Even though I'm the Polish one, Joe is the pierogie lover in our house. I usually just saute them with some olive oil and onions, but when I saw this recipe for baked pierogie casserole on Mary Ellen's blog I thought it would be the perfect way to change things up a bit. Joe bought cheddar and jalapeno flavored pierogies at the store, so I used cheddar cheese in my sauce to compliment them, and I used 3/4 cup skim milk and 1/4 cup light cream in an attempt to keep the fat reasonable. I also reduced the amount of onion in the original recipe because it seemed like a lot to me. This was very good. Creamy and cheesy but also very spicy. I couldn't tell if the heat came from the pierogies themselves or the sauce, but with 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes, my money's on the sauce. I may reduce that amount next time as it was too spicy for my tastes, but Joe really enjoyed it which was what mattered! I ate my pierogies with a grilled turkey sausage and grilled asparagus while Joe had a rare treat -a steak. For both of our dinners, these were a great side!
Baked Pierogie Casserole
1 package frozen pierogies (12 per package)
1/2 onion, sliced
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp flour
1 c light cream or milk (I used 3/4 cup skim milk and 1/4 cup light cream)
Approximately 1 c shredded cheese (I used cheddar)
Preheat oven to 375.
Bring a pot of water to a boil; drop in pierogies and let cook for 3-4 minutes. Transfer 6 to a baking dish (so they cover the bottom), and keep the other 6 aside until you are ready to assemble the casserole. (I cooked six at a time and timed it so my second set of pierogies were done at the same time as my cheese sauce)
Make the cheese sauce: Heat olive oil in a pot. Add all onions and red pepper flakes; saute 2 minutes. Add flour and stir. Add cream/milk and bring to a simmer. Add cheeses, and stir until creamy. Season with salt and pepper.
Pour some of the cheese sauce over the first layer of pierogies. Add the rest of the pierogies and top with more cheese sauce. Top with breadcrumbs.
Bake on 375 for about 15 minutes or until bubbly. Turn on the broiler for 3 minutes at the end.