I can’t believe that I had never had a pierogi until I met Justin. In fact, I had never even heard of them before we went shopping together for the first time and he wanted to buy some. Later that night he made some for dinner and I realized what I had been missing out on for so many years! Pierogi are small pockets of dough filled with either a sweet or savory filling.
Per Wikipedia: Typical fillings include potato, sauerkraut, ground meat, cheese, and fruits. The dumplings may be served with a topping, such as melted butter, sour cream, or fried onion, or combinations of those ingredients.
I always prefer the ones filled with potato, Justin enjoys the sauerkraut ones but those are hard to find at the store. And we both eat them with some melted butter on top of them. I like to boil mine, Justin prefers to pan-fry his. In other words, there are so many ways you can make and enjoy pierogi.
Justin’s mom talks about how they used to eat them growing up, but her mom would make them herself. So I talked to Grandma Holmes one day and got the recipe from her and made our own pierogi. I can tell you, it was not a quick recipe, but it makes so many that we freeze them and enjoy them for weeks to come. I often double the recipe so we have plenty.
Start by preparing the dough. In a large bowl whisk together flour and salt. In a smaller bowl or measuring cup combine two eggs in one cup of water.
Slowly mix the eggs and water into the dough until it is combined. You may not need all of the egg/water mixture for the dough.
Dump the dough out onto a floured counter and cover with more flour.
Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let it rest for about 10-15 minutes. This is a good time to get your filling prepared. One batch of dough is enough for one of the two fillings I list. If you want both potato and sauerkraut pierogi, you need to make two batches of dough.
Cut the dough in half, it’s easier to work with a smaller amount.
Make sure to keep the portion of dough you aren’t using covered with the plastic wrap.
Gently flatten out the dough, keeping the counter well-floured so it doesn’t stick.
Use a rolling pin to roll the dough out to about 1/8″ thickness. The first time I made these it was too thick and we tasted more dough than filling.
Use a biscuit dough cutter or a pierogi maker to cut circles in the dough. The first time I made these I had circular biscuit cutters, and they worked, but it took a lot more effort. Justin’s grandma bought me pierogi makers and they really helped to speed up the process!
Scoop about a tablespoon of your filling, depending on the size of the pierogi you make, and place it in the center of the dough.
Close the dough up by folding in half (like you would a calzone) and seal the edges.
If you don’t have a pierogi press, you can fill these by putting the circles in the palm of your hand, fill them, then use your hands to close it up and seal with a fork.
Continue doing this until you have used all of your dough and filling up.
To cook the pierogi, you can either boil them like you would pasta, cooking until they float, or fry them in a pan until they are brown on either side.
To freeze any uncooked pierogi, line a pan with parchment paper, and lay the pierogi in a single layer. Then you can put another sheet of parchment paper on to make layers. You just don’t want the pierogi touching each other so they don’t stick. Once they are completely frozen, move them to a ziplock bag. They can be frozen for a few months and don’t need to be thawed when you want to cook them.
- 4 cups flour (all-purpose)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup water
- 2 eggs (large)
- 2 servings instant mashed potatoes (cooked)
- 8 oz ricotta cheese
- 4 tbsp butter
- 1 cup cheddar cheese (shredded)
- 27 oz sauerkraut
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 4 tbsp butter
- 1 1/2 cups onion (diced)
- 1 tsp salt
- 3/4 tsp pepper
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- Whisk flour and salt in a large bowl
- In a small bowl, combine water and eggs and mix with a fork
- Gradually add water and egg mixture to flour and stir until evenly moist and ingredients all combine (you may not need all of the water/egg mixture)
- Lightly flour work surface and knead dough for about 1 minute or until smooth
- If the dough is too dry as you knead, add small amounts of water. If the dough is too sticky, add small amounts of flour.
- Form the dough into a ball and cover with flour then plastic wrap
- Let the dough rest for about 10-15 minutes
- Make the mashed potatoes as directed
- Stir in ricotta, butter, and cheddar cheese
- Rinse the sauerkraut and drain as much water as possible
- Heat the butter and oil in a large pan
- Add onions and cook until soft
- Add sauerkraut, salt, and pepper to the pan and cook until heated through
- Remove from heat and add sour cream, mixing well
- Cover and refrigerate until cool enough to work with
- Once dough has rested and filling of choice has been made (this is enough dough for one batch of filling, not both), cut dough in half
- Roll out dough to about 1/8" thickness
- Use a dough cutter or pierogi maker to cut circles from dough
- Scoop about 1 tablespoon of filling on the center of the dough
- Fold dough over and seal edges
- There are a few ways to cook the pierogi, depending on preference
- Boil the pierogi until they start to float OR Fry in a pan until they start to brown on both sides
- Serve warm with topping of choice (we like melted butter)
- Uncooked pierogi can be frozen for later by lining a pan with parchment paper, then placing pierogi in a single layer
- Once pierogi are frozen, they can be moved to a ziplock bag and kept frozen for a few months