Hungarian savoy cabbage stew (Kelkáposzta főzelék) recipe

Hungarian savoy cabbage and potato stew

It is an easy comfort food, shapes up in just over a half-hour, it is perfect for weeknight meals. It goes so well either by itself or as a side with fried eggs or Hungarian style meatloaf, stew or sausage. Főzelék is a special category in Hungarian cuisine, a type of thick Hungarian vegetable stew. There is no English translation for it. Főzelék is often eaten as the main course for lunch or like a garnish for different meat courses. This delicious vegetable stew is cooked with savoy cabbage, potatoes and seasonings such as sweet paprika powder, ground caraway seed and garlic.


Ingredients for 4 people:

  • 1 smaller head of savoy cabbage (500 grams, 17,6 ounces), thinly sliced
  • 500 grams (17.6 ounces) of potatoes, peeled, cut into smaller cubes
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • Half a coffee spoon of sweet red paprika powder
  • Half a coffee spoon of ground caraway seeds
  • 2-3 tablespoons of plain flour
  • 4-5 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • salt


In a soup pot, sauté the onions in vegetable oil over low heat, stirring frequently, until translucent. Do not let them burn. Salt lightly to help tenderize them.

Add the washed and thinly sliced savoy cabbage, the peeled and cubed potatoes, the minced garlic and pour in one litre of water. Salt to taste, add the ground caraway seed and cook until the cabbage and potatoes are soft, it usually takes 20-25 minutes.

Meanwhile, you have time to make the roux (to thicken your stew): In a pan, heat 4-5 tablespoons of oil, add 2-3 tablespoons of flour, stirring constantly. You need just enough oil to make the consistency of your roux not too thick and not too thin. It should spread out in your pan and bubble a little.
After 2-3 minutes of searing, when it starts to brown, take it off the heat, allow to cool and add the sweet red paprika powder. Now add some water (or liquid from the cabbage and potatoes) to the roux to thin it.

Pour the roux back to your pot, bring it back to a boil and simmer for 1-2 minutes.

Serve with fried meat, sausage, eggs or beef/pork stew.