Sataraš is a Croatian side dish made of stewed vegetables including tomatoes, peppers, and onions cooked in olive oil. Sataras is like a Balkan ratatouille.
When the vegetable garden and farmer’s markets are bursting with seasonal peppers and tomatoes — we make sataraš.
Traditionally, it is made with very ripe tomatoes, red peppers, onions, and simple seasonings that are slowly braised on low heat. I add garlic to mine, but it’s an optional ingredient.
Sataraš is a versatile vegan side dish eaten all summer long in Croatia with grilled meats and other foods.
My favorite way to eat it is on top of basmati rice cooked in bone broth with a fried egg as a light brunch or lunch.
Sataraš can be eaten hot or at room temperature, making it perfect for travel and potlucks.
Try some of my other traditional Croatian recipes like blitva, a potato, Swiss chard, and garlic side dish, or grah, the popular peasant stew of beans and smoked pork that is eaten across the Balkans.
- Peppers | Red peppers are traditional, but use whatever you have on hand. Peppers should be ripe.
- Tomatoes | Very ripe tomatoes are best.
- Garlic (optional) | Garlic is a personal preference of mine but it is not traditionally added. Feel free to omit it entirely or try it both ways to see what you prefer.
- Olive Oil
- Salt & Pepper
- Vegeta (Optional) | A traditional and popular Croatian seasoning that can now be found everywhere and even bought online. Entirely optional.
See the recipe card for quantities.
Step 1: In a large pan with a generous amount of olive oil, sauté onions till soft, golden, and translucent on medium heat. About 15 minutes. Do not let them burn or get crispy.
Step 2: Add the peppers, let them cook for about 10 minutes with the onions. Keep stirring and keep the heat low.
Step 3: Add the garlic, if using, and let it cook for about two minutes or less while you stir and the garlic becomes fragrant.
Step 4: Add diced tomatoes, cover and lower to lowest setting, and let the sataras cook for about 30 minutes. Check halfway to make sure it is not burning and stir the contents.
Uncover and add salt and pepper. Continue cooking on low, stirring, to evaporate any excess liquid. Taste and adjust salt and pepper as you please.
Hint: Vegetables that are bruised, unsightly, or approaching over-ripe territory are perfect for sataraš.
What To Serve With Sataraš
Sataraš is a side dish traditionally eaten with grilled meats, with rice, or with eggs.
I’m showing it served as a light lunch/brunch on top of rice cooked in bone broth and with a fried egg on top.
It can be eaten hot or room temperature on buttered sourdough bread.
You can pile it on top of open-faced sandwiches with your favorite meats or sliced avocado.
Substitutions & Variations
If you have too much of any particular vegetable — add it to sataraš.
Some good additions: eggplant, summer squash like zucchini, shallots, and any pepper varieties sweet or hot.
I don’t recommend: asparagus, root vegetables like beets and carrots, or winter squash.
Leafy greens like kale are also not a good addition, nor is cauliflower or broccoli.
Storage, Reheating, & Freezing
Sataraš tastes even better the next day when the stewed vegetables have had time to meld their flavors even further.
Store leftovers tightly covered and refrigerated for up to 5 days.
Reheat as needed by adding some water to a pot and slowly letting the vegetables come up to your desired temperature. Add a dash more of olive oil. Stir to avoid sticking and burning.
Thawing can be sped up by adding sealed sataraš into a bowl of warm or hot water on the counter.
This is a fantastic make-ahead freezer side dish and way to preserve a bounty of very ripe tomatoes and peppers from your garden or a good sale.
The key to making this stewed or braised dish is low and slow heat. Do not be tempted to turn up the stove to speed things along or you will not get the best results.
Looking for other recipes like this? Try these:
- 2 large onions diced finely
- 2 cups sweet peppers diced
- 4 cups tomatoes very ripe, diced
- ½ cup olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt add more or less to taste
- ½ teaspoon black pepper add more or less to taste
- ½ teaspoon Vegeta optional, add more salt if not using
- Dice tomatoes, onions, and peppers in small to medium pieces. Keep them seperate.
- If using garlic, mince it finely.
- In a large pan with a generous amount of olive oil (add more if needed than what the ingredients amount state), sauté onions till soft, golden, and translucent on medium heat. About 15 minutes. Do not let them burn or get crispy.
- Add the peppers, let them cook for about 10 minutes with the onions. Keep stirring and keep the heat low.
- Add the garlic, if using, and let it cook for about two minutes or less while you stir and the garlic becomes fragrant.
- Add diced tomatoes, cover and lower to lowest setting, and let the sataras cook for about 30 minutes. Check halfway to make sure it is not burning and stir the contents.
- Uncover and add salt and pepper. Add Vegeta if using. Continue cooking on low, stirring, to evaporate any excess liquid. Taste and adjust salt and pepper as you please.
- Serve with grilled or BBQ meats, with rice, with eggs etc.