Hungarian Homemade Sausage – Kolbasz Recipe

If you want to make Hungarian Sweet Paprika Sausage, we have the right recipe for you. This is a traditional homemade sausage recipe from my friend and executive Chef Peter Zilai. His family has evolved this recipe for the past 4 generations and he agreed to share it with us today.

Hungarian Sausage Culture

Sausage is a big subject in Hungary, every family has some history in making homemade sausage. Every restaurant you visit has at least two to three Sausages on their menu and it seems to be almost everyone’s favourite dish.

The Hungarian tradition is for the whole family to get together for a long day of sausage making. The whole process starts as early as 4 am. The family prepares the meat, spicing and sausage casing while drinking Pálinka and socialising. The day usually ends late with eating freshly made and grilles sausage and lots of Pálinka.

Spicing Hungarian Sausage

When it comes to spices, Hungarian Cuisine is synonymous Paprika. No doubt Hungary produces some of the most delicious Sweet Paprika in the world so it comes as no surprise that you find it in many recipes across the country.

Another important spice in Hungarian Sausage is Caraway. Caraway is part of the cumin family and is also known as Persian cumin. In our recipe we toast and crack the seeds to bring out their unique flavour.

And last but not least is garlic, if you are a fan of garlic then you will feel right at home in Hungary.

Tips & Tricks for Sausage Making

Making good sausage depends mostly on how well you prepare your meat as well as the spices you use but there are some important tips that will ensure a great tasting homemade sausage.

  • Temperature
    • This is probably the most important point in preparing sausage. When grinding meat for sausage you have to ensure the meat and equipment is as cold as possible. You can put the meat in the freezer for an hour before you start mincing the meat. It also helps to have a low room temperature and cooling the equipment before mincing.
  • The right cuts
    • In our recipe we use a blend of meat cuts, this ads a balance of flavour and moisture. Meat cuts have different ratios of fat and flavour. A piece of bacon for example is high in fat while tender loin is lean but has a great flavour. The right balance of meat cuts will give your sausage a good texture and flavour.
  • Coarse & Fine mince
    • When mincing the meat for sausage we use a fine and coarse mince knife. This has three effects on the sausage.
      • We ensure a good balance of moisture
      • We get the right texture
      • We get a smooth rounder exterior surface.
  • Sterile working space
    • As we are working with meat it is essential that your equipment and working surface is sterile. This limits introduction of bacteria to your recipe and in turn allows you to store the sausage for a longer period.
  • Kolbasz is perfectly paired with traditional sourdough bread. My friend and master baker Balasz gave me his recipe for Village Sourdough Bread. This guy is such a talented baker, check out his IG here: Balasz Borzon. The bread turned out soooo good we made a video. You can find both the recipe and video here: Traditional Village Sourdough Bread

Other types of Hungarian Sausages

There is definitely no shortage of sausage types in Hungary, and they all taste great. During my last visit to Budapest, I made a point of trying as many types of Hungarian Sausage as possible. Needless to say, there was no way to test all sausage types in a single week, but here are my top favourite Hungarian sausages following my taste journey. The following list is ranked from my all time favourite to, well… my favourite. What can I say I love them ALL so this was a really difficult task.

Nr: 1 – Hurka

What??? It’s not Kolbasz you might think. Well, its as close to a tie as I could possibly get, but at the end, Hurka won. Hurka is different to Kolbasz, its either made with liver or blood. The liver type (my favourite) Hurka is called májas. A blood sausage Hurka is called véres Hurka.

Nr: 2 – Kolbasz

A tough tie for the first spot, but I’m a sucker for liver and blood sausage. Kolbasz however is delicious and nothing beats some Kolbasz with potato pure and some good Hungarian mustard. Now while Kolbasz is a generic term, there are various flavours of Kolbasz, these include (but are not limited to)

  • Gyulai, slow cooked in beech wood and flavoured with garlic, pepper, caraway seeds and the famous Hungarian red paprika.
  • Csabai, a spicy Kolbasz from the village of Békéscsaba.
  • Cserkész, this is a sausage made from mixed beef and pork. Traditionally it is made in a thin and long shape and looks similar to Polish cabanossi.

Nr: 3 – Virsli

I tasted Vrisli at a Budapest Christmas market in the form of a Hotdog. Now this is nothing like a traditional Hotdog guys, first of all it comes in a MASSIVE bread roll and secondly, its probably the size of 5-6 Frankfurters in one.

Flavour wise, it reminded me of a German bratwurst although still quite different. An amazing sausage type with mustard and Hungarian bread… yummyyy

Why is there no Salami in this list?

I have only included smoked or cooked sausage in this list, Salami is a cured sausage usually enjoyed in thin slices or smaller pieces. All the sausages in this list are enjoyed whole.

How to cook Hungarian Sausage

Kolbasz is traditionally baked in the oven, simply preheat the oven to 160 C or 320 F and place it in a casserole dish or iron cast skillet. Poke a few holes into the sausage using a skewer or toothpick, not too many, 3-4 per sausage are enough. And now bake for around 45-55 minutes.

You can also grill Kolbasz. Just preheat the grill to 160 C or 320 F, place the sausage on the grill and close the lid. Turn every 10-12 minutes to avoid burning. The sausages should be done in 45-55 minutes.

The Recipe

4.80 from 10 votes

Hungarian Homemade Sausage – Kolbasz

Kolbasz is a traditional hungarian type of pork sausage. In this recipe we learn which parts of the pork give us the best flavour and how we spice Kolbasz for an authentic hungarian taste.
Servings 4 persons
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes


Meat Cuts for Hungarian Sausage

  • 1.3 lbs Belly Bacon
  • 1.3 lbs Picnic Shoulder
  • 0.9 lbs Boston Shoulder
  • 0.45 lbs Loin
  • 0.22 lbs Tenderloin
  • 0.22 lbs Back Fat
  • 32 feet Sausage casing

Spicing for Kolbasz

  • 3 ½ tbsp Sweet Paprika
  • ¾ tbsp Hot Chilli
  • ½ tbsp Caraway Seeds
  • 4 cloves Garlic
  • 1 tsp Salt


  • The first step is to prepare the meat cuts. We want to remove any excess fat, tendons and well as cartlidge as we don't want any chewy bits in our sausage. Take your time with this, good quality sausage depends on the preperation and how much time you spend on your ingredients.
  • Ensure you work in a cool environment, you can also put your meat grinder in to the fridge for a couple of hours before grinding. This is important and will make the difference between mashed and ground meat. This is even more important when we grind the fat as it can easily melt.
    Grind 70% of your meat using a coarse grind and the remaining 30% at a fine grind. This will give your sausage moisture and a nice even texture.
  • Combine all your spices in a bowl and add a small amount of water, we want to add just enough to create a thin paste. This will dissolve the spices and integrate them better in to the minced meat. Add the paste in to your meat and using your hands massage and fold the meat until you have an even colour.
  • Soak your sausage casing for a good 20-30 minutes before you start sausage stuffing. Check your sausage stuffing for holes, you can blow a bit of air in to it which will make the whole process easier.
    Find the hole on one side of the sausage casing and wrap it over the sausage filling machine.Wrap as much as you can up and make a knot at the end.
    Start filling the sausage, using your right hand massage the sausage to spread the filling evenly. Don't over stuff the sausage, you want it to be firm but not tough.


Calories: 1256kcal
Course: Main Course, Snack
Cuisine: Hungarian
Keyword: baking tutorial, guided recipe, home made sausage, hungarian, kolbasz, make sausaged at home, master chef, recipe, Sausage


Serving: 500g | Calories: 1256kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 94g | Fat: 93g | Saturated Fat: 31g | Cholesterol: 306mg | Sodium: 1743mg | Potassium: 1674mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 3098IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 64mg | Iron: 6mg
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