basic recipes/ polish

The best pierogi dough recipe + how to make perfect pierogi

20 June 2018 | Last Updated: 7 March 2020

This is my favorite pierogi dough recipe – soft, elastic, smells of butter and is easy to roll out. This is the best pierogi dough recipe you’ll find. Below I’m also sharing many tips on how to make the perfect pierogi and answer all the questions you could have.

pierogi dough

What are pierogi/pierogies?

Pierogi are Polish dumplings, made with unleavened dough and filled with sweet or savory fillings. They are boiled and then sometimes additionally pan-fried.

Pierogi in Poland:

Pierogi are one of the most popular Polish dishes. They are served as a main dish or as a side dish. The most popular pierogi are potato and cheese pierogi, sauerkraut and mushroom pierogi and pierogi with meat filling (at least in the region where I’m coming from). In summer sweet pierogi (filled with fruits, like strawberries and blueberries) are popular. The flavor combinations are countless.

In Poland you can find small restaurants, where only pierogi are being served, they are filled with many different fillings. Such a restaurant is called ‘pierogarnia’.

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.

What is the difference between pierogi and ravioli:

Ravioli are Italian dumplings, that are wrapped in pasta dough (this dough must contain eggs and is more rich and tough). Italian fillings also differ from traditional pierogi fillings.

Top tips for making the perfect pierogi dough:

  • Traditional pierogi dough is easy to make without a recipe (I think no Polish grandmother makes it with a recipe, at least both my grandmothers don’t). The exact recipe is not important here, if the dough is too dry you need to add some water, if too wet – a little bit of flour. However, it is worth having your favorite recipe and a kitchen scale on hand – the preparation goes much faster, the ingredients are added into a bowl and kneaded together, you don’t need to add additional water or flour.
  • One of the most important things is, that the dough is well-kneaded!
  • After kneading the dough, let it rest. You can see on my video how much softer and pliable the dough is after it has rested.
  • Best water temperature – very hot but not boiling.
  • Add some fat – it can be butter (more flavor) or oil.
  • Don’t add eggs to the dough (more on that below).
  • Dough to filling ratio: it’s very important but it’s also a matter of taste. I like it when my dough is not very thin but also not very thick. I like to stuff my pierogi with lots of filling but I also like to taste the dough. Experiment what works best for you.

Easy pierogi dough ingredients:

  • The best flour to make pierogi – it’s type 500 or 650. To makes things simple I’m always using all-purpose flour (type 480) to make pierogi, like any other pastry or baked goods. I don’t have space in my kitchen and I don’t bake that often to store many types of flour in my cupboards. All-purpose flour makes great pierogi.
  • Water – it’s important to add hot water to the dough. It makes the dough soft and pliable. You should warm the water with butter until they are very hot, but not boiling (temperature around 80-90 °C / 176-194 °F, that is when the water starts to move and steam). Too hot water will make the dough a little bit more chewy and sticky. Cold water will make the dough harder to roll out and it will be more difficult to shape the pierogi.
  • Fat – you could make the dough without it, but it really makes the dough perfect. I’m using butter for its taste but any vegetable oil will also work.
  • Salt – also the dough should be seasoned, not only the filling.
  • I’ve seen some recipes that call for sour cream. Personally I’ve never heard of such pierogi dough ingredient and don’t know anyone who is making pierogi with it (at least in Poland). I think it’s more an American or Russian/Ukrainian ingredient. Nowadays though, many home cooks experiment with the ingredients. Authentic Polish pierogi dough recipe call just for flour, water, salt and optionally some fat and an egg.

Pierogi dough with egg or no egg:

There are two ways of making the pierogi dough – with or without an egg. Many Polish home cooks are arguing, which way is the best.

For me, the perfect pierogi dough is made without the egg. The dough with eggs is a bit tougher in my opinion, but the difference with a well-kneaded dough is not that huge (but there is a difference).

The second reason why I don’t add an egg is that it’s more hygienic – having a small child at home, I usually make a lot of pierogi in one batch, but making a lot of breaks in between. I do not have to worry about washing my hands thoroughly all the time, taking care if the table is well cleaned and watching out if my daughter is eating a dough with a raw egg.

By the way, you should try making pierogi with your kids. Rolling out the dough, cutting out rounds, shaping the pierogi – I think it’s a fascinating activity for every child!

What equipment do you need:

  • I love making my pierogi dough in my Kitchen Aid but you can also make it by hand. You’ll need to knead the dough for about 10 mins. A food processor can also be used (fitted with the dough blade), but I prefer the stand mixer.
  • A rolling pin (or alternatively a wine bottle!). For rolling out the dough you can use a pasta maker (I’m sometimes using my Kitchen Aid pasta attachment). I find that it’s equally easy to roll out the dough by hand and with the pasta maker. Pierogi dough is much more pliable and soft in comparison to pasta dough, which makes it easier to roll out by hand.
  • Pierogi cutter / pastry cutter / a cup (preferably with sharp edges). I prefer to use a real pierogi cutter or a pastry cutter – it’s easier to cut out rounds. A regular glass/cup can also be used but I find cutting out round a little bit harder as its edges are more thick and blunt. It would be better to use a glass that has thin, sharp edges if you don’t have a pierogi cutter (both my grandmas are using a regular glass though ;)).
  • A pot to cook the pierogi (obviously) and a slotted spoon.
  • There are pierogi maker press or pierogi molds available if you search online. I haven’t personally tried them out. Feel free to let me know if there are any that you really like!

How to make pierogi dough – step by step:

STEP 1: Add flour and salt to a large bowl.

STEP 2: Add hot water with butter.

STEP 3: Mix with a wooden spoon until roughly combined.

STEP 4: Knead the dough until smooth and soft.

STEP 5: Prepare the filling.

STEP 6: Roll out the dough and cut out the rounds.

STEP 7: Place the filling on the round.

STEP 8: Shape the pierogi. Ready to be cooked!

How to measure the flour:

In the recipe card below, I provided all possible measurements for the pierogi dough – by volume and by weight. I’m always using a kitchen scale to make my pierogi (and generally to develop the recipes on my website). If you’re weighing your ingredients on a scale your results will be very consistent and the same as mine. It’s really easier, quicker and a kitchen scale is super cheap!

If you’re measuring the flour with measuring cups there is a possibility that you will add more or less flour than I did. You need to check the consistency of the dough and add more flour if it’s too wet and more water if it’s too dry and too tough.

Measuring the flour with measuring cups is unfortunately very inaccurate. 1 US cup of flour can weigh from 120g-140g, depending on how you fill the cup. 20g is a little over 2 tablespoons of flour, so when this recipe calls for 4 cups of flour, you could have added 8 tablespoons more flour which is 1/2 cup! For measuring flour I’m spooning the flour into the measuring cup with a tablespoon and not scooping it with the cup. Level the flour with the back of the knife and don’t tap the cup or press down the flour. Read this article for more information on how to measure flour.

1 US cup is 240 ml. An European cup is 250 ml!

How to roll out the dough with a pasta maker:

Pierogi dough can also be rolled out using a pasta machine. I have a Kitchen Aid pasta roller attachment.  I roll out the dough on setting 4. According to the manufacturer’s instructions you need to roll out 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 will tear).

How to store pierogi:

To ensure that the cooked pierogi don‘t stick to each other, brush them lightly with melted butter or oil. 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.

Freshly cooked pierogi taste best for me, so I usually do this: I prepare only the amount of dumplings that we are going to eat on a given day (about 14 per person, my pierogi are rather small, see the video for the reference). I wrap the rest of the dough tightly in plastic foil and put it in the fridge. I place the rest of the filling (or make filling balls from all of the filling) and also tightly wrap in plastic foil and put in the fridge. On the next day (or even on the third day) I’m preparing the rest of the pierogi.

If I have more time and I’m making more pierogi in one batch, I freeze them or pan-fry with butter the next day.

After removing the dough from the fridge, it is good to slightly warm it up (leave it for about 15-30 minutes on the counter), it will be more elastic (this is optional). The next day the dough can look a little gray in color, but we don‘t mind that.

Freezing tips:

  • Cooked pierogi: Place the pierogi apart on a tray, sprinkled well with flour. Freeze until solid. Transfer to containers on plastic bags. Cook like fresh pierogi but take them out once the float on the water surface.
  • Uncooked pierogi: Note that not boiled raw pierogi are more likely to crack in a freezer than cooked pierogi. I most often freeze raw pierogi though. Place the pierogi on a tray / wooden board sprinkled well with flour (important, dumplings can easily stick to the tray and tear). Arrange the dumplings so that they do not touch each other. When frozen, transfer them into containers or plastic bags. 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.

Store-bought frozen pierogi:

I’ve never eaten store-bought frozen pierogi that tasted amazing (maybe I’m just spoiled with homemade pierogi!). In terms of taste, some of them were not that bad, but for me, the dough is always too thick. This is not surprising since these pierogi are not made by hand. The dough manufactured in a factory need to be thicker so it won’t easily break and can be filled by a machine. Homemade pierogi all the way!

FAQ:

How to make pierogi dough softer?

Knead the dough well then let it rest before rolling it out. A good recipe is also important – add butter and hot (but not boiling) water to the dough.

How do you keep pierogi from sticking together?

Toss the hot, freshly cooked pierogi with butter or oil until coated on all sides.

Should I boil pierogies before freezing?

You can freeze cooked pierogi or uncooked pierogi. See the instructions above.

Do you thaw pierogi before cooking?

There’s no need to do that. You can throw frozen pierogi direct into boiling water.

How are pierogi traditionally served? What do you top pierogi with?

I like to keep it simple and just pour melted butter over them. Other options are: sauteed/caramelized onions, pan-fried bacon, chopped parsley. Sweet pierogi are often served with sweetened heavy cream/sour cream.

Can pierogi be baked?

Yes! You can wrap the filling in shortbread pastry and bake until golden. This kind of pierogi is not that popular but in some regions, people are making baked pierogi.

My pierogi are of different shape, despite using the same pierogi cutter. Why?

Your dough was probably not evenly rolled out. Thicker pierogi will be a bit bigger, also when you fill them with more filling. If the dough is of the same thickness you can cook the small and big pierogi the same way.

What to do with leftover dough:

Cut it into thick strips and use as pasta eg with soup.

Why is my pierogi dough tough?

It’s probably not well-kneaded, not rested or you’ve used cold water. It’s also possible that you’ve added too much flour – add more water until the dough is smooth and soft.

How thick should pierogi dough be?

It really depends on your preferences. I really dislike dough that is rolled out too thick. When the dough is thinly rolled out it literally melts in your mouth after you cook the pierogi.

How long do you knead pierogi dough for?

It will take a minimum of 5 minutes by hand and about 3 minutes in a stand mixer. It can take longer or shorter. You need to pay attention to the dough’ consistency – it should be smooth and soft (check out the video to see the consistency of the dough). It will be even softer when it’s rested.

Why is my pierogi dough too elastic?

The dough can be too elastic and shrink as you try to roll it out when it’s not rested. Make sure to rest the dough for about 20-30 minutes, then it should be easy to roll out. This is caused by gluten that is in every type of wheat flour.

Filling recipes:

The best pierogi dough recipe + how to make perfect pierogi

The dough is soft, elastic, smells of butter and is easy to roll out.
pierogi dough
Print Recipe
4.98 from 38 votes
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 20 minutes
resting time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 100 pierogi
Calories 2107kcal
Author Aleksandra

Ingredients

  • 4 cups flour 500g / 17.5-oz, spoon 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

Instructions

→ Make the 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).

→ Rolling out, stuffing and shaping the pierogi:

  • Divide the dough into 4 parts.
  • Onto a lightly floured surface, roll out thinly the first piece of the dough, to a thickness of approx. 2 mm / 1/16 inch. If the dough is hard to roll out, set it aside for about 5-10 minutes to rest.
  • Use a cup or a pierogi/pastry cutter to cut out rounds. Place one ball of filling / 1 teaspoon of filling on each round.
  • Gather scraps, cover with plastic wrap and set aside.
  • Fold the dough over the filling to create a half-moon shape. Press edges together, sealing and crimping with your fingers. Do not leave any gaps or pierogi may open during cooking.
  • Place the pierogi apart on a towel lightly sprinkled with flour (this is important, they can stick to the board), cover loosely with a kitchen cloth so that they don‘t dry out.
  • Repeat with the remaining dough.

-> Cook the pierogi:

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  • Cook the pierogi in batches (for a 21 cm /8-inch pot I cook about 10-12 dumplings at a time). When they float to the water surface cook them for 1-2 minutes, 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. Serve warm, pour over some melted butter.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

– Cooking time: will depend on the thickness of the dough. Cut one pieróg in half to see if the dough is cooked through. Cook the pierogi to desired consistency. Some like them chewier and some very tender, like melting-in-your-mouth tender.
– Dough to filling ratio: it’s very important but it’s also a matter of taste. I like it if my dough is not very thin but also not very thick. I like to stuff my pierogi with lots of filling but I also like the dough. Experiment what works best for you.
– What to do with leftover dough: Cut it into thick strips and use as pasta eg with soup.
– How to store pierogi:
To ensure that the cooked pierogi don‘t stick to each other, brush them lightly with melted butter or oil. 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.
Freshly cooked pierogi taste best, so I usually do this: I prepare only the amount of pierogi that we are going to eat on a given day (about 14 per person). I wrap the rest of the dough tightly in plastic foil and put it in the fridge. I place the rest of the filling (or make filling balls from all of the filling) and also tightly wrap in plastic foil and put in the fridge. On the next day (or even on the third day) I’m preparing the rest of the pierogi. If I have more time and I’m making more pierogi in one batch, I freeze them or pan-fry then with butter the next day.
After removing the dough from the fridge, it is good to slightly warm it up (leave it for about 15-30 minutes on the counter), it will be more elastic (this is optional). The next day the dough look be a little gray in color, but we don‘t mind that.
– How to freeze pierogi:
Cooked pierogi: Place the pierogi apart on a tray, sprinkled well with flour. Freeze until solid. Transfer to containers on plastic bags. Cook like fresh pierogi but take them out once the float on the water surface.
Uncooked pierogi: Note that not boiled raw pierogi are more likely to crack in a freezer than cooked pierogi. I most often freeze raw pierogi though. Place the pierogi on a tray / wooden board sprinkled well with flour (important, dumplings can easily stick to the tray and tear). Arrange the dumplings so that they do not touch each other. When frozen, transfer them into containers or plastic bags. 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 pierogi at once it will lower the temperature of the water too much and they will burst.
– Pierogi dough can also be rolled out using a pasta machine. I have a Kitchen Aid pasta roller attachment. I roll out the dough on setting 4. According to the manufacturer’s instructions you need to roll out 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 will tear).
– 1 cup is 240 ml.
Course dinner
Cuisine polish
Keyword authentic pierogi dough, pierogi dough, pierogi dough recipe

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!

You Might Also Like

88 Comments

  • Reply
    linda
    10 November 2020 at 20:52

    I made the pierogi dough by weighing the ingredients. It was spot on!
    Thank you. It is my go to recipe.

    • Reply
      Aleksandra
      10 November 2020 at 21:19

      I’m happy to hear that, thanks for commenting!

  • Reply
    Kati
    2 November 2020 at 06:56

    This is my second time making pierogi. The first recipe I used had egg, but this method with the melted butter and water was just perfect. The dough rolled out nicely and stuck together perfectly when I folded my dumplings. Have this recipe printed out for future use!

  • Reply
    Diane K
    25 October 2020 at 20:39

    5 stars
    I’ve been making pierogi for years and all I can say is thank you, thank you, thank you. Just finished kneading and letting it rest, but this was by far the easiest dough I’ve made yet, kneaded beautifully, soft smooth and pliable dough. I have no doubt this will be the recipe I use going forward.

  • 1 2 3

    Leave a Reply

    Recipe Rating





    The maximum upload file size: 1 MB.
    You can upload: image.
    Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded.