Sauerkraut and mushroom pierogi can be eaten all year round, but I love them especially in autumn and winter and they are always present on my Christmas table. This is one of my favorite pierogi fillings and one of the most popular pierogi in Poland. These Polish sauerkraut dumplings are slightly sour, hearty, and packed with flavor! They are very easy to make from scratch at home.
This recipe focuses on the filling. For detailed instructions on how to make the best pierogi dough check out this post: pierogi dough recipe. It has lots of tips on how to make the best pierogi, storing, and freezing instructions, and dozens of reader’s reviews!
This filling can be also used for stuffing yeast dough buns, puff pastry dough, or used to make krokiety (rolled-up, fried European-style pancakes). Yeast dough buns filled with this filling are traditionally served with barszcz wigilijny soup (Christmas Eve Beet Soup – Borscht).
What are pierogi?
Pierogi are Polish dumplings, made with unleavened dough and filled with sweet or savory fillings. They are boiled and then sometimes additionally pan-fried.
Do you call them Pierogi, Pierogies or Perogies? Although the word ‘pierogies’ is popularized in English-speaking countries, it is not the true name of these Polish dumplings. The correct name is: singular – 1 pieróg and plural – pierogi. There are no other terms to name it.
- Mushrooms – The filling can be made two ways, with wild mushrooms only or with a mixture of wild, dried mushrooms and pan-fried cremini mushrooms. Both versions are delicious. Cremini mushroom filling is more mild-tasting (kids like it more). For more pronounced mushroom flavor use only dried porcini mushrooms. The taste is richer, but the difference is not huge. I personally like a mixture of both mushroom types.
- Sauerkraut – Pay attention to buy sauerkraut that is naturally fermented, not mixed with vinegar. The list of the ingredients should include only sauerkraut and salt.
- Aromatics and herbs – sauteed onion and typical Polish spices: marjoram, allspice berries, caraway, and bay leaves. Prunes are an optional ingredient, I sometimes add them to the filling. They add a wonderful sweet flavor to the filling but are not necessary.
This filling can be also used as a filling for krokiety (Polish croquettes).
Sauerkraut and mushroom pierogi step by step:
STEP 1: Drain the sauerkraut (drained sauerkraut should weight 450g / 16 oz), combine in a medium pot with 0.7oz/20g dried mushrooms, 2 bay leaves, and 2 allspice berries. Add water, enough to cover the sauerkraut and mushrooms. Cook, partially covered, over medium heat for about 45 minutes or until the sauerkraut is soft.
STEP 2: Dice 2 medium onions (240g / 8.5 oz ) Heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium heat in a big frying pan. Cook the chopped onion with 1 ts caraway seeds for about 10 minutes, stirring from time to time, until soft and translucent. Add 1 ts marjoram, cook for another minute, transfer to a plate.
STEP 3: Wash and pat dry 14oz/400g cremini mushrooms. Cut into ½ cm / ¼ inch slices. Increase the heat under the pan to high, add another tablespoon of oil and chopped mushrooms. Don’t stir for the first 3-4 minutes or until the mushrooms are browned at the bottom, then stir and cook until the mushrooms release water. Cook until it evaporates, stirring from time to time, then cook until nicely browned, transfer on a plate. It will take about 12 minutes.
STEP 4: Drain the cooked sauerkraut with mushrooms, reserve the liquid! It can be used to enhance the flavor of many soups, including Polish Christmas Eve Beet Soup. Discard the bay leaves and allspice.
STEP 5: Add the cooked sauerkraut with mushrooms, pan-fried cremini mushrooms and sauteed onions to the food processor bowl. Pulse several times to chop finely (but not to a paste consistency). You can also chop it finely with a knife. Season the filling with with salt and pepper, to taste.
STEP 6: Stuff and cook the pierogi! Enjoy!
What are pierogi traditionally served with?
You can serve them with sautéed onions, sour cream, pan-fried bacon, chopped parsley, or just melted butter.
Other pierogi recipes:
I have a separate post, where I talk about all the traditional and modern pierogi filling ideas.
Here are my recipes:
- Authentic potato and cheese pierogi (pierogi ruskie)
- Potato and cheese pierogi the American way – homemade cheddar pierogi
- Vegan pierogi with spicy red lentil and sun-dried tomato filling
- Pink Pierogi (the dough is colored with beetroot juice) with spinach, potatoes, and feta cheese filling
- Uszka ‘little ears’ – porcini filled polish dumplings for Christmas Eve Borscht
Sauerkraut and mushroom pierogi recipe
- 4 cups flour 500g / 17.5-oz, scoop and leveled, all-purpose flour, type 480
- 1 cup + 2.5 Tbsp water 280g / 280ml / 10-oz (to weight on a scale)
- 3 tablespoons butter 1.4 oz/40g, or vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
sauerkraut and mushroom filling:
- 1 lb sauerkraut (450g) drained
- 0.7 oz dried porcini mushrooms (20g) or 3.5 oz / 100g if you’re not using cremini mushrooms
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 allspice berries
- 3 tablespoons frying oil
- 2 medium onions 240g / 8.5 oz
- 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
- 1 teaspoon marjoram
- 14 oz fresh cremini mushrooms (400g)
- salt and black pepper to taste, I added about 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper
- 5 prunes optional!, can be omitted, 45g / 1.6 oz
Make the filling:
- Drain the sauerkraut (drained sauerkraut should weight 450g / 16 oz), combine in a medium pot with dried mushrooms, bay leaves, and allspice berries. Add water, enough to cover the sauerkraut and mushrooms. Cook, partially covered, over medium heat for about 45 minutes or until the sauerkraut is soft.
- Dice the onions. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium heat in a big frying pan. Cook the chopped onion with caraway for about 10 minutes, stirring from time to time, until soft and translucent. Add marjoram, cook for another minute, transfer to a plate.
- If you’re using cremini mushrooms: Wash them and pat dry with paper towels. Cut into ½ cm / ¼ inch slices. Increase the heat under the pan to high, add another tablespoon of oil and chopped mushrooms. Don’t stir for the first 3-4 minutes or until the mushrooms are browned at the bottom, then stir and cook until the mushrooms release water. Cook until it evaporates, stirring from time to time, then cook until nicely browned, transfer on a plate. It will take about 12 minutes.
- Drain the cooked sauerkraut with mushrooms, reserve the liquid! It can be used to enhance the flavor of many soups, including Polish Christmas Eve Beet Soup. Discard bay leaves and allspice.
- Add the cooked sauerkraut with mushrooms, pan fried cremini mushrooms and sauteed onions to the food processor bowl. Pulse several times to chop finely (but not to a paste consistency). You can also chop it finely with a knife.
- Season the filling with with salt and pepper, to taste.
- You can also add finely chopped prunes to the filling. It’s important to chop them with a knife by hand and not process in the food processor with the rest of the filling (or it will come out too sweet).
Make the pierogi dough:
- Add the flour and salt into a large bowl, mix together.
- In a small saucepan, warm the water with butter until they are very hot, but not boiling (temperature should be around 80-90 °C / 176-194 °F, that is when the water starts to move and steam).
- Pour hot water with butter into the bowl with flour, mix with a wooden spoon until roughly combined.
- Knead the dough using your hands or with a stand mixer fitted with a hook attachment, for about 5 minutes. A food processor can also be used (fitted with the dough blade). The dough should be smooth, soft and elastic, it shouldn’t stick to your hands. When you follow the recipe (especially if you weight 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 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 kneaded dough in plastic foil (so it doesn’t dry out), leave to rest for about 30 minutes (it will be easy to roll out).
Fill and shape the pierogi:
- Pierogi dough should be at room temperature. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough thinly, about 2 mm / 1/16 inch. Cut out dough rounds, portion filling on all the dough circles. Fold the dough over the filling to create a half-moon shape, press the edges together to seal. Transfer on a kitchen towel lightly sprinkled with flour. Cover with a second kitchen towel, so that the dumplings don’t dry out. Gather scraps, roll out and repeat the steps.
Cook the pierogi:
- Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pierogi, about 10-12 dumplings at a time. When they rise to the water surface, cook them for 1 minute, then remove from the water with a slotten spoon and transfer to a plate.
- Serve drizzled with melted butter or caramelised onions.
- If the sourkraut is very sour, you can rinse it with water, but I don’t usually do it (I tested this recipe with home-made and store-bought sauerkraut). Some people always rinse the sauerkraut but I actually prefer when it’s slightly sour.
- Pierogi dough can also be rolled out using a pasta maschine. I have an Kitchen Aid pasta roller attachment. Roll out the dough on setting 4. According to the manufacturer’s instructions you need to roll the dough on each setting until you get to the setting 4. I’m not doing this, pierogi dough without an egg is easier to roll out than an egg dough or pasta dough. To make it possible, the dough must be well sprinkled with flour, at room temperature, slightly rolled out with a rolling pin (to a thickness of approx. ¾ cm / ½ inch) and smooth (otherwise it will tear).
- The recipe yields about 70 dumplings and uses up about ¾ of the pierogi dough. What to do with leftover dough: Cut it into thick stripes and use as pasta eg with soup. You can also fill them with fruit filling (just fruits mixed with sugar, you can use frozen berries).
- Preparation time: making the filling about 30 mins + making the dough 5 mins + 1h 15 mins filling and shaping the pierogi.
- Cooking time: 45 mins (sauerkraut with mushrooms) + about 20 mins (the dumplings)
Did you make this recipe? Let me know how you liked it and give it a star rating in the comments below! You can also add a photo of your creation!