I love pierogies and I love a challenge, so creating a pierogi casserole or pierogi lasagna was definitely something I was willing to try. The biggest difference between myself and the Martha Stewartesque person who created the one pictured in the photograph is that I have two appliances to work with, did most of my prepping while rolling down the highway, oh, and I cooked it on a big rig.
This incredibly flawless photo of a potato casserole just goes to show how much of a glutton for punishment I am. But every so often I surprised myself and make something that doesn’t look like dog food and actually tastes delicious.
I started by cheating and preparing instant mashed potatoes (mostly because I would have created a huge mess having to prepare from scratch, but also, if you carry a potato masher on the truck… wow!) I followed box directions with the exception of substituting milk with heavy cream (which I had on hand from another recipe) added a 1/2 brick of cream cheese, 1 tbsp dehydrated onion and 1 tbsp of minced garlic all in the Aroma cooker and cooked on the “white rice setting”. Once it was done, I removed from pot and set aside, covered.
I bought the no-boil noodles, the kind you just add “as is” to your casserole dish and your sauce softens them, thinking I was a smarty pants. Well, this recipe has no sauce so I ended up doing a soft boil (still leaving them a bit rigid) in the Aroma on “white rice setting” and then placed them on a paper towel.
After pouring out the water, I rubbed a little butter onto the bottom and up the side 1/4 of the way up (honoring my inner Julia Child).
To prepare my first layer, I took 1/3 of the potatoes and added 2 tbsp of sour cream, 3/4 cu of shredded cheese, 3 tsp fresh chives and 1/4 cu cooked bacon (which I prepared ahead of time in my lunchbox cooker) and mixed together. For spatial reasons, I don’t have a large enough bowl to mix entire filling in at once but this worked just fine.
I placed one layer of lasagna noodles into bottom of pot followed by a layer of potato filling. I added 2 more layers of pasta and potatoes for a total of 3 layers.
I topped the final potato mixture layer with shredded cheese (because, let’s face it, we’ve already failed with carb overload, may as well put all our chips in).
Only 20 minutes later and it was done! I got overzealous and removed the first piece before taking the photo so it’s a little messy.
But this is the finished product. The bottom layer of noodles slid out as I was transferring it to the bowl because it was so cheesy and gooey, so be prepared for rogue noodles!
Let me tell you, this tasted just like a perogi! It had plenty of flavor and the combination of slightly al dente noodles and rich, creamy mashed potatoes was so good. I will definitely make this again.