Written by: Milica Bokšan

If you thought that everything worth trying from Serbian food was already mentioned in the previous article ﹘ you were wrong!

This time, the focus will be on dishes that require a bit longer preparation.

In other words, these are the dishes you can’t find at fast food places.

Aside from food that strictly belongs to the Serbian tradition, some dishes from other Balkan countries are also very popular among the Serbian population.

We can say immodestly that Serbian gastronomy has collected the best from others. It has also adapted each of the following dishes so they become a real specialty.

Be prepared to get hungry while reading this!

#1 Serbian Food: Proja

In essence, Proja is a pie made of corn flour. 

It can be made from flour alone, but pieces of white cheese, pickles and ham are often added to make the taste even richer.

serbian food balkan food proja pie
Source: Fagor.rs

If you are invited to a Serbian celebration, whether the host lives in the diaspora or Serbia, it is almost certain that Proja will be one of the appetizers.

Serbs are known for their hospitality, so don’t be surprised if they pack food for you to take home.

In that case, we advise you to eat Proja with yogurt or sour cream for breakfast. 

You will surely be delighted!

#2 Serbian Food: Gibanica

Speaking of appetizers and breakfast, Gibanica is another must-have Serbian dish.

It is made from thin crusts and crumbled cheese.

The strength of its taste depends on the taste and the amount of cheese used.

As is the case with Proja, Gibanica also goes well with yogurt.

If you visit a Serbian restaurant, make sure you order Serbian meze (several different types of dried meat cut into thin rings) along with Gibanica.

#3 Serbian Food: Ajvar

The Serbian star among dips is certainly Ajvar

We already mentioned Ajvar when we talked about the must-buy Serbian souvenirs.

It is a thick sauce made from paprika.

Serbs often eat it with other dishes, such as barbeque, or you can consume it as a bread spread.

#4 Serbian Food: Sarma

An essential dish for all Serbian SlavasSarma.

serbian food balkan food sarma
Source: Moj recept

Sarma is a dish of minced meat and rice wrapped in sauerkraut leaves.

During cooking, dry meat is often added to give sarma a special taste.

Sarma is served with bread, and at Serbian celebrations and weddings, it usually goes after appetizers.

Although the aforementioned combination may not seem like a real specialty to you, don’t judge until you try!

#5 Serbian Food: Svadbarski kupus

Svadbarski kupus (= wedding cabbage) is another traditional Serbian dish that is often served at Serbian slava or weddings.

Kupusijada is an event that takes place in Mrčajevci, a small town near Čačak, in central Serbia. This event is entirely dedicated to preparing svadbarski kupus, and people compete to prepare the tastiest dish.

However, this is not the only event where cabbage plays a major role. 

At the Assembly of Trumpeters in Guča, during the entire assembly (in addition to the obligatory roasting), svadbarski kupus is prepared in earthen pots.

As its name suggests, wedding cabbage is made of sauerkraut and homemade dry meat, which, together with spices, are steamed in pots hours before consumption.

#6 Serbian Food: Karađorđeva šnicla

When you are in Serbia, one thing is certain ﹘ you will hardly stay hungry. 

Today, there are more and more popular restaurants in the world where, when you order something, you get a few bites on the plate. But for Serbs, the meals must be high quality, tasty, and plentiful.

This is exactly the case with Karađorđeva šnicla (= Karađorđe schnitzel).

serbian food balkan food  karađorđeva šnicla
Source: Rakija Grill

This cutlet is made from a piece of pork that is filled with kajmak (it is a salty dairy product), rolled in breadcrumbs with eggs, and then fried.

It is mostly served with French fries, mashed potatoes, or other vegetables and salad.

You can order it in almost any Serbian restaurant. 

It will be served with a slice of lemon (don’t get confused, feel free to squeeze the lemon over the cutlet) and tartar sauce.

By the way, Karađorđe schnitzel has its own historical story. 

The cook of the leader of the former Yugoslavia, Josip Broz Tito, made this dish quite by accident 70 years ago, “out of necessity.” He named it after the Serbian knez Karađorđe, the leader of the first Serbian uprising.

#7 Serbian Food: Musaka od krompira

Musaka (= moussaka) belongs to traditional Balkan food (for example, Greek moussaka is quite popular).

It is most often prepared with eggplant, but in Serbia, it is prepared only with potatoes and minced meat.

To make the dish juicier, the Balkans add a sauce very similar to the popular béchamel.

#8 Serbian Food: Gulaš

Gulaš (= goulash) is another traditional dish that belongs to Balkan food. It originates from Hungary.

Gastronomic influences were mixed between the Balkan countries, so Gulaš can regularly be found on Serbian tables.

This dish is usually prepared from pieces of beef or pork that are slowly stewed and then cooked in a pot with a little bit of paprika, cayenne pepper, black pepper, and salt. Finally, it is served with pasta or mashed potatoes.

Gulaš is easy to prepare and is one of the favorite dishes because of its taste.

However, since Gulaš has a strong flavor, be careful with the amount.

#9 Serbian Food: Srpska salata

Srpska salata (= Serbian salad) is very similar to the chopped salad. It goes great with grilled dishes.

Moreover, Srpska salata contains a lot of vitamins, and it’s great for a meal on hot days because of the refreshing taste of a bunch of vegetables.

It is prepared by chopping onion, tomato, pepper, and cucumber, and then pouring a small amount of vinegar and oil over it. It often has a green chili pepper inside, so make sure to ask your waiter about it if you don’t like spicy!

If there is cheese in it, it’s called šopska salata. Šopska salata is like srpska salata, without the chili pepper with some old white cheese on top! It’s delicious, and a must-try.

You probably already have these ingredients in your kitchen, so here’s an idea for your next healthy meal!


If you decide to try any of these dishes, you will definitely not go wrong!

You can prepare them in your own kitchen, and if you are visiting Serbia, do not miss to order one of the traditional Serbian dishes in the restaurants. Try doing it in Serbian!

If you are wondering why we called this paragraph Prijatno!, we probably got you interested in the Serbian language.

Now you too can very easily start learning Serbian!

Schedule your first Serbian lessons online and you will learn many more interesting facts about Serbian culture and people.