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Chicken Pelmeni {Homemade Russian Dumplings}

Chicken pelmeni is one of the best ground chicken recipes. These homemade dumplings are best served tossed in butter and topped with sour cream or a drizzle of vinegar and freshly cracked pepper.

If you are looking for other homemade dumplings, also try these potato perogies or these cherry dumplings.

Bowl of chicken pelmeni - tiny dumplings made with soft and easy to make dough, then filled with juicy ground chicken.

Pelmeni made with the pelmeni mold.

Pelmeni is one of my favorite foods ever, and this love, not surprisingly, is wholeheartedly shared by my toddler as well. If you ever ask her what she wants for dinner, first thing that she mentions is “peemany” 😀

If you’ve never tried to make homemade dumplings, it may seem a bit complicated, but I assure you it isn’t.

These Russian dumplings are filled with a savory ground chicken mixture and are one of the most popular foods in Russia. It’s often joked to be food for bachelors—as in a recipe so simple even a bachelor could make it. Well, not the making, but definitely the cooking part of it, anyway.

While this certainly is a simple way to make homemade dumplings, it is one that the entire family will enjoy. Plus, you can easily double this recipe and turn it into one of those make ahead meals. Just eat half now and freeze the other half for later.

Chicken Pelmeni tossed with melted butter - tiny homemade dumplings made with soft and easy to make dough, then filled with juicy ground chicken filling.

Hand-shaped pelmeni tossed with butter.

How to Make Pelmeni into Make Ahead Meals

Pelmeni can be frozen for up to a month after making the homemade dumplings. Instead of cooking them, spread them on a flour-dusted baking sheet and freeze until firm. Transfer the Russian dumplings to a freezer ziplock bag and label the date. They can be frozen up to a month.

What is the best way to cook frozen Russian dumplings?

The hard part is over once you have your Russian dumplings made and frozen. When you are ready to enjoy your pelmeni, bring a large pot of water to a boil, add the pelmeni and cook for 4-5 minutes.

Scoop them out with a slotted spoon or strainer and toss in a bowl with butter to help prevent the homemade dumplings from sticking together. Top with sour cream or a drizzle of white vinegar and enjoy the pelmeni recipe.

Freezing pelmeni as a make ahead meal on a baking sheet

Hand-shaped Chicken Pelmeni

What can I substitute for ground chicken?

In ground chicken recipes like this one, you can often easily sub out ground turkey for the ground chicken. Make sure you use a higher fat ground turkey to have more flavor.

Chicken Pelmeni - tiny Russian dumplings filled with a juicy ground chicken mixture and served dipped in sour cream.

How to Make this Pelmeni Recipe

Making homemade dumplings is simple. Here’s how to make a classic, delicious pelmeni recipe.

Pelmeni Tips for Success

  • Only add a minimal amount of flour when creating a flour-dusted surface to roll out your homemade dumplings on. If you add too much, the Russian dumplings will become dense and overly tough.
  • Make sure to seal each dumpling firmly, or they will come apart when cooking and lose their filling.
  • Do not overcook this pelmeni recipe or the dumplings can come apart.

How to make Pelmeni

  • Make the Chicken Pelmeni filling: Combine all ingredients for the chicken filling mixture.

ground chicken mixture that is used as pelmeni filling - important part of how to make pelmeni

  • Shape the Pelmeni
    Make the dumpling dough, roll it thin on a lightly flowered surface to a size a little bigger than the size of the pelmeni mold.
  • Dust the pelmeni mold with flour lightly and place the dough on top. Fill each cavity of the mold filling, then place more dough on top. Seal the two layers of dough together and shake the Russian dumplings out of the mold.

Making homemade pelmeni dough with a Russian dumpling mold.

  • If you don’t have a mold, you can also create the pelmeni shape by hand.

Step by step photo instructions for shaping pelmeni by hand

How do you serve Russian dumplings?

  • The classic way to serve Russian dumplings is with a dollop of sour cream on the side.
  • You can also serve them with a drizzle of white distilled vinegar and a dusting of black ground pepper.

How to Reheat Pelmeni 

In the unlikely event that you have any of your Russian dumplings leftover, there are two ways to reheat them.

  1. You can add the pelmeni and a little bit of water to a skillet and cover with lid to heat them through.
  2. You can also fry them by using a little bit of butter or oil—they are amazing fried.

Chicken Pelmeni in a bowl with sour cream on top.

Looking for more ground chicken recipes? Try these:

Chicken Pelmeni {Homemade Russian Dumplings}

Chicken Pelmeni - tiny dumplings made with soft and easy to make dough, then filled with juicy chicken filling.
5 from 4 votes

Chicken pelmeni is one of the best ground chicken recipes. These homemade dumplings are best served tossed in butter and topped with sour cream or a drizzle of vinegar and freshly cracked pepper.

Author: Marina | Let the Baking Begin!
Course: Entree
Cuisine: Russian, Ukrainian
Keyword: Ground chicken, Pelmeni
Calories: 425 kcal
Prep Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 5 minutes
Servings: 10 servings (18 pelmeni per serving)


Pelmeni Dough Ingredients

  • 2 cups whole milk room temperature
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine room temperature
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 5 cups all purpose flour (divided into 3 cups + 2 cups)

Pelmeni Ground Chicken Filling

To Serve the Pelmeni

  • Butter
  • Sour cream
  • white vinegar


How to make the pelmeni dough

  1. In a mixer bowl fitted with a hook attachment, combine 2 cups milk, 1 egg, 1 tsp salt, and 3 cups of flour. Mix on low speeds until thoroughly combined.

  2. Add 2 more cups of flour and mix to combine. Add 1/2 cup room temperature butter and knead until a smooth dough that doesn't stick to the sides of the bowl forms. Cover with kitchen towel and let rest for j to 1 hour, at room temperature.

Meanwhile, make the ground chicken filling

  1. Put the 2 lbs chicken thighs (about 12 pcs), 2 tsp garlic powder, 2 tsp pepper, 2 tsp salt and the 1 fresh onion (if using) through the meat grinder or through the food processor and pulse, and then process to create filling.

Form the pelmeni with a mold

  1. Work with one section at a time and roll the dough thin on a very lightly floured surface. The dough should be just slightly larger than the size of your pelmeni mold (if using).

  2. Dust the pelmeni mold with flour and place the dough on top. Fill each cavity of the mold with about 1 tsp of the filling. Then add a second layer of rolled out dough on top.

  3. Go over it with a roller firmly, sealing the two layers of dough together. Continue to press and roll with the roller until you can see edges of the pelmeni mold through. Invert the mold and shake out the pelmeni onto a very lightly floured surface. Continue until all dough and filling are used.

Form the pelmeni by hand

  1. Divide dough into 4. Work with one piece at a time, keep the rest covered.

  2. Roll 1 piece on a lightly floured surface then use an inverted glass or a 3 inch cookie cutter to cut out circles. Collect the scraps between cutouts and add them together, rolling back out. Keep adding all scraps throughout the process. Fill each circle with about 2 tsp of filling.

  3. Fold each circle in half then seal the edges together by pressing them firmly. Bring the two ends together and pinch them together, creating the iconic pelmeni shape.

To freeze pelmeni for later:

  1. Freeze the pelmeni on a well-floured baking sheet for about 3-4 hours. Then transfer to a ziplock bag and store in the freezer for up to 1 month. When ready to cook, do not thaw, just add frozen pelmeni to boiling water & follow the instructions below.

How to cook pelmeni

  1. Bring 4 quarts water & about 2 tablespoons salt to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, cook the Russian dumplings in batches of 20 – 25 by dropping them into the water & immediately stirring with a spoon to prevent them from sticking.

    From the time the water comes to a boil again (and the pelmeni have floated to the top), cook for 5 minutes, or until they are soft, but still hold together. Remove one and taste it to make sure they're soft and cooked through. Do not overcook, or the dough will lose its filling.

    While cooking, add 1 tablespoon of butter to a large bowl. Remove pelmeni from the water with a colander, allowing all of the water to drip off before adding them to the bowl.

    Let the Russian dumplings sit over the butter for about a minute, then carefully shake to coat in butter. This will prevent them from sticking to each other & add extra flavor.

  2. To serve: Serve with a dollop of sour cream or a drizzle of distilled white vinegar and freshly ground black pepper.

Nutrition Facts
Chicken Pelmeni {Homemade Russian Dumplings}
Amount Per Serving
Calories 425 Calories from Fat 108
% Daily Value*
Fat 12g18%
Saturated Fat 7g44%
Cholesterol 45mg15%
Sodium 355mg15%
Potassium 681mg19%
Carbohydrates 67g22%
Fiber 5g21%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 12g24%
Vitamin A 385IU8%
Vitamin C 15.3mg19%
Calcium 111mg11%
Iron 7.1mg39%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Marina | Let the Baking Begin

Welcome to Let the Baking Begin! I'm Marina and my love and passion for eating only the most delicious foods drive me to share that love here on Let the Baking Begin (since 2009). With over 20 years of experience in the kitchen, you know the recipes are tested and retested until perfect. I'm so happy to have you here. Enjoy! Read more...

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  • Luda

    Thank you for this amazing dough recipe !
    The dumplings turn out so soft, and just melt in your mouth.
    I tried many other recipes, not the same.
    This dough by far is the best.

    · Reply
  • Tanya

    Love this recipe. Made some 2 days in a row to freeze. I’ve tried other recipes and the dough turned out so thick and chewy but this one is so soft I had to make another batch. Definitely my go to recipe.

    · Reply
  • Thamara

    Value your pelmeni cookingI love russian foods

    · Reply
  • Kristina

    This is literally the only recipe for pelmeni that I don’t mess up. The dough is so fluffy. The filling is delicious. I’ve made these with chicken and potatoes and both were amazing! Thank you for this recipe!

    · Reply
  • Claudia

    I am Mexican and absolutely love Pelmeni! Recipe is super easy to follow and they come out so delicious! I have made this several times and always come to reference this recipe!! Thank you so much for sharing

    · Reply
  • Igor Zarubin

    The American Way of Making Russian Pelmeni

    · Reply
    • Wonton wrappers are great to use in a pinch, but the flavor is still best with homemade. It’s just not the same 🙁

      · Reply
  • Essay

    Thank you!My daughter so excited for them!

    · Reply

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