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Cheesy BLT Pierogi Skillet Dinner
- 1 cup chopped sweet onion (from about half a medium onion)
- 4 slices turkey bacon, chopped (about 60 grams or 2 - 2 1/4 ounces total) (see note)
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 2 12.84-ounce boxes frozen mini pierogies (no need to thaw), such as Mrs. T's Mini Classic Cheddar Pierogies
- 1 14.5-ounce can fat-fee, reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 3 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese
- 1/2 cup reduced-fat shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 5 ounces baby spinach, chopped to yield about 4 1/2 cups
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
- 1 cup seeded, diced tomatoes (about 2 medium tomatoes)
- optional dash of kosher salt, only if needed
- In a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, cook chopped sweet onion and bacon until bacon is nearly done and onion has begun to soften and turn slightly golden, stirring occasionally, about 8-10 minutes.
- Add garlic and continue cooking for 1 minute, stirring so garlic does not burn.
- Add frozen pierogies and broth, stirring so that all pierogies are completely moistened. Turn the heat up to high, cover and cook until pierogies are done (about 8 minutes).
- Stir in cream cheese until fully melted and incorporated into broth to form a creamy sauce. Then add cheddar cheese and stir until melted. Next add spinach and green onions and stir just until spinach is slightly wilted.
- Remove from heat and stir in tomatoes.
- Taste and add just a little kosher salt, only if needed to make the flavors really pop. (I occasionally need to add salt if using a very reduced-sodium turkey bacon; otherwise I find that adding salt is usually unnecessary.)
- Serve immediately, from skillet, or see note about serving this later as a make-ahead meal.
Turkey bacon and salt: As discussed in greater detail in the post, I've tested this recipe with a variety of types of bacon, including various turkey bacons and also center-cut bacon. There is a wide variance in processing ingredients and sodium levels from one brand or variety to the next, so use whatever your family prefers. Note that, depending on how much sodium and salty curing flavor is in the bacon you choose (and also whether or not you use the recommended reduced-sodium broth), you may need to add a little bit of salt at the end of cooking. I often find that this is not necessary, but with some very low-sodium varieties of turkey bacon, that little final hit of salt really wakes up the flavors perfectly.
Also note that some thicker-cut bacon varieties weigh about twice as much per slice as regular-cut slices, which is why we offer more specific weights in the ingredient list. For typical bacon, I generally use 4 slices, but for thicker cuts, I sometimes need just 2 slices to yield the same amount of bacon.
Make-ahead ideas: Although this skillet meal comes together very quickly and easily in less than 30 minutes, you can make it even faster on busy evenings by making it entirely ahead. After cooking this recipe earlier in the day or even a day ahead, you can cover and refrigerate the (slightly cooled) skillet. Then, gently reheat the meal when you're ready to serve. Although I find that the veggies hold up very well and don't seem too overcooked when I do this, if you prefer, for the freshest and liveliest veggies, you can wait to add the spinach and/or the tomatoes until the very end, after the final reheating and just before serving.