Kalpudding (Meatloaf With Caramelized Cabbage) Recipe (2024)



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You can see in the picture above, it's when the cabbage is colored dark golden at the lightest, with lots of parts where it's dark brown, the color of chocolate. I haven't made this recipe (yet!) but I've found that the trick to even caramelization is to have the heat at just medium-high and cook patiently, because if you turn the heat up too high you'll burn some parts before the others are dark enough. I hope this helps!


Sometimes I feel like such a neophyte. How do you tell when the cabbage is "carmelized"? Not to mention "very, very carmelized".


High fives to all ya'll who gave thoughtful answers to this question. It is much appreciated in this age of snarky cooking comments and makes me smile so hard . . .

Happy cooking!


You can buy lingonberry sauce at IKEA!


I'm in the process of making this now and my kitchen smells wonderful. I mostly wanted to comment to thank everyone for making such helpful comments and being so civil, which is so rare in internet spaces. Thanks!

CW in Beautiful Door County

Awesome recipe! Used 19 oz package of ground turkey and added no salt to the cabbage (actually forgot to use). I was surprised at how much flame I had going under my Dutch oven, but it never got close to burning and the cabbage was perfectly done in 30 minutes. I was baffled as to how it all was going to fit an 8"x8" pan, But with the cabbage cooked down it all fit perfectly! The next morning I fried a slice up and served it under 2 sunny side up eggs for breakfast, out of this world!

Lawrence Moorhouse

This was a very good recipe. I looked up Swedish meatball recipe which contains Ground ginger, allspice and nutmeg so I added 1/2 a tsp of each to this recipe. Cooking the cabbage in molasses and butter is going to be a regular side dish in my house. The sauce was fantastic. Thank you Sam!


And I used maple syrup instead of molasses, and it was delicious. I am not very fond of sugar in my savory dishes, so I used little over half the quantity in the recipe.


Used home-made cranberry sauce so don't know how "authentic" my experience was but I can tell you it was really, really delicious.


My spouse is Swedish and swore she would never eat this again - trauma from school lunch food where the cabbage was boiled. She loves it after I have made it. A couple of tips: N. Americans, if you do not have golden syrup, use maple syrup. Molasses doesn’t give it the right taste. Also, if you can find white Egyptian coriander (check Burlap and Barrel, as they have awesome Egyptian coriander), add two to three TB ground in a mortar. Also, cranberry chutney works really well.


'carmelized' means the liquid will dry up and the food (in this case cabbage) will change colors, getting browned in spots as the sugar goes through a chemical change. since the cabbage here has the addition of molasses, a sticky sweetener, it has a helper in the process. don't leave this alone on the stove once the liquid is almost gone; stir and scrape up the cabbage until you will see a dramatic difference in the color of the cabbage and in the smell.


Very easy and flavorful. You could just stop with the caramelized cabbage and have a great side dish. I used whole milk instead of cream and water instead of chicken stock and the dish was fine. I found lingonberry jam at Whole Foods. I thought the sauce was a nice addition but you could skip that step if you want.


I made this with a pound each of beef and pork because that's what the package size was. My family of four, including two teenagers, ate half of it. My math on the nutritional info is that it was 430 calories per serving -- well within a normal dinner, including side dishes.
"Serving size" is a suggestion. Choose your portions sensibly and don't blame NYT for cooking with meat, butter, and cream?
This was delicious and easily fit within a reasonable daily meal plan.


I agree that it looks like too much for an 8x8 pan. However, I used a Lodge 10 inch cast iron frying pan to bake it in, and it was fine. It was to the top when I put it in, but it cooks down.


I'm making this tonight for a small dinner party and will be serving Kabinett Riesling from Mosel and Oregon Pinot Noir. Other options would be Mencia from Ribiera Sacra for a red or Gruner Veltliner from Kamptal for the white. Hope this helps!


I really liked this, except that next time I would cut the molasses by half—the result was too sweet for me. I enjoyed the leftovers as a breakfast hash with potatoes and a fried egg on top.Oh, also, I cut the fat content by substituting evaporated whole milk for the heavy cream.


I liked this, but the cabbage was far too sweet for me. I’d cut the molasses by half if I make it again.


I increased the meat to 1 lb ea. and cooked in a 13x9 in. pan. Good, hearty, traditional. Sauce is optional since I forgot it and it was fine.


my tastebuds were today years old when they were introduced to this complex comfort dish that is kalpudding. they're glad they won't age another day without knowing it's pleasure :)


A lovely winter meal, transporting me back to Sverige. I adjusted the amounts to use 1 pound of meat as the kind we buy is packaged by the pound. Served with the Parmesan roasted potatoes made for a lovely afternoon in the kitchen ending with a hearty meal with enough for lunch the next day.


I used a pound each of ground beef and pork. Takes much longer than 45 minutes in an 8x8 pan. I would use a 10 inch skillet. Lots of moisture, but solidifies after resting. Very tasty. Needed to add salt when eating it. I will add more in meat mixture before cooking next time.


Mine took so long we couldn't eat it for dinner! Will have to have as leftovers tomorrow. And so much moisture... Is that right??


Next time use 10 inch skillet rather than 8x8 pan. Good taste. Needed to add some salt to meat mixture.

Aline Libassi

My Kalpudding is in the fridge waiting to be baked off this evening. I ran out of Molasses so used agave syrup for the cabbage, but it did not give up much water. I am in Mexico and sometimes the vegetables may look the same, but have a different consistency. Obviously lingonberries are not available here so I will try to cook down some frozen cranberries (also like pure gold here and found in one store about an hour away during Thanksgiving) and add the rest of the sauce ingredients.


I made the cabbage only today, I’m a vegetarian and it sounded delightful. That said, after cutting your cabbage, put it in a dish towel and squeeze dry. Start with dry cabbage. It does indeed take a long while, be patient, it’s amazing!


I'm always looking at carnivore recipes for inspiration to use with meat substitutes like Beyond Beef, tempe, tofu, etc. I'm not looking for snarky answers from anti-veg carnivores but wondering if anyone else has tried making this dish vegetarian. I'm aware that it won't be exactly the same but this seems like a wonderful recipe to riff from. Any suggestions or opinions?

Ian Westergren

Most Swedish cooks would mix the meat with boiled rice rather than bread crumbs. Also if you live in the southern tip of Sweden (Skane) the meat filling will be all pork.

Aline Libassi

I like the idea of boiled rice. The starch will probably hold the meat together better since there is no egg, like in a traditional meatloaf. Thanks for the tip. Also want to try it with red cabbage next time and substituting maple syrup for molasses, which here in Mexico is hard to find and is super expensive on Amazon Mexico. Always trying to find substitutes in these recipes while I am living in Mexico, but an avid fan of all of the recipes.

Laura Jane

I've made this and it is so, so tasty. I play around with subbing grains for some of the meat, just to boost nutrition and to use a little less meat. I've made it with 1/2 lb each of the beef and pork, and then subbed in cooked farro for the missing volume of meat and really like it.

Ginger Bee

Hmmm, not a great choice for those of us watching our saturated fats + cholesterol, alas! Beef, pork, heavy cream, and butter... ooh, la, la!

Kentfield Barbara

This was very good, but next time I will add more of the additional seasonings of allspice, ginger and nutmeg. A teaspoon of both allspice and ginger and a 1/2 of nutmeg. Also the lingonberry sauce is delicious and essential. I will double the recipe. I prepared both several hours ahead of time, and then cooked it for 50 minutes. Served with mashed potatoes and enjoyed a nice Swedish dinner with carrots tossed in butter, brown sugar and Dijon. Rutabaga work work also!


Cardamon, coriander, ginger, allspiceMaple syrup, ginger syrup, pomegranate molasses

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Kalpudding (Meatloaf With Caramelized Cabbage) Recipe (2024)
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