Grenadir mars – Potato pasta


You will find this in hardly any cookbook, despite the fact that grenadir mars is a very common dish in Central Europe.  It is made very often and served with pickles or green salad. It is very easy and fast to make and it is very customizable to suit your palate – feel free to experiment with this recipe by adding more or less of any of the ingredients.

It is hard to know where this meal originated. The name (“March of the grenadiers”) can tell us that it might have been invented to feed soldiers during the monarchy. The other hint is that this food used to be made very often in military kitchens all over Eastern Europe.  Plenty of my older friend who had to serve the military reported that they got tired of Grenadir mars after serving the army for 2 years. Even so, it’s one of the most favorite meals in central Europe.

Grenadir mars

Grenadir mars – Potato pasta
Serves 4
Best served with pickles any kind or with “head of lettuce Central European style” (recipe coming soon) . If you can’t get pasta squares, you can break a lasagna sheet into little squarish shaped thingies. Also you can try the version with smoked Spanish paprika for an interesting variation.
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  1. 3 medium onions
  2. 3 Tbs vegetable oil
  3. 1.5 pounds of potatoes
  4. 3 cups of pasta squares or other flat pasta
  5. 1tsp salt
  1. Peel the potatoes, cut them into half-inch cubes and boil them until soft (cca 8-10min) and drain them.
  2. Dice the onions; heat about 2 Tbs vegetable oil, and saute the onions with the salt over a medium low fire. You have to be careful not to burn the onions. The idea is to make them release their juices and get them translucent. Sometimes when the onions are frying too fast I add couple of table spoons of water.
  3. While you saute the onions cook the pasta to al dente, and drain. Toss with a Tsb of vegetable oil in order to prevent the pasta clumping.
  4. And now the big finale ! Once onions are translucent higher the heat and add the potatoes. Fold the onions over the potatoes and saute for another 5-7 minutes. Lower the heat, add the paprika and fold again. Add the pasta fold and you are done. Once you add the paprika do not saute too long, because paprika tends to get bitter.
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16 Responses

  1. Please don’t remind me of my primary/high school days… Grenadir was one of the “usuals” and actually, I never ate it outside the school dining hall – and never will. High school cafeteria managed to make me hate several more (probably otherwise potentially decent dishes) like spinach soup or soup with egg. Sorry for the bad memories…

  2. My mum makes this dish boiling the potatoes in their jackets before dicing and adding to the sautee onion & paprika (just remember never to add the paprika to boiling oil – let it cool a bit).
    A key extra ingredient of mine is “Piros Arany” or “Gulyaskrem” – seasoned paprika paste in a tube, hard to get outside of Hungary, and of course Vegeta seasoning in place of salt …
    Simple, ultra cheap, yummy – I could live off it (!) … when I was a child visiting Hungary I never understood why I couldn’t have it in restaurants 😉
    Other favourites – kapostas testa and turos testa with (smoked) salona !

    1. Oh my days! Memories flooding back to a childhood in England with Hungarian parents. Szalona was a staple along with grenadir mars.

  3. You guys are my heros! My grandmother used to make grenadir mars all the time when I was growing up, but I never got the recipe from her. She died 5 years ago, and I haven’t had it since. I can’t wait to give it a try!

  4. Hi
    I learned this recipe from my late mother. She started with a little bacon and sauted the onions on it. The part of pasta and tomato is the same (except for she boiled the potatoes unpeeled, more flavour stays inside) and finished with a sprinkle of paprika powder.
    As for the name … if you translate it in English, it should be Grenadir march (march as in marching not as in month of March). The recipe was popular among the soldiers of WWI.
    Thanks for the reminder!

  5. Did it twice according to this recipe. One important change, use lard, not oil. In WW I they used lard – and this gives it great taste. My son loved it. Second time, I also added some diced bacon.

  6. The version I remember was without paprika – as fine an idea as it is – but did include a generous amount of finely diced pancetta or German Speck or some other dried & smoked bacon, best thrown in the pan as you mix in the potatoes with the onions, so the bacon doesn’t get overcooked/over-fried, as well as a hefty dose of ground green pepper, per taste.

    1. sounds good too. this recipe we use in our family. others might have a different one. thanks for checking it out.

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