Hungarian meatballs in tomato sauce, Paradicsomos húsgombóc

Hungarian style meatballs in tomato sauce

is a family-friendly one-dish meal that even the kids will love. Traditionally it is made with pork, but any type of ground meat will work with this recipe. It is very nice served with boiled potatoes, my husband especially loves it that way.


Ingredients for 4 people:

For the meatballs:
500 grams (17.6 ounces) of minced pork (beef, turkey, chicken)
1 egg
1 clove of garlic – minced
1 medium onion – finely chopped
100 grams (3.6 ounces) of uncooked rice
1 good teaspoon of sweet red paprika powder
Ground black pepper

For the tomato sauce:
2-3 tablespoons of plain flour
4 tablespoons of vegetable oil
2-3 tablespoons of sugar
1 litre of 100% tomato sauce
2-3 celery leaves (optional)


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

Remove the pot from the heat, add 1 good teaspoon of sweet Hungarian paprika powder, stir well. Do not burn the paprika or it will become bitter.

Combine the ground pork, the egg, the uncooked rice, the minced garlic, the sautéed onions mixed with paprika, ground black pepper and salt to taste.

Shape the ground meat mixture into balls in the palm of your wet hands, I got 14 meatballs from this amount.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Place the meatballs into the boiling water and cook for about 40 minutes over low heat.

In a soup pot heat the tomato sauce, add the sugar, the celery leaves (optional) and a pinch of salt.

Meanwhile, you have time to make the roux (to thicken your tomato sauce): In a pan, heat 4 tablespoons of oil, add 2-3 tablespoons of flour, stirring constantly. You need just enough flour 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. Now add some liquid from the meatballs to the roux to thin it.

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

Place the cooked meatballs in the tomato sauce and slowly simmer it for another 2-3 minutes.