(Last Updated On: March 17, 2023)
I learned how to make the original dry curd cottage cheese pierogi recipe from my Polish mother-in-law more than 50 years ago. But for some time now, the company stopped making the dry curd cheese my mother-in-law used in her pierogi recipe. For whatever their reasons, I don’t know.
So, for our love of pierogi, we had to improvise and come up with another pierogi recipe that would taste the same as my mother-in-law’s original recipe! And lo and behold, we did! They taste as good or even better than before, and I am going to show you how to do it with this wonderful recipe.
We have also enjoyed many more recipes passed down from my mother-in-law including cabbage rolls, pork chops and sauerkraut, and Polish potato dumplings.
Everyone that I have given this recipe to makes it with large curd cottage cheese now, which is the best thing that could have happened to this pierogi recipe and to us! We love our pierogi.
🍴 Key Ingredients
Large Curd Cheese Mixture
- 2 containers of large curd cottage cheese (24 ounces each)
- 1 large egg
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
Pierogi Dough for the Dumplings
- 2 and 1/2 cups of flour (all-purpose)
- 4 large eggs
- 1/4 teaspoon of salt
- 1/3 cup of water
Ingredients for the Last Step of the Pierogi Recipe
- 1/2 cup of unsalted butter (regular butter is okay)
👩🍳 How to Make Cottage Cheese Pierogi (Step-by-Step Instructions with Detailed Photos)
Step 1. Prepare the Large Curd Cottage Cheese
To begin with, put two 24-ounce containers of large curd cottage cheese into a large bowl. Then, slowly add cold water from the tap into the bowl with the cottage cheese.
Stir the cottage cheese around in the bowl very carefully because we do not want to break up the large curd cheese. In other words, what we are doing is removing or “washing” the creamy dressing part of the cottage cheese away from the curd cheese to produce dry cottage cheese.
Note: Do not use regular cottage cheese. The curds are too small and they will break apart into crumbs and mush.
Step 2. Drain the Large Curd Cottage Cheese
Next, place a colander in the sink and drain the water from the curd cheese. Then, put the curd cheese back into the bowl, add more cold water, and wash it again. All of the creamy dressing must be rinsed off of the curd cheese. Also, remember to be extra careful not to break up the curd cheese. Drain the water again from the curd cheese.
Step 3. Beat the Egg
In a separate bowl, beat 1 egg and then add 1/8 teaspoon of salt to the beaten egg.
Step 4. Combine Beaten Egg and Large Curd Cottage Cheese
Very carefully stir the beaten egg and salt together with the large curd cottage cheese. Be careful not to break up the curd cheese. Then set it aside in the refrigerator for now.
Step 5. Prepare the Flour Mixture
This is a very simple dough made with eggs, water, flour, and salt. So, to get started, in a small bowl, or medium-sized bowl, beat the 4 eggs. Do not separate the egg whites from the egg yolks. Then add 1/3 cup of water together with the beaten eggs and mix well.
Slowly add 2 and 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour and 1/4 teaspoon of salt (photo not shown) together with the wet ingredients (the beaten eggs and water).
Step 6. Knead the Dough
Dust a cutting board or countertop with flour and put a dusting of flour over the dough. Form the dough into a ball shape. The pierogi dough should be smooth dough and very soft, not stiff. The longer you work the dough, the harder the dough will become, hence, the tougher the dumplings will be.
Note: At this point, if you are busy with life and need a break, you can wrap the dough in plastic wrap and put it in the refrigerator for a few hours for later use until you are ready to continue this recipe.
Step 7. Roll out the Dough
On a lightly floured surface, roll dough from the center out using a rolling pin, Keep rolling out the dough until it is approximately an eighth of an inch thick. When rolling out the dough, try not to overwork it as this will make the dough tough and stiff.
Step 8. Cut the Dough
This next step is to choose one of two methods of cutting the dough to prepare the dumplings. I have used both methods many times, but when I’m in a hurry, the easy way is so much quicker. Either method you choose, the pierogi will taste the same.
The Original Way: Cut dough into 2 and 1/2 half inch circles with a round cookie cutter, or biscuit cutter. You can even use a cup if need be. Then fill each circle of dough with a spoonful of the cottage cheese, fold the circle of dough in half, and crimp the edges, sort of like how you would make cheese-filled ravioli. Cook in hot water for 13 minutes. After that, rinse the dumplings in a colander under cold water and let them completely drain. Then put them back into the pot, add the butter, and reheat stirring constantly until hot. That’s it.
There will probably be leftover curd cheese, so just toss it in with the cooked dumplings in the last step when the butter is added. Also, this method takes longer to do, and most of the time some of the dumplings will “spring a leak” so to speak, while they are boiling in the water, and the curd cheese may fall out of some of the dumplings.
The Easy Way: Cut the dough into little square shapes (or circles) about one and a half to two inches in size. I used a pizza cutter. Do not fill the dough with the large curd cheese. Each shape does not have to be the exact same size. I will be doing the easy way for this recipe, and if you are too then follow the next steps below.
Step 9. Sprinkle with Flour
Keep just a little dusting of flour on the outside of the dough so the dough won’t stick to your hands.
Step 10. Shake off Excess Flour
Shake most of the flour off of the dumpling dough and place them on a plate, that way it is much easier to carry the plate to the stove when it’s time to add the dumpling dough to the boiling water, discussed in the next step.
Step 11. Boil Pierogi Dumplings
Put a large pot of lightly salted water (about 1/8 teaspoon of salt) on the stove. Then bring the water to a boil. When the water starts boiling, reduce the heat to medium-high and start putting the dumpling dough into the hot water, stirring all the while. Cook the dumplings for about 13 minutes. You can stop stirring after all of the dumplings have been added to the hot water.
Tip: Even though the heat is reduced to medium-high, it will still be boiling water, but not so much as to overflow out of the pot. Believe me, the first time I made these, which was so many years ago, I was probably 19 and didn’t listen to my mother-in-law. So if you don’t turn the heat down a bit, that large pot of water with the dumplings in it will overflow, and that is a big mess to clean up.
Step 12. Rinse the Dumplings
After the dumplings have cooked for 13 minutes, turn the heat off. Then place a colander in the sink and use a slotted spoon to transfer the dumplings out of the boiling water and into the colander. Discard the remaining hot water that is left in the pot into the sink. Then let the dumplings drain in the colander while running cold water over them. The cold water rinses off the starchy build-up that has formed around the dumplings.
After rinsing the dumplings in cold water, drain excess water out of the dumplings while they sit in the colander for a few minutes to make sure all of the water has drained off.
Tip: While the colander is in the sink, you can pick up the pot of hot water with the dumplings in it and dump it into the colander instead of using the slotted spoon. Warning: But be very careful. The pot will be very heavy and also very hot! Be sure to wear heat-resistant oven mitts.
Step 13. Add the Butter and the Large Curd Cheese
Use the large pot that you cooked the dumplings in and add 1/2 cup of butter to it. Let the butter melt for just a couple of minutes or less, then transfer pierogi out of the colander and back into the pot. Add the curd cheese together with the butter and the pierogi dumplings. Cook on medium heat for about five minutes, stirring constantly until all ingredients are thoroughly heated through.
⭐️ Recipe Variations
- Sprinkle some black pepper on the cottage cheese pierogi when you add the butter in the last step.
- Shake some red pepper flakes on the pierogi right before you start to eat them.
- Pour a little bit of tomato sauce on your plate of pierogi.
- Pour some maple syrup on your plate with the pierogi.
- Put a dollop of sour cream on top of the pierogi.
- Sprinkle a bit of parmesan cheese on the pierogi before serving.
- After the butter is added, put some olive oil in a frying pan and fry the pierogi until nice and crispy with a golden brown color and crunch to them.
Basically, pierogi are dumplings with a filling inside of them. There are a variety of fillings that can be put inside the dumplings. A few examples are meat filling, farmers cheese, mashed potatoes together with cheese, or fried onions. The pierogi that I make are filled with large curd cottage cheese.
There are also many different names that folks call these little dumplings. I have learned over the years that pierogi is plural for more than one dumpling, and pierog is one dumpling. Some other names, just to mention a few are, pirogi, perogi, perogie, pierogy, and perogy.
Put any leftover pierogi in a plastic container with a lid on it, or a bowl with plastic wrap. These pierogi can be in the refrigerator for about 3 days, then they must be eaten, put in the freezer, or tossed out in the trash.
Yes, you can freeze leftover cottage cheese pierogi. Put them in a freezer-safe airtight container for about three months. Thaw, then reheat in the microwave until hot.
💭 Final Thoughts
When we make homemade cottage cheese pierogi for dinner, we have baked ham along with a buttered green bean black pepper dish. The combination tastes fantastic together. These pierogi taste great all by themselves too.
Pierogi is often served during special occasions, but we love to eat these any time of the year. Our pierogi recipe is different than a lot of others out there, but pierogi are often made with many variations and the chef’s own special touch and unique ingredients. Even though pierogi is a popular dish in northern Europe, they have also gained popularity in many countries around the world including the United States, Canada, and Australia.
💖 More Recipes You Will Love
- For dessert try these amazing homemade brownies. You won’t be disappointed. They are loaded with chocolate!
- This delicious and easy-to-make Mississippi mud pie is to die for.
- One of our special favorite desserts is this fantastic sugar cream pie. It is so easy to make and so good!
📄 Recipe Card
Cottage Cheese Pierogi
Large Curd Cottage Cheese Mixture
- 2 containers large curd cottage cheese (24 ounces each)
- 1 egg (beaten)
- 1/8 tsp table salt
Pierogi Flour Dumplings
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 4 eggs (beaten)
- 1/4 tsp table salt
- 1/3 cup water
The Last Step
- 1/2 cup butter
Prepare the Large Curd Cottage Cheese
- Put the containers of cottage cheese into a medium-sized bowl.
- Use cold water to rinse off all of the creamy dressing parts of the cottage cheese. Do this carefully so as not to break up the curd cheese.
- Drain the water out using a colander then put the curd cheese back into the bowl and wash it again. All of the creamy dressing must be rinsed off. Remember to be careful with the curd cheese. Drain the water out again. Let curd cheese sit for a few minutes in the colander so all water can drain off of the curd cheese.
- In a different bowl, beat the egg and add the salt to the egg.
- Very carefully stir in the beaten egg and salt with the large curd cheese. Then put the curd cheese in the refrigerator for now.
Prepare the Flour Mixture
- Beat the eggs in a medium-sized bowl. Add the water. Then add the flour and salt. Form dough into a ball shape. The dough should be very soft, not stiff.
- Dust a countertop or cutting board with flour. Put a dusting of flour over the dough.
- Flatten the dough by rolling it from the center out until it is approximately an eighth of an inch thick. Try not to overwork the dough.
Cut the Dough
- Easy Way: Cut the dough into squares approximately one and a half to two inches in size. Original Way: Cut round circles about 2 and 1/2 inches with a cookie cutter or cup. Fill each circle with cottage cheese. Fold the dough in half and crimp the edges. This method takes longer and a lot of the cottage cheese may fall out of the dumpling during boiling.
Cook the Dumplings
- Bring a big pot of water to a boil. Add about 1/8 teaspoon of salt to the water. Then reduce heat to medium-high and start adding the flour dumplings to the boiling water, stirring all the time. If you have a stove that produces hotter heat than mine, you may have to turn the heat down so the contents don't overflow out of the pot.
- Cook the dumplings for about 13 minutes.
- Rinse and drain the dumplings under cold water. Discard any water left in the pot.
The Last Step
- Put the butter in the pot. Let it melt a bit. Put the dumplings back in the pot. Add the large curd cottage cheese mixture. On medium heat cook until all ingredients are thoroughly heated through, about 5 minutes. Stir constantly.
- Make it a complete dinner with pierogi, baked ham, and buttered green beans sprinkled with black pepper.
A wife, a mother to a son and a daughter, and a grandmother to three granddaughters. Flo loves sharing recipes passed down from her own mother, her mother-in-law, and her grandmother as well as new recipes created with her daughter, Tamara Ray.
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