Russian pelmeni recipe with pictures

My husband is half Russian, and not long after they started dating, he introduced me to Russian-style dumplings called pelmeni, which he often bought at a local specialty store. I was hooked right away. These dumplings are deceptively simple in terms of ingredients, and they are the kind of comfort food I can eat nearly every day. The traditional way of serving them – with sour cream, dill and vinegar – gives them a delicious, fresh flavor that everyone should try.

Although it is convenient to buy pelmeni in a specialized store, it is quite expensive. When we got married, my husband’s grandmother visited us from abroad and taught us how to make dumplings by hand. I was surprised to find that the process takes several hours – but the pelmeni are so delicious that I still make them regularly. The steps for making the dumplings are fairly simple: knead the dough, roll it out, use a round cake cutter, stuff it and fold it. To make the process simpler, you can use a special pelmeni mold, which allows you to make several pelmeni at once without having to fold them individually. Since it greatly saves time, I’m partial to using the pelmeni template. However, in this recipe, I’ll show both processes – creating the dumplings by hand and creating them with a template – so you can see how it’s done no matter which method you prefer. Either with a template or folded by hand, these dumplings will Warm your home and satisfy your appetite. Winter blues don’t stand a chance against these delicious dumplings.

pelmeni mold

This pelmeni mold allows me to make thirty dumplings at one time.

dough on mold

Roll out the dough and place it over the mould.


Fill each space in the mold with the meat mixture.

upper dough

Put the second layer of dough, then use a rolling pin to separate the dumplings.


Turn the mold over and gently press the dumplings.

raw pelmeni

Freeze or cook pelmeni immediately.

hand method

For the traditional manual cutting method, use a cup or a round cookie cutter to cut the dough into round pieces.

hand filling

Fill each pelmeni separately with the meat mixture.


Fold in half and seal the edges.

traditional pelmeni

Twist the ends together and press to create a round shape.


It is necessary not to overfill the pies, especially if you use a mold, as it will crack the dough. I recommend using a small 1/2 measuring spoon so you get the same amount of meat in each one and don’t overfill them.

For ground beef, you can use beef, pork, veal, chicken, or any combination.

Do not miss decorating with sour cream, vinegar and dill. This toppings really make the dish!

Russian pelmeni recipe with pictures


  1. dough:
    2 eggs
    4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 cup lukewarm water
  1. filling:
    1 pound minced meat
    1/2 onion finely chopped
    3 cloves garlic, minced
    1 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon black pepper
    1 teaspoon dried parsley (optional)
  1. Entrees:
    sour cream
    Fresh or dried dill
    White vinegar
    butter (optional)


  1. To prepare the filling, combine ground beef, salt, pepper, parsley, onion, and garlic in a large bowl. Cover and put in the fridge while you prepare the dough.
  2. In another large bowl, mix the water, salt and eggs. I fail well.
  3. Slowly add the flour to the egg mixture and stir with a whisk or spoon until the dough is too thick to move. Then continue adding the flour and knead it well on a floured surface until the dough is elastic and does not stick to your hands.
  4. Separate the dough into four equal sized balls and cover two of them for later use. Roll out the other two balls of dough on a floured surface until the dough is very fluffy.
  5. Lightly flour the pelmeni mold and place one piece of the rolled dough on top. Trim extra dough from around the mold. Using a 1/2 teaspoon measuring spoon, stuff each hole of the mold with the meat mixture.
  6. Place another piece of the rolled dough on top and use a rolling pin to flatten the dough over the pan until the dumplings separate. Flip the mold over and gently press each dumpling. Repeat this process with the other two dough balls.
  7. With any leftover dough, make some hand-folded pelmeni so there is no waste. To do this, roll out the dough and use a glass or round cookie cutter to make a circle. Put 12 teaspoons of the filling in the middle and fold it in half to make a moon shape. Curve the points together, as shown above, to create a round dumpling.
  8. At this point, you can freeze the pelmeni for later or cook it right away. To preserve, place the dumplings on a large cookie sheet and freeze them for 20 minutes before transferring them to a freeze-safe bag to prevent them from sticking to each other. For cooking, add pelmeni to boiling water and boil for several minutes. The dumplings will be done about 5 minutes after they start floating in the boiling water.
  9. To serve, toss pelmeni in vinegar and fresh or dried dill. Some people add butter, but it’s optional. Put sour cream on top and enjoy!

Image source: POPSUGAR Photography / Julia Vorobiev

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