I LOVE pierogies (or vareniki if you’re Doukhobor). However, making homemade vareniki is a full-day chore that involves making the dumplings by hand, then boiling them, before frying them. I just don’t have time for all of that work whenever I feel like eating the comforting blend of cheese and potatoes.
Lazy pierogi casserole uses lasagna noodles instead of dough for a vareniki-inspired dish. It is a perfect dish for dark winter’s night.
A Quick Weeknight Meal
Home cooked food is always healthier than store-bought instant meals. You know exactly what goes into them, so they are lower in salt and sugar. However it’s hard to ignore the pull of a quick and filling meal when you’ve got one kid going to piano lessons and the other one at baseball practice.
That’s why Sunday is Make A Freezer Meal at our house. We always make extra of whatever we have for dinner on Sunday so that we can stick it in the freezer for homemade “instant dinner.” We have a whole line up of favourite freezer meals from: minestrone soup to lasagna.
Lazy pierogi casserole is another favourite. Here’s what you need to know to make your own instant dinner:
- Freeze casseroles, uncooked, in small 9″x 9″ square pans. They can usually feed a family of 4 (add a salad if you need more) and will defrost quickly. I own some glass casseroles with plastic freezer lids (affiliate link.) However, buying tinfoil containers works as well.
- If you can plan ahead, move the casserole to the fridge 1 to 2 days before you want to serve it. Then it will be mostly defrosted before you cook it. Cook defrosted casseroles for 10 minutes longer than the total cooking time.
- Casseroles can be heated up directly from the freezer. Just cover the casserole in tin foil, then stick it in the oven for the preheat cycle. A small casserole will cook from frozen in about an hour (about 30 minutes longer than the total cooking time.)
Lazy Pierogi Casserole
Lazy pierogi casserole is classic comfort food at its best. Lasagna noodles are stuffed with potato and cheese, for a simplified version of a pierogi. It’s perfect make-ahead food for the freezer, so make a triple batch for easy and delicious weeknight meals.
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 40 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
- Yield: Serves 4–6 1x
- Category: Main Dish
- Method: Baked
- Cuisine: Polish
- 8 potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 1 cup cream
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp each salt and pepper
- 2 onion, chopped
- 1 package of lasagna noodles
- 2 cups cottage cheese
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 cup sour cream
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
- Boil the potatoes until soft. Then mash with the cream and garlic. Add the salt and pepper, to taste.
- Fry the onions until nicely caramelized.
- Cook the lasagna noodles until soft. Store cooked noodles in cold water to prevent the sheets from sticking. Alternatively, if using gluten free noodles, just let them soften in warm water.
- Build the casserole in a 9″ x 13″ lasagna dish. Start with a layer of lasagna noodles on the bottom. Then layer in 1/2 the mashed potatoes. Top with all of the fried onions and the cottage cheese. Then add a second layer of mashed potatoes. Top the casserole with a final layer of lasagna noodles and finish with the cheddar cheese.
- Bake at 350F for 40 min, until the cheese is browning.
- Serve with sour cream and chives.
Keywords: simple, easy, gluten free, vegetarian, egg-free, wheat free, party food, comfort food, winter, fall