pierogi (or varenyky or pedaheh or whatever you wanna call them.)

recipe1

hi! hope your week has been going well! my parents were in town last week visiting us (well, mostly visiting E and S), but while they were here, i tried my hand at making my mom’s pierogi (also known as pyrohy, varenyky, or pedaheh) from scratch. i have been wanting to share the recipe ever since!

over the past few years on my blog i have talked about them or shown pictures several times because i am obsessed! it is probably my favorite thing about being half ukranian (growing up, we always called them pedaheh, which is what i still call them, actually. but i am always called out on that! haha. so pierogi it is.) but regardless on what you call them, it’s hands down, my favorite dish.

i have wanted to share the recipe for a while but i have also always been really intimidated at the idea of making them on my own. when my mom is in the kitchen, you kind of just step back and slowly exit, before you get in trouble. she is the boss in there (and the best cook in the world if you really wanna know) but she maybe isn’t the best at letting you help. she has her system down, and runs a tight kitchen ship. so anyway, i made sure she let me do it this time, by myself. sure, politely looking over my shoulder, but letting me do it on my own. and she did. ;)

it was so much fun! and surprisingly easy…which made me kind of upset afterwards that i didn’t know how to make them all these years. and then we might have argued about that. because it’s like, embarrassingly easy, and that is annoying.  anyway, thanks mom!

i hope you enjoy my favorite dish as much as i do!!!

pierogi recipe

ingredients for the dough: 2 cups flour .  2 whole eggs and 2 egg yolks  . 4 tablespoons melted butter  .  2 teaspoons salt  .  1/2 cup potato water (my mom uses the water she boiled her potatoes for the filling to help the pitahia stay extra tender) . 1/2 cup warm water  .  (and then the tricky part is you might need to add a bit more flour at the end, depending on texture and feel. it should be sticky, but not terribly sticky- my mom often adds a 1/2 cup more flour at the end…. we did that this last time. ) 

ingredients for the filling: we usually fill them with a potato filling or my mom’s home-canned cherries (nothing compares to her cherries!). last november when my mom was in town we used fresh blueberries though because we couldn’t find cherries anywhere and i was desperately craving the fruit filled over the potato.  if you do fill them with potato, just mash some cooked and peeled potato with a little browned onions, a little cream cheese and salt and pepper to taste. with either the cherry or blueberry filling, be sure the fruit is dry (no juice) and toss with some sugar and cornstarch.

instructions for the pierogi: in a large bowl, mix the flour and salt by hand. beat the eggs and egg yolks together separately and then add to the flour mixture. mix in the water. once those are well mixed, add the butter and mix by hand until the dough is soft. knead on a floured board until the dough is smooth (but don’t knead too long, i guess it can toughen the dough.) cut and divide the dough into 2 or 3 parts so you can roll out one part of the dough at a time on a floured board until it’s a thin, long and wide layer. use something circular (like the rim of a water glass) and cut as many circles out of the dough as you can.  don’t mix the scraps of the used dough back into the rest of the dough. you can roll the small scraps into their own little bits to later boil and fry with the rest of the pierogi. once you have the circles cut out, hold one circle in your hand at a time and place a small spoonful of filling into the center of the dough. fold it over to form a half circle and press the edges together with your fingers. you don’t want the filling to come out later on so be sure each pierogi is sealed tightly with no filling near the edges. place them on a floured space with a tea towel over them to prevent them from drying.  

bring a large pot of salted water to boiling and drop a few pierogi into the pot at a time. you can only boil a few at a time. stir occasionally to be sure they aren’t sticking to each other but let them boil for 3-4 minutes or until they float to the top and are well puffed.  remove them delicately, with a perforated spoon and drain. 

in a sauce pan, melt a tablespoon or so of butter.  place several pierogi into the pan and sauté them until they are slightly browned (i prefer mine to be soft and barely brown while josh and other family members love them more done and golden brown.) serve warm with sour cream or a little brown sugar. or plain! i like mine plain! please don’t make me tell you that josh likes his potato ones with ketchup. 

i know that was a lot of instructions, but it really is incredibly easy. p.s. if you make a huge batch, they do so well in the freezer for a longer period of time.  if freezing, barely sauté them in butter, just enough to help them harden up a bit. once you pull them out of the freezer and allow them to thaw for a little while, you will want to repeat that last step of sautéing them with butter.

  1. BB

    Praying for Ukraine!! :(

  2. Vickie

    yum, I love pierogi! My grandmother (Babcia) is Polish & pierogi is one of my favourite traditional foods :)
    I love the potato ones, or mushroom, or fruit, or….. you know what, pretty much any sort! Babcia used to be the only one who did them, but Mum, my sisters & I have started making them too, which I’m very happy about.

  3. Kelly

    These look and sound amazing, I am so glad you were able to get the recipe!

    xx Kelly
    Sparkles and Shoes

  4. Amy

    Thank you so much for this recipe! My Ukrainian grandma used to make them all the time, and I can’t wait to try!

    I just have a couple of questions- how many does the original recipe make? And how many potatoes would you typically use for just the basic recipe?

    Thank you!

    • TAZA

      i should have counted how many we made this last time. sorry! probably around 24 with this batch. it depends on how far you can stretch the dough. we just boiled a few potatoes for the potato water this round, we didn’t make a batch of potato, so i will have to ask my mom how many potatoes she normally uses when she makes the potato filling. i’ll get back to you on that!

  5. jess

    Aw, I love homemade pyrohi! My aunt is a pyrohi maker at her church and gave me her recipe and we make them all the time and freeze them. We make the regular potato and onion but sometimes we also sneak some jalepeno (roasted) in with the mix as well. Yum! I called them pedaheh too but it really confuses people, most in my new neck of the woods haven’t ever had one.

  6. hanna

    Thanks for the recipe, it sounds great! -Hanna Lei

  7. Grace

    Cool

  8. Jessica

    Hilarious – my mom would make varenyky all the time when we were little. She would fill them with cherries or cottage cheese and then serve white sauce over them sprinkled with a bit of sugar. I thought we were the only weird family that made them :)….or maybe we were the only weird ones that sprinkle sugar on top.

  9. I love the way you made your day in the kitchen with your Mom come alive! You really have a knack for sharing your stories and that is such a beautiful gift. I admire you for tackling something new! What a great lesson for all of us.
    ~EJM

    onecointwosidesofmissionarylife.blogspot.ca

  10. TatianaJ

    PIROHY!!! As a woman coming from pirohy-home-country, I have to say, this is a little american style, But I will definitely try it (with whole blueberries)! Naomi, you made my day. I´m from Slovakia – neighbor of Ukraine and knowing that you are half-Ukrainian just make me happy some weird way.

    And here is another stuff: here on Slovakia every person has except birthday also a name-day – it´s a day, when is your name pinned in a calendar, And today is Eleónora´s name-day so good luck to your Eleanor!

    Tatiana J.

  11. I am so glad you posted this recipe!! I lived in Kiev for 6 months teaching english and fell in love with these, and could never find a proper recipe. So excited to try it! I had no idea you were half Ukrainian. My prayers go to the people there!!

  12. Maggie

    I’m surprised that in a post in which you say you are half Ukrainian you don’t comment on the current situation in your country, Have you seen this video? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hvds2AIiWLA

  13. amber

    YUM! This looks so delicious! I love blueberries. Thank you so much for posting the recipe….! I can’t wait to try it.

    Love the photos, as well :)

  14. JM

    Wow, I never knew you were half Ukrainian! So I guess your mum was born in the Ukraine then. Whereabouts? I know some parts of the Ukraine. So sad what’s happening there now… I hope that if you have relatives there that they are ok!

    http://lifeiswhathappensblog.wordpress.com/

  15. juni

    oh my gosh I LOVE pierogi!!

  16. Ola

    Pierogi ;-) Yummy! :)

  17. Miška

    Hi Taza is also nice to see that even in New York you are cooking dishes so typical for us – I’m from Slovakia and in my country pirohy represent one of the national dishes – we usually used to do them sacked with special sheep cheese – bryndza, with sour cream and bacon … (not very healthy but tasty) :)))….

    P. S. I watch you and your beautiful family a little longer than a year, you’re really beautiful and I enjoy the every new post :)

  18. Elise

    Thanks for sharing the recipe, Naomi! They sound delicious!!

  19. Lauren

    I LOVE pierogi!! I had no idea you were half Ukrainian, Naomi – that’s the coolest thing I’ve learnt about you to date :)

  20. Babooshka

    Hi Naomi, really liked this post. I have a Polish background and pierogi are in my blood too! ‘Pierogi’ is the Polish name but here in the UK they are known as ‘polish dumplings’ which is not quite correct in my view. I’m curious how you pronounce the Ukrainian name ‘pedaheh’?

    Well done on attempting them, I never have although both my mother and Grandmas make excellent varieties. I see you have made the sweet dessert version with berries, we often have them savoury-style fileld with mushrooms or minced meat & onions – I highly recommend!

  21. Ola

    I absolutely love pierogi! I’m from Poland and my Grandma makes the best ones – there are times when she makes about 100 pierogi in one batch. My favourite fillings are bluberry, potato and onion, and sauerkraut with mushrooms.

  22. Marta

    hi!
    I live in Poland, near border with Ukraine (Praying for them).

    I had never make PIEROGI, but my mother in low make them very oftem for my children, In Poland we made ‘RUSKIE’ with white cheese (in USA probably philadelphia curd cheese?) and potatoes, onion and peper.

    best regards from Poland!

  23. What a nice surprise for your European readers :) I love pierogi! Best regards from Poland!

  24. I had these when I was over at a Russian friend’s house one time… SO delicious! And I love that they dipped the savory ones in ketchup – I found that really funny. Thanks for sharing – family recipes are the best!

  25. These look so good Naomi! Will definitely have to try my hand at making them. Thanks to you and your Mum for sharing! :)

  26. kristen

    I always order a pierogi from a street fair (or what have you) given the opportunity – they are so delicious! How neat that you ate them growing up! I will definitely be trying these. It sounds a little intimidating, but I think I can get the hang of it! Thanks for sharing this special recipe! :)

  27. Livi

    these look so good!!

  28. Cassie

    My husband served his mission in Russia and his brother served in Ukraine! I never knew you were half Ukrainian! Thank you for this, I can’t wait to make it for my husband!

  29. kelly

    yum. it’s a tradition in our family to make and eat pierogis every christmast eve. they are a lot of work, but so worth it in the end.

  30. Asia

    As a Polish girl I’m glad to see the dish that I know so well :-) My Mom can cook the best pierogi in the world, with sour cabbage and mushrooms or with sweet pot cheese – soooo tasty! Best wishes from Poland. Asia

  31. Taylor

    mmmm! These look delicious! I absolutely love pierogis, but I’ve never made them from scratch before nor have I heard of a fruit-filled one!

    xoxo
    Taylor

    http://www.welcomehometaylor.com

  32. lauren

    oh wow, that sounds so delicious!

  33. Naomi, this is great! Thanks so much for sharing. I’d love to try to make these for my nieces and nephews, for they are from Ukraine (my sister adopted four orphans last year, all siblings). I had no idea that you were of Ukrainian heritage! So cool.

    Happy friday!

  34. Tawny

    Pierogis are my favorite! I’m Ukranian, Croatian, Polish, and German so my family loves their pierogies (and we’re sort of snobby and particular about them!). I live in Texas but my dad will have the “good ones” flown down from a church in Pennsylvania where he grew up. Who knew that something that started out as a poor man’s meal would become such a special and loved dish for so many of us!!! My dad tried to make them once and they’re harder to make properly that I ever thought! I’m going to try your recipe! Cheers!

  35. i can absolutely see why these would be a favourite… they look divine!
    xx

  36. ohhhh… i know them as Varenyky and i love them. my mom usually makes them with a potato or sauerkraut filling. they are so tasty. in the summertime when i was a kid we also had them with cherries or with selfmade fresh curd cheese. thanks for the recipe. i will ask my mom as well as i am trying to get all my fave childhood recipes from her. (borschtsch and pickled watermelon i already have :-) )

  37. Aslyn

    These look so good! Thank you for sharing!

  38. Janis

    Might have to try this! TRY is the key word! :)

  39. Monika

    I love pierogi. Maybe I will do them tomorrow

  40. Albina

    Varenyki are ve-e-ery tasty, the most delicious I’ve tried in Kyev, Ukraine! I suppose it’s their national dish :)

    Albina
    http://dailymoodboard.blogspot.ru

  41. giulia

    these look amazing! i will definitely have to try them!
    i had no idea you were part ukrainian! i hope it all gets better soon over there and that everyone in your family is safe.

  42. Mmm! I think I’m going to have to try these. The potato version sounds similar to a pasty (popular in Montana) and I love to eat those with ketchup even though everyone up there eats them with gravy.

    Thanks for sharing! Stay warm out there!

  43. Elaine

    Naomi, thanks for sharing this great recipe. I will definitely try it and am not at all surprised about Josh and the ketchup. I guess it started with Wendy’s fries and chicken nuggets. Please don’t let him spoil the kids. I am going to share your link today with my sister and brother in law who served in Ukraine when the LDS temple was being built. We are saddened by what is happening there now and pray for a peaceful resolution soon.

  44. Sinead

    I had no idea you were half Ukrainian, that’s really interesting! These look delicious, whatever you call them :-)

  45. Magda

    Hi Naomi, I love pierogi with potato filling! They are the best :-) Thank you for making them famous and sharing the recipe ;-)
    Greetings from Poland

  46. Anfisa

    We call it вареники [varenyky] in Russia.)
    And пироги [pierogi] are more like pies. ;)

  47. GOSIA

    I’m polish live in Uk and when I saw it,,I was confuse if this is your blog or someone else…:)) everyone loves pierogi and I think it is a polish name:)

    ps. be with our thoughts with Ukraine now:(

  48. Diana

    I love pierogies (spelling?)! I want to try my hand at this. Thanks for sharing Naomi!

  49. Bianca

    Hi Naomi- I thought it was ironic you mentioned your connection to Ukraine on one of the bloodiest days in the turmoil the country is facing and you don’t even mention prayers in your post for a country you (at least half) associate with… I’m disappointed.

  50. nan

    oh, thank you for this recipe — what a treat! it’s great that you have Ukrainian heritage from your mom. if it’s not being too nosy, what is your other half?

  51. Arantxa

    My 18th birthday was last monday and my big present was a Mac. I’ve been wanting one for a while, and I was so excited! Why I’ma telling you? Because my sister and I browsed the first Internet window with your blog. OMG it seemed all so perfect and unreal!!

    Btw, I’ve seen in mi calendar today’s Eleanor’s day. So congrats to her!!

  52. Iza

    I love pierogi, my mom makes the best of mushrooms and cabbage :)
    for sure I’ll try your recipe

  53. Carol

    Never heard of this food – looks great! I will definitely try it out. Thanks for sharing :)

  54. Magda

    greetings from Poland! we love pierogi here;-)

  55. Wiktoria

    Pierogi from Poland :D Your family must visit Poland . Polish fans love you <3

  56. Clé'

    Hi !! I’ve got a photography blog. http://clephoto.over-blog.com
    If you could send a comment on one of the photos, I will be so happy !!

  57. Molly

    I am so beyond excited to try this recipe! I’ve been following your blog for years and am so happy you posted the recipe! It looks so delicious.

  58. Bub

    I love pierogi. I ate that when I was in Poland and I wanted to try and make them at home. Thanks for this recipe.

  59. Those look and sound absolutely delicious! I am going to have to try your recipe soon!!

    Xoxo

    Christins

  60. Kate

    My boyfriend suprised me yesterday and made my favorite pierogies with sauerkraut, mushrooms and little bit of onion. You should try them too !
    Greetings from Poland!! :)

  61. Arsy

    I am Armenian and my mom is the exact same way! Even when she is helping me develop recipes for my cookbooks, she tries to kick me out of the kitchen! Maybe, it’s a foreign mom thing. ;) … Your recipe looks delicious!

  62. Ola

    Greetings from Poland! (AGAIN!) the pierogi’s country ;) next time try with spinach, feta cheese and garlic. Btw love your blog and NY city! Cannot imagine how happy I am when new post arrives ;) All the best from mother Ola and baby girl Pola ;)

  63. Rini

    These look amazing. I have never tried to make them before, but I know my husband will love them:) Thanks for sharing!

    http://www.livebreatheinspire.com

  64. How cool! My boyfriend loves these, but I’ve never attempted to make them before. You make it seem so easy, and what a beautiful in-process photo, too! Thanks for the inspiration! :)

  65. Erika Vartsaba

    Hi Naomi! I have been following your blog for over a year now. i have always wanted to drop you a few lines but somehow never did. I live in a small town on the western part of Ukraine. I am so glad you are half Ukrainian!!! Vareniky (Вареники) is our national food and I LOVE it. Do you know pelmeni? Pretty much the same dough but you put meet in it and you serve it with vinegar and butter. When the vinegar and butter melts it creates a yummi sauce. Well that is my favorite food ever! You should try!
    Anyways, congrats on your cute little family! I love following your adventures through your amazing blog!

    Erika Vartsaba

  66. Yamila

    Hi thanks for this post and recipe.
    My mother and grandmother make vareniki and I need to make some for my family. My grandmother’s parents were from Ukraine and immigrated to Argentina last century. My mother makes them with mash potatoes and in chicken fat ( i think that is how they were cooked) and served with cooked fried onion and cream. Very fatty but very satisfying.
    I hope the people in Ukraine find a solution and peace is restored.
    xx

  67. Iriska

    “Varenyki” is a proper Ukrainian name for these. I just learned here that ‘pierogi’ is Polish. I wonder where ‘pedaheh’ comes from?

  68. Kristina

    I love pierogi’s. I was turned on to them this past summer. A friend of mine bought the store box version and I fell in love with them then. I have been wanting to buy more but now since i have seen your blog i will be making them for my self…Yess thankkkk youuuu!!

  69. olga

    Hi! я тоже люблю вареники) my English not so good like you, I live in Ukraine and its good news for this hard time for our country to know that you are half Ukrainian) because I think you are great family which live in free country and I hope we will be the same,soon without war.

  70. Marlena

    Hi,
    First of all i repeat what other wrote. I didnt know you have european/ ukrainian roots. I’ ve started to wondering from which moment i follow your blog..if you mention about it earlier… anyway i follow you from a long time just never write anything. Till today. Topic about pierogi couldn’t me not commented :) its our nationals good as slavs. I will try to do massaman curry cause it seems to be delicious. Thought you maybe watch and hear this very popular in Poland, mix of hip hop and folklore. Something really unusual and interesting. Its in english or polish.

    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=BQp7z8yYZUI

    If you want to visit London feel invited. :)

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