Lithuanian cepelinai: Potato dumplings with mushroom sauce & bacon

Lithuanian cepelinai: Potato dumplings with mushroom sauce & bacon

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(13 ratings)

Prep: 30 mins Cook: 1 hr

More effort

Serves 4
Try a taste of this Baltic state's cuisine with these zeppelin-shaped dumplings, filled with pork mince and served with creamy mushrooms

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal488
  • fat32g
  • saturates18g
  • carbs26g
  • sugars2g
  • fibre3g
  • protein23g
  • salt0.7g
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  • 400g waxy potatoes (we used Charlotte)



    The world's favourite root vegetable, the potato comes in innumerable varieties. A member of…

  • 1 large egg, beaten



    The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition packed with protein and a…

  • 1 shallot, finely diced



    Related to the onion (as opposed to being a younger version of it), shallots grow in clusters at…

  • 250g pork mince
  • ½ tsp ground caraway seeds
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 tbsp plain flour, plus extra for dusting

For the sauce

  • 2 tbsp dried porcini mushrooms
  • 1 tsp butter



    Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

  • 2 shallots, finely diced



    Related to the onion (as opposed to being a younger version of it), shallots grow in clusters at…

  • 200g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
  • 200g crème fraîche

To serve

  • 2 rashers smoked streaky bacon
  • 1 tbsp chopped dill
  • green vegetables
  • crusty bread


  1. Divide the potatoes into 2 batches. Chop one batch into large chunks and boil for 15-20 mins until tender, then drain and mash. Finely grate the remaining potatoes using the smallest blade on a grater and tip into a large bowl lined with a clean tea towel. Bring the edges of the tea towel together and squeeze tightly to expel any liquid; keep 2 tbsp of this juice and discard the rest. In another large mixing bowl, add the reserved potato juice, the grated potato, mashed potato and half of the beaten egg. Beat everything together well, season, set aside to cool, then chill while you prepare the filling.

  2. Mix together the shallot, pork mince, caraway seeds, garlic, remaining egg and some seasoning.

  3. Mix 1 tbsp of flour into your potato mixture and divide into 8. Dust the work surface with flour and make sure there is flour on your hands too, as the mixture can be quite sticky. Lightly shape the potato dough into flat round patties, approximately 1cm thick. Put 1 heaped tsp of the pork filling in the middle of each patty, then gently pull the dough up and around to encase the pork and form a dumpling. Roll them in your hands to achieve the signature zeppelin shape. Repeat with the rest of the patties and filling.

  4. Bring a large saucepan of water to a rolling boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Carefully lower in the dumplings, cover and simmer gently for 30 mins. Keep an eye on this - the water must not boil or the dumplings won't hold their shape.

  5. Meanwhile, grill the bacon until crisp, then chop into very small pieces and set aside. To make the sauce, pour 100ml of boiling water over the dried porcini and leave to stand for 5 mins. In a saucepan, heat the butter and add the shallots, frying gently until they are soft and translucent. Add the chestnut mushrooms and cook for 5 mins more. When they are cooked, pour in 1 tbsp of the liquor from the porcini and discard the rest. Chop the porcini and add them to the pan. Fold in the crème fraîche, bring to a simmer, then season.

  6. Put 2 dumplings on each plate and pour over the mushroom sauce. Sprinkle the dill and bacon pieces over just before serving with green veg and crusty bread to mop up the sauce.

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Comments, questions and tips

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16th Jan, 2015
It is a big deal to make a good Cepelinai outside Lithuania unless u are from LT. Egg, flour, salaaad?? No it is not the normal recipe. It is like doing pizza dough with eggs, marmelade and some gypsum. Comment of Neri is very correct. Sorry one star..
14th Jan, 2015
This is just terrible!I don't know where you got this recipe from but this is NOT how you make cepelinai!!This sounds like an absolute disaster and the accompaniments are just so wrong! 1. You use a couple of hundred grams of boiled potatoes for a kg of fresh ones 2. Grating is not enough, you have to have a blade attachment on the bottom of your food processor to get a nice consistency of potato 3. You squeeze ALL of the liquid off into a bowl using a cheesecloth or in worst case scenario a pair of never used tights 4. You preserve a lot of the liquid you squeeze out and let the starch settle at the bottom, this you use in the potato mixture ALL of it 5. NEVER add egg or flour (what is that about?) 6. Wet your hands with the starchy liquid to make the shaping of the cepelinai easier, do not use flour! 7. BOIL water and add your cepelinai, they will rise to the surface and then glisten when they are ready to be taken out
katycooks's picture
11th Jan, 2015
I was very interested to try a Lithuanian recipe. Unfortunately, this was quite possibly the most disgusting dish I have ever made. Two mouthfuls were enough to convince me to throw the rest in the bin. The texture, appearance and flavour combinations were all utterly revolting. I have never before not awarded stars for a Good Food recipe - but this was inedible - so no stars.
15th Jan, 2015
You know why that happened? Because the recipe you saw here is not ours. it's was changed alot. And not in a good way. Want to try REAL potato dumplings - contact me at and I personaly will sent the real recipe to you. Atleast the one my family makes.
7th Jan, 2015
I am Lithuanian too and do not want to be very rude but this recipe has nothing to do with real Lithuanian cepelinai recipe. I am advising people not even try to make them as will be disaster only. Lithuanians not serving cepelinai with salads, greens or bread, just cepelinai and sauce.To make REAL cepelinai you need potatoes what have a lot of starch (red English potatoes can fit). Usually 1 part of boiled and 2 parts of grated potatoes are used and NEVER any flour or eggs, just natural starch from grated potato juice(leave them to set for 15min and after will find remains of white potato starch on the bottom of bowl) or some dry potato flour to dough(depends a lot of what kind of potatoes is used)! Shaping cepelinai with wet hands only. This recipe is more similar to Swedish kroppkaka (kind of cepelinai where they using flour).
9th Jan, 2015
"I am advising people not even try to make them as will be disaster only." I'm assuming you haven't made them to this recipe then? So you don't know they'll be a disaster, just that it's not 100% authentic, which isn't the same thing?
4th Jan, 2015
Being a Lithuanian myself, I absolutely adore this dish which by the way can be done with curds instead of meat as a vegetarian option. One tip though - to make sure the dumplings don't fall apart whilst cooking, we always add small amount of potato starch into the boiling water - either purchased or the one that sets after draining all the juice from spuds. They are also delicious with chanterelle mushrooms either as a stuffing or in a sauce, if you can get hold of them, of course..
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