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Published January 19, 2024. This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
This tasty homemade pierogi recipe has a savory potato filling that is boiled and pan-seared in butter until lightly browned. These are some of my daughter’s all-time favorite things to eat.
Pierogi is a classic Polish dish consisting of crescent-shaped dough dumplings with various fillings from sweet to savory. Some traditional stuffing would be potato, sauerkraut, meat, vegetables, and berries, amongst others. These are usually served as a main course but can certainly be eaten as an appetizer.
Pierogi are technically finished when they are boiled and rise to the top. However, I prefer to sear them lightly in butter until they are gently browned. I believe this process adds much more flavor and texture to the overall dish. While this pierogi recipe uses a potato filling, please feel free to get creative and enjoy it.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Flour – All-purpose flour is what’s needed. If you only have bread flour, increase the amount of water by 5%.
- Water – You will need hot water for these pierogi.
- Oil – Any neutral flavored oil, such as avocado, will work. In addition, you can also substitute with softened butter.
- Eggs – Large chilled or room temperature eggs are what’s needed.
- Potatoes – Plain peeled russet potatoes are what you need.
- Butter – I always use unsalted butter in my cooking and baking to control the sodium content instead of a butter company.
- Sour Cream – This is optional, but a full-fat sour cream can be added to the potato filling.
- Onions – You can use a white, yellow, or sweet onion.
- Cheese – I used farmers’ cheese for the potato filling. If it is not available, then cottage cheese is a great alternative. You can also use shredded cheddar.
How to Make Pierogis from Scratch
Sift the flour, then form a well using your hand.
Add in the water, salt, and oil, and bring the flour into the wet ingredients.
Using a bench knife or your hands, knead the dough just until the flour is hydrated.
Add the egg and then knead the dough for 5 to 6 minutes.
Cover the dough and let it rest for 30 to 60 minutes.
Add butter to a frying pan over medium heat and sauté the onions for 4 to 5 minutes.
Turn the heat down to low-medium and cook for 10 to 12 minutes. Set them to the side.
Add the potatoes to a pot of boiling water and cook for 6 to 8 minutes.
Drain and mash the potatoes.
Fold in the butter, cheese, ½ of the caramelized onions, salt, and white pepper until combined. Set them aside.
Dust a surface with flour and cut the dough into two equal parts.
Roll out the dough until it is about 1/8” thick.
Using a 3-inch round cookie cutter, make as many rounds on the dough as you can.
Place 1 to 1 ½ tablespoons of the potato filling in the center of a dough round. Pull the dough to make it slightly larger.
Fold one side of the dough over to the other, covering the potato, and then pinch the seams completely shut.
Add the pierogi to a large pot of lightly boiling water and cook until they float, which takes about 2 to 3 minutes.
Melt 3 to 4 tablespoons of butter in a large, non-stick skillet over medium heat.
Drain the pierogi, add them to the pan of melted butter, and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes or until lightly browned.
Season them with salt and garnish them with the remaining caramelized onions.
Make-Ahead and Storage
Make-Ahead: These are meant to be eaten as soon as they are done cooking. However, you can freeze these uncooked on a sheet tray lined with parchment paper for up to 3 months before cooking and serving.
How to Store: Cover them in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. They will freeze covered for up to 3 months. Thaw them in the refrigerator for 1 day before reheating. They will also freeze uncooked for up to 3 months.
How to Reheat: Place them in a medium-sized non-stick skillet with 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter and cook over low heat for 3 to 4 minutes or until warm.
Chef Notes + Tips
- You don’t add the egg until later in the kneading process to keep it from cooking and scrambling.
- I know the potatoes are done cooking when I pierce them with a fork, and they don’t break apart and slide off easily.
- You can re-roll the used dough to make more pierogi. I’d advise you to let it rest for 30 to 60 minutes before re-rolling.
- The water should be 140° to 160°.
More Dinner Recipes
Homemade Pierogi Recipe
For the Dough:
- 5 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ¾ cup hot water
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt
- ¼ cup cooking oil
- 1 large whisked egg
For the Filling:
- 1 peeled small-diced yellow onion
- 1 stick + 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 pounds peeled russet potatoes, about 5 large potatoes
- 1 cup farmer’s cheese
- coarse salt and ground white pepper to taste
- Sift the flour onto a clean surface and then form a well using your hand.
- Add in the hot water, salt, and oil, and using a fork, begin to bring the flour into the wet ingredients.
- Once the mixture becomes like a thick paste, transfer to using a bench knife, or your hands start to knead the dough just until the flour is hydrated.
- Add the whisked egg and knead the dough for 5 to 6 minutes until it becomes smooth.
- Cover the dough and let it rest for 30 to 60 minutes.
- While the dough is resting, add 2 tablespoons of butter to a medium-sized frying pan over medium heat and sauté the onions for 4 to 5 minutes or until they begin to turn brown.
- Turn the heat down to low-medium and continue cooking for 10 to 12 minutes or until darker brown, tender, and translucent. Set them to the side.
- Next, add the peeled potatoes to a pot of boiling salted water and cook for 6 to 8 minutes or until tender. Do not overcook.
- Drain and mash the potatoes using a hand masher or a food mill.
- Fold in the butter, cheese, ½ of the caramelized onions, salt, and ground white pepper until combined. Set them aside.
- Dust a clean surface with flour and cut the resting dough into two equal parts.
- Roll out the dough until it is about 1/8” thick.
- Using a 3-inch round cookie cutter, make as many rounds on the dough as you can.
- Place 1 to 1 ½ tablespoons of the potato filling in the center of a dough round, and in your hand, gently pull the dough to make it slightly larger.
- Fold one side of the dough over to the other, covering the potato completely, then pinch the seams completely shut. Repeat the process until all the dough and potato filling is used.
- Add the pierogi to a large pot of lightly boiling salted water and cook until they float, which takes about 2 to 3 minutes. You will need to do this in batches.
- While they have about 30 to 45 seconds left cooking, melt 3 to 4 tablespoons of butter in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat.
- Drain the pierogi, add them to the pan of melted butter, and saute for 1 to 2 minutes or until lightly browned.
- Season them with salt and garnish them with the remaining caramelized onions and optional chopped fresh dill.