Pierogi is a kind of filled dumplings originated from the Eastern Europe. The making of it is pretty simple, just by wrapping a savory or sweet filling with unleavened dough. This simple dish is considered national dishes in Poland, Ukraine, and Slovakia.
The traditional fillings include mashed potato, fried onions, and quark (curd cheese). The other variations can be cabbage, meat, mushroom, etc. You can also make dessert pierogies by stuffing the dough with fresh fruit fillings or jam.
There are various ways to cook pierogies, depending on regions and preferences. The most traditional on is to boil them in water and sauté if you prefer brown pierogis. This post will give you a step-by-step instruction on how to cook pierogies the traditional ways: boiling and sautéing.
What do you need to cook pierogies the traditional way?
- Serve: 2 people
- Prep time: 10 minutes
- Cooking time: 10 minutes
- 12 pierogies (fresh or frozen)
- 2 quarts of water
- 1 tbsp. salt
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 2 tbsps. Butter
- 1 onion
- 2 cups sour cream
- Caramelized onion (stir, cover, and cook onion with salt and olive oil until golden brown)
- Sautéed Kielbasa for topping (optional)
This list of ingredients is for the traditional way of serving pierogies. Basically, you can top these dumplings with almost everything you prefer.
- A deep pot
- Slotted spoon
- Fry pan
How to cook pierogies
The instruction for cooking pierogies below features fresh or fresh frozen pierogies (not precooked frozen pierogies).
Boiling pierogies results in soft, tender, and delicate shell outer. It adds no extra calories to your meal. This is the most traditional way to eat pierogies.
Step 1: Boil water
Add 1 Tbsp. salt and 2 quarts of water into a deep pot. Bring the pot of salted water to a rolling boil.
Step 2: Add pierogies
2.1. Drop the pierogies into the pot. You can add all at once or twice, depending on the size of your pot. Make sure there is enough room for the pierogies so that they don’t stick together.
2.2. Gently stir while putting pierogies into the water to prevent them from touching the bottom of the pot.
Quick note: If your pierogies are flash frozen, you can cook it right away. If it is frosted for a long time, thaw it before cooking.
Step 3: Boil pierogies
3.1. Bring the water to a simmering boil (a rapid boil can break the pierogies) with occasional stirs. Do not cover the pot.
3.2. When the pierogies float to the water surface, they need to be cooked for about 2 – 3 minutes more.
You can check if the pierogies are all cooked by pinching the edge of a pierogi. If it is soft, it is ready. If you can still feel the dough uncooked, boil them for a little bit more.
Step 4: Remove pierogies
Use a slotted spoon to take the pierogies out of the pot and drain water from them. Place them on a plate with a thin layer of olive oil or butter to keep the pierogies from sticking.
Step 5: Top and serve
Top the pierogies with caramelized onion and (or) sautéed Kielbasa. Add sour cream as a dip. Serve pierogies hot.
Sautéed pierogies have a crisp and browned outer. It gives the pierogies more flavor and a different texture from the boiled one. It is also a very popular way of serving pierogies.
Step 1: Boil pierogies
Boil the pierogies as the above directions till the end of step 3. Then remove them from the pot, place them onto a plate with olive oil or butter.
Step 2: Let the boiled pierogies cool
Let the pierogies rest in cool down on the plate before sautéing them. Otherwise, they will stick to the pan.
Step 3: Sauté pierogies
3.1. Heat the pan with olive oil or (and) butter. Slice onion into strips and add them to the pan. Cook for 1 – 2 minutes.
3.2. Add boiled pierogies from Step 1 to the pan and toss gently. They are ready to serve when both sides turn brown.
3.3. If you prefer crispier pierogies, sauté them for a couple of minutes more.
Note: If you want to add more flavor to your saute dish, add leek, garlic, sausage or any kind meat you like to the pan at the beginning of step 3.
Step 4: Serve sautéed pierogies
Remove the pierogies from the pan and serve with the onion which is now caramelized. Add some tbsps. sour cream to the side would make the dish more flavorful.
Check out the quick in-action video here:
Pierogies is a light dish that can serve well as a breakfast or light meal. I usually make some dozens of pierogies, frozen them fresh. When I am in the mood for some pierogies, I would quickly boil, and sauté some of those boiled ones.
Usually, I just go for the traditional serving. However, when I prefer a different flavor, I can eat pierogies with yogurt garlic topping, spicy herbed topping, bacon and sage topping, or anything I found in my kitchen.
You can eat pierogies with anything you prefer. However, I would suggest you try the traditional toppings in your first try. Everything must develop from the original.
I hope you enjoy this little instruction of how to cook pierogies. If you have any idea or suggestion, or request for other dishes, leave them in the comment section. I will try to answer them.