As the leaves start to fall and a chill appears in the air everyone goes into pumpkin spice frenzy. The grill is replaced with slow cookers, and sandals are traded for booties. October gives way to another form of comfort food that goes beyond the pumpkin pie. National Pierogi Day happens on October 8th, and its time to look beyond your apple cider.

Pierogies are dumplings with a sweet or savory filling. The dumplings are considered an Eastern European comfort food. Brought to America by Central and Eastern European immigrants. They are usually associated with Polish or Ukrainian cultures. Traditionally the pierogies are made out of unleavened dough, filled most commonly with mashed potatoes, cheese, or onion.

The pierogi craze is not slowing down. Brands like Mrs. T’s Pierogies brought them to the mainstream and developed a large range of enticing fillings. Pierogies were known as “Polish Dumplings” until October 8th, 1952, when Mary Twardzik and her son Ted brought their first samples of Mrs. T’s to his local grocery store. In addition to grocery stores, they are now popping up on menus across the country. Some of the best places to have peorigies in New York City according to Yelp.com are:

  • Veselka, East Village, 144 2nd Ave
  • Polish G.I. Delicatessen, East Village, 109 First Ave
  • Streecha Ukranian Kitchen, East Village, 33 E 7th St
  • Karczma, Greenpoint, 136 Greenpoint Ave
  • Old Traditional Polish Cuisine, Theater District, 51st, 6th and 7th Ave

One place that is offering a more updated version is the recently opened, Baba’s Pierogies in Brooklyn. Although traditionally prepared the jalapeno, bacon and cheddar fillings are welcomed deviations from the norm.

Recipes For National Pierogi Day

If you can’t get to one of these places try your own spin on pierogies by visiting your local supermarket. They can be a great game day appetizer, or side dish to any meal. Try one of these recipes using ready-made pierogies, and celebrate your new favorite dish on October 8th!

Pretzel Crusted Four Cheese Pierogies with Honey Dijon Dipping Sauce

  • 1 Box of Mrs. T’s Four Cheese Medley Pierogies
  • ½ cup of flour
  • 2 cups of unsalted pretzels, crushed into a powder/breadcrumb like texture
  • 2 Eggs, beaten
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  1. In a large non-stick pan heat up the ¼ cup of the vegetable oil over medium to high heat.
  1. Put the pretzels in a food processor and pulse until ground finely into a breadcrumb like consistency. Large chunks won’t fry well!
  1. Place the flour, eggs, and pretzels each separate shallow bowls.
  1. Season the eggs and flour each with salt and pepper.
  1. Working one at a time, dip the pierogies in the flour, then in the egg and, lastly, in the pretzel crumbs, pressing gently to adhere. Note*** You are going have to get your hands dirty! Make sure the egg coats the entire pierogie , its what will help the pretzel stick.
  2. When hot, add half of the pierogies – they should begin to sizzle gently when they hit the pan. Cook until golden brown and cooked through, about 4 minutes per side. Drain on a paper-towel-lined plate.

Honey Dijon Dipping Sauce

  • 1 Tbsp Honey
  • 1/3 cup Dijon Mustard
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  1. Whisk together all ingredients in a shallow bowl. Then serve

Porkchops with Red Cabbage, Apples, and Onion Pierogies

  • 4 Pork Loin Chops
  • 1 Box of Mrs. T’s Original Onion Pierogies
  • 5 pieces of bacon
  • paprika
  • sage
  • thyme
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 6oz shredded red cabbage
  • 2 apples sliced (I used fuji)
  • 1 Spanish Onion, sliced
  • ½ cup apple cider
  • ½ cup vermouth
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  1. Combine 2 tsp. paprika, 1 tsp. fresh or 1/2 tsp. dried thyme, 1 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. pepper, and 1 tsp. fresh or 1/2 tsp. dried sage; rub evenly over pork chops.
  1. Meanwhile, fry the bacon in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat until crisp; remove bacon, and drain on paper towels, reserving drippings in skillet. Then chop up the bacon into small pieces and reserve.
  1. Cook the pork for 5 minutes on each side or until they brown, in the bacon drippings. Remove pork from the pan and set aside.
  2. Add cabbage, onions, apple, and pierogies to pan. Cover and reduce heat to medium; cook, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes, turn the pierogies halfway through so they can brown on each side.. Add tomato paste, apple cider, vermouth, apple cider vinegar, and, bacon. Season the mixture again with 1 tsp. paprika, 1 tsp. fresh or 1/2 tsp. dried thyme, 1 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. pepper, and 1 tsp. fresh or 1/2 tsp. dried sage, scrapping the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Cover and cook 15 minutes or until cabbage is tender and liquid is slightly thickened. Add pork, and cook, uncovered, 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated.
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About The Author

Profile photo of Dina Deleasa-Gonsar
Dish It Girl

Get ready to dish it up! My name is Dina Deleasa-Gonsar and I am so happy to have you join me in my little kitchen of big dreams. You may have seen me appear alongside my family on the E! Networks “Married to Jonas.” As seen during the show food is synonymous with family and life events. I have grown up with Sunday dinner being treated like a weekly holiday. Family dinner is serious business and perhaps a lost art. My formal training comes first and foremost from my mom and grandmother. Along the way I have picked up techniques from various cooking classes from the Institute of Culinary Education and the Ninety Acres Culinary Center. I hope to continue to inspire home cooks to venture out and create meals that are the centerpieces for family time and traditions. I can put on some heels and hit up a 5-star restaurant then, chase down a food truck. Join me as I try to land somewhere between Martha Stewart and my mom in my home cooking and entertaining adventures. If you can dish it, you best believe I can eat it!