Russian Pelmeni Meat Dumplings (Peljmeni)

Russian Dumplings (Pelmeni)
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  • Total: 90 mins
  • Prep: 30 mins
  • Cook: 60 mins
  • Servings: 4 to 5 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
399 Calories
21g Fat
16g Carbs
33g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 5
Amount per serving
Calories 399
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 21g 27%
Saturated Fat 7g 33%
Cholesterol 261mg 87%
Sodium 1117mg 49%
Total Carbohydrate 16g 6%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Protein 33g
Calcium 94mg 7%
*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.)

This recipe for Russian meat dumplings, known as pelmeni or peljmeni, is traditionally filled with ground beef, pork, and sometimes lamb, and served with red-wine vinegar, black pepper, and melted butter. Mushroom, sauerkraut, and vegetable fillings exist in other regions of Russia.

The word pelmeni describes the ear-shaped appearance of these dumplings, similar to Polish uszka, or "little ears," a smaller version of Polish pierogi.

To make the job go faster, the dough and filling can be made ahead and the dumplings can be assembled and cooked the next day.


  • For the Dough:
  • 2 large eggs (room temperature)
  • 2/3 cup water (tepid)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 1/4 cups flour (all-purpose, plus more for dusting)
  • For the Filling:
  • 1 large onion (finely grated)
  • 8 ounces pork (lean, ground)
  • 8 ounces ground beef (chuck)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Steps to Make It

Make the Dough

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. In a food processor, combine eggs, water, oil, salt, and half the flour. Add the remaining flour and process until a smooth dough forms.

  3. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 5 minutes or until no longer sticky. Wrap in plastic and let rest for 30 minutes. The dough can be refrigerated at this point until ready to roll.

Make the Filling

  1. Gather the ingredients.

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

  3. Refrigerate, covered until ready to use.

Form the Pelmeni

  1. Cut dough into 8 equal pieces. Keep the rest covered while you roll one piece of dough into a finger-width cylinder. Cut this into 10 pieces. Roll each of the 10 pieces into a 2-inch circle.

  2. Spread 1 teaspoon of filling on the circle almost to the edges. Pick up the circle and fold to create a half-moon and pinch the edges together, making sure there is no trapped air that could cause them to explode when cooking. Place formed pelmeni on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Cook the Pelmeni

  1. Place a large saucepan of salted water on to boil. When you have made 10 pelmeni, drop them into the boiling water. When they rise to the surface, boil an additional 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from water with a slotted spoon. Repeat with remaining dough and filling.

  2. Serve boiled dumplings with melted butter, red-wine vinegar, black pepper, and sour cream, if desired. After boiling, pelmeni also can be sautéed in butter until lightly browned.

  3. Alternatively, pelmeni can be rolled out and filled as for pierogi and frozen for later cooking.