Sweet Potato & Beet Pirogi with a Creamy Orange Yoghurt Sauce and Poppy Seeds

Updated: Sep 9, 2020

I know what you're thinking. Hey, Cate, when did you turn into a crazy person? To you I pose a better question: remember back in August when I had beet raviolis with orange butter sauce and poppy seeds in Kenya?

I'm more #Ukrainian than Italian, so I wasn't about to tackle raviolis on a random Sunday afternoon. I have years of experience with pierogies, or as my Hungarian influenced Ukrainian family calls them, pedehee. I felt confident this recipe would work.

sweet potato beet pierogies

Why make the sauce creamy? Pierogies pretty much demand sour cream, but I still wanted something like the orange butter sauce I had in Kenya. Though I'm not going vegan on this recipe, I still wanted to go a bit healthy, so I found a recipe for orange, poppy seed yoghurt sauce on the Fage website and simplified it a bit.

I gave a pretty broad range of how much the recipe will serve. For one, accept that you might make some errors. Tears in the dough happen while forming the pierogies and while boiling them. I tend to eat some dough, though I clearly shouldn't. And finally, who can make uniform-sized pierogies? I can't. I'm not about to get out a ruler.

sweet potato beet pierogies

Pierogies | Dough is my grandmother's, filling is mine | Makes 20-30 pirogi | Time: ~ 1.5 hr

The Filling


3 #beets, cut into 2 inch cubes

2 large sweet #potatoes, cut into 2 inch cubes

2 tbsp of oil

1 tsp of salt

Water for steaming


Steam the beets and potatoes. If you have a pressure cooker such as an Instant Pot, add water, the steaming rack, and the beets and potatoes, and cook under high pressure for 15 minutes. Otherwise, set up your steamer and steam for 35 to 50 minutes, or until fork-tender. I used the instant pot.

(While the beets and potatoes are steaming, start on the dough.)

Once cool enough to handle, remove the peels. They should come right off. Add to a blender or food processor along with the salt. Slowly add the olive oil and blend until smooth.

Allow the puree to cool before handling.

The Dough


3 cups all purpose flour

2 eggs beaten with 1/4 cup of warm water (add more water if needed)

1 tsp vegetable oil

1/2 tsp salt


Sift flour. Combine with remaining ingredients. Knead for 30 minutes. I have a Kitchen Aid mixer, so I just used the dough hook for about 15 minutes.

The Pirogi

Set up a flat service with some sprinkled flour. Take a piece of the dough at a time and roll it into a ball 1 inch in diameter. Rub some flour on your rolling pin and roll out a circle about 2-3 inches in diameter. Add 1 tbsp of the sweet potato-beet puree and add it to the center of the circle. Wet the edge of one half of the dough circle. Fold the dry side over and pinch the edges to seal the pirogi. Repeat until you're out of dough.

When you're about halfway through the dough, fill a large pot with water (about 3/4 of the way to the top). Put it on the stove over a medium-high burner and bring the water to a boil. Add a little salt if you want to get the boil going faster.

Once you're done with forming the pirogi, add 3-4 at a time to the boiling water. Remove as the float to the top, which can take as little as a minute or as long as 4. When you remove them, put them on a flat dish and try to keep them separated. They have an annoying tendency to stick to each other ruining the next step.

Once you've boiled your pirogi, warm a skillet over medium-high heat. Add some butter or oil to the skillet. Then add your pirogi and fry until one side is browned. Flip, and fry until that side is browned as well. Remove from skillet and serve warm with sour cream or the wacky yoghurt sauce I made. Recipe follows below.

Modified Fage's Orange Greek Yoghurt Sauce with Poppy Seeds | Makes enough for 8 pierogies (for my taste) | Time: 1 min., plus 1 hour chill time


1.5 cup Greek yoghurt (any fat level you want, add more for a thicker sauce) 2 tbsp agave 1 tsp poppy seeds 4 tbsp orange juice


Mix it all together. Put it in the fridge for an hour.

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