FINALLY! I am happy to share my Gluten-Free Potato & Cheese PIEROGI recipe with the whole world!
I grew up making regular pierogi and never considered that a skill or anything special. However, when later in life, I found out I cannot have gluten, all of a sudden creating a gluten-free version sounded enticing.
It was a challenge. I struggled with making gluten-free pierogi for years. I even quit trying for a while. It wasn’t pretty.
A few months ago, I went to Costco and was offered a sample of an American version of Potato and Cheese Pierogi. I tried it. Yes, I am gluten intolerant, but I was willing to suffer to see what the buzz was about. People around me raved about those pierogi and I… I spit it out!
Not because it contained gluten. I spit it out because it was that bad. Gummy and blend.
That’s not how pierogi should taste like!
I was challenged.
I thought: “If people think THIS is good, I will come up with a gluten-free version that will be even better than the regular one”!
It’s not a rocket science to make a regular dough (see recipe below), but how in the world do I come up with a gluten-free dough?
Gluten-free flours don’t have gluten, the agent that adds elasticity and makes the dough pliable!
If the dough is not pliable, forget about rolling it, or shaping pierogi!
I gathered all the recipes for Gluten-Free Potato & Cheese PIEROGI, that I have tried in the past and turned out to be a flop. I went on a hunt online and did a comparison. All the recipes had one thing in common; they all were based on starches: tapioca starch, corn starch, potato starch, white rice flour!
Even though, just by looking at the ingredients, I knew it wasn’t going to work, I tried it anyway. Yes, you guessed it! It turned out to be like cement! Even my daughter did not want to play with it!!!
I put everything aside, analyzed my successful gluten-free recipes, and focused on what I already knew about gluten-free baking: replace gluten with xantan gum and hydrate a combination of light, medium and heavy types of gluten-free flours.
And what do you know???
I got it!
I mastered gluten-free dough and shortly after was able to enjoy some Gluten-Free Potato & Cheese PIEROGI!
The dough is still not as pliable as the regular one, BUT it is pliable enough to roll it out with no problems, cut it out and seal pierogi!
Not sure about you, but in my book, it’s a success!
It tastes great too! As a matter of fact nobody could tell it was gluten-free!
I let you look at the picture below and realize – YES< THESE ARE GLUTEN-FREE!
So, how did I make this gluten-free dough for my beloved Gluten-Free Potato & Cheese PIEROGI?
I used a combination of light tapioca flour and white rice flour, some nutritious millet flour and dense brown rice flour, mixed in with a lot of xanthan gum for elasticity.
From THIS↑ to THAT↓ Still can’t believe it’s true!:)
See, looks and acts just like regular dough!
It dries out quickly though, so make sure you have your filling ready to go and work quickly with sealing pierogi.
I also sauté an onion, which adds so much flavor to the filling.
Cheddar cheese, of course, mandatory. I mean, after all, it is potato and CHEESE filling. Some salt and pepper, and that it IT.
I have a mini ice scream scoop (equals 1 tbsp ) that I use for scooping out the filling and placing it perfectly in the center of the dough ring.
If you have never made pierogi, it will probably take a few tries until you get the hang of it. There are many techniques to closing pierogi, but basically you do whatever it takes to close two sides together and make sure they don’t come apart.
One thing to remember is to keep the filling away from the edges so you can properly seal it and your pierogi don’t open up while cooking.
Like I said, there are many techniques to closing pierogi. One of them is to press the two sides together going up (right to left) and then pinch with our thumb nail on the way back down (left to right).
Or, simply use a fork after closing. Not only it helps to give a better seal, but it also makes a nice design.
As I mentioned above, the dough dries out quickly, so you need to cook your pierogi quickly as well.
Make sure you have a large pot of water boiling while you work on sealing your pierogi.
Flavor the water with salt and add a tablespoon of oil to prevent possible sticking, especially if you add too many pierogi at the same time.
It takes about 2-3 minutes to cook a batch of pierogi, depending on water/pierogi ratio. The general rule – they are ready once they come up to the top.
You can serve your pierogi right after boiling, but I like to take things further and fry them in butter.
Or, even further!:)
I LOVE to sauté some bacon and onions as a topping for my fried pierogi.
Doesn’t that look glorious???:)
Ok, that really DOES look glorious!
I am telling you, there is nothing better than a plateful of potato and cheese pierogi with bacon and onions, and a glass of cold milk!
I also like my Gluten-Free Potato & Cheese PIEROGI served with Braised Cabbage:
or sautéed together with onions, and served with sour cream:
But my favorite way to eat Gluten-Free Potato & Cheese PIEROGI is below. Fried in butter, served with sautéed bacon and onion:
Now, that you have a well tried recipe, you too, CAN have some pierogi!
YOU. ARE. WELCOME!
As Always, Eat Well, Spend Wisely!
- 1 cup tapioca starch
- 1 cup white rice flour
- 1/2 cup millet flour
- 1/2 cup brown rice flour
- 2 tsp xanthan gum
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 whole egg + 2 egg whites
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- 3 cups leftover mashed potatoes
- 1 cup Cheddar cheese
- 1 sautéed onion
- 1tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
- Whisk all flours, salt and xanthan gum together in Kitchen Aid's bowl.
- Add egg whites and a whole egg.
- Stir in milk and cream until dough comes together.
- Place dough on floured surface (I use GF flour blend) and knead for a minute until it feels pliable. Form a ball. Cut off 1/4 of the ball and place the rest in your mixing bowl and cover with damp cloth to prevent drying out.
- Knead your first quarter for a bit and then roll it out with a rolling pin (shoot for 1/8 inch thick).
- Using a sharp edge glass, a cup, or a circular cutter, cut out circles.
- Place about 1 Tbsp of filling (depending on the size of your circles) in the center of your dough circle, bring sides together and pinch all around until closed. You can also finish off each pierog with a fork, by going around the edge. Not only it gives a better seal but also adds a decorative accent.
- Repeat this process until all dough is used (knead scraps together and re-roll).
- To cook, bring water to a boil in a large pot. Add 1 Tbsp of salt and 1 Tbsp of vegetable oil.
- Cook pierogi in batches, in boiling water, about 4 minutes each batch (they will swim to the top when done).
- Serve immediately with sautéed onion and bacon OR fry with a little bit of butter.
- If you would like to freeze Pierogi - freeze a single layer on a flat surface (lined with parchment paper) first and then, once frozen, place them in a freezer bag.
- Cook them from frozen, just like the fresh batch, in boiling, salty water; DO NOT thaw!
- 4 cups all purpose flour + more for dusting
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) vegetable oil
- 1 1/3 cup (300 ml) hot water