Learn how to make traditional Pierogi Ruskie following my grandma's polish Pierogi Recipe! Dough is filled with potatoes and cheese, then pan-seared in butter, making them the perfect recipe for the holidays or year-round.
This Pierogi recipe is coming straight from my grandma to you!
See, my mom's side of the family is very Polish, so every year we make homemade pierogies for the holidays. I honestly can't believe it's taken me this long to share this recipe! I called my mom to get the recipe, who got her recipe from my grandma who's been making traditional pierogies -- or Pierogi Ruskie as they say in Polish -- for over 70 years!
This recipe combines my two favorite things -- cheese and potatoes -- but if you're in need of more potato recipes, you must try these air fryer potato wedges (so crispy!) and this potato barley soup.
What are pierogies?
Pierogies are dough that's filled with either potatoes and cheese or sauerkraut. The dough is folded kind of like a dumpling, then cooked in boiling water. Last, they're pan-fried in butter and often times served alongside sour cream.
- This recipe is easy! A little time consuming, yes, but quite simple to make an authentic pierogi recipe.
- Loaded with cheesy potatoes, then fried in butter -- what could be better?!
- A great recipe the whole family can help with (I grew up making these with my mom, stepdad and brother every year around the holidays, and it's an excellent group activity!)
I'm going to share recommended ingredients based on what my grandma uses in her pierogi recipe, along with easy substitutions when available.
- Potatoes - Russet potatoes work best; could also use Yukon potatoes
- Sharp cheddar cheese - Buy a block of cheddar cheese and grate it yourself; that way, the cheese will melt more easily than pre-shedded cheese.
- Onion - Yellow or white onion is fine; make sure to mince the onion instead of dicing it
- Butter - No substitutions! Butter is a must for pierogis.
- Flour - I used all purpose flour, but white whole wheat flour or gluten free 1:1 flour will work just fine
- Egg - No substitutions; though I'm sure you can make pierogis without egg, I've only ever made them with egg
- Olive oil - Or any kind of oil, really (though I wouldn't use coconut oil)
Step 1: Cook the potatoes. Add the potatoes to a large pot, then fill it with water so it's covering the potatoes by one inch. Bring them to a boil and cook until they're fork tender; drain and place them into a large mixing bowl.
Step 2: Sauté the onions. While the potatoes are cooking, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Pour the butter/onion mixture into the bowl with the potatoes, then add the cheddar cheese.
Step 3: Mash potatoes. Use a potato masher to mash the potatoes, onion, butter, and cheese together until the cheese has melted. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside and allow the mixture to cool.
Step 4: Make the pierogie dough. Stir the flour, salt and baking powder together in a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs and olive oil together, then pour them into the bowl with the flour and stir to combine. Slowly pour in the water and use your hands to mix until you have a dough-like consistency. This step will take 2-3 minutes.
Step 5: Roll out the dough. Flour a clean work surface, then use a rolling pin to roll the dough out. You may want to do this in batches (divide the dough into 2 or 3 balls). Use a 3" or 4" circle cookie cutter to cut circles out of the dough and place them on a clean kitchen towel. Cover the dough with another towel so it doesn't dry out.
Step 6: Fill the pierogies. Use your hands to slightly stretch the round dough, then spoon some of the cheesy potatoes into the center of the circle. Fold the dough in half and pinch it in the center. Spoon some more of the potato filling into the sides, then use your fingers to pinch the dough tightly to seal the dough. Last, use the back of a spoon to scallop the dough.
Step 7: Cook. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, then drop the pierogis in one at a time (approx. 6-8 at a time). Boil them until they float to the top, then use a slotted spoon to remove them and place them on a clean kitchen towel. Cover them with another towel, and continue boiling the pierogis.
Step 8: Pan-sear OR freeze. If you're making these ahead of time, you'll want to wrap each pierogis individually in plastic wrap, then place them in a large freezer-safe bag and freeze them for up to 6 months. If you'e eating these right away, follow the below step:
To pan-fry: Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat, then add the pierogies and cook for 2-3 minutes per side until they're golden brown. Repeat this step with all of the pierogies you plan on eating/serving.
Tips and tricks
- If you own a stand mixer, you may want to use that, along with the dough hook, to make the dough.
- NOTE: the dough will be quite sticky at first -- that's ok! Keep kneading the dough until it's slightly tacky but it no longer sticks to your hands, about 2-3 minutes.
- If you're making these ahead of time, do NOT fry them; instead, boil the pierogies, then wait for them to cool before wrapping them individually in plastic wrap and freezing them.
- This recipe is really easy to double; my family almost always makes at least twice this many pierogies if not more. That way, you have plenty to eat throughout the year.
- The number of pierogies you end up with will largely depend on the size of your circle cookie cutter. I recommend using a 3" or 4" one.
What should pierogies be served with?
Serve pierogies with extra melted butter, along with sour cream and chopped chives. We tend to serve them alongside ham, breaded fish (like this air fryer tilapia) and green beans.
Is there a way to make vegan pierogies?
Yes! Simply use vegan cheddar cheese and vegan butter to make them plant-based. As for the egg in the dough, you should be able to replace with a flax egg (1 tablespoon ground flaxseed + 2 tablespoons water).
Refrigerator: Store leftovers in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Freezer: To freeze, wait for the boiled pierogies to cool, then wrap them individually in plastic wrap and place them in a freezer-safe bag for up to 6 months. To reheat, simply melt butter in a skillet and pan-sear them from frozen (just know that they'll take a bit longer to cook from frozen).
More cheesy recipes
If you made this recipe, be sure to leave a comment and star rating below. Thanks!
Grandma's Polish Pierogi Recipe
- 2.5 lb. russet potatoes peeled and diced into large chunks
- 8 oz. shredded sharp cheddar cheese preferably freshly grated
- 1 small onion minced
- ½ cup butter plus more for frying
- 4 ½ cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 egg
- 2 teaspoon olive oil
- 2 cups warm water
- Cook the potatoes in a pot of boiling water until form tender. Drain, then place them in a large bowl.
- While the potatoes are cooking, melt the butter in a large skillet, then add the onion and sauté until soft, 5-6 minutes. Pour the butter/onion mixture into the bowl with the potatoes, then add the cheese and use a potato masher to mash everything together until the cheese is melted. The mixture will be thick! Add salt and pepper to taste. Allow the potatoes to cool before using them.
- While the potatoes are cooling, make the dough: stir the flour, salt and baking powder together in a large bowl. Then, whisk the eggs and olive oil together then pour them into the bowl and stir to combine. Pour the water in 1 cup at a time, using your hands to mix everything together. The dough will be very sticky at first, but after you knead it for 2-3 minutes, it should pull away from your hands.
- Next, flour a clean surface or silpat mat, then pour the dough out onto it and divide it into two balls. Sett the one ball of dough aside and keep the other one on the mat. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough out so that it's ¼" thick, then use a 3" circle cookie cutter to cut out round circles of dough and place them on a clean dish towel. Re-roll the dough until it's finished, then repeat the same process with the second ball of dough. You should end up with around 24 circles.
- To make a pierogi: use your hands to slightly stretch one of the dough circles out a bit, then add a spoonful of the cheesy potatoes in the middle. Fold up the two ends like a taco and pinch them together. Add a little more potato filling into both sides, then use your fingers to seal the pierogi shut on all sides. Use the back of a spoon to scallop the dough, which will ensure none of the potato filling comes out when they're cooking. Repeat this step for all of the dough circles. You may have a little bit of the cheesy potatoes leftover and that's ok!
- While you're making the pierogies, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Then, drop 6 pierogies into the water and cook them until they rise to the top, approx. 5 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove them and place them on a clean kitchen towel, then cover them with another towel so they don't dry out.
- The final step is to fry them: melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium heat, then add the pierogies and cook them for 2-3 minutes on the first side, then flip them over and cook for 1-2 minutes on the second side until they're golden brown. NOTE: you'll need to add more butter as you go and possibly wipe out the skillet in between batches to ensure they brown properly.
- Serve pierogies with drizzled melted butter, sour cream and/or chopped chives and enjoy!