Potato and Cheese Pierogi “Ruskie”

Pierogi Ruskie

These classic pierogi are everything you want in a dumpling: plump and pleasantly chewy, filled with soft potatoes and farmer’s cheese, nicely flavoured with fried onions and spices. It’s the most popular filling out there – bet you can’t eat just one!

For the full list of ingredients & detailed instructions, please see the recipe card at the end of this post. But before you scroll, there’s important stuff to know below.

This recipe is totally what a babcia would make – it’s the ultimate comfort food. If you’re after some more pierogi ideas, I’ve got a heap of recipes you’ll love!

Brief History Recap

Contrary to the popular belief, Pierogi Ruskie aren’t from (or inspired by) Russia. In Polish, “Ruskie” means “Ruthenian” (often mistranslated as “Russian” – hence the confusion). Today, Ruś (“Red Ruthenia”) is a historical region spread between western Ukraine to south-east Poland.

But the popularity of Potato and Cheese Pierogi isn’t limited solely to that region. Ruskie are well-loved all over Poland (and so I hear, even… the world).

Do you need any special ingredients to make Potato and Cheese Pierogi?

For the pierogi dough, this recipe uses regular cupboard ingredients – you’re very likely to have everything you need in your kitchen. If you don’t, you can easily pick them up from any supermarket.

Polish farmer’s cheese can be difficult to source. In Poland, you’ll find it literally everywhere – look out for “Twaróg” or “Ser Biały” in the fridges with dairy products.

Internationally, you might find it at a Polish deli or at farmer’s markets. If you have time, try making Polish farmer’s cheese at home – apparently it’s not as difficult as it might seem (I’ll test it out very soon, watch this space).

When looking for a substitute, I hear that a regular cottage cheese works well. Remember to drain the liquid and smash the little curds with a fork. You could also try ricotta or cream cheese – if you tried them, give me a shout. I’m curious to know how it goes.

What should you serve with Potato and Cheese Pierogi?

Pierogi are very filling, therefore no side dishes are served.

In this recipe, the dumplings are topped with fried pork cracklings, fried onions and a touch of sour cream on the side. You could also serve them with some melted butter or some finely chopped & then fried bacon or kiełbasa sausage.

Can you cook these Potato and Cheese Pierogi another way?

Yes. In this recipe, pierogi are gently fried after cooking, for some extra crispiness. But you can skip this step and just serve them straight off the boiling pot.
Alternatively, try grilling or deep frying. More about that in the post on how to cook pierogi.

The dough can be prepared differently – for example using this pierogi dough with sour cream recipe or as a gluten-free pierogi dough version.

What diets are these Potato and Cheese Pierogi suitable for?

If you steer clear of any meaty toppings, this recipe is suitable for a vegetarian diet.

If you swap the dough recipe for this gluten-free pierogi dough, the dish will be fully gluten-free as well.

How long can you keep these Potato and Cheese Pierogi in the fridge?

These pierogi are meant to be served warm. Once served, don’t keep them out of the fridge for longer than 3-4 hours tops.

Pierogi are refrigerator-friendly. When they’re completely cool, move them into a sealed container. You can store them in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.

Can I freeze these Potato and Cheese Pierogi?

Yes. Freeze them before or after cooking in the boiling water. Make sure you skip the last step – the frying. Fried pierogi don’t freeze too well.

Get a tray or a cutting board, make sure it’s small enough to fit inside the freezer. Grease the tray with oil or dust with flour. Spread pierogi on the tray, make sure they don’t touch. Once completely cooled, place them in a freezer. After roughly 2 hours, you can move them into a freezer-friendly bag. Make sure to label them with the date.

I’ve described this process in more detail in the post on how to freeze pierogi.

How do I reheat these Potato and Cheese Pierogi?

From chilled: they can be reheated in the microwave, I find that 3-4 minutes is enough. But there’s a better way, although it requires a little bit more effort:

Place a frying pan on a medium heat. Melt a teaspoon or two of butter, then add in the pierogi. Pour in 3-4 tablespoons of water and cover the pan with a lid. That way a steam gets created, which in turn will heat up the dumplings nicely. After a few minutes remove the lid, let the remaining water to evaporate. Then continue frying for a bit longer: pierogi will turn crispy and golden in no time.

From frozen: Throw the dumplings into a pot of boiling water. Cook on medium heat until the water boils again for (3-4 minutes). Serve them straight off the pot, or fry them up on the frying pan.

Smacznego!

Polish Potato and Cheese Pierogi Topped with Fried Onions
Polish Potato and Cheese Pierogi Topped with Fried Onions

Polish Potato & Cheese Pierogi "Ruskie"

Yield: 60 pierogi
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

These classic Potato & Cheese Pierogi are everything you want in a dumpling: plump and pleasantly chewy, filled with soft potatoes and farmer’s cheese, nicely flavoured with fried onions and spices. 

Also known as: Potato Pierogi, Russian Pierogi

Ingredients

For the Pierogi Dough

  • 4 cups (500 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (250 ml) hot water
  • 4 tbsp canola oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt

For the Potato and Cheese Filling

  • 10.5oz (300 g) full-fat Polish farmer's cheese (twaróg, ser biały) 
  • 1.1 lb(500 g, 17.5 oz) starchy potatoes
  • 1 large onion (300g, 10.5 oz)
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt

For the Topping/Frying (optional)

  • 1 onion, medium
  • 2 tbsp butter

Instructions

For the Pierogi Dough

  1. Choose one of the dough recipes from here, or follow this basic instruction below.
  2. Sift the flour onto your work surface, make a well in the flour heap.
  3. Pour in a small amount of hot water. Knead together, adding more water gradually, so that the dough to becomes elastic and soft.
  4. Cut the dough into parts. Take one part and roll it into a thin layer of dough. Cut it into circles using a glass.


For the Potato and Cheese filling

  1. Peel the potatoes, rinse, place in a pot. Add salt, cover with cold water and bring to a boil. Cook under tender.
  2. Strain, put them back in the pot and mash them thoroughly while still hot. Make a smooth mass without lumps. Cool completely.
  3. Crush the cheese with a fork. Mix with potatoes, season with salt and pepper.

Finishing up

Place a spoonful of the filling in the middle of each disc. Fold dough over filling. Press the edges together. Continue until out of ingredients.

  1. Salt the pot of water, bring to boil.
  2. Reduce the heat. Drop pierogi in, 5-7 at the time. Cook for a few minutes (5-6) until the dumplings start to float. Collect with a slotted spoon. Continue until all pierogi are cooked.
  3. Peel & chop the onion. Melt some butter on a frying pan. Add the onion and brown it a bit.
  4. Add pierogi to the frying pan and fry them until golden.
  5. Serve on the plate. Top with remaining butter/onion mixture.

Notes

To pump up the flavours of the filling, fry some chopped onion on butter or lard and add to the potato-cheese mix.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Unsaturated Fat: 0g

Save this “Potato and Cheese Pierogi” recipe to your “POLISH PIEROGI” Pinterest board! And let’s be friends on Pinterest!

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Kasia Kronenberger Polish food blogger

Cześć, I’m Kasia.

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