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One Pan Coconut Lime Chicken

coconut lime chicken with fresh lime and cilantro garnishes

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Coconut milk is a popular ingredient in many Brazilian recipes, like savory pumpkin stew or the famous moqueca. It lends a creamy, tropical note to any dish, and this one pan coconut lime chicken recipe is no exception. It incorporates the bright taste of coconut and lime, with the earthier, warming spices of a traditional curry. It comes together in less than an hour and cooks in one pot for easy clean up. In other words: one pan coconut lime chicken is your next go-to weeknight dinner. 

Is One Pan Coconut Lime Chicken Spicy?

Yes, this recipe has a bit of a kick to it. It has both cayenne pepper and diced jalapeno, so we’d give it a heat rating of medium to medium high. That being said, you can customize the recipe to suit your preferences. Want more heat? Add another jalapeno or a pinch more cayenne. Prefer it mild? Remove the ribs and seeds from your jalapeno, use half the cayenne, or skip the spicy bits all together. 

Healthy Versions of Coconut Lime Chicken

There are a couple ways you can tone down the calories in your one pan coconut lime chicken dinner. While we love the silky, creamy texture and toasted flavor of full fat coconut milk, we are aware it is not the most waist-friendly of ingredients. You can substitute fat-free coconut milk if you are trying to limit your calorie intake. You can also use chicken breasts in place of chicken thighs, which are slightly higher in fat and calories. 

What to Serve with One Pan Coconut Lime Chicken?

Our favorite thing to eat with this chicken, or almost any Brazilian dish, is Brazilian rice. It is a simple recipe of white rice toasted with garlic and onions, then simmered in water or broth until fluffy but not sticky. This style of rice is served with nearly every meal in Brazil. It is so popular that many Brazilians prepare a jar of the aromatics (“refogado”) ahead of time. 

Another great pairing would be crispy yuca fries. Serve the chicken and a generous ladleful of the coconut lime sauce over a bed of fried yuca and *chef’s kiss* you’ll have your new favorite comfort food.

Chicken Breasts vs Chicken Thighs

We like to use boneless, skinless chicken thighs in this recipe for three reasons:  

  1. They have a deeper flavor that can stand up to the spices 
  2. It is much harder to overcook thighs.  
  3. They are way cheaper than chicken breasts. 

However, you can absolutely substitute the chicken thighs for breasts in your one pan coconut lime chicken. 

Can You Freeze One Pan Coconut Lime Chicken?

Sure. You can store leftovers or a make-ahead version in your freezer for up to three months. We’d recommend thawing it in the oven, however, as opposed to the stove top, so you don’t aggressively reheat the chicken. Bake it covered in an oven-safe dish at 350 for around an hour, then squeeze some fresh lime juice over the top to awaken the zing you may have lost from the cold. 

One Pan Coconut Lime Chicken Recipe


2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut into 2 inch cubes
1 can unsweetened coconut milk
1 small onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp cayenne
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp salt
Ground black pepper, to taste
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 jalapeno, minced
1 can stewed, diced tomatoes
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
Extra virgin olive oil
Fresh, chopped cilantro for garnish


  1. Marinate the Chicken: in a bowl, combine the chicken with coriander, cumin, cayenne, turmeric, salt, black pepper ,fresh  lime juice, and a splash of olive oil. Toss the chicken until evenly coated. Let it marinate for at least 15-20 minutes.
  2. Preheat the Pan: heat a large pan over medium-high heat and add a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
  3. Cook the Chicken: place the marinated chicken in the pan and cook until browned on all sides. This should take about 5-7 minutes. Once browned, remove the chicken from the pan and set it aside.
  4. Saute Onions and Garlic: reduce the heat to medium. In the same pan you used for the chicken, add a bit more olive oil if needed. Saute the chopped onion until it becomes translucent. Add minced garlic and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
  5. Pour in Coconut Milk: pour in the can of unsweetened coconut milk, stirring well to combine with the spices and onions.
  6. Add Tomatoes, Jalapeno, Bell Pepper, and Lime Juice: stir in the can of stewed, diced tomatoes. Return the browned chicken to the pan. Add fresh lime juice and diced jalapenos and bell pepper.
  7. Simmer: bring the mixture to a rolling simmer. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan, and let it cook for about 10-15 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the jalapenos and bell pepper have softened.
  8. Serve: once the chicken is fully cooked and the flavors have melded together, serve your One Pan Coconut Lime Chicken over Brazilian rice or with your favorite side dishes. Garnish with fresh cilantro if desired.

Texas de Brazil Meat Delivery

Don’t forget to order your butcher box to arrive in time for Valentine’s Day! Select from premium cuts of beef, pork, and lamb so you can prepare the perfect romantic dinner at home. For a limited time, orders of $150 or more earn a free Australian rack of lamb ($24 value). Visit our online market today to get started. 

Black Eyed Peas and Rice (Baiao de Dois)

Black eyed peas and rice in black serving dishjump to recipe button

With the cooler months approaching in the US, we are getting more excited for comfort food. Today’s recipe is a perfect weeknight meal to fight the chill and feed the soul (and belly). Black eyed peas with rice is simple and so filling it is easily a standalone dish, though you can certainly use it as a side as well. Even better: it’s a one pot meal, so cleanup is a breeze. 

Baiao de Dois Meaning

Baiao de Dois does not actually translate to “black eyed peas and rice.” The baiao is actually a style of music thought to have originated among the Amerindian tribes of Northeastern Brazil. It is characterized by a signature duple meter rhythm, accomplished with the steady beat of a zambia (bass drum). Over time, the addition of instruments reflects the influence of other cultures arriving in Brazil: atabaque drums from Africa, and an accordion from Europe, for example. 

The baiao is also a reference to a dance style that accompanies the music. It was popularized in the 1940s by Luiz Gonzaga, whose efforts to bring the style to the masses included a hit called “Baiao de Dois” (dance for two). 

Over time, the special dish of black eyed peas and rice became affectionately known as “Dance for Two,” or baião de dois. A hearty, flavorful blend of slow-simmered black eyed peas with fluffy rice is, indeed, a perfect combination that dances on the tongue. 

Fresh vs Canned Black Eyed Peas

Baiao de dois traditionally uses fresh black eyed peas. They can be found in Brazilian markets alongside other fresh legumes, like green peas and edamame. They are not so easily found in the US, however. If you can’t find fresh black eyed peas, we recommend you use frozen, not canned. Canned black eyed peas can have a metallic taste and mushy texture. We want the al dente bite and earthy flavor of the fresh legume for our black eye peas and rice. 

Other Ingredients in Black Eyed Peas and Rice

The dance for two that is our black eyed peas and rice does involve a few other players, including meat and aromatics. Original recipes often used carne seca, but modern recipes often substitute bacon. Another great thing about this dish is that it is customizable: you can add what you have on hand, or omit something you don’t like. In Brazil, the dish is often served on special occasions, and every family has their own spin. 

One of our preferred substitutions is collards or kale in place of the traditional cilantro. Just be sure to add the greens a little sooner than you would the cilantro to let the leaves tenderize enough. 

What Kind of Rice for Baiao de Dois?

You can use any kind of rice you like for this recipe. Brazilians typically favor long-grain rice, since it has less starch and therefore a less glutinous, or sticky, texture. But again, you can use what you have. If you want less starch on a short grain variety, just rinse it a few times with cold water. 

Brazilian Black Eyed Peas and Rice Recipe (Baiao de Dois)


1 small yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
Six strips of bacon
½  cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 lb (16 oz) fresh or frozen black-eyed peas
10 oz rice
2 cups water
1 cup stock (chicken or vegetable)
1 cup mozzarella cheese
2 tsp salt (more to taste)
Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Cook the bacon in a large saucepan until crisp, then remove to a plate with paper towels to drain excess grease. Crumble or roughly chop into bite-sized pieces with a sharp knife. 
  2. Drain all but a tablespoon of bacon grease from the pan and return it to the heat of medium. Add in a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, then toss in your diced onions. 
  3. When the onions have softened (1-2 minutes), add in the minced garlic and cook for a further 30 seconds. 
  4. Add in the black eyed peas, crumbled bacon, salt, black pepper, and 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer. Cover the pot and cook for 30 minutes.
  5. After thirty minutes, check to see if the peas are tender. If they are ready, stir in the 1 cup of stock and the rice. Bring the mixture to a boil once more, then reduce to medium low. Cover, and cook for another twenty minutes, or until the rice is tender. If you need, you can add more liquid (stock or water) to the rice during the cooking process. 
  6. Taste for salt and add more if needed. 
  7. Finally, stir in the mozzarella cheese and fresh cilantro. Top your black eyed peas and rice with a little more cheese and herbs, if you like. 


More Great Brazilian Recipes to Try:


Chicken Milanesa (Crispy Breaded Chicken Cutlets)

Chicken milanesa with a lemon wedge and fried potatoes

When something is prepared “a milanesa” in Brazil, it generally means some kind of meat has been pounded thin, breaded, and fried crisp. Americans have similar recipes that use this technique, such as chicken fried steak and the borrowed German dish, schnitzel. Brazilians tend to favor poultry and beef over pork, so today we will be making chicken milanesa. Served simply with a squeeze of lemon or on top of a toasted brioche bun, chicken milanesa is an easy comfort food dish that is perfect for a busy weeknight meal. 

Why is it Called Chicken Milanesa?

In English, Chicken a Milanesa is known as “Milanese Chicken” or “Milan Chicken.” This is because the particular dredging and frying style has origins in Milan, Italy. Traditionally, veal was the meat of choice, but beef, pork, and chicken are also popular options. 

The Milanese method of preparing fried meat is a series of steps: 

  1. The meat is pounded thin to tenderize and allow it to cook quickly and evenly.
  2. The pounded cutlet is dredged in flour.
  3. The meat is dipped in a beaten egg mixture.
  4. The meat is dipped into seasoned breadcrumbs.
  5. The meat is pan-fried in oil until crisp and golden.

Vegetarian Milanese Chicken

Again, Milanese-style refers more to the dredging method and less to the actual protein used. This means you can easily substitute vegetarian options and fry them the same way you would chicken, beef, etc. 

Eggplant works well as a substitute, since it has a firm texture. You could also use firm tofu or tempeh; however, when using vegetables, soybean products, or other vegetarian options, skip the step where you pound it flat. You’ll just wind up with a crumbly or slimy mess that does not lend itself to dredging and frying. 

Sauce for Chicken Milanesa

Chicken Milanese is traditionally served with a lemon wedge. It is a refreshing way to cut through what might otherwise be a somewhat greasy dish. You can elevate that twist of citrus by incorporating lemon juice and a little zest in a creamy, tangy butter sauce:

Chicken Milanesa Lemon Garlic Cream Sauce

3 oz unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pats
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 oz dry white wine
8 oz chicken stock
8 oz heavy cream
Juice of two lemons
1 tsp lemon zest
½ tsp salt (more to taste)
Freshly ground black pepper

Simply melt one pat of butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Saute the garlic until fragrant, then add in the wine, stock, heavy cream, salt, and a few twists of freshly ground black pepper. Bring to a boil and then lower to a high simmer. When the mixture has thickened, add in the remaining butter, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Stir until the butter is melted. 

Milanese Chicken Sandwich

If you want to use your breaded chicken a milanesa for a sandwich, do so by all means! Lightly toast a brioche or potato bun and spread a little mayo or aioli on it. Top the chicken with some fresh lettuce and a thick slice of tomato, and you’ve got a chicken sandwich to rival your favorite fast food place. 

Panko vs Italian Breadcrumbs for Milanese Chicken

As an Italian recipe, traditional chicken milanesa calls for Italian-style breadcrumbs. However, we like to incorporate a little panko as well for added crunch. Panko breadcrumbs are much larger than their finer, Italian counterparts; adding them thickens the crust a bit and makes it all the crispier.

Recipe for Chicken Milanesa


Serves 4

4 chicken breast cutlets (around 6 oz each)
½  cup seasoned Italian breadcrumbs
½ cup panko
½ cup all purpose flour
1 oz freshly grated parmesan or pecorino cheese
2 large eggs
1 tsp lemon zest
Freshly ground black pepper
Vegetable oil


  1. Pound the chicken cutlets to a thickness of about ¼”. An easy way to do this is to place one on a cutting board, cover it with cling film, and pound with a meat tenderizer. Season each cutlet with salt and pepper.
  2. Set up your chicken milanesa dredging station: put the breadcrumbs, lemon zest, and parmesan cheese in one shallow bowl and mix to combine; put the eggs in another bowl and whisk thoroughly; finally, put the flour into another shallow dish and season lightly with salt and pepper. Mix to combine.
  3. Put around one cup of vegetable oil in a heavy skillet and heat over medium high heat. To see if it is ready, toss a few breadcrumbs in. If they sizzle right away, the oil is hot enough. The oil should be shimmering, not smoking. If this is the case, remove it from the heat and let it cool down a little.
  4. Take one of your chicken cutlets and coat it with the flour mixture. Shake it to remove any excess, then dip it into the egg mixture. Let any extra egg drip off before finally coating the chicken in the breadcrumb and cheese mixture. Repeat this process with each of your cutlets.
  5. Fry the cutlets in the oil until they are crisp and golden brown (about 3 minutes per side). Transfer them to a baking sheet lined with paper towels to drain any excess oil. 
  6. Serve your beautiful chicken milanesa with a fresh lemon wedge or with your lemon garlic cream sauce (see above). Enjoy!

More Great Brazilian Recipes to Try:


Savory Pumpkin Stew (Quibebe)

Brazilian savory pumpkin stew served over white rice

Pumpkins are a staple of Brazilian cuisine. Known collectively as “aboboras,” the term can apply to many varieties of winter squash, including acorn squash and Japanese squash. While Brazilians are famous for their sweet tooth, they tend to favor savory pumpkin dishes over sugary ones. Quibebe is one example: a flavorful stew made from butternut squash that incorporates garlic, onion, spices, and coconut milk for a creamy and satisfying dish. 

Quibebe Origins

The word “quibebe” most likely comes from the Guarani word, “kiveve.” (The Guarani comprise three indigenous tribes of Brazil). It translates to “reddish,” which is a nod to the dish’s vibrant color. The original recipe was a simple, sweet gruel cooked in clay pots. In places like Paraguay, the dish continues to be more of a sweet snack or dessert: steamed pumpkin is pureed and mixed with cornmeal, sugar, and cheese. 

In Brazil, however, quibebe is a savory pumpkin dish that omits the cheese and cornmeal and incorporates warming spices, like ginger and chili. The pumpkin is also cubed rather than pureed to give it a more satisfying texture. Coconut milk gives the dish a creamy consistency and a boost of added sweetness. The overall taste and texture is not dissimilar from a Thai curry. Served over fluffy white rice, it is a surprisingly rich dish that is also ridiculously easy to make. 

Savory Pumpkin Stew Variations

Quibebe is highly customizable, so feel free to add whatever ingredients you like. If you want to maintain a vegetarian dish, try adding in garbanzo beans, fresh jalapeno slices, red bell pepper, and diced potatoes for even more flavor and texture. If you don’t mind a little meat, shredded chicken in savory pumpkin stew is delicious, as is zesty Brazilian sausage. 

Pumpkin Stew vs Soup

Quibebe pumpkin stew has a hearty, irregular texture. You can always blend it out with an immersion blender if you prefer a soup, but then we are no longer talking about authentic quibebe. 

Do You Have to Use Butternut Squash for Quibebe?

No. Any winter squash will work in this savory pumpkin dish. Ideally, though, you want one with a higher sugar content and bright orange, starchy flesh to stay true to the traditional recipe. Spaghetti squash may not be the best option, for example, since it is yellower in color and has a stringy texture when cooked. 

Boiled vs Roasted Squash

Traditional quibebe involves stewing the pumpkin or boiling it. You can use roasted squash as well, but it will alter the texture and cooking time. If you do use pre-cooked or roasted squash, reduce the time you stew the mixture to just until it is heated through (5-10 minutes).

You can also buy frozen, pre-cubed butternut squash if you do not have access to fresh pumpkins. It tastes just as good and saves you the step of peeling and chopping yourself. 

Savory Brazilian Pumpkin Stew Recipe (Quibebe)


2 cups butternut squash, chopped into 1 inch cubes
½ yellow onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tsp lime juice (1 lime should do)
2 tsp salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Extra virgin olive oil
14 oz unsweetened coconut milk
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tablespoon chili paste (less if you don’t like spicy)
Chopped fresh parsley or coriander for garnish


  1. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add in a drizzle of olive oil, and cook the onions until they have softened (1-2 minutes).
  2. Stir in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds or so (don’t let it burn!).
  3. Add in the cubed butternut squash and your sugar and seasonings (ginger, salt, chili paste, and a few twists of freshly ground black pepper). 
  4. Stir in the lime juice and pour in the coconut milk. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium low.
  5. Stew your savory pumpkin stew over medium low heat until the squash is fork tender (around 20 minutes). 
  6. Serve over fluffy white rice or with a slice of crusty french bread for dipping. Garnish with chopped parsley or coriander. Enjoy!

More Great Brazilian Recipes to Try:

Brazilian Lasagna

Brazilian lasagna with white sauce and layers of ham

White Lasagna Recipe with Ham

Brazilians love Italian food, and lasagna is no exception. There are a few key differences to Brazilian lasagna, however. In addition to the familiar ingredients of ground beef, tomatoes, and mozzarella, today’s recipe incorporates a white sauce and shaved ham. We will also forgo the ricotta in favor of more mozzarella (sliced, not shredded). 

Italian Food in Brazil

Italians have been present in Brazil in some capacity since the sixteenth century. Genoese sailors, for example, were among the first to settle there during the colonial period. However, the largest wave of Italian immigrants arrived in Brazil between 1880 and 1900. Over 1 million Italians came during this 20-year period, primarily to work in the coffee fields. 

Today, the Italian government estimates that over 30 million Brazilians have Italian heritage, including four of the country’s presidents: Pascoal Ranieri Mazzili, Itamar Franco, Emilio Garrastazu Medici, and Jair Messias Boisonaro. São Paulo has the highest population of Italians outside of Italy itself. 

With so many individuals of Italian descent, it is no surprise that Brazilians adore Italian cuisine. Of course, they put their own spin on it (just like they do with Brazilian pizza). Ham is, perhaps, the most unexpected ingredient; but this is also not surprising, considering the nation’s strong ties to Portugal (a country famous for its smoky jamon). 

White vs Red Lasagna

Our lasagna today uses a white sauce, which is a classic bechamel made using butter, flour milk, salt, pepper, and a pinch of nutmeg. You can certainly opt for the more traditional marinara sauce, if you prefer. However, the creamy white sauce does pair nicely with both the ham and ground beef, since it is milder in flavor than garlicky marinara. 

What Kind of Ham to Use for Brazilian Lasagna?

Our recipe for Brazilian lasagna uses thinly sliced, or shaved, ham. It makes for easy layering and you get a nice bite of ham in every forkful. You could certainly use cubed ham, though. Just add it to the beef mixture instead of layering it on top. 

Is There Veggie Lasagna in Brazil?

Of course! Brazilians may be famous for their churrasco, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find vegetarian options. If you want to omit the beef and ham from this recipe, go right ahead. You can substitute a variety of sauteed veggies. Brazilians like carrots, peas, green olives, and tomatoes (okay, the last two are, technically fruit, but you get the idea). 

Brazilian Lasagna Recipe


For the sauce:

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 cup whole milk
Pinch of ground nutmeg
1.5 tsp salt
Freshly ground black pepper

For the filling:

Extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium yellow onion, minced
1 can diced tomatoes
1 tsp oregano
8 oz lean ground beef
1 lb lasagna noodles
8 oz sliced mozzarella cheese
8 oz shaved ham
2.5 tsp salt
½ cup grated parmesan or Asiago


  1. Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat. Melt the two tablespoons of butter, then stir in your flour. Cook for two minutes, stirring constantly. Add in 1.5 tsp of salt and a few twists of freshly ground black pepper. Whisk in the cup of milk slowly. When the mixture has thickened and is smooth, whisk in your pinch of nutmeg. Set the pot aside.
  2. Heat another skillet over medium high heat. Add in a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Put the minced onions in the pan and cook them until they are softened (2-3 minutes). Then add the garlic and ground beef. Cook until the beef is browned. Strain off any excess grease. 
  3. Add in your tomatoes, 2.5 tsp of salt, and oregano. Let the mixture simmer for a few minutes.
  4. While the beef simmers, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the lasagna noodles until they are al dente (flexible, but still firm). Strain the noodles and return them to the pot.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  6. Now we are ready to start layering (we will have four layers total). In a casserole dish, layer a few spoonfuls of the meat mixture. Cover the meat with a layer of lasagna noodles. Then put another layer of meat, followed by mozzarella, followed by ham. Repeat until you have four complete layers, then cover the whole dish with the bechamel sauce. Top with your parmesan or asiago cheese. 
  7. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the mixture is bubbling. Bake for an additional five minutes uncovered to let the cheese crisp up a little, if you want. 
  8. Serve with crusty bread and a fresh salad. Enjoy!

More Great Brazilian Dishes to Try:


Creamy Chicken and Rice Soup

creamy chicken and rice soup in a red pot

Canja de Galinha: Brazilian Chicken and Rice Soup

Nothing is more comforting during the long winter days than a steaming bowl of soup. This creamy chicken and rice soup recipe is so simple but so delicious, we are sure you’ll be making it regularly. Standard chicken and rice soup gets an upgrade with fresh cream, herbs, and potatoes for an even heartier dish. Serve it with a slice of crusty bread for a perfect weeknight meal, or sip it to soothe a sore throat. 

Brazilian Chicken and Rice Soup

Brazilians typically do not eat chicken and rice soup with cream. However, we are taking a little artistic license and adding a spot of cream for a more satisfying texture and mouthfeel. The cream makes the broth silky and less greasy, although you can certainly leave it out if you want a clear broth. 

Brazilians do add a twist to their canja de galinha in the form of potatoes. This is not an ingredient typically found in American creamy chicken and rice soup, but it should be! The potatoes add another layer of texture and make the soup more satisfying. One bowl is usually plenty with this hearty soup! 

Why Do We Eat Chicken and Rice Soup When We Are Sick?

Chicken soup has earned a reputation as the go-to meal when fending off an illness. There are countless versions all over the world. The 12th century Jewish philosopher and physician, Maimonides, gushed about the concoction’s ability to provide nourishment to pregnant women and aid in the curing of various diseases. To this day, a version of chicken soup with dumplings is called “Jewish penicillin.” 

The reasons why chicken soup is so healing might be attributed to several factors. It is often more palatable than other dishes when loss of appetite has occurred. The broth offers much needed hydration, while the salt provides electrolytes. The remaining ingredients ensure a balance of protein and carbohydrates, helping the body stay strong while it fights the illness. Chicken itself is rich in amino acids that assist with the breakdown of pesky secretions, such as excess mucus. 

Our recipe for creamy chicken and rice soup also features diced tomatoes. This may sound like a strange combination, but the tomatoes add a beautiful brightness to the soup, not to mention a healthy dose of vitamin C (a must if you are making the soup while sick). 

Should You Pre-Cook Rice for Creamy Chicken and Rice Soup?

We recommend using pre-cooked rice in this recipe. You can use uncooked rice, but you may need to add more broth, since the rice and potatoes will soak up a good deal of the liquid quite quickly. 

For this reason, this creamy chicken and rice soup is a great meal to use up leftovers. You can make it even easier on yourself by using leftover chicken breast or a rotisserie chicken shredded with forks. 

Creamy Chicken and Rice Soup Recipe (Canja de Galinha)


2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
½ yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 carrots, diced
1 celery stick, diced
2 large yellow potatoes, peeled and chopped into ½ inch cubes
2 tomatoes, diced
6 cups chicken stock
2 cups heavy whipping cream
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 cups cooked white rice
2 tsp salt, or more to taste
Pinch of ground cloves
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced (or 1 tsp dried)


  1. Heat a large stock pot over medium heat. Add in the olive oil.
  2. Add in diced onion, carrot, and celery. Saute for 2-3 minutes until softened.
  3. Stir in garlic. Saute for 1 minute more. Add salt, pinch of clove, and a few grinds of pepper.
  4. Add in potatoes, minced thyme, whole chicken breasts, and chicken stock.
  5. Bring mixture to a rolling boil, then reduce to medium.
  6. Simmer for twenty minutes, until chicken is cooked through and potatoes are fork tender.
  7. Remove chicken breasts to a plate and shred with two forks.
  8. Return shredded chicken to soup. Stir in heavy cream and add cooked rice and the diced tomatoes. Simmer for ten minutes more until the soup is heated through. 


More Delicious Brazilian Recipes to Try:


Croque Monsieur (Bauru de Forno)

Brazilian croque monsieur sandwich

Baked Ham and Cheese Sandwiches

Every country seems to have its own spin on the grilled cheese sandwich, and Brazil is no exception. Like many of the country’s dishes, the Brazilian croque monsieur (aka bauru de forno) is “extra”: extra gooey, extra cheesy, and extra delicious. What really sets Brazilian grilled cheese sandwiches apart is that they are baked in the oven under a layer of melty cheese sauce. The effect is similar to a savory French toast, or a croque monsieur casserole. However you describe it, it is comfort food at its finest. Add in the fact that it is so simple to make, and we are sure it will become a regular in your weeknight meals rotation. 

What is a Croque Monsieur?

The croque monsieur is French in origin. It dates back to the early 20th century, when it was served as a popular brasserie snack (and it still is!). “Croque” means “crunchy,” a nod to the dish’s toasty texture. The ingredients vary according to region, but it must always have at least bread, ham, and melted cheese (traditionally gruyere). If it is topped with an egg (fried or poached), it is called a “croque madame.” 

Our Brazilian croques are similar to a variation known as “croque provencal,” which also features fresh tomatoes. We add a little oregano for an herbaceous layer that pairs very well with the mozzarella cheese. 

Croque Monsieur Sauce

Traditional croque monsieur sandwiches may be served with or without a simple bechamel sauce made from butter, flour, salt, pepper, cream or milk, and a dash of nutmeg. The Brazilian croque monsieur also incorporates a similar sauce, but we substitute the nutmeg with a little dijon mustard for some earthy umami flavor. 

In some recipes, you do not need to make a bechamel at all. The “sauce” is made without heat by whisking together heavy cream, mayonnaise, and mustard. This is also delicious and helps a golden crust to form over the top of the sandwiches, thanks to the eggs in the mayo. In the interest of cutting a few calories, however, we are substituting this version with a bechamel made with skim milk. 

Cheese in Brazilian Croque Monsieurs

Again, the traditional cheese used in French croque monsieurs is gruyere, or sometimes emmental. Brazilians favor mozzarella and parmesan, which are also used in another favorite snack: the ubiquitous Brazilian cheese bread.

You can use whatever kind of cheese you like, as long as it’s a good melter. If you’re looking for a more authentic bauru de forno, however, stick with the mozzarella. 

Brazilian Croque Monsieur Recipe


For 4 sandwiches:

8 slices of white bread, crusts removed
½ pound of thin sliced deli ham
8 slices slices of sliced mozzarella cheese (provolone is good, too)
1 large steak tomato, sliced
½ cup shredded mozzarella or parmesan
Dried oregano

For the Sauce:

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
10 oz skim milk
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
½ tsp salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit. 
  2. Assemble your sandwiches. On one slice of bread, put one slice of cheese, then one fourth of the ham. Top with a second slice of cheese, one or two slices of tomato, a pinch of dried oregano, and another piece of bread. Repeat for the remaining three sandwiches. 
  3. Put the four assembled sandwiches in a casserole or other oven safe dish. 
  4. In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in the flour and cook for two minutes. Add in the salt and a few grinds of fresh black pepper. Slowly whisk in the milk, turning the heat up to a boil. When the sauce has thickened, stir in the dijon mustard.
  5. Pour the sauce over your sandwiches in the casserole dish.
  6. Sprinkle the shredded mozzarella over the sandwiches and sauce.
  7. Bake, uncovered, in the oven until the cheese is bubbly and golden brown. 


More Great Brazilian Recipes to Try:

Coconut Curry Shrimp

Brazilian Curry With Shrimp (Xinxim)

coconut curry shrimp with an earthenware bowl

As you may know, much of Brazil’s cuisine is steeped in African traditions, especially in the Bahian region of the country. Today’s recipe is a warming, flavorful shrimp curry, featuring traditional Bahian ingredients, like peanuts, okra, and coconut milk. The resulting taste is not dissimilar to the creamy, spicy curries of Thailand. Brazilian xinxim with shrimp is delightful on its own, but it is especially good served over fluffy, white rice. 

What is Xinxim?

Xinxim is an African term used to describe a stew. It is different from a moqueca, which has a distinct red coloring thanks to the use of dende oil, tomato, and annato powder. Xinxim incorporates similar seasonings, such as cumin and chiles, but also adds a silky richness in the form of crushed peanuts and coconut milk (coconut milk is optional in a moqueca). Fresh okra thickens the stew and lends a distinct, gumbo-like texture and flavor. 

The protein you use in your xinxim is up to you. You can have xinxim de galinha (chicken stew), xinxim de peixe (fish stew), or use a combination. Brazilians like to combine chicken thighs and shrimps for a particularly satisfying curry. 

Can You Make a Vegan Brazilian Curry?

Of course! You can simply omit the shrimp and add more bell peppers and potatoes to your stew to thicken it up. Some chickpeas and sweet green peas wouldn’t go amiss, either! Also, don’t forget to sub the fish stock with vegetable stock. Then you will have a perfectly delicious, vegan coconut curry.

Prawns vs Shrimp for Coconut Curry

Today, we are making xinxim de camaraoes (Shrimp Coconut Curry). In Portuguese,  camaro is used to describe both shrimp and prawns. However, the two shellfish are not the same thing. Aside from various anatomical differences, the two species are found in different environments. Shrimp live predominantly in salt water, while prawns are typically found in freshwater. Prawns also tend to be larger than shrimp, although this is not always the case.

Nutrition and taste-wise, prawns and shrimp are pretty much interchangeable. Both are an excellent source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids and do well in similar recipes. If there is one you prefer, feel free to use it in today’s recipe. Shrimp are often easier to find in the US, and they also have fewer legs to remove, so we will be using these. 

Cassava or Potatoes for Xinxim?

We are using diced potatoes in our shrimp coconut curry recipe. However, you can certainly substitute the same amount of peeled and diced cassava root. In fact, you would probably have a more authentic recipe on your hands if you did! We just like the texture that the potato lends to the stew. But the nutty flavor of cassava would complement the earthy taste of this curry just fine. 

Brazilian Shrimp Coconut Curry Recipe


12 oz shrimp, peeled and de-veined
½ cup peanut butter
8 oz fish stock
1-2 tsp salt
8 oz unsweetened coconut milk
2 limes
1 large russet potato, peeled and diced into 1-inch cubes
2 red bell peppers, diced
1 green chili, minced
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup of fresh okra, diced (about 8 pods)
1-2 tablespoons peanut oil
Fresh cilantro for garnish


  1. Heat a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add in a good drizzle of peanut oil, then cook the onions, red bell pepper, and green chili until tender and fragrant (3 minutes). Add in the garlic and cook until just fragrant (under 1 minute).
  2. Add in the diced potatoes, fish stock, peanut butter, and coconut milk. Bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until the potatoes are fork tender (about 20 minutes). 
  4. Stir in the peeled shrimp and fresh okra. Allow the stew to cook just until the shellfish are pink and tender (just about 3-4 minutes). 
  5. Taste for seasoning and add in salt as needed. 
  6. Squeeze in the juice of two fresh limes and stir in a good handful of fresh, chopped cilantro. 
  7. Serve piping hot over steamed rice and garnished with fresh lime wedges and more cilantro and toasted peanuts, if desired. 

What Happens if My Stew Isn’t Thickening?

The fresh okra and potatoes should help your curry to thicken. However, if you are finding your stew too runny, you can thicken it up further with a coconut slurry. Start with 1 tablespoon of cornstarch and two tablespoons of water. Mix together in a small bowl and pour this into your stew. Bring to a boil. Continue this ratio until desired thickness is attained. 

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Brazilian Style Picadillo (Ensopado de Carne Moida)

a plate of rice and Brazilian picadillo with olives

Traditionally, picadillo is a ground beef stew popular in Latin America, especially Cuba and Mexico. It is also eaten in the Philippines and parts of the Caribbean. The exact ingredients vary slightly depending on the region, but most versions incorporate a base of ground beef, tomatoes, or tomato sauce. In Brazil, picadillo is referred to as “ensopado de carne moida,” which literally translates to “minced meat stew.”  

Brazilian picadillo is a weeknight staple item, since it lends itself to all sorts of recipes. It can be eaten on its own, or served over white rice or egg noodles; it can act as a filling for tacos, burritos, croquettes, and empanadas. On a bun, it also makes for a significantly upgraded Sloppy Joe. Whatever you use it for, you will be glad you added this versatile dish to your arsenal.

In addition to the base of ground beef and tomatoes, Brazilian picadillo incorporates tangy black olives and bell peppers for crunch and sweetness. You can add any other vegetables you like. Shredded carrots, for example, lend a great texture and freshness. If you want to make it more like a traditional cowboy stew, you can add corn, peas, or cubed potatoes. You will just want to parboil the potatoes so they cook a little faster. 

Do I Have to Use Ground Beef for Brazilian Picadillo?

While the traditional recipe does call for minced ground beef, you can substitute it with any protein of your choice. In fact, some historians believe the original picadillo was made with minced turkey and pheasant, not beef. 

Is There a Vegan Brazilian Picadillo?

There is a vegan version of nearly everything, and picadillo is no exception! Simply replace the ground beef with meaty vegetables and a legume of your choice. This recipe, for example, incorporates shiitake mushrooms and brown lentils

Is Picadillo Spicy?

While it is heavily spiced, there is very little heat to Brazilian picadillo. The bell peppers are very mild, as are the tomatoes. However, if you wanted to spice things up a bit, you could add a little cayenne or half a diced jalapeno to the mix. 

Brazilian Style Picadillo (Ensopado de Carne Moida)


1 pound lean ground beef
1 cup finely diced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp ground cumin
6 oz black olives, cut in half
1 red pepper, diced
1 can diced stewed tomatoes
1.5 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp oregano
6 oz beef stock
1 tsp salt
Splash of red wine or red wine vinegar
Extra virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper to taste


  1. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add a drizzle of olive oil and put in your diced onion and bell pepper. Cook for 2 minutes or so, until softened. Add in the minced garlic and cook it until you can start to smell it. 
  2. Add the ground beef to the skillet and cook until evenly browned. 
  3. Season the browned beef with the salt, pepper, cumin, and oregano. Stir to coat evenly. 
  4. Add the canned tomatoes, olives, tomato paste, and a splash of red wine vinegar or nice red wine.
  5. Add the stock. Stir to mix all the ingredients together. 
  6. Cover the skillet and simmer for twenty minutes, until the liquid is reduced and you have a nice, thick sauce. 

Serve with rice or try dunking a fluffy Brazilian cheese bread puff into this delicious, savory mixture. 

Other Great Brazilian Recipes to Try:

Brazilian Chicken and Saffron Rice (Galinhada)

Brazilian galinhada made with saffron rice and chicken thighs

Galinhada is a chicken and saffron rice dish from Brazil. This one-pot meal is healthy, delicious, and comes together in less than thirty minutes. Add in the fact that it is gluten-free, and galinhada is sure to become your next go-to meal for a busy weeknight. 

Galinhada comes from the portuguese word “galinha,” which simply means “chicken.” Chicken thighs form the protein of this meal, which is essentially a casserole. Bone-in chicken thighs are seared to crisp the skin, then braised in a fragrant liquid of broth, white wine, saffron, vegetables. Rice is added to the braising liquid and cooks along with the chicken, absorbing the flavorful broth. 

Galinhada Mineira vs Galinhada Goiana

Like many, many dishes in Brazil, there are variations of galinhada depending on which region you are in. The two most prevalent versions are mineira and goiana. The main difference tends to be in the preparation of the chicken. Galinhada mineira uses chunks of chicken, while the goiana recipe calls for whole, bone-in pieces. 

Galinhada goiana also incorporates regional flavors, such as heart of palm, that give it a unique flavor. Today, we are making a mixture of the two recipes. We will be using the traditional mineira ingredients but adding a goiana touch by with whole, bone-in chicken thighs (with the skin).

A Note on Saffron

Saffron is expensive, so you want to get the most flavor and color you can from it. In order to do this, you will need to bloom your saffron in a little hot water for twenty minutes or so before you use it. Simply add your saffron threads to about 2 tablespoons of hot water (hot to the touch, but not boiling). Steep for twenty minutes or until the water takes on a beautiful orange color. 

Many methods for blooming saffron require you to grind the threads beforehand. However, since we are only using a few threads, you can steep them whole and add this liquid to the broth. In the end, your rice will be flavorful and a gorgeous yellow color. 

Saffron Substitutes

If you do not have saffron or do not wish to spend the money on it, turmeric is a worthy substitute. It also has many health benefits, including clinically documented anti-inflammatory properties. The taste is somewhat different, but you will achieve an overall earthy flavor and a comparable yellow color. If you are substituting turmeric in this recipe, use about ¼ to ½ tsp. 

Can I Use Chicken Breast for Galinhada?

Yes, you can use chicken breast or boneless, skinless chicken thighs in this recipe. However, you will want to skip the step where you pan sear the meat to avoid over-cooking. You can also cube the meat beforehand, and your dish will come together even more quickly.

Brazilian Saffron Chicken and Rice (Galinhada)


5 chicken thighs, skin on and bone in
2 cups of short grain rice
½ large yellow onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 large bell pepper, diced (you can substitute a jalapeno or two for some heat)
6-7 saffron threads
¾ tsp ground cumin
¾ cup dry white wine
2.5 cups chicken stock
2 teaspoons tomato paste
1 can diced, stewed tomatoes
2 tsp kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
½ cup green peas (fresh or frozen)
½ cup fresh or frozen corn
Extra virgin olive oil


  1. Put your saffron threads in two tablespoons of hot water and let them steep. Meanwhile, heat a large saucepan over medium heat. 
  2. Season your chicken thighs with salt, pepper, and a little cumin. 
  3. Add a drizzle of oil to the pot and sear the chicken skin-side down for 2-3 minutes, until golden and crisp. Sear the other side for an additional 2-3 minutes.
  4. Transfer the seared chicken to a plate. In the same pan, add a little more olive oil and cook your diced onion and bell pepper until softened.
  5. Add in the minced garlic and cook just until you start to smell it (under 1 minute).
  6. Add in the rice and toast with the vegetables for another 2 minutes.
  7. Now, add in the white wine and stir until it reduces by at least half. 
  8. Pour in your chicken stock, bloomed saffron, salt, pepper, tomatoes, and tomato paste and stir to combine. Add the chicken back to the pan, and bring the liquid to a boil.
  9. Once the liquid comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and cover. 
  10. Let the mixture simmer and reduce for thirty minutes, until the rice is tender and has absorbed all the liquid. A few minutes before it is finished, stir in the green peas and corn.


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