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

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy.

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:

Please note, we updated the recipe in 2022, adding oil to the dough to make it softer and more tender. 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

Natasha's Kitchen Cookbook

Pierogi Recipe

4.96 from 261 votes
Author: Natasha of NatashasKitchen.com
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. 
Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours

Ingredients 

Servings: 12 servings (5 pierogi per serving)

Ingredients for Potato Filing:

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

For the Pierogi Dough:

For the Toppings (For 1/3 batch):

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

Instructions

How to Make Potato Cheese Filling:

  • 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.
  • 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:

  • 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, 3 Tbsp oil, and 1 1/2 tsp salt until blended.
  • Using the 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 2-3 minutes until dough is smooth and elastic. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 30 minutes.

How to Mold Pierogi:

  • Divide dough into 2 pieces. Cover the second piece and thinly roll the first piece out onto a floured surface to just under 1/8” thickness.
  • 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 Tbsp of potatoes over each round.
  • 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:

  • 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:

  • 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 and pierogi are floating, remove to a bowl with a slotted spoon drizzling buttery bacon between layers. 

Notes

This recipe makes 55-60 pierogi, based on how thinly you roll.
Recipe updated 8/20/22 - we added oil to the dough to create a softer and more tender dough. 
*See our post on How to Measure Ingredients

Nutrition Per Serving

246kcal Calories32g Carbs8g Protein8g Fat4g Saturated Fat36mg Cholesterol583mg Sodium68mg Potassium1g Fiber270IU Vitamin A56mg Calcium2.1mg Iron
Nutrition Facts
Pierogi Recipe
Amount per Serving
Calories
246
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
8
g
12
%
Saturated Fat
 
4
g
25
%
Cholesterol
 
36
mg
12
%
Sodium
 
583
mg
25
%
Potassium
 
68
mg
2
%
Carbohydrates
 
32
g
11
%
Fiber
 
1
g
4
%
Protein
 
8
g
16
%
Vitamin A
 
270
IU
5
%
Calcium
 
56
mg
6
%
Iron
 
2.1
mg
12
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Russian, Ukrainian
Keyword: Pierogi, Pierogi Recipe
Skill Level: Medium
Cost to Make: $
Calories: 246

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!

Natasha Kravchuk

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 and tested recipes with YOU. Thanks for stopping by! We are so happy you're here.

Read more posts by Natasha

Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating




Comments

  • 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

    • Kate Pigula
      March 9, 2019

      My Mom made prune ones as well,She also used to add a little cottage cheese or ricotta cheese to the ones made with sauerkraut.Soo good.

      Reply

      • Natashas Kitchen
        March 9, 2019

        Thank you for sharing that with us, Kate!

        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 here.

      Reply

  • 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

As Featured On

Never Go "Hangry" Again!

Get weekly updates on new recipes, exclusive giveaways plus behind the scenes photos.