Toltott Kaposzta: Hungarian Stuffed Cabbage

Close up of Stuffed Cabbage with Sour Cream

Marton Hadfi / EyeEm / Getty Images

Prep: 60 mins
Cook: 75 mins
Total: 2 hrs 15 mins
Servings: 18 servings
Yields: 18 stuffed cabbages
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
168 Calories
9g Fat
10g Carbs
14g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 18
Amount per serving
Calories 168
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 9g 11%
Saturated Fat 3g 17%
Cholesterol 52mg 17%
Sodium 752mg 33%
Total Carbohydrate 10g 3%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 14g
Vitamin C 39mg 196%
Calcium 74mg 6%
Iron 2mg 11%
Potassium 456mg 10%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This recipe for Hungarian stuffed cabbage or toltott kaposzta is made with ground pork, beef, sliced smoked pork butt, sauerkraut, and fresh cabbage. Some traditional recipes are made with whole soured cabbage heads like ​kiseli kupus.

Other popular Hungarian cabbage dishes include layered cabbage (rakott kaposzta or kolozsvari), sloppy cabbage (lucskoskaposzta), and Szekely cabbage (szekelykaposzta), a type of pork stew baked with sauerkraut and sour cream.


  • 1/4 cup rice (rinsed and drained)

  • 1 pound lean ground pork

  • 1/2 pound ground chuck

  • 2 garlic cloves (minced)

  • 2 medium onions (finely chopped)

  • 1 large egg

  • 1 tablespoon salt (or to taste)

  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

  • 2 tablespoons paprika (sweet or hot, divided)

  • 1 head cabbage (about 4 pounds)

  • 2 pounds sauerkraut (drained, rinsing optional)

  • 1/2 cup tomato juice

  • 1/2 pound pork butt (cooked or uncooked, smoked, thinly sliced)

  • 2 tablespoons lard

  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour

  • 1/2 cup sour cream

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Cook rice in 1/2 cup water for 10 minutes, drain and set aside.

  3. In a large bowl, thoroughly mix together ground pork and ground beef with garlic, half the chopped onion, egg, salt, pepper, 1 tablespoon of the paprika, and reserved cooked and drained rice. Set aside.

  4. Remove core from cabbage. Place whole head in a large pot filled with boiling, salted water. Cover and cook 3 minutes, or until softened enough to pull off individual leaves. You will need about 18 leaves.

  5. When leaves are cool enough to handle, use a paring knife to cut away the thick center stem from each leaf, without cutting all the way through.

  6. Place about 1/2 cup of the meat mixture on each cabbage leaf. Roll away from you to encase the meat. Flip the right side of the leaf to the middle, then flip the left side to the middle. You will have something that looks like an envelope. Once again, roll away from you to create a neat little roll. Cut any remaining cabbage leaves into fine shreds and set aside.

  7. Place sauerkraut in a large casserole dish or Dutch oven (about 6 inches high, 16 inches long and 8 to 10 inches wide) and pour tomato juice on top, followed by slices of pork butt and enough water to just cover. Bring to a boil, lower heat, and cook 5 minutes.

  8. Place reserved shredded cabbage in casserole. Nestle cabbage rolls in the sauerkraut. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat, and simmer 1 hour.

  9. Heat oven to 350 F. Melt lard in a small skillet, and add flour and remaining chopped onion to make a roux. Cook slowly for about 10 minutes or until golden yellow. Turn off heat, stir in remaining 1 tablespoon paprika, and 1 cup cold water until smooth.

  10. Gently remove the stuffed cabbage from the casserole with a slotted spoon to a warm platter. Take a ladleful of sauerkraut broth and whip it into the roux. Return this liquid to the main casserole, stirring well. Bring to a boil. Gently replace stuffed cabbages, cover and bake 15 minutes in the heated oven.

  11. Mix some of the pan juices with sour cream and pour over the stuffed cabbages when serving.