Hungarian Food - Stuffed Onions

Hungarian Stuffed Onions

Stuffed Onions
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Hungarian Stuffed Onions (Töltött Hagymak)


Töltött Zöldségfélék, (Stuffed Vegetables) are one of the four crossbeams of Hungarian cooking. If it grows in the garden and is not too small, Hungarians will find a way to stuff it.


Stuffed vegetables were introduced into Hungary by the Turks when they invaded in the sixteenth century and they remained even after the Turks were defeated and driven out.


Everyone knows that Hungarians stuff peppers and cabbage, but they also stuff squash, zucchini, eggplant, kohlrabi, tomatoes and even onions. The following recipe is a classic one for stuffing onions, Halas style. That is then followed by two other variations.


Kiskunhalas is also the birth place of the famous Hungarian Halas lace. Arpad Dekani, an art teacher, envisioned this needlepoint lace in 1902 and Maria Markovits brought it to life.


Photos of Kiskunhalas, the Halas lace museum there. and some of the lace patterns appear at the conclusion of this article.




Preparation Time:

60 Minutes

Cooking Time:

2 Hours



1 Lb. of Cooked Lean Veal

½ Lb. of Bacon

8 Large Bermuda Onions

4 Oz. of Butter or Lard

2 Cloves of Garlic finely chopped

1 Tablespoon Minced Flat Leaf Parsley

½ Teaspoon Hungarian Sweet Paprika

1 Teaspoon Salt

Pepper to taste

8 Oz Sour Cream


Preparation of the Onions:

  1. Peel the onions and cut enough off of the tops so that you can remove enough of the center of the onions to leave just the outer 2-3 layers.
  2. Trim the bottoms a little so that the onions will stand by themselves but do not penetrate the remaining shells.
  3. Poach the onion shells for 8-10 minutes in lightly salted water but do non overcook them.
  4. Drain the onion shells carefully and let them cool and dry before using them with any of the three following stuffings:


Stuffed Onions Halas Style:

  1. Finely chop the cooked veal.
  2. Mince ½ cup of the reserved onion centers.
  3. Wilt the chopped onion in most of the melted butter. Save enough to coat the baking dish.
  4. Add the veal, parsley, garlic and salt.
  5. Cook covered over low heat with two tablespoons of water until the mixture dries out.
  6. Cool the mixture before stuffing the onion shells. Some people grind the mixture but I prefer some texture
  7. Fill the cooked onion shells with stuffing and arrange them in a buttered baking dish.
  8. Cut the bacon into two-inch strips and cover the tops of the onions.
  9. Spoon sour cream over the top of each onion and sprinkle them with paprika.
  10. Bake for 30 minutes in a 350 F oven and serve hot as an appetizer or for lunch.


Stuffed Onions Pizza Style:

½ Pound of Pepperoni slices Coarsely Chopped

1 Onion peeled and coarsely chopped

8 Oz. of Fresh Mushrooms, washed and coarsely chopped

1 Small Jar of Marinara or Spaghetti Sauce

8- 1 Oz. Slices of Mozzarella Cheese

1 Clove of Garlic peeled and finely chopped

1 Teaspoon of Dried Basil or Oregano

Salt and pepper to Taste

2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil


Cooking Instructions:

  1. Sauté the onions and mushrooms in the oil in a skillet and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Add the garlic and dried herbs and cook briefly.
  3. Allow the stuffing to cool before using.
  4. Arrange eight onion shells in a baking pan and fill them with stuffing.
  5. Spoon the tomato sauce over the stuffed onions and top each one with a slice of cheese.
  6. Bake for 40 minutes in a 350F oven until the cheese is melted and lightly browned.


Stuffed Onions Cheese Steak Style:

½ Pound of Ground Beef

1 Onion peeled and coarsely chopped

2 Green Peppers, seeded and coarsely chopped

½ Stick of Butter

1 Cup of Beef Broth

8- 1 Oz. Slices of Mild Cheddar Cheese

Salt and pepper to Taste


Cooking Instructions:

  1. Brown the ground beef in the butter and add the onions and green peppers. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Once the onions and peppers have softened, add the beef broth and cook until the liquid is almost all evaporated.
  3. Once the meat mixture has cooled, stuff the eight onion shells and arrange them in a buttered baking dish.
  4. Top each onion with a slice of cheddar cheese and bake them for 40 minutes at 350F until the cheese melts and is lightly browned. Serve hot.

Feel free to try your own favorite stuffing using the onion shells described above.


Bratwurst Stuffed Onions

Kiscunhalas and the Halas Lace Museum

The Halas Lace Museum
The Halas Lace Museum
Samples of Halas Lace (Needlepoint)
Samples of Halas Lace (Needlepoint)

Location of Kiskunhalas, Hungary

show route and directions
A markerBudapest, Hungary -
Budapest, Hungary
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B markerKiskunhalas, Hungary -
Kiskunhalas, Hungary
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C markerDebrecen, Hungary -
Debrecen, Hungary
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Comments 7 comments

pandula77 profile image

pandula77 4 years ago from Norway

A ha, my next cooking adventure would be this! Thanks for sharing.

Brupie profile image

Brupie 4 years ago

köszönöm! I don't see many recipes for Hungarian food, but I enjoyed it tremendously when I traveled in Budapest.

mattodom profile image

mattodom 4 years ago from New Hampshire!

As an ex culinary student, this looks Fantastic! my mouth is watering!

Kaili Bisson profile image

Kaili Bisson 4 years ago from Canada

This looks amazing...I am going to try this recipe. Thank you for sharing!

feistyfood profile image

feistyfood 4 years ago from Northern England.

These sound absolutely delicious. I've never sampled Hungarian food before, or stuffed onions for that matter. So going to give them a try.

Timro 23 months ago

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Janeece 23 months ago

Finding this post has aneesrwd my prayers

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