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Gibanica is a traditional cheese pastry popular in the cuisine of Balkan. Though it is popular in all kind of Balkan meals, but has greater importance at the time of festivities and special occasions.

Variations are also quiet popular all over the world with different ingredients and names. Banista and Shabiyat are some of the famous variants of Gibanica.

History and Origin of Gibanica Recipe

According to the culinary experts and the facts gathered by them, Gibanic is originally hailed from Balkan. Balkan is a southeast European region that is famous for its rich and traditional cuisine. This cheese pastry is extremely well-liked by the native people as well as the Balkans residing across the world.

Many other cuisines such as Serbian, Macedonian and Bulgarian cuisines are also famous for making the popular variations of the dish. Even Croatian and Slovenian cuisines also include the similar dish with little variations.

Ingredients and Method of Preparation as per Gibanica Recipe

Actually pronounced as gheebanista, gibanica is typically prepared with cheese as one of the main ingredient. Cheese variety can be used according to the preference. However, cottage and feta cheeses are the most commonly used varieties of cheese. A mixture of both these cheeses is always a best option. Sour cream or cream cheese may also be incorporated to make some modifications in the original recipe.

A thin or medium pastry crust is best for this pastry. Pastry crust may either be prepared at home or readymade crust can be used. A smooth filling is needed and for this cheese is crumbled, mixed with egg, oil and little water. Water made filling add moisture to the pie, but it can also be prepared with milk.

Baking is evidently the most common method of making this special Balkan pastry. Perfect cooking is highly important in the success of the dish. If readymade pastry crust is used then preparation time reduces to half, otherwise pastry dough has to be prepared with the commonly used ingredients such as flour, oil and water. Filling should be evenly spooned in the crust before baking.

Serving as Suggested by the Gibanica Recipe

This dish is traditionally served in Balkan festival meals as well as at special occasions. This dish is also highly favorable as snack item in most parts of the Balkan region. It is recommended to cool the pie before consuming as melted cheese inside could be hot.

Variations of the Dish

  • Banista – A popular filo pastry prepared in Serbian as well as Bulgarian cuisine. This pastry dish is closely related to Gibanica due to the similarity in the filling ingredients. White cheese, yogurt and eggs are the main filling ingredients for this variant.
  • Shabiyat – It is quite famous pastry in Slovenian and Bosnian cuisine. Having similarities with Balkan pastry made it a close variant of traditional Filipino pie.
  • Spinach, mixed vegetables, and meat are also used as the components of the pastry to give variations to the dish.
  • Sweet version is also commonly prepared.


Gibanica is generally prepared with strong cheeses that are quiet rustic as well.