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Pierogi Recipe (VIDEO)

Pierogi filled with cheesy potatoes, tossed with crisp bacon and melted butter and served with sour cream is the ultimate comfort food.

Pierogi recipe in a bowl topped with bacon and sour cream and a fork on the side

Growing up, this potato pierogi recipe or “Vareniki” was my favorite. My Mother rolled huge batches of pierogi dough, stuffing, and expertly molding them. Each buttery batch disappeared so fast!

Teaching my daughter how to make pierogi

What is a Pierogi?

Pierogi are dumplings with a tender dough and savory or sweet fillings, similar to ravioli. They are boiled in water and tossed in butter to serve. Pierogi are a staple in Eastern European countries and are well-loved throughout the world.

Most Americans know them as polish pierogi or “Mrs. T Pierogies” (a sad store-bought substitute), but we know them as Ukrainian Vareniki.

Potatoes are just one of many fillings – in the summer months, Mom would make the juiciest blueberry pierogi.

Up close view of what is a pierogi stuffed dumplings with potatoes

More Pierogi Filling Ideas:

  • Potatoes and Cheese served with bacon (recipe below)
  • Savory Meat filled dumplings (a.k.a. “pelmeni“)
  • Sweet Blueberry Pierogi served with a sprinkling of sugar
  • Cherry Pierogi – a summertime favorite
  • Sweet Plum Pierogi (or use your favorite stone fruit)

Pierogi filling with cheesy mashed potatoes

Ingredients for Homemade Pierogi:

  • We used russet potatoes to make the filling but you can use leftover potatoes (see notes below)
  • Bacon is a real treat with a generous amount of butter. You can use butter only if you prefer.
  • Our go to cheeses are cream cheese and shredded mozzarella cheese, but you can sub mozzarella with your favorite cheese.

Ingredients for homemade pierogi with potatoes, cheese and ingredients for pierogi dough

Can I Use Leftover Mashed Potatoes?

  • You can use refrigerated leftover mashed potatoes for pierogi.
  • Mashed potatoes should not be overly creamy or soft which can cause the pierogi to fall apart while cooking.
  • Do not use instant potatoes or flaked potatoes.
  • If using leftover mashed potatoes, omit the butter from the pierogi filling and mash cream cheese and mozzarella into cold mashed potatoes.

How To Freeze Pierogi:

Generously dust a baking sheet with flour and arrange pierogi so they are not touching then cover loosely with plastic wrap and place in the freezer. Once frozen, transfer to a large zip-loc bag. Pre-freezing in a single layer keeps them from sticking together in the freezer.

How to freeze pierogi arranged on a floured baking sheet

Watch How to Make Pierogi:

This mini-scoop from OXO (Amazon affiliate link) made it really easy to add the potato filling.

I hope you love these and don’t forget to recruit others to help you make them! My kids love playing with pierogi dough more than play-doh!

My daughter helping to make pierogi

Pierogi Recipe

4.98 from 34 votes
Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours
A batch of potato pierogi in a bowl topped with bacon and sour cream

Pierogi filled with cheesy potatoes, tossed with crisp bacon and melted butter and served with sour cream is the ultimate comfort food. 

Author: Natasha of NatashasKitchen.com
Skill Level: Medium
Cost to Make: $10
Keyword: Pierogi, Pierogi Recipe
Calories: 246 kcal
Servings: 12 servings (5 pierogi per serving)

Ingredients

Ingredients for Potato Filing:

  • 2 lbs russet potatoes (5 medium), peeled
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp butter melted
  • 2 oz cream cheese softened
  • 3/4 cup mozzarella cheese shredded

For the Pierogi Dough:

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 2 Tbsp sour cream
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp salt (plus more for cooking)
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour measured correctly*

For the Toppings (For 1/3 batch):

  • 4 oz bacon chopped
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • Sour Cream to serve

Instructions

How to Make Potato Cheese Filling:

  1. Place potatoes in a pot, add enough water to cover potatoes then bring to a boil over medium/high and continue cooking 25 minutes or until easily pierced with a fork. Drain and cool 5 minutes then mash potatoes.

  2. Mash in 1/2 tsp salt, 2 Tbsp melted butter and 2 oz cream cheese. Mash in 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese. Partially cover and set aside while rolling out the dough. 

To Make Pierogi Dough:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or large mixing bowl if mixing by hand), whisk together 1 cup warm water, 1/4 cup milk, 2 Tbsp sour cream, 1 egg and 1 tsp salt until blended.

  2. Using dough hook attachment, add 2 cups flour and mix on speed 2 until incorporated. Add remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time, letting it incorporate before adding more. Add the last bit of flour 1 Tbsp at a time just until dough no longer sticks to sides of the bowl. Knead on speed 2 or by hand for 10 minutes.

How to Mold Pierogi:

  1. Divide dough into 2 pieces. Cover the second piece with the mixing bowl and thinly roll the first piece out onto a floured surface to just under 1/8” thickness.

  2. Use a 3” diameter round cookie cutter to cut circles from the dough, keeping them as close as possible (collect scraps and place under the bowl to re-use). Add 1/2 teaspoon of potatoes over each round.

  3. To form pierogi, pull the 2 edges together and pinch tightly to seal. To ensure a tight seal, crimp the edges a second time with a pinch and twist motion. Cook or freeze pierogi for a future dinner (see freezing instructions in post).

How to Make Bacon Topping:

  1. Make the topping before boiling pierogi so it’s ready to drizzle over pierogi to prevent sticking. In a medium skillet, saute 4 oz chopped bacon. Once crisp, melt in 2 Tbsp butter and remove from heat.  

How to Cook Pierogi:

  1. Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil and add 1 Tbsp salt. Add fresh or frozen pierogi. Once they are floating and water is back to a boil, cook additional 3-5 minutes or until dough is very tender. Remove to a bowl with a slotted spoon drizzling buttery bacon between layers. 

Recipe Notes

This recipe makes 55-60 pierogi, based on how thinly you roll.
*See our post on How to Measure Ingredients

Nutrition Facts
Pierogi Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 246 Calories from Fat 72
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 8g 12%
Saturated Fat 4g 20%
Cholesterol 36mg 12%
Sodium 583mg 24%
Potassium 68mg 2%
Total Carbohydrates 32g 11%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Protein 8g 16%
Vitamin A 5.4%
Calcium 5.6%
Iron 11.4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

If you make this recipe, I’d love to see pics of your creations on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter! Hashtag them #natashaskitchen

This Potato and Cheese Vareniki Recipe was first posted 9 years ago. You might recognize this photo. We cut the recipe in half, making a much more reasonable portion and improved on the dough making it softer than ever!

These Vareniki - Ukrainian classic pierogi, loaded with cheesy potatoes and an easy melt in your mouth homemade dough! Step by step photos.

Also, if you have a unique filling that you make, please share in a comment below!

natashaskitchen

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Natasha, the blogger behind Natasha's Kitchen (since 2009). My husband and I run this blog together and share only our best, family approved recipes with YOU. Thanks for stopping by! We are so happy you're here.

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  • Olya
    February 11, 2019

    Yumm.. can i use this dough for pilmeni? Reply

  • Karen
    February 7, 2019

    I usually read all the comments but I would like to make these way sooner than it would take me to read them all….Only 1/2 teaspoon of filling goes in these???? Grandma use to have a lot more than that!!! Reply

    • Natasha
      February 7, 2019

      Hi Karen, it depends on how large you make them. In the old country, my grandma would make them large also to save time, especially when feeding a very large family. Reply

      • Karen
        February 7, 2019

        LOL…we just finished dinner…pierogi’s were pretty good for a first timer! I ordered one of those “gadgets” that you roll out your dough and place it over a large cut-out form, fill it, roll out the other half and put on top, then punch them all out and pinch…DO NOT BUY ONE!!!!! I will make them the way Grandma showed me many years ago…I did the last batch her way!! Thank you so much for the recipe, especially the video! Reply

        • Natasha
          February 7, 2019

          I’m so glad you liked them but yeah I know exactly which gadget you are talking about. I’ve tried one in the past and I ended up spending way more time trying to make the gadget work right than just making the pierogi by hand. 🙂 Reply

  • Tanya
    February 5, 2019

    Hi Natasha, do you know why the dough keeps on shrinking? Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      February 5, 2019

      Hi Tanya, did you make any changes to the recipe and properly measure the dry ingredients? I’m wondering if the dough was overworked? Reply

  • Beverly
    February 3, 2019

    How about Kelbasi,kraut mmm Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      February 3, 2019

      That sounds delicious! Reply

  • Whitney R.
    February 1, 2019

    One of my favorites too. I was SO surprised at how easy this was to do! I don’t think I’ll ever buy the frozen ones again! I fried them in butter an onions after boiling them and they came out PERFECT! P.S. Loved the borscht recipe too! YUM. Keep those recipes coming!

    Whitney Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      February 1, 2019

      That’s so great! It sounds like you have a new favorite! Reply

  • Ilona
    January 31, 2019

    Just made these today and everyone loved it!!! We ate half of them-( 2 adults and 3 kids) – rest went to the freezer. Thank You Natasha!!! Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      February 1, 2019

      Aww! That’s the best! Thank you so much for sharing that with me! Reply

  • Jill
    January 29, 2019

    I’m excited to try to make these, we love pireogi! This may be a silly question, but I don’t have a stand mixer, how long would I kneed the dough by hand? Reply

    • Natasha
      January 30, 2019

      Hi Jill, I suggest kneading for about the same amount of time by hand. You could probably shave a couple of minutes off the total time kneading by hand. Reply

  • Sheri Peters
    January 29, 2019

    I am retired and this year, I vowed to do much more cooking than before. I can cook but have never been very creative in the kitchen. I LOVE your blog/posts and will be following your lead to great meals. Thank you for wonderful recipes and the instruction. Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      January 29, 2019

      I’m so inspired reading your review. Thank you! Reply

  • Ana Step
    January 29, 2019

    I can’t wait to try these! My husband loves Mrs Ts so I can’t imagine how much more he’ll actually love these… after boiling he likes to fry them in some of the leftover bacon grease, prob not too healthy but def delicious. Would Canadian flour work for these? Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      January 29, 2019

      That’s so great! Frying them up sounds amazing! I haven’t experimented pierogies with Candian flour. If you try that please let me know how you like that! Reply

  • Svetlana
    January 28, 2019

    Haven’t made these yet even though the recipe looks delicious! I was wondering if you have a recipe or are planning to make one for vareniki with tvorog? I can probably substitute and figure it out based off of this recipe, but might want to play it safe with an actual recipe haha.It was always a childhood favorite and I would love to pick up these staples my mom would make for us growing up now that I have a family of my own! Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      January 28, 2019

      Hi Svetlana, we do know have that at this time but we do have a tvorog recipe on the blog. Reply

  • Sabrina
    January 27, 2019

    Such a labor of love but totally worth it!! Can’t wait to try! Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      January 28, 2019

      Thank you so much for sharing your great review with me. Reply

  • Sommer
    January 27, 2019

    The only pierogi recipe I use! Reply

    • Natasha
      January 27, 2019

      I’m so happy to hear that you love this pierogi recipe! Thank you Sommer! 🙂 Reply

  • Jamielyn
    January 27, 2019

    The ultimate comfort food! So yummy! Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      January 28, 2019

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it! Reply

  • Toni
    January 27, 2019

    Simply delicious! Thanks for all the great information too. Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      January 28, 2019

      You’re welcome! I’m so happy you enjoyed it Reply

  • Aimee Shugarman
    January 27, 2019

    These came out so perfect! Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      January 28, 2019

      I’m so happy to hear that! Thank you for sharing your great review! Reply

  • Lynn
    January 27, 2019

    I wonder if Gluten free flour will work. Has anyone tried it? Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      January 28, 2019

      Hi Lynn, I haven’t tested that so I can’t advise. If you experiment, let me know how you liked the recipe Reply

  • Russ Eagles
    January 27, 2019

    i eat pierogi’s with pickled beets,with the beet juice covered on them. Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      January 28, 2019

      That sounds lovely! Thank you for sharing that with me! Reply

  • linda
    January 26, 2019

    we made these when i was growing up. We mixed mashed potatoes, sauteed onions, and sauerkraut. that was our filling. Our dough did not have sour cream in it. Our Polish friend would always come over and help, she showed us how to make them. Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      January 26, 2019

      Awww that’s the best! Thank you so much for sharing that with me :). Reply

  • Danielle
    January 25, 2019

    This recipe was delicious! I made it tonight for the first time and will definitely add it my collection as a regular. I don’t like bacon so I just drizzled some melted butter onto the cooked pierogi and it was perfect. Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      January 26, 2019

      That’s so great! It sounds like you have a new favorite! Reply

  • Nitish
    January 25, 2019

    Your food is good Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      January 25, 2019

      You’re so nice! Thank you! Reply

  • Carol
    January 24, 2019

    Instead of whole milk would almond milk work? Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      January 25, 2019

      Hi Carol! I haven’t tested that so I can’t advise. If you experiment please let me know how you like that! One of our readers wrote “I made salted cottage cheese vareniki using your dough recipe, except I didn’t have butter milk, so I used half&half instead. They turned out great, so soft. Thank you for the recipe ” Reply

  • Linda Nasman
    January 24, 2019

    I made these last weekend when we were snowbound. They were easier than I thought they would be and so yummy! Everyone loved them. Thank you! Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      January 24, 2019

      I love that! Thank you so much for sharing that with me! Reply

  • Roger Baase
    January 24, 2019

    ur the Best , i use all ur recipes , this is a great Polish Dish , that i had living in a Polish Neighborhood, Reply

    • Natasha
      January 24, 2019

      Hi Roger – thank you so much! I’m so glad you like our recipes and I hope you the pierogi as much as the Polish ones you tried! 🙂 Reply

  • Kristi Franklin
    January 22, 2019

    May Grandma would make potato/cheese and also prune. Prune was my favorite! Such sweet memories! Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      January 22, 2019

      I love when meals bring back those sweet memories! Thank you for sharing that with us, Kristi! Reply

  • linda cehily
    January 22, 2019

    would it be ok if you didn’t use the cream cheese in thie recipe Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      January 22, 2019

      Hi Linda! Are you looking to add the cream cheese to the potato mixture? I haven’t tried that but imagine it will work! If you experiment, let me know how you liked the recipe Reply

  • Alina
    January 22, 2019

    Natasha thank you so much for all the delicious recipes! This looks so good, I want to make it for dinner 😊you give me so many ideas for dinner! I love all your cooking videos and my kids as well.
    Blessings to your family! Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      January 22, 2019

      Hi Alina, You’re so nice! Thank you so much for sharing that with me :). I’m all smiles! Reply

  • Charles G Van De Sampel
    January 19, 2019

    Like many more cooks on here, the dough recipe is not the one handed down by many of the mother’s, grandmother’s, and aunt’s. I’m 64, of not only Belgian heritage but Polish as well. Since 9 years of age, I’ve been making Pierogi’s on and off when time allows. Meat, Sweet Cheese, Potato, Cherry, Blueberry, Peach, Sweet Onion, Sauerkraut, Sauerkraut with Wild Mushrooms, Plums, Peas, etc. And as to freezing, after being boiled, you dip them into melted butter, set aside and then placed in a container. We didn’t worry about them sticking together. It’s getting to be that time of year again. Now where did I place that can of Cherry filling. Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      January 19, 2019

      Thank you for sharing that great tip with us, Charles! I’ll have to give that a try! Reply

  • Ron Koshorek
    January 19, 2019

    Hi Natasha, I am always looking for alternative pierogi dough recipes so I will try yours. Thank you for sharing. I also use Farmer Cheese in my potato/cheese filling. Is the recipe correct where it says 1/2 tsp of filling? My dough “rounds” are a bit larger but I get about 2 TBS of filling in without sealing problems. Ron K Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      January 19, 2019

      Hi Ron, yes, that is the correct amount. We used a round cookie cutter (or mason jar top) measuring 3” in diameter. If your rounds are a bit larger, then yes you will need more filling. 🙂 Reply

  • Alicia
    January 19, 2019

    Hi Natasha,
    I’m going to try your dough recipe– it’s a bit different from what my Lithuanian gram made using only egg yolks, salt, water and flour. We used cheddar cheese in the potato filling and served them drenched in butter with sauteed onions. Also did a “sweet” cabbage filling, not sauerkraut. These were big money makers for the Polish, Lithuanian, Ukrainian and Slovak churches in Northeast Pennsylvania where I’m originally from. Inexpensive to make, but time consuming! It was also a social event for the ladies of the parish. As a little girl in the 50’s my mom would give me a dish to go to the church around the corner and buy $2.00 worth of pierogies for our family. They were a nickel a piece back then! I buy them now from a Russian Orthodox church for $6/dozen. Worth every penny! Love your blog, by the way, never to old to get new ideas and recipes! Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      January 19, 2019

      Thank you so much for sharing that with me, Alicia! I hope you enjoy this recipe! Reply

  • Cheryl
    January 19, 2019

    My greatgrandmother would make these when I was small. She used mashed potatoes, dry curd cottage cheese, an egg, cutup onion, salt and pepper. She would fry them in butter after they came out of the water and we would eat them with fried onions and top with sour cream. We lived on a farm and my mom made our butter, cottage cheese, sour cream. She had a large garden and used our own potatoes and onions. I still make them and my daughter makes them, but they just don’t seem to taste like I remember when I was a young child – it could be that everything was not processed like it is now. but I still enjoy them. Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      January 19, 2019

      Hi Cheryl! I’m so happy this brought back great memories! I’m so glad you enjoyed that! Reply

  • Taylor
    January 19, 2019

    Talk about comfort food! YUM! Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      January 19, 2019

      Yes indeed! Thank you for the wonderful review! Reply

  • Markiana
    January 18, 2019

    Hi Natasha!
    Thanks for the recipe! Do you have a recipe for Shuba salad? If not can you please do one? Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      January 19, 2019

      Hi Markiana! We sure do! You can follow this link here or hereReply

  • Olga
    January 18, 2019

    Hello Natasha,
    Thanks for sharing this recipe, I never thought of frying bacon & putting it on top of the pierogies. It’s all our favorite food too. I remember my mom would make it alot. Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      January 19, 2019

      It adds so much flavor! I hope you love this recipe! Reply

    • olga
      January 21, 2019

      Hi Natasha, Thanks, it was good. i really liked the dough texture,thanks for the recipe. God bless you!! Reply

      • Natashas Kitchen
        January 21, 2019

        You’re so welcome, Olga! I’m so happy you enjoyed that! Reply

  • Ann
    January 18, 2019

    Hi Natasha, I just wanted to let you know that I like your videos! They are fun! Today I was watching Pierogi vid and my two kids (7&4) joined in and bursted out laughing when you mashed the potatoes!!! They kept requesting to watch it over and over and over. 🤣 And also requesting me to make pierogi now! Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      January 19, 2019

      Awww that’s the best! Thank you so much for sharing that with me :). I’m all smiles! Reply

  • Gloria
    January 18, 2019

    Hi Natasha, I love all your recipes and watching your videos. You make cooking fun! My mother was Polish and made pierogi simply with water, flour and salt. Your dough has a lot more going on, so I’m going to try it. It’ll be interesting to see the difference in taste and texture. Also, I would love to know where you got the rack that’s in your sink. Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      January 18, 2019

      I’d love to hear your comparison, Gloria!! Thank you for that great review! Reply

  • Sommer
    January 18, 2019

    Finally a good pierogi recipe! This recipe is a keeper! Reply

  • Beth Klosterboer
    January 18, 2019

    Thanks for all the great tips. My family loved these pierogi. Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      January 18, 2019

      I’m so happy you enjoyed that. Thank you for sharing that with us! Reply

  • Anna
    January 18, 2019

    These are the best pierogi ever! I can’t wait to try different fillings! Reply

    • Natasha
      January 18, 2019

      And each filling is so good – it’s hard to pick a favorite, but I lean towards savory in winter and sweet in summer! Reply

  • Stephanie
    January 18, 2019

    How have I never seen this dish before?!?! I’m definitely adding this to my menu for next week. My husband is going to love this! Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      January 18, 2019

      I hope you love it, Stephanie!! Thank you for that wonderful review! Reply

  • vlad
    June 27, 2018

    Hello Natasha,
    My Baba would use the traditional farmers cheese in her perogies but after living in America for awhile she started using a mix of cheddar and ricotta. Everything looks great and I love your website. Do you have a recipe for the kapusta? Reply

  • Arini
    June 12, 2018

    Hello, Natasha. I am wondering if you have an approximate weight for 10 medium potatoes in this recipe. I tried making the vareniki and the mashed potatoes turned out to be really creamy and harder to form into the dough. They are still very good when they are done though. 😉

    I am also living in Indonesia and potatoes are very varied in sizes here. Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      June 12, 2018

      Hi Arini, 10 medium potatoes will weigh approximately 4 pounds. Reply

  • Arinka
    June 12, 2018

    Hello, Natasha. I am wondering if you have an approximate weight of 10 medium potatoes for this recipe. I am currently living in Indonesia and potatoes here are very varied in sizes. 🙂 Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      June 12, 2018

      Hi Arinka, I’m so glad you discovered our blog! 10 medium potatoes will be about 3.5 to 4 pounds. Reply

  • Christine
    March 9, 2018

    For the cream cheese, the recipe says half a package (4 ozs). Does this mean half of a 4 oz package or use 4 ozs? Sorry for such a silly question. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      March 10, 2018

      Hi Christine, that is a great question – it is meant to say: “or 4 oz” So the total is 4 oz. Reply

  • Jonathon
    November 19, 2017

    Hello Natasha, years ago, perhaps an older version of your website, you listed a pierogi press/maker you recommended. Your website looks very much different now than it did when I last visited, so I’m assuming the comment is lost in the past. Do you happen to remember or have a press you would recommend? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      November 20, 2017

      Hi Jonathon, I usually only use this form when I make pelmeni (the meat filled smaller dumplings). I haven’t come across a great one for these larger vareniki pockets and press them by hand. Reply

  • Stephanie
    November 9, 2017

    Looks delicious! I had a Ukranian roommate make some vareniki for me a while ago, and they were so good! I’m going to try this recipe 🙂

    Question: how do you pronounce vereniki? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      November 9, 2017

      I hope you love the recipe! It is pronounced very close to how it is spelled. 🙂  Reply

  • Katherine
    October 25, 2017

    This sounds wonderful! How many people does this feed? We have six people in our family. Kids are 8 and under. Do you think this would make enough? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      October 25, 2017

      Hi Katherine, oh yes, this will make plenty. The full recipe will serve 15 people – we make the full batch and freeze at least half of them (see freezing instructions above). Reply

  • Deborah H
    September 3, 2017

    My grandmother, who was from Lviv, always made her pierogi with farmers cheese as a filling, and we would brown them in butter after boiling them and have lots of sour cream ready (YUM!). I look forward to trying your pierogi as a wonderful variation! Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      September 4, 2017

      Yum, that sounds delicious! Please let me know what you think of this recipe Deborah! Reply

  • Bonnie Bertrand
    May 1, 2017

    My Grandmother (Baba) made 3 fillings in her pierogis. Potato and cheddar cheese, saurkraut, and prune. The potato and cheese, self explanatory. The saurkraut, she would take the kraut, chop it up in small pieces, and fry it with some butter and onions for a filling. The prune, she would take whole prunes that were soaked in water overnight, chop and mash them for the filling (instead of using lekvar). She would make one whole batch of dough for each filling. And then they would be served with butter sauted onions. Her pierogi dough had 4 ingredients. Flour, salt, water and only egg yolks (no whole eggs). Most tender dough ever. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      May 1, 2017

      Thank you so much for sharing your Grandmother’s versions. They all sound so good! Reply

  • Mary
    April 30, 2017

    Hi Natasha, if I were to cut this recipe in half- would I just cut the dough recipe in half as well? https://natashaskitchen.com/2011/05/09/russian-pelmeni-recipe-new-dough-recipe/

    Thanks! Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      May 1, 2017

      Hi Mary, yes you would cut both in half proportionally. I hope you love the recipe! 🙂 Reply

  • Yuliya
    March 4, 2017

    Hi Natasha, I made salted cottage cheese vareniki using your dough recipe, except I didn’t have butter milk, so I used half&half instead. They turned out great, so soft. Thank you for the recipe 😃 Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      March 4, 2017

      MMM that filling sounds amazing!! Did you strain the cottage cheese? And thank you for sharing the substitution idea! That’s a great idea if someone doesn’t have buttermilk 🙂 Reply

  • Katherine Miller
    January 25, 2017

    This is the first time I’ve known what pierogi were or heard the term vareniki, but I’m sure when I make them they will be known as fruit or potato jiaozi in my home. They look scrumptious, I can’t wait to try.l Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      January 25, 2017

      They are so delicious Katherine! 🙂 Reply

  • Martha
    October 21, 2016

    I use sharp cheese in my pyrohy and don’t have a problem with them coming apart. Topped with butter and onions they’re delicious. Leftovers can be sautéed till golden brown. Good with salsa. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      October 21, 2016

      Martha, thank you for that with us 😁. Reading your comment is making me hungry for some vareniki. Reply

  • Dale
    May 15, 2016

    Cool recipe have not had these in years since baba made them for me when i was a kid. Turned out well for my first attempt. Thanks for the recipe Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      May 15, 2016

      Isn’t it awesome how food brings back memories? Thanks for sharing that with us 🙂 Reply

  • Eve
    May 7, 2016

    This is Ukrainian dish, never being russian. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      May 7, 2016

      You know, I think you’re right! I didn’t realize I had put that, although Russian and Ukrainian people make and love these, I do think they are Ukrainian in origin. Thanks Eve! 🙂 Reply

    • Nadia
      January 21, 2019

      eve you better not interfere if you are not familiar with the topic! Reply

  • Jeff S
    January 16, 2016

    I cannot wait to make these. My Dad’s side of the family is Ukrainian. I remember my Grandmother making these when ever we would visit. I truly did not appreciate these until I was older. I may or may not have sneaked into the kitchen in the middle of the night to fry me up a few of delicious morsels. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      January 16, 2016

      The memories surrounding food are the best! I feel the same way about the soups my Mother made while growing up which I absolutely love NOW! 🙂 Reply

  • Rachel
    January 12, 2016

    Hi Natasha,

    Thanks for the recipe- it’s fantastic… Making them for my Ukrainian husband, his parents and grandparents- big shoes to fill if I’m to make them up to standard.
    But wow I’m exhausted half way through and with a toddler under my feet and a 7mth pregnant belly in the way covered in flour I’m only half way through and I just can’t make any more today.

    I’m wondering if I can out the dough wrapped in glad wrap and the filling in the fridge and finish them tomorrow without ruining the dough?

    Thanks in advance, Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      January 12, 2016

      Hi Rachel, you are a trooper to be making these at 7 months pregnant with a toddler! Usually if I have dough leftover, I find it’s a little harder to work with after refrigerating, so I just make dumplings out of it; I make a thin log of dough and slice of small pieces then boil in salted water or you could put them in broth or some kind of soup. Reply

  • Valentina Kominek
    August 12, 2015

    Have a question – my mom used to make these all the time – she was from Russia – but we didn’t use the cheese – just potatoes and onions. She mashed the potatoes and put in sautéed onions – next day if there were any left, we would fry them up in butter. Is this still a way? Thanks Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      August 12, 2015

      Yes, absolutely! My mom made them that way as well. You can mix in anything you like or even just use leftover mashed potatoes. Reply

      • Valentina Kominek
        August 12, 2015

        Thank you for your reply. I was wondering if you are from Europe and maybe came her to the USA. Just curious, you don’t need to reply, but I am always asking because we lost so many people there before coming to the USA. Valentina Reply

        • Natasha
          natashaskitchen
          August 12, 2015

          Hi Valentina, I was born in Ukraine and moved to the US when I was 4 years old. Reply

  • Susannah
    May 13, 2015

    Hello Natasha:) I made these and froze them and I was wondering if I put them in the water while they are frozen will they crack? so excited to eat them they look wonderful! Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      May 13, 2015

      You can put them in boiling water. Don’t thaw, just put them from the freezer into boiling water. Reply

  • Julia
    January 30, 2015

    Hi Natasha. I just want to correct you. Vareniki is NOT a classic Russian recipe, but UCRANIAN. Maybe you have mistaken tham with PELMENI? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      January 30, 2015

      I didn’t realize that! Thanks for pointing that out. I knew they were served in both places but I wasn’t sure about the origin. Thanks Julia! 😉 Reply

      • Peter
        January 7, 2016

        Pemleni doesn’t use potatoes as a filling, but the Russians did adopt vareniki from the Ukrainians, since Russia has been close to Ukraine over the millenniums, maybe not so much recently, but many people living around Kiev for generations always considered themselves ethnically Russian, like part of my family. Reply

        • Natasha
          natashaskitchen
          January 7, 2016

          It’s always great to learn the history of certain foods. Thanks for sharing! Reply

          • Peter Louis
            July 3, 2016

            Pelmeni* What was I thinking posting that? Amateur work.

  • Oksana
    January 14, 2015

    You’d better change “a classic Russian recipe” because the Ukrainians won’t forgive you that ))) Like your website and feel it’s gonna become one of my favorites. Hello from Ukraine! Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      January 14, 2015

      Hello from Idaho! Thanks Oksana, I’m glad you’re enjoying the site 🙂 Reply

  • Marianna
    May 5, 2014

    What can I use instead of cream cheese? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      May 5, 2014

      To be honest, you could even leave it out completely. Traditionally it doesn’t have the cheese and they are still amazing 🙂 Reply

  • Cherelle G.
    March 19, 2014

    I have not made the holodets yet .. But soon  Reply

  • Cherelle G.
    March 18, 2014

    Hi Natasha,
    I really love your recipes! Your recipes help me out so much because I’m American and my husband is Ukrainian, so I go to your website when I want to cook authentic Russian/Ukrainian food for him. I plan on making him holodets soon as a surprise ( he loves that stuff ). I know you’ve mentioned you ave family in WA, and We live in Washington state so maybe you guys are cousins (  Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      March 18, 2014

      Yes I have tons of family in WA 🙂 I hope he loves your holodets! Have you tried it yet? It’s kind of weird but strangely tasty 😉 Reply

  • Masha
    February 27, 2014

    This is absolutely perfect. Amazing. I’m enjoying exploring your blog and trying everything. This is another good recipe. Very yummy. Thank you for sharing it. Rate: 5 Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      February 28, 2014

      Thank you so much Masha. You’re so sweet. I appreciate your fantastic review! Reply

  • Masha
    February 21, 2014

    Can you freeze them for later. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      February 21, 2014

      You can freeze uncooked ones; lay them out on a floured cutting board in a single layer then freeze. Once frozen, transfer to a large ziploc bag. If you put them in the bag right away, they will stick together. I haven’t tried freezing the cooked ones. Reply

  • Emily Milya
    January 6, 2014

    My mom’s version for the potato filling is a bit different. What she does is boil potatoes and then mashes them and then she fry’s onions in little bits and mixes it in with the potatoes. Then after they’re cooked she has a bowl with canola oil and fried onion and she dips them in there for flavor and so that they don’t stick and they turn out AMAZING!!!:) I’ll have to tell her about your recipe. Thanks for taking the time to construct all these recipes so that we can have a chance to be at least half of the cook that you are!!=) Oh and I’ll have to try it with bacon on top…my hubby will most certainly appreciate that immensely since anything with bacon in his opinion is “always edible, no matter what” lol=]
    p.s. and the dough doesn’t fall apart when cooking these for some reason… Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      January 6, 2014

      tossing them with onion is something my mom does except she uses butter. It does taste heavenly! Sometimes we add bacon too and I’d have to agree with your hubby about it being “always edible.” And, now I’m craving them. Maybe today would be a good day to make these. My son has been asking form them for the past few weeks 🙂 Reply

  • Megan
    December 14, 2013

    If you are freezing them do you freeze them uncooked or cook them first? Also are the cooking instructions different for the frozen ones? I’m a total amateur 🙂 Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      December 14, 2013

      Freeze them uncooked. The cooking instructions are the same. 🙂 They will take longer to float to the top if they are frozen. Reply

  • Vera
    November 16, 2013

    these vareniki turned out very delicious, we enjoyed them,cant wait to make them again:) Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      November 16, 2013

      Thank you for a good report Vera, this is music to my ears :). Reply

  • October 25, 2013

    They were so yummmy when I made them. my whole family loved them!!! thank you for sharing with the best Ukrainian/Russian recipes, I absolutely love ur blog!!!! Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      October 25, 2013

      Thank you! I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe!! 🙂 Reply

  • Sharon
    April 12, 2013

    Ok so I had a great aunt that made these vareniki with kasha and onion filling. Have you done this? I remember it as AMAZING and sautéed them with butter and onions 😉 Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      April 12, 2013

      by kasha, do you mean cooked buckwheat? Wow that sounds AMAZING for sure and it’s a vegetarian version which I’m sure some folks would love. Thanks for sharing! Reply

      • Sharon
        April 23, 2013

        Yes ! Cooked med buckwheat. Last nite I made it with sautéed onions and mushrooms mixed with cooked bowtie noodles. Yum! Reply

  • Dina
    February 6, 2013

    Natasha, thanks for posting this recipe because I want to try to make these soon! My mom makes the filling w potatoes and a little bit of feta. Another great filling that I like is making vareniki w cherries. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      February 6, 2013

      I looove vareniki with cherries, you are making me hungry. We have 3 cherry trees in the backyard, I can’t wait till summer :). Reply

  • Tanya
    February 5, 2013

    do you boil them or do you steam them? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      February 5, 2013

      I boil them. Reply

      • Tanya
        March 3, 2013

        have you ever tried steaming them? My family is all from Ukraine and we always make them on steam. They become fluffy. The first time i saw vareniki boiled was when i married a russian guy and his family boils them only. 🙂 But i have spoiled them after introducing them to steamed vareniki 🙂 I add a bit of water in pot and cover it with cheese cloth tie it so it doesnt fall in and spread a little bit of oil from zajarka so the doug wont stick :). -pot covered, 7 min and they are done. Reply

        • Natasha
          natashaskitchen
          March 3, 2013

          Ooh that sounds wonderful. I’ve heard of the steaming method but haven’t tried it yet. When you steam them, are they called manti? or are manti a different thing altogether? Reply

          • Tanya
            March 7, 2013

            No manti r a totally different thing 🙂 that has a different dough much thinner this is regular dough that is used for vareniki same that you used only its not boiled but steamed, Mantijnetsa works great to steam the vareniki but i dont have one so i just put in a little bit of water in pot and cover the pot with cheese cloth and when the water boils i turn the heat really low and before i put vareniki on the cloth i cover it in oil from the zajarka so the dough wont stick put 5 on and cover pot and in 7 min they are ready take off and drizzle with zajarka with fried onion then repeat with the rest till all are done :). i also tie the cheese cloth to the pot or use a large rubber band

          • Natasha
            natashaskitchen
            March 7, 2013

            I do like the cheese cloth idea! Thanks for replying and clarifying that 😉 you’re awesome!!

  • Ira
    January 23, 2013

    Hi Natasha,
    I love Your site I already tried some of Your recipes. I make vareniki with different dough and You should try the filling with just mashed potatoes and add some farmers cheese. Its very yummy. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      January 23, 2013

      Yumm that sounds like a good combo. Thanks! Reply

  • Irina
    December 12, 2012

    Finally I have come across a page that shares russian recipes!! 🙂 My Husband has been telling me for months to get together with my mom and mother in law to get new recipes because Im always cooking the same old things..mashed potatoes, borsht, and other simple things. I have three kids, 5, 3, and 6 months and Im homeschooling so I dont have much time to cook even though I love cooking for my family but finding your website has inspired me to cook more. Im definitely going to try this recipe sometime this week, and I like the idea of store bought dough due to time restrictions. Thanks again and I look forward to looking at all your recipes!! 🙂 Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      December 12, 2012

      Welcome to the site Irina, I hope that you will find some new favorites 🙂 Reply

  • Yana
    November 27, 2012

    Hi Natasha,
    For the potatoe filling, once you add the cream cheese and mozarella cheese, do you add the 3tbsp of melted butter to that?? I didnt see anywhere in the directions that you added butter so I want to make sure the butter needs to go in there? Thank you very much for all your wonderful and amazing Ukrainian recipe’s! Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      November 27, 2012

      Oh yes, thank you for pointing that out. Mix it in with the cream cheese and mozarella or you can mix it into the mashed potatoes first; either way. Reply

  • Ashley
    July 15, 2011

    Hi! I was just wondering, how many vareniki did this recipe fill when you made it? My friends and I have started a tradition of having days where we make food based on our heritage for each other. I’ve never made anything before, but this time decided I wanted to do something with Ukrainian influence, and I thought these would be something everyone would enjoy. Reply

    • Natasha
      July 15, 2011

      If you’ve never made them before, I posted a more exact recipe. I wrote in how many that makes under servings. This is a very difficult recipe to start out with, well, not difficult, just crazy time consuming. Just an FYI 🙂 Reply

  • Daria
    June 10, 2011

    I love love love your blog! Pictures are so tasty looking. Thank you 🙂 Reply

  • Olga
    May 5, 2011

    What kind of flour do you use? Can you post pelemni recipe too thanx! Reply

    • Natasha
      May 5, 2011

      I’ll be posting a new more exact and better dough recipe. My sister and I are are just finishing making pelmeni today so yes I’ll post pelmeni soon 🙂 I use Gold Medal unbleached all-purpose flour. Reply

  • Tatyana
    March 23, 2011

    Hi Natasha,
    I did the Vareniki you have posted here, they turned out great. I have four kids under five so i dont really have the time to make the testo so i bought it at winco. Its called “NASOYA” round wraps.It has a picture of a pot sticker(green/clear pkg) Its above the mushrooms that they sell at winco. There are 60 wraps. They work Great, and super quick, esepecially for people that work and/or go to school like urself. Hope it helps.
    Thank you for this great website, i have been recomending to young adults,Love that ur recipes are easy to follow.
    Thank you again, and God bless you and Ur Nursing Program.
    Tanya Melnyk
    Sacramento, CA Reply

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