Easy Pierogi Stuffed Shells are baked pasta shells filled with cheesy mashed potatoes topped with sauteed onions and lots of cheddar cheese. This lazy pierogi casserole makes a delicious dinner the whole family will love!
One of my absolute favorite meals is cheesy potato pierogi. We make homemade pierogi for Christmas every year, using my grandma's recipe, and it's absolutely amazing! It's also lot of work!
A few years ago, I came up with this lazy pierogi recipe, which is basically jumbo pasta shells stuffed with pierogi filling. In this case, we use cheesy mashed potatoes for the filling.
It might sound odd, but trust me, this pierogi casserole tastes just like pierogies. It has all of the cheesy goodness only without all of the work of making your own pierogi dough!
You only need a few simple ingredients to make this pierogi pasta shells recipe. You can find them in your grocery store or online:
- Jumbo pasta shells
- Medium yellow onion
- Mashed potatoes
- Shredded cheddar cheese or cheese blend
- Black pepper
- Water or broth -- optional
I use leftover mashed potatoes for pierogi shells when I can. This is a great way to use up those leftovers!
You can use my Instant pot mashed potatoes recipe if you need one. Or, you can use mashed potatoes from the store, or 1 cup instant mashed potatoes.
How to Make Pierogi Stuffed Shells
First, cook the pasta shells in boiling water, according to the package directions. I like to place the cooked shells on a greased baking sheet and let them cool down.
While the shells are cooling off, chop up the onion. Sauté the onion in melted butter in a large skillet over medium heat to medium high heat.
I like to cook onions for pierogi until they're slightly golden brown. In other words, not totally caramelized but not just clear, either.
While the onions are cooking, you can warm the leftover mashed potatoes in a microwave. Be sure to use a large microwave-safe bowl.
Mix in 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese until the cheese is well blended with the mashed potatoes. Then, start stuffing the jumbo shells.
Place about 2 tablespoons of the potato mixture into each shell. Then, place each large pasta shell, open side up, into a greased 9x13-inch baking dish or casserole dish.
You can use cooking spray or melted butter or olive oil to grease the pan.
I try to stuff as many shells as I can into one baking dish, keeping them in a cramped but single layer. If there are extra, I add them to a smaller baking dish.
It just depends on how many shells you have. I usually have several shells that break during the cooking process!
Next, pour the sauteed onions and butter over the stuffed shells. This is what makes the shells taste like pierogi, so you definitely don't want to skip this step! Then, sprinkle the remaining shredded cheese over the shells.
If you want softer shells, or saucier shells, add a quarter cup of water or broth to the bottom of the baking dish.
Heat oven to 350 degrees f. Cook pierogie shells in preheated oven for 30 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the shells are soft and heated through.
I usually don't cover the baking dish. But if the cheese is melted before the shells are done, you can cover them lightly with aluminum foil until done.
This lazy perogi casserole is, well, lazy. Don't feel like you need to stick with traditional pierogi fillings--go wild!
Instead of cheddar cheese, use a 4 cheese blend, parmesan cheese, or mozzarella. Blend some cream cheese into the mashed potatoes for creamier filling.
If you want less cheese overall, don't mix any shredded cheese into the potato pierogi filling. It's also quite easy to turn this recipe into vegan pierogi stuffed shells by eliminating dairy products.
Use dried minced onions or onion powder instead of fresh onions.
To spice up your easy pierogi casserole, add red pepper flakes, paprika, or jalapeno pepper slices on top of the shells.
Top with green onions, sour cream and bacon bits.
Another variation of poor man's homemade pierogies is pierogi lasagna. It's the same easy meal, just made with lasagna noodles and bechemel sauce!
How to Store and Reheat
Store any leftover perogi stuffed shells in an airtight container in the refrigerator, where they'll last for 3 to 4 days.
For longer storage, freeze the shells in a freezer safe container.
You can also make this dish ahead of time! Just make the stuffed shells and refrigerate or freeze them. Then, bake them when you want to serve them.
Reheat individual portions of the pierogi shells in the microwave. For larger portions, you can cook shells in the oven until hot.
Easy Pierogi Stuffed Shells
- 12 oz jumbo pasta shells cooked according to package directions
- 1 medium yellow onion chopped
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 3 cups mashed potatoes
- 4 cups shredded cheddar cheese or cheese blend, divided
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Additional butter as needed
- ¼ cup water or broth optional
- Preheat oven to 350° f and grease a baking dish with non stick spray
- Cook the shells according to package directions, drain and let cool.
- In a large skillet, melt butter, and cook the onions in butter over medium heat until a light golden brown. Set aside
- Warm up the leftover mashed potatoes and mix in 2 cups of cheddar cheese until blended
- Stuff the shells with the mashed potatoes, about 2 tablespoons per shell, and place stuffed side up into prepared 13 X 9 baking dish
- Pour sauteed onions and butter over shells, and top with remaining shredded cheese.
- Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until cheese is melted and shells are heated through.
Nutrition information is estimated. Please do your own calculation to fit special diets.
Recipe first published in 2015 and updated in 2022.
This pierogi stuffed shells recipe is the ultimate comfort food. It's also an easy meatless meal for Lent! My family absolutely loves it, and they swear it tastes just like pierogies!
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