I have a few questions for you: Do you like potatoes? Do you like cheese? Do you feel like you should eat some vegetables but don’t really feel like dealing with them today? If you said yes to all three, then this pierogi recipe is for you!
Growing up, I ate a lot more pierogies than the typical American kid all thanks to my mom’s Polish heritage. I’ve grown quite familiar with these typically fried, totally delicious pockets of dough stuffed with potatoesand other tasty things (onions, cheese, mushrooms, etc). The only downside to enjoying pierogies so much is they’re not exactly a health food. Of course, I am never one to turn down any sort of potatoes, but with summer juuuuuust around the corner I’m trying to be ever so slightly more conscious of what foods I put in my belly. In an effort to cut some calories, I opted for baking my pierogies instead of going the traditional route and frying them (you could also boil them, but I like a little bit of crunch). The specific ones I used were Peter & Pat’s spinach and potato and they were GOOD, plus they only clock in at 230 calories for every four pierogies so everyone wins! Now typically, when my mom or grandma or anyone else in the family (hi guys!) serves up pierogies, they are usually a side dish and always have two topping options: applesauce or sour cream. I tend to lean more towards the sour cream side of things, but it is really hard to justify eating potato pockets slathered in sour cream as a legitimate adult meal. No offense to my Polish people, but do you know who managed to turn potato dough into a main course? The Italians (thank you so much for gnocchi)! Enter, this “pesto” sauce to go with the pierogies. I say “pesto” because a traditional pesto is mostly basil with pine nuts and fresh parmesan. As always, I am on a budget, so fresh basil and pine nuts seem like fancy things I just don’t need right now. So to save some money, I made pesto with mostly spinach and decent helping of dried basil. If it’s payday for you or you a true traditionalist, by all means make an authentic pesto – it’d be delicious!
This dish came together in 20 minutes – including preheating the oven – and could be served as a side dish, but also makes a great meal on it’s own. I hope you all get a chance to try it; it only took me about 5 minutes to eat, so I can’t promise to save any leftovers.
Baked Pierogies with Spinach Pesto Serves: 4 Total Time: 20 minutes Ingredients:
- 1lb (16 pierogies) Peter & Pat’s Spinach & Potato Piergoies (or any pierogi of your choice)
- 2 cups fresh spinach
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tbsp dried basil
- Salt and pepper to taste (about 2 tsp each)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Place frozen pierogies on a baking sheet (covered in foil in you think ahead unlike me) and lightly coat in olive oil – I used olive oil spray, which works wonders
- Bake pierogies in the oven for 10 minutes, flip, and bake for an additional five minutes
- While the pierogies are in the oven, add spinach, garlic, basil, salt and pepper to the food processor or blender
- Turn food processor on low and slowly add in olive oil until you reach the desired consistency
- When pierogies are done, move them to a bowl and add pesto.
- Gently toss to coat
- Enjoy with a sprinkling of parmesan cheese (totally optional, but why deprive yourself of more cheese??)