Craving pierogi, but don’t have time to make traditional ones? This easy lazy pierogi recipe uses some shortcuts to get them on the table in 30 minutes.
These easy dumplings are a “lazy” way of making pierogi with farmer’s cheese (vareniki recipe) at home and take just a fraction of the time. If you’ve never had lazy pierogi before, they look a lot like Italian gnocchi. For this recipe, you can make homemade farmer’s cheese or substitute it for store-bought farmer’s cheese or cottage cheese.
What Exactly are Pierogi?
Pierogi are an extremely popular treat in Eastern Europe. Almost every country has its version. Russian and Ukrainian style pierogi are bite-sized, dough-based dumplings that are typically filled with potato, meat, cheese, or fruit. The dumplings are then boiled in hot water and served immediately. They can also be fried, which is more common with the savory variety. In short, the possibilities are endless and delicious!
A Traditional Pierogi Recipe vs. a Lazy Pierogi Recipe
Now, let’s chat about the major differences between a traditional pierogi recipe and a lazy pierogi recipe.
- Traditional Pierogi: Traditionally, pierogi are made by preparing homemade dough. Then, a filling is made separately. The last step consists of stuffing the dough with your filling and sealing each dumpling by hand. While rewarding, this process is time-consuming and tedious.
- Lazy Pierogi: Lazy Pierogi, on the other hand, require a fraction of the labor. Instead of making the dough and the filling separately, you are going to mix all the ingredients and skip the extra work. That’s right – you can make this quick pierogi dough using only ONE bowl and without having to do any tedious stuffing and sealing. When a craving hits and you’re short on time, it’s a quick way to get them on the table.
5-Ingredient Lazy Pierogi Dough: Our simple dough only requires all-purpose flour, egg, sugar, salted butter, and farmer’s cheese and zero need to pinch, seal, or fold the dough into individual dumplings!
How to Prepare this Lazy Pierogi Recipe
To make lazy pierogi, you will mix all your ingredients in a large bowl to create a batter that is both the dough and filling, all in one!
- Roll the Dough Out: After you whip up the dough, you will roll out a few long strands of your cheesy dough and cut them into uniform pieces.
- Boil the Pierogi: To cook the pierogi, you will boil them in small batches in a large pot of salted water until they rise to the top. Once they rise, immediately take them out and drain them from excess water. Don’t overcook them. If you do, they will fall apart and become inedible.
- Toss & Top the Pierogi: Melt the butter and toss the pierogi in it. Top the dumplings with jam, sour cream, and/or fruit. Enjoy immediately for breakfast or dessert.
3 Tips for Nailing this Lazy Pierogi Recipe
Just a handful of tips will help you nail lazy pierogi and finesse the cooking process.
- Don’t whip out the stand mixer & dough hook. This dough can easily be made in one bowl with a spatula – so save yourself the mess and additional clean-up!
- Slice the pierogi into even-sized pieces. Cut the strands of dough into as evenly-sized pieces as possible to promote even cooking. Generally, 1-inch is the sweet spot and will result in that perfect, tender texture you are looking for.
- Stir the pierogi as they boil. To prevent the dumplings from sticking during the cooking process, cook them in batches and stir them with a slotted spoon every so often until they float to the top.
How to Serve this Lazy Pierogi Recipe
After pierogi come out of boiling water, it is best to submerge them into melted butter and immediately serve them with your favorite toppings. Here are a couple of my favorite pierogi complements:
- Sour Cream: Place a dollop or two on your serving plate and dip away!
- Jams: Berry jams are my go-to (particularly raspberry jam or prune plum jam). They add an awesome pop of flavor and a nice contrast to the cheese.
- Syrups: Fruit, maple, or chocolate syrups can be drizzled on top or placed in a bowl for dipping.
- Honey: Spoon some warmed honey over the top of your pierogi.
Freezing, Storing, & Reheating Tips
Although lazy pierogi are easy to prepare the day of, they are also wonderful for meal prep and freezing. Here’s all you need to know…
- Freezing: To freeze the pierogi, line up the raw dumplings in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Pop the sheet in the freezer for 2-3 hours, or until the dumplings are completely frozen. Transfer them to a freezer-safe bag and store them in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- Storing: To keep the pierogi on hand in the fridge, store them in an airtight container. Of note, they will likely stick together a bit so make sure they are tossed with butter before you stow them away.
Reheating Tip: To reheat frozen pierogi, boil them as directed – waiting to remove them from the water until they float to the top. To reheat refrigerated pierogi, pop them in the microwave with a little butter or a frying pan over low heat until warmed through.
Do you have to boil lazy pierogi before pan-frying them?
Yes, you have to boil lazy pierogi before pan-frying them in a large skillet with butter over medium-high heat. If you don’t, they will simply turn to mush in the pan and not get that crispy crust you are looking for.
What is lazy pierogi filling made of?
Technically, lazy pierogi doesn’t have a traditional “filling”. Instead, the cheese is mixed straight into the dough to prevent you from having to do all the tedious stuffing and sealing required for traditional pierogi. To dress them up, all you have to do is top them with your favorite jam, sour cream, or fruit.
What meat goes well in traditional pierogi?
Typically, traditional pierogi is stuffed with some combination of ground chicken, beef, pork, or even turkey that is seasoned simply with salt and pepper. It’s best to use leaner ground meats so the dumplings don’t come out super oily and soggy.
What sides should you serve with pierogi?
If you’re serving sweet pierogi, you can pair them with fresh fruit. If you’re serving savory pierogi, pair it with sauerkraut, crispy bacon bits, sautéed mushrooms, or caramelized onions.
What kind of cheese should you use in lazy pierogi?
The best kind of cheese to use in lazy pierogi is farmer’s cheese or cottage cheese. We prefer to former, as it contains a bit less moisture and makes for a creamier dough.
Are pierogi Polish, Ukrainian, or Russian?
Pierogi aren’t from any one particular place at this point. You’ll find this dumpling served all across Eastern Europe and enjoyed by all Slavic peoples. It’s a universal obsession.
More Traditional Pierogi Recipes to Try
- Steamed Blueberry Pierogi – Grandma’s blueberry & sugar dumplings
- The Classic Pierogi (Potatoes & Cheese) – Pan-fried sharp cheddar cheese & potato filling dumplings
- Meat & Potato Pierogi – Ground meat & mashed potatoes pierogi
- Piroshky with Overnight Dough – Crispy dumplings with cabbage or meat filling
- melted butter
- sour cream
- In a large bowl, combine the eggs with farmer's cheese, sugar, and melted butter.
- Into the wet ingredients, fold in the all-purpose flour in small portions. Note: depending on the flour you use, you may need to add a bit more. The dough should be sticky, but possible to work with on a well-floured surface.
- Place the dough onto a well-floured surface. Roll out strings of dough and cut them into 1-inch pieces.
- Bring a pot of water to boil. In batches, boil the dumplings so they don't stick together, stirring them occasionally. You'll know they are ready when they float to the top of the water. Drain them and immediately toss them in melted butter.
- Serve with sour cream, jam, or your favorite fruit. Enjoy!