Garlic herb mashed potatoes and cheddar cheese stuffed inside a large pasta shell, and topped with creamy Béchamel sauce, more cheddar cheese and bacon before baking. An indulgent, make-ahead side dish that’s perfect for leftover mashed potatoes.
Don’t worry – there is not a full perogy stuffed inside each of those shells.
That would be over-indulgent.
I think we’ll nickname these Lazy Perogies. How does that sound?
Before we get any further, let me just insist that I’m going to spell perogy P-E-R-O-G-Y, and you can spell it pierogi, perogi, pierogy, pierógi, pyrohy, pirogi, pyrogie, or pyrogy if you so desire. (Thank you Wikipedia for that list
Just like you can go ahead and spell doughnut d-o-n-u-t.
Now I don’t wanna see any comments about how I spell PEROGY wrong. Mmmkay?
I love perogies. The carbs, the mashed potatoes, the cheese, the carbs, the bacon… and to top things off, we usually serve perogies with Béchamel sauce or creamy gravy (it’s the Mennonite in me), you know, because, well – fat and cream.
For the longest time though we’ve switched things up and used a Béchamel instead, because it’s a little lighter and because we always have milk around, but we don’t always have cream.
I wasn’t actually going to top the shells with any sauce, but when I lined them up in the pan they just looked lonely, you know? Like something was missing.
Traditionally, stuffed shells would be topped with tomato sauce and cheese, but that doesn’t exactly fit.
If you’re one of those people who likes sour cream on perogies, you could try spreading a little of that underneath the cheese. Or if you want to make things really easy for yourself, you could use some store-bought Alfredo sauce. But the Béchamel is so easy to make, and you can use it with anything!
Enough about my obsession with carbs and spelling.
The reason we’re here is these Little Potatoes.
This is my third post as brand ambassador for The Little Potato Company and I’m just as stoked as ever. They’re just good potatoes, and every time I dream up some concoction to make and share with you I get more excited about them.
Now, there’s nothing wrong with just throwing some Little Potatoes on a pan, drizzling them with some canola oil, add a sprinkle of salt and roasting them in the oven, but I wanted to use this opportunity to show you some things that might not have crossed your mind before.
This time I used the Little Yellows, but almost any kind would be great!
It’s important to note that the Little Potatoes are grown to full maturity, so they’re not baby potatoes, and they’re also not genetically modified. They’re just the perfect, creamy, bite-sized potatoes with thin, delicate skin.
I don’t ever peel my potatoes (I mean, if you’re going to eat Perogy Stuffed Shells, you want all of the nutrients you can get), but with the Creamer potatoes there really is no need. It’s so thin and smooth, you won’t ever it notice it once they’re mashed.
You can flavor your mashed potatoes however you like, but I like to use chicken broth (it also cuts down on calories a little), garlic and herbs (this time I used basil pesto, but feel free to substitute some fresh or dried herbs of choice).
I didn’t stir any bacon into the mashed potatoes because I wanted to use a piping bag to get the potatoes into the shells (Best. Idea. Ever.). You could definitely mix some in if you want, just make sure you dice it up quite small.
Like I mentioned above, you can skip the Bechamel sauce and just use cheese and bacon, but know that the edges of your pasta will get a little crispier. Also feel free to substitute store-bought Alfredo sauce or go out on a limb and spread some sour cream on if that’s your thing.
This dish is perfect for making ahead! I made everything, cooled it down, lined them up in the pan, covered with plastic wrap and set in the fridge until I was ready to bake.
It’s also perfect for holiday leftovers! This would be a great way to make leftover mashed potatoes new again, and you could even stir some ham in if you’ve got it sitting in the fridge.
- 16 large pasta shells, cooked and cooled
- 18 Little Yellow Potatoes
- ½ cup chicken broth or milk
- ¼ tsp minced garlic
- ¼ tsp basil pesto (or substitute fresh or dried herbs of choice)
- Salt to taste
- 1 and ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
- 2-3 slices bacon, diced, cooked and crumbled
- Green onions for garnish
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1 cup milk
- Salt to taste
- If baking right away, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. If making ahead, preheat the oven before you wish to bake it. Grease a 9x9” pan and set aside.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Halve or quarter the potatoes (only to speed up cooking time) and add to the water (adding them before the water is boiling is fine). Cook 7-10 minutes, until tender. Drain.
- Mash potatoes with chicken broth, garlic, and pesto. Salt to taste. Stir in ½ cup of cheese.
- Place potatoes in a disposable piping bag or large Ziploc bag. Cut about a ½” wide opening in the end of the bag and pipe potatoes into the shells (this is the easiest way – feel free to also spoon it in). Place potato stuffed shells in prepared pan. *To make ahead, cover now and refrigerate. Refrigerate all of your garnishes as well.
- Before baking, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and prepare Béchamel sauce: In a large pot (it can be the same one you used for the potatoes), melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in the flour and cook 1 minute. Whisk in the milk and cook over medium heat, whisking, until thickened. Season with salt as desired.
- Remove pan from the fridge. Drizzle shells with Béchamel sauce, sprinkle with cheese and bacon and bake for 30 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbly. Broil 1-2 minutes if desired. Sprinkle with green onions.