Brazil: Recipes and Cuisine

Country | Brazil Carnival Image

Brazilian cooking, while it has many similarities with that of its South American neighbors, is distinct and uniquely delicious. Stretching from the Amazon in the north, through the fertile plantations of the central coast and on to the southern pampas, the food of Brazil spans a unique mix of cultures and cuisines. The original population contributed popular ingredients like cassava and guaraná. African slaves influenced the cuisine of the coastal states, especially Bahía. And around the country, a Portuguese heritage is reflected in a variety of dishes.

Brazilian Recipes


(Brazilian black-eyed pea fritters; see Akkra recipe notes.)


(Brazilian rice pudding with coconut milk; see Arroz con Leche recipe variations)


Beverages | Caipirinha

(Brazilian cachaça-lime cocktail)

The national cocktail of Brazil, the caipirinha (kai-pi-REE-nyuh) is a heady mix of lime juice and cachaça (kah-SHAH-suh), a brandy-like alcohol distilled from sugarcane juice. Sugar takes the edge off the lime and makes throwing these drinks back just a little too easy. Read more »

Caldo Verde

Soups | Caldo Verde

(Portuguese potato and kale soup)

This nourishing and nutritious soup is one of the signature dishes of Portuguese cuisine. Tinted a subtle green by finely shredded kale or collard greens, and thickened with potatoes, caldo verde is often served with spicy chouriço sausage and a slice of the thick cornmeal bread called broa. Read more »

Couve à Mineira

(Brazilian simmered leafy greens; see Southern Greens variations)


Appetizers | Coxinhas

(Brazilian deep-fried chicken croquettes)

These little drumstick-shaped treats are a favorite snack in Brazil. Shredded chicken and cheese are encased in a flavorful dough and the coxinhas are then deep fried to a crispy, crunchy golden-brown. The word coxinhas is Portuguese for "little thighs," a reference to their shape. Read more »

Creme de Abacate

(Brazilian avocado smoothie; see Sinh To Bo variations)

Feijão Preto

(Brazilian black beans in broth; see Frijoles de la Olla recipe variations)


Soups | Feijoada Completa

(Brazilian pork, beef and black bean stew)

Feijoada, or feijoada completa, is Brazil's national dish, a lusty meat and bean stew slow simmered and traditionally served as a Saturday afternoon meal. A true feijoada should contain pork, beef, and sausages, with at least one smoked item. Read more »


Fish | Moqueca Image

(Brazilian fish and coconut milk stew)

Moqueca, sometimes spelled muqueca, is a simple yet tasty Brazilian seafood stew from Bahia state. As with many of the dishes of Bahia, moqueca shows strong African roots. Read more »

Pão de Queijo

Breads | Pão de Queijo Image

(Brazilian cheese buns)

Pães de queijo are tasty little cheese buns popular in Brazil. They are made with yuca (cassava) flour, which gives them an interesting taste and texture and makes them a gluten-free treat. Modern Brazilians can purchase packaged mixes or buy pães de queijo from street vendors, but homemade is best. Serve pão de queijo with coffee for breakfast. Read more »

Sopa de Feijão Preto

(Brazilian black bean soup; see Sopa de Frijoles Negros recipe)


Fish | Vatapa Image

(Brazilian seafood stew with coconut milk)

Vatapá is one of the classic dishes of Brazilian cuisine. It hails from Bahia state on the northeast coast where many of the dishes have African origins. A thick version is often served as a filling for acarajé patties. Read more »