• Low phosphate
  • Low potassium
  • Low protein
  • Low salt
  • Vegetarian
  • Main meal
  • European
  • 1 hour or less
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An indulgent Eastern European meal that’s low in salt, potassium and phosphate but high in energy for those that need building-up.



400g large floury potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

½ tablespoon unsalted butter

1 small white onion, finely chopped

150g Quark (twaróg), curd cheese or cream cheese

50g spinach leaves (stalks discarded), finely chopped

100g sauerkraut


1 egg, lightly beaten

½ tablespoon vegetable oil

350g plain flour (plus about 100g extra)

Green salad

140g mixed salad leaves

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons lemon juice

To serve

45g unsalted butter (or 1 tablespoon vegetable oil)

60ml soured cream

2 spring onions, finely chopped


  1. Step 1

    Place the potatoes in a large pan of cold water and bring to the boil over a high heat. Once boiling, turn the heat down and simmer gently for 15-20 minutes until the potatoes are soft when pierced. Drain thoroughly and leave to steam dry, then mash until smooth.

  2. Step 2

    Mix the egg and oil with 125ml water. Sift the flour into a large bowl, make a well in the centre and add the egg, oil and water mixture. Mix well until it forms a dough. Remove from the bowl and knead on a well-floured surface for 4-5 minutes until the dough stops sticking to your hands. If it is too wet, add a little more flour. Wrap the dough in cling film and rest it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, or overnight.

  3. Step 3

    Heat the oil and butter in a large frying pan and cook the onion over a low-medium heat for 10 minutes until soft and golden. Combine the onion with the mashed potato, quark, sauerkraut, spinach, and some ground black pepper. Leave to cool completely. This is your filling.

  4. Step 4

    Flour your work surface generously and roll out the dough until it is the thickness of a 50p coin. Using an 8cm cookie cutter or a glass, cut out about 25 circles. Cover the circles with a damp tea towel until you are ready to start filling them, so they do not dry out.

  5. Step 5

    Sprinkle flour over a tray or large plate. Place a circle of dough in the palm of your hand and add a teaspoon of filling to the middle, then fold over the dough to enclose the filling. Pinch the dough along the edge so that the pierogi is sealed - if the edges aren’t sealing when you press them, lightly moisten them with a little cold water. Lay the pierogi in rows on the tray or plate, ensuring they aren't touching.

  6. Step 6

    Bring a large pan of water to the boil, then carefully lower in the pierogi (you may need to do this in two batches). Cook the pierogi for about 3 minutes, until they float to the top. Lift them out, place in a colander to drain and set aside while you cook the rest (you may need to toss a little oil through to stop them sticking). To finish off the cooking, gently fry the boiled pierogi in a little vegetable oil or butter so that they have a crispy, golden exterior. Serve with the soured cream and the spring onions, with a green salad on the side, dressed in olive oil and lemon juice.

Food facts

The potatoes and the flour are the main sources of carbohydrate in this main meal and the value has been provided for those who have been trained in insulin adjustment.

This dish is low in potassium, despite the use of some high potassium ingredients, this is because the quantities have been kept low and where possible vegetables have been boiled and drained. If you are following a low potassium diet, be sure to keep to the quantities and serving sizes for this recipe.

This recipe is also low in phosphate, however does contain some phosphate, therefore, if you have been prescribed a phosphate binder ensure you take them with this dish.

This dish is low in protein, which makes it suitable for those advised to follow a reduced protein diet. To increase the protein, you could change the pierogi filling to include cooked pork, beef, lamb or chicken mince or finely diced tofu.

This meal is very high in calories, due to the oil, butter and cream cheese. To lower the calories, consider using a reduced fat spread, and a reduced fat cream cheese. Also, you can eat the pierogi straight after they have been boiled, and not fry them – this will reduce the calories for this dish.

You can make the filling up to two days in advance and keep it covered in the fridge. Pierogi are easier to make in one big batch so you can double the recipe if you wish. To freeze them, it is best to boil them for no longer than a minute in boiling water, drain them well and place them flat on a greased baking tray so that they do not stick together. Place the tray in the freezer - once frozen, they can be placed in a freezer bag. To cook, simply add the frozen pierogi to a big pan of boiling water as per step 6.

When you have cut out the circles of dough, you can keep the offcuts and use them like fresh pasta - simply dress them with a little olive oil, herbs or a simple pasta sauce. Do not be tempted to form them into a ball and roll it out to make new circles - the dough will be very tough if you do this. If you have leftover filling, you can refrigerate or freeze it to use another time, or shape it into little patties to fry in a little oil and/or butter, like very delicious potato cakes.