basic recipes/ polish

The best pierogi dough recipe + how to make perfect pierogi

20 June 2018 | Last Updated: 10 October 2019

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 a 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.
  • 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. I think it’s more an American or Russian/Ukrainian thing. 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 a 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 an egg. The dough with eggs is a bit tougher in my opinion, but the difference with a well-kneaded dough is not that huge. 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 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!

Hot 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 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 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 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.

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 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 good (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. 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 stripes and use as pasta eg with soup.

Here you’ll find a recipe for:

Watch how to make it:

pierogi dough
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5 from 2 votes

The best pierogi dough recipe + how to make perfect pierogi

The dough is soft, elastic, smells of butter and is easy to roll out.
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, 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

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.

Nutrition

Calories: 2107kcal
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!

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2 Comments

  • Reply
    Beth
    11 November 2019 at 19:07

    5 stars
    My pierogi turned out amazing. I was looking for an egg free dough recipe because my grandson is allergic and I actually liked it better without the eggs! This dough is great to work with. Thank you for the recipe

    • Reply
      Aleksandra
      11 November 2019 at 19:09

      I’m happy to hear that! thanks for the review 🙂

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