The dish is made of cornmeal. Potatoes, white cheese or kaymak are sometimes added. Similar to the Abkhazian abısta, Adige mamıs, Italian polenta and Romanian mămăligă, it is prepared by boiling the mixture until it is thick or runny, depending on taste, and then mashing while the pot is still on the fire. Although it was once regarded as a poor man's food, it has grown into the everyday cuisine and is often found in restaurants.
In Bulgaria it is traditionally served with heated lard or sunflower oil with small amounts of browned paprika or hot pepper. Often cracklings or sirene are added to extend the taste. In Montenegro, kačamak is made from old potatoes that are crushed and old cheese (not feta) until a thick mass is formed and made and then served.