Perogies are classic comfort food. These pockets of dough are often stuffed with mashed potatoes, fried onions, sauerkraut, bacon, mushrooms, spinach, and cheese.
When we think of the word dumplings, our mind almost automatically goes to Asian cooking. But, did you know that Europe also has its version of these little stuffed dough pockets? Pierogi, or perogies, are half-moon dumplings brought to us by the Polish.
Perogies are made with either flour or pastry dough and are traditionally stuffed with cheese and potatoes. Some variations have meat fillings such as pork, veal, beef, chicken, fish, and even lamb, duck, and goose.
Others prefer stuffing them with vegetables such as mushrooms, sauerkraut, spinach, and broccoli. They don’t come in solely savory stuffings though – they can also be stuffed with sweet fruits such as berries, apricots, and apples for a satisfying dessert.
And while of course, nothing beats home-cooked meals, it’s just so much easier to buy frozen perogies from the grocery. Sure, they may not be as good as homemade, but if you whip up a great topping or side dish to go with it, they quickly transform into a stunning meal!
Another great thing about perogies is their versatility. You don’t have to strictly serve European dishes to go with it. There are many ways you can elevate your store-bought perogies, and I’m here to tell you about them.
So, if you’re scratching your head trying to figure out what to serve with perogies, worry no more! I’ve got you covered. Here are 10 savory side dishes that will transform your perogies into an unforgettable meal.
1. Bacon and Onions
Let’s start with a traditional Polish topping. Cheese and potato perogies are usually topped with crisp and smoky bacon and sweet caramelized onions. This topping has a wonderful balance of sweet and savory and tastes amazing with the dumplings.
To make, fry bacon in a pan. Take the bacon out, and saute some onions in the bacon grease. Add some butter for more flavor, and season with salt and pepper. Pour a bit of beer as it helps soften and caramelize the onions.
For an earthy flavor, add some fresh herbs such as rosemary, basil, parsley, and thyme.
2. Sour Cream, Onions, and Mushroom
Sour cream and onions are another traditional pierogi topping, but you can enhance the flavor even further by adding some earthy mushrooms!
Combine wild mushrooms such as red pine and porcini with onions, saute them in butter, and season them with your favorite herbs and spices. Top your pierogi with the sauteed veggies and add a dollop of sour cream.
This Polish smoked sausage is ridiculously plump and juicy, and it tastes fantastic with perogies!
To prepare, place pierogi and kielbasa on a sheet pan. Add some onions and bell peppers coated in olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper. Pop this baby in the oven and bake for 15 minutes.
Don’t have kielbasa on hand? Don’t be afraid to be experimental and explore other sausage options.
4. Carrots, Parsnip, Brussels Sprouts
This trio of vegetables taste oh so good together. You’ve got earthy parsnips, nutty Brussels sprouts, and sweet carrots giving you the perfect combination of flavors and colors. It’s exactly what your savory pierogi needs!
Drizzle the veggies with some maple syrup for that extra dose of sweetness that will enhance the whole side dish even further. Pop it in the oven to caramelize and crisp up the vegetables.
5. Cucumber Salad
Cucumbers are cool and crisp, and they give a beautiful contrast to the richness and tenderness of perogies. So, for a delicious side dish, how about a Greek cucumber salad?
Combine cucumber slices, red onions, dill, oregano, and Greek yogurt. For the dressing, combine olive oil, vinegar, and lemon juice. So refreshing.
6. Cabbage and Bacon
Cook up some cabbage to give your perogies a touch of green. It gives your tender dish a nice crunch as well.
Cabbage isn’t the tastiest of vegetables though, but no worries, because that’s what the bacon is for. It will give the cabbage a wonderful smoky and salty flavor that makes for a deliciously savory salad.
To prepare, fry bacon chunks and saute the cabbage in the grease. Add some butter for more flavor if you wish. You can also season it with garlic powder and paprika for more excitement! That’s it – it’s simple, but the flavors are phenomenal.
Yup, you read that right, nachos! No need to get a bag of nacho chips, though, because that’s what the perogies are for.
For this Mexican twist, deep fry your dumplings to get crisp dumplings that will double as nachos. Then load the perogies with your favorite nacho toppings – tomatoes, jalapenos, beans, and cheese… lots and lots of cheese.
Top it with a dollop of sour cream and guacamole and you’ve got yourself a wonderful fusion of European and Hispanic flavors.
8. Cranberry Relish
Cranberry relish has that wonderful blend of sweet and tangy, and it goes well with savory perogies. Not only do the flavor profiles complement each other, but the cranberries also give your plate a nice pop of color.
9. Slow Roasted Tomatoes
Another simple dish that will complement your perogies is slow-roasted tomatoes. Roasting tomatoes will enhance their flavor without being too overpowering. Perfect for your Pierogies!
It might take a while to cook, but it doesn’t take much effort. Just slice tomatoes in two and place them on a baking tray, skin-side down. Add a piece of garlic on the tomatoes and top them with olive oil and vinegar.
Last, sprinkle a bit of sugar, salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for an hour. What you get are sweet and juicy tomatoes with a beautiful char on the outside.
10. Butter, Sugar, and Cream
This last topping is perfect for fruit-filled Pierogies. Sprinkle some powdered sugar on your sweet perogies and add a dollop of butter and whipped cream.
These simple additions will take your humble pierogi into a whole new level of delicious! You can also add some chocolate shavings for added aesthetic and flavor.