Dinner

Cevapi Balkan Homemade Sausage Recipe

17/10/2019 (Last Updated: 22/10/2019)

Cevapi is a simple Balkan Sausage recipe popular in Bosnia and Serbia. These homemade beef sausages are filled with delectable herbs and spices such as parsley, paprika, salt and pepper. 

Plate of Balkan beef sausages with lapinja bread and ajvar spread.

Why We Love This Recipe for Cevapi

Cevapi or Bosnian Finger Sausages use simple ingredients that are easy to mix together so you’ll have tasty homemade sausages in no time.

We love that Cevapi can be made as a big batch – you can double or even triple the recipe and freeze them to cook when you need.

Plate of cevapi, Bosnian homemade sausages with lapinja bread and ajvar spread.

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What is Cevapi? 

Cevapi (pronounced Che-Vah-Pee) are small finger-sized sausages that are usually made from beef and grilled. They often have some spices such as paprika, salt and pepper added and are similar to Kofta Kebabs found in other parts of Europe.

Plate of Bosnian homemade sausages with lapinja bread and ajvar spread.

What You’ll Need for Bosnian Cevapi

How to make Balkan sausages at home

  • In a large mixing bowl, pop in the beef mince, garlic, parsley, sweet paprika, salt and pepper. Then mix by hand until roughly combined.
  • Next grab a small dish and mix the water and baking soda together until it dissolves a little bit (it won’t mix entirely, this is fine).
  • Add the baking soda mixture into the meat mix and massage together for a good 5 minutes until it’s all combined.
  • Get out a large plate – it’s time to make the sausages! Get a small handful of the mixture and first roll it into a ball then into a small sausage shape. Pat each end to flatten and pop it on the plate. The length should be around the width of your hand.
  • Set a large grill pan or frying pan on medium heat and drizzle in the olive oil. Once heated, cook the sausages in batches (don’t overfill the pan). Let them cook a few minutes each side, until they’re browned. Chop one in half to check if they’re cooked in the middle. A slight pink is okay for beef sausages.
  • Once cooked, serve hot with fresh lepinja bread, chopped raw onion and ajvar spread.

Plate of cevapi, Bosnian homemade sausages with lapinja bread and ajvar spread.

Tips

  • Take your time ‘massaging’ the meat together with the spices and baking soda mix to both tenderise the meat and make sure the flavour mixes through entirely.
  • Make sure your heat isn’t too high, otherwise it will burn the outside and the middle will be raw.

FAQs

What meat is in Cevapi?

We’ve used beef in our sausages, but it’s also very common to use pork or lamb. 

What is Cevapi served with?

Cevapi is traditionally served with chopped raw onion, fresh lepinja bread (you could substitute with focaccia or pita bread in a pinch) and ajvar spread. 

Can you cook Cevapi in the oven?

You can cook Cevapi in the oven – just set it to 180C (or 350F) and place the sausages on a lined baking tray. Turn them every 10-15 minutes until browned, and cut one in half to check if they’re cooked through. If they get a little dry, baste them with a touch of olive oil.

Variations & Substitutes

  • Mix up the protein! If you don’t want pure beef sausages, try 50% beef and 50% pork, or 50% beef, 25% pork and 25% lamb.
  • Can’t find lepinja bread? Serve it with focaccia or pita bread instead.
  • Make meatballs! Instead of sausages, you can make them into meatballs and pop them in a pasta such as our Creamy Italian Sausage Pasta.

Plate of cevapi, Bosnian homemade sausages.

Have more mince meat to use up? Why not try these popular beef recipes:

★ Did you make this recipe? Please leave a star rating below!

Cevapi - Balkan Sausage Recipe

Cevapi is a simple Balkan Sausage recipe popular in Bosnia and Serbia. These homemade beef sausages are filled with delectable herbs and spices such as parsley, paprika, salt and pepper. 
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Bosnian
Servings: 18 sausages
Calories: 143kcal
Author: Wandercooks
Cost: $15

Equipment

  • Grill Pan or Frying Pan

Ingredients

  • 1 kg beef mince
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • ½ bunch parsley finely chopped
  • 50 ml water
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Instructions

  • In a large mixing bowl, pop in the beef mince, garlic, parsley, sweet paprika, salt and pepper. Mix by hand until roughly combined.
  • Next grab a small dish and mix the water and baking soda together until it dissolves a little bit (it won't mix entirely, this is fine).
  • Add the baking soda mixture into the meat mix and massage together for a good 5 minutes until it's all combined.
  • Get out a large plate - it's time to make the sausages! Get a small handful of the mixture and first roll it into a ball then into a small sausage shape. Pat each end to flatten and pop it on the plate. The length should be around the width of your hand.
  • Set a large grill pan or frying pan on medium heat and drizzle in the olive oil. Once heated, cook the sausages in batches (don't overfill the pan). Let them cook a few minutes each side, until they're browned. Chop one in half to check if they're cooked in the middle. A slight pink is okay for beef sausages.
  • Once cooked, serve hot with fresh lapinja bread, chopped raw onion and ajvar spread.

Notes

FAQ

  • What meat is in Cevapi? We've used beef in our sausages, but it's also very common to use pork or lamb.
  • What is Cevapi served with? Cevapi is traditionally served with chopped raw onion, fresh lepinja bread (you could substitute with focaccia or pita bread in a pinch) and ajvar spread.
  • Can you cook Cevapi in the oven? You can cook Cevapi in the oven - just set it to 180C (or 350F) and place the sausages on a lined baking tray. Turn them every 10-15 minutes until browned, and cut one in half to check if they're cooked through. If they get a little dry, baste them with a touch of olive oil.

Variations & Substitutes

  • Mix up the protein! If you don't want pure beef sausages, try 50% beef and 50% pork, or 50% beef, 25% pork and 25% lamb.
  • Can't find lepinja bread? Serve it with focaccia or pita bread instead.
  • Make meatballs! Instead of sausages, you can make them into meatballs and pop them in a pasta such as our Creamy Italian Sausage Pasta.

Nutrition

Calories: 143kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 39mg | Sodium: 238mg | Potassium: 164mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 188IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 13mg | Iron: 1mg
Hey hey – Did you make this recipe?We’d love it if you could give a star rating below ★★★★★ and show us your creations on Instagram! Snap a pic and tag @wandercooks / #Wandercooks

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12 Comments

  • Reply
    stefani
    21/10/2019 at 2:55 pm

    Hi,
    Can’t wait to try this recipe.
    Great post, amazing pictures.
    Thank you.

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      22/10/2019 at 12:45 pm

      Thanks so much Stefani. Thanks for the note about the lepinja too. 😉 Hope you enjoy!

  • Reply
    Danielle
    20/10/2019 at 7:26 pm

    Wow, these look so tasty! I love that you can make a huge batch and freeze them for later!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      22/10/2019 at 12:36 pm

      Sammmmme. Makes things so much easier for meal planning.

  • Reply
    Dannii
    20/10/2019 at 6:05 pm

    I would love to try making my on sausages. These look really simple

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      22/10/2019 at 12:35 pm

      They are! You can even pop them on a stick and grill them on the bbq as another way to cook them. 🙂

  • Reply
    Jamie
    20/10/2019 at 2:46 pm

    I love all the herbs and spices you added to this, especially the sweet paprika! My family would love to have this for dinner!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      22/10/2019 at 12:35 pm

      Awesome Jamie, thanks for letting us know and stopping by! 😀

  • Reply
    Irina
    20/10/2019 at 2:19 pm

    WOW! I would really like to learn how to make sausages at home. The recipe sounds delicious! Pinning for later. Thanks for sharing.

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      22/10/2019 at 12:34 pm

      You’re welcome Irina. These sausages are super easy – especially as you don’t need to put them in cases. 🙂

  • Reply
    Anita
    20/10/2019 at 9:48 am

    I’ve never heard of cevapi before, but I am a big fan or anything meatballs, so this is right up my alley. And would you believe it that I have everything to make this? I even have some frozen naan bread in my freezer! Thanks for sharing. 🙂 

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      22/10/2019 at 12:34 pm

      Oh bonus! We did end up eating half in bread, then turned the leftovers into meatballs for a pasta dinner with our friends. 😀 So handy!

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