This Pierogi Casserole is cheating and not a traditional pierogi, but sometimes you just want that familiar taste from your childhood and don’t want to spend the entire day in the kitchen making them from scratch. If you keep a well stocked pantry, you probably have all these ingredients.
I know some of you will probably comment below and tell me that I’ve spelled pierogi wrong. I’m 1/2 Polish and this is how we spell it.
Other variations are:
However you spell it, these are the perfect comfort food right up there with mac and cheese.
There are a variety of fillings that people will use, but in the U.S., the most popular is potato and potato with cheese. In Poland, pierogi are filled with ground meat, mushrooms, cabbage, and blueberries among other things. Although I am Polish and my mother used to hand make pierogi, I admit that I’ve never had them with ground meat or mushrooms. Sounds good though and I think I’ll try making them one day.
When my mother would make these, she would have a dozen or more large trays all over the kitchen with all her dough cut out in circles and dusted with flour. She would make 4 kinds: mashed potato, mashed potato with sauerkraut, a sweet ricotta cheese, and prune. She would put a spoonful of the filling on the little circle of dough, pinch the edges to seal them, then drop them in boiling water.
Once they were boiled and the dough was cooked, then she’d transfer them to a frying pan with butter and onions. I’m forgetting how she managed to cook all the pierogi in the butter and onions and keep it hot until it was time for dinner. I imagine there were several frying pans and possibly a dish in the oven to keep them warm.
I’ve seen many recipes that “brown” the pierogi in the frying pan, but they were still soft and doughy when my mother made them. The potato with sauerkraut were always my favorite.
How did she ever find the time to do all that preparation? It wasn’t just making, rolling out, and cutting the dough. She mashed her own potatoes which involved peeling, cutting and boiling. Mixing some of the mashed potato with sauerkraut in another bowl. Then preparing the sweetened ricotta cheese mixture in another bowl, and the fourth bowl with stewed mashed prunes.
Wow! She was an amazing woman. Not to mention that our house was always spotless, she was always well dressed with make-up, she was intelligent and fun, and there were 4 of us kids running around while my father worked. Oh….the good ol’ days!
Now you can find frozen pierogi in the grocery stores. Not nearly as good as my mother’s, but I rarely have that much time to spend in the kitchen for just my husband and myself. So, I usually cheat and use frozen.
I have, in the past, turned my stuffed cabbage (Hulupki) into a casserole and decided to try to do the same with pierogi. It may not be traditional, it may not taste as good as homemade, and it may be cheating, but it’s easy and sometimes I’ll take the shortcuts just to get that old familiar meal I’m missing.
Pierogi Casserole | Recipe
- 9 lasagna noodles
- 8 medium-large potatoes
- 3/4 – 1 c. milk
- 2 T. butter
- 3-4 lg. onions
- 2 sticks (1 c.) butter
- 4 c. shredded cheddar cheese (or cheese of your choice)
- 2 T. salt
Put a large pot of water with 1 T. salt on to boil. Once it reaches boiling, add lasagna.
Scrub (or peel) potatoes. Chop into 1″ size pieces. In a large pot, add potatoes, cover potatoes with water, add 1 T. salt and boil till soft.
When lasagna is cooked completed, gently pour into colander to drain trying not to tear. Set aside to cool.
When potatoes are soft, drain off as much water as you can, but leave in pot for mashing. Adding a little bit of milk at a time and 2 T. butter, mix with electric mixer until creamy. Set aside.
While you’re draining lasagna and mashing the potatoes, melt 2 sticks of butter in large frying pan. Chop onions and add to frying pan. Cook till translucent and slightly browned.
Now it’s time for to build your pierogi casserole.
- Put a few large spoonfuls of your onion/butter mixture in bottom of 9 x 13 casserole dish. Move around with spoon to coat entire bottom of dish.
- Next, lay down 3 of your lasagna noodles. Spread mashed potatoes over lasagna to approximately 1/2″.
- Sprinkle 1/2 of the cheese on top of mashed potatoes.
- Repeat — another layer of lasagna, potatoes, cheese.
- Lay down your last 3 lasagna noodles and top with all the onion/butter mixture. Spread to cover the top of all the lasagna.
Now just cover the dish in foil and bake in 350 degree oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
The best thing about making a casserole is that you can do all the clean up while it’s in the oven and maybe even have some time to have a glass of wine while dinner is cooking.
I like to serve this pierogi casserole with pork and sauerkraut. Or maybe kielbasa and a side of sauerkraut.