Serbian Lent Recipes

The 46-day Lenten fast for Serbians and other Orthodox Christians is strict. Western Christians, for whom Sundays are exempt, fast for 40 days, unlike Orthodox Christians who also fast on the six Sundays in Lent. Not only is meat abstained from for the entire 46 days, but eggs and dairy products as well. See this list of foods that are OK to eat during Serbian Orthodox Lent.

But fasting and abstinence don't have to mean boring. These recipes fall under the allowable foods list and can make...MORE for delicious meals.

  • 01 of 08
    Ajvar
    Nikola Nastasic / Getty Images

    Ajvar is a Croatian / Serbian roasted eggplant-sweet pepper mixture, sometimes referred to as vegetarian caviar. It can be mashed or left chunky, depending on personal taste, and served as a relish, vegetable or spread on country-style white bread like Lenten pogacha as an appetizer.

  • 02 of 08
    Jar of Sauerkraut.
    The Picture Pantry/Getty Images

    This recipe for Serbian sweet sauerkraut salad uses oil in addition to the diced peppers, onion and celery found in this sauerkraut salad recipe.

  • 03 of 08
    Barbecue Side Dishes in Small Bowls on a Wooden Table, Pork and Beans, Potato Salad, Cole Slaw and Succotash
    Foodcollection / Getty Images

    In these recipes for Serbian coleslaw and Serbian potato salad, vinegar and oil are used to dress the shredded cabbage instead of sour cream, mayonnaise or heavy cream. It's a perfect warm-weather salad. Some cooks add shredded carrot, while others leave it out entirely.

  • 04 of 08
    White bean soup
    Bean soup/Getty Images

    Macaroni replaces the potatoes in this meatless version of Serbian white bean soup - pasulj. If desired, 1 large peeled and diced potato can be added with the rest of the vegetables. It will help to thicken the soup. The soup should not be covered while cooking to help reduce some of the liquid. 

    Continue to 5 of 8 below.
  • 05 of 08
    Baked Beans
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    This recipe for Serbian baked beans or prebranac is as much starch as it is vegetable and can be served as a vegetarian main course or side dish.

  • 06 of 08
    Piece of fresh cod sprinkled with salt and herbs, on skimmer, close-up
    Isabelle Rozenbaum & Frederic Cirou/PhotoAlto Agency RF Collections/Getty Images

    Whole baked fish, fried fish, fish chowders, (squid salad) and bakalar (salt cod) are popular options for fasting.

  • 07 of 08
    Stuffed Cabbage Rolls Dinner
    Charles Groux/Getty Images

    For cabbage lovers, these vegetable sarma or (where "posna" means Lenten or fasting) allow one to indulge in a favorite food while still following the church's rulings on abstinence.

  • 08 of 08
    Pogacha Bread
    Carina Gran/Getty Images

    This recipe for Serbian Lenten pogacha (POH-gah-cha), also known as pogaca, uses no eggs, milk or butter, so it is perfect for a fasting meal, like the period before Easter and during Advent. Compare this with a nonfasting pogacha recipe.