What Is a Pierogi, Anyway?
What’s a pierogi? Where does it come from? Most importantly, how do you make one at home?!
You’ve got questions, we’ve got answers:
What Are Pierogies?
A pierogi is, simply, a filled dumpling.
It’s made by wrapping a savory or sweet filling—popular fillings include meat, cheese, sauerkraut, potatoes, and fruits—in unleavened noodle dough, then cooking in boiling water or pan-frying.
Where Do They Come From?
A Central and Eastern European staple, it’s difficult to pin down one origin story for the pierogi.
Some people think they came to Poland from Russia, others think Marco Polo brought them from China to Italy, and still others believe they were born in Turkey.
Here’s what we know for sure: The word “pierogi” has Slavic roots and the dumpling is particularly popular these days in Poland.
It was once considered fit only for Polish peasants, but members of the noble class eventually realized what they were missing.
The pierogi is now recognized as the country’s national food and is commonly eaten day-to-day and on special occasions, particularly Christmas.
Pierogies In the U.S.
European immigrants brought traditional pierogies to the U.S. and Canada sometime in the last couple centuries.
Pierogies served stateside are typically considered side dishes, while in Europe they’re often the main event.
They’re usually filled with savory ingredients like meat, cheese, and vegetables in the U.S.
How to Make Pierogies
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If you know how to make ravioli from scratch, you can make a pierogi. The key to a good dumpling is the dough—it needs to be sturdy enough to hold its own against weighty fillings. Once you’ve tackled that part (find our best basic pierogi dough recipe here), you’re basically unstoppable. Pierogies lend themselves to creativity in the kitchen. Here are a few of our favorite pierogi recipes to get you started:
Looking for something else? You’re in luck! We’ve got even more pierogi recipes right here.