Legendary Dishes | Zapečeni Grah (baked beans)


There are countless versions of this iconic Balkan dish across the region. The beans are the common denominator, tomatoes are a constant and the red pepper sauce called ajvar is the secret ingredient.

  • 500 ml passata
  • 400 g onion, sliced
  • 250 g cannellini beans / white beans, soaked for 24 hours, cooked with a bay leaf, cooking liquid retained
  • 250 g pork sausage, chopped thick, cut into quarters (optional)
  • 150 g pancetta, chopped small
  • 30 ml olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tbsp ajvar
  • 5 g black pepper
  • 5 g sweet paprika
  • 5 g peperoncino / red pepper flakes
  • 5 g vegeta / dried vegetables and seasonings
  • 5 sprigs parsley

Sauté onions, pancetta and garlic in the oil for 25 minutes.

Add beans, ajvar, passata, some of the cooking liquid, parsley and seasonings, and, if using, the sausage.

Transfer hot to an ovenproof dish, bake at 200°C for 30 minutes.

Serve with Balkan bagel burgers.

Indigenous Ingredients

Red Pepper Flakes
White Beans