I considered opening this post with a Polish joke. You know, something along the lines of An Irishman, a German, and a Polish man walk into a bar… But, comedy is not my strong suit and I can never quite remember the punchline to jokes. Or, I remember only the punchline, but haven’t the foggiest idea of how to get there. Watching me try to tell a joke is often the funniest part of the joke I’m trying to tell. Either way, it’s probably better that I stick to the food and leaves the jokes to the jokers.
My Polish Pie is not really a pie at all, no more so than a shepherd’s pie or a cottage pie qualifies as pie. But the name just seems to fit. The idea first struck me a few weekends ago, when we drove past a local Polish festival. As we waited at the stoplight, tapping our feet to the catchy tunes of a live polka band, the distinct aroma of kielbasa flooded our car. My husband made some quip about pierogies and kielbasa.
And in that moment, an idea began to take shape. Why couldn’t I create a baked pierogi dish, starting with frozen pierogies, in the same way that people make baked ravioli casseroles? Seemed like it should work. And it seemed only logical that the dish should include slices of kielbasa. I decided on sweet, caramelized onions and a rich cheddar cheese sauce to complete the dish.
This is not a pretty dish. It’s got that sort of sloppy, mixed up appearance that most casseroles end up having. (I think I’m going to skip the photo I took of it spooned onto my dinner plate.) But, what it lacks in appearance, it more than makes up for with flavor. Best yet, you can use leftover kielbasa and caramelized onions to make the most fantastic frittata!
Polish Pie Pierogi Bake
- 1 box frozen potato and cheddar pierogies
- 1/2 Polish kielbasa, halved and sliced
- 1 onion, thinly sliced
- 2 1/2 tablespoons butter, divided
- 1 1/2 tablespoons flour
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 1 1/4 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
- Salt and pepper
- 1/4-1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Spray the inside of a baking dish (9×13 or smaller) with cooking spray. Line the bottom of the dish with the frozen pierogies.
To prepare the onions, heat one tablespoon of butter in pan over medium heat. Add the onions. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onions are tender, sweet, and golden brown. Scatter the onions over the frozen pierogies.
Scatter the kielbasa slices over the onions.
To prepare the sauce, melt the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons butter in a pan over medium heat. Stir in the flour until well-blended. Cook for a minute or two. (This is your roux, which will help to thicken the sauce.) Gradually add the milk, whisking until smooth. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook for 2-3 minutes until it begins to thicken. Reduce the heat to low and add the cheddar cheese. Stir until melted. Season with a touch of salt and pepper. (Be careful not to over-salt the sauce, since the kielbasa will add a good amount of salty flavor to the finished dish.)
Pour the sauce over the mixture in the baking dish. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.
Bake for about 40 minutes.
Bonus recipe for leftover kielbasa and caramelized onions:
Kielbasa and Onion Frittata
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly beat 7-8 eggs in a bowl with about 1/4 cup milk. Season with salt and pepper. Heat a tablespoon of butter in an oven-safe skillet over medium heat. Swirl the pan so that the butter coats the bottom and sides. Add the eggs to the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes, until the bottom begins to set. The top should still be quite loose. Scatter leftover slices of kielbasa and caramelized onions into the egg mixture. Place the pan in the oven and bake until the eggs have completely set and the top is golden brown, about 10-15 minutes.
This was so quick and easy to put together! Substituted turkey kielbasa just to keep the fat content down slightly, and it was still great. I love that so many of your recipies allow me to bring the kids into the kitchen to help.
Ok, this is awesome. 🙂 I will try it soon.
This sounds so good….but……………. I’m not a real fan of cheese sauce.
I love sour cream and butter with my pierogies.
Any suggestions for a sauce using these?
Yum! I also love sour cream with pierogies. You could try a sort of stroganoff sauce in the dish. Prepare the roux with 3 tablespoons melted butter and 3 tablespoons flour. Then add about 2 cups of beef stock (maybe a little less for a thicker sauce). Season with salt, pepper and maybe a bit of dijon mustard and/or worcestershire sauce. Add the sour cream at the end. Alternately, you could prepare a white sauce by adding milk to the roux instead of beef stock. Season with salt and pepper. Then add sour cream to taste. Hope those ideas help!
Have you ever made homemade pierogies? They’re so much better than the frozen/boxed kind. I make a big batch at a time and freeze them. Plus the homemade ones costs pennies! Great recipe- I will have to try it with my homemade frozen ones.
I have not made homemade pierogies, but I bet they are delicious! I may need to give it a try sometime!
To be honest as an Englishman living in Poland I am shocked! This recipe breaks all the rules and flies in the face of tradition. I admit though, very creative and I am sure it tastes great. BTW the definition of a pie is something with a top on it:)
You are correct…there is nothing traditional about this dish, but it tastes heavenly!
I was actually looking for a pierogie bake casserole dish that my husband raved about getting from his Polish grandmum when he was a kid. From his description, this does come close to what he may have. Now his diet has changed since then (he is now an octo-lavo vegetarian) so I omitted the kielbasa and up the onions a bit due to our families taste, or motto that ‘every great dish begins with an onion’. And even though he did say it was not quite like the casserole his grandmum made (which I was expecting anyway), he did by a second package of pierogies to request the same casserole again. Even with package pierogies, this recipe is definetly a keeper!
Thank you very much!!
LOL Your recipe huh? That’s pretty funny considering that it’s a classic dish…..
The existence of other pierogi bake recipes doesn’t make this one any less ‘my recipe’. There must be thousands of recipes for marinara sauce out there and yet every day somebody creates their own recipe, using their own proportions of ingredients, their own chosen seasonings, their own preparation methods. This recipe was created without ever seeing, tasting, or referencing another pierogi bake recipe. There may indeed be other similar recipes out there, but this particular one is mine.
Good for you! After reading that comment, I was hoping you’d set her straight. P