One of my all-time favorite Russian recipes – these beef & cheese piroshki are simply amazing! Soft yeast dough is filled with beef, mozzarella, cheddar and onion, then baked to golden perfection! To make the filling extra juicy, I recommend using 85% lean ground beef. This recipe will work well with ground turkey or pork! And, you can prepare these two ways: baked or deep fried. Want more Russian recipes? Get my new cookbook, Beyond Borscht. It has 75 traditional and delicious recipes!
Watch My Meat & Cheese Piroshki Video!
Watch my video recipe to learn how to shape these delicious meat pockets! Want to receive new recipe emails in your inbox? Make sure to subscribe to my website and my YouTube channel and turn on notifications!
Preparing the Beef Filling
RECIPE UPDATE: Since filming the above video recipe, I’ve changed things up a bit! Instead of using the beef raw, I’ve been frying it first, which results in a fluffier and more delicious filling. Here’s how to make the beef and cheese filling:
- Simply preheat a large frying over medium-high heat and fry the ground beef for 7 to 8 minutes, breaking it up into small pieces.
- Let the meat cool until just warm, then combine with the onion, cheese and seasonings.
Baked or Deep Fried Piroshki
These delicious beef and cheese piroshki can be prepared two ways – deep fried to perfection or baked for a healthier version.
- Baked: for baking the piroshki, assemble them and place onto a lined baking tray. Space them a few inches apart and allow them to proof for 35 to 40 minutes, until the dough is doubled. Bake at 350F/177C for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden brown.
- Deep Fried: preheat approximately 8 to 10 cups of vegetable or canola oil in a large pot over medium-high heat, until the oil temperature reads 325F/162C. Shape 3 to 4 piroshki at a time; DO NOT allow them to proof! Add the shaped piroshki straight into the hot oil, seam side down first. Turn the piroshki often, frying for 5 to 6 minutes, until they’re a rich, golden brown color.
Grandmas Make the Best Piroshki!
If your Russian grandmother was anything like mine, you never left her home without having at least two piroshki! My grandmother would make these meat piroshki and her famous cabbage piroshki. I love the aroma of piroshki baking or frying – the aroma brings back so many wonderful memories of my grandmother and my mother cooking away in the kitchen!
Looking for more delicious Ukrainian or Russian recipes? Check out the recipes I have on my website:
- Smoked Salmon Piroshki – soft, baked piroshki filled with a creamy smoked salmon and cheese filling! So delicious!
- Braised Cabbage Piroshki – one of my favorites, with a braised cabbage, pepper and mushroom filling!
- Classic Beef Borscht – rich and hearty beet soup with chunks of tender beef!
- Russian Salmon Coulibiac – the most delicious fish pastry ever with flaky salmon, mushroom rice and a zesty dill and lemon sauce!
- Bacon & Cheese Potato Piroshki – cheesy, creamy and delicious potato piroshki with bacon bits, onion and dill. Great deep-fried or baked!
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Beef & Cheese Piroshki (video)
For Yeast Dough:
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 1 tablespoon dry yeast
- 1/2 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons melted butter
- 1 egg
- 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling/shaping
For Meat & Cheese Filling:
- 1 pound ground beef, turkey or pork
- 1/2 large onion
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 large egg
- 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese
- 1 cup cheddar cheese
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup fresh chopped dill
- 6 cups cooking oil, for fried piroshki
- 1 beaten egg, for egg wash, for baked piroshki
- Prepare the yeast dough first. Heat the milk until warm to touch, then pour into a large mixing bowl. Add the sugar and sprinkle the yeast evenly over the milk. Allow the yeast to proof for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, whisk in the melted butter, salt and egg. Gradually add the flour, whisking the mixture until it thickens into a thick batter. Continue adding flour until soft dough forms.
- Turn dough out onto well-floured work surface; use additional flour as needed. Knead the dough for 4 to 5 minutes until smooth and elastic. Return the dough to mixing bowl, cover the bowl with a clean towel and allow the dough to proof until doubled in size; about 45 to 60 minutes.
- Meanwhile, prepare the filling. Preheat a large frying over medium-high heat, add a splash of oil and fry the ground beef for 7 to 8 minutes, breaking it up into small pieces. Let the meat cool until just warm. Place the onion and garlic into a food processor and pulse into a puree. Alternatively, use a grater to puree the onion and finely mince the garlic. In a large bowl combine all of the filling ingredients: fried beef, pureed onion, garlic, cheeses, egg and seasonings. Use your hands to knead the ingredients together to form a uniform mixture.
- Once dough has proof, punch it down and knead again for a few minutes. Divide the dough into even portions – 8 pieces for large piroshki, 16 pieces for smaller piroshki. Roll each piece of dough into a circle, add filling into the center, then press the dough together to seal the filling inside (watch my video to see how it’s done!).
For Deep Fried Piroshki:
- Deep Fried: preheat approximately 6 cups of vegetable or canola oil in a large pot over medium-high heat, until the oil temperature reads 325F/162C. Shape 3 to 4 piroshki at a time; DO NOT allow them to proof! Add the shaped piroshki straight into the hot oil, seam side down first. Turn the piroshki often, frying for 5 to 6 minutes, until they're a rich, golden brown color.
For Baked Piroshki:
- Baked: Place piroshki seam side up onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Brush the tops with an egg wash using a pastry brush. Allow the piroshki to proof for 30 to 45 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350F. Once the piroshki have proofed, bake them for 25 to 30 minutes, depending on the size of your piroshki. Remove from baking sheet onto a cooling rack to cool for 15 to 20 minutes before enjoying. The filling will be extremely hot when the piroshki come out of the oven! Allow them to cool before enjoy.