Bacon Pierogi Bake

Since my husband is from Cleveland, he craves pierogis every once in a while. Pierogies are essentially Polish dumplings and can be filled with potato, ground meat, saurkraut or even fruit. The traditional pierogis are potato dumplings sauteed with butter, green onions and topped with a dollop of sour cream. For those observing Lent, it would make a great Friday night dinner.

But for every other night during this season, this recipe gives a great twist to a traditional favorite. Baking the pierogies gives you a nice break from standing over a stove – so would thus make a great company dish. The bacon really gives the sauce its flavor, along with the creaminess of the cream cheese. It comes out of the oven as comfort food at its best – baked dumplings satisfying potatoes and lots of cheese. It still baffles me that this recipe actually came from Cooking Light, but I will use that fact as a fuel for my denial.

I used these great individual baking dishes I got from Sur La Table but I am sure you can put them all in one dish together (although if you haven’t invested in individual dishes like mine, I recommend it since there are so many uses for them!).

Thanks to Cooking Light for allowing me to eat gooey cheese, heavy pierogies and a cream sauce without feeling like I am undoing my day!

BACON PIEROGI BAKE
4 servings

1 (16-ounce) package frozen potato and onion pierogies (such as Mrs. T’s)
Cooking spray
2 center-cut bacon slices, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup (3 ounces) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
1/2 cup fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 cup thinly diagonally sliced green onions
1/4 cup chopped seeded plum tomato
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400°.

Arrange the pierogies in an 11 x 7-inch glass baking dish coated with cooking spray. Cook bacon in a saucepan over medium heat until crisp; remove from pan. Set aside.

Add garlic to drippings in pan, and cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add 1/3 cup cream cheese to pan, and cook for 1 minute or until cream cheese begins to melt, stirring frequently. Gradually add chicken broth to pan, stirring with a whisk until smooth. Pour the cream cheese mixture evenly over pierogies. Top evenly with 1/2 cup cheddar cheese. Bake at 400° for 20 minutes or until bubbly and thoroughly heated. Remove from oven, and sprinkle with bacon, green onions, tomato, and pepper.

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