Traditional Hungarian Christmas Recipes for 2022


By Canan Atik

As the holidays approach, many of us are beginning to consider the menu we want to prepare for our loved ones on Christmas. If you are an exchange student wanting to get ideas on what to eat or are an international student looking for some Hungarian recipes to try this year, I’ve got your back. In this article, I will give a rundown of my family’s traditional Hungarian Christmas menu.

Halászlé (Fish Soup)


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-        5kg Carp

-        1kg Onion

-        Paprika

-        Salt

-        5l Water


First, peel the fish (instead of carp, you can use catfish, crucian, or bream). Using a filleting knife, get rid of the fish scale. The skin of the fish must be left on the fish. Cut the head off and filet the fish. Place the sliced mako onions in the bottom of a pan and place the fish parts on top, then pour 4 litters of water on it. Cook on low heat for 2 hours until the fish falls apart completely. Towards the end of the cooking, replace the evaporated water. Then pass it through a strainer and do not add water to it afterwards. Add paprika to taste and bring the water to a boil.


Húsleves (Meat Soup)


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-        1.5 kg Hen

-        3 Carrots

-        3 White Carrots

-        1 Kohlrabi

-        2 Celeries

-        1 Onion

-        2 Bunches of Parsley

-        Salt

-        Pepper

-        15dkg Macaroni

-        3.5 l Water


Clean the meat and soak it in water for 1-2 hours. Clean the meat again and place it in a pot with the onions. Cover it with water and put the stove on high heat until the water boils, then decrease the heat and add salt and pepper. If there is foam forming on top, remove it with a little strainer or spoon. Dice the vegetables as desired and wash them. If the boiling water stops producing foam, add the vegetables and the bunches of parsley without untying them. Toward the end, remove the parsley and leave the soup to cook. If, after cooking, you want to separate the soup from the vegetables and meat, make sure to wait a bit and then strain the soup.


Töltött káposzta (Stuffed Cabbage)

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Ingredients for the stuffing:

-        10dkg Rice

-        1kg Minced Meat

-        1 Onion

-        3 Cloves of Garlic

-        Salt

-        Pepper

-        Paprika


Ingredients for the cabbage:

-        1 Cabbage

-        Smoked Ribs

-        Oil

-        2 tbs Flour

-        Paprika

-        2 tabs Sour Cream (Tejföl)


First, wash the rice and add the minced meat to it, along with the onion, garlic (diced as small as possible), salt, pepper, and paprika, and mix the ingredients. Wash the cabbage and start stuffing the cabbage while rolling it up. Place the remaining cabbage in the bottom of the pan, along with the smoked ribs. Place the stuffed cabbages in the pot, cover them with bigger pieces of cabbage, and then fill the pot with water until they are fully covered. It needs 70–80 minutes to fully cook, depending on the type of meat used. When the cabbage is cooked, put a little oil in it and fry some flour in it. After taking that off the stove, add paprika to it and 2 tablespoons of sour cream, then mix. Add this mixture on top of the cabbages and enjoy.


French Salad

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-        30dkg Green Bean

-        20dkg Carrot

-        3 Pickles

-        3.8dl Sour Cream

-        1.5 tbs Mayo

-        2 tsp Mustard

-        Salt

-        Lemon Juice


Cook the vegetables, then strain them. Along the pickles, dice them to the desired size. For the dressing, mix the sour cream, mayo, mustard, and salt. Mix the vegetables and the dressing and add lemon juice as desired.


Tartar sauce


-        2dl Sour Cream

-        2 tbs Mayo

-        1 tsp Mustard

-        1dkg Sugar

-        Salt

-        Lemon Juice

Mix all ingredients. Add salt and lemon juice as needed.




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Ingredients for the dough:

-        1dl Milk

-        5dkg Sugar

-        1.5dkg Yeast

-        50dkg Flour

-        15dkg Butter

-        Salt

-        2 Egg Yolks

Ingredients for filling:

-        25dkg Chopped Walnuts

-        20dkg Powdered Sugar

-        2dkg Vanilla Sugar

-        75dkg Peach Jam

Ingredients for the glaze:

-        15dkg Sugar

-        10dkg Dark Chocolate

-        1 Egg White


Mix the lukewarm milk with 1 teaspoon of sugar and the yeast and let it sit. To the flour, add the butter, salt, and remaining sugar with the yeast and milk mix. Add the egg yolks and start mixing it thoroughly. It will form a dough, which should be divided into three equal parts, wrapped in saran wrap, and chilled for an hour.

For the filling, mix the chopped walnuts with the powdered sugar and vanilla sugar.

Get the dough and stretch it into approximately 30×40 rectangles. Put the peach jam on one rectangle and the walnut mix on the other; put them on top of each other and cover it with the third rectangle of dough. Preheat the oven to 170 °C and bake it for 40-45 minutes. After letting it cool, make a syrup out of the sugar and 1dl of water. When it is boiling, take it off the stove and add the pre chopped dark chocolate and melt it by stirring it. Glaze the zserbó and cut it into pieces to serve


Mákos Guba


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-        10 Kifli (the Hungarian bread)

-        1l Milk

-        1 pack Vanilla Sugar

-        15 tbs Ground Poppy Seeds

-        7 tbs Powdered Sugar


Get the kifli and slice them up to 1cm thick circles. Boil the milk with the vanilla sugar and pour it on the sliced kifli. Take the kifli out and get rid of the access milk. Put the soaked kifli into a big bowl and add the powdered sugar and ground poppy seeds, then mix it.




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Ingredients for the dough:

-        2dl Milk

-        5dkg Powdered Sugar

-        2dkg Yeast

-        50dkg Flour

-        25dkg Butter

-        3 Egg Yolks

-        Salk

-        Grated Lemon Peel


Ingredients for the stuffing:

-        25dkg Ground Walnuts or Poppy Seeds

-        20dkg Sugar

-        2dl Milk

-        10dkg Raisin

-        1 pack Vanilla Sugar

-        1 Grated Lemon Peel


For the dough, dissolve the powdered sugar in lukewarm milk and add the yeast. Melt the butter in a little plate and add the flour to it slowly through a sifter. Put the yeast milk in it first, then add 2 egg yolks, butter, salt, and grated lemon peel in this order. Mix until the dough is formed, and let it rest until preparing the stuffing. Put the ground walnut or poppy seeds into two bowls and add 10-10dgk sugar, 1-1 dl milk, and half the pack of vanilla sugar to both bowls. Separate the dough into two and stretch them out to the size of your pan. Apply the stuffing in 1 cm thickness, but make sure to leave a border around the edges that is also 1 cm thick. Roll it into a cylinder and place it in the pan, then glaze with an egg yolk and stab it a couple of times with a fork on top. Put them in an oven preheated to 200 degrees Celsius and bake for 50 to 55 minutes, until golden brown.

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