Hortobágyi palacsinta

Hortobágyi palacsinta is a savoury Hungarian pancake, filled with meat (usually veal). The meat is prepared as a stew; minced meat is fried with onions and spices like the pörkölt or the paprikás dish, using veal, veal with mushrooms, chicken, or Hungarian sausage. The pancakes are filled with the minced meat, tucking in the ends, and are baked in the oven with a paprika and tejföl (sour cream) sauce, then topped with fresh parsley.[1]

The dish actually does not originate from the Hortobágy National Park region of the Great Hungarian Plain and has nothing to do with Hortobágy. It was originally invented for the 1958 Brussels World Fair. However, some Hungarian recipe books already featured a similar recipe in the 1930s. The name of the food is simply a marketing trick.


20 mins
45 mins
1 hour 5 mins
Author: Recipe adapted from Zsuzsa is in the Kitchen
Pörkölt (meat stew)
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup onions, diced
  • 250 gms – ½ lb. ground veal (or chicken)
  • 150 gms tinned tomatoes, diced
  • 1 pinch caraway seeds
  • 1 tbsp parsley, chopped
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup flour
  • ½ cup milk
Pörkölt sauce
  • Sauce from the pörkölt
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ⅛ cup flour
  1. Put the extra virgin olive oil and the chopped onions in a frying pan and sauté them until translucent.
  2. Add the meat and sauté it until brown. Make sure to break up any lumps with a wooden spoon.
  3. Add the tomatoes and water and stir well. Now stir in the paprika, caraway seeds and parsley. Cook for a few minutes, until the sauce thickens.
  4. Add ¼ cup of sour cream to the meat sauce and stir to combine.
  5. Sieve the meat sauce and let the pörkölt sauce collect in a bowl. Keep it aside.
  6. In the meantime, make the crêpes. Put the eggs, flour and milk in a bowl and whisk with a balloon whisk until you get a smooth batter.
  7. Take a non stick frying pan and put it on the fire. When hot add ¼ tsp of oil and a ladle of batter by swirling the pan so the batter coats the base of the pan. You want to make the coating thin (about 1.5 mm – 0.06 inch thick). When the surface of the crêpe dries up, it is time to flip it over. Do so by using a plastic spatula to loosen its sides first and then flip it over. Cook it for a minute more, then remove it from the pan and keep it aside. Repeat this till your batter is over.
  8. Divide the meat between the crêpes and fold them up like burritos. Spray an oven proof dish with cooking spray or oil and place the filled crêpes in it. Keep it aside.
  9. Combine the pörkölt sauce with ⅛ cup of flour and ½ a cup of sour cream and whisk until smooth. Pour the sauce over the crêpes and bake in a preheated oven at 175°C – 350°F for 15 minutes.
  10. Serve your hortobágyi palacsinta with a dollop of sour cream and a green salad on the side.
  11. Hortobágyi palacsinta

Hortobágyi palacsinta

Hortobágyi palacsinta


Hortobágyi palacsinta are savoury meat filled Hungarian crepes folded up like burritos; the meat can be veal, pork or chicken and is prepared as a pörkölt. Served for the first time at the 1958 Brussels World Fair, although something similar already appeared back in the thirties in several Hungarian publications. Home cooks tend to use leftover pörkölt for this dish, and ground the meat afterwards, which I think is a rather messy proposition. The original recipe calls for a pörkölt from minced meat, which is what I opted for. I use extra lean ground chicken and the result is always great. If you intend to dish out the crepes, it is best to heat up the sauce separately. I prefer to heat up the crepes with the sauce, because they absorb a lot of the the sauce and the thin crepes swell up nicely. However, this results in less then picturesque crepes on the dinner plate and so I tend to serve it up in the casserole dish allowing people to dig in and to serve themselves. With a green salad, this amount is perfect for two people.

2 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup diced onions
250 g extra lean ground chicken [about 1/2 pound]
2 tomatoes, skin removed and diced
1/4 large yellow pepper, diced
salt and pepper to taste
1-1/2 Tbsp Hungarian paprika
sprinkling of caraway seeds
1 Tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup sour cream

2 eggs
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup milk

Pörkölt Sauce
sauce from the pörkölt
1/2 cup sour cream
1/8 cup flour

• Cook the Dice the onions.
• Heat the oil in a saucepan.
• Add the chopped onions and sauté until translucent.
• Add the meat and sauté, and break up the meat with a spatula and stir often until no pink is showing.
• Add the tomatoes and the diced pepper.
• Stir in the paprika, the caraway seeds and the flat leaf parsley.
• Add the water and slowly sauté until meat is tender.
• When the pörkölt is finished, stir in a bit more paprika, but no more than 1/2 Tbsp Hungarian or 1 Tbsp Spanish paprika. This helps to intensify the flavour.
• Preheat the oven to 350F.
• Add 1/4 cup sour cream to the meat and stir to combine.
• Remove the pan from heat and place a large fine sieve over a bowl.
• Add the pörkölt to the sieve and let the pörkölt. sauce collect in the bowl below.
• Meanwhile, make the crepes.
• In a medium sized bowl, combine the eggs, flour and the milk.
• Whisk with a balloon whisk until smooth.
• Heat up a crepe pan or a non-stick fry pan on high medium heat.
• Add 1/4 tsp oil to the warm fry pan, and ladle about a fifth of the batter into the pan.
• When the top is no longer runny, flip the crepe and lightly fry the other side.
• Crepes should remain soft and have a light golden color.
• Repeat with the remaining batter until you have five crepes.
• Spray a casserole dish with cooking spray.
• Divide the meat between the crepes and fold them up burrito style.
• Place the crepes in the prepared casserole and set aside.
• Combine the pörkölt sauce with 1/8 cup of flour and a half a cup of sour cream.
• Whisk with a balloon whisk until smooth.
• Pour sauce over the crepes and place in a preheated 350F oven to warm through.
• Serve hortobágyi palacsinta with a green salad.

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  1. “HORTOBÁGYI PALACSINTA”manusmenu.com. Retrieved 29 April 2015.