Embark on a culinary journey to Eastern Europe with our irresistible Pierogi Casserole recipe. This comforting dish brings together the beloved flavors of pierogies, Italian sausage, creamy alfredo sauce, and gooey cheese in a delightful casserole format. Perfect for family dinners or potluck gatherings, this recipe is sure to please even the most discerning palates. Let’s delve into the heartwarming comfort of Pierogi Casserole!
1 tablespoon butter
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 lb Italian sausage meat, casings removed
15 oz jarred alfredo sauce
7.5 oz chive and onion cream cheese
2 lbs frozen 3 cheese pierogies (or your favorite flavor)
3 cups shredded mozzarella and cheddar blend
1 green onion, chopped
Preheat and Prepare: Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish with butter and set aside.
Sauté Onions and Sausage: In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add diced yellow onion and sauté until translucent. Add Italian sausage meat, breaking it apart with a spoon, and cook until browned and cooked through. Drain excess fat if necessary.
Combine Sauce: Pour the jarred alfredo sauce into the skillet with the cooked sausage and onions. Add chive and onion cream cheese, stirring until melted and well combined. Remove from heat.
Layer Ingredients: Arrange half of the frozen pierogies in the prepared baking dish in a single layer. Spread half of the sausage and sauce mixture over the pierogies. Sprinkle half of the shredded mozzarella and cheddar blend on top. Repeat with the remaining pierogies, sausage and sauce mixture, and shredded cheese.
Bake: Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Then, remove the foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
Garnish and Serve: Once baked, sprinkle chopped green onion over the Pierogi Casserole as a garnish. Serve hot and enjoy the cheesy, comforting goodness!
Cook Notes and Variations:
Customize with Pierogi Flavors: Feel free to use your favorite flavor of pierogies, such as potato and cheddar, spinach and feta, or even mushroom and onion for a vegetarian option.
Add Vegetables: Incorporate diced bell peppers, mushrooms, or spinach into the sausage and sauce mixture for added flavor and nutrition.
Spice It Up: For a kick of heat, add crushed red pepper flakes or diced jalapeños to the sausage and sauce mixture.
Keto and Low Carb Versions:
Keto Option: Replace the frozen pierogies with a low-carb alternative such as cauliflower gnocchi or zucchini noodles. Use a homemade alfredo sauce made with heavy cream, cream cheese, and parmesan cheese instead of the jarred sauce. Ensure the Italian sausage does not contain added sugars or fillers.
Low Carb Option: Similarly, opt for low-carb pierogies made with almond flour or coconut flour dough. Use a lighter alfredo sauce made with unsweetened almond milk or coconut milk and reduced-fat cream cheese. You can also reduce the amount of onions and omit the butter for a lower carb count.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
Can I use fresh pierogies instead of frozen? Yes, you can use fresh pierogies if available. However, adjust the baking time accordingly, as fresh pierogies may cook faster than frozen ones.
Can I prepare this dish ahead of time? Yes, you can assemble the Pierogi Casserole ahead of time and refrigerate it until ready to bake. Simply cover the dish tightly with foil and store it in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. Bake as directed, adding a few extra minutes to the cooking time if needed.
What if I don’t have Italian sausage? If you don’t have Italian sausage on hand, you can substitute it with ground beef, ground turkey, or even meatless alternatives such as crumbled tofu or vegetarian sausage.
Can I freeze leftovers? Yes, you can freeze any leftover Pierogi Casserole in an airtight container for up to three months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating in the oven or microwave.
In conclusion, Pierogi Casserole is the ultimate comfort food that combines the nostalgic flavors of pierogies with the convenience of a casserole. Whether you’re hosting a cozy family dinner or bringing a dish to a potluck, this recipe is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. With its creamy sauce, savory sausage, and cheesy goodness, it’s a dish that will warm your heart and soul with every bite. So gather your ingredients, preheat your oven, and get ready to indulge in the comforting embrace of Pierogi Casserole. Your taste buds will thank you for it!