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Best Portuguese Recipes - Christmas Recipes from Portugal

There are numerous Christmas holiday cookings that can be found on Portuguese dinner tables during Christmas time.

Some of this holiday recipes are very old and were passed from generation to generation but there are also others that were adapted to our present reality.

Most of them have the same origin in the Mediterranean diet and you will always find olive oil, plenty of fish, potatoes, diverse vegetables, etc..

For this hub I`ve selected some of my favorite Portuguese Christmas recipes to share with you.

They may not be the most traditional but you will find both traditional ingredients and Portuguese cooking styles tipical from traditional Portuguese cuisine.

I hope you try them yourself - if not during Christmas holiday perhaps in any other day of the year.

Have fun and enjoy the meal!


Photo by agalinhamaria at

Photo by agalinhamaria at

Christmas Pie


3 salted cod fish fillets

3 onions

6 garlic cloves

1/4 cup or 50g of margarine

2 Portuguese cole (cabbage)

3 eggs

6 potatoes

1 tablespoon of vinegar

1 tablespoon of mustard


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2 dl olive oil


Before cooking the salted codfish it`s necessary to soak it on fresh water or even milk several times during one day. This process should be repeated until it loses almost all the salt.

Bake the slices of "soaked" cod for 10 minutes in boiling water. Remove the cod, take the skin and bones and make it into thick chips.

Cut the onions and garlic in very thin slices and heat it with margarine. Cook over low heat until the onion begins to brown.

Separate the cabbage leaves and take out the toughest stalks and then boil the leaves in seasoned water with salt. Leaving them a little stiff in the end, drain well.

On the side boil two eggs and bake the potatoes with skin in warm water with salt.

Peel the eggs, skin the potatoes and cut everything into slices.

Display in a baking dish alternating layers of onion, cod, cabbage, potatoes and eggs. Repeat those layers until you have no more ingredients.

Pour the remaining egg in a blender, add vinegar, mustard and season with salt and pepper. Add the oil and mix until a mayonnaise is formed.

Spread the mayonnaise on the last layer of the pie and take it to moderate oven (200º C) until the surface becomes golden.

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Photo by

Christmas Spring Leg of Lamb

1 leg of lamb

6 garlic cloves

3 tablespoons of margarine



white wine





Prepare the lamb leg leaving it completely clean.

Make a paste with the butter, minced garlic cloves, salt and pepper and then spread it over the leg of lamb.

Take it to the oven and bake in moderate temperature (220º C) for 20 to 30 minutes per 500g.

While cooking pour some cold white wine over the roasting leg. Use also the sauce that is being formed to cover the leg of lamb from time to time.

Place the leg of lamb on a platter and serve accompanied with peas, potatoes and carrots previously boiled and sautéed in butter.


Christmas Dreams - Sonhos de Natal

Christmas Dreams - Sonhos de Natal

Rich Pumpkin Pudding

300 g sugar
2 dl water
250 grams of almond kernels
30 g margarine
1 small bread
1 egg + 5 yolk
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tbsp (heaped) of pumpkin jam

Bring to boil sugar with water and simmer gently for 10 minutes.

Add the peeled and finely grated almonds, margarine and crumbling bread.

Stir well and, outside the heat, add the egg yolks, cinnamon and pumpkin jam, mixing all very well.

Pour the mixture into a pudding vessel after caramelized in advance and bake in the oven inside a container with water.

Christmas Dreams

5 dl water

1/4 cup or 50 g margarine

1 lemon peel

1 cinnamon stick

3 tablespoons sugar

1 1/4 cup or 250 g flour

1/4 cup or 50 g cornstarch

5 eggs





Bring water to boil with the butter and the lemon peel.

Add a stick of cinnamon, a pinch of salt and sugar.

When boiling, remove the lemon peel and cinnamon stick and take it off the heat and add the flour with the cornstarch at once.

Beat energetically with a wooden spoon until the dough comes away from the bottom of the pan.

Continue to beat until the dough is almost cold.

Add the eggs (one at a time) while beating well and adding the next egg only when the previous one is completely absorbed by the mass.

Fry spoonfuls of dough in oil over medium heat turning the “dreams” and poking them with a knitting needle so that they become soft.

Serve sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon.


More Hubs about Portuguese cuisine:

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  • Best Portuguese Recipes - Fish Recipes

    This time I chose fish recipes mainly because Portugal was always a country with a large seacoast and a great tradition in sea fishing. Fish is still one of the main foods for Portuguese people who consume in average ten times as much fish as they eat



Ricardo Nunes (author) from Portugal on March 07, 2011:

Hi Loren, I`m glad you like it and I`m sure you`ll also love those meals ;)

After you try them don`t forget to come back here and share your experience with us. Take care :)

Loren's Gem from Istanbul, Turkey on March 07, 2011:

I've never been so familiar with Portugese cuisine till now - and I would be glad to explore your traditional Portuguese recipes. That lamb dish seems easy to prepare and looks delicious! Would like to try making that one for dinner especially in this cold winter. Thanks for the great share! :-)

Ricardo Nunes (author) from Portugal on December 04, 2010:

I`m glad you liked it and I hope you`ll also love those meals. Perhaps the most common Christmas meal here in Portugal has been the baked cod with cabbage and potatoes. But I still prefer the ones above :)

Paula from The Midwest, USA on December 04, 2010:

I am excited to try some of these Portuguese recipes. I love to know what people's favorite recipes are. I especially want to try the Christmas Dreams and the pie with Cod in it. That sounds so interesting!

Ricardo Nunes (author) from Portugal on November 30, 2010:

Hi agusfanani, thanks for commenting. Hope you`ll enjoy the Spring leg of lamb ;)

agusfanani from Indonesia on November 22, 2010:

Wow, those are great recipes and the materials are halal too. I should try spring leg of lamb, that one is the most mouthwatering.

Ricardo Nunes (author) from Portugal on November 18, 2010:

Thanks Samiaali, I`m sure you`ll love it :)

samiaali on November 18, 2010:

These recipes look fantastic. Makes me want to try them right away. I will try the Christmas Pie first! Thank you! :)

Ricardo Nunes (author) from Portugal on November 18, 2010:

Hey everybody, thanks for stopping by and commenting... much appreciated :)

I`m glad you all liked it and I will be looking for your reviews after you tried them yourselves ;)

Susan Zutautas from Ontario, Canada on November 18, 2010:

I just have to try that lamb recipe !

Micky Dee on November 18, 2010:

Awesomely wonderful! And yes, I'm hungry!

Hmrjmr1 from Georgia, USA on November 17, 2010:

Love the lamb and dreams recipes will definitely do these this year! Thanks!

Maria Alicia Cardenas from Spain on November 17, 2010:

delicious recipes!!

Merle Ann Johnson from NW in the land of the Free on November 17, 2010:

Christmas Dreams Look good to me...thanks for presenting us with these...sooo when do we eat???:O) Hugs G-Ma

Candie V from Whereever there's wolves!! And Bikers!! Cummon Flash, We need an adventure! on November 17, 2010:

The lamb sounds amazing! I've book marked this for later!

Thanks Funride!

eovery from MIddle of the Boondocks of Iowa on November 17, 2010:

I had bacalhua for Christmas twice when I was there. Oh I miss it. Our bacalhua is not salted but is fresh. It is not the same.

How about a recipe for Bolas de Berlim, Eu amo as Pastelarias.

Keep on hubbing!

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