The Serbian Pljeskavica – Secret recipe

Yes, I do! Pljeskavica is a popular Serbian dish, often considered a type of burger or grilled meat patty. It’s made with a mixture of ground meats, typically a combination of beef, pork, and lamb, seasoned with various herbs and spices. Pljeskavica is usually served in a flatbread (somewhat similar to pita bread) or on a plate and can be accompanied by a variety of toppings and condiments.


For the Pljeskavica:

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 1/2 pound ground lamb
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda (optional, helps keep the meat tender)
  • 1/4 cup sparkling water or club soda (optional, also helps keep the meat tender)

For Serving:

  • Flatbread or pita bread
  • Sliced onions
  • Sliced tomatoes
  • Lettuce or cabbage
  • Ajvar (Serbian red pepper relish) or ketchup
  • Kajmak (Serbian clotted cream) or sour cream (optional)
Source: https://meatwave.com/recipes/pljeskavica-serbian-style-hamburger-recipe


  1. Prepare the Meat Mixture:
    • In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground beef, ground pork, and ground lamb.
    • Add the finely chopped onion, minced garlic, ground paprika, ground cumin, ground black pepper, and salt.
  2. Mix and Rest the Meat:
    • Using your hands, mix all the ingredients together until well combined. If you’re using baking soda, dissolve it in the sparkling water or club soda, then add it to the meat mixture and mix thoroughly.
    • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the meat mixture rest in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.
  3. Shape the Pljeskavica:
    • Take a portion of the meat mixture and form it into a flat, round patty, about 4-5 inches in diameter and 1/2-inch thick. Repeat with the remaining mixture.
  4. Grill the Pljeskavica:
    • Preheat your grill or grill pan over medium-high heat.
    • Grill the pljeskavica patties for about 4-5 minutes on each side, or until they are cooked through and have a nice sear on the outside.
  5. Serve:
    • Warm the flatbread or pita bread on the grill for a minute or two, if desired.
    • Serve the pljeskavica in the flatbread, topped with sliced onions, tomatoes, and lettuce or cabbage.
    • Add a dollop of ajvar or ketchup, and if you prefer, a spoonful of kajmak or sour cream on top.

*If possible, do not substitute any of the sauces with ketchup. Also, better use lettuce instead of cabbage.

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