Pierogi, Gnocchi, and Dumplings: What’s the Difference?
Pierogi casseroles have been popular lately, so I’ve been thinking about pierogi a lot. When I went to a Polish restaurant a few weeks ago, my decision was easy – “I’ll have the pierogi, please.” (They were delightful, by the way). So, because I had pierogi on the brain, that got me thinking about a similar food: dumplings, another popular item. And since I’m Italian, naturally I started thinking about gnocchi, too.
So, with these three items bouncing around in my head, I came up with this question: Are pierogi, dumplings, and gnocchi the same food but come from different ethnic backgrounds? I decided to find out.
Bottom Line: All pierogi and gnocchi are dumplings, but not all dumplings are pierogi and gnocchi.
A dumpling can be many things. It’s basically a cooked ball of dough made from flour, potatoes, or bread, and filled with meat, veggies, or sweets. Dumplings can be boiled, steamed, fried, or baked. Different countries have their own versions of dumplings. China has wontons, Africa has fufu, Poland has pierogi, Italy has gnocchi, and so on and so forth. Here are a few recipes that use dumplings:
Pieorgi are a specific type of dumpling which originated in Eastern Europe. They are made from flour and water; are boiled and then baked or fried; and are traditionally filled with potato, sauerkraut, ground meat, cheese, or fruit. The singular form is pierog, but since we typically refer to multiple at a time, the plural form, pierogi, is most often used. Here are some of our most popular pierogi casseroles:
Gnocchi are Italian-style soft dumplings that are traditionally made with potato and flour. There are many variations that come from different regions. A big difference between gnocchi and other dumplings is that they’re not really filled with anything.
Instead of putting a filling inside of the dough, the “filling” ingredients are mixed with the dough, and a ball is formed afterward. These small dumplings stand out among the rest.
So, there ya have it. There are many types of dumplings, including pierogi and gnocchi, which come from different ethnic origins. I hope you enjoyed learning about the differences. I know I did.
What’s your favorite type of dumpling?