your entire ball of dough (I use grams on my scale to make it easier) and then divide it by 65 since you should have 65 pierogi.

    1. That’s your personal preference, not a law. My husband grew up with a mom who’s made them an equal number of years. She sometimes uses cheddar and sometimes Farmer’s or even dry cottage cheese, they’re all good. Every family has their way. Besides I’ll never understand why someone who claims to have been making something for so many years is even looking for recipes online. And then, claiming to be an expert.

      This recipe sounds great to me Spend with Pennies. I’ll give it a try since I’m no pierogi expert. I’m German/Irish so Pierogi are not something I personally grew up eating. I’m still on the hunt for my personal favorite. Thanks for sharing your family’s recipe.

      1. You’re welcome. I sure hope you enjoy it! It’s such a pleasure to share my grandma’s recipe!

  7. Holly, I have a good friend whose husbands family is Ukrainian by descent. My friends mother in law taught her to make these almost exactly like your grandmother but without the yellow cheese. My friend made it a Christmas Eve tradition to make these with the help of her children, then with the help of the wives of couples invited to Christmas Eve dinner.

  8. Love this recipe, my Mom made blueberry pierogi in the summer.
    My babcia made paczki for dessert but I don’t have the recipe, do you have a good one?