Cooking in Serbian: 5 Simple Recipes for Serbian Dishes

A man and a woman cooking.

If you’re into cooking as much as you’re into the Serbian language, it’s time to combine the two and double the fun — by trying out Serbian recipes. After all, one of the best (and most delicious) ways to experience a foreign culture is through the local cuisine.

That’s why we’ll introduce you to 5 quick and easy Serbian recipes. So, prepare your apron, get your chopping board, and let’s dive into flavors!

Serbian Recipes: 5 Simple Dishes

If you’ve ever visited Serbia (or if you live there), you probably know that Serbian cuisine is rich and flavorful, with influences from various other countries. Admittedly, many traditional dishes take hours and complicated steps to prepare.

But don’t worry — you don’t need to be Jamie Oliver to cook Serbian food. In fact, following the recipes on our list is a piece of cake or, as Serbs would say — prosto kao pasulj (as simple as beans). Plus, you’ll be able to find all the ingredients wherever you live. So, let’s begin!

1. Kačamak

: A yellow, creamy food made of corn flour.
Kačamak 🌽

First off, let’s warm up with something really easy. Kačamak (or palenta) is a traditional dish made of corn flour and… That’s it. Well, you’ll also need a bit of water and salt.

Being a one-ingredient meal, it’s hard to think of a dish that’s easier on the wallet. On top of that, it’s also easy on the stomach, so people often have it as a quick and light breakfast.And unlike most other Serbian foods, it’s vegan.

 

Ingredients

Sastojci

2 cups corn flour

Kukurzno

brašno

8 cups water

voda

salt

so

 

Instructions

  1. Pour the water into a pot. Add a bit of salt and bring it to a boil.
  2. Start adding the corn flour bit by bit while stirring the pot and breaking the lumps using a wooden spoon.
  3. Turn the heat down and keep stirring for another five to ten minutes. When you can see the bottom of your pot while stirring, it’s ready!

Once it’s done, you can eat kačamak plain or add some milk, cheese, or kajmak for more flavor. Prijatno!

  • Kačamak se lako sprema.

(Kačamak is easy to make.)

Volim da jedem laganu hranu za doručak.

(I like to have something light for breakfast.)

  • Kačamak je gotov za tren oka!

(Kačamak is ready in a blink of an eye!)

2. Gulaš

A bowl of beef stew
A hearty bowl of gulaš 😋

Originally a part of Hungarian cuisine, gulaš made its way into Serbian kitchens and hearts. Filling and fragrant, it’s the ultimate comfort food for chilly days. It’s typically made of beef, but you can also use pork, chicken thighs, or even venison.

 

Ingredients

Sastojci

600g beef – diced

junetina

600g onion – diced

crni luk

250 ml tomato sauce

paradajz sos

1 tsp pepper

biber

2 tsp paprika

aleva paprika

1 tsp parsley

peršun

salt to taste

so

600ml water

voda

6 tbsp cooking oil

ulje

 

Instructions

  1. Add oil to a pot over medium heat. Add in the onion and fry it until it becomes glassy and dark yellow. Pour in 300ml of water and let it simmer for 20 minutes.
  2. Add beef, parsley, and paprika, pour in the rest of the water, and stir. Then, let it simmer until the meat becomes soft (the longer, the better). Stir occasionally.
  3. Once the meat is tender and the mixture thickens, add tomato sauce, salt, and pepper and cook for another 15 minutes.

Serve it with pasta, rice, or mashed potatoes. Enjoy!

  • Gulaš je odličan za zimu.

(Gulaš is great for winter.)

  • Ne mogu da prestanem da ga jedem!

(I can’t stop eating it!)

  • Baš je ukusan!

(It’s so delicious!)

3. Srpska salata

Zesty srpska salta 🍅🥒

If you’re having gulaš for dinner, you’ll need a refreshing side salad. For something authentic, try srpska salata (Serbian salad). Light and tangy, it goes well with any main dish and only takes a few ingredients and a few minutes to make.

 

Ingredients

Sastojci

500g tomatoes

paradajz

2 cucumbers

krastavac

2 bell peppers

paprika

1 onion – chopped

crni luk

2 tbsp salad oil

ulje

salt to taste

so

2 chili peppers – chopped

ljuta papričica

 

Instructions

  1. Wash the tomatoes and dice them.
  2. Peel the cucumbers and cut them into small pieces.
  3. Slice the bell peppers and chili peppers into strips.
  4. Peel and dice the onion.
  5. Combine all the ingredients in a salad bowl and add salt and oil.

And it’s done — easy peasy, right?

  • Jede mi se nešto osvežavajuće.

(I feel like eating something refreshing.)

  • Paradajz je sočan.

(Tomato is juicy.)

  • Povrće je zdravo.

(Vegetables are healthy.)

4. Ruska salata

Give me more of that ruska salata 😍

Here’s another salad recipe. But unlike the previous one, ruska salata (Russian salad) is extremely filling and can replace any meal. Serbs typically eat it on holidays, like Christmas (Božić), Uskrs (Easter), or slava.

And the thing is, ruska salata is so popular that even if they make literal bucketfuls of it, there are never leftovers. If you’re wondering what’s so special about it, try making it and see for yourself.

 

Ingredients

Sastojci

Frozen vegetable mix

(carrot, peas, and potato)

mešavina za

rusku salatu (šargarepa, grašak, krompir)

200g ham

šunka

5 baby pickles

kiseli

krastavčići

2 eggs

jaje

300g mayonnaise

majonez

salt to taste

so

Instructions

  1. Boil the vegetable mix, then remove the water and let it cool.
  2. Chop the ham, eggs, and pickles and combine them with your veggies.
  3. Stir the mayo into the mixture.
  4. Let it chill in the fridge for a couple of hours before serving.

And you’re done — it’s as easy as that.

In case you can’t buy this exact frozen vegetable mixture in your country, you can prepare it yourself. All you need to do is cut equal amounts of carrot and potato into small pieces and combine them with peas.

  • Pojeo/pojela sam celu činiju salate.

(I had an entire bowl of salad.)

  • Prejeo/prejela sam se.

(I’m stuffed.)

  • Boli me stomak.

(I have a stomachache)

5. Lenja pita

Lastly, it’s time for something sweet. Out of all Serbian recipes for desserts, this one might be the easiest. In fact, this pie is not just simple — it’s lazy. To clarify, lenja pita literally means lazy pie. So, if you usually can’t be bothered to cook anything more complicated than a sunny-side-up — this dessert is perfect for you.

Ingredients

Sastojci

Dough

 Testo

2 cups wheat flour

brašno

1 cup sugar

šećer

1 cup milk

mleko

½ cup oil

ulje

1 egg

jaje

12g baking powder

prašak za 

pecivo

Filling

 Punjenje

1.5kg apples

jabuka

1 cup sugar

šećer

1 tsp cinnamon

cimet

10g vanilla sugar

vanilin šećer

Instructions

 

  1. Use a mixer or a hand blender to mix all the ingredients for the dough.
  2. Grease a baking pan with oil and pour half of your dough mixture in it.
  3. Place the pan in the pre-heated oven and bake it for 10 minutes at 180°C.
  4. While the dough is baking, grate the apples and combine them with sugar and cinnamon.
  5. When the dough is half-baked (after 10 minutes), spread the filling over it evenly. Then, pour the remaining dough mixture on top of the filling.
  6. Bake everything for 30 minutes until the crust gets a nice golden color.
  7. When it’s done, take your pie out of the oven and sprinkle it with vanilla sugar. Cut it into square pieces and serve.

And voila — you’ve made yourself a delicious dessert with almost no effort.

  • Obožavam slatkiše.

(I love sweets.)

  • Ova pita je preukusna.

(This pie is absolutely delicious.)

  • Prste da poližeš!

(Finger licking good!)

Try Out Serbian Recipes

There you go! You’ve got a bit of everything — breakfast, main dish, side salads, and a dessert. All you need to do is take out your pots and pens and give these Serbian recipes a go. While you’re at it, try to memorize the Serbian words for ingredients and phrases related to food. Besides that, enjoy the process and the results of your culinary adventures.

And if you wish to improve your Serbian beyond the kitchen, check out our beginner and intermediate courses. Just like our receipts, they are easy to follow and yield great results!

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