Smoky and hearty Portuguese Feijoada recipe

Traveling across the world is always an adventure, especially when it comes to trying out new dishes that take you on a flavorful journey. One such culinary delight that has gained immense popularity is the Portuguese Feijoada. Originating from the Northern region of Portugal around the 14th century, this traditional Portuguese bean stew is now enjoyed all over the world, including Brazil and other parts of South America.

For those who are new to feijoada, let me tell you that this dish encompasses everything that a hearty meal should be – rich, savory, and satisfying. It’s a comforting combination of beans, beef, pork, and sausages flavored with garlic, onions, and spices like bay leaves and crushed red pepper flakes. The recipe might sound simple, but trust me when I say that the flavors it packs are anything but ordinary.

As someone who specializes in Brazilian and American cuisine, I can say with utmost conviction that Portuguese Feijoada is undoubtedly one of my favorite dishes. Whether you’re looking to impress your dinner guests or seeking a comforting meal for a cozy night in, this dish never disappoints.

In this article, I’ll walk you through my authentic Portuguese Feijoada recipe along with some tips and recommendations to elevate your culinary experience. So get ready to embark on a mouth-watering journey as I show you how to make this delicious dish step-by-step.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Portuguese Feijoada
Portuguese Feijoada

Portuguese feijoada is a bean stew that originated around the 14th century in the northern region of Portugal. This traditional Portuguese dish has since spread across the world and is now enjoyed in many different variations, including the authentic Portuguese feijoada, Brazilian feijoada, and feijoada à Transmontana.

One of the reasons you’ll love this recipe is that it is not only delicious but also packed with protein and fiber. This stew features a hearty combination of beans, beef pork, bacon, and sausages that will leave even the hungriest of diners feeling satisfied. In particular, white kidney beans (also known as navy beans) add an extra creaminess to the dish, while black beans provide a subtle yet satisfying flavor.

Another reason to try this recipe is its versatility. While traditionally made with pork stew meat, ham hock, and sausages like linguica, there are plenty of substitutions and variations available to make it your own. You can easily replace pork products with chicken or turkey for a lighter dish or switch up the seasonings with crushed red pepper flakes or bay leaves for a spicier flavor.

And let’s not forget about the unique ingredient that sets this dish apart: blood saute. While it may sound unappetizing at first glance, it adds richness and depth of flavor that is unmatched by any other ingredients. The orange slices used in this recipe offer a contrast to the savory taste of the stew while also providing a touch of brightness that elevates it to another level.

In conclusion, this recipe offers endless possibilities for customization while still delivering an authentic and flavorful experience. Whether you’re savoring it for a comforting weeknight dinner or hosting friends and family for a special occasion, Portuguese feijoada is sure to impress all who try it.

Ingredient List

 A hearty and flavorsome Portuguese Feijoada packed with protein and veggies
A hearty and flavorsome Portuguese Feijoada packed with protein and veggies

Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make Portuguese Feijoada. Don’t be intimidated by the long list; most of the items will be readily available at your local grocery store or butcher.

Meat and Beans:

  • 2 lbs Pork Stew Meat, cut into large chunks
  • 1 Ham Hock
  • 1/2 lb Corned Beef, cut into large chunks
  • 1/2 lb Salt Pork, cut into large chunks
  • 1 Linguica Sausage, sliced
  • 1 lb Dried Black Beans
  • 1 can White Kidney Beans (Cannellini)

Vegetables and Aromatics:

  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 Large Onions, chopped
  • 6 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 4 Bay Leaves
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Crushed Red Pepper Flakes (to taste)

Bacon and Blood Sausage:

  • 6 Slices of Bacon, chopped
  • 1 Blood Sausage, sautéed


  • Orange slices

Most of these ingredients are essential to give the authentic Portuguese Feijoada flavor. Make sure you have everything on hand before starting. To make variations to the authentic recipe, check out section five for substitutions and variations.

The Recipe How-To

 A colorful mix of black beans, sausage, bacon, and beef, making a perfect dish
A colorful mix of black beans, sausage, bacon, and beef, making a perfect dish

Now that we have our ingredients ready, it’s time to start making the Portuguese Feijoada. This recipe makes a hearty and flavorful bean stew with lots of meaty goodness. It’s a staple dish in Portuguese cuisine and is perfect for sharing with friends and family.

Step 1: Soak the beans

First things first, soak the dried black beans overnight in cold water. This will help soften them up and shorten their cooking time. In case you forget to soak the beans overnight, you can use the Quick Soak method by boiling them in water for 2 minutes then let it sit for 1 hour.

Step 2: Brown the meats

In a large pot, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add slices of bacon (chopped), pork stew meat, ham hock (cut large chunks), salt pork, corned beef (cut into large chunks). Cook until brown and crispy bits are formed with rendered fat from the bacon. Using slotted spoons, transfer the meats onto a plate to set aside.

Step 3: Prepare the veggies

Now we sautee vegetables in the same pot where we browned our meat. Saute large onions chopped until they soft — this should take around 5-6 minutes. Then add garlic cloves (minced) and saute until fragrant.

Step 4: Put everything together

Once onions and garlic are flavorful add all the meats back in and continue with 3 bay leaves, drained black beans, white beans, and enough water to cover everything by at least 1 inch of liquid. Add in crushed red pepper flakes some salt (to taste). Bring everything to a boil then simmer for about 1 hour or until beans are tender.

Step 5: Serve hot and Enjoy!

Once done, discard bay leaves and ham hock, then add the cooked linguica sausage in large pieces. Stir everything then garnish with chopped fresh parsley and orange slices for decoration. Serve with bread or rice on the side and enjoy!

Now that you know how to make this delicious Portuguese Feijoada, feel free to experiment with different cuts of meat and herbs to find your perfect combination.

Substitutions and Variations

 A dish that is beloved in Brazil - this Portuguese Feijoada is sure to steal your heart!
A dish that is beloved in Brazil – this Portuguese Feijoada is sure to steal your heart!

While traditional Portuguese feijoada recipe calls for specific ingredients, there are several substitutions and variations you can try to make this dish your own. One substitution you can make is using white beans or white kidney beans instead of dried black beans for a milder taste. Another variation is using linguica sausage instead of corned beef, ham hock, or salt pork for extra flavor depth.

If you’re looking for a healthier option, try using leaner cuts of pork such as tenderloin or loin chops in place of stew pork. You can also use turkey bacon instead of regular bacon and chicken sausage instead of linguica to decrease the fat content of your feijoada. Additionally, adding vegetables like carrots, peppers, and tomatoes can bring more color and nutrition to the dish.

For those who prefer spicier foods, try adding crushed red pepper flakes or hot sauce to give your feijoada a kick. On the other hand, if you want a more subtle taste, reduce the amount of garlic and onions used in the recipe.

Lastly, Brazilian feijoada recipe differs slightly from the Portuguese version with the addition of black beans but either variety works wonderfully in a bean stew feijoada recipe. Experimenting with these substitutions and variations can give you an opportunity to make this authentic Portuguese bean stew feijoada your own while still maintaining its rich cultural significance.

Serving and Pairing

 The ultimate comfort food that will surely warm you up on a cold day
The ultimate comfort food that will surely warm you up on a cold day

Portuguese Feijoada is a hearty and flavorful dish that pairs well with a variety of sides and drinks. Traditionally, it’s served over white rice, but you can also serve it with polenta or crusty bread. This dish is perfect for large gatherings, as it can easily feed a crowd.

To enhance the flavor of this dish, pair it with a citrusy salad, like an orange and onion salad. The acidity of the orange flavors cuts through the rich and savory taste of the feijoada. You can also pair it with some deep-fried mandioca or cassava, which offers a crispy contrast to the soft beans.

When it comes to drinks, you can never go wrong with a cold beer alongside your Portuguese Feijoada. For a non-alcoholic option, try fresh lemonade or fruity iced tea. These drinks provide a refreshing break from the savory flavors of the dish.

Remember to serve this dish hot and garnish it with sliced oranges or chopped parsley for a pop of color that invites diners to dive in. With its rich taste and satisfying texture, Portuguese Feijoada is a classic dish that will leave everyone asking for seconds!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 The perfect crowd-pleaser for a weekend family gathering or a dinner party with friends
The perfect crowd-pleaser for a weekend family gathering or a dinner party with friends

Portuguese Feijoada is a dish that tastes even better the next day since it allows the flavors to develop further. This makes it an excellent choice for meal prepping and batch cooking. Here are some tips for making ahead, storing and reheating this hearty stew to ensure you have a quick meal at hand whenever you need it!


Portuguese Feijoada is the perfect recipe to make ahead of time since this recipe tastes even better the next day than on the first day! In fact, many recipes instruct you to cook it a day before serving so that all the flavors meld together. After cooking, let the stew cool to room temperature before transferring it to an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator for up to five days.


When cooled, transfer your Portuguese Feijoada into an airtight container and store it in the fridge. This dish can be stored in your refrigerator for up to five days. Before serving, heat gently on a low flame or in the oven for a few minutes until heated through.


When reheating, use heat-safe containers such as microwavable bowls or saucepans, remove any bay leaves and heat gently until steaming hot. If your feijoada is too thick or has lost some of its liquid during storage, add a little bit of water to thin it out. Be sure to stir frequently to prevent burning.

In summary, Portuguese Feijoada is an ideal dish for meal prepping because of its superior flavor after being allowed to sit overnight in the fridge. Properly storing and reheating this dish will prevent contamination while maintaining its tasty flavor despite being prepared ahead of time. Enjoy this authentic and hearty Portuguese bean stew at any moment!

Tips for Perfect Results

 Each spoonful of this savory and hearty stew is a burst of flavor in your mouth
Each spoonful of this savory and hearty stew is a burst of flavor in your mouth

Now that you’ve got all the ingredients for the perfect Portuguese Feijoada recipe, let me share some tips to ensure a successful and delicious outcome.

1. Soak Your Beans in Water Overnight

Before starting the recipe, soak your black and white beans in water overnight. They will absorb water, soften, and cook evenly during the process.

2. Cut Large Chunks of Meat

For a hearty result, cut your corned beef, ham hock, salt pork, and linguica sausage in large chunks. This way they won’t disintegrate during cooking and will enhance the stew’s texture.

3. Add Salt Carefully

Make sure to add salt carefully throughout the cooking process. The corned beef, salt pork, and bacon are already salty! Taste often and add just enough salt to season the dish.

4. Saute Blood Sausage Separately

If using blood sausage in your Feijoada recipe, sauté it separately before adding it to the stew. This helps avoid a hazy or murky broth by removing excess fat.

5. Use a Heavy-Duty Pot

Use a heavy-duty pot like a cast-iron Dutch oven or clay pot as these retain heat evenly and reduce the risk of burning or sticking to the bottom of the pot.

6. Skim Off Foam

While cooking, foam may form on top of the stew, which can impact flavor negatively. Remove it with a skimmer or spoon.

7. Let it Rest Before Serving

After cooking for hours on low heat, let your Portuguese Feijoada rest for 15 minutes before serving. This will allow flavors to settle and enable easier removal of fat from top of the stew.

With these tips for perfect results, you’ll be sure to enjoy an authentic and delectable Portuguese Feijoada recipe that recreates traditional flavors from Portugal’s Northern region.


Now, let’s address some frequently asked questions about Portuguese Feijoada. These are the questions and concerns that many people have when it comes to this beloved dish. Don’t worry, I’m here to give you all the answers and help you create a recipe that is authentic, delicious, and satisfying. So, let’s dive into the most common FAQ’s about this traditional Portuguese and Brazilian bean stew.

What is the difference between Portuguese and Brazilian feijoada?

Beans are a staple food in Brazil, where they have a fondness for black beans. However, in Portugal, cream-colored black-eyed beans, known as feijão-fradinho, are preferred over black beans.

Is feijoada eaten in Portugal?

Feijoada is a delicious stew that originated in multiple countries including Portugal, Brazil, Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea Bissau, Mozambique, Sao Tome and Principe, Goa, Macau, and East Timor. The main ingredients in this hearty dish are beans, beef, and pork. In this recipe article, I will be sharing my take on Brazilian-style feijoada and common side dishes that complement this flavorful meal. So, come along on this culinary journey with me and let’s get cooking!

Could you name 5 ingredients of a traditional Brazilian feijoada?

For this flavorful recipe, you will need a pound of dried black beans, which can easily be found in a great value 32 oz. package. Boiling the black beans in two quarts of water is essential, though you might require more as needed. To add some meatiness to the dish, chop up three ounces of dried beef and use a bay leaf for seasoning. You can also include smoked pork chops; make sure to cut them into large chunks, and don’t forget to reserve the bones. For an extra burst of flavor, cook up four ounces of coarsely chopped bacon and add 12 ounces of linguica sausage, cut into large chunks. Two four-ounce Italian sausage links can also be used to create a delightful blend of textures and spices.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, if you want to experience the true flavors of Portugal and Brazil, then this Portuguese Feijoada recipe is the perfect dish to prepare. Not only is it delicious, but it’s also easy to make and customizable based on your preferences. From the tender pork stew meat to the savory black beans, this dish will transport your taste buds on a journey through the Northern region of Portugal and beyond. So what are you waiting for? Go grab your ingredients and start cooking today!

Portuguese Feijoada

Portuguese Feijoada Recipe

Found this recipe by Emeril on the Food Network; posting for ZWT.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 2 hrs
Course Main Course
Cuisine Portuguese
Calories 999.5 kcal


  • 2 tablespoons vegetables or 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 4 slices bacon, chopped
  • 2 lbs dried black beans, soaked overnight and drained
  • 1 lb salt pork, cut into 1/2-inch cubes, boiled for 5 minutes and drained
  • 2 lbs linguica sausage, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch slices
  • 1 lb smoked lean ham hock, fat scored
  • 1 lb corned beef, cut into 2-inch cubes
  • 1 orange, washed very well and quartered
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 quarts water, plus more as needed


  • In a large, heavy, deep pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. When hot, add the onions, garlic and bacon and cook, stirring, until lightly browned, 4 to 6 minutes. Add the beans, salt pork, Linguica, ham hocks, corned beef, orange, bay leaves, salt, crushed red pepper and water. Bring to a boil, skim any froth that comes to the surface, cover and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the beans are very tender, about 2 hours.
  • Remove from the heat and discard the bay leaves and orange quarters. Serve with Portuguese rice, Vinaigrette Sauce and Sauteed Collard Greens.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 465gCalories: 999.5kcalCarbohydrates: 77.4gProtein: 39gFat: 59.9gSaturated Fat: 21.3gCholesterol: 107.1mgSodium: 1645mgFiber: 18.4gSugar: 5.6g
Keyword < 4 Hours, Beans, Easy, European, Meat, Portuguese
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Dora is a chef well-versed in Brazilian and American cuisine. After a hard day's work in the kitchen of her restaurant, she finds the time to jot down recipes for her food blog. Her recipes are sure to delight foodies everywhere, as she strives to make each one unique and enjoyable to read.