Brazilian Recipes

Today’s Brazil culture is derived from a historical melding of differing ethnic peoples including native inhabitants, Portuguese explorers and imported African slaves with a touch of evolving European influence. The cuisine of Brazil is also an evolution of combining differing ethnic tastes that has become the “recipes of Brazil”.

The following Brazilian recipes of both food and drink are among the most popular in Brazil. If you would like to add to this list, email your contributions to our webmaster.


Brazilian Feijoada (Beans, Pork & Spices)
“Feijoada” means “bean” in Portuguese and is considered the traditional national dish of Brazil. It is a delightfully tasty blend of black beans, pork and spices in proportion to taste. This “bean potpourri” was originally created by early slaves from “discarded pig parts” such as snouts, ears, feet and tails. Today, Feijoada combines more palatable pork delicacies of sausages, ribs, bacon and pork sirloin. It is more visually appealing than its original creation. Feijoada is a similar cuisine to America’s “soul food”.

16 oz. Canned black beans
1 lb. bacon (cut into squares)
1 lb. smoked pork sausage (sliced thick)
1 lb. pork sirloin (cubed)
2 onions  (diced)
4 garlic cloves (crushed or finely diced)
4 bay leaves
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 tbsp. black pepper
hot pepper sauce (optional)
4 tsp. light oil

Heat the beans in a pot along with the salt, 2 cloves of garlic, 2 tsp. oil and the bay leaves.  In a separate pan add 2 tsp. Oil sautéing the onions with 2 cloves of garlic.  Once the onions are clear drain the pan and reserve the onions.  Cook the bacon, sausage and sirloin in the same pan adding back the onions once meats are near completion.  Add meats and onions to the beans and cook an additional 10 minutes.  Add pepper sauce if desired, remove bay leaves and serve with rice.


Brazilian Moqueca (Fish & Coconut Stew)
2 lbs. of flaky white fish, red snapper or shrimp
2 tbsp. Palm oil (olive oil will work too)
2/3 cup coconut milk
2 crushed garlic cloves
2 tbsp. lime juice
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1 chopped onion
3 tbsp. chopped cilantro
1 cayenne pepper
4 tomatoes (or 2 tbsp. tomato paste)
1 cup water
Sauté the onion and garlic all the while marinating the fish with lime juice and salt.  Once the onions are translucent add the fish, tomatoes, cayenne pepper, salt, and black pepper.  Simmer on medium heat until the fish is done (about 10 minutes).  Add the coconut milk and cilantro, simmer for another five minutes.  Stir very gently to avoid the fish breaking into smaller pieces.

Serves six.


Brazilian Vatapa (Spicy Shrimp Sauce)
2 tbsp. peanut butter
1 lb. cooked shrimp
8 oz. loaf of French bread
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups of coconut milk
1/2 cup palm oil
season with dry onion powder, parsley, ginger
Combine all ingredients (except shrimp) into a blender or food processor and pulse until smooth.  Pour into a sauce pan and simmer until the mixture begins to thicken.  Add the shrimp and cook an additional ten minutes.  Serve with rice or acaraje.


Brazilian Acarajé (Deep Fried Dough Ball Peas)
1 lb. black eyed peas (soaked overnight)
1 small chopped onion
2 cloves chopped garlic
1/2 tsp. hot pepper sauce (or crushed red pepper)
1 cup of water
salt and pepper
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 cup dried shrimp (optional)
1 tsp. fresh peeled ginger (optional)
Rub the beans to shed their skin.  Combine all ingredients into a food processor or blender (if using the shrimp soak in water for 30 minutes prior).  Puree into a dough.  Pour into a mixing bowl and begin forming large bite size balls. Deep fry at 350 degrees until done.  Traditionalists often add palm oil to their frying oil for a more authentic taste.  Adding a molho sauce or vatapa as a topping is very popular.


Brazil Drinks


Brazil’s Caipirinha
Brazilian’s have made “caipirinha” the national drink of Brazil and is a counterpart to the Mexican “margarita” and is enjoyed equally as well at fine restaurants, corner cafes and at barbeque get-togethers. You’ll find Caipirinha a very refreshing yet potent drink stimulated by “cachaca”, a strong liquor derived from sugar cane.

  1 lime (sliced into 8 sections)
1 to 2 tbsps. sugar (depending on how sweet you like it)
1 shot cachaca
(you can substitute vodka but it’s no where near the same)
1/2 cup ice cubes with water (or use crushed ice)

After placing the limes in the bottom of the glass sprinkle in the sugar (if you’re using crushed ice pour in some of that too) and with an elongated blunt object such as the handle of a wooden spoon, mash and stir the ingredients.  Pour in the ice and a shot of cachaca.  At this point you can stir vigorously, pour into a shaker or traditionally place an identical glass on top, flip it upside down and give it a good shake.

Garnish with a slice of lime.


Iced Brazilian Coffee
1 cup black coffee
1/2 cup cream
1/2 cup cachaca
4 tsp. sugar
Combine all and shake.   Pour over ice and enjoy!