how to cook pierogies

How To Cook Pierogies: A Comprehensive Guide

If you’re looking for a hearty and delicious meal, then look no further than pierogies. Originating in Eastern Europe, pierogies are a type of dumpling made from unleavened dough that is boiled, fried, or baked. Traditionally filled with mashed potatoes and cheese, today’s pierogi recipes feature a variety of filling options for any taste preference.


Definition of Pierogies

Pierogies pronounced “pee-roh-ghee” are dumplings typically filled with savory or sweet ingredients like potatoes and cheese, sauerkraut and mushroom, meat filling among others.

Brief History of Pierogi

The history of pierogi dates back to the Middle Ages when it first appeared in Eastern Europe, where it remains a staple dish in these regions. Pierogi ultimately spread in popularity throughout the world and is now enjoyed by people all over the globe.

Pierogi Ingredients

Before we get started on how to cook pierogies, let’s discuss the ingredients you’ll need.

Dough (Ingredients and Instructions)

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup warm water

In a large bowl, whisk together flour and salt. In a separate bowl mix egg and sour cream until fully combined. Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture; add water. Mix until fully combined then knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for about 5 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic.

Filling (Ingredients and Instructions)

Potato and Cheese:

  • 3 large potatoes, peeled and boiled
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Chopped chives for garnish (optional)

Mash potatoes with a fork. Add shredded cheese then add salt and pepper to taste. In a skillet, melt butter over medium heat, and sauté onions until they are golden brown. Add onions to the potatoes and cheese mixture; mix thoroughly. Set aside to cool before filling pierogies.

Sauerkraut and Mushroom:

  • 2 cups sauerkraut, drained
  • 1 cup precooked button mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste

In a skillet melt butter over medium heat. Saute onions in melted butter until they are golden brown. Reduce heat to low; add mushrooms to the skillet. Stir until heated through then add sauerkraut to the pan. Season with salt and black pepper as appropriate before setting it aside.

Meat Filling:

  • 1 cup ground beef or pork
  • 1 small onion, chopped finely
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Boil the ground meat until it is thoroughly cooked. Add finely chopped onions to the skillet with the meat, season it with salt and pepper then let it cool before using it as a filling.

Preparing the Pierogi Dough

Making the Dough

In a large bowl, whisk together flour and salt. In a separate bowl mix egg and sour cream until fully combined. Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture; add water. Mix until fully combined then knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for about 5 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic.

Resting and Rolling the Dough

Before you fill your pierogies, let the dough rest for about 30 minutes. When you’re ready to fill and shape your pierogies, roll out your dough on a floured surface to about 1/8 inch thickness.

Filling Ideas:

  • Potato and Cheese
  • Sauerkraut and Mushroom
  • Meat Filling

Shaping the Pierogies

Cutting the Dough into Circles

This step involves rolling out your pierogi dough until it reaches a thickness of around 1/8 inch. Once you’ve reached this ideal thickness, use a circular cookie cutter or rim of a glass to cut out circles that are roughly 3 inches in diameter.

Adding filling to the Dough Circles

Add about one tablespoon of filling in each circle of dough near one edge of it preserving some space from its edge.

Sealing the Edges of Pierogies

Fold the pierogi in half making letters, creating a half-moon shape. Using your fingers along the edges of the dough seal the pierogi.( If desired, you can use an egg wash to help seal the edges of each pierogi.)

Boiling Pierogies

Preparing a Pot for Boiling

Filling a large pot with water following its capacity around ½ to ¾ full then bringing it around high temperature until it starts boiling.

Cooking Pierogies in Boiling Water

Add pierogies into the boiling water and wait for them to rise to the top(about 5-7 minutes), While stirring gently from time to time with a wooden spoon or spatula to prevent them sticking to the bottom of the pot.

Removing Pierogies from Boiling Water

Using a strainer scoop out one at a time then rest them on a plate lined with paper towel.

Cooking Methods

Boiled Pierogies

Serving boiled pierogies:

You should serve boiled pierogis straight away often accompanied by butter, sautéed onions, chives or bacon whichever that suits your preference well. Also, sour cream and apple sauce can be excellent side dishes for savory and sweet varieties respectively.

Fried Pierogies

How to Fry Pierogies

Melt butter into skillet over medium heat; add pierogies ensuring sufficient space between each pierogi in the skillet. Cook each side for 3-4 minutes until they turn golden brown. Remove from pan once fully cooked and place them on a plate with paper towels to drain excess oil.

Serving Fried pierogies

Fried pierogies are best served immediately, garnished with onions and bacon bits, sour cream and chopped chives.

Baked Pierogies

How to Bake the pierogies

Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C), arrange the pierogies into a baking dish, and pour melted butter on top of it. Place the baking dish into the oven, Bake for 15-20 minutes until they turn golden brown.

Serving Baked pierogies

Baked pierogi is suitable to serve as a complete meal or a snack with some additional toppings like grated cheese, caramelized onions, crispy bacon crumbles, and sour cream among others.

Preserving Pierogies

Freezing Uncooked piergoes

Pierogi can be frozen by placing them on a floured surface then freezing them until solid. Once frozen, move them into an airtight container or bag; label them before storing in the freezer. Pierogi stored in this manner can last up to three months.

Re-heating Methods

  • Boiling: Boil frozen pierogi for around 10 minutes in salted boiling water until they start floating again. Remove them from water using a slotted spoon carefully then place on a serving plate.
  • Baking: Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C); place frozen pierogi onto baking sheet or dish. Brush each piece with melted butter cover with foil then Bake for about 25 minutes until heated through.
  • Frying: Preheat pan or skillet over medium heat. Add the pierogi, brush each with oil cook and until golden brown on each side.


There you have it! A comprehensive guide to making perfect pierogies at home. Remember to experiment with fillings, toppings, and cooking methods until you find your perfect combination. Whether you’re boiling, frying, or baking them, pierogi is always a delicious and satisfying meal that will never disappoint.

How do I know when pierogies are fully cooked?

Pierogies are fully cooked once they float to the top of boiling water, which generally takes about 3-5 minutes. For best results, be sure not to overcrowd the pot with too many pierogies as it can slow down the cooking process.

Can I cook pierogies in the oven?

While pierogies are traditionally boiled, you can also bake them in the oven. Simply brush them with melted butter or oil and bake at 375°F for approximately 20 minutes or until they’re golden brown.

What should I serve with pierogies?

Pierogies are a versatile dish that pairs well with a variety of sides. You can try serving them with sauerkraut, sour cream, bacon, onions, or even applesauce depending on your preference. They also pair well with a salad or roasted vegetables for a complete meal.

Can I freeze pierogies?

Yes! Pierogies freeze very well and can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months. Simply place them in an airtight container or zip-top bag and store them in the freezer until ready to use. When you’re ready to cook them, just boil them straight from frozen for an extra minute or two until heated through.

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