Leniwe (Polish Lazy Pierogi Dumplings)
Leniwe, also called kluski leniwe (lazy dumplings) or pierogi leniwe (lazy pierogi) are traditional Polish dumplings. They are called lazy pierogi because they are made with all the ingredients needed to make pierogi but without all the fuss, rolling out, filling, and pinching!
Servings 4 servings
leniwe z serem (cheese dumplings):
- 17.6 oz (500g) twaróg cheese, farmer's cheese
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons sugar optional
- 1 cup (125g flour) + more for working with the dough, spooned and leveled not scooped
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- butter for coating cooked kluski
leniwe z ziemniakami (potato and cheese dumplings):
- 1 lb (450g) starchy potatoes
- 1 large egg
- 8.8 oz (250g) twaróg cheese farmer's cheese
- 3/4 cup (90g) flour + more for working with the dough, spooned and leveled not scooped
- butter for coating cooked kluski
bułka tarta (buttered breadcrumbs), to serve:
- 1/2 cup (115g) butter
- 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon (70g) fine breadcrumbs
- 1 tablespoon sugar optional (for a sweet meal, omit for savory)
Instructions for cheese leniwe:
Make the dough: Mash the twarog cheese with a fork / potato ricer / potato masher. Add to a large bowl, add eggs, sugar, salt, and flour*. Stir with a spatula or wooden spoon until combined. The dough should hold its shape but it will be sticky (try not to add any additional flour it will make the leniwe too tough).
Instructions for potato and cheese leniwe:
Make the dough: Cook the potatoes then mash them with a potato ricer or potato masher. Mash the twarog cheese with a fork / potato ricer / potato masher. Add to a large bowl, add eggs, sugar, salt, and flour*. Stir with a spatula or wooden spoon until combined. The dough should hold its shape but it will be sticky (try not to add any additional flour it will make the leniwe too tough).
Instructions for both types of dumplings:
Shape the dumplings: Sprinkle a small amount of flour on a counter or silicone rolling mat. Spoon about 1/4 of the dough onto your rolling surface. Sprinkle your hands with flour and roll it out into a long rope, about 1 - 1 1/2 inch thick (3-4cm) sprinkling with more flour if necessary. Cut at an angle with a knife dipped in flour or a bench scraper into 2-inch (5cm) dumplings. Repeat with the remaining dough.
Cook the leniwe: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the leniwe over low heat in 4 batches. Add the first batch of dumplings to the pot, stir them gently with a wooden spoon to prevent them from sticking to the bottom of the pot. After they float to the surface, cook them for about 2 minutes. Make sure the water is simmering gently and not boiling rapidly or the dumplings may fall apart.
Transfer to a plate with a slotted spoon and toss with butter to prevent sticking.
Make buttered breadcrumbs (bułka tarta): Melt the butter in a pan, add the breadcrumbs and sugar. Cook, stirring over medium heat until breadcrumbs are golden in color (2-3 minutes).
Serve the dumpling with buttered breadcrumbs, sprinkle with more sugar (optional).
- The amount of flour: it's difficult to provide the exact amount of flour needed to make these dumplings. The amount of flour will depend on how 'wet' the twarog cheese and it can vary depending on the brand, the type of twarog cheese (low-fat, full-fat), and if you mixed it until smooth or just mashed with a fork. You can start with 3/4 cup of flour then add more if necessary. The dough should be sticky and wet but it should hold its shape.
- Do not use food processor to grind the cheese - it will become like cream cheese and will be more wet. You will need to add more flour and the dumplings will be tough.
- Sugar (for cheese leniwe) is optional - add it only if you plan to serve leniwe as a sweet meal/snack. You can also add more sugar if you want them sweeter. They are just very slightly sweet.
- Many Polish recipes call for beating the egg white until stiff and adding them to the dough. It makes fluffier dumplings but I personally don't think that the difference in texture is significant enough to justify this extra step. More important is to not add too much flour. You can try for yourself what you prefer. How to do it: Separate the eggs and beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until stiff. Mash the twarog cheese with a fork and combine with egg yolks and salt. Gently fold in beaten egg whites, then gently fold in the flour.
- The cooking time of 2 minutes is just approximate and may be different for you. You can test cook 1 dumpling first if you're not sure when they will be done.
- Storage and freezing: Leniwe store really well. Just make sure to coat them in melted butter so they don't stick to each other. Store them in the fridge for up to 3 days then reheat in a pan. Kluski leniwe also freeze really well. Place them spaced out on a baking tray sprinkled with flour and freeze until solid. Transfer to plastic bags or containers. How to cook frozen dumplings: add frozen dumplings, straight from the freezer, to a pot with gently simmering salted water. Cook for about 3-4 minutes or until thawed and warm (just take one dumpling out of the water and cut in half to check if it's done).
- Calories: whole batch of cheese lazy pierogi: 1784 kcal, whole batch of potato and cheese lazy pierogi: 1354 kcal. This is only an estimate!