Stuffed Cabbage Photo: Tropical Magazine

Would you like to surprise your family with a traditional Hungarian meal this Christmas? We have a great recommendation! Stuffed cabbage, or as we call it “töltött káposzta” is of Ottoman-Turkish origins, but it became a popular dish in Hungary in the 18th century. The favourite Christmas meal of Hungarians has several variations across the country and abroad as well; in the Balkans, for instance, they use grape leaves instead of a cabbage coat.

Here we share the traditional recipe from Funzine:


100 g white rice, 1 kg ground pork, 1 onion (chopped), 3-4 garlic cloves, sweet paprika powder, 1 pack of sour cabbage, 8-10 cabbage leaves, sunflower oil, 2-3 tbsp flour, 1 tsp salt, ground pepper to taste, water, sour cream (garnish)


In a medium bowl, mix uncooked rice, ground pork, chopped onion, broken garlic cloves, salt, ground pepper and sweet (édes) paprika powder thoroughly. Wash the cabbage leaves, bring a wide saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil, and cook the leaves for a few minutes until they are tender and soft. After draining, carefully roll the evenly divided mixture into the leaves. If needed, secure them with toothpicks.

Layer the finely cut sour cabbage (also known as “Sauerkraut”) into a bigger bowl, add the rolls, and cover them with enough water. Cook the rolls (at reduced heat) in a covered pot for about 30-40 minutes depending on their size. Once the meal is cooked, heat a small amount of oil in a pan and fry the flour. Take the pan off the stove, add paprika powder (it is a great seasoning that adds both colour and flavour to the dish) and mix it with two tablespoon of sour cream. Add a spoonful of the cooking water too, mix until smooth. Use a strainer when pouring the mixture on the cabbage rolls, and bring the meal to a boil. Voila, your meal is fully prepared!

Serve the cabbage rolls with sour cream and sliced fresh bread 🙂


Wine Advisor:

A full bodied white wine, Olaszrizling (Welschriesling) enhances the flavours of the meal the most.

Source: Funzine

  1. Why the hell would a Hungarian write about Hungarian cabbage rolls than suggest Italian wine? How dumb are you-There are so many great Hungarian wines. Milyen bolond!! Nyak leves kell!!

  2. My family also always used pork. I imagine it depended on the village where you were from.

  3. Pork tastes so much better. And when you cook cabbage rolls, adding smoked ham hock and Hungarian bacon makes it even tastier.

  4. A real Hungarian would never use toothpicks to hold cabbage rolls together!!

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