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Traditional Russian Pelmeni

Russian Meat Dumplings


If you have ever been to a Russian restaurant then I am sure you have heard about Pelmeni. Pelmeni are Russian style Meat Dumplings traditionally filled with minced meat. Some prefer a mix of beef and pork minced meat and some just plain pork.

Unlike homemade pasta dough the dough for Pelmeni is very easy and quick to make and doesn´t require any special skills. If you love pasta and ravioli and want to try something new, give this Pelmeni recipe a go and you might find a new favorite.

Traditionally Pelmeni are served with a dollop of sour cream (smetana) on top or with some butter. I love to add some fresh or frozen dill on top of that sour cream and pour a little of the cooking liquid over and eat it like a soup. Try my way if you feel a funky or eat it the traditional way. Either way it is delicious. 

Since Pelmeni are frozen before cooking, you can make a big batch and freeze them for later. Whenever you don´t feel like cooking you will have a delicious meal waiting in your freezer. Boil some hot water with spices, add Pelmeni and after about 15 minutes your meal will be ready.


Step by Step Video


Traditional Russian Pelmeni

Russian Meat Dumplings


  • 360g flour

  • 2 eggs

  • 1 can of soured cream (about 200g)

  • salt (1-2 tsp)

  • 500g minced meat

  • 1-2 onions

  • 2 garlic cloves

  • 2 tsp salt

  • 2 tsp pepper

For this recipe you will need a dumpling maker or a cookie cutter/glass with a 6cm diameter.


  1. Add flour, salt, sour cream and eggs to a medium bowl.

  2. Mix well with your hands until a dough forms. You might need to work the batter for 3-5 minutes mixing it hard so that a smooth dough forms. The dough should feel and look a bit like pasta dough. Cover with a kitchen towel and leave aside.

  3. Cut the onion and garlic cloves in a blender or with an immersion blender until a smooth paste.

  4. Mix minced meat with the onions and season with salt and pepper.

  5. Take a piece of the dough and roll it out thinly with a rolling pin on a floured surface. Keep the rest of the dough covered with a kitchen towel so that it doesn't dry.

  6. Cut circles out of the dough with a dumpling maker. Take one teaspoon-full of the meat and add into the middle of the dough circle. If using a dumpling maker, press the dough together with the dumpling maker. If not fold the two sides together and press them together with your fingers. Then you can also attach the two ends together to form a round pelmeni.

  7. Arrange the pelmeni on a cutting board and freeze for at least an hour. Then you can remove them from the freezer and bag them for later use.

  8. Boil the frozen pelmeni in hot salted water with black peppercorns and laurel leaves. Cook until they all come up on the water surface (this takes about 15 minutes).

  9. Serve warm with sour cream or butter.

TIP. If you happen to have leftover dough you can cut it into stripes and cook it as pasta.

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