This Hungarian Stuffed Cabbage is a hearty comfort food dish made from ground pork and rice encased in cabbage and cooked in tomato sauce and sauerkraut. It’s a delicious low-carb meal!
Today’s Hungarian Stuffed Cabbage is my kind of comfort food folks!
I’ve been enjoying this traditional Hungarian dish since I was just a kid.
If you’re a regular follower here at the BHK, you know I’m Hungarian. My father spoke fluent Hungarian and I grew up in a city in New Jersey which had a very high population of Hungarian people.
The city had a Hungarian festival every summer where there was Hungarian music, art and all kinds of delicious authentic Hungarian food. We looked forward to it every year. They would serve our favorite doughnuts, Hungarian farsangi fánk, Hungarian kifli, a delicious cookie, lángos, a fried bread, stuffed cabbage, chicken paprikash, goulash soup and the list goes on.
I love stuffed cabbage because it’s a healthier kind of comfort food. It’s low-carb too, so I don’t feel bad indulging.
I know some recipes call for a combination of beef and pork, but I prefer just the ground pork because it tastes more like what I grew up eating.
I also like to add some fresh refrigerated sauerkraut to the bottom of the dish before I add the cabbage rolls, as well as to the tomato sauce mixture that you’ll pour over the rolls before baking.
Hungarian Stuffed Cabbage Ingredients
- one large head green cabbage
- fresh refrigerated sauerkraut
- ground pork
- cooked long grain rice
- kosher salt and pepper
- Hungarian paprika
- yellow onion
- tomato paste
You’ll need to remove the core from your head of cabbage with a pairing knife and then place the cabbage head in boiling water for a few minutes before peeling off the leaves one at a time with a set of tongs.
I place my leaves (12 total) on sheets of parchment on my counter, pat them dry, cut the hard rib at the bottom of each leaf out with my knife and then fill them with the pork filling before rolling up and placing seam side down in my baking dish.
You’ll bake the stuffed cabbage rolls covered at 350 degrees for about an hour until the meat is cooked through. I like to serve ours with rye bread on the side because that’s the way my father enjoyed it.
Hope you guys give this traditional Hungarian recipe a try. And perhaps a few others that I’ve linked to below. Enjoy!
A Few Cook’s Notes for Hungarian Stuffed Cabbage
As mentioned, I like to use all ground pork for my stuffed cabbage. Some recipes call for half ground pork, half ground beef.
You will need to find a very large head of green cabbage because you’ll have enough of the stuffing mixture for about 12 cabbage rolls. If you can’t find a large head, buy two medium heads.
When you fill each cabbage leaf, you will place about 1/3 cup of the filling mixture in a log-like shape at the bottom of each leaf, then you’ll tuck in the sides as you roll.
More Delicious Hungarian Recipe to Enjoy
- 1 large head green cabbage, or two medium. You will need 12 leaves total.
- 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
- 1 cup yellow onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 lbs. ground pork
- 1 cup cooked long grain rice
- 4 tsp. Hungarian paprika, divided
- 2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 tsp. black pepper
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 cups water
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 1 lb. package refrigerated fresh sauerkraut, divided
- Fill a large bowl with ice water and set aside near the stove. With a pairing knife, remove the core from the cabbage. Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Place the head of cabbage, stem side up in the pot. Let the cabbage simmer for about 7-8 minutes. Use tongs to gently remove the leaves, one by one, as they separate from the head and place them in the ice water bath. You will need 12 leaves. When you have 12, pat them dry and discard any tough ribs at the bottom of each leaf.
- Add the vegetable oil to a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onion and cook for 5-6 minutes until softened and translucent. Add the garlic and cook for one additional minute. Remove from the heat.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place one cup of the sauerkraut in the bottom of a large Dutch oven. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine ground pork, rice, 1 teaspoon paprika, kosher salt, pepper, eggs and onion mixture. Mix well with your hands. Set aside.For the sauce, in a medium bowl, whisk together the 2 cups water, tomato paste, remaining 3 teaspoons paprika. Add the remaining sauerkraut. Set aside.
- To assemble, place about 1/3 cup of the filling mixture in a log-like shape at the bottom of each leaf, then you'll tuck in the sides as you roll. Place the rolls seam-side down in the prepared Dutch oven. Pour the sauce over the cabbage rolls. Cover the dish and bake for one hour until the meat is cooked though. Serve immediately.