Hungarian layered savoy cabbage casserole (Rakott kelkáposzta)

Layered savoy cabbage casserole is also a traditional Hungarian , a real comfort food. The salty cabbage, the paprika mince and the rice go together extremely well, the sour cream makes it creamy. It’s all about the marriage of flavors. Fortunately the cabbage is available all year around, so you can prepare it anytime you feel like eating a classic Hungarian dish.

Hungarian layered savoy cabbage casserole


  • 1 large head of savoy cabbage (1000 grams – 35.3 ounces)
  • 500 grams (17.6 ounces) of minced pork
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic – minced
  • 3/4 cup uncooked rice
  • 550 grams (2 cups) of sour cream
  • Ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of sweet paprika powder
  • Salt to taste
  • Vegetable oil

Serves 4.


  1. Break the cabbage into leaves, clean carefully and remove the hard parts by cutting a narrow v-shape into the middle of the leaf. Cook in salted water until soft (15-20 minutes), then drain.
  2. Meanwhile sautee the diced onions and minced garlic in vegetable oil over low heat, stirring frequently, until translucent. Do not let them burn. Salt lightly to help tenderize them.
  3. Add the minced meat, the paprika powder, season with ground black pepper, salt to taste. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, then pour in 100 ml of water, cover and cook for another 15-20 minutes.
  4. For the rice: in a pan heat 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil, add the rice and roast it for a minute until the grains brighten up, stirring frequently. Pour in 1,5 cups of water, salt to taste, cover the pot and turn the heat down to low. Cook until all of the water is absorbed; about 12 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave the rice on the still warm element.
  5. Grease a medium size baking dish. Put a double layer of savoy cabbage on the bottom, then spread half of the cooked rice and half of the cooked meat.
  6. Add a new layer of savoy cabbage, rice and meat and cover with the rest of the savoy cabbage.
  7. Spread 2 cups of sour cream on top and bake it in preheated oven, 180 °C, for about 30-35 minutes, until the sour cream browns a little bit.
  8. Serve with sour cream. Enjoy!

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