Homemade Pierogies are pure comfort! These filled dumplings have a crisp but tender dough and a creamy mashed potato filling. They are a delicious treat to make, and both make-ahead and freezer friendly.
Every culture has their dumpling, and while I grew up eating my mom’s Asian Dumplings, my Polish husband has pulled me over to the greatness of the Polish variety: pierogies.
Pierogies are mashed potato filled dumplings, and they can be flavored with all sorts of ingredients. Even though I see the value in tradition, I love playing around with flavor variations. The recipe I’ll share today is a more basic filling, but I’ll also share ideas below for more fillings you can try.
Step by Step Instructions
To make the pierogies, first you’ll want to make the dough, then prepare the mashed potato filling. Roll the dough out, cut circles, and fill with the mashed potato filling, crimping to close. Then they’re ready to cook!
Make the Dough
In a large bowl, whisk to combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Make a well in the center, and add sour cream and eggs.
Stir together to combine with a fork or spatula, then dump the dough onto the counter and knead the dough for a minute or two, working to shape it into a ball. It will look shaggy, and that’s okay. Just make sure the ingredients are evenly distributed, with no obvious wet spots that aren’t well-mixed.
Transfer the dough to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Place in the fridge for at least 4 hours, and up to 1 day ahead of time.
I have tried rushing the recipe and skipping the rest period, and the dough is definitely more difficult to work with. This is why I recommend the refrigeration period.
Make the Mashed Potato Filling
While you can absolutely use leftover mashed potatoes for your filling, I always use this as a chance to make leftover mashed potatoes for another meal!
This batch of pierogies will use a very small amount of mashed potatoes, about one standard russet potato worth of filling. Since we’re doing the work anyway, I find it worthwhile to make a larger quantity, saving extra mashed potatoes for another meal. However, in the recipe card, I’ve included the amounts you’ll need if you don’t want any leftovers.
I like to cook the russet potatoes in the microwave, though you can bake them if you prefer.
Prick the potatoes all over with a fork, then microwave for about 10 minutes, until fork tender.
Peel the skin and place the potatoes in a bowl with sour cream, butter, garlic, scallions, salt, and pepper:
Mix and mash well to combine:
Keep the mashed potatoes covered in the fridge until the dough is thoroughly chilled and you’re ready to assemble.
Assemble the dumplings
After the dough is sufficiently chilled, place it onto a floured countertop.
Though it looks shaggy, you should find that it rolls out into a very smooth dough. Just make sure you keep the dough well floured to prevent sticking.
Roll the dough out to 1/8″ thickness, then use a 3″ cutter to cut circles by pushing straight down.
Keep in mind that when you boil the pierogies, they will expand and end up larger than how they are uncooked.
Take a small spoonful of the mashed potato filling and place it onto the circle.
Tip: Make sure you do not overfill the pierogi. I know how tempting it is to get as much as possible in there, but you want to make sure you can get a proper seal on the dumpling.
Fold the dough circle over and crimp with your finger all the way around.
I tested using water and egg to create a better seal, and found that the best seal used nothing extra. If you find that the dough won’t seal, you may need to brush off extra flour from the inside, or make sure your hands are not too sticky by drying them thoroughly, then dipping your fingertips into flour, being careful not to get flour inside the dumpling.
If you desire, you can also crimp the edges with a fork to make it decorative, but do not rely on crimping alone to seal the dough.
Place the sealed dumplings on a sheet pan as you make them.
How to Freeze Some for Later
If you’d like, now is the time when you can freeze the pierogies for later.
Place the sheet pan into the freezer for at least 30 minutes, uncovered, then place the pierogies in a plastic bag, labeling it with the date.
Freezing before placing them in the bag is essential for not having the dumplings stick to each other. This is key, because later when you want to cook the pierogies, you can simply place them straight into boiling water.
Time to Cook!
Bring a big pot of water to a boil, and season it with a couple tablespoons of salt, like you would a pasta water. Drop in the pierogies:
You can add as many as you like here, though I try not to add more than what can float in a single layer.
Cook the pierogies for 3 minutes, until they are all floating on top of the water.
Drain the dumplings well in a colander, then, I recommend pan frying them. This is the best way to cook pierogies, because it gives you both a tender and crisp exterior.
I do this in some butter, scallions, and parsley in a nonstick skillet:
Fry for about 2-3 minutes on each side, until golden brown.
Enjoy promptly, serving with a dish of extra sour cream, if desired.
Shepherd’s Pie, Potato Gratin, and Crispy Mashed Potato Mounds are a few more of my favorite comforting potato recipes. Happy cooking!
FAQ and Expert Tips
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Post updated in September 2021 with new photos and copy. Originally published in January 2012.