Delicious potato and cheese pierogi are such a comfort food. The filling is made with mashed potatoes, cheddar cheese, sautéed onions, and rosemary butter which takes this simple filling to another level. Serve them boiled or pan-fried. They are so good, you’ll keep coming back for more!
What are pierogi?
Pierogi are one of the most popular Polish dishes (in Poland and abroad!). These Polish dumplings are made with a simple unleavened dough and filled with sweet or savory fillings. They are boiled and then sometimes additionally pan-fried. It’s the comfort food of every Pole!
I’ve seen people calling them pierogis, perogy, pyrogy, perogies, perogis, pierogies – yes! so many different versions. It’s much simpler in Poland – pierogi is the plural name of these delicious dumplings (so calling them pierogis makes no sense since pierogi is already plural!) and 1 dumpling is 1 pieróg. You could also call them pierożki (this is how my daughter calls them!) which means literally ‘small pierogi’.
Here’s what you need for pierogi dough:
- flour – I used all-purpose flour
- water – the water should be very hot but not boiling (it will make the dough softer)
- salt – to season the dough
- butter – adds flavor and makes the dough softer, you can use any vegetable oil instead (like sunflower or canola oil), some readers also reported that this recipe works well with vegan butter
Here’s what you need to make potato and cheese filling:
- mashed potatoes – the best will be mealy potatoes like Russets but any kind will work
- grated cheddar cheese (Swiss cheese/Emmental cheese will also work)
- fresh rosemary – can be omitted but I really recommend using it if you have some on hand!
- salt and pepper.
Please note, that this is an Americanized version of Polish potato and cheese pierogi. For authentic potato and cheese pierogi, the kind you would find in Poland, see this recipe: authentic potato and cheese pierogi (pierogi ruskie).
A couple of years ago I googled ‘potato and cheese pierogi’, to see, to my surprise, that a lot of them call for cheddar cheese (I’m not living in the US, I’m Polish living in Austria). I’ve never thought to make the potato and cheese pierogi this way. Traditionally we use white curd cheese – ‘twaróg cheese’. Twaróg is a soft, curd cheese, slightly sour (you can see it in the photo in the pierogi ruskie post, that is linked above). It’s similar to farmer’s cheese in taste but doesn’t resemble cheddar cheese’s taste at all (though both are very tasty). Cheddar cheese is not easy to get in Poland. Now it‘s available in some big markets, but some years ago not really. Both of my Polish grandmas don’t even know that cheddar cheese exists. Potatoes and cheddar are such a good flavor combination, so I thought, it must taste good. And guess what, it was! Soo good. I was really surprised.
I must admit, I still like the traditional potato and cheese pierogi better, mainly because they remind me of my childhood. My husband, on the other hand, has said, that that were the best pierogi that he has ever eaten and my 20-months old daughter has eaten 10 pierogi (I don‘t even know how that‘s possible!), so there must be something to it!
I encourage you to make pierogi at home, from scratch, it‘s a bit time-consuming but very easy to do and worth every minute of that time!
How to make potato and cheese pierogi step by step
Start with making the pierogi dough:
- Stir the flour with salt in a medium bowl.
- Warm the water with butter/oil in a small pot until very warm but not boiling.
- Add the water with butter to the bowl. Stir the ingredients with a spoon until roughly combined.
- Knead the dough by hand or with a stand mixer fitter with a hook dough attachment, until it’s soft and smooth (it will take about 5 minutes with the mixer). When you follow the recipe (especially if you weigh the ingredients, instead of using measuring cups), the dough should be perfect, but if for some reason it’s not, add some water if it’s too dry, or a little bit of flour if it’s too wet.
- Wrap the dough with plastic foil and leave it to rest for 30 minutes (it can be longer). While the dough is resting, make the filling. You can make it in the same bowl.
There’s no sour cream in this dough because that’s not how they are made in Poland. You’ll love this dough! It’s easy to make and delicious.
Please note that I have a separate post with all the details on how to make perfect pierogi dough.
Make the potato and cheese filling:
- Cook the potatoes and mash them.
- Cook diced onion with finely chopped rosemary twigs.
- Grate the cheese.
- Combine all the ingredients and season with salt and pepper to taste. I like to mix the ingredients with a stand mixer fitted with a paddle-shaped attachment – it’s just easier than mixing it by hand.
- Shape small balls of filling. This is optional (you can just scoop the filling with a teaspoon) but I find it’s makes filling the pierogi easier and quicker. I scoop the filling with an ice cream spoon then divide it in half and shape small balls.
- Roll out the pierogi dough and cut out rounds.
- Place one filling ball on each dough circle.
- Pinch the edges together to seal.
- Cook the pierogi in boiling salted water, 10-12 minutes at a time, about 1-2 minutes from the time they float to the water surface.
- Drain and serve!
How to serve pierogi
Pierogi are most often served on their own, but they are often topped with sautéed onions, melted butter, or crispy bacon. Sour cream would also be great. They are not really served with any kind of sauce.
Storing and freezing instructions
Storage: To ensure that the cooked pierogi don‘t stick to each other, brush them lightly with melted butter. Store in a tightly-closed container in the fridge for about 2 days. On the next day, it‘s best to pan-fry them with butter until golden.
You can also store separately pierogi dough and the filling in the fridge for up to 2 days. The next day you can make and cook fresh pierogi.
Freezing: you can freeze cooked and raw pierogi. You can cook frozen pierogi straight from the freezer (don’t thaw them).
How to freeze pierogi: Place the pierogi apart on a tray, lightly sprinkled well with flour. Freeze until solid. Transfer to containers on plastic bags.
How to cook uncooked frozen pierogi: Cook like fresh pierogi but take them out once they float to the water surface.
How to cook cooked frozen pierogi: I cook frozen dumplings just like fresh ones, with the difference that you can cook a smaller amount of them at a time, I cook max. 7-8 frozen pierogi at once (and about 10-12 fresh). When you drop too many frozen pierogi at once it will lower the temperature of the water too much and they will burst.
All my pierogi recipes
I have a separate post, where I talk about all the traditional and modern pierogi filling ideas.
Here are my recipes:
- the best pierogi dough recipe
- traditional potato and cheese pierogi
- sauerkraut and mushroom pierogi
- spinach, potato and feta cheese pierogi
- uszka (porcini-filled mini pierogi)
- vegan pierogi with spicy sun-dried tomato and lentil filling
- sweet cheese pierogi
Did you make this recipe? RATE THE RECIPE or tell me in the COMMENTS how you liked it! You can also add a photo of your dish. It would make me very happy and will help other readers. Thank you!!
Potato and cheese pierogi the American way – homemade cheddar pierogi
for the pierogi dough:
- 2 cups (250g) flour
- 1/2 cup + 1 Tbsp (140g) water
- 1.5 tablespoons (20g) butter or vegetable oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2.2 lbs (1kg) lbs potatoes preferably mealy like russets, cooked potato weight is 1.8 lbs (800g)
- 7 oz (200g) cheddar cheese or Swiss/Emmental cheese
- 1 small onion
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 rosemary twig optional
- salt and pepper to taste
- rosemary butter optional, 2 tablespoons butter + a rosemary twig
Make the dough:
- Stir the flour with salt in a medium/large bowl.
- Warm the water with butter/oil in a small pot until very warm but not boiling.
- Add the liquid to the bowl. Stir the dough with a spoon until roughly combined.
- Knead the dough by hand or with a stand mixer fitter with a hook dough attachment, until it’s soft and smooth (it will take about 5 minutes with the mixer). When you follow the recipe (especially if you weigh the ingredients, instead of using measuring cups), the dough should be perfect, but if for some reason it’s not, add some water if it’s too dry, or a little bit of flour if it’s too wet. If the dough already forms a ball, is relatively smooth, but still tough, it means that it’s not ready, it must be further kneaded until soft and elastic (after resting time it will be even softer).
- Wrap the dough with plastic foil and leave to rest for 30 minutes. While the dough is resting, make the filling. You can make it in the same bowl.
Make the filling:
- Cook the potatoes until tender. While still warm, mash them into puree, set aside to cool.
- Grate the cheese on the big holes of the grater.
- Finely chop the onion and rosemary needles. Heat the butter in a frying pan and cook the onion with rosemary over medium heat, along with a pinch of salt, until soft (but be careful not to brown or burn it). Set aside to cool.
- Combine all the filling ingredients (mashed potatoes, cooked onion with rosemary, grated cheese), season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Divide the dough into 2 parts.
- Roll out the first part of the dough on a lightly floured surface (I like silicone rolling mats). Cut out rounds with pierogi cutter/biscuit cutter/a glass. The dough should be rolled out thinly. If the dough is hard to roll out, set it aside for about 5-10 minutes to rest.
- Gather scraps, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside.
- Using a teaspoon, apply the filling on each round.
- Fold the dough over the filling to create a half-moon shape. Press edges together, sealing and crimping with your fingers.
- Place the pierogi apart on a towel lightly sprinkled with flour, cover loosely with a kitchen cloth so that they don‘t dry out.
- Repeat with the remaining dough.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
- Cook the pierogi in batches (for a 8-inch (21 cm) pot I cook about 10-12 dumplings at a time). When they float to the water surface cook them for 1-2 minutes more, then remove from the water with a slotted spoon. The cooking time will depend on the thickness of the dough.
- Drain well and transfer onto a plate.
- 1 cup is 240ml.
- The amount of pierogi: based on the feedback that I got from readers, the amount of pierogi you’ll get from this recipe can vary greatly! My pierogi are rather small and I like to pack them with a lot of filling, that’s why I got 50 pierogi from this recipe. This may be different for you and you can get only half of this amount if you’ll make large pierogi.
- The dough can be rolled out with a pasta attachment.
- How to measure flour: Fluff the flour by stirring it in the bag/flour container with a spoon. Spoon the flour and sprinkle it into your measuring cup. Sweep off the excess flour with the back of a knife.
- Calories = 1 serving (1/4 of the recipe). This is only an estimate!