These vegetarian, delicious Polish Sauerkraut Pierogi (Kapusta) Dumplings are a traditional Polish dish enjoyed at family gatherings and festive celebrations.
I am very excited to share with you today one of my favourite traditional Polish Christmas Eve dishes – Polish Sauerkraut Pierogi (Kapusta) Dumplings. This Polish pierogi recipe is closely related to Porcini Dumplings (uszka), served on Christmas Eve with borscht, both of which I shared last year. The dough used in both types of dumplings is the same (some people make the ‘uszka’ dough a little tougher by adding more flour but I prefer soft dumplings). The photos I included in the ‘uszka’ recipe might be useful when making these dumplings too.
Polish pierogi of all types are a popular everyday dishes in Poland, not just as a Christmas recipe. I tend to serve them as part of our Christmas Eve feast so making them is always a treat.
How to make the filling for sauerkraut pierogi
Start by frying the onion in a little oil for a few minutes until soft. Be careful not to brown it too much as it will be bitter instead of sweet. Add the sauerkraut and mushrooms, season with pepper, cover and simmer for approx. 45 minutes, stirring often. You may have to add a drop of water if the mixture starts sticking to the pot.
Puree about 1/3 of the filling and combine with the remaining mixture. Add the breadcrumbs, stir, taste the filling and adjust seasoning if necessary. Be careful when adding the salt (you may not need to add any) as sauerkraut is quite salty.
Set aside to cool completely.
The sauerkraut filling should be tangy and sharp. Be generous with the pepper!
How to make Polish pierogi
A few things to keep in mind is first of all rolling out the dough as thinly as possible. Try to roll it out to only about 2mm (though not thinner) of thickness. The thinner the dough the better the dumplings.
I don’t use any eggs in my dumplings dough as they can make the dough a little tough. These sauerkraut pierogi should be soft and ideally have a melt-in-your mouth effect.
The filling might occasionally stick to your fingers as you are making the dumplings. It is a good idea to wipe your fingertips (paper towel works well) and dust them with flour every once in a while. The pierogi will look neater and will be easier to make.
As with most traditional recipes, these Polish pierogi with sauerkraut are very simple and consist of few ingredients, though you might need a bit of practice before you are completely satisfied with the results. I used small proportions in this recipe (for approx. 30-32 small dumplings) as that’s easier to work with especially if you haven’t made these before. If you prefer to make a bigger batch just double the ingredients.
Prepping the ingredients ahead
The sauerkraut filling can be made ahead so that you’ll have one thing less to do when putting the dumplings together. Make the filling, allow it to cool completely, then store in the fridge, covered, overnight. Give the mixture a stir before making the 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.
I tried to be as specific as possible in my instructions but do get in touch if you’ve still got questions. I hope the step-by-step photos below help.
I’ll be posting a recipe for Polish Cheese and Potato Dumplings (Pierogi Ruskie) later on in the week so be sure to come back then:)
You may also like these easy, healthy Turkey Dumplings (Pierogi) with Butternut Squash.
How to make pierogi:
Polish Sauerkraut Pierogi (Kapusta) Dumplings
- For the dough:
- 250 g flour
- 130 ml hot water about half a cup
- 1.5 teaspoon butter
- Pinch of salt
- For the filling:
- 300 g sauerkraut strained, finely chopped
- 1 medium onion finely chopped
- 2 dried porcini mushrooms
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon breadcrumbs
- Sea salt and pepper to taste
- Start by making the filling. In a saucepan heat up the oil, add the onion and cook over a low/medium heat for a couple of minutes until softened, stirring often. Add the sauerkraut, mushrooms, seasoning (mainly pepper at this point), stir, cover and simmer for about 40-45 minutes, stirring often (do not let the mixture burn). You may have to add a drop of water if the mixture becomes too dry and starts sticking to the pot. Remove from the heat and puree 1/3 of the mixture. (ensure you puree the porcini but the mixture should not be completely smooth). Combine with the remaining sauerkraut. Add the breadcrumbs, stir, adjust the seasoning if necessary (the mixture should be tangy, sharp and peppery) and set aside to cool.
- While the sauerkraut filling is cooking prepare the dough. Tip the flour onto your work surface, make a well in the middle, add the butter 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.
- Divide the dough into 2 parts (easier to work with) and roll out one part (keeping the other covered) on a lightly floured surface as thinly as possible, 2-2 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 - 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 the dumplings come up to the surface cook them for about 3 more minutes, switch off the heat and using a slotted spoon transfer them onto a large plate. Drizzle with a little olive oil and serve!
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Recipe Link Parties
I am bringing these Polish sauerkraut pierogi recipe to #CookBlogShare, hosted this week by Eb@Easy Peasy Foodie. Also sharing with Recipe of the Week, Tasty Tuesdays, Fiesta Friday, which I have the pleasure of co-hosting together with Jhuls @ The Not So Creative Cook.