Easy appetizers are a must in your recipe arsenal. They’re great for potlucks, game days, get-togethers and snacking. They’re even better when they can be made in advance and require few ingredients like these bacon-wrapped pierogis.
Hailing from Eastern Europe, pierogis are dumplings that have a savory or sweet filling, though cheesy potato fillings are most common. They’re like ravioli but semi-circle in shape. They are boiled or steamed, then pan-fried in butter and served with sour cream and can have toppings like caramelized onions, bacon bits or chives.
I love them best with bacon, which brought me to a genius idea: to wrap them in bacon!
I thought, “What brilliance! How clever am I?!” However, after a quick trip to the World Wide Web, I realized it had already been done, and I in fact did not mastermind this heavenly pairing.
Anyhow … with store-bought pierogis from the frozen section, this recipe is effortless to make.
The pierogis are boiled for 3 minutes, drained and seasoned with salt, pepper and paprika. They’re wrapped in half a slice of bacon, and just before heading to the oven, they get a sprinkle of brown sugar. The brown sugar caramelizes on the bacon as it cooks, and the bacon shrink wraps around the soft rich potato center, sometimes slightly oozing it out.
The end result is handheld pockets of comforting deliciousness; sweet and savory, tender and crisp, they’re absolutely irresistible.
A simple blend of cream cheese, sour cream and lemon juice make up the dip. Its tangy and bright flavors and creamy texture pair perfectly with the pierogis.
When buying your pierogis, choose any variety you like. Classic cheddar is what I typically use, as its flavor satisfies all palates.
To make these in advance, just cover and refrigerate after wrapping them in bacon. They can be made hours before, or even a day or two prior. And don’t forget the sprinkle of brown sugar before baking!
12 pierogis, frozen
To taste: salt, pepper and paprika
6 slices of bacon, cut in half
¼ cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons sour cream
½ tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place a wire rack on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet; set aside. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add the pierogis and boil for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the pierogis from water and let them cool, about 5 minutes.
While the pierogis are cooling, make the dip by beating together cream cheese, sour cream and lemon juice until combined. Chill until ready to use.
Season each pierogi with a sprinkle of salt, pepper and paprika, then wrap in a ½ slice of bacon and set it seam side down on the prepared rack.
Top each one with brown sugar and bake for 20-25 minutes until the bacon is crisp.
Cool slightly, as the filling will be hot, and serve with creamy dip.
Audrey Alfaro can be reached at email@example.com.
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