31 Best Portuguese Recipes and Traditional Dishes

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Portuguese dishes are well-known to be made from a collection of wonderful ingredients available to many of us. That’s what makes these Portuguese recipes some of the best things!

You may have already seen a Portuguese influence in food in other countries like the USA after many families arrived in America in the later 1800s, bringing their traditional Portuguese food with them.

With most of the country never being too far from the ocean, Portugal has easy access to fish and seafood.

So there is no surprise that these are regular at mealtimes in Portuguese cuisine, and the recipes have a Mediterranean feel. 

Traditional Portuguese recipes using quality olive oils, Mediterranean herbs, and garlic are the base of many popular Portuguese dishes.

Which are added to by proteins such as pork, beef and poultry, and game.

I have looked through the most traditional, tastiest, and best Portuguese dishes I can find, so enjoy this collection of the best Portuguese recipes!

Portuguese recipes

What is Portugal’s Most Famous Food?

Portugal is known for many famous foods you may have already come across. How about the delicious Portuguese egg tarts (Pastel de nata) or grilled sardines (Sardinhas assadas)?

Portugal’s national dish of Salted cod (Bacalhau) dishes is also well-known as a Portuguese ingredient that can be enjoyed in many ways in local cuisine.

What is a Typical Portuguese Dinner?

A typical Portuguese main course would be a potato-based dish such as Polvo à lagareiro, which is a Portuguese style dish made with octopus, olive oil, and potato.

Or there may be delicious recipes using veal cooked in a rich cream sauce. 

Seafood rice dishes and stews are popular typical Portuguese dishes, as are duck dishes, such as Arroz de pato, which is a well-known duck rice dish.

Best Portuguese Recipes

1. Clam Chowder

clam chowder

Source: fearlesseating.net

This spicy, rich tomato-based chowder is a mix between a stew and a soup. The tomato sauce is made from a base of onion, garlic, and pepper with the tasty addition of a spicy sausage. 

If you are new to cooking clams, this popular dish is great to follow to see how simple they are to prepare. 

2. Braised Deer Shank

braised deer shank

Source: honest-food.net

This slow cook, meltingly soft, and falling-apart meat dish will leave you drooling. If you can’t get hold of deer shank.

This original recipe could be made with lamb instead, and you will still have a wonderful, warming dish.

Flavored with molasses, bay leaves, black pepper, juniper berries, bacon, and red wine, this is a real treat for a cold day.

3. Shrimp Mozambique

shrimp mozambique

Source: fearlesseating.net

This stew-like dish is influenced by Portugal’s former African colony, hence the name.  It’s made from onion, garlic, beer or wine, and shrimp and has a deep, buttery taste you will love. 

4. Pudim Molotof Caramel Souffle

caramel souffle

Source: likehotketo.com

This is a sugar-free version of a famous Portuguese dessert you must make!  It’s made from just egg whites and a sugar substitute, and it’s like eating a cloud of cake.

This a well-loved traditional dessert that will finish a Portuguese meal perfectly.

5. Kale Soup

kale soup

Source: homemadeinterest.com

This kale soup uses a chouriço Portuguese sausage, but you could use any spicy cooked sausage, like salami or chorizo as a main ingredient.

Potatoes are the thick warming base, and with the healthy addition of kale, it’s a great mid-week meal dish for a family to enjoy. This is one of the most popular soups and pairs well with Portuguese wine!

6. Chicken Madeira

chicken madeira

Source: theforkedspoon.com

Madeira wine gives this dish the flavor that is so well-loved. This one has mozzarella added, and the thick and creamy sauce with mushrooms would make a really elegant entertaining dish.

This recipe has a healthy addition of asparagus added towards the end of cooking and is a lovely twist to this traditional dish.

7. Rice Pudding

rice pudding

Source: amummytoo.co.uk

This rice pudding dish, known as Arroz Doce, is a partially set rice pudding dish. It has been flavored with lemon and cinnamon and served in pieces. 

With the addition of 8 yolks, it is thick, rich, and such a treat to add to the end of a Portuguese meal.

This tasty pudding is perfect to make if you have leftover egg yolks!

8. Piri Piri Chicken

piri piri chicken

Source: recipethis.com

Piri Piri chicken is a Portuguese chicken marinated and cooked in a spicy seasoning. 

It can be a wet or dry rub but usually consists of spices such as dried onion and pepper, garlic, cayenne, sweet smoked paprika, oregano, and parsley. 

This recipe will be a winner with the family and is such an inexpensive mid-meal dish that can bring a touch of Portugal with its African influences to a dish.

9. Sweet Bread

sweet bread

Source: attainable-sustainable.net

This enriched bread is easy to make and will give you a delicious loaf of twisted dough that can be used for many occasions. 

The recipe also takes you back to the history of the ancestry of Portugal and the families that came to the USA and Hawaii. So, grab some ingredients and enjoy reading about the journey.

10. Scallops


Source: adorefoods.com

This delicious but effortless dish is excellent if you love scallops or want something easy to make.

The dish uses a port reduction that adds a tasty stickiness that goes so well with the fresh-tasting scallops and will take you and your taste buds all the way to the Mediterranean.

11. Gluten-Free Caldo Verde

caldo verde

Source: easyanddelish.com

This is another version of the famous kale soup from Portugal that is both gluten and dairy free, so if you need to avoid these, it’s a good recipe to keep handy.

You could also make this vegan if you switch the spicy Portuguese sausage to a vegan version!

12. Serradura


Source: chefjar.com

What is Serradura? The direct translation would be a ‘sawdust pudding,” so you may wonder how to make such a thing and is it tasty?

This Portuguese dessert is undoubtedly delicious and combines pistachios, almonds, and crushed biscuits, hence the ‘sawdust’!

These delicious pistachio recipes are sure to satisfy your crunchy cravings as well!

13. Tomato Rice

tomato rice

Source: rhiansrecipes.com

This dish is based on the traditional Portuguese Arroz malandrinho recipe, a lovely combination of rice, tomatoes, garlic, and onion.

This dish is almost like a risotto but still uses a long grain rice.  It’s delicious and would make a straightforward mid-week dish that would bring the essence of Portugal to your kitchen.

This is one of the best cheap dinner ideas for larger families!

14. Egg Threads

egg threads

Source: easyanddelish.com

This may be another dish you wonder about – ‘egg threads’?  It’s a dessert that may be a little labor intensive but worth every moment when you see the results.

These ‘fio de ovos’ (egg threads) are used in both savory and sweet dishes and can bring a touch of Portugal to many dishes.

15. Chocolate Salami

chocolate salami

Source: homemadeinterest.com

We all love chocolate, and when it comes to a recipe like this, we all need to give it a go! 

This Portuguese recipe uses chocolate, eggs, and Maria biscuits to create a Portuguese recipe that will keep in the fridge for up to a week.

So you can make ahead and simply slice when you fancy a treat.

16. Egg Tart

egg tart

Source: easyanddelish.com

This is another version of Portugal’s Pastel de nata that you may prefer. These Portuguese custard tarts are rich with vanilla and made with buttery puff pastry that many will enjoy.

This one gives a wealth of information about the Portuguese custard tart and egg yolks, so if you are making this for guests, you can impress them with a bit of history!

Have extra puff pastry sheets? Try out these incredible phyllo dough recipes!

17. Fish Stew

fish stew

Source: skinnyspatula.com

You can’t talk about Portuguese food without talking about a fish stew, and I have found you a great simple recipe that you will love with bell pepper, fresh herbs, and potatoes.

The broth for these hearty stews is made up of saffron, white wine, cilantro, and tomatoes and is a simple yet tasty version of a real Portuguese dish.

18. Whole Wheat Papo Secos

whole wheat papo secos

Source: globalkitchentravels.com

Papo Secos is a soft Portuguese bread perfect for sandwiches and filling with meat, fish, or vegetables.  It’s widely used in delis throughout Portugal. 

It’s a recipe made using a ‘sponge,’ so it does need a little preparation time, but worth every minute.

19. Blade Steak

blade steak

Source: momfoodie.com

This inexpensive cut of beef has been given the Portuguese treatment in Portuguese cooking.

It’s been added to a delicious slow-cooked Portuguese style dish that is a great mid-week meal for the whole family. 

Using tomatoes, oregano, and red wine, it’s a taste of the Mediterranean.

20. Biscuit Cake

biscuit cake

Source: homemadeinterest.com

Another version of the Portuguese cake that you can keep returning to. 

Bolo de bolacha is the official name for this delightful dessert, which uses biscuits soaked in coffee and smothered with vanilla buttercream. 

Grab your spoon!

21. Milk Tarts

milk tarts

Source: homemadeinterest.com

These simple little tarts are a Portuguese treat you will want to make over and over. They are made using very few ingredients and are quick to make.

Eggs, sugar, cinnamon, butter, and flour, and you’re a whisk away from milk tart heaven!

These tarts are one of the best things to bake when you’re bored!

22. Chicken Piri Piri

chicken piri piri

Source: emmaeatsandexplores.com

Piri Piri chicken is so popular it would make sense to offer a couple of versions here that you can choose from in this collection.

This rub is more like a paste with step-by-step instructions to cook on the BBQ. A really summery dish with plenty of spice.

23. Pork and Wine Priscos Flan

pork and wine flan

Source: likehotketo.com

You may wonder if this is a sweet or savory dish, but I can assure it, it’s so sweet and delicious you will be surprised. 

The proper name for this is Pudim abade de priscos, and you can read about this pudding’s history here.

Made from eggs and bacon fat, it’s a flan treated with a caramel sauce that seeps all over the top.

24. Potatoes


Source: maesmenu.com

A simple but necessary dish for this collection. Portuguese-style potatoes are essential for your Portuguese meal.

These potatoes are simply treated with salt, garlic, and olive oil. 

25. Grilled Pork with Potatoes and Kale

grilled potatoes with potatoes and kale

Source: cookingchatfood.com

Pork is a staple meat in Portugal and relatively inexpensive, so a good choice for an everyday meal.

There are two recipes with this link, so you can use the potato and kale side for another protein if you wish. 

With a tasty rub added to the potatoes that take two simple ingredients to a new level, you must keep this recipe handy.

26. Fish Pie

fish pie

Source: easyanddelish.com

Fish pie doesn’t have to be time-consuming, but it does need to taste good! 

This one is baked Portuguese-style, a casserole made from well-seasoned cod and onions, topped with mayonnaise and mashed potatoes.

27. Peri Peri Chicken Pasta

peri peri chicken pasta

Source: skinnyspatula.com

This pasta version of the Portuguese classic will have you running for your saucepans. 

The thick and creamy Peri Peri sauce coats the pasta beautifully and gives you a midweek option for dinner that is quick to make and full of spice. 

28. Peri Peri Sauce

peri peri sauce

Source: vegrecipesofindia.com

You can, of course, make your own Peri Peri sauce that you can use for many of your own dishes.  Move over shop-bought versions, as this one is better and made by you.

There are many tips on how to use this and store it, so take a look and grab your chilis!

29. One-Pot Sausage and Kale Soup

sausage and kale soup

Source: thesoccermomblog.com

Sausage and kale do seem quite popular in Portuguese dishes. 

This version is so filling and comforting, with the addition of potatoes, leeks, and two different types of sausages to deepen the taste.

30. Peri Peri Prawns

peri peri prawns

Source: greedygourmet.com

These Peri Peri prawns will be a favorite for many occasions. Great as an appetizer, a light lunch, or a snack, they are really quite versatile. 

The recipe suggests you can serve them with rice or bread, but I reckon these are just good on their own!

31. Roasted Peri Peri Potatoes

peri peri potatoes

Source: runningtothekitchen.com

These potatoes are the perfect side to any dish that needs perking up a little. They can be added to any number of meat or fish dishes and are also great as part of a buffet, tapas-type meal.

The seasoning for these is a delicious version of Peri Peri, so move over Nando’s!

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