This meat and potato pierogi recipe is true Slavic childhood comfort food. They’re filling, incredibly delicious, and best topped with caramelized onions!
Pierogi are one of the most common foods you will find throughout Eastern Europe. The variety of fillings is insane, varying to the season and weather. For this meat and potato pierogi recipe, we keep it simple and comforting with a rich filling of ground meat, onions, and mashed potatoes. YUM!
While pierogis are quite a prep intensive dish, they are perfect for batch cooking and freezing. Whenever you muster up the energy to make them, double or triple the recipe so you have some on hand for a rainy day. You’ve got all the ingredients out already anyway, right? 😉
What are Pierogis?
Pierogis are one of the most popular foods eaten throughout Eastern Europe. They are tiny boiled dumplings that are served with a variety of fillings and toppings. Below, find a rundown of the texture, flavor, and time it takes to prepare this meat and potato pierogi recipe.
- Texture: The gummy, boiled pierogi dough is contrasted by a fine filling of meat, onions, and creamy mashed potatoes.
- Flavor: The flavor of these meat and potato pierogies can best be described in one word: savory.
- Time: From start to finish, these pierogies take just under an hour and a half to make.
How to Make Pierogi
Making pierogi might be time-consuming, but it’s a pretty simple process. At the end of the day, it just takes a bit of practice to nail down. Below, find a quick rundown of the recipe before you dive in.
- Make the Pierogi Dough: In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, sour cream, and milk until smooth. Next, add in the flour and salt. Using a spatula, stand mixer, or hand mixer, beat the ingredients together until well-combined.
- Make the Pierogi Filling: First, brown the ground meat in a skillet over medium heat until it’s no longer pink. Next, add in the diced onions and cook them until they turn golden brown. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Allow the filling to cool at room temperature, then grind it using a meat grinder, blender, or food processor. Finally, add the mashed potatoes into the skillet and combine them with the ground meat mixture.
- Assemble the Pierogies: On a floured work surface, roll out the dough. Using a cookie cutter or floured glass rim, cut out circles from the dough. Next, use a cookie scoop to portion out the filling into the center of each dough circle. Fold the sides over into a half-moon shape and pinch the edges to secure the filling inside.
- Boil the Pierogies: In a large pot, bring some salted water to a boil. Place the raw pierogies in the water and boil them until they float to the top.
- Caramelize the Onion: Dice up the other half of the onion and caramelize it with some oil in a skillet. Toss the cooked pierogi in the caramelized onions and serve immediately!
What are Pierogies Traditionally Served with?
Pierogis can be eaten as-is out of the boiling water, but are so delicious when elevated with an assortment of sauces and toppings. Below, find a handful of winning combinations to serve them with:
- Crispy bacon & caramelized onions
- Melted butter (European brands like Kerrygold or Pulgra work best) and sour cream
- Sauerkraut and caramelized onions
- Melted butter and sautéed garlic
Tips & Tricks
Here you’ll find a collection of tips and tricks to help you nail this meat and potato pierogi recipe.
- Use leftover mashed potatoes for a shortcut. Cut down on day-of prep by making a batch of creamy mashed potatoes the day before or by using leftover mashed potatoes from last night’s dinner.
- Grind the meat mixture for easier stuffing. Grinding the meat mixture not only evenly distributes the onions, but also makes it easier to stuff the pierogi. A finer texture filling is much easier to work with than a lumpy one.
- Use a cookie scoop to portion the filling. To ensure that your pierogies are similar in size, use a cookie scoop to portion out the filling. This will also promote even cooking!
- Pull the pierogies out immediately after they float. Once the pierogies float to the top of the boiling water, they are fully cooked. Prevent yourself from overcooking them by immediately removing them with a slotted spoon.
How to Freeze Pierogi
Pierogies are perfect for batch cooking and freezing. To do so, place the raw dumplings on a generously floured baking sheet in a single layer. Next, pop the entire tray into the freezer uncovered. Once completely frozen, transfer the dumplings to a freezer-safe bag for up to 3 months. When you’re ready, simply pop the frozen pierogi into boiling water to cook them.
What meat goes good with pierogies?
Ground meat is the best for pierogies, as it’s easier to stuff than other cuts. Beef, chicken, turkey, and pork all work wonderfully.
What’s inside of a pierogi?
The inside of pierogi can be filled with so many different things. Potatoes, cheese, ground meat, and even fruit fillings are all common.
What is the difference between pierogi and varenyky?
Varenyky is a more commonly used term in Ukraine that describes a dumpling similar to Polish pierogi.
What is the difference between pierogi and piroshki?
The difference between pierogi and piroshki is that pierogi are typically boiled while piroshki are mostly fried. While the fillings for both can be similar, pierogi have a gummier dough while piroshki have a more bread-like dough.
How long do pierogies last in the fridge?
Pierogies stay fresh for 3-4 days when stored in an airtight container in the fridge.
Other Pierogi Recipes To Try
- Steamed Blueberry Pierogi (Video) – Sweet dumplings stuffed with fresh blueberries
- The Classic Pierogi (Potatoes & Cheese) – Boiled dumplings stuffed with mashed potatoes & cheddar
- Pierogi with Farmer’s Cheese (Vareniki Recipe) – Boiled dumplings stuffed with sweet farmer’s cheese
- Lazy Pierogi Recipe (Video) – Pierogi with a shortcut
Pierogi Dough Ingredients
- 2 eggs
- 2 tbsp sour cream
- 1 cup milk
- 3 1/2 cups flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 onion
- 1 tbsp oil for frying
- Gather the ingredients for the pierogi dough.
- Whisk the eggs with sour cream and milk until you get a smooth texture. Next, add in the flour and salt.
- Using a slotted spoon, stand mixer, or hand mixer, stir the ingredients together.
- Brown the ground meat in a skillet, continually stirring it as it cooks.
- Dice half an onion and add it into the skillet alongside the ground meat. Season the mixture with salt and pepper and cook until the onions are golden brown. Remove the meat mixture from heat and allow it to cool at room temperature.
- Using a meat grinder or food processor, grind the meat mixture down until fine in texture.
- Into the same skillet with meat drippings, add in the mashed potatoes. Next, mix in the ground meat mixture and stir to combine.
- On a well-floured surface, roll out the dough. With a cookie cutter or floured glass, cut out circles from the dough. One by one, place a dollop of the filling into the center of the circle and fold one side of the dough over to create a half-moon shape. Pinch the edges together with your fingers to secure the filling inside.
- Place the raw pierogis on a floured surface as you go. Optionally, you can choose to freeze a portion for later.
- Bring 3 quarts of water to boil in a large pot. One by one, add the pierogi to the boiling water. Once they float to the top (10-15 minutes), they are fully cooked.
- Dice up the other half of the onion and caramelize it with some oil in a skillet. Toss the cooked pierogi with the caramelized onions.
- Serve hot and enjoy!
How many pierogis does one batch of dough make?
Hi Olga, this recipe makes 12 servings, it's hard to say how many it makes because everyone makes different sizes. I hope this helps.
Do you let the dough rest before rolling it out? And should the eggs, sour cream and milk be at room temperature? Thanks.
Hi Deb, I usually use the dough right when the filling is ready. As for the eggs, sour cream and milk, it doesn't have to be room temperature. I appreciate you reaching out. Good luck and enjoy!
Almost the same recipe my basically would make. My mom and baba would make, (I am not kidding) about 200 of these from leftover steak, roast, pork. At the end, they would pour the carmalized onions, bacon bit, and mushrooms over it. We had my 3 brothers (all over 6' 5") and my 2 sisters (both 5' 10"). All gone in one sitting. I loved your recipe.
Hi Michael, That's such a sweet memory! Thank you so much for sharing that! Enjoy!
Hello Natalya! It is the second time I'm making pierogies from your recipes - I also made your classic one (cheese and potato) last week. At my first try last week, I had difficulties with the dough, it was very sticky! (but fortunately I could work my way to make pierogies, in a longer time though!) Today I put more flour in the dough and it wasn't sticky anymore - it was waaay easier to work with the dough and put more filling inside 🙂 Thank you for the recipe! I froze about 32 by making the double of the recipe
Hey Marjolaine- I'm glad they came out better for you the second time around! Thank you for trying my recipes and sharing your feedback. 😀
My grandpa was of Polish and Czech decent. I remember taking a weekend as a family and making Pierogies for 2 days. My mom and I would make the dough and fill them and my dad and brother would boil them and freeze them. We had a deep freezer which we would fill about a quarter of it with Pierogies. During the holidays I would go to may grandma and grandpa house and made Poppyseed Rolls and Nut Rolls. Since they have passed I still do make these things but it just the same without them. Listening to the stories as we cooked and baked about their childhood in the 20's and 30's and when they got married in the 40's growing up in Maine and Pennsylvania.
Hi Annette - Thanks for sharing such a beautiful story. This reminds me of spending time in the kitchen with my own family. I hope the recipes on our site can bring you closer to your late grandpa and grandma. We actually have recipes for both poppyseed rolls and nut rolls. Feel free to try them out and let us know what you think...
Plan on pan frying these at our bike race camp out… could I add some sautéed mushrooms ya think before grinding the meat? Looking forward to our addition to our race meal
Hi Teri - I'm never one to say mushrooms aren't a great addition. I say go for it! Hope you and your biking buddies enjoy this family recipe. Good luck at the race!
Making these for Easter for my dad who is polish. This is the third time making these and I LOVE the dough with the sour cream! They come out so light and delicious. Awesome recipe!! 💕💕
Thank you, Jenn! I appreciate the feedback. 🙂
My mom made a pork meat mix with sauerkraut or cabbage shredded small, salt, pepper, small diced pork, oil and diced onions pan fried. She stuffed her pierogies with this mix and they were soooooo good.
Hi Evalyn- that sounds like a delicious filling! It kind of reminds me of an egg roll filling actually. Thanks for sharing!
How thick do you roll out the dough?
Hi Joan- a little less than 1/8 inches thick I'd say. Take a look at the photos for this recipe and you'll get a good idea of how thick to roll out the dough. It has to be thick enough so the filling stays in without the dough ripping, but not so thick that the pierogi come out too gummy. Hope this helps!
Followed the recipe and I think they turned out great stayed together when I boiled them. Never made them before, like the explicit directions. Took me a couple of hours but worth it.
Awesome! Thanks for sharing, Doris. I'm glad you found the directions helpful. Hopefully you had some leftover for snacking throughout the week!
I need to try this recipe very soon. It looks great. I have not built my nerve to make pierogi yet but as a kid and when I found them always ate potato and dry cottage cheese (Farmer's Cheese) type and yes sauerkraut ones as a kid. My Mom also used to experiment and even made cherry filled pierogi - not my fav.
You also have made dome great comments with recipe with and after. Thank you.
Hi Joe - Please do and let me know how it turns out! Pierogi are so comforting. They take me right back to my childhood. Thanks for reaching out!
I definitely want to make your meat pierogi recipe. I have a question, are the mashed potatoes just plain boiled potatoes that are mashed or are they mashed with butter and cream?
Hey Karen, you would want to add a bit of butter to mashed potatoes. No cream is needed. You can also add a but of cheddar cheese to the mix, if you like a hint of cheese.
I am so sorry to leave an unhappy review but this dough was super difficult to work with. I grew up in a Polish family and have been making pierogi for decades and never had this much trouble with other recipes (I couldn´t quickly find my usual one and thought I´d try something new). It tore no matter how thick or thin I rolled it out, and several did not make it through the boiling process because the filling oozed out of holes in the dough that just would not stay together. The dough needs more flour to bind together, but I´d suggest trying a different recipe altogether. Sweet website and glad other users didn´t have so much trouble.
Hey Ann, what brand of flour did you use? I haven't heard of anyone having similar trouble. Just trying to think of a solution. Thank you!
Making my dough and filling now! I'm of Polish decent,my mother was Polish.I love to find Polish dishes,my children love when I fix a dish.Thank you for this recipe.God bless!!
I hope you love them, let me know what you think when you try them 🙂
can you put this dough through a pasta machine?
Hey Linda, you may need to add a little more flour but I am sure that you can. Enjoy.
What is a serving? One? Trying to scale without making too much.
Hi Brad, it would be 5-7 pierogi. Depending on the size you make them.
My favorite pierogi filling is made with sauerkraut and onion. I saute the sauerkraut with some bacon and onion until it is soft and a bit drier. My grandmother served them like this, also potato and cheese and some were even filled with peaches or blueberries. So wonderful!
Yes, there are so many options to fill these pierogis with it's incredible and they are all delicious in their own way.
Do you place the dough in the fridge at all?
Hey Jennifer, the dough doesn't need to be refrigerated. Hope you love them!
A Pierogi recipe with meat filling? I know what I’m making for dinner tomorrow.
We make our perogies with leftover roast ground up, onions through the grinder too. My father in law had half a bowl of cool water, 6-8 eggs, some salt and then added flour to make the dough. It is hard to roll out, need young arms.
Sophy, this is good to hear! Enjoy!
Sooooo yummy!!! Thank you for the recipe.
Olga, thank you for your sharing your feedback! Good to hear!
These are a little time consuming but easy and so worth it. They are delicious. My boys are going to be very happy with supper tonight!
I am so glad you found the time to make them. They are a treat for sure. I like to watch a movie while making them, time goes by quickly. 🙂
I use sour cream in the dough and fill with farmers cheese mixture passed down from my mom. Delicious!
Farmers cheese are my favorite pierogi!but I'm making cheesy potatoe filling and then a venison onion filling for tonights.
Kate, I m too, love my pierogi filling with farmer’s cheese and onions. No others taste as delicious as those.
Those sound delicious, I love all of these versions!
Elaine, doesn't food brings the best memories?! In Ukraine my grandma cooked a lot with farmers cheese, she would make her own and it was the best!
I grew up eating pierogies I watched my mom make the dough several times but never attempted it myself now that she has passed I am craving them so I want to try this but I do not remember my mom putting sour cream in her dough mix. is that a must or will it not turn out right if you don't use it? All I can remember about my mom's is that it was like a noodle dough in fact they would take the leftover dough and make noodles with it if you could advise me on this I sure would appreciate it because when I attempt it I do want it to turn out properly, thank you so much
@Barb Z. I have been making Polish pierogi since 1998 when I asked my landlady to show me how when I was living in Brzeg (nad Odrą). She didn’t use sour cream or milk in her dough. Her dough recipe (with my observations from numerous attempts and mistakes over the past 22 years) was roughly two cups flour, one large egg, beaten, and enough lukewarm water to make a workable dough. The dough is very noodle-like and just might be what you are looking for. She began by making a mountain from the flour, then a well in the top into which she cracked an egg and beat it slightly with her fingers. Then, she mixed the egg into the flour and began adding water, little by little, until it reached a workable consistency.
Thank you for sharing that, really cool story!
I make a perogie dough with flour, water, salt & oil ... works perfect!
Caroline, I use to use a similar recipe before but I found that this dough is much easier to work with. If you ever try it, let me know. I would love to know what you think.
I agree. This dough is MUCH easier to work with. I love this recipe.
Sally, thank you! I am so glad! 🙂
This was definitely a challenge. I grew up on polish food but have never attempted it. They were edible but not very pretty!
Hey Renee, they do take a bit of practice. What was your biggest challenge? Maybe I can give some tips for next time.
I’m very fond of polish food especially pierogi. These recipes are easy to understand and look as easy to make. They look delicious and I will try them.
Hey Peggy, I am so glad you found my blog. I hope you will get to try the recipes!
Do you boil the pierogi before you freeze them? Or, do you put the raw pierogi in the freezer? I boil them first, rub with butter, and freeze in plastic bags. Thank you.
These meat potato pierogi bring me back to my childhood. Sadly, I haven't had these delicious dumplings in ages. Now I want to go make some! Your pierogis look so yummy Natalya!
Thank you Deena! I am excited for you to try this recipe!
These meat potato pierogis are 100% nostalgia food for me. I grew up eating them all the time. Especially with those caramelized onions....yum! You reminded me that I need to make some soon...because to be honest...can't remember the last time I enjoyed them.
We typically eat so much of them around Holidays. Hubby is from Siberia and they love all sorts of dumplings.
Pierogi with meat is actually my favourite kind. Potato and cheese are delicious but nothing beats meat pierogi for me!
My mom rarely made them with cheese, they dont have as much sentimental value 🙂 You know how it is, childhood foods always hit the spot.
This is a POLSKA dish.. You can put anything you want in them. Myself, I like mashed potatoes and cheese.. These are AKA as they call the "POLISH TACOS" funny right??
Love it, Polish Tacos! We loved on a border of Poland growing up. So many dishes were mixed in!