Our fried dumplings recipe for your Russian and Ukrainian pelmeni and vareniki leftovers shows you how to make the most of the dumplings you couldn’t finish, so that they’re so much more than just leftovers, by frying them up with bacon, onion and garlic, and serving them with fresh dill and sour cream.

My fried dumplings recipe is for those of you have been following our recent recipe series on traditional Russian dishes and have made big batches of Russian potato vareniki (or Ukrainian varynyky) and Russian pelmeni (or Ukrainian pelmeni if you prefer) – and perhaps also made my baboushka’s stuffed cabbage rolls, beetroot potato salad, Russian kotleti (chicken meat patties) and savoury piroshki (Russian hand pies) – and have leftovers that you’re not sure what to do with.

Sure, you could stick your leftover vareniki and pelmeni in casserole pots in the oven or even microwave them, but then they’d just be reheated leftovers. You went to so much trouble to make these delicious dumplings, why not take an extra ten minutes and do something a little bit special to truly enjoy them? But before I tell you about our fried dumplings recipe for Russian and Ukrainian pelmeni and vareniki leftovers, can I ask a favour?

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Fried Dumplings Recipe for Russian Ukrainian Pelmeni and Vareniki Leftovers

Because they take a bit of effort and time to make, my Russian grandmother made her pelmeni and vareniki in such big batches that there were nearly always leftovers, even when she’d made them for a big family meal and she froze some of the dumplings. My mum and dad did the same.

I’ve said in both recipes (links above) that you can fry up any leftover dumplings and enjoy them as we did for breakfast, brunch or lunch – depending on how bad the hangovers were after the long Sunday lunches that nearly always extended into dinners after a little too much vodka. But I didn’t say how.

Since publishing those posts a few readers have asked for a fried dumplings recipe for their Russian and Ukrainian pelmeni and vareniki leftovers after experiencing some problems – either the dumpling skins tore apart in the pan, they turned to mush, they burnt, or they were warm and brown on the outside but cold within.

Follow my fried dumplings recipe below and you should end up with perfectly fried Russian or Ukrainian dumplings (I really don’t mind what you call them!) and if you don’t, please leave a comment below and I’ll get back to you with tips.

Fried Dumplings Recipe for Russian Ukrainian Pelmeni and Vareniki Leftovers

Fried Dumplings Recipe for Russian Ukrainian Pelmeni and Varynyky Leftovers. Copyright © 2021 Terence Carter / Grantourismo. All Rights Reserved.

Fried Dumplings Recipe for Russian Ukrainian Pelmeni and Vareniki Leftovers

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Course: Breakfast, Brunch, dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: Russian
Servings: 4
Calories: 576kcal
Author: Lara Dunston


  • 8 tbsp neutral cooking oil
  • Butter optional
  • 4 rashers bacon
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 20 pieces pelmeni or vareniki boiled
  • 2 tbsp fresh dill finely chopped (optional)

Serve With

  • 1 tbsp Sea salt and coarsely ground black pepper
  • 4 tbsp Sour cream


  • Lay out the bacon rashers on a tray and pop them in the oven to cook until done to your liking (we like them crisp for this dish), pour the juices (bacon fat) into a frying pan, and set the rashers aside; once the bacon rashers are cool enough to handle, finely chop them and transfer to a dish. We like to do the bacon in the oven, but if you prefer, you could also fry the rashers.
  • Fry the finely chopped onion in a small frying pan with the bacon fat, 2 tablespoons of cooking oil on low heat until soft, then add the finely chopped garlic and fry until the onion is translucent, taking care not to burn the garlic. If the garlic begins to burn, pull the pan off the heat and continue to stir the onion and garlic until done, then transfer to a dish, and set aside.
  • Fry your leftover pelmeni or vareniki in a frying pan in 2 tablespoons of cooking oil on low heat. Fry one side until crisp, then turn them all and fry the other side until crisp. Turn the heat up a little, turn them over, fry the first side again until brown, and then turn over a final time and fry the other side until brown. This will give you a really nice crispy casing and ensure the dumplings are fully cooked inside. If the frying pan starts to smoke, add more oil and/or a tablespoon of butter (optional).
  • Add a tablespoon of butter (not optional) to a casserole pot. Once the pelmeni are ready, transfer them to the casserole pot, add the chopped bacon, put the lid on and gently move the pot around to ensure the pelmeni is covered in butter and the bacon evenly distributed, then pop them in the oven to keep them warm.
  • Repeat the last two steps with the vareniki, but instead of the bacon, add the fried onion and garlic. Before serving, I also like to add finely chopped fresh dill to the casserole pot and gently combine with a spoon.
  • Serve at the centre of the table, along with dishes of sour cream, fresh dill, and quality sea salt and black better, and let your guests help themselves.


Calories: 576kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 44g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 14g | Monounsaturated Fat: 27g | Trans Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 21mg | Sodium: 2371mg | Potassium: 183mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 104IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 40mg | Iron: 5mg

Do let us know if you make our fried dumplings recipe for your leftover Russian / Ukrainian pelmeni and/or vareniki as we’d love to know how it turned out for you. Leave a comment below, email us or connect with us on social media. Scroll down for links to our Instagram, Facebook and Twitter accounts where we share these posts.

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