Russian Piroshki (Meat Hand Pies)

4.96 from 22 votes

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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.

Also try my equally amazing baked pirozhki here!

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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4.96 from 22 votes

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.
Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
30 minutes
Total: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 12 hand pies


For dough:

  • 4 cups (500g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 packet Red Star Platinum Superior Baking Yeast about 1 ½ teaspoons
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) vegetable oil
  • 1 cup (240ml) warm water more if needed

For meat filling:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 lb (450g) lean ground beef
  • 2-3 garlic cloves pressed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup cooked rice
  • Oil for frying


  • To make the dough, in a large mixing bowl, combine flour, yeast and salt.
  • 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.)
  • 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.)
  • Meanwhile, prepare the filling. Heat olive oil in a large skillet or dutch oven over medium high heat.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.)
  • 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!)
  • 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.
  • Serve piroshki warm or at room temperature.


Servings: 1 hand pie
Calories: 331kcal
Carbohydrates: 36g
Protein: 12g
Fat: 15g
Sugar: 1g
Sodium: 318mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: russian

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

Hi, I’m Shinee!

Welcome! I’m so happy you’re here! I believe anyone can cook restaurant-quality food at home! And my goal is to help you to become a confident cook with my easy-to-follow recipes with lots of tips and step-by-step photos.

4.96 from 22 votes (5 ratings without comment)

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  1. Please advise how to keep the dough seam from separating during the frying….It makes me cry to go to all the trouble of making gorgeous piroshki only to have them split apart in the oil. 🙁 Thank you Shinee.

  2. Thankyou for the recipe, which I’m going to try out very soon! A few years ago a lovely Russian lady sold Pirozhki in our local market. They quickly became a family favourite. One sweet filling she made, which was my personal favourite, was a sweet cheesy one, with I think sultanas. It was also square with the filling on top rather than enclosed. I can’t find a recipe anywhere for it. Would you have any ideas please? TIA x

    1. Hi, Jen. So, what you’re referring to is called “vatrushka”. I asked my Slavic food blogger friends for their recipes. Theirs are round, and if you want to shape into squares, Marina advised to cut the dough into squares and tuck each corner towards the center (to make raised borders), then add the filling to the center.
      Traditionally, vatrushka calls for farmer’s cheese (tvorog), but you can use cream cheese too.
      Here’s my friend Marina’s recipe:
      And this one is my friend Natalya’s recipe:

      1. Thankyou so much for replying, and for sharing your friend’s recipes! I’ll definitely be trying them out. Our lovely Russian lady only ever called them Pirozhki so that’s probably why I couldn’t find a recipe for vatrushka!
        I’ll let you know how I get on 😀. Thsnks again xx

  3. 5 stars
    I have made this a few times.

    Perfect as is, I also added sugar for dessert variations. Dough was very forgiving, I only had melted margarine on hand last time and it worked great

  4. 5 stars
    If you don’t want to use rice but cheese & onion instead, same ratio to the rice, 1 cup?

    1. Hi, Patricia. I would say so, but to be honest, I’ve never made it with cheese and onion filling.

  5. 5 stars
    These turned out EXACTLY as pictured, thank you so much. First time I’ve successfully used yeast in a recipe. Next I’m wanting to try with egg and sugar maybe, to try different dough taste but these are a fantastic (encouraging) first success for me, thank you!

  6. 5 stars
    Wonderful recipe – easy to prepare, the dough turned out perfect, and the result is a new favourite in our house

  7. I have not made them yet because I am wondering why the dough differs between fried and baked. If I use your dough recipe for fried can I just bake them?

    1. Hi, Sue. Great question! For baked version, I like to enrich the dough with sour cream and eggs for more flavor. For fried version, the simple dough is perfect as frying adds so much flavor. Hope this helps. Let me know if you try either of them.

    1. Hi, Robin. I honestly haven’t tried air-frying these. But I’d suggest my baked pirozhki recipe for air-fryer. In my opinion, air-fryer is basically a small version of an oven. And I prefer a slightly different dough for baked version.