Ukrainian Chebureki (Чебурек)

Crimean cheburek recipe

Ukrainian Chebureki, written Чебурек, is a popular turnover pastry usually eaten as a street food or snack. It is a Crimean Tatar dish but popular all over Eastern Europe and central Asia. Alona’s family is from Crimea so this is a dish I’ve had quite often. One of the more traditional fillings is beef and onion, but it could also be made with lamb (or really any meat if you want).

For this recipe I used pork since I had it in the fridge, but you can sub any meat you prefer. I even make dessert chebureki using cherries just like in sweet varenyky. If you are ever in Kyiv you can get great Chebureki at Musafir. This restaurant used to be in Crimea before the occupation, and serves plenty of popular Ukrainian recipes.

Like Ukrainian Food? Try Alona’s Grandmother’s Amazing Liver Cake and Meatballs!

The dough is similar to most dumpling dough but it is cooked in hot oil. Actually it is more like deep frying mixed with boiling, because if the oil is too hot it will burn the dough before the filling is properly cooked. Other than that, this recipe is extremely easy and so, so delicious.

Chebureky dough
It’s always important to have a bottle of wine when making dough. This is the only time it is acceptable to drink right from the bottle. (Just kidding, I use it as a rolling pin in a pinch).

Ukrainian Chebureki are big. Sometimes you’ll get some that are hand sized, but it’s my belief that the bigger the better. I roll out a ball of dough to about a foot in diameter (30 cm). If you want to make them smaller you can, but don’t go too small or you’ll end up with just fried varenyky. The white plate you see them on in the picture is 16 inches (40 cm) to give you a sense of scale.

The mixture is a simple mash of minced pork (but more traditional is beef), chopped onion, and pressed garlic. Of course a little parsley, salt, and pepper round it out. The filling basically steam cooks while the outside is being deep fried. You don’t need to worry about these being undercooked as the filling is spread really quite thin. Just a couple tablespoons of filling for the whole chebureki!

Then once the chebureki is sealed shut with a tool or a fork, just carefully lower it into a pan of hot oil. I keep the flame on medium heat so the oil is hot enough to deep fry, but just barely. After about 3-4 minutes on one side I carefully flip it over and cook another minute on the other. You’ll have to use your best judgement, but I flip when the dough just becomes golden as it will become more golden brown naturally, they will even darken a bit after you take them out of the pan.

When the chebureki are done just rest them on some paper towels for a couple minutes before serving. You can eat these chebureki with a knife and fork, but the easier way is to just use your hands.

Chebureki Variations

While I used pork, the traditional (Crimean) Ukrainian chebureki meat is beef or lamb. However you can really get creative with your fillings. Here’s one I made with stewed cherries that is great for dessert. It is the exact same method, but sweet rather than savory.

There is also the very popular Spring Cheburek which is made with boiled eggs and spring onions. This is something I eat every time I go back to the village since they are just so addicting.

Crimean cheburek recipe

Ukrainian Chebureki

Chebureki are turnovers filled with beef or lamb (although I used pork for this recipe). It is a national dish of Crimean Tatar cuisine, and a great street-food.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Appetizer, Main Course, Main Dish, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine Crimean, Eastern European, European, Tatar, Ukrainian
Servings 4 servings


  • Pan


  • 300 grams Flour All Purpose is fine
  • 250 grams Pork minced. Can use beef or lamb to be more traditional.
  • 120 ml Water
  • 100 ml Milk 2% is fine
  • 60 ml Olive Oil or any good oil you prefer (walnut oil works really well too)
  • 1 Yellow Onion finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp Parsley fresh chopped, or dry
  • 1 tsp Sugar
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper freshly cracked
  • 1 tsp Salt or to taste
  • 1 tsp Paprika optional
  • Vegetable Oil for shallow frying. You'll need enough to cover the bottom of your pan about a centimeter


  • In a bowl sift together the flour, sugar, and salt. Slowly trickle in the water while agitating the dough with your fingers. Add the olive oil and knead the dough a bit more violently. Set aside.
  • In another bowl add the meat, onion, parsley, salt, pepper, and milk. If you are using paprika (recommended) add that as well. It's not super traditional but I think it adds to the meal.
  • Take the dough and divide it in fourths. Roll out the dough until you have a sheet large enough to cut out about a foot (30cm) diameter circle. You can flip a large plate and trace with a knife.
  • Take a couple tablespoons of the filling and spread it around one side of the dough sheet. Fold over the other side and seal shut. You can use a tool, or just the tines of a fork.
  • In a pan add the vegetable oil and turn the heat on medium. If it is too hot you will burn the outside before the inside is fully cooked. Place a wooden spoon into the oil, if you see tiny bubbles you are good, if the bubbles are large it is too hot and you should lower the heat.
  • Carefully drop in the chebureki and fry about 3-4 minutes a side, or until golden. It will turn golden brown as it rests. Remove and place on a paper towel lined plate or rack.
  • Enjoy!


The meat can be substituted for any other meat you prefer. I used pork even though that is not traditional Crimean, but it is popular in the west of Ukraine where I live. 
If you want to use cherries/berries as the filling I like to simmer the same gram weight with a quarter cup of sugar before adding them to the dough. 
Keyword Cheburek, Chebureky, Hand pastry, Turnover, Ukrainian Chebureki
traditional crimean ukrainian chebureki on a large plate
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4 thoughts on “Ukrainian Chebureki (Чебурек)”

  1. Ken Barber

    I have heard that there is a spicy sauce you can pour over the top of the chebureki but don’t know the name or what the ingredients are. Do you know of this. I would like to make it.

    1. The ingredients for adjika vary wildly by family but usually it’s a mix of tomatoes, bell peppers, carrots, apples, and chili peppers up to your favorite spice level.

  2. Ken Barber

    I am just getting introduced to Ukrainian food and look forward to trying many dishes. I understand that there is a spicy sauce, a lot like salsa that is served with the Chebureki and I think it would be very popular on the west coast of the US. I know I would like to try it.

    1. Hi, I believe you are thinking of adjika which is actually Georgian but popular all over Ukraine. It’s eaten with chebureki and tatar manti as well.
      I actually don’t have a recipe up yet since I’m always buying new jars to try but it is one of my favorite condiments.

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