Cabbage Rolls - Real Hungarian Style

Total Time
Prep 0 mins
Cook 3 hrs

I've eaten at Tony Packos in Toledo Ohio many times over the years and I can only wish that they'd use this recipe for their cabbage rolls. One year, after Christmas, my boss brought in some of these cabbage rolls leftovers from a family dinner and they were so fantastic that I kept bugging him until his wife very kindly wrote out the recipe for me. He is Hungarian and his wife is Polish so you can see that there is a lot of quality cooking in their genes. Everyone who has eaten these has begged for the recipe and if you make these I promise that you will love them and your friends will offer to detail your car to get the recipe. Ok, maybe that's a bit of hyperbole but these are so good that I've stopped looking for cabbage roll recipes. I freeze the leftovers in Seal-a-Meal bags and they keep for months (2 or 3 months is as long as I've been able to keep them before finishing them off). It's great being able to drop the bags in boiling water and having a meal as good as this in 30 minutes. This recipe is exactly as I got it and it comes out perfectly if you cut it in half, which is usually the way that I do it. (If I pack too many goodies in my freezer, I can't fit in my ice cream maker). The juice from this dish is terrific over mashed potatoes and the optional sausage really turns out great after simmering in the roasting pan.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Core cabbage, heat in salt water till leaves separate.
  2. Remove each leaf and drain in colander.
  3. FILLING--(2nd ingredient group):.
  4. To scald rice: Heat a generous amount of water in a heavy pan that will hold the heat.
  5. Make sure that the water will be more than enough to cover the rice.
  6. Make sure the water is at a rolling boil, if rice is not scalded enough it will be crunchy!
  7. Let stand for at least 5 minutes.
  8. Rinse with cold water, draining with sieve, then mix into rest of filling ingredients.
  9. Now fill the cabbage leaves with filling mixture; folding leaves.
  10. While rolling pigs, start cooking the stewing sauce in another pot.
  11. STEWING SAUCE--(3rd ingredient group):.
  12. Mix group together, bring to a boil, then simmer 5 to 10 minutes.
  14. Line the roaster with: sauce, layer of pigs, more sauce, sprinkle with bacon crumbs, layer of pigs, layer of sauce, sprinkle with bacon crumbs etc.
  15. Set oven at 350°F.
  16. Cover roaster, and once all comes to a kind of a boil, reduce temperature to about 300°F so it doesn't boil over.
  17. Cook about 2 more hours.
  18. The smoked sausage is optional.
  19. If using, mix it in among the other ingredients.
  20. NOTE: 3/8 cup dehydrated onions may be used instead of 2 small onions in recipe.


Most Helpful

I don't even have to make this recipe to try it. It is exactly the way my grandmother taught me when I was young., Yes, she was Hungarian,had a pig farm down in west virginia. Anyway, after surfing all the other recipes, I came across this one and it is my recipe... THESE ARE DELICIOUS! I am well know in the area for my cabbage rolls, I get allot of compliments every time I make them. OOH SOO GOOD. so, Try these THEY'RE WONDERFUL AND SO COMFORTING. the only thing that I do do differently is that I layer fresh bacon on my layers (i/2 cut strips) instead of crumbs... that way the bacon flavor gets down into the cabbage. I use uncle bens 5 minute rice, uncooked, and 3 eggs instead of 4, and garlic is a personal preference... you can actually by the can tomatoes with garlic... and I never used the smoked sausage, but they said that was optional... and instead of the sausage, I add a 1 lb of fresh ground veal.. that's grandmother's , and it makes a difference. Key: mix all your stewing sauce together first... that way its equal.. and I layer : sauce.. cabbage rolls, saurkraut, bacon, the repeat. top with bacon, then I take the left over cabbage and lay it ontop of everything, so that the oven doesn't does not burn anything... ENJOY!

therockmiester December 05, 2007

I am pretty sure Tony is NOT Hungarian, but my mother, grandmother, and her mother, etc. all were. There are no tomatoes in this, no bacon and no sausage nor is there nearly that much sugar. Also, you need to take each cabbage leaf and remove the harder core in a diamond shape - this makes it easier to seal, S-Veeeeetheart. My Nana used to call me that and she came over on the boat to Ellis Island.... December 30, 2012

I basically made this recipe as directed except that I layered the cabbage rolls in a crockpot with sauce in between layers, and cooked on low for 8 hours. Delicious! I used the optional sausage and bacon .... mmm. I did reduce the salt a little bit and my mom still thought it was too salty - maybe the sauerkraut?? Anyway I didn't think it was too salty and I loved it! I brought it to a gathering where a lot of people thought it was good, and got seconds

Margaret Joy November 09, 2009

Join the Conversation

  • all
  • reviews
  • tweaks
  • q & a