Make Perfect Polish Pierogi From Scratch

Every culture has its dumplings but these are some of the best! Learn to make them at home with our easy recipe!

Every culture across the globe, it seems, has its own version of a filled dumpling. A simple disc of dough, folded in half and wrapped around a filling. The Chinese have potstickers, Jews have kreplach, Italians have ravioli, Russians have pelmeni, Armenians have manti, and in Poland, it’s pierogi. And if you’ve ever had them, you know they rank up there as among the most delicious.  The best part is, they’re easy to make from scratch with our recipe!

Pierogi or Pierogies?

The word pierogi is actually plural. The singular, pierog, is rarely used because these dumplings are never served singly. Many English speakers add an “s” or “es” to the end, as in, “let’s have pierogies!” to the amusement of native Polish speakers.

Pierogi are truly a Polish national dish, and so it’s not uncommon in Poland to see restaurants, known as pierogarnia, devoted entirely to them. These establishments offer a rainbow of gourmet filling options, both savory and sweet, with different vegetarian and meat-filled options available. We’ve included a few of these options for you to try, below.

The ideal pierogi is soft and tender with a soft interior, easily cut with a fork; while preserving an al-dente texture to the exterior. Frying in a skillet with plenty of butter after boiling, gives pierogi a bit of a golden-brown crust, lending them even more texture, bite, and slight crispness.

For the home cook, pierogi offer a chance to be creative and experiment, not to mention providing a delicious way to repurpose leftovers, saving you money. Try making pierogi with a couple of the traditional fillings first, then the sky’s the limit! Chances are, if you like the ingredients you are putting inside these delectable dumplings, your finished pierogi will be delicious. Enjoy!

Perfect Polish Pierogi

Course Main Course, Side Dish

Ingredients
  

  • 5 cups  all-purpose flour
  • 1 lightly  beaten egg*
  • tablespoons  sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon  salt
  • 1 tablespoon  vegetable oil
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup  milk

Instructions
 

  • Directions:
    Whisk the sour cream and egg together well in a small bowl, add milk, and oil.
    In a large bowl, mix the flour and salt together (or the bowl of a stand mixer with dough hook installed). Add the sour cream/ egg/milk mixture and begin to mix, adding water as needed to make a smooth, pliable dough. Pierogi dough is a bit sticky. Don’t overwork the dough.
    Once it’s smooth and well blended, wrap in plastic wrap and allow to rest for half an hour. Divide dough into fourths, to make it easier to handle.
    Roll each ball of dough out on a lightly floured surface to about 1/8” thick. Cut into 3” rounds (5” rounds for the meat version) — you can use a drinking glass to cut perfect circles —  and set aside on a floured surface for filling.
    *There is some debate among Polish cooks as to whether to add egg to the pierogi dough. We can’t definitively answer that debate, except to note that many pierogi purists usually advise against it. However, they do grudgingly admit that eggs impart a bit more sturdiness to the dough, which helps keep the finished pierogi from exploding when boiled, so we’ve included it in our recipe.
Keyword Perfect Polish Pierogi, perfect polish pierogi recipe
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

To Fill and Cook 
Place a spoonful of your choice of filling in the center of a circle of dough. Don’t overfill. Paint half the edge with a little water or egg white as glue, using your finger or a small brush.

Fold the dough over the filling (see filling options below) into a half-moon/crescent shape and press the edges together well. Then pick up the pierogi and pinch all around the rounded part with your fingers to make a nice crimped edge. The better you crimp, the more likely the pierogi will hold together.

Place the pierogi on a pan covered with a kitchen towel dusted well with fine cornmeal. This will make the pierogi easier to handle prior to boiling. After filling, it’s also possible to freeze pierogi on their tray. After they are frozen solid, transfer to a zip-top bag and store in the freezer until ready to boil.

To cook the pierogi, bring four quarts of salted water to a rolling boil. Add a few pierogi at a time, reduce heat and boil gently until the pierogi float. About five minutes or so.

Traditional Pierogi Filling Options:

Sauerkraut Filling

Course Breakfast

Ingredients
  

  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 4 oz can of your favorite sauerkraut, rinsed, drained, and chopped fine.
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream

Instructions
 

  • Directions:
    Melt butter in a skillet. Add mushrooms and onions and cook until soft but not browned. Add drained sauerkraut, sugar, and season aggressively with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook for about five minutes. Remove from heat and stir in sour cream. Allow the filling to cool thoroughly, and store in the fridge before filling the pierogi.
    These pierogi may be served boiled, or boiled and drained then added to a skillet and browned in butter on both sides. Serve with sour cream, and garnish with crispy fried onions, and chopped parsley, if desired.
Keyword sauerkraut pierogi casserole, sauerkraut potato pierogi filling
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Potato-Cheese Filling

Ingredients
  

  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 cups cold mashed potatoes
  • ½ cup dry curd cheese or ricotta
  • ½ cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Melt butter in a skillet. Add onions and cook until soft but not browned.
    Place mashed potatoes, cheeses, sour cream in a bowl. Add sautéed onions. Season aggressively with salt and pepper and mix thoroughly. Chill the filling mixture in the refrigerator for about 1/2 hour before filling.
    These pierogi may be served boiled, or boiled and drained then added to a skillet and browned in butter on both sides. Serve with sour cream or applesauce, and garnish with caramelized onions.
Keyword pierogi filling ideas, potato and cheese pierogi recipe
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Meat Pierogi Filling

Course Main Course, Side Dish

Ingredients
  

  • 3 ½ cups cold leftover cooked meat, such as beef steak, pot roast, or hamburger; pork chops, pork roast, etc.
  • 3/4 cup cold leftover mashed potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Melt butter in a skillet. Add mushrooms and onions and cook until soft but not browned.
    In a large bowl, combine ground meat, mashed potatoes, sautéed mushrooms and onions, and season with salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly. Allow the filling to chill for a half hour in the refrigerator before filling pierogi.
    These pierogi are usually made on the larger side (5” or even 6” rounds) and are best served first boiled then browned in butter on both sides. Serve with sour cream, and garnish with crispy fried onions and chopped parsley, if desired.
Keyword pierogi filling ideas, sweet pierogi fillings
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

A note on filling: it’s crucial to seal the edges of the dough well when making your pierogi. Well-sealed pierogi made by hand usually have a decorative crimped edge, which is pretty but also functional. Use water or egg white as “glue,” and pinch all around the edges together firmly with your fingers. Try to get any air pockets out as well.

Waffle - Matcha
Edward Higgins

Edward Higgins is a freelance writer, artist, home chef, and avid fly fisherman who lives outside of Portland, Maine. He studied at Skidmore College and Harvard University. His article 10 Best Edible Insects appears in the 2020 Farmers' Almanac.

Keep Exploring

guest
Recipe Rating




37 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Joe

I’m guessing many people who commented here never read the part of the article that said, “The word pierogi is actually plural. The singular, pierog, is rarely used because these dumplings are never served singly. Many English speakers add an “s” or “es” to the end, as in, “let’s have pierogies!” to the amusement of native Polish speakers.” Only three wrote the correct “pierogi”, but others spelled it: “Perogi”; “pierogis”; “periogi’s”; “pierogi’s” (3 times and why the ‘apostrophe’?); “perogies” (twice) and finally “peirogies”! By the way, the pierogi made with potatoes and cheese are called “pierogi ruskie” (Rusyn pierogi) and the ones with sour cream in the dough “Warszawa pierogi” (Warsaw pierogi).

deborah donnelly

Its the milk & egg in dough that makes it soft to roll & THE SECRET to good dough is let it sit over nite to rest,my recipe is from a elderly Polish friend I don’t vary it a bit,its soft & yummy
Enjoy

Sheila

This recipe for Sauerkraut Filling is the best that I have ever had. It is scrumptious!!! My favorite filling used to be potato and cheese until I tasted this. 4 stars

Susan Higgins

Thanks, Sheila, glad you enjoyed it!

Harry

My Mom made them with potatoes and cheese, but she also made cherry pierogis. She’d use 2 cherries (you can take the pits out if you like) and a teaspoon of sugar for the filling…yum! Problem is the cherry season is very short, but that’s also what made them so sought after!

Petra Kaye

I’m copying this recipe right now! I reckon I might cheat and use gourmet sausage meat as the filling for my first attempt. Does anyone freeze the dough?

natalia

I am 73 years old and I use to watch my grandmother spend the whole day making all kinds of periogi’s, noodles and bread for the week as she was from Warsaw Poland. I was about 8 years old when she passed away and my mother was 42 when she passed and she was sick most of her life. I often longed of these memories and thought the recipes were lost forever as I moved to the West Coast from Chicago and the Polish Community. I even bought a Polish Cookbook trying to find the recipes but didn’t have enough memory from my childhood to translate. Thank you so much for these recipes and what is amazing I was just gifted a professional Kitchen Aid Mixer with dough paddles for Christmas. I will be making pierogi’s and sharing the knowledge of the recipes my ancestors made because I am blessed to live long enough to have a daughter, grand daughter and a great grand daugter and pray the recipes will continue in the generations. Thank you so much. Happy New Year and Many Blessings.

Mary Papachristou

Thank you so much!…This is exactly how my mother made her perogies! I thought the recipe was lost for ever…watched her as a little girl making them and later on forgot the recipe till you posted it…..Thank you ..again.

Debbie

Just made some with my Aunt and brother used 1/2 beef roaast, 1/2 beef heart and onions delicious

Andrea

Dad made the dough with only flour, egg, salt & water. He made the meat filling with 1/2 ground beef & 1/2 ground pork, onions, salt/pepper. He boiled them, then sauteed in oil/butter, sometimes sauteed some onions with them. He learned from Russian parents.

Annette

My grandparents also came from Poland, she also made these for me when i was young, she also made them with a sweet cottage cheese. Can any one help me for the recipe for that one?

Theresa

Grew up in Manitoba with Ukrainian parents who made perogies almost weekly as it was to feed us 11 kids and her recipe was simple no sour cream or egg or oil! Filling was cottage cheese / egg, or mashed potatoes, or cooked prunes, or blueberries or saurkraut /onion/bacon. I been making them with same filling and have added a
Egg, and oil to recipe like above and sour creme if I have it ! ! Grand kids love when I boil them ,sauté them with cooked butter and onions and then fry them serve with fried kobassa . I make and sell a few hundred dozen every year at a market. I am now 70 and still carry on my Ukrainian traditions !!

Michele

Thank you for this. My Great Grandparents came from the Ukraine and I remember my great grandmother making these when I was young. So glad to have to recipe to try now!

Ginny

I’m 73 and my mom was polish and made these on meatless Friday. I never got the recipe from her. I will certainly try this recipe. Thank you so much for posting it.

Mary

My sister and I were just talking about these three other day and I was trekking her I wish I had our grandmother’s recipe. She did the potato and cheese as well as the sauerkraut for Christmas eve. Then she made what we called her dessert ones made with damson plums and sugar they were fantastic.

Elaine

Our polish tradition is the best it has been passed down to four generations of my family. Thank Poland for our pierogi’s

Elaine

I am polish we had pierogi every Christmas Eve My Gram made them homemade. My mom and sister made them every Christmas foer for the whole family. simply wonderful Now my oldest daughter makes them for her family at Christmas Eve. Nothing better then our polish tradition and our pierogi’s.

Janice

I love peirogies. My family came from Germany. My mother never made these but, my s-i-l did. She was in a newspaper with her recipe. I never read much about it, but, now that I am reading all the info here, I remember how good they are. I do cook mostly Pennsylvania Dutch dishes. This is my kind of food. I am going to make these peirogies. Thanks everyone for your posts.

Tatiana

🙂 I just finished dough and meetfilling’s prep. I red the comments and …. 🙂 it’s an adventure! I will try those all differences . Have a lovely day everybody <3

Deborah Ellis

My grandmother was born and raised in eastern Poland. She made these by hand. She DID boil the, set them out to dry just a bit while she carmalized diced onions in butter. When that was done she coated the Perogi in the onion mix. They were heavenly!

Fran

I grew up in a polish school, everyone’s parents were from the old country. NONE of them boiled them! They all fried them! I would NEVER boil a pierogi!

Norma Malauskas

My Mon was Polish,. After you make the dumpling, you have to boil them for 2-3 minutes to cook the dough. Then you fry them.

Kelly

My Polish grandparents never used sour cream, milk, oil, water or only 1 egg. Their’s consisted of more eggs, a little bit of water from boiling potatoes to make the potato filling, and some of the actual mashed potato filling. I’ve tried other recipes, but will only use my grandparents (Busia and Dzia Dzia) recipe. Fried sauerkraut and onion is the BEST filling ever.

Lylean

Laura, you boil them till they float! About 2 or 3 minutes! You fry them till they are lightly browned! Enjoy!

Twyla

Oops, the article already said that! 🙂

Twyla

After you boil them, I recommend letting them cool so that the outside is no longer wet, and then pan-frying them to brown the outsides.

Patti

My Ukrainian granny never used egg or sour cream in her dough! This was originally peasant fare, and not many were rich enough to afford those items. She never filled them with meat either. Crimping the open pierogi shut is an art form.

Lee

My grandmother’s filling was 8 oz of dry cottage cheese, 1 egg, a T of sugar and then grated some nutmeg. She was Czech.

Samantha

Gotta try these! I belong to the Auxilliary Coast Guard and our Commandant is of Polish extraction and constantly talks about the pierogi Polish his wife makes. Members of our Flotilla always bring in goodies to share at our meetings, so if they turn out well I’ll take in a batch and get his opinion!

Joan

Thank you so much for the recipe. My mother and “Cioci” made these always. They are gone now, but the memory of the taste remains. I’m sending this to my son and my daughter so they can try to make them. I have but I need to pass this on. They are too good to not to.

Laura Gilger

How long do you boil them? Or fry them after? Never made them, have no idea.

Susan Higgins

Hi Laura, the article says, “To cook the pierogi, bring four quarts of salted water to a rolling boil. Add a few pierogi at a time, reduce heat and boil gently until the pierogi float. About five minutes or so.”

Robert Koktavy

What is the Bohemian counterpart?

Eva Starnes

Thank you for sharing this receipe My mother was born in Poland and used to make them for us when I was little, she died when I was real young and I have always wanted to know just how she made them Thanks again! I have to get started with my new recipe.

Josephine

I lived in the Ukrainian section of NYC in my 20s, Pierogi was a staple food. My favorite was going to dinner at the Ukrainian National Home. They had a combination plate with 3 pierogi one meat, one potato/cheese, and one sauerkraut; along with the pierogi there was a stuffed cabbage, with bigos, and kielbasa. It was awesome, and I was only about 117 lbs at 5’8″ they were amazed I always cleaned the plate.

Sue

I lived in Poland for a while and pierogi are the best! Thanks for the great recipe!

Brittany

Yum!

Plan Your Day. Grow Your Life.

Sign up today for inspiring articles, tips & weather forecasts!