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Hungarian Meatballs

Hungarian Meatballs

Hungarian Meatballs in Tomato sauce

This delicious Hungarian meatballs recipe is one of our favourite meals during the winter. It is deliciously tasty and easy to make.

Even though this meatball recipe does take a while to prepare, it is something you can make upfront and pop into the oven before you want to eat.

meatball ingredient

Hungarian cuisine is something everyone should experience at some time. We were lucky enough to visit the beautiful city of Budapest a few years ago and had a wonderful time there.

While there, we visited some wonderful restaurants like Getto Gulyas and Menza where we ate the most delicious food. We shall definitely return there at some point, even if only for the food!

gourmet meatball recipe

In this authentic Hungarian meatballs recipe, the choice of paprika is up to you – we like to use quite a hot paprika to give the creamy goulash type sauce a bit of a kick.

But you can also just use a sweet Hungarian paprika or a smoked paprika. If you cannot get a real Hungarian paprika then use whatever alternative you can get your hands on.

Obviously, if you want it a bit spicy you should use some hot paprika.

browning meatballs in skillet

Types of Meatballs

Internationally, there are lots of different types of meatballs. 

  1. Swedish Meatballs: These small, tender meatballs are traditionally made with a mixture of ground beef and pork, along with grated onion, breadcrumbs, and spices like allspice and nutmeg. They are often served with a creamy gravy and lingonberry sauce.
  2. Moroccan Meatballs: These spicy meatballs are made with ground lamb or beef, and a blend of North African spices like cumin, coriander, and cinnamon. They are often served with a flavorful tomato sauce and couscous.
  3. Greek Meatballs: Also known as keftedes, these meatballs are made with ground lamb or beef. They also include chopped onions, garlic, and fresh herbs like mint and oregano. They are often served with a tangy yoghurt sauce and pita bread.
  4. Vietnamese Meatballs: These small, flavorful meatballs are made with ground pork, along with lemongrass, ginger, garlic, and fish sauce. They are often served in a bowl of pho or as part of a banh mi sandwich.
  5. Italian Meatballs: These classic meatballs are typically made with a combination of ground beef and pork, along with breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, and Italian herbs like oregano and basil. Very often served with tomato sauce and pasta.
hungarian meatballs in tomato sauce

Pork and beef meatballs

But I think recipes using meatballs are best when they have a mix of pork and beef in the meatballs. So I think these Hungarian meatballs are some way more similar to Italian meatballs than others, apart from the paprika that is used.

Pork and beef meatballs in this creamy meatball sauce make the perfect combination and just taste better. This recipe for meatballs is in fact really easy and satisfying to cook.

hungarian meatballs

Frozen meatballs

If you have some meatballs leftover we put them in the freezer. The frozen meatballs then just need to be re-heated in the microwave.

This beef and pork meatball recipe does freeze well. As there are just three of us, we often have some leftovers.

meatball goulash recipe

For those of you that like cheese with your meatballs we added an option of grating some Parmigiano Reggiano or Parmesan on the top when you serve up.

But it is still not quite a meatball parmigiana or meatball parmesan as you know it in the US.

But we were kindly given some Parmigiano Reggiano by the consortium so we thought we would use it in this recipe, and it worked!

meatball parmigiana
Hungarian Meatballs

I hope you enjoy making this delicious recipe. It is worth the effort, believe me. It is also great served with some buttered risone pasta (Orzo) as shown below:

meatballs with risone
Hungarian meatballs served with risone
hungarian meatballs with orzo
tasty meatballs
Served with tagliatelle

I hope you enjoy trying this delicious recipe. If you do, please let me know how it turned out in the comments section below!

How to make Hungarian Meatballs

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hungarian meatballs

Hungarian Meatballs

Yield: 10
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours

These delicious Hungarian Meatballs with paprika are great to make ahead if you have people round for dinner. Easy to prepare, delicious and they freeze well!


  • 500g lean pork mince
  • 500g lean beef mince
  • 1 large and one small onion
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 2 tbsp seasoned flour
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 50g breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1 tbsp Vegetable oil to brown the meatballs
  • 1 tbsp Olive oil
  • 2 x 400g tins of chopped Italian tomatoes
  • 120ml Crème Fraiche
  • 1-2 heaped tbsp Hungarian Paprika (sweet or hot, depending on your preference)
  • Salt & pepper


  • Garnish with:
  • Grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • And some chopped fresh parsley


    1. Start by chopping the large onion and one of the red peppers into very small pieces and put into a large bowl. Add the minced meat, the breadcrumbs, the chopped parsley, half the minced garlic and the whisked egg.
    2. Then thoroughly combine by hand until you have an evenly distributed mixture. Then take a piece of the mixture and roll it into a ball. I make the meatballs quite big and I will get about 20-22 balls out of these ingredients.
    3. Then roll the balls in the seasoned flour (on a plate) and fry them in a skillet in vegetable oil over medium heat. Do this in batches until they are golden brown on all sides. (I actually use 2 pans to do this to speed it up). Then place them apart on a plate.
    4. In the meantime, chop the other red pepper and the small onion, again into small pieces. Take a casserole pan and heat the olive oil in it. Then add the rest of the garlic, and the chopped onion and pepper and fry for about 4-5 minutes on a medium heat.
    5. Then add the meatballs to the pan and the 2 tins of chopped tomatoes and the paprika. Season with some salt and freshly ground black pepper. Then mix carefully, being wary not to break the meatballs.
      Then cover the casserole and place in a pre-heated oven at 180C for 75 minutes.
    6. Although delicious smells will be coming from the oven during this time, do not be tempted to open the pot.
    7. After the 75 minutes take the casserole out of the oven and remove the lid. Then carefully mix in the 120ml of crème Fraiche into the sauce which will make it deliciously creamy.


Garnish with some chopped parsley and some grated parmesan and serve up on a bed of noodles.

I normally use green or white tagliatelle or a combination of both. But they are also great served with risone pasta (Orzo).

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 952Total Fat: 33gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 133mgSodium: 1263mgCarbohydrates: 111gFiber: 9gSugar: 13gProtein: 50g

This nutrition information was automatically calculated by Nutritionix, but may not be 100% accurate.

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