Potato and Onion Pierogies with Bacon
Potato and onion pierogies are one of my favorite comfort foods. I recently had them in New York at a little stand outside Bryant Park and I knew I had to make them. They were perfectly tender and filled with potatoes, onion, and cheese and topped with bacon and sour cream. These potato and onion pierogies are the perfect make-ahead dinner recipe. They’re also perfect as a party appetizer for any gathering!
What are Pierogies?
Pierogies are a polish staple, but the origin is a bit of a mystery as there are tons of stories floating around. Pierogies are filled dumplings made by wrapping dough around a savory or sweet filling. Typical fillings include potato, cheese, quark, sauerkraut, ground meat, or mushrooms. Often, you’ll see them topped with sour cream and fried onions. Now, I don’t claim for this recipe to be authentic. I am not Polish, but I love trying to recreate dishes that I love and these do a pretty great job!
How to make Potato and Onion Pierogies
Making pierogies takes a little practice and work, but the end result is so worth it! I like to make a huge batch and freeze them so I always have some potato and onion pierogies on hand.
Ingredients for Potato and Onion Pierogies
- Potatoes. Opt for a waxy variety like Yukon gold for the best texture.
- Onions. Onion is a really traditional ingredient for pierogi filling, but caramelizing them first adds so much flavor.
- Sour Cream. Sour cream in the dough keeps it really tender.
- White cheddar. White cheddar is what I had on hand for the filling, but almost any cheese will work.
- Flour. Use all-purpose flour or ’00’ Italian flour for the most tender dumplings.
- Butter. Butter adds flavor to the filling and it’s perfect for pan-frying with extra bacon drippings.
- Bacon. This is a totally optional ingredient! I added the crispy bacon as a topping, but you could also mix some crispy chopped bacon into the filling as well.
How to make pierogi dough
I love how easy it is to make this dough recipe! It’s even easier to make the dough in a stand mixer, but you can also mix it by hand.
If you’re making this dough in a stand mixer, combine the flour, oil, salt, sour cream, and egg in the bowl of your mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. With the mixer running on low, slowly stream in the hot water and mix until everything is combined. Mix an additional 4-5 minutes, until the dough is smooth, and then wrap the dough in plastic wrap and rest for 30 minutes.
If you’re doing it by hand, follow the same steps in a mixing bowl using a dough whisk and then knead by hand until the dough is smooth.
Freezing Potato and Onion Pierogies
Making potato and onion pierogies is a bit of work, so when I’m in the mood to make them I like to make a ton. Shape and fill your pierogies and place them on a lightly floured baking sheet and freeze them in a single layer for 45 minutes. At that point, you can transfer them to another container and they’ll last in the freezer for up to 1 year. You can boil them directly from frozen!
Making the filling with leftover mashed potatoes
I always find myself with leftover mashed potatoes, especially after the holidays. If you find yourself in the same boat, potato and onion pierogi is the perfect recipe to transform those leftovers.
To make these pierogies with leftover mashed potatoes, combine 3 cups of cold mashed potatoes with the caramelized onions, 1 cup of shredded cheese, and 1/4 cup sour cream. Season to taste with salt and pepper. After this, follow the rest of the recipe as instructed!
Other Appetizer Recipes to Try
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Potato and Onion Pierogies with Bacon
- 2 yellow onions, thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 3 large Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 6 tablespoons salted butter, divided
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 cup shredded white cheddar
- Kosher salt to taste
- Freshly cracked black pepper to taste
- 3 cups all-purpose or '00' flour
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 2/3 cup hot water, not boiling, just as hot as your tap goes
- 4 strips bacon, diced
- 1 tablespoon salted butter
- 3 tablespoons sour cream
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh chives or other fresh herbs
- Start with the onions. In a large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of salted butter over low heat. Add the sliced onions and sprinkle with the sugar and toss well. Season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until deeply golden brown. Set aside and cool. Reserve some of the caramelized onions for topping the finished pierogies, if desired.
- Add the potatoes to a medium pot and cover with 2 inches of water. Add 1 tablespoon of salt to the water and bring to a boil. Cook until the potatoes are fork tender. Drain the potatoes in a colander and when they're cool enough to handle, pass them through a potato ricer into a mixing bowl or mash with a potato masher. Fold in the remaining butter, sour cream, and shredded cheese and season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Combine the flour, salt, egg, and sour cream in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. With the mixer running on low, slowly stream in the hot water. Mix on medium-low speed for 4-5 minutes, until the dough is smooth. Wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap and rest for 30 minutes.
Making the Pierogies
- Divide the dough into 2 equal portions and keep the other half covered until you're ready to use.
- Lightly flour a work surface and roll out the first half of dough to 1/8" thickness and use a 3" circle cutter to cut out rounds.
- Spoon about a tablespoon of filling onto the middle of it. Fold the dough in half to enclose the filling, bringing the edges together to form a crescent shape. Pinch the two sides together at the top, then work your way down on both sides, pinching the dough over the filling and pushing in the filling as needed, making sure the potato mixture does not break the seal. Place the finished pierogies on a baking sheet lightly dusted with flour.
- Repeat with the second piece of dough. You can gather up any scraps and bring them back together to roll out a few more, or save the scraps to boil as a rustic pasta. Repeat the process to fill all the pierogies. At this point, you can cook all the pierogies or freeze them, or just freeze a portion.
- Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-low heat and add the bacon. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the bacon is crispy. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a paper-towel lined plate and remove all but 1 tablespoon of bacon fat from the skillet. Add 1 tablespoon of butter to the skillet.
- While the bacon is cooking, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pierogies in batches of 10-12. Stir occasionally so that the pierogies don't stick and cook for about 4-5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon or spider, transfer the pierogies to the hot skillet and cook 1-2 minutes per side, until lightly browned.
- Transfer the pierogies to a serving plate and top with the crispy bacon and reserved caramelized onions and a dollop of sour cream. Top with chives or other fresh herbs like thyme or dill.