Kotlety-Russian/Ukrainian Meat Patties (Kотлети)

Kotlety Russian/Ukrainian meat patties on white plate and wooden platter with vodka shot glasseson wooden
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Posted On: May 19, 2015
Last updated: January 10th, 2024

Kotlety were a favorite comfort food of mine growing up.  My Mom made the best Kotlety; full of flavor and made with love.  It’s funny how a simple food like this triggers vivid memories.  Once in a while my Mom’s Kotlety came out slightly “over-browned” or as my Dad called them,”burnt”, but I still enjoyed them thoroughly.  My Dad grumbled and teased my Mom a bit as he scraped off burnt sides, but we all still enjoyed them.  They were my comfort food that made a bad day seem better.  The very first time I tried cooking them myself as a teenager, I remember burning my forearm with a big splash of hot oil after rushing and dropping a kotleta (singular form of kotlety) into a hot pan. Ouch! That was also one of my first experiences cooking for my parents.  I’ve cooked a lot more kotlety since then with no major issues; only delicious outcomes and very satisfied tasters.

Kotlety on Serving plate with vodka and shots
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Russian/Ukrainian Burgers without the Bun

If you ever eat a burger with a Russian or Ukrainian who might have not eaten a western burger before, (many years back) you might have seen them taking off the bun and eating all the toppings separately, using a fork to eat the “burger.”  That is what I remember seeing at times in my travels and encounters with Russians growing up. Times have changed over the years of course as western culture has infiltrated most Eastern European countries.  You will see people eating Kotlety with ketchup as a topping, sautéed mushrooms, onions or maybe even a creamy white mushroom sauce (my Dad’s and now my husband’s favorite way to eat them, recipe in future post).

Kotlety with mushroom gravy and salad
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Kotlety are also sometimes considered more like large meatballs and served with mashed potatoes or over rice with a vegetable or side salad.

Kotlety Variations

Kotlety are an Eastern European dish, served mostly in Russia or Ukraine. They can be made with ground beef, pork, chicken or even turkey.  My personal preference is a ground beef and ground pork combination, which is often the way my Mom made them. She is originally from the Ukraine.  Chicken Kotlety are very popular in Russian, though they’re not my personal preference.  My family today loves the beef and pork combination the best.  My kids compliment me through the entire meal when I make these, and I just eat it up; thrilled that they love a Slavic comfort food I grew up loving.

Kotlety Meat patties with spicy ketchup, noodles, salad and pickles
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Cooking Kotlety

Kotlety can be cooked on a standard non stick or cast iron skillet, but be prepared to have multiple skillets going at the same time to get them all cooked in a timely fashion. Also, you can cook them on a panini press as I’ve tried in the past. As of the last couple years now we’ve only cooked them on our Blackstone. The Blackstone is a beautiful addition to any home cook’s “outdoor” kitchen. I can’t imagine our life without the Blackstone now. It’s a game changer. See below how we cook kotlety on the Blackstone Griddle.

Russian Kotlety Ingredients
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Kotlety spice mixture, bread mixture, eggs and final mixture pattied
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Blackstone Kotlety (Update-2021)

So much has changed since I initially posted this recipe on my site. I now only cook my kotlety on our Blackstone Griddle. What a game changer the Blackstone Griddle is! My husband and I received the Blackstone as a Christmas gift and ever since that day our cooking methods have changed, even with our go-to recipes we’ve made for years.  Now, for the last year it’s the ONLY way we’ve cooked my Kotlety. I prepare them the same; make a huge batch so there are plenty of leftovers and my husband cooked them all at the same time on the Blackstone. It’s a time-saver and the least messy way to cook them for sure.  If you’ve already got a Blackstone, give it a try! He uses a griddle dome to cover the Kotlety, a few at a time till they’re done. 

Kotlety being cooked on Outdoor griddle collage
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Cooking Kotlety on the Blacktone Griddle

Panini Kotlety

If you don’t have a Blackstone and are cooking indoors making kotlety with a panini press is far from the traditional Russian recipe, but so convenient and efficient if you don’t have a Blackstone or large cast iron skillet you can cover.  They cook in just 4-5 minutes flat, depending on your panini press.  Ours will cook to temp (minimum 165 degrees) in 4 minutes, but for a nicer brown I’ll cook them for 5 minutes. I like our particular panini press for these because it has height adjustments and I can simply make my patty as a ball and then set it to the level above “toast” and set down the press.  It leaves an opening on the panini press and the kotlety is squished just to the right height still cooking both sides simultaneously.  This panini press also is great because it leaves grill marks on one side only so you can choose whether to serve with grill marks or not and it cooks more evenly than deep grooved panini presses (this press also has a perfect pre-set temperature).

Kotlety with grill marks, cooked on a Panini Press
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Kotlety on mashed potatoes with mushrooom gravy and cucumber tomato salad
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Whip up a batch of these savory Kotlety and let me know what you think. Take a photo and Tag us @WholeMadeLiving and share it on one of our social media pages. 

Hopefully you enjoy them as much as my family does!

Related Recipes You May Like!

Kotlety Russian/Ukrainian meat patties on white plate and wooden platter with vodka shot glasseson wooden
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Kotlety (Russian/Ukrainian Meat Patties)

These are some seriously savory  Kotlety (Russian/Ukrainian meat patties) that are like bun-less burgers or large meatballs. This recipe makes about 16 Kotlety so feel free to double if you need them for a larger crowd. They will freeze well also for a future meal. I send them to work with my husband for a lunch protein.
4.89 from 17 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Eastern European, Russian, Ukrainian
Servings 16 Kotlety
Calories 169 kcal


  • 1 lb grass-fed ground beef
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 2 slices of whole wheat sandwich bread
  • 1/3 cup milk or water I prefer milk, but water is fine too
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 3/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 1/2 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1/3 cup yellow or white onion grated
  • 2 eggs
  • Olive oil to grease pan


  • Add beef and pork to a large mixing bowl.
  • Place bread in small bowl and pour milk or water on top and let bread soak for 2-3 minutes. After time is up, mash up bread and milk with fingers until it’s all wet and smashed up into a thick paste.
  • Mix garlic, paprika, salt and pepper together in a small ramekin. 
  • Add bread mixture, grated onion, eggs and spices large mixing bowl with meat.
  • Mix meat mixture well (fingers work best) until fully combined.
  • Preheat your cooking device: cast iron skillet or griddle to Medium/ Medium low and once warm add enough oil just to coat bottom. (If using panini press preheat it now) I do like to use a cast iron skillet sometimes to make these as well, but you need to watch the heat on the cast iron more closely to not burn the kotlety.
  • Form patties with meat mixture, using a 1/4 cup measuring cup, making them about 1" thick (round or oval, your preference)
  • Jump to your Cooking Cooking Appliance Instructions Below: Griddle, Skillet or Panini Press.

Gas Griddle Cooking

  • Heat up your Gas Griddle for 10-15 minutes to Medium Low.  (I use a Blackstone 36″ griddle)
  • Once your griddle is heated up, drizzle some cooking oil on the surface and spread it around (I use Avocado Oil usually for the griddle) and toss the kotlety one by one onto the griddle. You should be able to fit all of your kotlety on the griddle at one time.  I try to put the patties in clusters on the griddle so that I can get my griddle dome over a group of them at a time.
  • Cook the kotlety 4-5 mins on the first side **Watch patties closely because everyone’s griddle cooks differently and it’s easy to burn these if not watching closely.  The paprika in the kotlety can cause them to darken quickly.**
  • Use a griddle dome to help cook the kotlety all the way through. My griddle dome is smaller so it won’t fit them all under it at one time, I bounce it around for a couple minutes at a time over smaller groups of the kotlety patties.
  • Flip patties over and cook about 5 to 8 more minutes or until both sides browned and internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.  I usually don’t use the griddle dome after the flip unless the kotlety patties are slow coming up to temp.

Skillet Cooking

  • Place patties on greased skillet and cook on Medium to Medium Low, about 4 minutes or browned browned (Cover with lid while cooking) but do not walk away! **Watch patties closely because everyone’s burner and skillets cook differently and it’s easy to burn these if not watching closely.**
  • Flip patty and cook about 4 more minutes and browned.
  • Check internal temperature of fattest patty with a meat thermometer (165 deg. minimum) You can keep cooked Kotlety in a 170 degree oven while cooking the rest.

Panini Press Cooking

  • Place 3-4 1/4 cup pressed balls of meat mixture on press and adjust panini press to level above “toast” (stays open with upper and lower plates 1 ” apart) if you have level adjusts. **If you do not have adjustments on your press, the patties will just turn into flat burgers and then I don’t recommend making them this way.**
  • They cook thoroughly with a nice even brown in 4-5 minutes, no flipping of course.
  • Check internal temperature of fattest patty with a meat thermometer (165 deg. minimum)


Kotlety are best served with mashed potatoes, roasted potatoes, rice and a vegetable or side salad. Good ketchup or a homemade mushroom sauce is great with these also.

Nutrition Disclaimer:

The nutritional information provided is only an estimate based on a third party nutritional plugin. Different online calculators may give different results depending on their own sources. The estimates may also change based on the ingredients you use. If you have dietary restrictions and need to accurately calculate the nutrition of this recipe, Whole Made Living recommends consulting a professional nutritionist.


Serving: 2kotletyCalories: 169kcalCarbohydrates: 2gProtein: 11gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0.4gCholesterol: 62mgSodium: 206mgPotassium: 196mgFiber: 0.4gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 133IUVitamin C: 0.5mgCalcium: 26mgIron: 1mg
Keyword beef, griddle, Kotleti, Kotlety, meat, pork, Russian Meat Patties, Slavic Burger, Ukrainian Meat Patties
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Kotlety- Russian/Ukrainian Meat Patties Cooked on Griddle and with Mushroom Sauce and salad
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  • 5 stars
    I just made a huge batch of these for a Ukranian Christmas gathering tonight, and they are delicious, thanks for posting! I’m sure they will be a big hit.

    I am doing carnivore for January so subbed bread crumbs and milk for a half and half mix of beef flour and ground up pork rinds.

    • Yvonne, I’m so glad you like it! I hope you enjoyed your Ukrainian Christmas gathering. We just celebrated on the 7th of January as well. Thank you for sharing your carnivore diet substitution also. Happy New Year & Merry Christmas!

  • TThank you for this recipe. This is the only recipe I didn’t have from my Mom and she died last year. It sounds exactly like fers because I remember her grating the onions & garlic. Look forward to making these in a few days.

    • Thank you for the comment and I am so sorry for your loss. Food like this has a way of rekindling those warm feelings and memories from our past. My husband made me a stuffed cabbage recipe years ago and it totally brought back the joy of eating my babushka’s (grandma’s) stuffed cabbage that she made so well; felt like I stepped back in time.

  • Good Afternoon,

    I couldn’t find a contact spot on your page, so I apologize for posting this as a comment. My name is Alyssa, and I am writing an article about Russian foods for publication on http://www.whatismyhealth.com. The owner, Michael Trovato, would like to cite you, Katia, with your permission, as the original source for the following information:

    Russian Kotley Recipe

    If you could email me to let me know if I have your permission to cite you as the original source for this information, I’d greatly appreciate it. Thank you.

    Alyssa Zukowski
    Featured Blogger
    [email protected]

  • These look great. I think I will try making them soon. Thanks. Hope you all are doing well.

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