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+ servings
4 from 2 votes
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
50 mins
Cepelinai are traditional Lithuanian dumplings made from potatoes and usually stuffed with ground meat, or sometimes cheese curd or mushrooms.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Eastern European, Lithuanian
Servings: 6 people
Author: Mike Benayoun
For the dough
  • 6 lb potatoes (ideally russet or Idaho)
  • 1 pill vitamin C (or ½ lemon)
  • 2 tablespoons salt
For the filling
  • 1 lb ground beef (or pork)
  • 1 onion , chopped
  • 2 tablespoons salt
For the gravy
  • 4 oz. bacon , diced
  • 2 onions , chopped
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  1. Peel the potatoes. Crush the vitamin C pill and place in a large mixing bowl. Alternatively, press the juice of half a lemon.
  2. Grate the raw potatoes with an electric or manual potato grater into the bowl. Regularly mix the potatoes so they do not turn dark.
  3. Place some of the grated potatoes into a cheesecloth over a separate bowl and squeeze until the potatoes are almost dry. Repeat with the remaining grated potatoes.
  4. Slowly pour away the potato juice from the bowl to collect the layer of potato starch settled at the bottom of the bowl.
  5. Incorporate the potato starch with the drained grated potatoes, add salt and knead until well combined.
  1. Combine the ground beef (or pork), chopped onions, pepper and salt. Mix well.
  2. Fill a large stockpot with water, add 1 tablespoon of salt, and bring to a boil.
  3. Take a portion (size of a tennis ball) of the potato dough and flatten in your hands. Take a smaller portion (size of a golf ball) of the meat filling and put in the center.
  4. Fold the potato dough to seal the dumpling and form the shape of a zeppelin. Repeat with the remaining dough and meat.
  5. Once the water comes to boil, reduce heat to medium and slowly lower the cepelinai into the boiling water.
  6. Boil for 20 minutes or until the meat filling is cooked through. Carefully remove the dumplings from the stockpot with a slotted spoon.
  1. Add the diced bacon and chopped onions into a large frying pan. Sauté on medium heat for about 8 to 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper.
  2. Turn the heat off, then add the sour cream. Mix well and thin the gravy with a little hot water or chicken stock if necessary.
  3. Serve the cepelinai generously topped with the gravy.