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Hungarian Lecso Recipe - Tomato-Pepper Stew Recipe

User Rating 4 Star Rating (4 Reviews)


Chunky Hungarian lecso with sausage.

Chunky Hungarian Lecso with Sausage

© 2008 Barbara Rolek licensed to About.com, Inc.
Hungarian lecso (LEH-choh) is a vegetable stew that combines three of Hungary's favorite ingredients -- peppers, tomatoes and paprika. Lecso can be served variously as a vegetable side dish, appetizer or the main meal itself, see the variations below. Many cooks can lecso to be used in the winter months. It's similar to Serbian djuvece and Russian letcho.

Banana peppers or Italian green peppers (elongated) are preferred, but green bell peppers will work.

SHORTCUT: Use 2 (14 1/2-ounce) cans diced tomatoes instead of fresh.

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Makes 4 to 6 servings of Hungarian Lecso

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour


  • 2 tablespoons bacon grease or oil
  • 1 medium onion, sliced thinly
  • 1 pound banana or Italian or green bell peppers. cut into 1/4-inch strips
  • 3 large very ripe tomatoes, peeled and chopped or use SHORTCUT (above)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt (less if using sausage)
  • 1 tablespoon sweet Hungarian paprika


  • In a large skillet, saute the onion in bacon fat or oil over low heat for 5 minutes. Add pepper and cook another 15 minutes. Add tomatoes, sugar, salt and paprika and cook for another 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until mixture resembles chunky tomato sauce.
  • Add 1/4 cup cooked rice.
  • For an appetizer, add 1/4 pound thin-sliced Hungarian Debreceni sausage
  • Toward the end of the cooking time, add 4 beaten eggs and mix in.
  • For a main meal, add 1 1/2 pounds smoked or fresh Hungarian sausage.
  • For a lunch, serve in a bowl topped with a fried egg.
Guide's Response to Mike Varady's Review: Mr. Varady brings up a good point about the pronounciation of lecso. I have changed the pronunciation to indicate the stress should be on the first syllable.
Barbara Rolek, Your Guide to Eastern Europen Food
User Reviews

Reviews for this section have been closed.

 5 out of 5
Hungarian Lesco, Member DougLambert

My wife and I were introduced Lesco while on one of our visits to Hungary. Our friend made this delicious meal for us and we just had to have the recipe. I have made this dish several times and love it just as much as the first time. I think it is better as a winter meal. Our recipe is more or less the same as the one that has been published. This recipe is pretty forgiving and is easy to adjust the flavours to suite your palate.

1 out of 1 people found this helpful.

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