Brazilian cooking is all about bringing people together to celebrate life and good times. BBQ is massive in Brazil, with a variety of lean meats like pork and chicken being smoked to a crisped and delicious perfection.
To accompany all that marinated meaty glory, Brazilians love to get a few fresh and funky salads on the table.
We love Brazil. From the vibrant streets of Sao Paolo to the energy of Rio and the wild side of the Amazon, it is a country teeming with life and excitement.
This article is here to champion Brazil from the standpoint of its most authentic dishes. We hope you’re hungry!
Considered the national dish of Brazil, Feijoada holds a special place in the heart of all Brazilians. Black beans are left to simmer in a cast iron pan with beef and three types of smoked pork until they become one.
The result is a mouthwatering taste that will have vegetarians running for the hills. Serve alongside salsa, rice, and collard greens to keep things traditional.
Speaking of rice, Brazilians love it, which is why our next recipe teaches you how to make rice, Brazilian-style.
To make Brazilian rice all you have to do is cook jasmine rice with onion, garlic, salt, and vegetable oil following the correct method, and the key to Brazil will be yours.
There is no such thing as a Brazilian feast without rice, so you will want to keep this recipe saved for when you are going all-out, Brazilian-style.
On account of the country proudly boasting over 4,000 miles of Atlantic Ocean-facing coastline, they tend to eat their fair share of fish down in Brazil.
Bold and exotic, this authentic Brazilian fish dish is a must-try for anyone who wants to taste the real flavors of the country.
You will need to acquire the freshest firm white fish that you can find for this stew to ensure it remains somewhat together during the stewing process.
Now is the time to let go of your treasured buffalo wing recipe (at least for a little bit). Why? Because Brazilian chicken wings have entered the conversation and they are ruffling a few tail feathers.
These Brazilian chicken wings are flavored to the nines with a lineup of ingredients that can only be described as powerful.
Lime, red pepper flakes, garlic, parsley, salt, and pepper come together to season these wings into a delectable submission.
Chicken croquettes is another dish that just seems to come into its own with a good dose of Brazilian flavor.
This recipe leads you through how to make both the filling and dough by hand so don’t expect to knock it up on a whim. Good things take time and these chicken croquettes are tasty enough to put in the hard yards for.
Cheese bread, known locally as “Pao de Queijo” is a food of the people. Simple, warm, and delicious, it goes without saying that one cheese bread is never enough.
Though the recipe only requires a few ingredients, it is bread after all, and it will take you the best part of one hour to prepare and cook.
The cool thing about Pao de Queijo is that you can make a lot of them at once. The perfect appetizer to get the family’s appetite in gear before the main event comes to the table.
If you are looking to cook up an authentic Brazilian feast to impress your Brazilian guests, you serve them tapioca. Tapioca is one of the oldest Brazilian recipes that is still cooked today, so you will want to do it justice.
Luckily, after you source the correct ingredients, there really isn’t too much that can go wrong. Think of them like little tortilla-style flatbread, except they are not, they are Brazilian tapioca.
Baking pineapple is a great decision and the best and worst of times, but when you bake it Brazilian-style, it can only be a good time.
Soaked in brown sugar, cinnamon, and butter, this is a naughty way that makes fruit fun. It’s also a super easy dessert that will leave a lasting impression on all.
This is a great recipe to whip out when the sun is shining and there is a festive spirit in the air.
Requiring just three ingredients to yield a grand total of 30 delicious coconut balls in less than thirty minutes, this recipe is as easy as it is festive.
If you go rouge and throw a little white rum in the mix, we are certainly not going to judge.
Sticks of grilled cheese are everywhere in Brazil, as young and old gobble them down like nobody’s business.
You might be thinking, I like grilled cheese, but I know for a fact that it doesn’t bode well with being on a stick.
Well, the way around this dilemma is in the cheese that you choose. It must be hard enough that it isn’t going to melt into a gooey pile of nothing on the ground in front of you. Something like halloumi should do the trick.
11. Picanha Steak
If you didn’t already know, Brazilians love their steak. Picanha is a prized cut of the stuff that is often eaten on special occasions.
Though if someone feels like Picanha on an idle Tuesday night, they will do their very best to get it. It is typically grilled and served in a bent horseshoe shape with an extra-thick layer of fat.
It is this fat that ensures Picanha is moist and full of flavor, and no one argues about it.
To wash down your cut of Picanha, you are going to need something monumental with zing – in steps lemonade, Brazilian-style.
Brazilian lemonade is a far cry from the lemonade you were slinging on your neighborhood street corner as a kid, this is lemonade with legs.
Sweet condensed milk, lime juice, cold water, and ice, that’s right, bucking the lemon trend, Brazilian lemonade has decisively chosen to leave lemonade off its ingredient list.
Don’t just this drink by its cover, give it a run, and watch yourself get taken away to the shores of Rio de Janeiro.
Served over a bed of Brazilian-style rice, it doesn’t get any more authentic than Picadillo.
Spiced with paprika, cumin, oregano, and bay leaf, this Brazilian ground beef recipe is a serious contender for the midweek dinner of the month.
Why? Because it is easy to put together, tastes insane, and can be en masse to feed the masses. The green olives give the dish a real kick of saltiness, so whatever you do, don’t forget those.
Farofa is a traditional Brazilian dish that pairs exceptionally with just about anything.
It is designed to be generously portioned over stews, rice dishes, bean dishes, barbequed meats – whatever Brazilian main you had in store, farofa can do no wrong.
If you are wondering what this toasted cassava flour tastes like, imagine the salty and crunchy embrace of bacon, and it is something like that.
All of this grilling and baking of meat might have you thinking that Brazilians don’t have a sweet tooth, but think again.
Chocolate truffle-filled doughnuts are one of the most popular desserts in Brazil, and once you take one look at these puppies, you will understand why.
Just in case the internal chocolate truffle sauce wasn’t enough, the recipe also asks you to look past your calorie counting and make extra to dip each ball in, ah-yum.
There is one thing you have to realize about Brazilian cream cheese – it is not the same as American cream cheese. If you need any convincing, one quick look at the ingredient list will quash any and all preconceptions.
Apple cider vinegar, whole milk, unsalted butter, and a soft cheese like mozzarella are all you need to whip this creamy Brazilian goodness up into existence.
Moving back to what truly matters (barbequed meat), we are serving you a pork rib recipe that can only be described as finger licking.
These Brazilian-style pork ribs take just 15 minutes to prepare and even less time to eat.
Sure, there is a two-hour period in the middle there where the ribs actually have to cook, but from where you are standing, there is very little work to do.
Spices with everything that is nice, you don’t have to question this recipe, you just have to make it.
If you have spent a little time down in Brazil, chances are you would have gotten with the program by eating one of these cold chicken sandwiches, if not every day, then every second.
The perfect sandwich to eat on a hot day, this beach-style Brazilian gift to the world packs in the flavor while keeping things cool, calm, and collected.
Shredded rotisserie chicken gets married with shredded carrot, mayo, ketchup, lime juice, raisins, salt, and pepper, and after taking your first bite, everything feels very right in the world.
Brazilians are big fans of peanuts, so it is a little surprise that they love their peanut brittle too.
This homemade peanut brittle recipe can be put together in 15 minutes and will be ready to munch down on once it goes in the oven for the same amount of time.
Peanut brittle is a chewy and delicious snack that can’t help but bring us back to our childhood of trying to get sticky bits from our teeth. Flavored with vanilla extract, there is a noticeably tropical kick to these classics.
Any dish that requires just one pot to be delicious is a dish alright by us. Why? Because it means it’s going to be easy and quick, two things that are essential for home cooking, 99% of the time.
Knowing this shrimp stew can be served up steaming hot in less than thiry minutes from the time that you start chopping the first glove of garlic, we don’t know about you, but isn’t it starting to feel like a shrimp stew kind of night tonight?
Chimichurri may be the invention of Brazil’s southern neighbor Argentina, but don’t think that means they haven’t welcomed it with wide open arms and grilled steak.
That’s right, Brazilians may just love their grilled steak as much as Argentinians, we know, controversial right? Whichever country takes that cake, there is no denying the perfection that is chimichurri-doused steak.
This recipe walks you through how to prepare the finest skirt steak and chimichurri for a real and honest Latin American treat.
22. Flan Cake
Flan is another food that may not have Brazilian origins but is still very much loved and devoured by Brazilians everywhere.
Brought over from Portugal during colonial times, flan has been a mainstay on restaurant and cafe menus in every corner of Brazil for literally hundreds of years. This recipe keeps it all very authentic and we are all the better for it.
Known in Brazil as “Galinhada”, this chicken and rice dish is one of their all-time favorites. With evident routes from Portugal, the dish is the Brazilian take on world-famous Peri-Peri chicken.
Every ingredient gets chucked into the same pot, periodically, making it another easy dinner from where you’re sitting.
There are a bunch of spices and goodies that give the dish its intense color and taste but none more so than the saffron.
This is a seriously delicious representation of good and hearty Brazilian fare to please the whole family (even the kids).
This is another recipe that hits very close to home. Brazilian beef stroganoff is an easy one for the family to convincingly get excited about.
If you are making it for the kids, you can simply leave the brandy out of the mix and away they go. The big difference between beef stroganoff Brazilian-style and how we have always eaten it here in the U.S is the carb.
Switching out pasta for rice gives this dish a whole new meaning. Get your Brazilian rice recipe out to really sign this dish off as Brazilian.
It isn’t all beef and rice in Brazil, you will be pleased to know that they also eat their greens. This Brazilian collard green recipe is a super simple one to serve alongside something more substantial.
Once the stems are trimmed and the leaves are rinsed, it is an easy case of tightly rolling the leaves lengthways, together, ready for the skillet.
Add a bit of garlic, oil, and salt into the skillet for two-three minutes and that is your pork rib side dish, right there.
Perky and fun, this Brazilian chopped salad pines for the summertime, outside, when the dry wine is flowing.
Forget every other salad recipe you have ever known (we’re looking at you Ceasar), this is your new go-to salad to feed, and please.
Hearts of palm, cherry (or grape) tomatoes, a fennel bulb, a ripe avocado, small red onion, and chopped mint have been married together under a lime and honey vinaigrette to create simple and utter salad bar perfection.
That’s right, Brazilians arguable love their hot dogs just as much as New Yorkers, and this recipe keeps it very authentic.
Known down in Brazil as “Cachorro Quente Brasileiro”, hot dogs are one of the most popular street foods across the country, and we definitely get it, because who doesn’t like a hot dog?
Corn, parsley, garlic, tomato, spring onion – this is not your average hot dog, and that is the point, it’s a Brazilian hot dog.
Of course, there are also the hot dogs themselves, the buns, as well as some mayonnaise, tomato sauce, and onion.
This means you won’t have to go out on too much of a limb to enjoy these hot dogs, you will be in familiar enough territory.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is Brazil’s Favorite Food?
Feijoada is both Brazil’s national dish and its favorite food. Unlike some nations that have outdated national dishes they rarely eat anymore, there is nothing rare about Feijoada in Brazil.
It is eaten in every corner of the country at least once a day. So popular is this hearty pork and black bean stew in Brazil, that its people will happily eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
If you have never tried this culinary delight, you should put it at the top of your “to cook” recipe pile.
What Is A Brazilian Cut Steak?
If Feijoada is Brazil’s national dish, then Picanha is its national steak. Brazilians love their steak any which way, but when it is a cut of Picanha, they take it very seriously.
Picanha is a top-shelf cut of steak that comes straight off the rump cap muscle.
The closest comparison in the U.S is a top sirloin cap with all that juicy fat left right where it should be – on.
It is not every day that most Brazilians will be tucking into a juicy steak of Picanha. But, when they do, it is a celebration of the highest tasting order.
As you can see, Brazilian cooking is not something that you would necessarily describe as light.
They love their steak just as much as they love their rice and stews and you either sign up for it or find something else to eat down in Brazil. We hope you find it in your heart and appetite to choose the first option.