Hungarian Noodles and Cabbage with Bacon

Not sure what to do with cabbage other than to make coleslaw, try this recipe. My maternal grandmother would do something similar but with kielbasa instead of bacon. Brings back good memories.

Part of our series on Entrées

Hungarian Noodles and Cabbage with Bacon




  • 1/2 pound bacon, sliced into 1-inch pieces

  • 1 medium red or yellow onion, peeled and diced into 1/4 to 1/2 inch pieces

  • 2 minced garlic cloves

  • 1 1/2 pounds cabbage, cleaned, cored, and shredded or sliced into thin strips

  • salt and black pepper to taste

  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme

  • ½ - ¾ teaspoon crushed caraway seeds

  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes [optional]

  • 1/2 cup water

  • 12 ounces dried egg noodles

  • chopped parsley as a garnish (optional)


  1. Fill pot large enough to hold noodles (4 quart or larger) with water, and put on stove to heat. It will boil before you’re ready to put the noodles in; just turn it down to low to keep warm as you proceed with the recipe.

  2. Slice bacon into 1-inch pieces and put in Dutch oven or other 4 - 6 quart wide-bottom pot, place over medium heat, and sauté until nicely browned (about 12 - 15 minutes).

  3. Meanwhile, peel onion and cut into ¼- to ½-inch dice, peel and mince garlic, and wash, core, and shred cabbage.

  4. When bacon is browned, remove with slotted spoon and place on paper towels to drain.

  5. Add onion and garlic to the hot bacon fat, salt and pepper to taste, and sauté until the onion is translucent, about 8 minutes.

  6. Add the thyme, caraway seeds, and red pepper flakes (if using) to the onions and garlic, stir to incorporate, then add the water and the cabbage. Stir again to combine, turn down heat and cover, and cook until cabbage is soft and cooked through (10 - 12 minutes).

  7. Bring the water in the noodle pot back to the boil, add a tablespoon of salt, and add the noodles.

  8. Cook until al dente (usually 6 or 7 minutes; cook longer if you prefer softer noodles), then drain in a colander.

  9. Add the browned bacon and drained noodles to the cabbage mixture, and continue cooking until done (if the cabbage isn’t done when you add the noodles, it will be in a few minutes). Done means the cabbage has gone beyond the slightly crunchy stage to totally soft.

  10. Adjust seasoning, and serve.


  • Omit bacon and use eggless noodles if preparing the vegetarian version;

  • If using slab bacon, cut into ¼-inch matchsticks;

  • Kielbasa would be good replacement for the bacon; use about a pound. Slice the sausage into pieces and cook briefly after you’ve sautéed the onions; then add the cabbage

  • Caraway seeds can be poteent so try it with ½ teaspoon first; to crush caraway seeds, use the back of a teaspoon

  • Can substitute fresh egg noodles; The cook in about 2 minutes.

  • A fried or poached egg also makes a nice garnish and makes the dish a complete meal

  • Serve with a bowl of sour cream or greek style yogurt on the side


Inspired By: