For holidays and special occasions, this Pierogies Recipe is pure comfort food that makes a filling main course. Serve with caramelized onions, sour cream and a hearty salad. This recipe is vegetarian or easily vegan.
Vegetarian Pierogies Recipe Inspiration
For the past several Thanksgivings, Rob and I have gone out for dinner. There’s a little restaurant, The Oystercatcher, on the Island that we’re particularly fond of due to their warm, inviting atmosphere and intimate setting. Their food is procured from our local farms, is handled with care, and is creative, allowing the season’s freshest produce to shine.
Although I love to cook, I’ve found that I prefer this to hosting for several reasons. But the main reason is it allows me time to take a break from the multiple-day event of cooking for Thanksgiving and spend extended time with friends and family who have time off from work. Also, to take time for myself.
A Holiday Perogies Recipe is Born
The holidays seem to be the best time of year to break from blogging and social media and to simply unplug.
So instead of cooking during Thanksgiving, and because I’m sharing holiday recipes here, I have a little pre-Thanksgiving celebration, several times, because hello! I love holiday food!!
Last year at Thanksgiving I tried pierogies for the first time. The Oystercatcher accommodates vegetarians, and I’m always excited and intrigued by what they’ll have to offer. Their preparation included mushrooms, potatoes, and kale pierogies pan-fried and finished with a rich, buttery, yet light broth served with caramelized onions. I was blown away and knew I had to learn how to prepare this delightful, traditional Polish pierogies recipe.
Ingredients for Vegetarian and Vegan Perogies
My research led me to a multitude of ways to prepare these little dumplings: sweet or savory, served simply boiled or boiled then pan-fried, stuffed with or without cheese and/or meat.
The unleavened dough can be made with eggs, buttermilk, or sour cream, in addition to flour and water. Or to keep the pierogie dough vegan, simply make the dough with flour, oil, water and salt, which is what I did here to make this recipe flexible for vegetarian and vegan diets.
Here’s what you’ll need to make the dough for the perogies recipe:
- All Purpose Flour
- Olive Oil
Here’s what you’ll need for the perogies filling recipe:
- Parmesan Cheese (vegetarian friendly) or Nutritional Yeast
- Olive Oil
Nutritional yeast seems to be an acquired taste, so if making vegan perogi add to taste or leave it out entirely.
How to Make this Pierogies Recipe
Making pierogies isn’t difficult. And you don’t have to be a little Polish Grandma to do it! The pierogies filling recipe and dough just take a bit of time and attention to prepare.
Anything worthwhile takes time…
Multitasking is key to preparing this pierogies recipe. So while the onions caramelize, I knead the dough. While the dough is resting, I assemble and make the pierogies filling recipe. Then, I roll out the dough, cut the little discs and assemble the pierogies. If you have willing helpers, ask them to join you. It makes assembly more fun!
The dumplings can be boiled right away then pan-fried.
Make Ahead Tips
The dough, filling and caramelized onions can be made ahead and if you like getting a jump on the holiday game, this pierogies recipe can be assembled and frozen. When you’re ready, you don’t even have to thaw them out. Simply boil and pan fry. I’ve included notes in the recipe for meal prep options.
I’ve read pierogies can be enjoyed simply boiled, not pan-fried. Although I’ve not tried this, there’s something particularly satisfying about a crunchy little dumpling with a creamy interior dipped in a bit of sour cream and topped with caramelized onions.
What to Serve with Pierogies
Sour cream and caramelized onions pair deliciously as condiments with pierogies. For sides, here are a few ideas to get you going:
- Apple and Beet Salad with Apple Cider Vinigrette
- Kale and Wild Rice Salad with Maple Roasted Squash
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pear and Thyme
- Maple-Roasted Cardamom-Spiced Carrots and Apples
Potato, Mushroom and Pea Pierogies
For the Onions:
- 6 C Yellow or Sweet Onions sliced in thin 1/2 moons, about 2 large onions, 615g
- 2 Tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Sea Salt
For the Dough:
- 1 C All Purpose Flour + more for dusting 118g
- 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
- 2 Tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 4 1/2 - 5 Tbs Water warm to the touch
For Filling and Pan Frying:
- 1/2 lb Potatoes skins on, diced small (I use yellow fin, but use what you like), 200g
- 1/4 tsp Sea Salt
- 3 Tbs Parmesan Cheese Vegan Option: 2 tsp Nutritional Yeast or to taste (optional)
- 1 1/2 tsp Fresh Sage chopped (1 tsp if using dried)
- Fresh Ground Pepper to Taste
- 2 Tbs + 2 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil divided
- 6 oz Cremini Mushrooms destemmed and diced small, 170g
- 2 Cloves of Garlic minced
- 1/4 C Peas frozen or fresh, 40g
- 2 Tbs Butter Vegan Option: 2 Tbs Olive Oil or Vegan Butter
- Sour Cream
- Caramelized Onions
- leaves Fennel fronds scallions or sage for garnish
For the Onions:
- To a large saute' pan, add 2 Tbs of olive oil and heat until shimmering. Add the onions and a few pinches of sea salt. Turn heat down to low and put a lid on the pan. Cook for 25-30 minutes on low, stirring every 4-5 minutes until they are golden and caramelized. Remove from pan and set aside. Save this pan to pan saute the mushrooms and fry the pierogies later.
Make the Dough:
- In a small bowl mix the flour and sea salt. Make a well in the center and add the olive oil and 4 1/2 Tbs of water. Mix the oil and water using a fork slowly incorporating the flour. As it comes together, start pressing and kneading the dough together. It will be shaggy. Add the last bit of water only if needed (if the dough isn't coming together). Transfer to a lightly floured work surface, set a timer for 8 minutes and knead. The dough will become soft and tacky, not sticky. Form into a ball and cover it with a bowl. Rest at room temperature for 30 minutes to an hour. This allows the gluten to relax, making the dough more pliable.
For The Stuffing:
- In a small sauce pot, add the potatoes, and salt. Cover them with at least an inch (2.5cm) of cold water. Bring to a boil, then simmer until potatoes are fork tender, about 10 minutes. Drain, then add them to a medium mixing bowl. Toss in the cheese (or nutritional yeast if using), sage, season with pepper and mash until small chunks are still visible..
- In the same pan as the onions were cooked in, add the olive oil and heat until shimmering. Add the mushroom and cook on medium low for 8-10 minutes only stirring every 3 minutes so that they'll sear. The last minute of cooking, add the garlic and saute'. Remove from pan and add to the bowl of potatoes along with the peas. Fold the ingredients together. Taste for seasoning adjustment.
Roll out the Dough and Assemble:
- On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough as thin as possible, to between 1/8"-1/16" (2-3mm). You want the disks thin but not so they'll tear and thin enough to make at least 16 pieces. Use a cookie cutter, metal Ball jar ring or drinking glass to cut 3-3 1/2" discs making sure to flour the cutter before cutting. Cover discs with a tea towel. Gather scraps, roll into a ball and cover with a tea towel to rest while you assemble the first round of pierogies.
- Scoop about 1Tbs of filling and place in the center of each round of dough. A small cookie scoop makes this job a snap! Brush water on the outer edge of 1/2 of the dough, then gently pull one side of dough over the filling and seal the dough into a 1/2 moon shape by pinching and then crimping the edges with floured tines of a fork. Set aside on a parchment lined pan, cover with a tea towel, while you finish rolling out the dough and assembling the remaining pierogies. Now is a good time to freeze the pierogies, if desired (see note).
Cook the Pierogies:
- In a large pot of lightly salted boiling water, add all the pierogies making sure they have plenty of room. If frozen add them slowly as to not reduce the water temperature. Continue boiling until they float, about 2-3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon making sure to strain the water and set on a plate.
- To a large saute pan add 2 Tbs olive oil and 2 Tbs Butter (vegan option: more olive oil or vegan butter) and heat until butter has melted and oil is shimmering. Turn to medium and add the pierogies giving them plenty of room frying in batches. Be careful to not bring the temperature of the pan up so high that the oil starts smoking. Pan fry for about 2-3 minutes on each side or until the pierogies are golden. Set on paper towel to drain. Add the caramelized onion to the hot pan for about 2 minutes, just to rewarm.
- If holding the pierogies for service, preheat oven to 200F (93C) and place on a parchment lined pan to keep the pierogies warm.
- Serve with sour cream (or vegan sour cream), caramelized onions and garnish with herbs.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to three days. Rewarm in a 350F (180C) oven for about 10 minutes.
Nutrition is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate. If this information is important to you, please have it verified independently.
Why do you destem the mushrooms? I never do.
Hi Joe… I destem mushrooms because I find the stems to be tough, depending on variety and application (how they’re cooked). So, I compost them if not using.
This recipe isn’t for me. I tried the vegan version with nutritional yeast. I strongly dislike the sage in this recipe as well. Sorry!
Hi Shannon! I’m sorry this recipe didn’t work out for you. Thank you for your note.
Hello Traci, I’ve been wondering about GF perogies for a long time (grew-up with them in a Ukrainian household, but must now avoid gluten.) Should you or anyone from your website community ever try making these, I would love to hear whatever advice may come of this. Thanks!
Hi Kristina! Thank you for your note. I’m thinking a one-to-one flour mix would work just fine for these, but I’ve not tried it myself. Be sure to subscribe to the comments for this post in case we hear from someone who’s made them using GF flour!
These look so delicious!! I’m wondering if you have any suggestions on making the dough gluten-free – my husband has celiac disease.
Hi Lainee! Thank you for your note! I’m thinking a GF 1 to 1 flour would work, although I’ve not tried it. I hope this helps.
Alexandra | Occasionally Eggs
Traci! I remember when you talked about trying pierogies for the first time and I was so shocked! I’m so homesick for good pierogies now (even though we’re not that far from east Europe, I guess?) and these are totally on my holiday making list. Ha I am just so proud of you for making them yourself! You’re awesome! Love that you’ve included this delicious sounding vegan option, I don’t think I’ll miss the cheese at all. P.S. for the first time maybe ever, it is currently warmer in Manitoba Canada than it is in Germany right now. In November. Of course.
OMG.. Alexandra, they are incredible little flavor bombs! How could I not give them a go!? I hope you will too.. You’ll have fun making them! Oh my.. we’ve had SUCH a mild fall. The cold has finally arrived, but they’re saying its been the warmest fall on record. :/
Quin @ Butter Be Ready
These look absolutely delicious, Traci! I definitely have to try making these and gorgeous photos as always!
Thank you Quin! I hope you enjoy these little bundles! :D
Kathleen | Hapa Nom Nom
Oh, Traci! I absolutely love pierogies, but it’s been ages since I’ve had them! And I’ve never tried making them myself! That is something that’s going to have to change! And that filling paired with the caramelized onions… YUM! Just gorgeous!
It’s time Kathleen! The caramelized onion makes them over the top fabulous.. I love how it balances the sweet and savory. Thank you my dear! :D
Tessa | Salted Plains
The light in these photos is so beautiful, Traci. And that gif! So fun! Your Thanksgiving at the Oystercatcher sounds wonderful. I love those places that feel warm and inviting and then it just get better because the food is SO good. I really want to make these and plan to try them out with some gf flour. xoxo
Thank you, Tessa! No doubt warm and inviting makes the whole experience even better! Ooooh, I hope you’ll whip these up with some GF flour Tessa! xo
Traci, I’m completely charmed by your project – good for you for making your own pierogies! Nothing quite like home crafted goodness. I have not had a pierogie in about 25 years (clearly too long) – they look delicious and your photos in that light… so lovely and inviting. Good call on the caramelized onions on the side (I’ll take an extra large dollop of cream too) – lickin’ my lips over here! x
LOL! I’d love to share with you, Kelly! Nothing like it… and I just had to do it. Memories from last year’s Thanksgiving had me completely craving them. Sour cream and all! xo
Mary Ann | The Beach House Kitchen
This recipe brings back such memories for me Traci! Growing up, my grandmother and my great aunt used to make homemade pierogies and they were so delicious. They used to stuff them with meat and sauteed onions. I can remember how I used to love them and how many I used to eat! Your vegetarian version sounds just wonderful. I have never tried making my own, but you are inspiring me to give it a go! Thanks so much for sharing. Hope you have a great weekend!
SO fun, Mary Ann!! So you have the secret to all the delicious flavor combinations. What a great memory of your grandmother and great aunt. I hope you’ll make pierogies, Mary Ann… I’m certain it will take you racing back to childhood!
These remind me a lot of samosas, especially when it comes to the potato and pea filling- loving the delicate pastry on these- so yummy :) Pinning!
I’ve never had a samosa, Medha, but now I’m curious! Thank you for your pin my dear!
Abby @ Heart of a Baker
I have to admit, my family goes out for Thanksgiving every year! It’s such a nice break from cooking stress and gives us all time to settle into just spending time together. I’ve been looking for a weekend dinner project and these are just the ticket! xo
Hi fives for taking time off! It is sooo nice, isn’t it?! I hope you enjoy making these Abby! A treat indeed! :D
Geraldine | Green Valley Kitchen
You’re bringing back memories, Traci! I lived in the East Village in Manhattan in the 80s and all the diners were polish diners. We’d go out, drink ourselves silly and then go to Odessa and have pierogi – they always came with either sour cream and applesauce! I definitely like the pan fried version vs boiled. Gorgeous job as always, Traci. Thanks for a great post!
I looove that Geraldine! Sounds like such good times and what a fun way to top off a fabulous evening! hehe! Yeah, the boiled just doesn’t appeal to me.. at all. I read about applesauce, but haven’t tried it. I guess I’m partial to the occasional sour cream! :D
Cheyanne @ No Spoon Necessary
Since we moved to NC, Boy and I go out to dinner for the holidays too. While I miss the big, extravagant family dinners, it IS nice to not have to stress over what I’m making. So, cheers to taking a little “me” time during the holidays! Now on to pierogies! OMG, I LOVE them!! I grew up eating them all the time, so whenever I see homemade ones I always think of my father. These look absolutely amazing, Traci!!! The filling looks fabulous and flavorful and the dough is cooked to perfection. I am drooling over here. I definitely need to make these for Boy and I over the extended holiday weekend! Pinned! Cheers, dear friend! xoxo
Those big family dinners are nice.. I agree. But hosting for years became too much for me. I really like this new arrangement! :D Oooh, I love that these remind you of your father, Chey. That is sooo sweet. Thank you for your feedback too.. as a newish-to-me food, I appreciate your expertise! Thank you for your pin my dear! xo
rebecca | DisplacedHousewife
I just love this recipe! In college I lived down the street from a pierogi shop and I ate them breakfast, lunch and dinner. Sometimes it would be all I would eat for days. This recipe is great Traci — I can’t wait to make some of my own!!! xoxo
Thank you Rebecca! OMG… if I lived near a Pierogi shop.. I’d be doomed! Did you have sweet ones too? You’d love making your own my dear!
Liz @ Floating Kitchen
Love the idea of going out for Thanksgiving. Good to give yourself a little “me” time. And like you said, with Holiday cooking for our blogs, we get a lot of little pre-Thanksgivings in the weeks leading up to it. I’ve never made pierogies. I need to try it!
For me, I’ve found, it really makes the holiday more enjoyable (as much as I love cooking)… and our family that’s joined us is on board! Isn’t it fun prepping for our blogs ahead of time!? All that good holiday food is the best! I love the extended pre-holiday. You’ll have to try making some Liz.. they’re a lot of fun and then you devour them! :D
I can think of few things I’d rather eat than these beauties, Traci. And few photos I’d rather see!
OMG… Deb! Have you made them? You must! What a delight! xo
Oh I have never made pierogies before (chinese dumplings many times, but never peirogies!) and I am smitten with yours. They are so cute all assembled on your board like that, and truly looks like such a treat. And yes, here’s to slowing down for the holidays and allowing ourselves to connect deeply with those that we love. xx
I bet they’re similar to Chinese dumplings, Emily and I know you’d appreciate the process! A treat indeed. I’d like to try some sweet ones too ;D I love the holidays for just that.. slowing down (truly) and spending time with friends and family.