Vegan Pierogi with Potato, Tofu, and Smoky Mushrooms

These vegan pierogi mimic traditional Polish pierogi ruskie, with mashed potato, tofu cottage cheese, and smoky mushroom bits. Eat them as they are, or enjoy them as fried or baked pierogi!

Two plates of vegan pierogi with vegan sour cream

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What are pierogi?

Pierogi are Polish filled dumplings, made by wrapping a simple vegan pierogi dough around a sweet or savoury filling, and cooking in boiling water. They’re real Polish comfort food, enjoyed at celebrations all year around.

I have to admit, I love pierogi! As with a lot of Polish food, I’m baffled that it isn’t internationally recognised as being totally delicious. But maybe I’m biased. 

Traditionally, a lot of Polish pierogi have eggs in the batter, and milk or meat in the filling. That’s why I bring you these vegan pierogi ruskie, tried and tested by my resident Polish national!

What is the vegan pierogi filling made from?

I’ve based the filling for these pierogi on the traditional pierogi ruskie. Pierogi ruskie sounds like it should mean Russian dumplings, but the name actually means Ruthenian dumplings, referring to the people from the Carpathian Mountains in Southern Poland. 

These are normally filled with potato and cottage cheese, and sometimes include smoky bacon or caramelised onion either inside or on top. Not very vegan! To make these vegan, I used mashed potato, vegan tofu cottage cheese, and smoky fried mushrooms.

Pierogi cut in half showing the vegan ruskie filling

The vegan tofu cottage cheese is made from firm tofu, yoghurt, nutritional yeast, apple cider vinegar and salt. This makes the perfect cottage cheese texture which is slightly salty and sour, and is a great option for a quick vegan substitute. 

For the mushrooms, I’ve kept it simple with smoked paprika and salt. Combined with the vegan cottage cheese and mashed potato, it makes the perfect vegan pierogi ruskie filling.

What are the best ingredients for pierogi?

Make sure you use some good, floury potatoes for this such as Maris Pipers. For the tofu, I like to use a firm tofu which hasn’t been pressed. This keeps some texture, but is easier to break down than the pressed variety. 

Vegan yoghurt adds a bit more wetness to the tofu cottage cheese without drowning it, but if you don’t have any yoghurt you could use dairy free milk instead- just half the quantity. I used simple white mushrooms in this, but feel free to use any mushroom variety you fancy, just remember to chop them small.

Ingredients for vegan pierogi filling

How to make vegan dumpling dough

The dough I’ve used for these vegan pierogi is largely based on the vegan pasta dough from my butternut squash ravioli recipe. For these pierogi, I’ve opted for white flour alone, but the premise of flour, salt and water is still the same, making this a completely eggless pierogi recipe.

This recipe makes enough for four servings, so if you want to follow the ravioli dough recipe using wholewheat spelt flour, just make sure you double that recipe, or half the pierogi filling.

To make the vegan pierogi dough, mix together the flour and the salt in a large bowl. Add the water slowly, mixing the flour and water until they come together into a dough. 

Knead the dough on a floured work surface for 3-4 minutes until it is smooth. It will get dryer as you knead it, so you can add a splash more water if it feels dry. If it still feels wet and sticky after kneading, add a little bit of flour.


How to make vegan pierogi

To make the pierogi, first you need to make the filling. Peel the potatoes, and chop them into rough pieces. You can either cook these in the microwave or on the stove- I like to cook them in the microwave as it’s super quick. 

To cook them on the stove, cover them with water and simmer for 10 minutes. For the microwave, add them to a microwave safe bowl with a splash of water in the bottom. Cover them, allowing a small escape for steam. Microwave on high for 4 minutes.

Once cooked, mash the potatoes until smooth and season with salt and pepper to taste.

To make the tofu cottage cheese, start by squeezing a little bit of water out of the tofu with your hands. Add it to a large bowl, and mash it up roughly with a fork. Then, add the yoghurt, nutritional yeast, apple cider vinegar and salt. Mix it all well until it resembles the texture of cottage cheese.

To make the mushrooms, heat up the oil in a large frying pan. Add the chopped mushrooms, and fry them over a medium-high heat for 2 minutes until they’re slightly wet. Next, add in the smoked paprika and salt, and continue to fry for 3-4 minutes until they are dry, stirring and scraping up the spices from the bottom as you go.

Mix together the mashed potatoes, mushrooms and tofu cottage cheese. Check it for seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste.

How to fold pierogi

Split the vegan pierogi dough into two pieces. On a lightly floured surface, roll out one piece until it is around 2mm thick. Use a circular cookie cutter or the open side of a glass to cut out circles. I make mine around 8-9cm wide and this makes 28 pierogies. Roll small balls out of the filling and place one in the middle of each circle. 

One by one, pick up each circle of dough and fold it in half over the ball of filling. Press down around the edges to seal it in a half moon shape. If your dough is too dry and not sticking together, you can use your finger to dab a little water along the seal. Use a fork to fully seal the pierogi around the edges. Repeat for all of your pierogies!

How to cook vegan pierogi ruskie

All of the filling is already cooked in these pierogi ruskie, so you will just need to cook the dumpling dough. Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Add the pierogi in batches, making sure not to overcrowd the pan. Bring the water to a simmer, and once the pierogis have come to the surface, cook for 3 more minutes before removing them with a slotted spoon.

You can eat the pierogi as they are, but I love to crisp them up in the oven or in the pan. To oven cook them, preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Line up the boiled pierogies on a lined baking sheet, and brush them with a little oil. Bake them for 15 minutes until crispy.

My favourite way to finish them off is to fry them, as you get a combination of soft and crispy dough. To fry them, heat up a little bit of olive oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the pierogies. Fry them for around 3 minutes on each side until they are golden and crispy.

Serving suggestions

Tofu and potato pierogi make for a really filling meal, so don’t really need to be served with anything at all. It’s common to top pierogi with some chopped fried or caramelized onions, which I would definitely recommend (I love using vegan butter for this!). I like to put a big dollop of dairy free plain yoghurt or sour cream on top of mine, and sprinkle them with some chopped chives or dill.

Overhead photograph of two plates of pierogi

Can I prepare pierogi in advance?

Yes! These are great for feeding a crowd as it can all be prepared in advance. The filling can be made up to 3 days ahead of time and kept in the fridge in an airtight container. 

You can prepare the vegan pierogi dough 24 hours in advance if you keep it tightly wrapped. If any air gets to it, it will dry out and will be difficult to roll. Keep it in the fridge but bring it out to room temperature an hour before rolling.

The filled pierogies can also be made a couple of days in advance, and stored between layers of baking paper in an airtight container in the fridge. When you’re ready to eat, all you need to do is boil them!

Can I freeze pierogi?

There are several stages at which you could freeze these vegan pierogi. Firstly, you can make up the filling and freeze this in an airtight container. It will keep for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to make pierogi, defrost the filling in the fridge overnight. Make the fresh dough, and fill your pierogi with the defrosted filling.

The next option is to store the fully made pierogi before the boiling stage. Layer them up in an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months. You can cook them from frozen in a pot of boiling water just like you normally would. Wait for them to rise to the surface and then give them another 3 minutes.

You can also boil them, and freeze them once they have cooled down. They will stick together when they are cooked, so you will need to either layer them with baking paper, or freeze them in a single layer. They won’t stick together once frozen, so you can move them to a container or bag. Cook them in the same way as above, but you can remove them as soon as they float to the top.

Two plates of pierogi ruskie

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Two plates of vegan pierogi with vegan sour cream

Vegan Pierogi with Potato, Tofu, and Smoky Mushrooms

Chloe from Forkful of Plants
Prep Time 40 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 55 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Polish
Servings 4
These vegan pierogi mimic traditional Polish pierogi ruskie, with mashed potato, tofu cottage cheese, and smoky mushroom bits. Eat them as they are, or enjoy them as fried or baked pierogi!

Ingredients
  

For the vegan pierogi dough

  • 250 g all purpose flour ~2 cups
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 120 ml warm water

For the vegan pierogi ruskie filling

  • 200 g potatoes peeled and roughly chopped
  • 200 g firm tofu
  • 2 tbsp dairy-free plain yoghurt
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • ½ tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tbsp oil
  • 120 g mushrooms finely chopped
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp smoked salt

Instructions
 

For the vegan pierogi dough

  • Mix together the flour and the salt in a large bowl. Add the water slowly, mixing the flour and water until it comes together into a dough. 
  • Knead the dough on a floured work surface for 3-4 minutes until it is smooth. It will get dryer as you knead it, so you can add a splash more water if it feels dry. If it still feels wet and sticky after kneading, add a little bit of flour.

To make the vegan pierogi ruskie filling

  • Add the potatoes to a microwave safe bowl with a splash of water in the bottom. Cover them, allowing a small escape for steam. Microwave on high for 4 minutes until soft. Mash until smooth and season with salt and pepper to taste*.
  • To make the tofu cottage cheese, squeeze a bit of water out of the tofu with your hands. Add it to a large bowl, and mash it up roughly with a fork.
  • To the tofu, add the yoghurt, nutritional yeast, apple cider vinegar and salt. Mix well until it resembles the texture of cottage cheese.
  • To make the mushrooms, heat the oil in a large frying pan. Add the mushrooms, and fry over a medium-high heat for 2 minutes until slightly wet.
  • Add in the smoked paprika and salt, and fry for 3-4 minutes until dry, stirring and scraping up the spices from the bottom as you go.
  • Mix together the mashed potatoes, mushrooms and tofu cottage cheese. Check for seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste.

To fold the pierogi

  • Split the dough into two pieces. On a lightly floured surface, roll out one piece to ~2mm thick. Use a circular cookie cutter or a glass to cut out 8-9cm circles.
  • Roll small balls out of the filling and place one in the middle of each circle. 
  • Pick up a circle of dough and fold it in half over the ball of filling. Press down around the edges to seal it in a half moon shape. If the dough is too dry and not sticking together, you can use your finger to dab a little water along the seal.
  • Use a fork to fully seal the pierogi around the edges. Repeat for each circle.

To cook the pierogi

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Add the pierogi in batches, making sure not to overcrowd the pan. Bring the water to a simmer, and once the pierogis have come to the surface, cook for 3 more minutes before removing them with a slotted spoon.

Notes

*If you don’t have a microwave, you can also boil or steam the potatoes until soft, around 10 minutes.
FURTHER COOKING INSTRUCTIONS (OPTIONAL)
You can eat the pierogi as they are, but I love to crisp them up in the oven or in the pan. To oven cook them, preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Line up the boiled pierogies on a lined baking sheet, and brush them with a little oil. Bake them for 15 minutes until crispy.
My favourite way to finish them off is to fry them, as you get a combination of soft and crispy dough. To fry them, heat up a little bit of olive oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the pierogies. Fry them for around 3 minutes on each side until they are golden and crispy.

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