The easiest recipe to make the real Polish Pierogi! Just a few ingredients are needed for this popular Polish comfort food and your tasty pierogi will be ready in no time!
First things first – if you see a recipe for pierogis, pierogies or even worse – perogies, don’t even bother reading further as it’s not going to be an authentic Polish recipe at all.
The word pierogi is already plural, so there’s no need to add an “s” to it. A single one is called Pieróg in Polish. The word “perogies” really doesn’t exist, it’s something Americans made up.
The same goes for pierogi with cheddar cheese – if you see it somewhere, run! 😉
Histori of Pierogi
Any type of dumplings, including Pierogi, are originally from China, even though Eastern Europe adopted the whole idea as always theirs.
Some say Marco Polo brought these dumplings to Europe, others think it was the Tatars, and many legends have been created around it. The exact origin, however, is unknown.
In Poland, pierogi were already known in the XIIIth century, but they were more of an event dish. There were pierogi for every occasion – wedding, funeral, winter, birthday, or nameday specials.
The oldest “official” record of making dumplings, however, was found in the pages of the first Polish cookbook Compendium Ferculorum from 1682. The recipes included both savory and sweet pierogi.
Ironically, these days the boiled version is considered the traditional pierogi recipe, but they mostly showed up all over Poland during the interwar period of the XXth century, not so long ago.
In fact, less than 100 years ago when someone referred to pierogi ruskie (Ruthenian Pierogi – it’s often wrongly translated to Russian Pierogi) which these days are known as a popular filling option with potato and cheese, they meant the most traditional baked pierogi with whichever filling.
Types of Pierogi
At first, the type of pierogi depended on their shape and occasion.
Kurniki are extra-large dome-shaped pierogi filled with poultry, groats and mushrooms, made mostly for weddings and Christmas, Knysze were baked filled with buckwheat groats, while Ruskie were part of funeral rituals.
Sanież and socznie are a sweet variety prepared for Name Day parties. A miniature version filled with either mushrooms or meat – known as uszka (‘little ears’) are served in a borscht.
Different Types of Pierogi Fillings
There are many different types of Pierogi based on the filling used. Some of these fillings include:
- Pierogi Ruskie
- Sauerkraut & Mushrooms
- Wild Mushrooms
- Fruits – blueberry, cherry, strawberry
- Potato and Cheese Pierogi (Russet potatoes work best!)
- Potato and herbs
- Lentils (popular in the Podlaskie region)
- Poppyseed paste
- Quark (Farmer’s Cheese) with raisins and vanilla
Recipe Pointers For Pierogi Recipe
- You can make these pierogi in large batches and freeze them for later use. Simply freeze them before boiling. Pierogi are perfect for meal prep!
- If you need to, add more water while molding the dough.
- You can use salted water to boil the pierogi.
- You’ll know the pierogi are ready when they rise to the top of the boiling water.
- You can use any of the fillings mentioned above.
- After boiling them, you can fry the pierogi in melted butter, and top with diced bacon.
- Or top the pierogi with sour cream and chopped chives before serving.
- Alternatively, serve with caramelized onions!
- If you love meat, fry kielbasa sausages and serve with the Pierogi!
FAQs about Pierogi Polish Dumplings
Do I need a pierogi press to make pierogi?
No, you don’t need a pierogi press. You can seal the pierogi with your fingers. But if you want to buy a press, this one is perfect!
Can you make pierogi dough in advance?
You can make the pierogi dough up to a day ahead. Store in the refrigerator till you’re ready to shape the pierogi and cook them.
What’s the difference between pierogi and dumplings?
Pierogi are the Polish version of dumplings, but they’re made with unleavened dough.
What’s the difference between pierogi and vareniki?
Vareniki and pierogi are both Eastern European dumplings. Pierogi is what they’re called in Poland, Slovakia and Ukraine and Vareniki is what they’re called in Russia.
What is the difference between pot stickers and pierogi?
Pierogi are unleavened Polish dumplings while potstickers are Asian pan-fried dumplings.
What to serve with pierogi?
Pierogi can be served roasted vegetables such as carrots, cauliflower, Brussel sprouts, or with salads, or dipping sauce for pierogi.
How to deal with frozen pierogi?
To freeze pierogi, prepare all the pierogi, fill them and seal them. Place a sheet of plastic wrap on the bottom of your container and layer the pierogi in it.
Cover it with another layer of plastic wrap and then pierogi, and so on till the container is full. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw and boil or bake before serving.
- 1 lbs of flour
- 4 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 cup of hot water
- Mix all ingredients in a giant bowl using a wooden spoon (you can use hands, but it will be hot because of the hot water).
- Once it's all mixed, then use hands to knead the dough. The dough should be soft and elastic.
- Wrap your dough in aluminum foil and let it sit for about 30 minutes.
- Split the dough into 3 pieces to make things easier, then roll it out thinly on the board and cut out circles (either with a pierogi maker or simply a glass)
- Stuff with the desired filling and fold your pierogi in half gluing the sides together with your fingers. If it doesn't stick properly you can use some water.
- Boil your pierogi for about 3/4 minutes since they surface to the top of your water level.