They are usually served of 5–10 pieces on a plate or in a flatbread (lepinje or somun), often with chopped onions, sour cream, kajmak, ajvar, cottage cheese, minced red pepper and salt. Bosnian ćevapi are made from two types of minced beef meat, hand mixed and formed with a funnel, while formed ćevapi are grilled. Serb ćevapčići are made of either beef, lamb or pork or mixed. Macedonian, Croatian, Bulgarian and Romanian varieties are often made of both pork and beef.
During the Ottoman occupation, hajduks (rebels, outlaws) made the hajdučki ćevap ("hajduk kebab"), which was easy to make. In Serbia, there is a local variety of leskovački ćevap whose recipe is based on traditional Serbian pljeskavica but formed as a somewhat larger sausage (ćevap). It is named after the city of Leskovac, which now organizes the yearly Leskovac Grill Festival as a showcase of ćevapi and other grilled meat. In Belgrade, ćevapčići first came from Leskovac in the 1860s, into the kafana "Rajić" at the Great Marketplace (today Studentski Trg), from where they have quickly spread across the city. Before the 1930s, they spread to the rest of the former Kingdom of Yugoslavia, including east of Serbia and the Macedonia region. In 1933, the first street food vendor appeared in Maribor, Slovenia, who came from Leskovac, and served grilled meat, including ćevapčići.
They are usually served of 5-10 pieces on a plate or in a flatbread (lepinje or somun), often with chopped onions, sour cream, kajmak, ajvar, cottage cheese, minced red pepper and salt. Bosnian-type ćevapi (halal) are made from two types of minced beef meat, hand mixed and formed with a funnel, while formed ćevapi are grilled. Serbian-type ćevapi (ćevapčići) are made of either beef, lamb or pork, or mixed.
In Austria, Czech Republic and Slovakia, čevapčiči is generally served with mustard mixed with finely chopped raw onions and potatoes or French fries, in a common fast food manner.
Varieties include the Travnički ćevapi from the traditionally cattle herder area of Travnik, Sarajevski ćevap from Sarajevo area, that look similar but taste slightly different due to variations in seasoning and meat content (some varieties containing lamb or other non-pork meats), as well as Banjalučki ćevapi which differs not only in taste but also by being grilled and served in connected tuples (usually of four). Tuzlanski ćevapi served in Tuzla area, come in butter rich soup dipped somun - and have distinctive taste as well as texture of bread. In all cases the dish is kept simple, and traditionally served in somun with onions and/or kajmak and yogurt or kefir as appetizer, whereas outside Bosnia, it's common for ćevapi to be served with variety of vegetables and seasonings.
^"Serbian cuisine". TravelSerbia.Info - Your travel guide for Serbia. Retrieved August 9, 2010.
^Yugoslavia. D. McKay. 1962. ... Turkish occupation the outlaws produced hajduCki cevap (the haiduk was the maquis of the period) which was easy to make and tasty. It consists of pieces of meat, potatoes and smoked lard stuck on a skewer and roasted over a roaring fire.