when i was a junior in college, my friend/roommate and i dramatically reduced our dining hall meal plan, such that we were basically on the hook for making dinner for ourselves every night. luckily, we were able to get a suite just down the hall from a kitchen (albeit, in an ugly-as-all-get-out, riot proof, concrete dorm. but, with a kitchen!). we bought a little cart on wheels and happily wheeled our pots, utensils, and ingredients down the hall every night to cook ourselves dinner.
and thank goodness, because i’m not sure i ever would have been exposed to pierogies otherwise, and that would have been a real shame.
i somehow managed to make it through about 20 years of life before discovering that there are magical little pillows of dough, filled with light, tender, and flavorful mashed potatoes, that can be simply adorned and ready for eating in almost no time flat. if you’ve never had them, a) picture ravioli filled with mashed potatoes, but better and b) get on that!
since this splendid discovery, pierogies have been in my “stare into the freezer and hope that a) delicious dinner magically leaps out at me and b) it’s not frozen pizza (again)” repertoire. i love that not only do they cook quickly but also they go well with basically whatever i can dig up in the crisper drawer that’s not too wilted (yet).
this particular flavor combination, though, pierogies with onions, peppers, and sausage, is one of my favorite go tos. despite the fact that peppers are usually hanging around the grocery store year round, they do actually have a season (!), and it’s right now. yay! total bonus that it overlaps with fresh corn season. (which is not to say that i won’t make these with grocery store peppers and frozen corn in the dead of winter, just that i get to feel so much more hip when i make them with peppers and corn from the farmers’ market.)
even before i started dating my animal-protein loving husband, i frequently used to slice up some precooked chicken sausage and toss it in with the peppers for some added flavor (and protein). and then, onions, because of course. not only are they one of my favorite ingredients, but also they are a classic pierogi accompaniment.
in fact, the few times i’ve been able to find pierogies out in the world, rather than in my grocery store freezer case, they’ve often been offered very simply, usually just with onions and sour cream. the best pierogies i ever had were made by a russian woman at an outdoor market/food stall in anchorage, alaska. since i don’t think i’ll be back there very soon, i do intend to try making my own pierogies some day, but for now, i’m quite content to keep a box in the freezer for quick dinner saves.
- 1 box of pierogies (see notes)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 bell pepper (any color, or a mix of colors), seeded, ribs removed, and chopped
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 1 ear of corn on the cob, kernels removed from the cob OR about 1 cup of frozen corn run under cold water in a strainer to thaw
- 1 – 2 precooked sausages (i like roasted garlic chicken sausage but use what you like), sliced in half lengthwise then into ¼” slices (so you end up with half moons), optional
- grated cheddar cheese, optional for serving
- sour cream, optional for serving
- bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook pierogies according to package directions. they usually cook in about 5 – 7 minutes – quick! pro tip: stir the pierogies as soon as you add them to the boiling water and then again about a minute later so that they don’t stick to the bottom of the pan before the water reboils and gets them moving around. to determine if they are done, i check to make sure the outer dough is all a uniform color (edges and center) and i just gently rap on the centers to see if they seem a bit soft. it’s not terribly scientific but i’ve never bitten into a partially frozen pierogi so i think they are pretty forgiving. drain and set aside once they’re done cooking.
- in a large skillet over medium heat, heat the oil. when hot, add the bell pepper and onion. stir it around to coat in the oil and let it get a few minutes head start, stirring occasionally. when the pepper is starting to soften and the onion is becoming translucent (but nothing is browning yet), add the corn and sausage. continue to stir occasionally until the vegetables have softened and browned on the edges and the sausage has browned a little too.
- divide the drained pierogies among your serving bowls and top with the vegetable/sausage mixture. enjoy immediately.
pierogies are (hopefully) available in the freezer section at your local grocery store. i often see them with either the other frozen potato products (fries, etc.) or with jewish/ethnic food, if the population who shops that store is such that there is a dedicated section in the freezer. mrs. t’s is the brand that i see most often and their website has a “find in stores” feature.
leftovers keep well in an airtight container in the refrigerator. i store the pierogies and vegetable mixture together in the same container. they reheat well in the microwave.
sorry to do this to you but the nutrition label generator that i use doesn’t know what pierogies are (!). so, here is a label from mrs. t’s site (left) and a label for the veggies and sausage (right). sorry that you have to do a bit of math but your exact nutrition facts will depend on what pierogies and sausage you select anyway, so, at least this gives you an idea.