Pierogi Casserole

This meal is not among the fanciest of dishes but it is by far one of the most reminiscent meals I make. I know I say that about a lot of foods lately but ideally what I’m trying to experiment with as of lately is foods that I did appreciate as a kid, but with the volume cranked! When I was little my step mom used to make a lot of casseroles, this pierogi casserole was one of my favorites. Part of being in a military family these cheap and hearty meals were not only a necessity but sometimes even a treat. Not only did casseroles help out the budget but with both adults working these casseroles and one pot dishes allowed us to have something quick and hearty on the table for supper time. In the end whats truly important is having the ability to share meals with my children as long as I can. Sharing foods with my family that I had as a kid only reminds me more of how crucial it is to grow as a family and never forget how important we all are to one another.

Pierogi Casserole:

Just as with home made pierogi playing with the fillings are a great way to make this dish slightly different. You can use goat cheese, cheddar cheese, cooked cabbage, saurkraut, (sausage or bacon) or really just about any fillings you’d like. Its really up to your own tastes and what you have on hand. Without meat its a good hearty vegeterian main course.

  • 9 no boil lasagna noodles

Potato Filling:

  • 4 pounds of potatoes
  • 4-6 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2-2 teaspoons pepper ( I use A LOT!)
  • 4 ounces of softened cream cheese
  • 1/2-1 cup shredded white cheddar cheese
  • 2-3 tablespoons limburger cheese spread
  • 1/2 cup milk (as needed)

Top Layer:

  • 2 eggs
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large dish place the no boil lasagna noodles. Cover with boiling water and a few teaspoons of flavorless oil. Allow to rest for a few minutes just to soften. I soften the noodles while I prepare the fillings. These are no boil noodles but since this is a potato filling there is not enough moisture in the dish to cook the noodles properly.

To prepare the potato filling wash and cut about 4 pounds of potatoes. Place in cold water with a generous portion of salt (1 tablespoon) bring to a boil and cook until tender. I do not peel my potatoes but if you would like a smoother filling you can peel them. Drain the potatoes and combine with salt, pepper, cheeses and butter. Using a potato masher or an electric mixture combine. Be sure not to over beat them if your using an electric mixer you could make them gluey and un-pleasant. To loosen the mixture add milk as desired approximately 1/2 cup. You will want it to be the consistency of a loose pancake batter almost. It will be baking in the oven and the noodles will absorb some of the moisture.

To prepare the top layer combine eggs, cream cheese, sour cream, salt and pepper. Beat together until mixed entirely. To prepare and layer the casserole drizzle a slight amount of extra virgin olive oil on the very bottom of the pan I use a rectangular baker thats about 13×9, you’ll want to drizzle about 2 teaspoons to 1 tablespoon. Using a slotted spoon or your fingers remove one noodle at a time and layer it on top of the oil. If your using no bake  noodles it will be 3 noodles per layer. Spoon about 1/3 of the potato mixture on top of the noodles. Do this until you’ve made 3 layers of noodles and have little to no remaining potato filling, the final layer before the egg and sour cream mixture should be potatoes. Smear the top layers mixture for the top layer over top of the potatoes. Bake for 30-45 minutes until the top has slightly browned and set up.

Serve with sour cream, caramelized onions and caraway seeds

Quickie Caramelized onions:

  • 2-3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 medium onions sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds slightly crushed (optional)

Melt butter and saute onions. Add vinegar, sugar, salt, pepper and water. Simmer over medium low heat until onions have softened entirely. Once the onions are soft raise the heat to medium or medium high. Cook gently until the onions are somewhat crisp and a medium dark brown color.