5 from 4 reviews

Pelmeni – the famous Russian meat-filled dumplings. This recipe has a really unique dough that is so easy to make and is a dream to work with. The pork filling has the addition of napa cabbage, onion and garlic, which add flavor but also make the filling incredibly tender. 




  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup or 8 oz butter
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 6 cups all purpose flour

Meat Filling:

  • 3 lbs ground meat (I prefer pork or chicken)
  • 2 onions (finely chopped)
  • 4 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 1/23 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 1/21 Tablespoon dry herbs and spices, optional
  • 1/41/3 cup water


Pelmeni Dough:

  1. In a medium pot, bring the water and butter to a boil.
  2. Add the salt and two cups of flour all at once. Mix vigorously with a wooden spoon.
  3. Take off the heat, cool slightly and add the eggs.
  4. Add the remaining four cups of flour. Mix until combined.
  5. Cover, and set aside, letting the dough rest for about 20 minutes.

Meat Filling:

  1. Melt butter in a skillet. Add the onions and cook for about 5-7 min, until tender and starting to turn slightly golden. Add garlic and cook for about 30 seconds. Cool slightly. 
  2. In a large bowl, combine the ground meat, cooked onions and garlic, salt, pepper, herbs and spices and water. Mix to combine. 

Assembling the Pelmeni:

  1. Roll out the dough into a thin sheet. (While assembling the dumplings, keep the remaining dough covered, so it stays soft and pliable, protecting it from drying out.)
  2. Cut out 3 inch circles, using a biscuit cutter or a cup. Place 1 heaping Tablespoon of meat filling in the center. Fold the dough over in half, sealing the edges together. 
  3. When sealing the edges together, make sure to squeeze out all the air, so the pelmeni don’t burst open while cooking. 
  4. Take hold of the corners and pinch them together, creating the classic pelmeni shape. 

To cook:

  1. Add 1 bay leaf, and some peppercorns to a pot of water. Season with salt and bring to a boil.
  2. Add the pelmeni, (no need to thaw if using frozen Pelmeni).  Cook just until the pelmeni float to the top, for about 5 min. Make sure not to overcook them.
  3. Drain the water or use some of it and serve it with the pelmeni as a broth. 
  4. Serve with  sour cream. Other garnish options are melted butter, sour cream, vinegar, fresh herbs, sauteed onions and bacon. 


Freezer Storage:

  1. Sprinkle flour on a wooden board and arrange pelmeni in a single layer on top of the flour. You can also use a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. 
  2. Place in the freezer for 20-30 min, until the pelmeni are frozen hard.
  3. Transfer the pelmeni to a freezer ziptop bag or an airtight container and store in the freezer for 6 months – 1 year. 

Keywords: how to make pelmeni, Russian pelmeni, Russian meat dumplings