Where Is My Spoon Recipes Main Dish Beef, Pork and Lamb Cevapi or Cevapcici Recipe – Croatian Food

Cevapi or Cevapcici Recipe – Croatian Food

by Adina 22/06/2019 13 comments

croatian cevapi or cevapcici
This post may contain affiliate links, see my Privacy Policy


Croatian cevapcici or cevapi, delicious grilled uncased pork and beef sausages with lots of garlic and paprika.



This cevapcici recipe is another one from a country participating to the FIFA World Cup. The World Cup is over, but I am obviously not, there are still so many recipes to come, I hope that’s OK. Today is Croatia, who played and lost the final against France on Sunday.

I don’t mind France winning, but if I had to pick a favorite to win the finals it would have been Croatia. Mostly because Croatia is closer to my country Romania and because it would have been great if a smaller country would have become champion for a change. One gets rather tired when only big football nations win everything there is to win…


cevapi or cevapcici with rice


But back to food, football is really not my area. Today’s cevapi or cevapcici are some of the best homemade sausages I have ever eaten. You definitely have to try them this summer. They are really summer food for me, I always associate grilled sausages with hot Romanian summers, cold drinks and garlic sauce.

The Croatian cevapi or cevapcici are also very similar to the Romanian mici” or “mititei, which are THE BEST grilled sausages, if you ask me. 🙂 Of course they are, I grew up eating them, we have them at least once or twice every summer in Germany as well, so the Croatian cevapi or cevapcici only come second to mici… But I am biased, of course.


grilled cevapi or cevapcici



Cevapi or cevapcici are grilled sausages made of a mixture or ground beef and pork, seasoned with lots of garlic and paprika. Originally this kind of sausages were made with ground lamb, but nowadays beef or pork are more common. In Romania, there are still local versions made with lamb or a mixture of lamb and beef or pork.

Cevapi are very common not only in Croatia, but pretty much in all the other former Yugoslavian countries. Also common in countries around former Yugoslavia, like Romania – mici, Bulgaria – kebaptscheta or Albania – kebape.

The cevapi or cevapcici are very similar to the Turkish kofte kebab. They originated in the Balkan area during the rule of the Ottoman empire, who had a century-long influence all through these Balkan and South European countries.

Here are another few Ottoman inspired Romanian recipes, that you will probably find variations of in the Balkan area and all through the South European region: Savory Cheese Pie with Quark Feta and Yogurt, Zacusca – Eggplant and Red Pepper Spread, Sarmale – Cabbage Rolls with Pork and Rice or Stuffed Vine Leaves with Ground Meat and Rice.


cevapi or cevapcici with rice




Well, the cevapcici recipe is simple, with just one thing that makes it very different from other kind of homemade sausages. The sausages are made with baking soda, which helps tenderize the ground meat, making the cevapi less dense, lighter, softer. So good! You should definitely not leave the baking soda out. You could make the cevapi without it, but you will definitely miss on something.

  • Spices:

Spice the cevapi or cevapcici thoroughly with sweet paprika, Cevapi or Cevapcici Recipe – Croatian Food, hot paprika, Cevapi or Cevapcici Recipe – Croatian Food, sweet smoked paprika, Cevapi or Cevapcici Recipe – Croatian Food, vegeta, salt and pepper.  The amount of spices needed might seem like a lot and I am talking here from a German cook’s point of view, my experience is that regular German home cooks, are easily startled when confronted with too many spices.

Still, if they do overcome their fear and do follow the “spicy” recipe, they are most of the times delighted with the results. So, be generous with the garlic and the paprika.


grilled sausages cevapi cevapcici


  • Vegeta:

Another “spice” I use when making the cevapi is vegeta, Cevapi or Cevapcici Recipe – Croatian Food. It is not something I usually have in the house, I don’t think I have bought it more than once or twice in my life, but my grandmother used to take it all the time. And she did spice her sausages with vegeta as well, so for the sake of originality I did buy the vegeta. Many cevapi recipes I found online used vegeta as well.

Vegeta is an apparently Croatian (never knew that before, it could have been Romanian as far as I’m concerned, everybody in Romania seems to use it) all purpose seasoning, which is used to flavor more or less any kind of meal. You can put it into soups, sauces, stews, rice dishes, you can sprinkle it on meat, salad or bread spreads and so on.

If you cannot find or don’t want to buy it to make just this particular Cevapi or Cevapcici Recipe, you could easily replace it with (organic) vegetable stock powder.

  • Onions:

Another advice I can give you regarding this cevapi recipe is to make sure you chop the onions as finely as possible. There are quite a few of them in the sausages and it is not so nice if the pieces are to roughly cut.

  • How to form the cevapcici?

When you form the cevapi, try to make them as regular as possible, not only they will look nicer when served, but they will cook more regularly as well. I weighed the meat mixture used to make one sausage, they were all between 50 and 55 g/ 1.7-1.9 oz/ ¼ cup. I had 18 cevapi or cevapcici in the end, but the recipe can be easily doubled.


cevapi or cevapcici with rice



Well, there are lots of possibilities. One possibility would be to serve them with Djuvec rice. Well, as I needed a Nigerian recipe for my World Cup Food Series as well, I decided to make Jollof Rice, which is kind of similar to Djuvec, only differently spiced. It was a wonderful match, we all loved the combination.

You could also serve the cevapi or cevapcici with ajvar, chopped onions, sour cream, feta and flat bread. In Romania we would serve our version of cevapcici – mici with mustard or garlic sauce made with only grated garlic, salt and water and white bread.

And you should definitely make a Shopska Salad on the side. This is the way we had the cevapcici most of the times when on holiday in Croatia: Cevapcici with rice, raw onions and ajvar on a large plate and shopska or white cabbage salad on the side! Delicious!

croatian cevapi or cevapcici


Cevapi or Cevapcici Recipe – Croatian Food

Cevapi or Cevapcici Recipe – Croatian Food

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

Croatian cevapi or cevapcici, delicious grilled uncased pork and beef sausages with lots of garlic and paprika.



  1. Give the ground meat to a bowl. Chop the onion very finely and grate the garlic cloves. Give them to the bowl as well.
  2. Add the chopped parsley, all sorts of paprika, baking soda, dried breadcrumbs, water, vegeta, salt and pepper. Mix well with the hand mixer fitted with the dough hooks. Cover the bowl with cling film/ plastic foil and leave to rest for 1 or 2 hours in the refrigerator.
  3. Take portions of the meat mixture, about 50-55 g/ 1.7-1.9 oz/ ¼ cup portions, and form the cevapi or cevapcici. The rolls should be about as thick as your thumb and about 7-10 cm/ 3-4 inches long. I had 18 sausages. The recipe can be easily doubled.
  4. Grill the cevapicici in the hot grill pan or on the barbecue for about 12-14 minutes, turning them several times in between, or until brown and cooked through. I checked by cutting one in the middle and then grilling the following batches for the same period of time.
  5. Serve hot as suggested above. The cevapicici can be reheated in the oven at 180 degrees Celsius/ 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 10 minutes or until heated through. Check one, if it is not hot enough, give the sausages a few more minutes.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 571Total Fat: 35gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 170mgSodium: 964mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 52g
Nutritional information is not always accurate.

You may also like


angiesrecipes 19/07/2018 - 09:01

My husband’s top favourite. He simply can’t live without meat..from meatloaf, meatball, Frikadellen, to cevapcici. Yours looks so amazing that I want to taste one too.

Richard Farris 05/12/2018 - 13:10

This recipe looks delicious

Adina 05/12/2018 - 13:52

Thanks, Richard. I hope you try it. 🙂

Lena Condic 13/03/2019 - 17:59

I enjoyed these at a funeral reception at a Croatian church in Chicago recently. They were so delicious that I had to locate a recipe and share with my family. Thanks, Adina, for sharing your recipe with us.

Adina 13/03/2019 - 19:08

Thank you. We all love the cevapcici, I hope you liked them too.

Vera 06/05/2019 - 19:49

Thank you,
I am Croatian and wanted to share a Croatian recipe with my British family. I haven’t tried cooking much until our daughter asked me too. So thanks a lot!

Adina 07/05/2019 - 09:03

Hi Vera. So nice to hear. We’ve just come back from Croatia, we spent two weeks there, a beautiful country. And the food was always delicious. Lots and lots of cevapcici. 🙂

Nammi 23/06/2019 - 05:18

wow, that looks good. Not very familiar with croatian cuisine, so thanks for the recipe 🙂

Sissi 23/06/2019 - 17:32

Great idea for a summer meal! I had cevapcici once in a Serbian restaurant and loved it! Then I even made it at home but somehow it didn’t taste half as good… (Of course the real charcoal grill would have helped…). I must test your recipe, it sounds great and full of flavours! In my recipe there was no baking soda, but sparkling water! I must test both and see the difference.
I think spices and herbs are the main difference between Polish and German cuisines. Poles tend to season food much more (for example German sausages are so famous, but I always dream of Polish ones because for me they lack spices and garlic…).
Vegeta!!!! It’s been so widely used in Poland, most people probably think it’s Polish, haha! Now people use less of it… but it’s true that everything seasoned with Vegeta tastes at least good. It’s a very useful shortcut.

Adina 02/07/2019 - 12:24

I love Polish sausages as well, it is very easy to get them in Germany, so I buy them quite often.

Kelly | Foodtasia 25/06/2019 - 15:37

Adina, these look so delicious! I love Turkish kabob so I’m excited to try these. Interesting tip about using baking soda. Will have to give that a try!

allie @ Through Her Looking Glass 25/06/2019 - 17:10

Football is not my specialty either, but it probably should be…. as I have four boys and live in New England where the Patriots are what it’s all about. These sausages look to die for!!! I know nothing about Croatian cuisine, so many thanks for expanding my horizons and palate. My boys will all love these cevapcici, thank you. Hope you and your family are having a wonderful summer so far!

mjskitchen 03/07/2019 - 04:27

I love a good sausage so the moment I say “lots of garlic and paprika” I knew these would be awesome! Three types of paprika – I’m all in! These looks fabulous and I love that I can make them at home. There is nothing like a tasty homemade sausage. Sorry for the long absence. I see that I’ve missed alot. I’ll be perusing them to see what I’ve missed. The fennel and apple have already caught my eye.


Leave a Comment