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Pierogi: A Tradition for the Polish Wigilia (Christmas Eve) Meal

Daughter of first-generation Poles, I grew up in Ohio learning to cook and celebrate religious traditions. I've visited Poland three times.

Waiting for Weigela to Begin


Pierogi for Wigilia (Polish Christmas Eve)

Wigilia Food - Pierogi are a Favorite

There is no doubt about it. Family and guests flock to the Wigilia table when steaming hot dishes filled with oven-browned and onion-butter-drenched pierogi are present. Pierogi taste fantastic and are one of the traditional dishes served at Wigilia, the Polish family Christmas Eve celebration.

Pierogi, originally a peasant dish, are essential to most people of Polish heritage as a reminder of their ancestry and culture. Moreover, they are vital to those who hang on to their Polish roots. Christmas Eve was a Fast Day - no meat permitted - during the Pre-Vatican II days, and many Polish people still do observe the Fast Days of Advent (time before Christmas). Consequently, Wigilia's meals continue to be meatless.

How I Learned to Make Pierogi

I learned to make these filled dough pockets as a child by helping my mother. So I rely on my mother's recipe, although there are as many recipes for pierogi as there are cooks who make them. Making pierogis is a time-consuming task that becomes a pleasure when many cooks work together.

In addition, it is easy these days for Polish internet businesses to provide first-rate retail sources from which to order. For example, some sources pride themselves on delivering handmade pierogi.

This Hub Page concentrates on recipes for my mother's Traditional Pierogi Dough and two of my favorite fillings, Cottage Cheese and, Sauerkraut and Mushrooms. Smacznego!

Christmas Eve Pierogi

Christmas Eve Pierogi

Christmas Eve Pierogi

Traditional Pierogi

This HubPage focuses on recipes I learned from my mother.

These are:

  • Traditional Pierogi Dough and, my favorite fillings,
  • Cottage Cheese and,
  • Sauerkraut and Mushrooms.


Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

2 hours 30 min

1 hour

3 hours 30 min

Serves 3 to four people (2 dozen small pierogi)

Traditional Pierogi Recipes

Pierogi Dough:

  • Two large eggs
  • 1/2 -cup water
  • Two -cups sifted flour
  • 1/2 -teaspoon salt

For Cheese Filling:

  • One -cup farmer’s cheese (farmers' cheese or farmer cheese)
  • Dash of salt
  • 1 -teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 -tablespoon sugar
  • One egg
  • One egg yolk
Scroll to Continue

For Sauerkraut and Mushroom Filling:

  • One -cup, finely chopped mushrooms
  • One medium-sized onion, finely chopped
  • Two -cups sauerkraut, rinsed and finely chopped
  • butter or margarine, enough to sauté the mushrooms and onions

For Butter and Onion Topping:

  • 1/4 -cup butter
  • One small onion, sliced or chopped

Instructions: About 2 dozen Small Traditional Pierogi

  2. Beat eggs and water to blend; sift flour and salt together.
  3. Mix flour-salt mixture gradually with egg-water and work by hand to a firm dough.
  4. Cover and let rest 15 minutes.
  5. Divide dough into four portions. Each portion should make about six pierogi.
  6. Roll out one portion at a time, one-quarter-inch thick.
  8. These instructions make round pierogi rather than half-moon-shaped ones.
  9. Place six small mounds of filling, each about one teaspoonful, on one-half of the rolled dough, far enough apart to cut.
  10. Fold the empty circles of the rolled dough over the mounds of filling.
  11. Filling and dough swell during cooking, so do not overfill. The dough also tends to dry while the cook works, and the dry dough does not seal properly. So work fast!
  12. Cut around each mound with a small biscuit cutter.
  13. Seal edges of each dumpling with the tines of a fork.
  14. If the dough dries, so there is no good seal, run a moist finger around the edge of each circle before pressing the fork.
  16. Boil pierogi for about five minutes in salted water that covers and allows them to float freely. Carefully remove with a slotted spoon or spatula, and place on a cooling rack.
  17. Take care not to pile or crowd the pierogi, or they will become sticky and lose their shape and lightness.
  18. Attractively place cool pierogi in a single layer in an attractive flat casserole.
  19. Melt butter in frying pan and brown onions.
  20. Pour mixture over pierogi.
  21. Place in 300 to 325-degree oven until evenly browned. Occasionally scoop and pour butter and onion over the dumplings to keep them evenly moist and brown.
  22. Serve with sour cream, creamed mushrooms, or sauteed mushrooms.

Farmer’s Cheese

Star of Bethlehem Welcomes Family and Friends to Wigilia


A Treasured Cookbook

Recipe for Pierogi

Polish Traditions and Customs

Pierogi in America

Pierogi for a Polish Christmas Eve

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2013 Georgene Moizuk Bramlage

Comments about Pierogi for Wigilia, the Polish Christmas Eve

Georgene Moizuk Bramlage (author) from southwestern Virginia on January 04, 2014:

@captainj88: Thanks so much for your gracious comments. I surely hope the recipe works well for you. REMEMBER! Don't overwork the dough,; it will turn out tough and rubbery. Please come back and try some more of my recipes.

Leah J. Hileman from East Berlin, PA, USA on January 04, 2014:

Thank you, thank you! I need a good pierogi recipe. This is far and away my favorite food. My Gram Benshoff used to make "mock" pierogi by cooking jumbo shells, loading them with filling, then broiling them in butter until golden brown. No one ever served these in Florida where I lived for 9 years. Since I've been back in my home state, Pennsylvania, I finally find them in restaurants, but I'd really like to be able to make my own. Liked and Pinned to my Favorite Recipes board.

Georgene Moizuk Bramlage (author) from southwestern Virginia on November 28, 2013:

@AnnaMKB: Hi Anna! Thanks for stopping by my pierogi lens and telling me about the song that your mother taught you about Marina and the pierogi. I've never heard it or about it before! I hope you have a wonderful Christmas with your family.

AnnaMKB on November 27, 2013:

I helped my mother make many a pierogi as a child! She even taught me a funny song in Polish about a girl named Marina who was asked to make pierogi. She kept making excuses (missing ingredients, needing wood for the fire), making a lot of work for the person asking her to make them - only to finally admit she didn't know how!

Georgene Moizuk Bramlage (author) from southwestern Virginia on November 26, 2013:

@LiteraryMind: Hi! Thanks for taking the time to visit my pierogi lens and comment on it. Yes, the dough is definitely more chewy than ravioli, although the dough is very close in either case. It probably has something to do with the gluten content. Anyway, thanks a lot for your interest.

Ellen Gregory from Connecticut, USA on November 26, 2013:

I love the chewiness of the pierogi dough. It makes it a little different than a ravioli.

Georgene Moizuk Bramlage (author) from southwestern Virginia on November 26, 2013:

@sousababy: Hi Rosemary! Thanks for your visit to my pierogi lens. And for your garcious comment. It's nice to know that there is another squid here with a Polish background who enjoys pierogi!

sousababy on November 25, 2013:

Yes, my grandma was Polish and made them like this. Thank you for sharing this gorgeous recipe.

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