Hungary: Recipes and Cuisine

Country | Hungary Budapest Image

The Hungarians, purportedly descendants of the clan of the Attila the Hun, have a fittingly hearty and solid cuisine. Meats, dumplings, noodles and stews are central. Peppers are a popular vegetable and are dried and ground to spectacular effect into Hungarian paprika. The Hungarians are famous for pastries and sweets like palascintak and Dobos torta.

Hungarian Recipes


Soups | Bogracsgulyas Image

(Hungarian beef and pepper stew)

Bográcsgulyás (boh-GRACH goo-YAHSH), or goulash, is one of the classics of Hungarian cuisine. Variations of this basic dish are popular throughout Central Europe. Bogrács is Hungarian for "kettle", and gulyás was originally the word for "cowboy." Today goulash refers to both the herdsmen and the stew they first cooked in their kettles. Read more »


Pastas | Csipetke

(Hungarian pinched noodles)

Csipetke (chip-ET-keh) are one of the many varieties of simple noodles or dumplings found in Hungarian cooking. They are often dropped directly to simmering soups and stews to cook and are a common addition to bográcsgulyás. Read more »

Erdélyi Rakott Káposzta

Ingredients | Sauerkraut Image

(Hungarian pork and sauerkraut casserole)

This layered sausage and sauerkraut dish comes from the Transylvania, or Erdély, region of Hungary and Romania. Erdelyi rakott kaposzta is Transylvanian comfort food, rich and warming for a wintertime meal. Read more »

Gül Baba Almás Káposztája

(Hungarian red cabbage and apples; see Blaukraut variations)


Vegetables | Lecso Image

(Hungarian simmered peppers and tomatoes)

Originally a Serbian dish, lecsó (LET-choh) has been fully assimilated into the Magyar kitchen. This simple pepper and tomato ragout is served both as a side dish and as an appetizer in Hungary. It is an essential component of many Hungarian dishes. A preserved version is also used in recipes as a substitute for fresh tomatoes and peppers when they are not in season. Read more »


Soups | Meggyleves Image

(Hungarian sour cherry soup)

Sour cherry soup is enjoyed by Hungarian families as cherries come into season in late spring and early summer. Each family has its own favorite recipe. Also known as meggykeszőce. Read more »

Paprikás Csirke

Poultry | Paprikas Csirke

(Hungarian chicken paprikash)

Paprikás csirke, or "paprika chicken," is one Hungary's most famous dishes. Chicken is simmered in a paprika-flavored sauce until tender and sour cream is stirred into the sauce to enrich it. Read more »

Töltött Káposzta

Meats | Toltott Kaposzta

(Hungarian meat and rice stuffed cabbage rolls over sauerkraut)

Cabbage leaves wrapped around a meaty filling and baked in a tomatoey sauce are a common item on tables throughout Eastern Europe. This excellent Hungarian version seasons the stuffed cabbage rolls liberally with Hungarian paprika and simmers them on a bed of flavorful sauerkraut. Read more »

Töltött Paprika

Vegetables | Töltött Paprika

(Hungarian stuffed peppers)

Stuffed peppers are a favorite dish in Hungary, simple and homey. The practice of stuffing vegetables actually originated with the Turks. But after years of domination by the Ottomans, Hungarians adopted töltött paprika as their own. Read more »


(Hungarian bread dumplings; see Semmelknödel recipe