Ćevapi, pronounced che-vah-pee, is a dish of grilled caseless sausages made from a mixture of ground beef and pork, seasoned with garlic and ground pepper giving it their unique flavor and texture. Traditionally prepared in a Croatian household over many decades, this is our go-to ćevapi recipe.
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Delicious Homemade Cevapi Recipe
These mini sausages are most commonly made in South-East European countries, such as Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Slovenia. They often can consist of lamb, veal, pork and beef but our Croatian recipe only uses a mix of pork and beef.
Growing up in a Croatian household meant that cevapi was a frequent dish served at dinner time and for most large family gatherings. Something about their small, finger-sized shape make them a huge hit with kids of all ages, and especially when served with a side of french fries and fresh veggies.
For the grown ups, however, cevapi is traditionally served and enjoyed with fresh cut onions and homemade flatbread (recipe coming soon!).
Preparing Cevapi Ahead of Time
One of the best things about ćevapi is that similar to homemade burger patties, they can be prepared ahead of time and placed in the freezer until ready for cooking.
The Many Ways to Grill Cevapi
There are several convenient ways to grill cevapi at home. Here are some options to suit your cooking style:
- Using a barbeque
- In a frying pan on the stove top
- With an airfryer (recommended only with frozen cevapi)
Croatian Cevapi Recipe (Mini Caseless Sausages)
Preparing the Cevapi
- Cook whole garlic cloves in 2 cups of water. Simmer for about 10 minutes. Drain, keeping the water and discarding the garlic cloves.
- Add the salt and pepper to the remaining water. Let the water cool down completely.
- Add 1 tbsp flour and baking soda to cooled water.
- Mix ground meat together with the water mixture. Blend well by hand or with an electric mixer.
- When well mixed, put in the fridge for at least two hours (or overnight).
- Pull apart small egg-size pieces of meat and form each into a small sausage shape.
- Using the remaining flour, roll on a working surface into long shapes about 2” long, adding a dusting of flour to help hold their shape.
Freezing the Cevapi
- Freeze cevapi by layering between parchment paper and placing in an air-tight freezer bag or container. Cevapi can be cooked from frozen or thawed.
Grilling the Cevapi – Stovetop
- Cook on a stovetop in a shallow frying pan with just enough vegetable oil to keep from sticking. Grill one side at a time until meat browns (approx. 2-3 minutes per side) and rotate the cevapi until all sides are grilled and meat is cooked through fully and internal temperature of meat meets 160F .
Grilling the Cevapi – BBQ
- Place the cevapi on a baking sheet and place on the BBQ to grill. Turn the sausages as they brown on each side and continue until the meat is cooked through fully and internal temperature of meat meets 160F .
Grilling the Cevapi – Airfryer (for frozen cevapi)
- Preheat the airfryer on the "chicken wings" setting and place the frozen cevapi inside the airfryer. Follow the instructions on the airfryer to cook the meat fully.
The Best Sides to Serve alongside Croatian Cevapi
After making this cevapi recipe, you’ll want to serve them with a tasty side dish! Here are some of our favorites:
- How to Make Homemade French Fries
- Rice and Peas recipe
- Oven-Roasted Potatoes
- Sauteed Vegetable Stew
- Red Cabbage Coleslaw
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