Traditional Ukrainian Pierogies

One of my favorite childhood memories is of my mom working in the kitchen preparing pierogies. She learned the recipe from my grandmother who learned it from her mother. It is a traditional Ukrainian recipe and easily one of my favorite foods to eat. Taking a bite of these homemade pierogies brings me back to those childhood days.

My mom would work away in the kitchen making probably 100 or more of these wonderful Ukrainian dumplings filled with potato and cheese. The tables and kitchen counters would be filled with row upon row of the pierogies. They took a while to make (partially because she would make so many!), but it was a labour of love for my mom. One that she would do for her family.

Homemade Ukrainian Pierogies

For me, it is great to learn how to make pierogies the very same way and to carry on the tradition of our family in this way. On top of that, these are the best tasting pierogies around and WAY better than anything you will buy frozen in a store!

There are many different spellings of this little dumpling including pierogi, pirohy, pyrohy, perogy, varenyky, vareniki and more.


Pierogies are best served with fried pork fat or bacon. The little crispy chunks go perfect with the soft chew of the pierogies. We also traditionally serve them with sour cream.

How to make the filling


The filling is so simple to make: boil potatoes, drain, but set aside, the water. Add cubed cheese and cover with the lid.


The potatoes should still be very hot and they will cause the cheese to melt after about 5-10 minutes.


Blend the filling using a hand blender or a hand potato masher.

How to make the dough


The dough can be made by hand, but a food processor does it far easier and more quickly.


Add the flour, salt and egg to the food processor bowl. Turn it on and slowly pour in the cooled potato water. Stop adding water when the dough forms a ball, as seen in the photo above.


Knead the dough on a floured surface and roll it out to 1/8 inch thick.


Make rounds with a biscuit cutter or a round glass.


The round of dough should be 3 – 3 1/2 inch in diameter.

How to make the pierogi


Place the round of dough in your hand and spoon a heaping tablespoon of filling in the middle of the dough.


Pull the dough over the filling and pinch it together at the edge.


Make sure you pinch firmly so that the pierogi stays sealed during the boiling.


The pierogi is done. Check along the edge to make sure there are no open spots and the seal seems solid.


The above instructions are how we traditionally make pierogies. There are pierogi machines available that can make the process a little simpler. We tried out one and it worked out very well. Check out our review of it here: Norpro Pierogi Maker Review.


The pierogies take a while to make and the first ones will dry out before you are done if left out in the open. We lay them on a towel. Sprinkle a little flour on the towel and place the pierogies on the towel. Cover with another towel and keep adding more while you make them.


Boil them in water for about 8-10 minutes. They will rise to the surface when they are fully cooked.

Traditional Ukrainian Pierogies

4.75 out of 5
51 reviews
This recipe has complete instructions for making Ukrainian potato and cheese pierogies from scratch and by hand. Simple and delicious this recipe is handed down for generations!
Prep Time: 3 hours
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 4 hours
Servings: 36 pierogies


  • 2 pounds potatoes peeled and quartered
  • 200 g (1/2 pound) medium cheddar cheese, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 cups of flour plus more if needed
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup potato water at room temperature
  • diced bacon or pork fat


  • To make the filling, boil the potatoes until tender. Drain water into a bowl. Set aside for later. Place cubed cheese on top of the cooked potatoes and cover with a lid. Let rest for about 5 minutes so that the cheese will melt. Sprinkle with 1 tsp salt and mash the potatoes and cheese with a hand blender, potato masher. Let cool to room temperature.
  • To make the dough, add the flour, egg and 1/2 tsp salt to a food processor bowl. Turn on the food processor. Slowly pour in the potato water until the dough forms a ball and then turn off the food processor.
  • Place the dough on a floured surface. Knead with floured hands. The dough should have the feel of pizza dough, elastic but not wet. Work in a little extra flour if the dough is too moist.
  • Divide the dough in 3. Roll out one ball of dough to 1/8 inch thickness. Use a pierogi press to make pierogies or use the instructions below to make them by hand.
  • Use a biscuit cutter or glass. Dredge the rim of a 3 to 3 1/2 inch glass in flour, then press the glass into the rolled out dough to cut a circle of dough. Place the dough round in your hand and spoon about a heaping tablespoon of potato and cheese filling into the middle of the dough. Pull the dough over the filling and pinch the edges. If the dough is dry, moisten a finger in water to help seal the edge.
  • Place the pierogi on a towel sprinkled with flour. Cover with another towel so the pierogi does not dry out. Continue to make the remaining pierogies.
  • To cook the pierogies, place them in boiling for about 8-10 minutes. The pierogies should rise to the surface of the water when they are finished cooking.
  • While the pierogies are boiling, fry the bacon or pork fat, until browned and crisp.
  • Toss the cooked pierogies in bacon, and bacon grease or the pork fat.
  • Serve with sour cream.



Did you try this recipe?

Leave a comment and let me know how it turned out. Or, take a picture to share on Instagram and tag me @theblackpeppercorn.

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Recipe Rating


  • Just like my mother’s! 1st time making them, the taste was a warm memory. Had a bit of a problem rolling them thin enough & pinching closed but otherwise great! Time consuming but worth it!

    • Reply
    • Hi Anna! Yes, any time I make these, it is full of nostalgia and family memories for me as well. Yeah, the rolling and pinching does take some work. I often struggle and then my mom does it so easily!

      • Reply
  • Add 3 tbsps of sour cream to this recipe and it will be amazing

    • Reply
    • I add sour cream work so much better

      • Reply
  • Works great!! Dont get too hung up on the part where he says the dough must start to form in processor. Mine was chunky and lumpy and wet. 2 minutes of love (a few pinches of flour)and kneading gets it to a perfect little ball.

    • Reply
  • 4 stars
    These were delicious! I fry them in a little butter after boiling since I like them a little crispy on the outside. Added some sauted onion to the potato cheese filling and served then with sour cream and pan fried onions. Will be making these often!

    • Reply
  • Of you are going to freeze I am assuming put on cookie sheet and freeze then bag and put back in freezer

    • Reply
    • Exactly. I lay them out on a cookie sheet and place in the freezer. Once they are frozen, they can be bagged, sealed and put back in the freezer. Works very well!

      • Reply
  • I am glad I found your website and recipe. This weekend I will make your recipe for pierogies.. I looked at lots of recipes and was not sure about adding sour cream or eggs to the dough. I have made pasta from scratch and dough has eggs in it and it tastes good,

    i have made potato bread and potato rolls several times and use potato water in my dough as the liquid and it comes out wonderful so I like the idea of using potato water in the Pierogi dough.

    • Reply
    • Polish rec. Dough, 6 c flour, I egg beaten, 2 c potatoes water, 6 tbsp oil
      Filling..diced fried onions, I clove garlic minced, old cheddar cheese, or a mixture of shredded old cheese and 1 container of Imperial cheese.
      Regular procedure for both
      Once cooked and drained, I put in pan with fried onions and butter, and served with sour cream and fried bacon pieces..yum

      • Reply
  • 5 stars
    How many perogies does this cook?

    • Reply
    • 3 1/2 ish dozen

      • Reply
  • 4 stars
    Can you please explaain what do if you do not want to look them right away?
    I want to make them for xmas but wont have the time to make from scratch that day so i want to make them before hand and then freeze. What are your suggestions?

    THanks in advance

    • Reply
  • 5 stars
    I wanted to make perogies for my husband. He asked that I find a Ukrainian recipe. I had tried a different recipe that claimed they were Ukrainian perogies ( I never made perogies before so I didn’t know) they called for half a cup of oil, yuk! I then found your recipe and they were great! Thank you so much. The only thing I changed was that I used Old cheddar cheese instead of medium, its what I had at home.

    • Reply
  • this delicious pierogies.

    • Reply
  • 5 stars
    Hard to find a good recipe. Thanks brings back the memories… Have you ever tried using sour cream in your dough?

    • Reply
  • 5 stars
    My father was stateless after the war and ended up in Norfolk, UK. He came from a village in Lviv near the polish border and would make these on a Saturday when my mother was at work. It was a cheap dish full of flavour topped with crispy fried onions in melted butter. We couldn’t get enough of them.

    • Reply
  • 5 stars
    When my mother passed I became the family matriarch and each year receive numerous requests that begin… “How did Baba make….” I’ve remotely taught nieces to make pyrohy, (or however you want to spell them) and really humbled that my daughters can make them as well. Working together as family and friends to make these is the greatest. OK. Eating them is epic as well. Thanks for the post and the memories. Guess what I’m doing today? (Oh. And my Brothers are SO happy!)

    • Reply
  • 5 stars
    My mother was an excellent cook. We called them peraheh.
    She cut the dough square and the final peraheh was triangular.
    Some had mashed potato, others were filled with her homemade
    sauerkraut, and the dessert ones were filled with prunes, brown sugar and butter.
    I enjoyed your recipe and all the responses. Thank you

    • Reply
    • I love both sauerkraut and prune pierogies as well!! Thanks for stopping by and sharing!

      • Reply
  • Iam East Indian and I love perogies Iam so goin to make this thanksfor the step by step instructions

    • Reply
  • I’ve made pierogi a few times but it is so labor intensive. I just bought the above mentioned pierogi maker and will be using it to make pierogi for our Christmas eve dinner.

    щасливого Різдва!

    • Reply
  • 5 stars
    Can you freeze the freshly made perogies if you make too much? I know the store bought ones yeah but for fresh fresh made perogies… will it be the same? thank you hubby will be happy he is Canadian Ukranian.. I am Metis Canadian and just finnish making tourtiere meat mixture to be freezed up ready for the pies..

    • Reply
  • 5 stars
    Thank you so much! This is the closet I’ve ever come to
    making the dough just like my Babcia (we are Polish/Ukranian) Best dough recipe I’ve come across. I always asked her what the secret is and she said “potato water” I just never knew the ratio. I’ve tried So many other recipes-nothing comes close.

    • Reply
  • We always called them pedaheh. I remember standing on a stool with my granny in her kitchen and pinching them closed. What a great memory and I can’t wait to make these!!!! Thank you.

    • Reply
  • 5 stars
    Oh this brings back memories of my mom and bubcha making perogies all day ,thanks for sharing your recipe. My daughter had asked me to make these for Easter dinner .

    • Reply
    • 5 stars
      look delicious to

      • Reply

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