This vegan quesadilla is stuffed with all of the pierogi flavors you crave. Potatoes with onions, melty non-dairy cheese, and tangy sauerkraut is encased in a tortilla and served with yogurt ranch dip. It’s the perfect party crowd pleaser or flavor-packed lunch.
There was a time in my life when I always had a bag of frozen pierogi in the freezer.
The Polish dumplings weren’t something I’d grown up eating. But who could resist that carb on carb action of potatoes wrapped in dough?
For the uninitiated, pierogi are the Eastern European equivalent of ravioli but with spuds instead of ricotta.
I’d tear open a bag. Then I’d give them a quick boil on the stove. Finally, I’d brown the dumplings in a skillet until they were crisp on the outside and pillowy on the inside.
A food probably couldn’t get cozier than that. It’s a full on meal of a hug.
Sadly, finding frozen pierogi without dairy or eggs is a tricky thing. I know. I’ve looked.
With a doomed kind of hopefulness, I check the ingredient lists on any new bags that I can find, only to walk away pierogi-less.
(Update: I finally found frozen vegan pierogi! For a more traditional take on pierogi, check out this vegan pierogi recipe with sautéed kale.)
Desperate to quench my craving, I made them once from scratch. They weren’t impossible, but still quite a lengthy task.
And since I’m the only pierogi-loving person in my household, I’m more apt to save my hours-long culinary projects for something that will be universally loved.
(But if I ever make another pierogi-enthusiast friend, I may just have to offer that we spend a day in the kitchen together making enough that both of us can freeze for future potato-variety emergencies.)
Pierogi-style vegan quesadilla
It’s understandable then that whenever David and I are in Chicago dining at the famed Chicago Diner, I’m always tempted by their pierogi-style vegan quesadilla.
An amalgamation of two of my favorite foods, many a time I’ve come close to ordering it. But I’ve always made a last second switch to the beloved vegan reuben instead.
For a sauerkraut lover, these are the impossible decisions.
The last time I was there, I made a mental note to make my own pierogi-style vegan quesadilla at home with all of my dream ingredients.
Now that dream has come into fruition.
Pierogi-style vegan quesadillas are stuffed with:
- Sautéed onions
- Mashed potatoes
- A generous layer of raw sauerkraut
- Melty cheddar non-dairy cheese (I grated a block of Follow Your Heart’s American style.)
Do yourself a favor and use refrigerated sauerkraut. Not the kind found in cans.
You can’t beat the fresh crunch of crisp, raw sauerkraut. Just one jar and you’ll never be able to swing the slurpy canned variety again.
Yogurt ranch sauce
On the side is a yogurt ranch sauce that’s perfect for drizzling on top. Or if you’re anything like me, adding a spoonful with every bite.
The dill and basil dip is good to have around any time you need a light, creamy ranch sauce for dipping.
For the yogurt ranch dip, I used unsweetened coconut milk yogurt from So Delicious.
David has a container of their vanilla yogurt from his office TARDIS fridge almost daily. However, as a person who opts for savory treats, this is a great way to get in some probiotics (both from the yogurt and the sauerkraut), while noshing on vegan quesadillas.
Let me know if you try these filling non-dairy quesadillas! I think they’d be a great addition to your vegan appetizer recipes for game day or a snack for your next get-together.
Pierogi-style vegan quesadilla with yogurt ranch sauce
For potato quesadillas
- 1 large Russet potato about 14 ounces, cut into 3/4 inch chunks
- 1/2 medium onion chopped small
- 1/2 teaspoon organic canola oil or other neutral oil
- 1 Tablespoon non-dairy milk plain & unsweetened
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 12 wheat tortillas
- 3/4 cup non-dairy cheddar-style cheese
- 1 1/2 cups sauerkraut drained and patted dry
- Chopped fresh dill for garnish, optional
To make the quesadillas
- Put potatoes in a medium-sized pot and cover them with water. Bring to a low boil and cook for about ten minutes, until the potatoes are tender enough to easily pierce with a fork. Drain potatoes and set aside.
- Add canola oil to a skillet and bring to a medium heat. Add onions to the oil and saute them for about ten minutes, until the onions have some color around the edges but are translucent in the middle.
- Add the cooked potatoes and non-dairy milk to the skillet with the onions and mash them together with a fork. It's okay if there are some lumps in the potatoes. They don't need to be perfectly smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste. Turn off the heat and set the skillet to the side.
- Now it's time to compile the quesadillas. Bring a second skillet to a medium heat. Put a tortilla in the skillet. Top with a Tablespoon of non-dairy cheese, spread a heaping quarter cup of the potato mixture across it, then a 1/4 cup of sauerkraut, and finally another Tablespoon of non-dairy cheese. Top it with a second tortilla.
- Cook until brown, and then flip and brown on the other side. Remove the quesadilla from the skillet, and repeat the process with the remaining quesadillas.
- Drizzle the cooked quesadillas with yogurt ranch sauce and/or serve on the side for dipping. If desired, garnish with fresh dill.
To make the yogurt ranch sauce
- Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl. Refrigerate until ready to use. The flavors will meld and improve as the sauce sets.