Monday, January 7, 2013

Pierogi Casserole

Pierogies are one of my all time favorite things.  In fact, when Caitlin was visiting me in Chicago we ventured over to the Polish neighborhood to pick some up.  We have our Polish heritage in common as well as a deep love for potatoes, pasta, cheese and butter.  

The last time Charlie and I went to get pierogies it was a disaster.  We swung by our favorite Polish restaurant and asked if we could get some of their meat pierogies in bulk.  The lady came out with a GIANT bag and we were thrilled.  Until we realized that only about 1 in 5 of the pierogies were meat.  The rest were cherry.  Charlie dubbed dinner time "pierogi roulette."  Good times. 

Before I continue, I must provide a disclaimer.  If you have any new years' resolutions that don't include gaining 10 lbs, pick up your computer and throw it out the window because this recipe is going to totally mess. you. up.   

I was reading one of my fav food blogs, How Sweet Eats and stumbled across her pierogi casserole.  Child, this girl is cray cray. 

Here are the ingredients: 

5-6 Medium Yukon Gold Potatoes (or 10-12 small ones), peeled, quartered
1 Box of Farfalle, cooked for 8 minutes 
8 oz Cheddar Cheese, freshly grated 
1/4 Cup of Mascarpone Cheese 
1/4 Cup of Milk 
1 Onion, diced 
1 Stick of Butter 
Salt & Pepper 

Begin by simmering your potatoes for 15-17 minutes or until fork tender. 

Next, melt two tablespoons of the butter in a saute pan ...

...and add your onions.  If you are familiar with pierogies, you know that they often serve them with caramelized onions on top.  This is totally optional, but definitely adds that authentic pierogi flavor to the casserole. 

Please, please, please don't use preshredded cheese.  It makes me sad and tastes like death.  Buy a block and spend the milliseconds it takes to shred some up.  It's totally worth it.  I swear.

When the potatoes are done cooking, drain them but keep them in their original pan to cook off any extra moisture.  Next, add most of the cheddar cheese (leave some to top the casserole later), mascarpone cheese, caramelized onions, the milk, and 6 tablespoons of butter.

 Mash 'em until they are super smooth.  If it's a little dry, add some more milk.  This is the base of the casserole so just make sure it has lots of flava.  Season generously with salt and pepper.  Taste.  Good?  Good.  Too good. 

Cook the pasta for a few minutes less than normal.  I cooked mine for 8 minutes.  It was very al dente, but we're going to be cooking it more in the oven so you don't want it to be mush. This is totally optional, but I threw in a little more cheese.  STOP JUDGING ME.

So...I added more cheese to the top and...ahem...more butter.  Mostly because I have mental problems and because I thought it would taste good.

After 25 minutes in a 375 degree oven...THIS IS WHAT I GOT.  See that golden brown crispy cheese?  That's how I know Jesus loves me.

You totally don't have to, but I would suggest serving this as a side.  It's so delicious but also so rich.  A small amount goes a long way.

I don't know how this is possible, but my mouth just started watering.  It's just weird because I ate half the casserole about an hour ago.  So I should be full...right?

Normally I would garnish something like this with green onions or parsley or something green just to take away from the fact that this has negative nutritional value.  The only thing I have in my house that's green right now is kale.  Kale and this casserole shouldn't be together.  In fact, they shouldn't be in the same stratosphere.  So instead, I just used a green casserole dish.  Who is the problem solver NOW?

Alright peeps...I hope you enjoyed today's program.  Stay hungry!


  1. Wow.. Any food with multiple starches is my beeeeest friend. Not sure if you know of the triple starch, but my friends introduced me to it when I moved to Indiana: Biscuits covered in mashed potatoes and topped with chicken flavored egg noodles. Sounds disgusting until you try it and then your blood sugar is like "WOW MARVELOUS"!. Oh, and do you happen to know what I can do about my cheese grater issue: I hate the pre-shredded crap but I don't have a dishwasher and trying to hand wash a cheese grater is a nightmare. I shred all of my cleaning apparatuses with it trying to get it clean and then it sits in my sink when I give up, thus rusting it. I literally use a new cheese grater every time I need to grate cheese.

    1. The triple threat actually sounds really good. :) Boxed graters are impossible to clean - check out the grater I have in the pic. Get one that has a single panel - they are MUCH easier to clean. Just soak it in hot soapy water and then clean with an abrasive sponge. Should do the trick!

  2. Jaisa-thanks for inspiring our dinner! Just added chicken sausage and asparagus for a complete all-in-one casserole...all three of us devoured it, Griff couldn't blow on each bite fast enough to cool it down so he could inhale it! Nate said it was so rich and delicious,"our insides are now coated." Very yummy!

    1. Yes Lesley! So glad to hear it. It's definitely a "stick to your ribs" kind of dish.


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