Russian Pelmeni Recipe – Russian Special

Pelmeni are Russian meat-filled dumplings. Making them is a favorite family pastime during the long winter months. These dumplings are a common convenience food. Large batches can be frozen and quickly boiled or fried on demand. We usually double this recipe in our house and fold about 200 pieces. Pelmeni are usually served with sour cream or vinegar.

  • Prep Time1 hr
  • Cook Time20 min
  • Perform Time1 hr
  • Total Time2 hr 20 min

Russian Pelmeni Ingredients :

  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup warm water, or more as needed
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour for dusting
  • 18 ounces ground beef
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 ½ tablespoons ice-cold water
  • 1 tablespoon coarse salt
  • freshly ground pepper to taste

How To Make Russian Pelmeni


Make dough: Combine egg, oil, and salt in a liquid measuring cup; add enough warm water to fill to 1 cup. Pour into a large bowl and knead in 3 cups flour until smooth and elastic. Cover with a dish towel and let dough rest for 30 minutes.


Meanwhile, make filling: Combine ground beef, onion, water, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl; mix thoroughly by hand or using a fork. Set aside.


Dust a baking sheet lightly with 1 tablespoon flour; set aside.


Roll out a portion of dough very thinly on a lightly floured surface; keep remaining dough covered with a dish towel to avoid drying out. Cut out 2 1/2-inch rounds with a cookie cutter. Place about 1 teaspoon filling on one side of each dough circle. Fold dough over and seal the edges using your fingers, forming a crescent. Join the ends and pinch them together. Place on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough and filling. Freeze pelmeni for 30 minutes to prevent them from sticking together.


Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a simmer. Working in batches, cook frozen pelmeni in simmering water until meat is cooked through and pelmeni float to the top, about 5 minutes. Continue cooking for 5 more minutes. Transfer to serving plates using a slotted spoon.

Recipe Notes: 

You can use a mixture of 1/2 ground pork and 1/2 ground beef. You can also use ground turkey.

You can make the meat filling by processing the filling ingredients through a meat grinder. Only use a blender or food processor if you have a special setting for meat.

If you’re not a fan of raw onion, you can sauté the onion in butter over medium heat for 5 to 7 minutes before using it in the filling.

You can make the dough in a Kitchen Aid; mix until the dough begins to form a ball.

In Russia, people often use a pelmeni mold to form dumplings. To use one, roll out a portion of the dough very thinly on a lightly floured surface. You should end up with a circle slightly bigger than the mold. Place onto the mold, floured-side down. Place about 1 teaspoon filling into each cell. Cover with another thinly rolled dough circle and sprinkle with flour. Roll a rolling pin over the top until pelmeni start popping out from the mold. Gather remaining dough and add a little bit of new dough to it. Roll out again, repeating the process with remaining dough and filling.

To fry pelmeni: Melt butter or bacon grease in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté frozen pelmeni in hot butter until soft and meat is cooked through, just like a pierogi.