Eat Like You're at the Olympics: 10 Brazilian Foods to Make at Home


Hey, not many of us can actually make it to the Olympics (either as a world-renowned athlete or otherwise), but we can sure eat like we’re there. In honor of the games to come, take a culinary trip to Rio by cooking up some Brazilian mainstays right at home.

Sold at bakeries across Brazil, Pao de Queijo have the consistency of cheesy dough balls, and they’re a staple in Brazil. With a name that translates as “cheese bread,” these gluten-free morsels are eaten as part of a traditional breakfast or as a snack. Eat them by themselves or split them open and use them like buns for your favorite slider fixings.


Refreshing, tart and sweet, the Caipirinha is no stranger to American bar menus, but it’s roots are in Brazil, where its the national cocktail. Fixed with cachaca, a Brazilian rum made from sugarcane juice, caipirinhas are often made with just lime, but they can be modified to include different fruits, like orange, plum and melon.

In the United States, acai bowls are a relatively new arrival on the health-food scene, but the superfruit sensation is actually an ancient Amazonian staple. Rich in antioxidants and Omega-3 fatty acids, the purple fruit is native to Central and South America. After purchasing unsweetened frozen acai puree in the freezer aisle, blend it together with banana, blueberries and honey for a traditional Acai Breakfast Bowl that can be dolled up with all kinds of toppings.

Skip potatoes in favor of another starchy vegetable that can be boiled, roasted or cut into thin slices and fried for chips or Yuca Fries.

Brazil’s most-famous regional dish, Feijoada, is a hearty stew brimming with meats and black beans that’s served with rice and greens. It’s simmered for hours on end until the beans are just about bursting.

Brigadeiros are a traditional birthday treat in Brazil. Fixed with sweetened condensed milk and chocolate, these festive, bite-sized morsels have a creamy texture on the inside and a colorful sprinkle-covered exterior.

Brazilian Codfish Balls are a popular appetizer and bar snack with cod and potato in every bite. After rolling each ball in breadcrumbs, bake until they’re crispy and nicely browned.

A few more traditional Brazilian favorites to make at home:

If you’ve visited a traditional churrascaria (Brazilian steakhouse) you know that Brazilians are big on steak. Bring the steakhouse flavor home by cooking a traditional Tri-Tip Picanha Roast with Charred Cherry Tomatoes and Onions in the oven.

Savor a bowl of Moqueca de Peixe, Brazilian fish stew, made with coconut milk and a variety of seafood and sprinkled with toasted coconut and diced limes before serving.

Finish your Brazilian meal with a fruit that’s native to Brazil — passion fruit — by enjoying a silky, fruity passion fruit mousse.

Get more ways to ring in the Olympics right here.