DrygastDrygast, 2022-08-12

Juicy burger from the Balkans


  • Servings4 Portions
  • AllergensMilk, Wheat


  • Prep Time10 min
  • Rest Time240 min
  • Cook Time20 min

With juicy burgers and fantastic sides, this is a must-try. Pljeskavica is a Serbian hamburger that is popular in one form or another all over the Balkans. It can be prepared in many different ways, but grilling is traditional.

To be completely honest, I didn't even know what this was until I saw an episode of my favorite channel on YouTube: Sorted Food where it was mentioned that pljeskavica was growing in popularity as fast food in Sweden. As I had never seen this out in town, of course I was curious and had to do some quick research. It is true that you can get hold of pljeskavica in a number of places around Sweden and they are often served as an alternative to a normal hamburger.

There are many different variations, but I choose to make a recipe of what I perceived to be the most common to get hold of in Sweden. I choose to use beef, pork and lamb as it is rare that I use all 3 in any recipe. For an even more authentic recipe, you should use real Kajmak, but I had trouble finding that around here, so I chose an alternative where you simply mixed cream cheese, butter and creme fraiche. I'm not sure how close to real Kajmak this will be, but it sure is tasty. This in combination with homemade Ajvar and Lepinja is very good and I can absolutely recommend giving this some time and trying it sometime.

In this particular recipe, I choose to grate the onion and mix it with the meat, but I have seen other variations where you add the onion (roughly chopped) just before the meat is cooked. Another option is to fold the onion between two thin layers of meat just before cooking - this way the onion is baked into the meat.

Another thing that may seem a little unusual is that there is bicarbonate in the mince. It is not a mistake, it helps to keep the meat juicy.

It is perfectly possible to shape the burgers and freeze them just before cooking. They keep in the freezer for a few months.


Meat Patty
Served With

Nutrition Facts*

 TotalServing100 g
Energy5235.12 kcal1308.78 kcal198 kcal
Carbohydrates327.33 g81.83 g12.38 g
Fat358.79 g89.7 g13.57 g
Protein192.75 g48.19 g7.29 g
Sugar51.56 g12.89 g1.95 g
Salt28.03 g7.01 g1.06 g

* The nutritional information provided is approximate and is calculated using the ingredients available in the database. Info will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.


Meat Patty
  1. Grate the onion and press the garlic.
  2. Place minced meat, paprika powder, grated onion, pressed garlic, bicarbonate, salt, pepper and carbonated water in a bowl. Mix well.
  3. Pour the oil on top of the mince and brush so that it covers everything. Cover with a lid or plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours (or overnight).
  4. Divide the mince into 4 parts and form large flat patties. I use aluminum foil and plastic wrap as aids here.
  5. Fry in a frying pan with a little oil for a few minutes on medium-high heat or grill for a few minutes.
  6. Serve with Lepinja, Kajmak, Ajvar, some sliced onion and salad. I also made some fried potato wedges, but it's not necessary.
  1. Let all ingredients reach room temperature so they are soft.
  2. Mix well in a bowl and mix with a hand mixer or electric whisk - there should be no lumps from the butter.
  3. Serve immediately or keep in the fridge until serving.