This post may contain affiliate sales links. Please read my disclosure policy.
Made with real mashed potatoes and cheddar cheese, these Shortcut Pierogies are a quick and easy version of the classic. Store-bought wonton wrappers make this a quick shortcut recipe!
Homemade Pierogies with Bacon and Green Onions
Have you ever had a pierogi before? When I was growing up, my Mom would occasionally buy them and cook them, and when she did – boy oh boy, were we in for a treat! If you’re not familiar, pierogies are like little dumplings filled with mashed potato, cheese, and onion. There are other kinds of pierogies, but those are the ones I am familiar with.
Now, I’m not Polish or Ukrainian, so I’ll be honest: I don’t know how to make pierogies the authentic way. So I purposely made them… incorrectly! That’s right, this is a non-traditional pierogi recipe, with some easy shortcuts. If you have an hour or so, you can whip up a batch. They are not quite the same as authentic pierogies, but they are easy to make, and super tasty.
What Are These Pierogies Made Of?
The main reason that these pierogies take less time than traditional ones is that I have taken an easy shortcut: instead of making the pierogi wrappers, this recipe uses store-bought wonton wrappers. They are a wonderful time saver.
For the Pierogies
- Wonton Skins: I purchased a regular 12 ounce package, but did not use all of them. You can always make extra filling if you would like to use all of the wonton skins.
- Egg and Water: To make an egg wash, which will seal the pierogi edges together.
- Potatoes: You will want Idaho potatoes, or russet potatoes, for mashing.
- Butter: Butter makes the mash smooth and flavorful.
- Sour Cream: To add a slight creamy tanginess.
- Cheddar: Cheddar and mashed potatoes? Yum!
- Milk: A few splashes of whole milk help smooth out the potatoes as you mash them.
- Salt and Pepper
- Bacon: Chop up several bacon slices. These will be lightly cooked to render out the fat, which is then used to cook the pierogies.
- Onion: A little diced onion adds tons of flavor to the finished dish.
- Cheddar Cheese, Green Onions, and Sour Cream: These easy toppings go beautifully with the finished pierogi, adding lots of flavor and texture.
Let’s Make Some Pierogies!
When my Mom made pierogies, she always boiled them in water first, and then fried them in bacon grease with onions. So that’s how I make them, too, and they are to die for!
- “Bake” the Potatoes. Scrub the potatoes under cold water, and use a fork to prick them deeply in several places. Microwave the potatoes until they are completely soft and cooked. In my microwave, this takes about 9 minutes. You can also bake the potatoes, but this can take an hour or so, so plan ahead. Leftover baked potatoes are great in this dish, too.
- Mash the Potatoes. Cut the cooked potatoes in half, and scoop the cooked potato out of the skin, into a large bowl. Mash with the butter, sour cream, salt, and pepper. Stir in the milk as needed to get a smooth consistency, and then add in the cheese.
- Make the Egg Wash. To make the egg wash, just whisk the egg and water together in a small bowl. Have a pastry brush handy for brushing the egg wash on the pierogies.
- Assemble the Pierogies. Take one wonton wrapper at a time, and brush the edges with the egg wash. Next, poon 2 – 3 teaspoons of your mashed potatoes into the center. Then, fold the wrapper in half to create a half-moon shape, and press the edges together, keeping the potato filling inside and squeezing out any excess air as you go. Set the pierogi aside on a clean tray or baking sheet lined with parchment paper or wax paper, and continue making pierogies until you’re out of filling.
- Freeze. When the pierogies are made, you can place them in the freezer, loosely covered with plastic wrap, and freeze until they’re frozen solid. This takes a couple fo hours. Place the frozen pierogies into freezer bags, and keep them in your freezer until you’re ready to cook.
- Cook the Pierogies. When you are reay to cook, bring a large pot of salted water to boil. While that heats up, cook the bacon for about 3 minutes in a skillet, to render out the fat, and then stir in the chopped onions. Boil the frozen pierogies for 2 – 3 minutes, until they rise to the top of the pot. Once they rise to the top of the water, use a slotted spoon to drain them and drop them into the skillet. Fry until golden-brown on each side.
- Serve. Serve the pierogies warm, with sour cream, extra cheddar cheese, and chopped green onions.
Do You Have to Boil Pierogies Before Frying Them?
In general, yes, you do need to boil the pierogies before frying. The exception to this is if you are heating up pre-cooked pierogies. Those can just be fried lightly to brown them and warm them up.
Helpful Tips and Tricks
So that’s it – my easy, shortcut recipe to making your own potato and cheese pierogies. I hope you’re excited to try this savory dish. But before you start cooking, take a look at these handy tips – they’ll help make sure your pierogies turn out just right!
- Keep the Wrappers Covered: It’s important to keep the wonton wrappers covered while you’re making each pierogi. You can use a very clean, damp kitchen towel, or a clean and damp paper towel.
- Use Water: If you want to seal the wrappers with just water instead of egg wash, that will work just fine! Lightly moisten the edges and press to seal. If the wrapper won’t stick together, try using slightly less liquid.
- Change Up the Filling: Don’t want to use cheese? Leave it out! Want to add veggies? Stir in some sauteed mushrooms. Need a different flavor profile? Add garlic, rosemary, or whatever you like!
What Do You Eat with Pierogies?
To serve these delightful dumplings as a main course, it’s nice to add a few easy side dishes, like salad and soup. However, you could also serve pierogies as a side dish themselves, with your favorite main course. Here are some tasty recipes to get you started.
- Coleslaw: Fresh cabbage slaw is a great option with pierogies. This Macro-Friendly Easy Coleslaw is one of our favorites – cool, creamy, healthy, and crunchy!
- Ham: While kielbasa might be a more traditional choice, simple baked ham is also great with pierogies. Try this easy Crockpot Ham recipe. With just three ingredients and your slow cooker, you’ll have a gorgeous, perfectly-cooked ham with no hassle at all.
- Roasted Veggies: You can’t beat healthy, easy, and lightly caramelized roasted veggies. I like them with just about anything, including this dish! Roasted Brussels Sprouts are a favorite, or you could make easy Oven Roasted Asparagus.
Storing and Reheating the Leftovers
- Leftover pierogies can be stored in the refrigerator. Just put them into an airtight container or bag, and refrigerate for 3 – 5 days.
- Reheat your leftover pierogies in a skillet over medium heat, with a small amount of oil or butter, until heated through.
Can I Freeze These?
Sure! Once the uncooked pierogies are assembled, you can freeze them as directed, and keep them in the freezer for up to three months.
To freeze leftover pierogies, just place them on a tray or plate and freeze until solid. Store in a freezer bag. Don’t store frozen pierogies for longer than a total of 3 months (including the time they were frozen prior to cooking).
- 12 oz round wonton skins 1 package, you won't use the whole thing unless you're feeling ambitious
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon water
- 2 large Idaho potatoes
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
- a few splashes whole milk
- salt and pepper
For frying about 12 pierogies, I use
- 4 slices bacon chopped
- 1/2 small onion diced
- cheddar cheese
- green onions
- sour cream
- Scrub potatoes clean under cold water and prick deeply with a fork or knife. Microwave potatoes until completely soft (about 9 minutes for me). You could also bake them in your oven or use some left over baked potatoes.
- Cut cooked potatoes in half and scoop out the insides into a large bowl. Mash potato with butter, sour cream, salt and pepper. Stir in milk to get a smooth consistency. Stir in cheese. Set aside. **You could also use left over mashed potatoes! Just be sure to stir in the cheese and more milk or cream to get a smooth consistency**
- In small bowl, whisk egg with water. To assemble pierogies, take one wonton wrapper and brush the edges with the egg. Place 2-3 teaspoons worth of potato filling into the center. Fold wrapper in half to create a half moon shape and press edges together keeping the potato filling inside and removing any excess air. Repeat this process until no more filling remains. Depending on how much or little you fill your pierogies, you could end up with more or less than my 36 I got.
- Place pierogies on baking sheet in a single layer. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze until solid, about 2 hours. Transfer to freezer bags until ready to cook.
- To cook, bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, start rendering the chopped bacon. After about 3 minutes of cooking the bacon, add in chopped onion. Once water has come to boil, drop in pierogies and stir. After 2-3 minutes, pierogies should be finished cooking and should float to the top. Using a slotted spoon, drain pierogies and drop into skillet with bacon and onions. Fry pierogies until golden brown on either side or until cooked to your liking. Bacon and onions should be completely finished cooking by this point. Serve warm with sour cream, more cheddar cheese and/or chopped green onions.