Making your own Homemade Pierogi – Polish dumplings filled with potato and cheese – is easier than you might think and so worth it. Once you try them, you may never want to buy pierogies again!
Polish pierogi are the ultimate simple and delicious comfort food. And you know what? They’re not hard to make!
It just takes a few basic ingredients and a little bit of time. Plus, they’re freezable, so you can stock up and enjoy them whenever you want!
I’ve eaten a lot of pierogi in my life. Growing up, I only knew the ones you get from the store freezer section.
My mom made them often – boiled and tossed with melted butter and sauteed onions (my favorite part!). It was a quick and easy meal that everyone loved.
I had no idea what I was missing!
When I met David, he introduced me to his grandmother’s homemade pierogi. At first, I was skeptical. They were rectangles. They were fried. And they were not coated in butter and onions.
He insisted that I just try them because they were the best pierogi I would ever eat.
HE WAS RIGHT! They are the best pierogi I’ve ever eaten…so much more flavor, and the slight crispiness from frying them is amazing. Absolute perfection (I still want my butter and onions, though!).
After trying them, there was no going back. I am not kidding when I say that I have not bought one single pierogi since!
Now here’s the best part: Homemade pierogi are not hard to make. You just need to devote a little bit of time to it.
You should be able to make 3 dozen in less than 2 hours, especially once you get the hang of it (closer to 90 minutes if you aren’t going to fry them). Not so bad, right?
While you’re at it, it doesn’t take that much more to do a second batch (or even more!), and you can stock up your freezer with several dozen pierogi for future meals – or you could share them with family and friends who would enjoy them!
Once or twice a year, usually around the holidays, we have a pierogi-making “party” with David’s brother and his family where we eat, drink, and make several batches of grandma’s pierogi. It’s a fun way to spend time together, and we all end up with a few dozen to stock our freezers with! Win-win!
INGREDIENTS YOU NEED:
- Russet potatoes
- Extra sharp cheddar cheese
- All-purpose flour
HERE’S A QUICK LOOK AT HOW TO MAKE HOMEMADE PIEROGI:
TIPS & TIDBITS:
- I use extra sharp cheddar cheese because I think it adds the best flavor, but you can use any type of cheese that you like.
- Be sure to season the potato/cheese mixture well and salt the cooking water. A bland pierogi is not a delicious pierogi.
- We used to use an electric mixer for the dough, but it comes together so quickly and easily that you really don’t need one, so we just make it by hand now (just like grandma did!).
- If you’d like to use a mixer instead, put the dough ingredients in the mixer bowl and mix with the dough hook until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl and forms a ball that is not very sticky. If needed, add more water or flour a little at a time to get the dough to the right consistency.
- This is not a yeast dough and does not need to be kneaded. In fact, the dough will come together very quickly. Don’t over work it or it will become tough.
- Don’t overfill your pierogi, and make sure you tightly pinch that dough together and seal them well. The last thing you want is for them to open up when you boil them.
TIPS & TIDBITS (CONTINUED):
- David’s grandma made rectangular/square pierogi because there are no scraps to re-roll (the dough gets harder to work with the more it is rolled and re-rolled). I like the look of round pierogi, so that’s how I usually make them. You choose!
- Frying the pierogi is totally optional (but highly recommended!). If you like them just boiled, then enjoy them just boiled.
- Freeze any pierogi you don’t plan to use immediately.
- Once they’ve cooled and dried, place a dozen pierogi (or less – whatever will fit) in a single layer in a gallon-sized freezer bag, remove as much air as possible and freeze. They should last for several months.
- Cook frozen pierogi in boiling water until they float and then fry, if desired.
- Or you can put them right in the frying pan frozen (as long as you boiled them before freezing). Just make sure to use low heat and cover the pan during the first few minutes of cooking so they don’t get too brown before they are thawed and heated through.
My favorite way to enjoy these pierogi is still with lots of onions sauteed in butter. For me, there is nothing better!
Once you get the hang of it, you can try different fillings. Sometimes we add sauteed onions to the potato mixture. We’ve also added kielbasa. I’ve seen versions with sauerkraut and mushrooms and even some with sweet fillings like blueberries.
We once made pierogi with our Thanksgiving leftovers, filling them with mashed potatoes, turkey, and stuffing, and we ate them with gravy. So good!
I hope you try this recipe for Homemade Pierogi and love it as much as I do. Thanks for visiting today!
- 1½ pounds peeled russet potatoes (about 1¾ to 2 pounds unpeeled), cut into 2-inch pieces
- 4 ounces shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup lukewarm water
To Fry One Dozen Finished Pierogi:
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
Make the Filling:
- Cook the potatoes in boiling salted water until fork-tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Drain and return to the hot pot and allow them to dry for a few minutes (you don't want the potatoes to be wet or you will end up with loose filling). Note: While the potatoes are cooking, prepare the dough and start it resting to save some time.
- Add the cheese to the potatoes and mash until the cheese is incorporated and the potatoes are smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside to cool while you prepare the dough.
Make the Dough:
- Before you make the dough, put a large pot of salted water on to boil for cooking the pierogi, so it is ready when you are. I use an 8-quart pot filled about halfway.
- In a large bowl, combine the flour and salt.
- In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the egg and water.
- Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture. Stir until the dough comes together in a smooth, not-very-sticky ball (you can use your hands if you'd like or find it easier). Be careful not to over-work the dough, as that can make it tough. Note: If it is too dry and is not coming together, add water, a little bit at a time, until it does. If it is too wet and sticky, add flour, a little bit at a time.
- Cover the bowl with a damp clean towel and let the dough rest for 30 minutes (or you can wrap the dough in plastic wrap).
- Divide the dough in half. Place one half of the dough on a lightly floured surface. Lightly sprinkle the top of the dough with flour so the rolling pin doesn't stick. Keep the other half of the dough in the bowl covered with the damp towel (or wrapped in plastic wrap) so it doesn't dry out.
- Roll the dough out to ⅛-inch thickness. Tip: You may find this easier if you roll it out about halfway, lightly flour it, flip it over, and then roll it out the rest of the way.
- Using a 3½-inch round cutter, cut the dough into as many circles as possible. Gather the scraps into a ball and put them in the covered bowl (or wrap with plastic wrap) so they don't dry out in case you need to use them.
- Place about 1 tablespoon of the cooled potato and cheese filling on one half of each dough circle. Tip: put it on the side of the dough that has the least amount of flour – this will make the pierogi easier to seal.
- Fold the dough over the filling, stretching it a little if needed, and pinch the edges to seal. Pinch tightly and make sure they are sealed very well so they don't open up when boiling. Place the pierogi on a lightly floured surface so they don't stick until ready to boil.
- Repeat with the remaining dough and filling, rolling out the dough scraps if you need to. Note: the scraps might be a little harder to roll since the dough was already rolled once.
- About a dozen at a time, place the pierogi in the boiling water. Give them a gentle, quick stir so they don't stick to each other or the bottom of the pot, and then cook until they float to the top. Once they float to the top, let them cook for another minute.
- Using a slotted spoon, remove the pierogi from the water and place them on a wire rack to cool and dry (or you can eat them immediately if you aren't going to fry them). Once cooled, freeze any pierogi you don't plan to eat immediately/today (see notes below).
- To fry a dozen pierogi, melt 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium or medium-low heat (I use an 11 to 12-inch skillet). Add the pierogi in a single layer and cook until lightly golden on both sides. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- If desired, serve with sauteed onions.
- Be sure you have 1½ pounds of potatoes after they are peeled. Otherwise, you may not have enough filling.
- I use extra sharp cheddar cheese because I think it adds the best flavor, but you can use any type of cheese that you like.
- If you’d like to use an electric mixer to make the dough, place the flour, salt, egg, and water in the mixer bowl. Using the dough hook, mix until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl and comes together into a smooth, not-very sticky ball, adding water or flour, if needed, a little at a time to get to the right consistency.
- To freeze: Once cooled and dried, place a dozen (or less – whatever will fit) in a single layer in a gallon-sized freezer bag, remove as much air as possible, and freeze. They should last for several months. Cook frozen pierogi in boiling water until they float, and then fry, if desired (or, as long as you boiled them before freezing, you can fry them directly from frozen; just start over a lower heat and cover the pan for the first few minutes so they don’t get too brown before they are thawed and heated through).
- Estimated calories shown are for 1 pierogi fried in oil and butter. Estimated calories per pierogi before frying is 73.
Thanks for the recipe. You are correct you must eat them in butter and onion. I always make the meat pierogi so I’ll have to try potato and cheese.
For meat I make the Polish method and it contains 50 percent beef (hamburger) and 50 percent pork (I usually grind up leftover pork chops) and add in an onion when you are precooking the meat. Thanks Again!
Hey, Sherrie! I’ve never had meat pierogi. Sounds yummy, and I definitely want to give it a try. Thanks for sharing!
Made these yesterday. Such a fun and rewarding family project. My girls loved making these. You’re right….so easy and so delicious!!! We made two batches and end up with 6 dozen. We were thrilled. We have so many to freeze. We had some last night fried up with butter and onions for dinner. Absolutely amazing. My family loved them. Never going back to the box. Thanks for sharing!!
Hey, Kristyn! How awesome that you made making pierogi a family project…I love that so much! I’m so happy you all loved them and that you stocked up your freezer too. Thanks for taking the time to comment and rate the recipe!
Just wanting to make sure I’ve read correctly. I don’t want to mess them up. Boil and than freeze (for what won’t be eaten right away)? Thank you
Hi, Julie! Yes, you are correct. For the ones you won’t be eating right away, boil them, let them cool completely, and then freeze. Hope you enjoy them! Please come back and let me know!
I was wondering, do I have to boil them before I freeze or can I freeze them and boil as I need them?
Hi, Tammie! Great question! I don’t recommend freezing them without boiling first because the raw dough is more delicate and can crack or split in the freezer, which would then cause the filling to leak out when you do boil them.
Not sure what I did wrong. Followed the recipe, the dough was easy to work with, rolled them at 1/8″, boiled them and froze. When I was preparing them a couple of days later, I boiled them until they floated and then fried them in onions and butter w/a little oil. The dough was so tough, I can barely cut them.
Thanks for trying my pierogi recipe, Linda! I appreciate all feedback and am sorry to hear that it wasn’t a complete success for you. Here are a few suggestions as to what may have gone wrong. One, you might have overworked the dough or added too much flour (this can definitely make them tough; in fact, if I re-work the scraps to make additional pierogi, I do find that those pieces of dough become harder to work with and those pierogi can be slightly more chewy after cooking). Two, you might have overcooked them when frying. You just want a quick sauté to get a little color on them (I always cook my onions separate because, by the time they are cooked to my liking, the peirogi would be overcooked). I hope you will give them another try; sometimes, especially with dough recipes, it can take a little practice to get them just right!
Made these for the holidays, and they were so much easier than I would have thought! Everyone loved them. Thanks for the recipe!
Thank you, Sandy! I’m so happy everyone enjoyed the pierogi and that you found them easy to make. I appreciate you taking the time to comment and rate the recipe!