Serbian Ground Beef, Veggie, and Potato Bake

Serbian Ground Beef, Veggie, and Potato Bake

amanda1432 29

"My boyfriend lived in Serbia for 3 years and always begs me to recreate some of his favorite dishes. Based on his sketchy explanations and a little research into Eastern European spices, I concocted this hearty and slightly spicy bake with ground beef, paprika, and vegetables like celery and peppers. Great with a glass of red wine!"

Ingredients 1 h 25 m {{adjustedServings}} servings 367 cals

Serving size has been adjusted!

Original recipe yields 4 servings



Amount per serving ({{servings}} total)

  • Calories:
  • 367 kcal
  • 18%
  • Fat:
  • 18.1 g
  • 28%
  • Carbs:
  • 27.2g
  • 9%
  • Protein:
  • 22.7 g
  • 45%
  • Cholesterol:
  • 72 mg
  • 24%
  • Sodium:
  • 567 mg
  • 23%

Based on a 2,000 calorie diet

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  • Prep

  • Cook

  • Ready In

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Lightly grease a casserole dish.
  2. In a skillet over medium heat, cook the beef until evenly brown. Remove beef from skillet, reserving juices, and set aside. Mix in the olive oil, and saute the green pepper, onion, carrot, and celery until tender.
  3. Return beef to the skillet, and season with paprika, salt, black pepper, red pepper, cinnamon, and cloves. Stir in the water and red wine until heated through. Dissolve the beef bouillon cube into the mixture. Remove skillet from heat, and mix in the half-and-half.
  4. Layer the bottom of the prepared casserole dish with enough potato slices to cover. Place the beef and vegetable mixture over the potatoes, and top with remaining potatoes.
  5. Cook, covered, 45 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the potatoes are tender.
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Reviews 432

  1. 542 Ratings


Being from former Yugoslavia myself, I can tell you that you are on the right track with this dish - it's called a mussaka. Anyway, what you are missing is a layer of potatoes in the middle. The original dish is layered so that you first put a layer of potatoes on the bottom, than a layer of meat, a layer of potatoes in the middle, than another layer of meat, than top it off with another layer of potatoes. Otherwise, the dish would be too heavy on the meat side. Also, there is an allspice that is greatly used in that region, which adds a specific taste to the original dish. The spice is called "vegeta" and you can find it in many international markets. If you make it without that spice, make sure to add some spices to the potatoes before you layer them. I usually add salt, pepper, paprika and some parsley. Enjoy!


The taste of the meat/veggie mixture alone merits 5 stars definitely...but there was something starchy lacking in this dish. Despite layering the potatos on top & bottom, there was still an overabundance of meat. (While we all like meat, we ended up having to heat up so leftover rice to accompany the dish.) Some nice ideas might be to serve it with egg noodles, rice or to use MUCH more potato (and perhaps mix the potatos in with the meat prior to baking?) On a separate note, I would definitely recommend including the ground cloves. I'm not a huge "clove" fan either, but I used it anyway and the result was fantastic! (If you are still wary, try a dash instead of a me, your taste buds will thank you.) Again, a thoroughly tasty dish which everyone loved...just lacking some starch accompaniment.


Wonderful -smells at 6 stars - even better than it tastes at 5 stars. Use very lean ground beef. Add two cloves garlic, part with the ground beef to be ground, part with the vegetables when cooked. Add 2.5 times potatoes - about 1/2 chopped in smallish cubes in the mix of ground beef and vegetables, plus bit more spices and wine. I simply pushed the ground beef to the side after browning and cooked the vegetables on the other side of the pan... YUM -This left the most wonderful taste in our mouths for over an hour afterwards and made the whole house smell good.