Potato Perogies Recipe
This Potato Perogies Recipe with caramelized onions is made with simple ingredients that come together into the most delicious bites of homemade comfort food. Make them fresh, or freeze to get a head start on dinner on a busy weeknight, these pierogies or vareniki will become your favorite.
What is a Pierogi or Perogies?
A pierogi (singular) or perogies (plural) are boiled dumplings that are popular in many Eastern European countries, including Ukraine, Russia, and Poland. Being Ukrainian, we call these little potato dumplings vareniki.
While the name and pronunciation vary, they all refer to a dumpling that can be filled with a variety of vegetarian fillings ranging from potatoes, sauteed cabbage, farmer’s cheese, and berries as just some of the options.
Inexpensive and made with pantry staples that we all most likely have on hand, perogies are a type of comfort food that fills your belly and your soul. This Pierogi Recipe is filled with mashed potatoes and lots of caramelized onions. If you’re a fan of cheese, shredded cheddar will make a great addition to the filling as well.
In our family, my grandma would make these in huge batches and freeze them. Then, when we came to visit she would boil them and instantly remind everyone once again why she’s the best grandma ever.
Other Perogie Filling Options
If you’re looking to venture out from the most traditional perogi filling try these other choices:
- sauteed cabbage and mushroom
- mashed potatoes and cheddar
- farmer’s cheese & dill
- sweetened farmers cheese
- fresh strawberries or blueberries
- apple butter (just cook down some jarred apple sauce to make apple butter filling).
Can I freeze Pierogies?
This Pierogies Recipe is the perfect make-ahead meal. The Pierogies freeze nicely and are ready to be cooked when you are. Comfort food at its best!
When I make this Pierogi Recipe I love to double or triple the recipe and make a whole bunch and freeze them.
To freeze, just place the Perogies on a floured tray and freeze them. Then, transfer into Ziploc bags and store for up to a month (for best results).
Whenever you are having a busy day or when you’re just not in the mood to cook all you need to do is boil the frozen Perogies and dinner is ready in minutes!
What is the best way to cook frozen Perogies?
Once you have your Perogies made and frozen, the hardest part is done. All you need to do is bring a large pot of salted water to a boil then, add the amount of perogies desired and cook for about 4-5 minutes after the Perogies float to the top. Drain and add to a bowl. Add butter and gently toss to coat. Then, enjoy your delicious and simple perogies dinner.
Scroll all the way to the bottom for the detailed recipe instructions with recipe ingredient amounts.
Perogies Dough Ingredients:
- Warm Milk – whole milk will produce softer dough. Warming the milk allows the flour to absorb the liquid quicker. Milk with less fat or buttermilk can be used as well.
- Egg – the eggs enrich the dough and make it softer.
- Unsalted butter – adds softness to the dough. Butter can be replaced with oil.
- Salt – the salt ads flavor.
- Flour – all-purpose flour is fine.
- Potatoes – using Russet or Yellow/Yukon potatoes work best for the filling.
- Onions – onions add a lot of flavor to the filling and will separate bland perogies from rich and flavorful perogies. Do not skip the onions, if you at all can.
- Salt & pepper – add flavor and accentuate all the flavors in this potato filling for perogies.
How To Make Potato Perogies Dough
- Mix the dough: In a bowl mix the milk, egg, salt, and 3 cups of flour until a thick mixture forms. Add butter and continue kneading it in until fully incorporated. Divide the dough into two equal pieces and form round balls.
- Cover, and let rest for 30 minutes to 1 hour. The longer the dough is rested the easier it will be to roll it out.
How to make the best Potato Pierogi Filling
- Caramelize diced onions in a couple of tablespoons of oil until translucent and browned for about 10 minutes.
- Boil peeled & quartered potatoes in salted water until soft and easily pierced with a fork. Drain and mash the potatoes with the potato masher.
- Add half the caramelized onions, salt, and black ground pepper. Mix until combined. Taste and adjust for salt.
How to shape Perogies
- Work with one dough piece at a time.
- Roll: On a well-floured surface, roll out the dough to about 1/8 inches thick. Sprinkle with flour to prevent sticking, as needed.
- Cut out 2-inch circles (or 3-inch circles) with a cookie cutter or an upside drinking glass with the same diameter.
- Collect the scraps around the cut out circles, knead them together and shape into a ball. Keep covered.
- Add filling: Add 1 teaspoon of potato filling to the center of each circle, staying off the edges.
- Fold the circles with filling into a half-moon shape. Pinch the two sides firmly all around to seal the filling inside.
- Set the formed perogies on a floured surface (or baking sheet if you plan to freeze them).
How to Cook the Perogies:
- Boil the perogies: Bring 4 – 6 quarts of water and 2 tbsp salt to a boil over high heat. Next, add the perogies in batches of 20-25 perogies. Stir gently to prevent sticking and cook for about 4 minutes after they float to the top. To check if they are ready, remove one perogy from the water cut it in half and taste it.
- Add 1 tablespoon of butter to a large bowl. Remove Perogies from the water with a colander and add to the bowl. Leave for a minute to allow the butter to melt and the steam to escape. Toss gently to coat the perogies with butter.
- Sprinkle the remaining caramelized onions on top. Serve with a dollop of sour cream (optional).
- Use warm milk or liquid for making the dough. Warm temperature speeds up the absorption of the liquid into the flour.
- Rest the dough and do not skip this step. Resting the dough relaxes the gluten and makes it easier to roll. The unrested dough will keep springing back as you try to roll it.
- Do not reshape the dough into a taught ball before rolling out or all the relaxed gluten formations will tighten up again and make the dough spring back as you try to roll it out. If this happens, just cover the dough and leave it on the counter for 10-15 minutes to rest and relax the gluten.
- Do not add too much flour as you’re rolling the dough. Adding too much will cause the dough to become more dense and heavy.
- Do not touch the edges with the filling. The grease and moisture from the filling getting on the edges will make it hard to seal the edges. Improperly sealed edges will open up when the perogies are boiling and the filling will come out.
- Prevent sticking of perogies by tossing them with butter or the oil from the caramelized onions.
What do you serve the perogies with?
- Sour cream or greek yogurt are added for an added tang and a contrast of flavor.
- Caramelized onions and bacon bits are other popular options.
- If nothing else, a pat of melted butter is simple and a delicious way to serve perogies.
How to freeze the perogies?
- Shape the perogies and set them on a well-floured baking sheet pan, spacing the perogies evenly without touching. Transfer to the freezer and allow to freeze completely. Next transfer the frozen perogies to a ziplock.
- Freeze for up to a month.
- Cook following the instructions on how to cook the perogies without letting them thaw.
Potato Perogies Recipe with Caramelized Onions (Vareniki)
This Potato Perogis Recipe with caramelized onions is simple, delicious and the perfect dinner recipe. Having a batch of these perogies in the freezer means comfort food is only minutes away from enjoyment.
- 1 large onion diced
- 3 Tbsp oil
Potato Perogies Filling Ingredients
To Serve the Potato Pierogi
- unsalted butter
- caramelized onions
- sour cream
How to make the perogies dough
Make the dough: In a bowl combine 1 cup milk, 1 egg, 1 tsp salt, and 2 cups of flour. Mix on low speeds until thoroughly combined. Now add the remaining 1 cup of flour adding it gradually to make a soft dough. Lastly, mix in 2 oz of butter until thoroughly combined. The dough should not stick to the sides of the bowl or your hands.. Divide the dough into 2 equal balls.
Cover & rest: cover the bowl with the dough with kitchen towel and let rest for 30 minutes to 1 hour at room temperature to relax the gluten in the dough. Rested dough is easier to roll out. The dough can be made a day ahead kept refrigerated until ready to use.
Meanwhile, make the caramelized onions and potato filling.
Dice & caramelize – Dice onions. Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a skillet. Add onions and caramelize over medium heat, stirring frequently until golden brown in color. Remove from heat and set aside.
Boil potatoes: Add peeled and quartered potatoes to a pot and cover with water. Boil for about 20 minutes or until easily pierced with a fork. Do not overcook, this will make the filling runny. Drain the water & mash the potatoes with the potato masher.
Season: Reserve half the onoins for serving. Add the remaining onions and oil to the potatoes. Stir & season with salt & black ground pepper to taste. Take a small amount of the mixture and press it together, it should form a lump. If it does not, add warm milk or oil 1 tablespoon at a time stirring after each addition until the potato filling forms a lump when pressed together.
Form the Pierogies or Vareniki
Work with 1 dough ball at a time, keeping the other piece covered to prevent drying.
Dust the rolling pin, and the working surface with some flour. Roll the dough to about 1/8 inches thick, lifting the dough and adding more flour as necessary to prevent sticking. Adding too much flour will make the dough dense & heavy, so only add minimal amount.
Cut out 2-inch circles with either a cookie cutter or an upside-down drinking glass of the same diameter. For larger perogies use a 3-inch cookie cutter or a larger glass.
Collect the scraps around the cut-out circles, knead them together into a ball and keep covered.
Add filling: Add 1 teaspoon of filling to the center of each cutout staying off the edges of the dough. Filling touching the sides will prevent the perogie edges from sealing.
How to seal perogies: bring opposite sides around the filling together at the top, pressing the dough firmly together to seal. Then starting from one side and moving towards the opposite keep pressing the two edges together firmly creating a half-moon shape. If any part of the edge is not pressed firmly enough, the filling will escape through this opening while the perogies are boiling.
Set on a lightly floured baking pan spacing the perogies evenly without touching.
Lastly roll out the scraps and repeat the steps again to create more perogies.
How To Cook the Pierogies:
Prep bowl with butter: Add 1 tablespoon of butter to a large bowl and set aside.
Boil the perogies:
Bring 6 quarts water & about 2 tablespoons of salt to a rapid boil over high heat.
Add the perogies several pieces at a time, stirring frequently. Do not boil more than 20-30 pieces at a time or they will be more likely to stick together and overcook.
Once the peogies float to the top and the water comes to a boil again, cook for about 2-4 minutes or until al dante. The perogies should be soft, but still have a little bite to them.
Do not overcook or the perogies will rupture and the filling will escape into the water.
Remove the perogies from the water with a colander or a slotted spoon. Let excess water drip off. Add the perogies to the prepared bowl and leave undisturbed for a minute to let the butter melt and excess steam escape. Then, toss to coat the perogies with butter. Add caramelized onions and toss gently again. Serve right away.
Sprinkle with black ground pepper and add a dollop of sour cream.
Optionally, chop some bacon and cook until crispy. Sprinkle the crisped-up bacon over the top of the perogies.
How to crisp perogies in butter
Preheat skillet over medium heat 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the perogies in one layer and allow each side to crisp up before turning over. Crisp the perogies in batches.
Serve with sour cream, caramelized onions and black ground pepper.
Freeze the perogies on a well-floured baking sheet for about 3-4 hours or until fully frozen.
Then transfer to a ziplock bag and store in the freezer for up to 1 month (for best results). When ready to cook, do not thaw, just add frozen Pierogies to boiling water & follow the instructions on how to cook the perogies.