Recipe By Chef John
Published Dec 7th
Prep 1h Cook 1h Additional 1h 15m Ready In 3h 15m
Servings 42 pierogi Calories 739.1

If I had to pick a favorite recipe of all time, I think it might be this potato and cheese pierogi recipe handed down to me by my Polish grandmother.

Recipe Ingredients

  • 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour, or more as needed
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup warm water (120 to 130 degrees F/50 degrees C)
  • 2 tablespoons warm water (120 to 130 degrees F/50 degrees C)
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 medium russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 16 ounces farmer's cheese
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, or more as needed
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream, or to taste
  • 2 teaspoons snipped fresh chives, or to taste

Cooking Directions

  1. 1 Prepare dough: Mix 3 ½ cups flour and salt together in a large bowl, then make a well in the center. Pour vegetable oil and 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons warm water into the well. Stir to form a shaggy dough that just pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Use a little flour to clean the dough off the spoon.
  2. 2 Transfer dough to a work surface; press and knead for a few minutes until you have a smooth, soft dough. You can add a little more flour if it's too sticky but don't add too much. Form dough into a ball and wrap in plastic. Leave on the counter for 1 hour or pop it into the refrigerator for 3 hours to overnight.
  3. 3 Prepare buttered onions: Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add onion and salt and sauté, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and let mixture cool a bit, then transfer to a bowl and reserve until needed.
  4. 4 Prepare filling: Place potatoes into a large pot and cover with salted water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain well and mash until smooth. Let cool to room temperature, 10 to 15 minutes.
  5. 5 Place farmer's cheese in a bowl and break it up with a spoon. Add salt, pepper, and cayenne, then add 2 to 3 heaping spoons of the buttered onions. Be sure to drain off most of the butter so you're adding mostly onions. Mix just until ingredients are evenly combined.
  6. 6 Add cooled mashed potatoes and mix until thoroughly combined. Set aside while you roll the dough.
  7. 7 Roll ¼ of the dough at a time on a floured surface until very thin, at least 1/8-inch thick or thinner if possible. Cut 3 ½-inch circles out of the dough, saving all scraps for re-rolling.
  8. 8 Add about 2 tablespoons filling to the center of each circle. Moisten your fingertips with water and wet the edges, then fold the dough over the filling and seal the two edges together in the center. Flatten the filling very lightly under the dough as you press and seal the edge of each pierogi with your fingers, working from the center to the ends. Try not to trap air in the pierogi as you seal. The edge can be left as is, or you can pinch the dough every inch or so to make pleats for a more decorative appearance.
  9. 9 Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pierogi in batches and cook for about 2 to 3 minutes (they may or may not float to the top.)
  10. 10 While the pierogi are boiling, melt butter in a nonstick skillet over medium heat.
  11. 11 Transfer pierogi from the boiling water directly into the melted butter. Cook until light golden brown, about 2 minutes per side or longer if more browning is desired.
  12. 12 Continue boiling and browning pierogi in batches as needed.
  13. 13 Transfer to a plate and spoon buttered onions over top. Garnish with sour cream and chives.

Nutrition Facts

  • Calories 739.1
  • Carbohydrate 67.6 g
  • Cholesterol 96.4 mg
  • Fat 41.8 g
  • Fiber 3.3 g
  • Protein 22.6 g
  • Saturated Fat 23.8 g
  • Sodium 1267.1 mg

Chef's Notes

The dough can be used right away, but it's best to let it rest at least 1 hour at room temperature; You can use 3 cups of plain, leftover mashed potatoes at room temperature if you have them; If you can't find farmer's cheese, a firm, tangy cream cheese with a handful of extra-sharp white Cheddar will get you pretty close; You can make the filling ahead of time, but make sure you let it come to room temperature before using or it will be really crumbly and hard to use.


  1. Pretty similar to my Mom's however to Make it the best instead of famers cheese use cooper sharp instead and you'll have smiles ear to ear. Really kick it up a notch and sauté some fatback small diced with onions. Now you have the real deal.
  2. Made this for my family. It is perfect for the holidays. Will definitely make this again. It does require alot of work, but it is worth it!
  3. made it! The recipe worked! The dumplings were very tasty!
  4. Loved it! First ever pierogi for me, and you’re definitely right! Last meal good! I know it would’ve been better if I had the right cheese, but we used the ricotta and mozzarella we had (just a small amount of mozzarella, mostly ricotta). The whole family loved it, even my 3&6 year olds. Thank you!
  5. Best pierogis I’ve ever tasted. Never buy store bought frozen again.:)
  6. These are not difficult to make at all, just a bit time consuming. TOTALLY worth it though!!
  7. This is 99.9% the same recipe I use and even brown them to the same amount. I’m making these tonight just because I saw Chef Johns video this morning and the craving was unreal.

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