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Gourmet Made Deliciously Simple

Russian Piroshki (Meat Hand Pies)

Perfect for picnics, potlucks and any summer activities, these Russian piroshki (meat hand pies) are made of tender and soft dough, filled with simple meat and rice mixture and fried till crisp golden perfection!

This post is sponsored by Red Star Yeast. All opinions are mine alone.

Sharing my mom’s secret to the softest and fluffiest piroshki (Russian hand pies) with simple beef and rice filling, but you can fill yours with whatever your heart desires.

I'm sharing my mom's secret to the softest and fluffiest piroshki (Russian hand pies) with simple beef and rice filling, but you can fill yours with whatever your heart desires.

It’s official!! Dates are set. Tickets are purchased! We’re going to Mongolia next month!! And by we, I mean Grant and I. Unfortunately, it’s a busy season for my husband at the ranch and he won’t be able to join us this time.

But I can’t wait to be in my childhood home and be spoiled with mom’s cooking! I miss her cooking so much. If you’ve been around for a little bit, you’ve probably seen a few of her recipes already. But here’s another one.

These Russian piroshki (or pirojki, or pirozhiki, however you wanna spell it) are stuffed with simple meat and rice mixture and fried till golden brown perfection! This’s my favorite comfort food straight from my childhood.

It all starts with yeast leavened dough, which is so dreamy soft and fluffy. It’s truly the best part! I’ll share my mom’s secret for that super soft dough in a minute. But first, let me share a word about my trusted Red Start Platinum yeast. As you know, this’s my second recipe in partnership with Red Star Yeast, but it’s definitely not the only recipe I use it in.

I’m seriously a huge fan of their products, mostly because they consistently deliver amazing results.

How to make meat pie from scratch...

Ok, now the secret to the softest piroshki dough is vegetable oil! That’s it. Stirring in some vegetable (or canola) oil right into the dough yields the softest and most tender dough you’ll ever bite into.

Now, you can fill the dough with whatever filling your heart desires, mashed potatoes, cabbage and meat, all meat, or in this case, meat and rice. Anything works here!

Another quick tip.

You don’t need a thermometer to fry these savory hand pies. Simply drop the end of a wooden spoon into heated oil, and if it’s bubbling up around the wood, that means the oil is ready for frying! Drop those pretty little nuggets into the oil and watch them turn beautiful golden brown. Since we’re using pre-cooked filling, it won’t take long.

Step by step photo direction for Russian piroshki with meat and rice...

By the way, these meat hand pies are perfect portable meal for picnics, potlucks and all the summer activities! Hope you’ll give it a try.

Perfect for picnics, potlucks and any summer activities, these Russian piroshki (meat hand pies) are made of tender and soft dough, filled with simple meat and rice mixture and fried till crisp golden perfection!

As always, thanks for reading!

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Russian Piroshki (Meat Hand Pies)

I’m sharing my mom’s secret to the softest and fluffiest piroshki (Russian hand pies) with simple beef and rice filling, but you can fill yours with whatever your heart desires.

Yield: 12 hand pies


For dough:
  • 4 cups (500gr) all-purpose flour
  • 1 packet (about 1 ½ teaspoons) Red Star Platinum Superior Baking Yeast
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) vegetable (or canola) oil
  • 1 cup (240ml) warm water, more if needed
For meat filling:
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1lb (450gr) lean ground beef
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, pressed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup cooked rice
  • Oil for frying


  1. To make the dough, in a large mixing bowl, combine flour, yeast and salt.
  2. Add vegetable oil and water and mix until smooth. (If dough is too dry, add more water a little bit at a time until dough smooth and soft. Also, if the dough is too wet, add a little bit more flour.)
  3. Coat the dough with a little bit of vegetable oil and place it back in the bowl. Cover with damp kitchen towel and place it in a warm place to rise, for about 30-60 minutes. (I put it in a microwave with a glass of hot water. Don’t turn on the microwave.)
  4. Meanwhile, prepare the filling. Heat olive oil in a large skillet or dutch oven over medium high heat.
  5. Add the meat, garlic and salt. Cook the meat, breaking it apart with a wooden spoon, until cooked through. Transfer into a large bowl and mix it with rice.
  6. Once the dough is doubled in size, take it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead into a smooth ball, 1-2 minutes. Lightly flatten the dough ball into a disk, and divide into 12 equal parts as you slice a pizza. Roll each piece into a smooth ball.
  7. To make the hand pies, take a piece of dough and flatten it with your hands. Put the filling in the center and fold the dough in half. Pinch the edges of the dough to seal, creating a half moon. Then gently flatten it between your palms, making sure the sealed crimps are on flat side. (If it’s not clear, check out the photos above.)
  8. Once all the hand pies are formed, heat 1-inch oil in a large skillet, or dutch oven. (Tip: You don’t need a thermometer to fry these savory hand pies. Simply drop the end of a wooden spoon into heated oil, and if it’s bubbling up around the wood, that means the oil is ready for frying!)
  9. To cook the hand pies, drop 4 hand pies in the hot oil and cook until golden brown, 3-4 minutes. Flip and cook until it’s nice and golden. Remove into a bowl, lined with paper towel to absorb excess oil. Continue with the remaining batch.
  10. Serve piroshki warm or at room temperature.
All images and text ©Shinee D. for Sweet & Savory


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All photographs and content on Sweet & Savory by Shinee is copyright protected, unless otherwise noted. Please do not use any of my photos without my authorization. If you would like to share my recipe, you may re-write the recipe in your own words, or simply link back to this post for the full directions. Thank you for your cooperation!

Special thanks to Red Star Yeast for sponsoring this post. Follow them on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Google Plus for more baking inspiration.

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  1. These are delish!  Only I added some sautéed mushrooms &  Emerils seasoning for a little kick .  Also I baked mine at 400 degrees for 17 min since I don’t tolerate fried foods very well.Thanks for the recipe!

    Rating: 5
  2. I need these in my life. I rode the trans-siberian railroad from Moscow to Irkutsk in early 2000 and every train stop along the way there were women with Piroshki in their pockets…amaaaziiiing. I think my favorite version are filled with cabbage, sometimes potatoes….maybe if I can find yeast and flour out there soon (coronavirus panic shopping has left the shelves bare of flour and yeast!) I will give this a try 🙂

    • Hi, Liz. Thank you for sharing your memory!! My mom had ridden those railroads so many times and shared similar memories! 🙂 Hope you can find flour and yeast soon. And hope you’re staying safe!

  3. I tried this today and they were perfect! Mine weren’t all absolutely uniform in appearance, but beautiful and delicious nonetheless.How can I post pictures?

    Rating: 5
  4. These were easy to make and tasted delicious. We filled half with rice and beef and the other half with beef and cabbage. очень хорошо! спасибо

    Rating: 5
  5. Glad to find fellow Mongolian’s beautiful blog. This seems like the least complicated piroshki recipe out there. Now I am excited to try it 😀

  6. Followed this recipe exactly as part of a surprise Russian meal for my family of 11 and they were so so so impressed, absolutely delicious, can’t thank you enough. Served the pies with a nice bowl of borscht to dip them in. James

    Rating: 5
  7. Hello. I’m planning on trying this recipe for a potluck at work and was wondering a couple of things. Will they stay fresh from the night before to the potluck the next day and also do you suggest any sort of dip with these or just eat them as is. Thanks for the recipe, I’ve been dying to make Piroshki ever since I read about them in a story.

    • Hi, Zach. Though these piroshki reheat well, I personally prefer them fresh. And generally, piroshki aren’t served with any dips. They’re great as is. Hope you’ll give it a try, and let us know how they turned out, if you do.

  8. Hi Shinee, these hand pies sound amazing! I would like to try them this Holiday dinner. We will be visiting my nephew and his beautiful wife for an early Christmas dinner and I want to take them as a dish. How long can the Piroshki wait to be fried after filling them? i was hoping to serve them warm and fresh, so I would like to do the prep at home and just fry them at my nephews house?
    Thank you for an awesome recipe,

    • Hi, Nissa. So, the dough is pretty sticky. And I recommend cooking them as soon as you fill and shape them. Or they’ll stick to the pan and will be hard to remove them without mangling them. My suggestion is to fry them and put them in a bowl lined with paper towel, cover with a lid and wrap in a towel to keep it insulated. Hope this helps.

  9. We enjoyed these so much! thank you for sharing and please keep cooking! your recipes are always a joy to us in our home

    Rating: 5
  10. Can these be baked instead of frying?

  11. Thanks for this recipe. In Japan we had these in a Russian restaurant. They used ground veal with onions and chopped hard boiled eggs, then ate them dipping in hot mustard between bites.

    • Hi, Pat. Sounds like a delicious filling! And the dipping sauce sounds awesome! Hope you’ll give this a try and experiment with different fillings.

  12. I tried piroshki in Seattle on our 5th anniversary trip. LOVED them. I have a Ukrainian exchange student in my AP biology class and we talked about piroshki’s a couple of times. I think am going to make these the morning of their AP exam so they have some breakfast before they start!

    I liked the cabbage and beef ones but I’m not sure my students would like that so much so I think I may do half of them potato and breakfast sausage and the other half with a fruit filling.

    • Hi, Will! Potato and sausage piroshki sounds fantastic. I bet it’ll be a hit. I’ll be trying that too. Thanks for the idea. And hope your students will love it too. Your students are lucky to have you! 🙂 Thanks for the comment.

      • Can these be frozen before frying and just fry when needed or freeze after fried?

        • Hi, Tanya! I recommend freezing them after you fried them. It’s dangerous to fry frozen stuff, as hot oil will splatter. However, you can freeze uncooked pirojki and bake them in the oven. Hope this helps.

  13. Will definetly try your piroshki recipe which I happened to stumble upon. Thank you for sharing !!!!

  14. Is the dough recipe good for fruit & such handpies?

  15. Can I use instant yeast that comes in one packet? TY.

  16. Can these be fozen? Would love to freeze and have for a quick meal this winter.

    • Hi, Mary. Yes, you can freeze cooked piroshki. When you reheat them, I suggest baking it. I find that the dough gets rubbery, when I microwave them. Hope you’ll enjoy!

      • How long are they able to stay frozen for? And how long should I bake them for?

        • Hi, Kayden. If you wrap them well and store in airtight container, they should be good for 1-2 months. Bake at 350°F for about 20 minutes, or so, until they are heated through.

  17. My mom made these all the time growing up, she has sinse passed and we haven’t had a recipe. Excited to try these! Coming across this brought back lots of good memories thanks!

    • Hi, Jessica! I’m so happy to hear that these piroshki brought good memories of your childhood. I hope it’s similar to what your mom used to make. Let me know if you give it a try.

  18. definitely one of the better dough recipes out there. Instead of 1/2 t salt i added 1 tsp, which was great. Next time will try 1 1/4. The only issue was the consistency of the dough. I had to add more water for it to come together, which was fine, but for some reason the dough was super hard to roll into balls, even after it rested. It wouldn’t come together. In the end it doesn’t matter, we rolled them out flat no problem, but i’m just curious why it’s this way.

    • Hi, Marina! I’m happy to hear you liked the dough. As for the consistency, I find that weather affects the amount of liquid the dough requires. But I’m not sure I understand the issue you had described. So when you roll the dough between your hands, it won’t shape into a smooth ball? Was the dough nice and soft after some time to raise? My only thought is maybe the dough was a bit on harder side? I’d advise to make the dough a bit softer next time.

  19. I have tried many of your recipes, and I must say, I’m very delighted, they all turned out real good. Thanks!!

  20. Tried and true family recipe are the best!

  21. Could you bake these?