Hungarian layered green bean casserole – Rakott zöldbab

by | Apr 21, 2023 | Vegetable dishes

Green beans are a rich source of many important nutrients, including fiber, protein, vitamins A, C, and K, and minerals such as calcium, iron, and potassium. They are also low in calories and fat, making them a healthy addition to any diet. In Hungary layered green bean casserole is a popular main dish, which combines green beans with ground pork, rice and sour cream.

Layered green bean casserole
Layered green bean casserole – Rakott zöldbab – photo:


  • 1 kg (~2 1/4 lbs) green beans, trimmed and cut into 2-3 cm / 1 inch pieces
  • 500 g (~1 lb) ground pork
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp sweet ground paprika
  • 1/2 tsp marjoram
  • 2-3 tbsp lard
  • 200 g (~7 oz) rice
  • 400 g (~14 oz)sour cream
  • 1/2 tsp sweet ground paprika

Cook green beans in a pot of salted water until tender. Drain and set aside.

Sauté finely chopped onions and garlic in a tablespoon of lard. Add ground pork and stir-fry until it turns white. Season with salt, pepper, 1 teaspoon of paprika and marjoram. Pour in 150-200 ml (~3/4 cup) of water and cook over medium-low heat until soft and tender (add more water if necessary).

For the braised rice preheat the oven to 200°C / 392°F, and in a saucepan bring 400 ml (~1 2/3 cups) of water to a boil. Meanwhile in a separate pot toast the rice in 1-2 tablespoon of lard, while stirring constantly, until golden brown. (Cookbooks recommend toasting rice until it turns matt white. But I prefer to toast it longer because golden brown toasted rice has a richer and more flavorful taste. It’s up to you how long you toast it.)

Rice is toasted until golden brown – photo:

Once the rice has reached the preferred color, pour in the boiling water. Add some salt and pepper, give it a stir, cover the pot with a lid and put it in the oven for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes check it: it’s done if the rice has soaked up all of the liquid. Remove from the oven.

Combine braised rice and cooked pork. Mix together sour cream, a pinch of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of paprika.

Grease a casserole dish. Place half of the green beans in the bottom of the dish. Spread the rice-meat mixture on the green beans evenly. Cover with the rest of the beans. Finally, coat with the sour cream. Cook in the oven at 200°C / 392°F for 35-40 minutes.

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Hungarian cottage cheese

This is what Hungarian túró looks like

You often ask me what kind of cottage cheese (or curd cheese or farmer's cheese - call it what you want) I use in the recipes. In Hungary the store-bought cottage cheese is dry and crumbly as you can see in the picture. So if a recipe calls for túró, I mean this type. If you can't obtain túró, you can try to make your own from whole milk. Click on the link below.

Metric system vs cup

In Hungary metric units are in use, all the recipes on this website are based on this system, so a kitchen scale is necessary. Since I’m not familiar with cup as a measurement unit, I convert grams to cups by using an online converter. The values in brackets, therefore, are only approximate volumes, so, please, double-check them before you start cooking.

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