Polish dumplings filled with potatoes and onions
I grew up with this delicacy and now the dumplings are very popular everywhere! After switching to a vegan diet, I haven’t eaten pierogi for a long time because they are usually filled with cheese or meat. But we have also been able to veganize some of these recipes and since then vegan Pierogi Ruskie have been on our plates regularly!
The filling of the traditional Piergori Ruskie is prepared not only with potatoes and onions, but also with twaróg. In Poland, twaróg is used instead of quark, even if it has a slightly different consistency and taste than the quark known in Germany. It gives the filling a slightly sour taste. When we make vegan pierogi ourselves, we often add a few tablespoons of pickle water from a jar of pickles to the filling for a tart taste. But it’s not a must, because vegan Pierogi Ruskie taste great with just the potato and onion filling!
In Poland, we don’t eat pierogi as a side dish, they are a main dish. I’ve often been asked, “And what’s comes with the pierogi?”. The answer is simple: NOTHING! 🙂 At least nothing except some vegan creme fraiche or roasted onions.
How to prepare vegan Pierogi Ruskie
Basically, you only need a few basic ingredients to make vegan Pierogi Ruskie. The preparation, especially the filling, requires a little patience and practice, but it’s worth it!
You can also freeze the cooked pierogi perfectly, so we usually make a slightly larger portion, which then (after cooking and cooling) partly ends up in the freezer.
Base dough for Pierogi Ruskie
In the traditional preparation of pierogi, the dough is already vegan because it consists only of flour, oil, salt and boiling hot water. The preparation works best in a food processor, as the water is too hot to knead the dough directly with your hands. If you don’t have a food processor, you can easily mix the ingredients with the hot water with a kitchen spoon and then start kneading by hand when everything has cooled down a bit. The dough rests at room temperature until rolled out and filled.
In the meantime you can prepare the filling!
Preparation of the filling
Vegan Pierogi Ruskie are made with a simple filling of potatoes and onions. We cut the potatoes into smaller pieces before cooking, so they soften faster and you can put them in the potato ricer right after cooking. If you don’t have a potato ricer, a potato masher works really well too!
While the potatoes are cooking, slice the onions and sauté them in neutral oil over medium-high heat. They shouldn’t get too dark, but rather be nice and soft and have a golden yellow color.
The soft onions are then added to the potatoes with salt and pepper and mixed well. If you have a jar of pickles in the fridge, it’s definitely worth adding 3-4 tablespoons of the pickle water to the filling to give the filling a sour taste. Just like the traditional original, which is prepared with a Polish sour quark.
Fill vegan Pierogi Ruskie
Now it’s time to fill the pierogi! To do this, roll out the dough on a floured surface to a thickness of about 2mm. You don’t necessarily need a special cutter to cut out the circles of dough. My mom still uses an upside down glass to cut out. If you have a dessert ring or large round cookie cutter, you can use that.
We put some filling on each section. You can use a tablespoon or an ice cream scoop for this.
Now fold the dough around the filling, press it down with your fingers and seal it tightly so that the pierogi don’t open while cooking. If you used a lot of flour when rolling out, you can brush the “gluing points” with a little water so that the dough sticks better. We always have a small bowl with cold water on the work surface when preparing the pierogi so that we can smear the edge of the round pieces of dough with a little water with our finger just before they are glued together.
Once all the pierogi are sealed tightly, place them in a large saucepan of hot, salted water and steep (depending on size) for about 10 minutes. The water should no longer be boiling!
You can serve them right after cooking. Traditionally Pierogi Ruskie are eaten with sour cream or with onions. You can set aside 1-2 tablespoons of the onions when preparing the filling and put them on the pierogi at the end.
After cooking, we fry our vegan Pierogi Ruskie in a pan with a little oil and then serve them with onions or vegan crème fraiche.
There are pierogi with a wide variety of fillings. In Poland, in addition to the hearty variants with potato or sauerkraut filling, there are also some sweet pierogi filled with fruit. If you want to try the sweet version, you can find a recipe for pierogi with strawberry filling on our blog!
Vegan Pierogi Ruskie
- 400 g wheat flour type 550
- 40 ml neutral oil
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 kg potatoes
- 3 onions (medium size)
- 3 tbsp neutral oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp ground pepper
- 3 tbsp optional pickle water (from pickled gherkins)
- Put the flour in a bowl with the salt and oil and add 250 ml of boiling hot water. Either knead with a food processor to a smooth dough, or first mix all the ingredients with a wooden spoon until the dough has cooled down enough to continue kneading it by hand.
- Cover the dough with a kitchen towel and let it rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
- In the meantime prepare the filling. To do this, peel the potatoes, cut them into small pieces and boil them until they are soft.
- While the potatoes are cooking, peel and slice the onions. Heat the neutral oil in a pan over medium-high heat and sauté the onions until soft and golden.
- Drain the cooked potatoes and either press through a potato ricer or mash with a potato masher to a puree.
- Mix potatoes and onions with salt and pepper.
- Roll out the dough on a floured surface to a thickness of approx. 2mm and cut out round pieces of dough. Put some filling on each piece of dough, fold over the dough and press on the edges. If the edges of the dough aren’t sticking together well enough, dab a little water on them with your finger.
- Put water in a large pot and salt. Put the pierogi in the boiling hot water and leave to soak for about 10 minutes. The water should no longer boil bubbling!
- Drain and either serve directly with some vegan crème fraiche or sweated onions, or fry in a little oil in a pan first!