The main ingredients are roasted aubergine or sauteed onions, tomatoes, roasted red peppers (belonging to a local cultivar called gogoşari), and chopped onion. Some add mushrooms, carrots, or celery. Other ingredients are also added according to taste, including spices. Traditionally, a family will cook a large quantity of it after the fall harvest and preserve it in sterilized jars.
Zacuscă can be eaten as a relish or spread, typically on bread. It is said to improve in taste after some months of maturing but must be used within days of opening. Although traditionally prepared at home, it is also commercially available. Some Bulgarian and Middle Eastern brand-names are available in the United States.