Homemade Pierogies





Introduction: Homemade Pierogies

About: Designer. Thinker. Doer. Hiker. Lover.


Wait. How is there no Instructable for making pierogies?!

As a native Pennsylvanian hailing from just outside Pittsburgh, pierogies were a staple growing up. We'd have them at family gatherings, Mrs. T's pierogies exists in every grocery store, and our school cafeteria had pierogi day. Even the Pittsburgh Pirates, our baseball team, has the Pierogi Race at every home game where people dress as beloved pierogi characters representing various pierogi fillings and compete for glory as they race around the field! It's in our DNA, us yinzers.

So imagine my surprise when I learned so many others grew up without these soft, pillows of happiness! I've taken to making these after moving to areas where I couldn't find them as easily and it's fun to carry on the family recipe and share it with others.

This idea is shared by many! The Italians and their ravioli, the beautiful Chinese provided their take with pot stickers/dumplings, and eastern Europe has given us the pierogi.

I'll go through the steps to make what seems like the most common, traditional pierogi - the potato and cheddar filled version. Towards the end, I'll share some other suggestions to stuff them with but feel free to get creative! This is only the beginning.

Photo caption: That'd be me in this first photo, posing with Sauerkraut Saul of the Pittsburgh Pirates Great Pierogi Race before a home game.

Step 1: Gather Ingredients and Gadgets

This is a tried-and-true recipe passed down in my family, thanks to my aunt and cousin.

Homemade Pierogies
Yield: ~60 pierogies

russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 egg yolks
2 whole eggs
1 pt. sour cream
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
4 cups flour (enough to make the dough elastic)
1 lb. butter
4 onions

The process goes a lot faster with a circle cutter the same size as your pierogi press. You can work around these things, though. Get creative :-) If you have supplies to make ravioli, that should do the trick!

Step 2: Prep the Potato Filling

Cook potatoes until soft, drain water. I followed this instructable to peel the potatoes.

Mash potatoes and add shredded cheese. This makes the filling.

Step 3: Prep the Dough

Mix eggs and sour cream together.

Then, mix four, baking powder, and salt (or use self-rising flour instead of these three). Mix into egg yolks, egg, and sour cream slowly until it makes elastic dough.

A food processor makes light work of this. Roll the dough ball in flour to make it easier to handle. I split the resulting dough into 4 sections to make it easier to work with.

Step 4: Roll the Dough

Roll out dough to thin consistency. A pasta dough roller would be a huge help here if you have one handy. Cut into round circles.

Step 5: Press the Pierogies

Put the dough into the press and add filling.

Make sure to squeeze the edges nice and tight. The dough should be elastic enough to hold, but any openings will result in the potato filling coming out in the later stages and leave you with empty dough pockets.

Step 6: Press, Press, Press...

This part can be a bit of a meditation. Cut, fill, press, repeat...put on some music, do this with family, tell the same old stories you do every time you make pierogies :-)

Step 7: Boil the Pierogies

Boil in water for 10 minutes. Try to do this in small batches - 7-10 depending on the size of your pots and pans.

Step 8: Prep the Pan

Melt some butter (this isn't a healthy recipe - be generous with the butter) and drop in chopped onions.

Step 9: Sautee the Cooked Pierogies

Sautee in butter and onions for 10 minutes. Eat at this stage or continue to prep for future use.

I find it's important to do this in a single layer. How brown they get is entirely up to you!

Step 10: Prep to Freeze

Place on cookie sheet until frozen, then remove. Take them out and put into ziplock bags to freeze.

You can leave these in the freezer for months and take out a few at a time to make quickly. Great if you're cooking for one or a two and want a quick, homemade bite! This also works for party prep if you want to take care of this way in advance, they'll keep.

Step 11: Reheat in Pan

When you'd like to serve, reheat with butter and onions until hot.

Step 12: Alternatives and Pierogi Races

The potato filling is a classic but there are endless variations for this delicious food vehicle. I made a dessert version filled with blueberries and topped with whipped cream, a version stuffed with mashed sweet potatoes and sautéed in butter and brown sugar...there's a lot you can do.

For other traditional versions, look no further than the Pittsburgh Pirates' Great Pierogi Race, featuring Potato Pete (blue hat), Jalapeño Hannah (green hat), Cheese Chester (yellow hat), Sauerkraut Saul (red hat), Oliver Onion (purple hat), and Bacon Burt (orange hat).

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    22 Discussions

    This is awesome. I live in the baltimore area and while my family has found them around,we can't always afford them. I am 4th generation and my grandparents didn't teach my mom how to make them. However I know she has always wanted to make them. Thank you so much, this is amazing!

    Wow I always thought it was spelt perogie! Anyways awesome page!

    My in-laws were DP's from Ukraine, and these were always served with caramelized onions and sour cream (smetana). I was hooked with the first bite!

    1 reply

    Yum! That's the way to do it, grannyjones!


    2 years ago

    I had the pleasure of Pierogies, when I was staying in Ohio many years ago. Having moved back to England, there are of course unavailable. I have looked often to find a recipe. And now thanks to you I have one. The perfect comfort food.

    1 reply

    Hope you have a go at making them, lac3y! It's a fun recipe for sure.

    Also, depending on where you are in England you might be in luck! I'm living in London now and there's a local source: http://pierogicompany.com/what_we_make.html


    2 years ago

    I grew up on the south side, Century III mall area. Live in east Tennessee now. My family and I love pierogies. Bookmarked this page and will make some soon. Thank you so much!

    1 reply

    Oh that makes me happy, timp12! That means you're also familiar with another favorite food tradition - the wedding cookie table.

    Hope you and your family enjoy this recipe as much as mine does.

    Brought tears to my eyes. I would marry pierogi.

    Any estimate on how thick that dough should be? I need to make a gluten free version.

    3 replies

    Here are two other shots to show the thickness and elasticity that didn't make the final cut!

    Photo Dec 07, 16 50 40.jpgPhoto Dec 07, 16 50 57.jpg

    Heck yeah, thanks for posting those. #fatlyfe

    I hear ya, nancyCpants! You'd make a lovely couple ;-)

    Try somewhere about 5-7 sheets of standard printer paper (floppy, 60lb type). You don't want it to be too thin or it'll tear when you put it in the press full of potato-y goodness. Too thick and you won't be able to add enough stuffing. I tried to show how it drapes to give a feel of the thickness. You'll do enough that you can find what works best for you!

    Be sure to take photos and post back here when you make your own!

    The recipe is delicious.. but they just look like store bought because of the press. . should try and do them by hand.. just as fast.. maybe even faster.. and definitely have more of a homemade look.. here is a batch that we just did a couple weeks ago. 600 plus perogies ?

    1 reply

    Wow, what an amazing feat!

    I love that you found a style that works for you. As with all making, I find it's very individually driven. The press was a gift from my aunt so using it reminds me of her :-)


    2 years ago

    Thanks for the recipe. I just love potato and cheddar pierogis
    and my take on a jalapeno popper, mix cream cheese and sliced pickled jalapeno
    peppers. Make them into small balls and freeze them and then form the dough
    around them.

    1 reply

    That sounds delicious, tpest!

    And good tip about freezing them first before putting in the dough. Consistency is key in making these well!


    2 years ago

    Pierogi Happiness! :-) Sauerkraut are tasty, but by far, my favorite is potato/cheese pierogies. I've never been able to eat just one! Way to go with this Instructable, acoens!

    1 reply

    I like your style, pi526 :-)