Polish Cheese and Potato Dumplings (Pierogi Ruskie) are a classic Polish dish, popular all year round accompanying celebrations and family gatherings. It’s also one of the traditional dishes served on Christmas Eve.
As promised earlier this week today I am sharing my recipe for Polish Cheese and Potato Dumplings (Pierogi Ruskie). This is another popular dish (in addition to the Sauerkraut Dumplings I posted a few days ago) enjoyed as part of the Polish Christmas Eve celebrations.
Both the sauerkraut dumplings as well as the cheese and potato dumplings are also everyday recipes. But while the everyday version is often enjoyed with bacon bits Christmas Eve these dumplings are served with a little butter (or oil) instead. The Christmas Eve meal is meat free, although not fish free.
What cheese to use in Polish pierogi
A few words of explanation regarding the type of cheese I used in this dumplings recipe. ‘Twarog‘ can be bought from any Polish delicatessen so I am sure you won’t have trouble finding it. It tastes very similar to cottage cheese, though it doesn’t have as much moisture (which is why I don’t recommend using cottage cheese instead). When it comes to texture twarog is similar to feta cheese. If you live in North America and have had Polish pierogi before it’s likely they were made with cheddar, or similar, cheese. This modification was probably created due to the fact that ‘twarog‘ isn’t readily available outside of Poland.
Easy dumplings dough recipe
The dough I used in this recipe is exactly the same as the dough used in the Sauerkraut Dumplings as well as Porcini Dumplings (Uszka). (Click through to these recipes for more photos). The proportions I used in this cheese pierogi recipe should yield approximately 60 dumplings. Divide the dough into 3 parts and while you are working with 1 keep the other 2 tightly wrapped in plastic wrap. Alternatively, if you want to make less dumplings either halve the ingredients or use the proportions from my Sauerkraut Dumplings recipe.
Making the filling
The pierogi ruskie filling is incredibly easy to make!
Start by boiling the potatoes. Drain and mash them well. Set aside to cool.
Fry the onion in a little oil until softened (take care not to brown it too much). Leave to cool, then combine with the mashed potato and cheese, season well and stir thoroughly. Use a potato masher for a smoother finish.
It is very important to use a generous amount of seasoning in this potato pierogi recipe. Boil the potatoes in salted water, season the filling mixture well (lots of pepper too) and don’t forget to boil the dumplings themselves in salted water.
This is because the dough will absorb some of the flavour and you might end up with slightly bland tasting dumplings.
Make the filling in advance
Dumplings do require a bit of time to prepare but the good news is you can make the cheese and potato filling ahead! Simply cover and refrigerate overnight.
How to make pierogi
Storing and reheating the dumplings
If you aren’t using the dumplings straight away place them in an oven proof dish (the oil will prevent them from sticking to one another). Allow to cool completely, then refrigerate (for up to 3 days) until you want to use them. They can be reheated in the same dish – cover the dish with a lid or tin foil and reheat in the oven (180-190 C). You can also reheat individual portions in the microwave.
As always, I am happy to answer any questions you may have so do get in touch!
More pierogi recipes:
If you love Polish pierogi you might like these traditional Polish Sauerkraut Dumplings (Pierogi z Kapusta) They are also especially popular at Christmas. These Polish Christmas Eve Porcini Dumplings (Uszka) are another Polish classic you might like. Check out my most recent pierogi recipe with a healthy, delicious filling – Turkey Dumplings (Pierogi) with Butternut Squash.
Use oil or butter in the dough
All of these recipes use essentially the same pierogi dough. This dough can be made with either oil or butter. So use 3 tablespoons of oil or 1 tablespoon of butter. (See specific recipes for details). So the only real difference is the filling.
If you are looking for other traditional Polish dishes see also My Mum’s Best Russian Salad.
- For the Dough:
- 350 g flour
- 180 ml hot water
- 1 tablespoon butter
- Pinch of salt
- For the Filling:
- 250 g low fat (not fat free) Polish cottage cheese Twarog poltlusty
- 3 large potatoes
- 1 medium onion finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil plus more for coating the dumplings
- Sea salt and pepper to taste
Peel and boil the potatoes, covered, in salted water. Drain, mash and leave to cool.
While the potatoes are boiling prepare the dough. Place the flour and butter on your work surface and start combining using a large knife, gradually adding the water into the middle and gathering up the mixture with the knife to prevent the water from escaping. When the dough starts to come together and all the water has been added knead the dough for 2-3 minutes until it becomes smooth and elastic. Cover the dough with a cloth/tea towel and leave to rest for 20 minutes.
To make the filling heat up the oil and fry the onions slowly until softened for a few minutes, stirring often (don't brown the onions). Combine with the potatoes. Add the cheese, season well and stir to combine (it's a good idea to use a potato masher for a smooth finish).
Divide into 3 parts (easier to work with) and roll out one part (keeping the other 2 wrapped) on a lightly floured surface as thinly as possible, 2-3 mm in thickness (don't worry, the dough is quite elastic and won't tear easily). Using a glass with a diameter of about 7 cm make round shapes (gather up the excess dough and add to the other dough part).
Place a small amount of the filling (about a teaspoon) in the middle of the round dough shape (if the dough is sticking to the work surface use a knife to help it come off but take care not to tear it). With tips of your fingers stick the edges of the dumpling together, using your pinky to gently push the filling away from the edges and remove any air bubbles - go over the edge twice for each dumpling (your fingertips should be dry so it's a good idea to keep a sheet of paper towel near you to wipe them if they get sticky)
Place the dumplings on a lightly floured surface.
Fill a large pot with salted water, cover and bring to boil. Continue making the dumplings as you are waiting for the water to boil. When the water starts boiling carefully place the dumplings in the pot one by one (up to 15 per batch) and quickly but carefully stir with a wooden spoon. When all the dumplings come up to the surface switch off the heat and using a slotted spoon transfer them onto a large plate. Drizzle with a little olive oil and serve!
If you aren't using them straight away place the dumplings in an oven proof dish (the oil will prevent them from sticking to one another), allow to cool and refrigerate (for up to 3 days) until they are ready to be reheated (in the same dish) - cover them with tin foil and reheat in the oven. You can also store them in a microwavable bowl, covered, and reheat later in a microwave.
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Recipe Link Parties
I am sharing these Polish Cheese and Potato Dumplings (Pierogi Ruskie) with Recipe of the Week. Also bringing this recipe to #CookBlogShare, hosted this week by Kirsty@Hijacked By Twins. Also sharing with Tasty Tuesdays and Fiesta Friday. This week’s co-hosts are Judi @ cookingwithauntjuju.com and Laurena @ Life Diet Health.