Wondering what sauce goes well with pierogi? You’re in the right place! Here’s a list of some of the best options, ranked.
Here’s the thing. Traditionally, pierogi are served on their own – with no sauce in sight.
There may be some fried onions sprinkled on top; a touch of melted butter. Maybe a dollop of sour cream on the side for dipping… but that’s it.
But it’s just like with pizza. Dipping sauces may be an abomination for the Italians, but for many – they’re a bliss. Same goes for pierogi. So if you feel that your pierogi need some extra sauce – go for it!
When choosing a pierogi sauce and topping, make sure it complements the filling. We don’t want the flavours to compete.
Soggy warning: an overly wet sauce softens the dough. It makes pierogi soggy and more likely to fall apart. To prevent this from happening, don’t overflow the dumplings with too much sauce, or – serve it separately in a dipping bowl on the side.
12 Savoury Pierogi Sauces & Toppings
12. Hot Sauce, Chili Sauce (last place)
Some believe that Hot Sauce goes well with everything. Well, I beg to differ. Keep it for the wings.
*Note: there’s nothing wrong with adding some hot sauce to spice up to the filling!
10 & 11. Ketchup, BBQ Sauce
Ketchup tastes great on Polish zapiekanka, but on pierogi – not so much. Same goes for the Barbecue sauce. If you’re a fan – go for it, but otherwise I would discourage this pairing. When you put ketchup on pierogi, a fairy dies.
9. Pesto Sauce
Basil Pesto works great with Italian dishes, but not when it comes to pierogi. I can’t tell you exactly why that’s the case – it’s just too intense, too overpowering. Try Parsley or Dill Pesto instead. Or alternatively, mix a spoonful of pesto with some cream, to make a rich, herby sauce. It goes well with ‘Ruskie’ (Potato & Cheese) Pierogi.
Homemade Dill Pesto: In a food processor, chop 3 tbsp walnuts and 3 cloves garlic. Add 1.5 cup chopped dill, zest of 1 lemon and ½ tsp salt. Blend into paste. While still blending, gradually pour in ½ cup of fat: canola or olive oil (I use clarified butter).
7 & 8. Tomato Sauce (Arrabiata, Marinara and other Italian sauces), Tomato Salsa
If you’re stuffing the dumplings with spicy meat and/or beans, Mexican-style Tomato Salsa will complement them nicely.
Homemade Tomato & Onion Pierogi Sauce: Finely dice one onion, brown it on a frying pan with some cooking oil. Add 1 can of crushed tomatoes, and a solid pinch of marjoram, salt and ground pepper. Cook on medium for 20 minutes, stirring from time to time. Serve on top of pierogi or on the side.
6. Ranch Sauce
Ranch Sauce – an American invention – is barely recognised in Poland. Yes, you might get it together with your fast food order. But other than that, it’s not a popular choice.
Having said that, Ranch tastes well with pierogi. I guess that’s because it’s close enough to our good old sour cream. Try it with classic ‘Ruskie’ (Potato and Cheese) or Meat-filled Pierogi.
4 & 5. Cheese Sauce, White Sauce / Béchamel
All of these sauces are mild, yet pleasantly creamy. They won’t overpower the flavour of pierogi.
Cheese and White sauces go well with any savoury stuffing – maybe except those with sauerkraut, that clashes a bit.
Homemade Pierogi Cheese Sauce: Melt 2 tablespoons of butter on a medium heat. Whisk in 2 tablespoons of flour, then gradually whisk in 1 cup (250 ml) of milk. Add 2 cups of grated cheese (e.g. cheddar or Polish radamer) and blend it in, until fully melted. Serve warm.
Here’s a recipe for White Sauce from BBC Good Food.
3. Mushroom Sauce
Champignons (button mushrooms) are fine, but to make the sauce more special – try using wild mushrooms instead. Chanterelles, porcinis (penny buns), saffron milk caps… Even a spoonful of dried wild mushrooms will make the sauce so much better.
Homemade Mushroom Pierogi Sauce: Cover 2 tablespoons of porcini mushrooms with boiling water and set aside for 5 minutes. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter on a frying pan, add finely diced white onion. Fry gently until the onion turns translucent. Add in 2 cups (200 g) chopped button mushrooms and continue frying for 5 minutes. Remove dried porcinis from water, chop them roughly and add to the frying pan. Fold in 1 cup (240 ml) of sour cream or crème fraîche, bring to simmer. Season with salt and pepper and serve.
2. Sour Cream Sauce
Sour cream (‘Śmietana’ in Polish) is a classic pierogi dip. If you have a high quality, fresh sour cream – that’s it, there’s no need to add anything else. It’s delicious as it is.
If it’s too plain for your liking, add some chopped herbs (chives, dill, spring onions), caramelised onions or garlic, some wild mushrooms and season it well.
Sour cream can be replaced with thick Greek yoghurt. Serve it on the side with Potato & Cheese, Mushroom, Meat or Spinach Pierogi.
Sour Cream Pierogi Sauce: Add 2 tablespoons of finely chopped chives to a cup of sour cream. Add a generous pinch of salt, ground pepper and lightly sprinkle with garlic powder (optional). Blend everything together with a fork. Serve on the side of the dumplings.
1. Butter Sauce (Winner!)
‘Sauce’ is an overstatement here – after all, it’s just melted butter. Nevertheless, that’s the best option out there.
Butter tastes wonderfully with every pierogi filling – no exceptions. You can serve it on its own, just place some butter on top of hot pierogi, let it melt naturally. Alternatively, add a topping of your choice. Suggestions are listed below.
Savoury Pierogi Toppings
- Sautéed or caramelised onion, fried on butter
- Breadcrumbs, gently fried on butter
- Crushed garlic, gently fried on butter
- Herbs (Dill, Parsley, Chives, Rosemary), for sprinkling
- Fried, chopped meats (kiełbasa, bacon, non-rendered ‘słonina’ pork lard), for sprinkling
- Shredded cheese, for sprinkling
5 Sweet Pierogi Sauces & Toppings
5. Chocolate Sauce
This is one of those sauces I’ve never seen on pierogi, but … I guess why not? Chocolate sauce and farmer’s cheese pierogi sound like a good pairing.
4. Vanilla Custard
I’ve never seen pierogi served with custard as a sauce, but I don’t see why it cannot be done. Serve it with pierogi stuffed with sweet fillings (farmer’s cheese, fruit). Here’s a recipe for a homemade Custard by Jamie Oliver.
3. Honey, Cinnamon
This is just too easy – simply drizzle some honey over pierogi.
If the filling contains sweetened farmer’s cheese, apples or plums / prunes, a sprinkle of cinnamon will take them to another level.
2. Fruit Sauces, Syrups, Mousses, Jams
You can’t go wrong with this one. If there’s fruit on the inside, add some fruit on top as well. Syrup, jam or mousse? That’s up to you.
Cranberry, blackcurrant and prune jams go beautifully with savoury dumpling fillings such duck, goose and wild game meat.
Homemade Fruit Pierogi Sauce: Peel and chop fruits of your choice (roughly 2 cups worth), add them into a small saucepan. Add in 3 tablespoons of sugar and a tablespoon of lemon juice. Cook on a medium heat, stirring continuously. The cooking time will depend on the type of fruit, but in general cook them long enough, so they soften. Blend the fruit with a hand blender until smooth. Have a taste, add more sugar if needed. Sauce will thicken further as it cools. Serve warm or cold.
1. Sweetened Cream (Winner!)
Maybe that’s a bit old-fashioned, but I assure you – there’s nothing better than some sweetened cream together with pierogi. There’s no recipe needed here, just add some fine sugar (or honey) to your yoghurt/cream, mix with a fork and serve.
Sweet Pierogi Toppings
- Shredded Chocolate, for sprinkling
- Powdered Sugar, for sprinkling
- Whipped Cream
- Fresh Fruit (sliced or whole), to garnish
- Ice Cream
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s the best sauce for Potato and Cheese Pierogi?
Traditionally, Potato and Cheese Pierogi are served with some melted butter and topped with fried chopped onions / fried chopped pork fat. That’s the best sauce by far. Sour cream on the side is great for dipping.
A bit more unconventional (but still tasty!) options are: Dill Pesto, Ranch, Cheese Sauce and Tomato Sauce. Scroll back up to the top of this article to learn more.
For more recipes and how-to’s, have a look at this Pierogi Guide. Smacznego!