Love traditional pierogi but can’t find vegan options?
You’re not alone.
Luckily, the world of vegan pierogi is diverse and delicious. In this article, I’ll introduce you to some of the most popular vegan pierogi recipes. So fasten your seatbelts, and let’s explore how to make plant-based pierogi.
A classic pierogi consists of two main components: the dough and the filling. So, to make it vegan, all you need is a pierogi dough free from eggs or dairy and a plant-based filling.
Let’s start with the dough.
Step 1: Make Pierogi Dough
While there’s an abundance of pierogi dough recipes out there, with each one seemingly having its group of devotees, I advocate for simplicity.
In my guide to homemade pierogi, I encourage you to perfect one pierogi dough recipe and pair it with various fillings. By mastering the dough, you can direct your creativity towards the filling.
For this purpose, I recommend my vegan pierogi dough. This recipe, which is my go-to, is straightforward and uses everyday ingredients like all-purpose flour, oil, salt, and boiling water.
Whip up a batch in about 15 minutes, cover it in plastic wrap, and let it rest for at least 30 minutes before crafting your pierogi pockets.
(Refer to the pierogi dough article linked above for a comprehensive walkthrough of the dough-making process.)
With the dough ready, let’s shift our focus to the fillings.
Step 2: Choose a Vegan Filling
Below are seven vegan pierogi fillings. While some are inherently vegan, others need slight tweaks to omit or replace animal-derived ingredients.
But before we begin, here’s a handy list of substitutions:
- Oil for butter. If a recipe calls for butter, simply switch to cooking oil. One caveat here: pierogi taste great topped with melted butter, but I don’t recommend topping them with oil. That just makes them greasy. Choose a different topping option, please.
- Vegan cream cheese. I use cream cheese in a couple of pierogi recipes, and you can easily substitute it with a vegan alternative. If you don’t have a favorite yet, here are a few options for you: one from NoraCooks.com, one from Simple-Veganista.com (both based on cashews), and one tofu-based from TheHiddenVeggies. Or you can always go with a store-bought option.
Now, onto the fillings, starting with the savory selections.
For lentil enthusiasts, this filling might be a dream come true. Simply cook lentils, sauté an onion, combine, and season to taste. Simple, yet delicious.
My lentil pierogi recipe is vegan from the get-go, so you can use the recipe as-is.
Cooked spinach is another popular option for vegan pierogi.
While my recipe suggests mixing spinach with feta, it’s possible to omit the feta cheese and stick to a spinach and garlic combo. That means your filling will be similar to this garlic-sauteed spinach recipe.
Also, if you like your sauteed spinach with some extra spices or a diced onion, go with that. The goal is to make the spinach tasty while making the filling malleable enough to be shaped but firm enough to hold its own. As long as your spinach filling checks that box, you’re good.
Potato and Cheese
Potato and cheese is one of the classic pierogi fillings. And while here in Poland we use farmer’s cheese, cream cheese works just as well. And as you already know, you can easily sub in a vegan alternative, making it a viable option for all the vegans out there.
With the savory variations out of the way, let’s cover some sweet pierogi options.
Apples are readily available all year long, so apple pierogi are a great option no matter the season.
The recipe for the filling is super simple: just cut up apples, sauteed for 10 minutes or so, and mixed with a couple of spices to make them taste even better. That’s all you need.
If you’re looking for a topping option, sour cream is my go-to. But since we’re talking about vegan pierogi here, you can easily sub in a few dollops of plant-based yogurt. Just choose one that’s thick and tangy for best results.
Blueberry pierogi are another classic and definitely worth trying if you’ve never had them. All you need is blueberries, sugar, cornstarch, and lemon juice, and a saucepan to cook the filling in.
The great thing about the recipe is that it works well for both fresh and frozen blueberries, making it a great option all year round.
If you’re looking for an easy topping, save some of the blueberries, process them using an immersion blender, season to taste using sugar and lemon juice, and combine that with a few teaspoons of vegan yogurt.
Much like their blueberry counterparts, strawberry pierogi are a treat, and the process of cooking the filling is the same.
The only difference is that if you have fresh strawberries on hand, you can simply wrap them using the pierogi dough without chopping and cooking the filling first. It’s a simplified version that doesn’t taste as good as the cooked one, but it’s much easier for beginners.
To top these, go with the same berry sauce I described for blueberry pierogi, or check out my guide to pierogi toppings for more options.
Sweet (Vegan) Cheese
My sweet cheese pierogi recipe uses cream cheese as part of its base, and as I mentioned above, you can sub in any of the vegan cream cheese alternatives you like, making the recipe vegan-friendly.
This recipe is great because it allows you to flavor the filling however you like. Sure, you can stick to the options I describe in the article, but nothing stops you from customizing it to your liking. Got some delicious chocolate syrup or fruit jelly? Use it.
If you have some vegan cream cheese in the fridge and some white rice in the pantry, give this one a try.
Plum pierogi are as simple to make as it gets: you halve and pit the plums, sprinkle some sugar, and wrap the fruits with the dough. Then, all that’s left is to cook the dumplings and enjoy them as a dessert or a sweet dinner.
That wraps up our vegan pierogi fillings list. I hope you found at least one or two that you want to try out.
Step 3: Make Pierogi
Once your dough and filling are prepped, you’re all set to craft your vegan pierogi. Each recipe linked above describes the process in detail, so I won’t repeat everything here.
If you’re a first-timer, I strongly suggest you check out my beginner’s guide to homemade pierogi. It covers everything you need to know about making pierogi and links to any other pierogi-related resources we have available.