Maybe you can’t go to Rio, but Rio can come to you! Brazilian cuisine has many influences, and you’ll find various geographical differences and specialties throughout the country. Main foods are root vegetables, rice, beans, beef, pork and seafood. Tropical fruit abounds, with mango, papaya, guava, granadilla and pineapple being some favorites.
Here are some options for all courses of a Brazilian feast. What you choose will depend on your party style (casual vs. sit-down meal), how many people are coming and any dietary restrictions. Experiment and have fun!
- Acarajé – Fried fritters of shrimp, black-eyed peas and onions
- Bolinhas de arroz – Fried dough made with rice flour
- Coxinhas – Chicken salad that’s battered and fried. Key is that the dough ball is shaped like a chicken leg
- Bauru – A sandwich with roast beer, mozzarella cheese, pickled cucumber and tomato. Served on hollowed-out French bread
- Empadão – A baked meat pie with chicken and veggies
- Feijoada – Black bean stew with meat served over rice. Top it with Farofa
- Moqueca de Camarão – Shrimp stew
- Pastéls – Deep fried dumplings, like empanadas. Fill ’em with cheese, meat, fish or whatever
Brazilian BBQ is another option, as the country’s pretty famous for its grilling style called churrasco, which is barbecuing huge slabs of meat on a spit and basting it with a chimichurri sauce. Your grill will do just fine — just don’t forget that sauce!
- Arroz Brasilieiro – Brazilian-style rice with garlic, onion and tomato
- Couve a mineira – collard greens with garlic
- Feijão tropeiro – pinto beans with cassava flour, scallions, eggs and bacon
- Mandioca Frita – fried yucca sticks (similar to French fries)
- Pão de Queijo – Fluffy cheesy buns–and this recipe’s gluten free!
- Salada de cebola – onion salad
- Salada de tomate e palmito – salad with tomatoes and hearts of palm
- Acai – the Brazilian superfruit
- Beijinho de Coco – “little kisses” of coconut candy balls
- Bolinhos de chuva – donut-like balls with cinnamon and sugar
- Brigadeiro – Brazil’s take on chocolate truffle goodness
- Créme de papaya – vanilla ice cream blended with papaya
- Mousse de marcujá – creamy passionfruit mousse
- Pavé – a layered pie made with cookies, chocolate and other fillings
- Quindim – Brazil’s answer to coconut flan