Friday, April 1, 2011

Hungarian Stuffed Cabbage (Töltött Káposzta)

Contributed by Dawn Marie Hamilton

Last weekend's cold snap and snow in Southern Maryland had us craving something warm and satisfying. Stuffed cabbage.

Shortly after we married, my husband asked me to attempt some of his favorite Hungarian recipes. We called his paternal grandmother (nagyanya) and she provided me with a terrific little pamphlet from 1957.

Anna emigrated from Hungary to the United States at the age of fourteen with her soon-to-be husband's family. She lived a hearty ninety-seven years. We fondly called her Nagy-mama. We miss her terribly.

This recipe combines Anna's variation of the original recipe along with my modernization.


1 large head of cabbage
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup onion, chopped
1 pound meatloaf mix (beef, pork, and veal)
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup brown rice
2 14-ounce kielbasa
water (approximately 5 cups)
16-ounce refrigerated sauerkraut
Spicy Hot V8 juice (approximately 3 cups)
1 cup sour cream

1. Core cabbage and place in enough boiling water to cover. With a fork in one hand and a knife in the other, cut off the cabbage leaves as they wilt. Drain and trim the thick center vein from each cabbage leaf.

2. Sauté onion in olive oil until limp. Transfer to a large bowl. Add meat, seasonings, and rice and mix well. Place a rounded tablespoon of filling on each cabbage leaf and roll, tucking sides in.

3. Place kielbasa in the bottom of a large pot. Arrange rolled cabbage leaves over top. Add water until two thirds full. Cover cabbage with sauerkraut. Add V8 juice to fill. Cover and cook on a low simmer for 2 hours. (1.5 hours if you substitute white rice for brown.) Pour sour cream on top and cook for an additional 5 minutes.

6 to 8 servings. Enjoy!


  1. Sounds yummy, and what a wonderful old book, Dawn! I'm sure it has many interesting recipes. Hope you'll share more soon.

  2. This looks like a great one to try, especially in the colder weather, Dawn. A nice tribute to Frank's grandmother, too!

  3. Pat, I plan to try some of the pastries. I'll report the results on Kitchen Excursions when I do.

  4. Thanks for visiting, Lois. Nagy-mama was a special lady.

  5. Hi!!

    I'm about to marry and my fiancé is asking me for this recipe. I'm sorry to boter you but, is there any chance that you might have the original recipe?

    It's just that I don't really have anybody to call, and if you could help me that will be great!

    Thank you so much!!!


  6. Hi Tanit,

    Send an email to dawn @ dawnmariehamilton . com (without spaces) and I'll email you the original recipe.

    Thanks for visiting us at Kitchen Excursions!

    ~Dawn Marie

    1. Thank you!!

      I'm sorry I didn't reply before, I was a little bussy.



    2. Tanit, I sent you an email with the original recipe from the 1957 pamphlet. Enjoy!