10 Traditional Portuguese Recipes

Caldo Verde Portuguese Green Soup with chouriço

Pasteis de Nata Those gorgeous custard tarts that are a Portuguese delight! Delicious Days has a good article as well as a well received recipe.

Bacalhãu á Gomes de Sá A casserole of cod (bacalhau) and potatoes and onions.

Feijoada A meat and bean stew.

Portuguese Sweet Bread Pão Doce. As it says, a lovely light sweet bread that’s great for breakfast.

Cozido   Portuguesa – Portuguese Stew – A meat and vegetable stew.

Bacalhau  Brás – Cod with scrambled eggs Salt cod (Bacalhau) is the most popular of all foods in Portugal. It is said that there are as many ways to cook it as days in the year. It is often eaten at Christmas as well as throughout the year. This is a nice simple hearty recipe.

Arroz Doce Portuguese rice pudding – literally ‘sweet rice’.

Piri-Piri Hot chilli sauce – way too hot for me but the Portuguese have adopted it as a national favourite from Africa.

Pão de-Ló Portuguese sponge cake – this recipe is perfect.

Some other useful sites

Gils Portuguese Recipes

Easy Portuguese Recipes

Leite’s Culinaria

Portuguese Diner – Portuguese restaurants in the US listed by State.

32 comments for “10 Traditional Portuguese Recipes

  1. September 6, 2007 at 7:16 pm

    You rock my world! I am putting together some information on Portuguese recipes that people can try with Portuguese wine. Make sure to check us out in the middle of the month so you understand what I mean. I’ll make sure to include you in the packet! BTW are there other blogs or sites you recommend for people to look at?

    Thanks Lily!

  2. Lily
    September 6, 2007 at 7:21 pm

    Olá Gabriella
    Glad to be of help!
    I’ll have a look around for you

  3. Lily
    September 6, 2007 at 7:32 pm

    Ok – here’s three more links that you might find useful – the Wiki one is good for a starting point I think




  4. Joana
    September 16, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    Hi, I am Portuguese and I will love to make Portuguese food. Can you make a new recipe for portuguese mushroom cream sauce with streak?

    Thanks 🙂

  5. Sandra
    October 10, 2011 at 7:58 pm


    My dad use to live in a portuguese community, He always talks about a beef soup like dish that they put some kind of bread on top, and he says the bread never got soggie, my husband was half protuguese and his mother full,she lives with me and doesn’t remember such a dish nither did my dear husband. Thanks in advance!

    • Ange
      November 28, 2012 at 3:55 pm

      The soup that you are referring to I think is the Holy Ghost soup made with beef and broth, mint and the bread is on the top soaking up the juice

  6. Lily
    October 16, 2011 at 12:19 pm

    Hi Sandra – sorry for the delay in replying. I had a look for you and I wonder if maybe this is is a ‘Sopa Seca’ meaning ‘dry soup’ recipe. Bread is used in some Portuguese soups which are generally called Ensopados.
    I have a book with a ‘dry soup’ recipe. It has more than just beef but I guess you could adjust it. The following receipe is from a book called ‘The Taste of Portugal’ by Edite Vieira
    SOPA SECA MINHO STYLE (Sopa seca do Minho)
    14oz chicken
    7oz lean beef
    3.5oz presunto
    3.5oz chourico
    3.5oz bacon
    1 medium white cabbage cut into chunks
    10oz stale white bread
    2.5 pints salted water
    1 sprig of fresh mint

    Simmer all the meat in the water until almost tender (start with the beef) then add the cabbage. Simmer again. When cooked, remove the meat from the liquid in order to cut it up. Transfer the soup to an ovenproof container. Add the meat, the chopped mint leaves and finally the bread. Press a little to get the bread soaked in the liquid. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 190 degrees (Gas 5) on the top shelf until the bread is golden brown.

    The author says some people add other vegetables such as turnips, potatoes carrots or onion. These should be thinly sliced and cooked with the meat beforehand.

    I hope that helps.

  7. Lily
    October 16, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    Hi Joanna
    I couldn’t find many recipes for this but I did see one over at portuguesecooking.com http://www.portuguesecooking.com/recipes/main_dishes/beef_filet_with_mushroom_sauce

  8. Tina Holyoake
    November 29, 2011 at 1:15 am

    My grandmother used to make a dish like polenta but it was solid and then she would cut it in chunks and fry it so it was crispy on the outside…does anyone have this recipe or know what its called?

    • Lily
      November 29, 2011 at 12:36 pm

      Hi Tina. Gosh I’m sorry, I can’t find anything like this so I’m not sure. I will let you know if I come across a recipe that sounds like it though.

    • Rapariga
      April 4, 2012 at 11:13 pm

      1 cup Albers yellow cornmeal
      1 cup Albers white cornmeal
      cold water to mix

      hot water for large pot
      7 cloves of garlic
      1/4 cup of lard or shortening (not butter)
      1/4 cup Salt ( or to taste)
      Kale (optional)

      In a LARGE soup pot, heat the lard. Add the garlic.
      As soon as it is golden…remove from the pot and discard.
      Add the salt to the remaining lard, then add HOT water 3/4 ways up the top.
      Bring to a hard boil.
      In another bowl, mix the cornmeals with enough COLD water to cover, stir,
      then whisk into the large pot. Stirring well, work out any lumps.
      Lower the heat to medium-high, cover with a lid, slightly ajar and
      cook for 1-1 1/2 hours, or until the mixture is creamy.
      (It’s ok to overcook this…but, don’t undercook…or it will be grainy)
      Serve hot or pour out onto large dinner plates.
      In a couple of hours or overnight , it will harden enough to fry.
      (You can add finely chop Kale to the pot when you add the cornmeal )

  9. Keith
    November 29, 2011 at 9:52 pm

    My grandmother would make corn meal mush which is basically the same as polenta. Main difference is how finely ground the corn is. She would refrigerate it overnight and in the morning it could be sliced and fried.

  10. Mike
    November 30, 2011 at 6:07 pm

    Interesting reading this. I was recently in a hotel in Fátima and one of the items on the menu was ‘Bread Soup’ which seemed to be a vegetable clear soup with, of course, lots of bread chunks. It also had fried eggs in it!

  11. ana.daconceicao@infood.co.za
    January 24, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    Hi Tina and Keith ,
    The corn mush that your grandmothers used to make is a typical dish in Madeira Island where i come from it is called Milho Cozido.

    It usually is cooked with thinly sliced kale ( cabbage ) the sort that the portuguese plant in their gardens!

    if you still want the recipe i will send it to you.
    I am living in South Africa.
    My e/mail

    • January 24, 2012 at 2:34 pm

      Hi – thanks for letting us know the name of the recipe 🙂 Obrigada!

  12. July 19, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    Thanks for the post. These are my favorites:)

    • Lily
      July 19, 2012 at 3:30 pm

      You’re welcome Maria. I’m updating my site – glad to have discovered you!

      • Hazel
        March 17, 2015 at 11:12 am

        Hi Lily Could you tell me if the ‘Bibica’ making vessel is available in Lisbon. A friend of mine who lives in Australia bought it whilst she was on holiday in Lisbon. Thanking you.

        • Lily
          March 18, 2015 at 4:15 pm

          Hi Hazel – I’m sorry, I’m not too sure. I’m assuming you mean for making bica – espresso coffee. There is a company called Briel who have an online site but I can’t find a shop for them. http://brielstore.pt/en/ In lisbon, probably the best places to try might be the shops in Chiado area or perhaps the Vasco da Gama shopping Centre in Parque das Nações.

  13. rosalie cangelosi
    September 22, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    I would like to know how to make bollo bebado with port wine I came to portugal and had it was delicious thanks home to hear from you regards rosalie cangelosi

  14. olca
    September 27, 2012 at 10:55 pm

    looking for a recipe useing green beans.

  15. Dacia Braz
    November 4, 2012 at 6:54 pm

    Eu estou nos Estados Unidos mas o meu coracao esta sempre na minha Nacionalidade,Thanks for the the post I know that I will enjoy them.

  16. Margo Thomas
    November 28, 2012 at 6:41 pm

    I am away from my home in Oregon right now and need a recipe for Caldo Verde (Portuguese Kale and Potato soup).i lived near Lisbon 1973-1977 and love Portuguese food – I fix my Portuguese favorites often when I am at home.

  17. kayleen
    January 26, 2013 at 4:48 pm

    hi there just wondering if you would have the recipe for the bread made with sweet potato

  18. Shirley Broadway
    February 21, 2013 at 5:59 pm

    I ate a delicious meal in a restaurant in Lisbon and wondered if anyone out there knows the recipe please. It came served on a wooden board and was a thick stew of chicken, rice potatoes and vegetables , herbs etc. I’m sure I could make something similar, but it would be helpful if anyone could offer any suggestions. Many thanks.

  19. Jen
    March 30, 2013 at 7:53 am

    Hello, I am engaged to a portuguese man and would like to surprise him and his family with some nice Portuguese bread, that would easy to make without a bread maker if you could suggest some recipe that would really help me. Thank you so much

  20. Florence
    December 10, 2013 at 3:20 pm

    I have been looking for the original bread recipe to make portugese bread not the sweet bread but the everyday one. Can you help me? I already have the sweet bread recipe. I mainly want the white portugese bread recipe.
    Thanks for your help

    • Lily
      December 11, 2013 at 10:56 am

      Hi Florence – I have a book called The Taste of Portugal by Edite Vieira. The recipe given for ordinary bread is
      1.35kg unbleached flour
      45g fresh yeast (or equivalent in dry yeast)
      1.5 pints tepid water
      15g salt

      Put the flour and salt in a bowl and make a well in the centre
      prepare the yeast (crumble if fresh and mixing it with a little water to a paste then add the rest of the water)
      Pour yeast and water into the well in the flour
      Sprinkle some of the flour over the yeast and then leave it in a warm place for 30 minutes
      After 30 minutes knead the flour and yeast into a ball for 8 – 10 minutes
      Cover the bowl and leave to rise until it doubles in volume
      Knead the mix again then place in your bread tin (greased) and set aside for another 15 – 20 minutes to prove
      Bake at 232C/450 F for 15 minutes then turn down the oven to 190/375 for the last 35 – 40 minutes

      Hope that helps 🙂

  21. Sandra C
    March 25, 2015 at 1:55 pm

    I have a favorite Portuguese restaurant who makes a great mariscada. All the receipes I find dont come close . Can anyone help?

  22. Gabriella
    April 23, 2015 at 5:07 pm

    I am looking for the recipe for a birthday cake my Portuguese Grandmother used to make, she passed without getting the recipe.
    It was made with cake and full of layers of puff pastry; a sweet egg custard that tastes a bit like marzipan; and lots of cream.
    Does anyone have a recipe for it and what it was called I would really love to make it for my family.
    Thank you

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