While we all love traditional pelmeni — ground meat stuffed into dough made with white flour — they aren’t exactly the healthiest dish on the menu. But an investigation into Russian cuisine combined with some experimentation proved that it is possible to make this quintessentially Russian dish while pleasing your vegetarian friends and sticking to your diet.

Green pelmeni with spinach and cheese, ingredients for the dough:

  • Rye flour — 375 g (2.5 cups)
  • 1 egg
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pesto sauce — 1.5 Tbsp

A search for the typical dishes of western Siberia turned up photos of shorskiye pelmeni, made with Siberian pine nuts. This recipe became the inspiration for the three types of vegetarian pelmeni that were used in the creation of the topographical map of Russia that set RBTH’s culinary record. They were also happily consumed by the spectators after the event!

For the filling:

  • Basil, chopped — 150 g
  • Fresh spinach, chopped — 150 g
  • Hard cheese, shredded — 100 g
  • Garlic powder — 4 pinches

You can enjoy these pelmeni at home even if you don’t plan to build Russia out of them first.

How to make it:

  1. To make the dough, pour the flour onto a cutting board so that it is in the shape of a hill. Make a hollow in the flour hill and crack the egg into the hollow.

    Red pelmeni with paprika and black olives, ingredients for the dough:

    • Whole wheat flour — 375 g (2.5 cups)
    • 1 egg
    • Tomato paste — 1 Tbsp
    • Paprika — 1 tsp
    • Pinch of salt
    Add the spices and begin to knead the dough, adding additional flour every so often to keep the dough from getting too sticky.

  2. Roll out the dough into a thin layer and use a biscuit cutter or glass to cut out pelmeni rounds.


  3. Combine the filling ingredients in a separate bowl.

    For the filling:

    • 1 bunch of fresh herbs (green onion, dill, parsley)
    • Garlic powder — 4 pinches
    • Black olives, finely chopped — 100 g

  4. Put a small amount of filling in half each round.

  5. Fold the rounds in half and crimp the edges.

  6. Continue until all the rounds are filled.

    Yellow pelmeni with curry and mashed potatoes, ingredients for the dough:

    • Whole wheat flour — 375 g
    • 1 egg
    • Turmeric or yellow curry — 1 Tbsp

  7. Put the pelmeni on a plate and leave to chill in the refrigerator for about an hour.

  8. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over medium heat. Drop the pelmeni into the boiling water and let boil for 5-6 minutes until ready.

    For the filling:

    • Medium-sized potatoes, boiled and mashed, without salt — 5 pcs
    • 1 bunch of fresh herbs (green onion, dill, parsley)

Serve with broth, soft cottage cheese or grated cheese and vegetables.