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Pierogies are a wonderful dish that originated in Poland. Frozen pierogies are readily available in the freezer section of almost every supermarket, and are a great standby to have in your freezer at home.
If you love pierogies as much as we do, you’ll probably be thrilled to know that you can cook frozen pierogies in an air fryer. This is undoubtedly not only the easiest but also the most delicious way of cooking those frozen pierogies.
In singular form, one is called a pierog. But they are so appealing that hardly anyone eats only one, so it’s understandable that we usually use the plural form, pierogies.
What Are Pierogies Made Of?
This traditional food is a kind of dumpling, made with flour-based dough, and filled with an assortment of different fillings. The most common fillings are usually potato or cream cheese. The cream cheese may be plain, or it could be mixed with other assorted cheeses for more variety.
What Is The Best Way To Cook Frozen Pierogies?
There are numerous different methods of cooking frozen pierogies, some more time-consuming than others. But a friend recently asked me, “Can you cook frozen pierogies in an air fryer?” My answer was a resounding “YES!”
Cooking frozen pierogies in an air fryer is not only the easiest way to cook them. It is also the method that will give the best result, making your pierogies deliciously crispy on the outside, but light and fluffy on the inside.
Cooking frozen pierogies in an air fryer is also the healthiest way to cook them. Many people fry their pierogies in loads of oil. Well, you don’t need us to tell you how unhealthy all that oil is.
You can cook frozen pierogies in an air fryer using absolutely minimal oil. A light spritz of extra virgin olive oil, using an oil mister spray, is all that it takes to yield the perfect result.
The cooking instructions on the pack of most brands of frozen pierogies will tell you to boil them in water. While this certainly does work, we find that the pierogies often land up over-cooked, mushy, soggy, and sometimes fall apart.
None of that will happen when you cook frozen pierogies in an air fryer. They remain whole and intact, as long as you handle them carefully.
Can You Add Toppings To Pierogies?
Once you have cooked your frozen pierogies, you may want to top them with some interesting extras, to add some variety to your plate. The list of possible toppings is literally endless, as you can eat them with whatever grabs your fancy. But these are our suggestions of toppings that work really well.
- Fried Onions
Slice up an onion or two, depending on how many pierogies you are cooking. Heat up a few drops of olive oil in a non-stick pan, and brown the onions lightly, taking care not to let them burn. Pile the fried onions on top of the hot pierogies and serve.
- Fried Mushrooms
Mushrooms always taste best when fried in butter. Slice a few mushrooms. Heat a dab of butter in a pan, and fry the mushrooms with a dash of salt and pepper, until lightly browned. Serve with hot pierogies.
These are small pieces of bacon, cut into small strips. The bacon should have a high percentage of fat. Slice it into thin strips, then fry it quickly over a high heat for only 1 or 2 minutes. Pile on top of the hot pierogies and serve.
If the idea of other foods piled on top of your pierogies does not appeal to you, you may prefer to pour a delectable liquid topping over your pierogies. Try one of these.
- Melted Butter
Mmmmmm Melted butter! So simple, and utterly yummy! But do not drown your pierogies in the melted butter. They will become soft and soggy very quickly. A light trickle to moisten them and give them a creamy, buttery taste, will be enough to make them super-delicious.
- Sour Cream
Serving your pierogies with sour cream works really well. It gives them a bit of a kick while keeping them smooth and creamy. Potato-filled pierogies, particularly, are fantastic with sour cream.
- Various sauces
Pierogies go well with many different sauces. Which one you choose depends entirely on your personal preference. There are so many bottled sauces available. We love using sweet chili sauce. It adds a unique flavor to the pierogies.
Thousand Island sauce is a good choice, too. The blend of mayonnaise with a hint of tomato enhances the flavor of the pierogies.
An assortment of Italian sauces, like arrabiata or marinara sauce, would be a wonderful accompaniment for pierogies. The blend of different flavors will tantalize your taste buds and have you asking for second helpings.
The Benefits Of Using An Air Fryer
The air fryer is a revolutionary new way of cooking. In recent years it has become one of the most popular small appliances in many kitchens. I use mine all the time, using it to either cook or reheat something on an almost daily basis.
Last year, shopping statistics showed that the air fryer was one of the most popular Christmas gifts, with literally millions of these trendy appliances being wrapped up in shiny paper and handed over to loved ones.
While I have had my air fryer for a few years already, it remains my favorite appliance in my kitchen. I particularly love the benefits of using my air fryer.
1.It was not outrageously expensive. Of course, there are numerous high-end, luxury models available, but you don’t have to spend a fortune to own an air fryer. A simple, basic model can be bought for less than $100 and can perform most of the same functions.
2. Today many people are more concerned with healthy eating. Years ago, nobody really gave a thought to deep-frying everything in loads of oil. Today we have a much greater awareness of how unhealthy this is, and how damaging all that oil can be to our bodies.
Cooking in an air fryer uses virtually no added oil or fat. If you want to give your food a golden glow and help it to crisp up and brown well, you can give it a light spritz of olive oil with a spray mist bottle. But even this is not completely essential.
This is not only beneficial for heart health but can also help you to maintain a healthy weight, by reducing the number of calories that you ingest from added fats in your cooking.
3. We are all becoming more aware of rising household costs. If you want to reduce your utility bills, using an air fryer is a good way to start. Cooking in an air fryer consumes far less energy than using your stovetop or oven.
4. The most appealing advantage to using an air fryer is that the food is always so delicious. By blowing hot air around the food, the air fryer cooks it to perfection. The outside will be brown and crispy, while the inside will be soft and moist.
How To Cook Pierogies In An Air Fryer: A Step-By-Step Guide
If you follow our step-by-step guide to cooking pierogies in an air fryer, you will get perfect results every time. Remember that there is no need to defrost the pierogies first. They can go straight from the freezer into the air fryer, which is a huge time-saver and enormously convenient.
- Place your air fryer on a board on your countertop, in order to protect your counter surface from heat damage (The base of the air fryer can get very hot)
- Preheat the air fryer to 360° Fahrenheit. Do not use any cooking spray. The chemicals in it can cause the non-stick coating in your air fryer basket to peel.
- Remove the pierogies from the pack, spray lightly with olive oil, and place them in the air fryer basket, in a single layer. Avoid stacking them, and do not let them touch each other. If they do touch each other, the parts that are in contact will not brown properly, and will not be crispy.
- Set the timer for 5 minutes.
- After 5 minutes, open the air fryer and turn the pierogies, using silicone tongs. Avoid using metal utensils, as these can scratch and damage the special non-stick surface of your air fryer basket.
- Set the timer again and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Remove the pierogies from the air fryer, and either eat them as is or serve with one -or more- of the recommended toppings.
Remember to clean your air fryer basket and pan after every use. It is easy to clean by washing in warm water with a soft sponge and a few drops of liquid dishwashing soap. This will prolong the life of your appliance.
Once you have realized that you can cook frozen pierogies in an air fryer, you will not want to cook them any other way.