ExperiencePlus! Blog

Hungarian Stuffed Cabbage

Hungarian Stuffed Cabbage

Hungarian Stuffed CabbageOne of the dishes that Rick raved about from the ExpeditionPlus! trip from St. Petersburg to Istanbul was the stuffed cabbage that the group ate in Hungary. This is the closest we could come to replicating the recipe… We hope you will all enjoy it!

Serves 4

Preparation time: 165 minutes




  • 1 large cabbage


  • 1 x 800g / 28oz tin sauerkraut


  • 225g / 1/2lb minced beef


  • 225g / 1/2lb minced pork


  • 100g / 4oz cooked long grain rice


  • salt and black pepper


  • 1 egg


  • 100g / 4oz bacon, chopped


  • 150g / 5oz onion, chopped


  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed


  • 1 tbsp paprika (if you can’t find true Hungarian paprika, substitute cayenne and adjust the quantity to taste)


  • 1 x 400g / 14oz tin chopped tomatoes


  • 1 tbsp caraway seeds


  • 480ml / 16fl. oz. water


  • 2 tbsp plain flour


  • 240ml / 8fl. oz. sour cream




    1. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees C, 325 degrees F, Gas Mark 3. Remove core from the cabbage, place in a large saucepan, cover with water, then bring to the boil and cook until the outer leaves begin to loosen.

    2. Lift out the cabbage, remove the softened leaves and return the head of cabbage to the pan of boiling water to soften more leaves. Repeat until all leaves are removed.

    3. Once all the leaves have been softened, remove the center stalks from each leaf and set aside.

    4. Meanwhile, place the beef, pork, rice, salt, pepper and egg in a large mixing bowl and mix well. Set aside.

    5. Place the bacon, onion and garlic in a saucepan and sauté until the onion is soft.

    6. Add half of the onion mixture to the beef mixture and mix well.


    7. Spoon half the sauerkraut into the bottom of a deep casserole and set aside. Using the 12 largest cabbage leaves, place about 3 tablespoons of the meat mixture on each cabbage leaf and roll up, tucking in sides. (Do not pack too tightly, or they’ll come out very hard.) Place rolls, seam side down, on top of the sauerkraut in the casserole dish.

    8. Coarsely chop any remaining cabbage leaves and place over rolls.

    9. Add the paprika, cayenne pepper, tomatoes, caraway seeds, water and remaining sauerkraut to the remaining onion mixture, place in a saucepan and cook until heated through.

    10. Pour the hot mixture over stuffed cabbage rolls, cover and bake for 1 hour and 45 minutes.

    11. At the end of the cooking time, mix together the flour and sour cream in a small bowl. Add in 2 tablespoons of the hot cooking liquid from the casserole, mix well then spoon over cabbage rolls. Continue to bake, uncovered

    for an additional 15-20 minutes. Serve hot.