These are my Ukrainian mother-in-laws Pelmeni Recipe! Pelmeni are little plump meat dumplings made from a hand mold (called the pelmennitsa.) It makes a hearty batch that you can freeze for later! An Eastern European Comfort food, dolloped with sour cream! 

pelmeni dumplings with sour cream

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Pelmeni are the meat version of dumplings! Craving cheese-filled Vareniki or Cabbage filled Pierogies? Don’t leave hungry! Making pelmeni is a labor of love, but once you have a stash in the freezer, you’ll be set! Typically there is two ways to make them, either by hand or with a Dumpling Mold, and did you know you can pipe out the meat filling? Easy, I know and if you want to make them even easier or in bulk, then invest in a commercial dumpling machine!

How Do You Eat Pelmeni?

There are generally a few ways to eat and prepare Pelmeni. Meat dumplings are typically boiled, however sautéing is optional once the dumplings have simmered. My ultimate favorite way to eat them is to toss them in vinegar, oil, salt, and pepper, once done then dolloped with sour cream! My cousin makes a butter dipping sauce seasoned with Vegeta as a side, which also sounds yummy! But sour cream, butter, and vinegar are some of the most common ways to enjoy them.



How to make Pelmeni:


What ingredients are in Russian Pelmeni?

  • flour
  • egg
  • salt
  • oil
  • sour cream
  • milk/water
  • ground meat
  • onion
  • pepper
  • salt

How do you make using a mold?

When using a mold for homemade dumplings you need to roll dough large enough to cover the mold surface. Then a meat filling can be piped into each capacity hole and topped with another layer of dough to seal the filling. Commercial dumpling machines are handy for this kind of job in bulk.

How do you make it by hand?

The best way to make these meat dumplings by hand is to cut the dough into circles. Then fill them in the centers and seal the edges to make half-moon shapes. Some people even pinch the two ends together to make a round dumpling-like seen here.

When can you fry dumplings?

If you can fry Pierogies, then you can fry Pelmeni! It’s best pan-fried after it has been parboiled.

What are the storing requirements?

Dumplings are best when served fresh. To extend their freshness, keep frozen. There is no need to thaw them when preparing.

How long should Pelmeni be boiled?

From the time the water boils and the dumplings get added anywhere from 8 minutes is good, depending on the quantity preparing. The less Pelmeni you make, the faster it boils. The more Pelmeni the longer it will take for the water to come back to a boil.

What is the difference between Pelmeni and Pierogi?

Though Vareniki are similar, the name Pierogi is considered a Polish term for dumplings. Ukrainians call dumplings Vareniki, the Polish call them Pierogi’s and the Russians call them Pelmeni. All of which consist of the same concept, “filled unleavened dough” that gets boiled. Fillings vary from preference and doughs tend to get altered but are generally similar.


  1. Pipe out the meat filling! It’s much easier than spooning the mixture into the mold!
  2. Let the little helpers roll out the dough for a speedier process!
  3. Flash freeze first, to prevent clusters!
  4. Use Pelmeni to make this delicious Pelmeni soup in an easy onion broth!

Explore Other Russian Recipes:


EASY Pelmeni (Meat Dumplings)

Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: 16 dozen
Author: Alyona Demyanchuk
These are my Ukrainian mother-in-laws Pelmeni Recipe! Pelmeni are little plump meat dumplings made from a hand mold (called the pelmennitsa.) It makes a hearty batch that you can freeze for later! A Russian Comfort food favorite, dolloped with sour cream! 


Pelmeni Dough:

  • 7 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup milk

Meat Filling:

  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper


How to make Pelmeni:

  • Combine all the dough ingredients and knead until a soft dough forms. Let rest 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, make the meat filling by combining all the filling ingredients. Set aside.
  • Portion dough into 10 pieces then roll out each piece into a circle. Dust flour over the mold and place one piece of dough over the mold. Fill each hole with meat then top with another piece of dough.
  • Using a rolling pin, roll tightly over the top, then invert Pelmeni onto a floured tray. Flash Freeze or Boil 8 minutes.


To Cook Pelmeni: Add frozen or fresh Pelmeni to boiling water and cook 8 minutes. 
To Serve Pelmeni: Drain from water and toss in butter or oil to lightly coat dumplings. Serve with a side of sour cream.
Vinegar Salt & Pepper Topping for Pelmeni: Optional but super tasty and my preferred way of serving Pelmeni. For every 2 cups of cooked and drained Pelmeni add 1 Tbsp of White Distilled Vinegar, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp black pepper. Super good! 

Nutrition per serving

Serving: 1Pelmeni PieceCalories: 24kcalCarbohydrates: 3gProtein: 1gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 3mgSodium: 55mgPotassium: 14mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 5IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 3mgIron: 1mg

Have Leftover Filling? Make Chebureki!

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    • sara

    I tried making pelmeni for the first time yesterday and I thought it went pretty well until I found your recipe- your method for distributing the filling is pure genius! I’m going to try that next time, I have a feeling it will be far easier than rolling tiny meatballs individually.

    • Jessica

    I boiled them in chicken broth because I thought our family would like them better that way. Everyone absolutely loved them! Even our picky eater who doesn’t like anything made from ground meat, sausages, hambergers etc.

    • Натали

    Great recipe! Should these be frozen cooked or uncooked?

      • Alyona Demyanchuk

      Hi, they can be cooked either way.

    • Olivia

    Made these for a dinner party, served with sour cream. Left with an empty bowl. Highly recommend this recipe.

    • Char G.

    We put minced onion and lots of minced garlic in our Pelmeni filling. We boil them in beef bouillon and serve them in the broth with a splash of soy sauce. Next day we fry leftovers, til brown, in a little broth with oil.
    It’s fun to read & try the different ways people make & serve their Pelmeni!

      • Alyona Demyanchuk

      Sounds delish!

    • Alina

    Thank you for this delicious recipe Alyona! My first time making pelmeni on my own, and this recipe was so simple and yummy!

      • Alyona Demyanchuk

      You did a great job, Alina!

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