Russian Pelmeni Meat Dumplings

Russian Pelmeni Meat Dumplings (Peljmeni)

The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

Prep: 100 mins
Cook: 60 mins
Rest: 30 mins
Total: 3 hrs 10 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Yield: 80 pelmeni
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
336 Calories
9g Fat
41g Carbs
21g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 336
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 9g 12%
Saturated Fat 3g 14%
Cholesterol 88mg 29%
Sodium 379mg 16%
Total Carbohydrate 41g 15%
Dietary Fiber 2g 6%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 21g
Vitamin C 1mg 4%
Calcium 32mg 2%
Iron 4mg 20%
Potassium 295mg 6%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

A quintessential Russian comfort food, pelmeni are meat dumplings traditionally filled with ground beef, pork, and sometimes lamb. They are then served with red wine vinegar, black pepper, and melted butter. Mushroom, sauerkraut, and vegetable fillings are also common in certain regions of Russia. The word "pelmeni" describes the ear-shaped appearance of these dumplings, similar to Polish uszka, ("little ears,"), a smaller version of Polish pierogi.

The dough and filling can be made ahead and the dumplings can be assembled and cooked the next day. Using a pelmeni mold instead of forming the dumplings by hand is also a way to speed up the process.

"The pelmeni dumplings were delicious, and the meat mixture was perfectly seasoned. I filled and shaped them by hand, which took some time, but it was well worth it! A pelmeni mold would shorten the prep time and be a good option if you plan to make pelmeni frequently." —Diana Rattray

pelmeni Russian dumplings with meat filling
A Note From Our Recipe Tester

Ingredients

For the Dough:

  • 2 large eggs, room temperature

  • 2/3 cup tepid water

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 3 1/4 cups (460 grams) all-purpose flour, divided, plus more for dusting

For the Filling:

  • 1 large onion, finely grated

  • 8 ounces ground lean pork

  • 8 ounces ground beef chuck

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for serving

For Serving:

  • Melted butter

  • Red wine vinegar

  • Sour cream

Steps to Make It

Make the Dough

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    pelmeni dough ingredients

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  2. In a food processor, pulse to combine eggs, water, oil, salt, and half of the flour.

    eggs, water, oil, salt, and flour in a food processor

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  3. Add remaining flour and process until a smooth dough forms.

    dough in a food processor

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  4. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 5 minutes or until it is no longer sticky.

    dough ball on a wood board

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  5. Wrap in plastic wrap and let rest for 30 minutes. The dough can be refrigerated at this point until ready to roll.

    dough ball wrapped in plastic wrap

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

Make the Filling

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    pelmeni filling ingredients

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  2. In a medium bowl, combine onion, ground pork, ground beef, salt, and pepper and stir until thoroughly mixed.

    combine onion, ground pork, ground beef, salt, and pepper in a bowl

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  3. Refrigerate, covered, until ready to use.

    pelmeni filling in a bowl covered with plastic wrap

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

Form the Pelmeni

  1. Cut dough into 8 equal pieces, about 3 to 3 1/4 ounces each.

    dough cut into pieces

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  2. Keep the rest covered while you roll one piece of dough into a finger-width cylinder.

    piece of dough rolled into a cylinder

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  3. Cut dough into 10 pieces.

    dough cut into pieces

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  4. Roll each of the 10 pieces into a 2-inch circle.

    small pieces of dough rolled out into circles with a rolling pin

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  5. Spread 1 teaspoon of filling on the circle, almost to the edges.

    dumpling dough circles with filling on top

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  6. Pick up the circle and fold to create a half-moon.

    dumplings folded into half moon shapes

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  7. Pinch edges together, making sure there is no trapped air that could cause them to explode when cooking.

    dumplings formed into pelmeni shape

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  8. Place formed pelmeni on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough and filling.

    pemeni on a parchment paper lined baking sheet

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

Cook the Pelmeni

  1. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to boil. Drop 10 pelmeni into the boiling water.

    pelmeni cooking in pot of water

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  2. When pelmeni rise to surface, boil an additional 1 to 2 minutes.

    pelmeni cooking in a pot of water

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  3. Remove dumplings from water with a slotted spoon and transfer to a covered dish to keep warm. Repeat with remaining dumplings.

    pelmeni on a slotted spoon

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  4. Serve boiled dumplings with melted butter, red wine vinegar, black pepper, and sour cream, if desired. Enjoy.

    pelmeni on a plate with sour cream

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

Tips

  • When shaping and filling the pelmeni by hand, work with 1 portion of dough and about 1/3 cup of the meat mixture at a time and leave the rest in the fridge. You could also set the bowl of filling inside a larger bowl filled with ice and water to keep it cold as you work.
  • Keep filled, shaped pelmeni in the fridge until you are ready to cook them.
  • The meat filling will register at least 160 F in the center when done.

Recipe Variations

  • After boiling, pelmeni can also be sautéed in butter until lightly browned.
  • Pelmeni can be rolled out and filled in the style of pierogi.

How to Store

  • The dumplings can be made and frozen for cooking later; place the baking sheet of pelmeni in the freezer until frozen and then transfer to a zip-close bag. They can be frozen for several months. Cook as directed, adding about 4 to 5 minutes to the total time.
  • Refrigerate cooked pelmeni in an airtight container within 2 hours and eat within 3 days.


What's the difference between pelmeni and pierogi?

While both pelmeni and pierogi are Eastern European dumplings, pelmeni are found in Russian cuisine and pierogi are Polish. Another difference is that pierogi are made with either savory or sweet fillings, and pelmeni are filled with only savory ingredients.

How much salt should I add to water for pelmeni?

Salt the water for the pelmeni like pasta water, about 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons of kosher salt per quart of water.