Pierogi for people who cheat

I’m not a big cheater. I’m one of the most honest people you’ll ever meet – I can not stand telling lies – and I really do believe that you only cheat yourself when you cheat others. And you know me: I make my own tofu, miso, pasta, pickles, bread…everything. Today, though, I was trying to figure out what to make with a fresh batch of homemade sauerkraut, and simultaneously wondering what to do with leftover mashed potatoes, when it all became so clear to me: pierogi. But then a minute later I thought, “ugh, I REALLY do NOT feel like rolling out pierogi dough”. But I still thought pierogi were a brilliant idea. So I cheated. I used gyoza wrappers. Sue me. But it was easy and, as far as pierogi go, fast. And still tasted great. So here you go: pierogi for people who cheat, or can’t be bothered with making pierogi dough.

Unfortunately for people who require strict measurements in their recipes, I cheated that way too. I didn’t measure anything. I just smooshed everything together. I’ll try to estimate what I used, but this is really more an idea than a recipe.

Pierogi for people who cheat

pre-made gyoza wrappers (check that they are vegan)
1 small or medium onion, diced
1 cup leftover mashed potatoes – mine were made with (vegan) sour cream and Dragonfly’s Bulk, Dry Uncheese Mix, a happy accident as they are my standard – and delicious – mashed potatoes and they turned out to be absolutely perfect for pierogi
1 cup sauerkraut
another small onion, diced (optional)

In a heavy (preferably cast iron) skillet, heat some oil, then add the diced onion and saute until beginning to brown. Remove from heat and cool at least slightly. Meanwhile, use kitchen shears to cut the sauerkraut into smaller pieces in a small bowl, then mix in the mashed potatoes and sauted onion.

Next, assemble the pierogi. I found it easiest to use my fingers to place about a teaspoon of the potato/sauerkraut mixture into the middle of each gyoza wrapper, and since that made for messy fingers, I set several pierogi up at a time before closing and sealing them. Keep the remaining gyoza wrappers covered with a damp towel while working in batches.

I used a simple Asian dumpling contraption to make my pierogi. I lifted each one onto the dumpling maker …

… then squeezed shut to seal. If they aren’t sealing well, dab some water on the edges first.

Alternatively, close and seal with your fingers. Continue until all the filling is used up. I made about 32 pierogi.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and drop about 8 pierogi in at a time – you don’t want to crowd them.

Boil until the pierogi float, then remove with a slotted spoon. Continue boiling the rest of the pierogi this way, or you can freeze half of them, which is what I did.

You can eat the pierogi boiled, with (vegan) sour cream if you like, or you can take the extra step of pan frying them. If you pan fry them, you can first brown a diced onion in some oil in your heavy skillet, then add the pierogi and brown on each side.

Pierogi are really, really, really, really good. I served them with additional sauerkraut and some leftover cucumber salad.

In other news, I know I keep talking about how huge Gomez is, but this weekend I noticed Torticia is getting bigger too. I think she’s going through a growth spurt because she is eating a ton of food and she looks noticeably larger to me. (She is also currently sitting on my lap “helping” me type because she’s the sweetest cat on the entire planet.) She’s still much smaller than Gomez, though she’s also still the dominant one. Gomez would hardly ever get into trouble if his sister didn’t lead him there, but she does, and she does it often. You can see “trouble” written all over her, can’t you? That’s Torticia with a capital “trouble”.


  1. meg Said,

    October 4, 2010 @ 2:01 am

    It’s been such a long time since I’ve seen a post with your dumpling maker and this one affirms that I “need” one for myself. It all looks delicious.

  2. Azzahar Said,

    October 4, 2010 @ 6:39 am

    I will tell you a secret: I know at least five different recipes for pierogi dough, depending on a region: my mother uses two different, one vegan, for tiny wrapped pierogi called “little ears” for Christmas and one with an egg for normal pierogi. So it’s very possibble that gyoza dough is the same that someone uses for pierogi. As long as you keep them round, not squared, it’s all ok:)

  3. Jes Said,

    October 4, 2010 @ 3:30 pm

    Ohhh pierogies, how I love them! (Though it was **utterly** nervewracking cooking them for my Slovak beau whose mom makes hundreds of them for him to take back home and freeze). Love the cheater way too–sometimes shortcuts are totally worth it!

  4. Josiane Said,

    October 4, 2010 @ 11:20 pm

    Good idea for a shortcut! Your pierogi are gorgeous, and sound delicious! This makes it really tempting to get a dumpling maker…

  5. jd Said,

    October 7, 2010 @ 3:29 am

    From a fellow “non-cheater”: I SO love your cheats! LOL!

    PS Gomez has the most gorgeous face ever 🙂

  6. allularpunk Said,

    October 7, 2010 @ 5:36 pm

    man, i have not had pierogi in absolutely forever. thanks for the reminder on how awesome they are! must make soon!

  7. Mo Said,

    October 10, 2010 @ 7:44 pm

    Words cannot express how delicious this looks.

  8. katee Said,

    October 12, 2010 @ 7:51 am

    i love saurkraut and i love pierogies and your’s look so good!
    is this “asian wrapper contraption” something that i could find in an asian market?

  9. renae Said,

    October 12, 2010 @ 12:02 pm

    Katee, yes, most Asian markets probably have dumpling makers; that’s where I got mine.

  10. susan Said,

    October 12, 2010 @ 11:08 am

    CHEATING?…yeah right…they look so delicious

    (someone else looks quite delicious also)..i am amazed when people say they have cats that dont interact with them….my 3 follow me around non stop

  11. john martin Said,

    May 9, 2015 @ 11:58 am

    Where did you get the Asian gizmo to seal the pierogi?

  12. john martin Said,

    May 9, 2015 @ 12:00 pm

    Never mind.
    I just noticed the post above mine: “Katee, yes, most Asian markets probably have dumpling makers; that’s where I got mine.”

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