Feijoada (Portuguese pronunciation: [fe(j)ʒuˈadɐ]) is a stew of beans with beef and pork. The name feijoada comes from feijão, 'bean' in Portuguese.[4] It is widely prepared in the Portuguese-speaking world,[5] with slight variations.[6][2]

Brazilian-style feijoada with common side dishes
Place of originPortugal,[1] Brazil,[2][3] Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea Bissau, Mozambique, Sao Tome and Principe, Goa, Macau, East Timor
Main ingredientsbeans, beef, pork

The basic ingredients of feijoada are beans and fresh pork[7] or beef. In Brazil, it is usually made with black beans. The stew is best prepared over low heat in a thick clay pot.

It is usually served with rice and assorted sausages such as chouriço, morcela (blood sausage), farinheira, and others, which may or may not be cooked in the stew.

Brazilian feijoada

Brazilian feijoada made with black beans
A plate of feijoada in Minas Gerais with traditional accompaniments: rice, fried collard greens (couve), cassava flour crisps (biscoito de polvilho), orange slices, vinagrete (a mix of olive oil, alcohol vinegar, tomatoes, onions and sometimes bell peppers), and cassava flour (farinha).

Many modern variants of the dish are based on feijoada recipes popularized in the Brazilian regions of Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Recife, and Salvador. In Brazil, feijoada is considered a national dish.

First documented in Recife, State of Pernambuco, feijoada has been described as a national dish of Brazil, especially of Rio de Janeiro, as other parts of Brazil have other regional dishes.[8][9] The Brazilian version of feijoada (feijoada completa)[10] is prepared with black beans,[7] a variety of salted pork or beef products, such as pork[7] trimmings (ears, tail, feet),[7] bacon, smoked pork ribs, and at least two types of smoked sausage and jerked beef (loin and tongue). The final dish has the beans and meat pieces barely covered by a dark purplish-brown broth. The taste is strong, moderately salty but not spicy, dominated by black bean and meat stew flavors. It is customary to serve it with white rice and oranges, the latter to help with digestion, as well as couve, a side dish of stir-fried, chopped collard greens, and a crumbly topping called farofa, made of manioc flour.

As a celebratory dish, feijoada is traditionally served on Saturday afternoons or Sunday lunch and intended to be a leisurely midday meal. It is meant to be enjoyed throughout the day and not eaten under rushed circumstances. The meal is usually eaten among extended family and paired with an event like watching a soccer game or other social event. Because of the dish's heavy ingredients and rich flavors, feijoada is viewed as Brazilian soul food. In the city of São Paulo, feijoada is a typical dish in working-class restaurants on Wednesdays and Saturdays, mainly in the commercial area. In Rio de Janeiro, restaurants traditionally serve it on Fridays.[11] The dish is normally served with a choice among a selection of meats, e.g. pork, bacon, pig ears, pig feet, to fulfill the customer's needs. Other variations of feijoada also exist, such as low fat or vegetarian versions.[12]


Meat (pork) stew with vegetables can be traced to ancient Roman cuisine.[13] The dish spread with the Roman Empire and gave rise to dishes such as the French cassoulet, the Milanese cassoeula, the Romanian fasole cu cârnați, the fabada asturiana from Northwestern Spain, the Spanish cocido madrileño and olla podrida, and the feijoada of Minho Province in Northern Portugal.[13][14]

Black beans were domesticated by indigenous peoples in the Americas.[15] Cheap and easy to cultivate, they became a staple among European settlers in Brazil. Both the upper classes and the poor ate black beans, but the upper classes particularly enjoyed them with an assortment of meat and vegetables, similar to feijoada. In contrast, the poor and enslaved usually ate a mixture of black beans and manioc flour.[16]

The culinary historian Jessica B. Harris has compared Feijoada to American soul food. She has also linked the use of mixed meats, slow-cooking, and the accompaniment of collard greens to the traditions of enslaved African people.[17]

Regional variations

The type of bean used in feijoada varies by region. While in the southeast, including Rio de Janeiro and Minas Gerais, feijoada is typically prepared with black beans, in Bahia, Sergipe and Goiás brown or red beans are more commonly used.[17][4]

In most of Brazil, feijoada consists of only beans and meat, but in Bahia and Sergipe it is common to add vegetables including plantains, kale, potatoes, carrots, cabbage, and pumpkins, usually near the end of the cooking process, when they are cooked from beneath by the vapors of the stew.[4]

In 1977, Chico Buarque released a song called "Feijoada Completa". The song's lyrics describe the ingredients, the method of preparation, and a typical way in which feijoada is consumed.[18]

Feijoada was featured on the Netflix TV series Street Food volume 2, which focused on Latin American street foods.[19]

See also


  1. "How to Make Feijoada, Brazil's National Dish, Including a Recipe From Emeril Lagasse". Smithsonian Magazine. Retrieved 2022-05-26.
  2. Javier A. Galván (2020). Modern Brazil. ABC-CLIO. p. 313. ISBN 9781440860324.
  3. "My favorite Thanksgiving side is also the easiest: Brazilian-style collard greens". Today. Retrieved 2022-05-26.
  4. Brown, Sarah (March 17, 2017). "A Brief Introduction To Feijoada, Brazil's National Dish". Retrieved July 27, 2021.
  5. "Feijoada Recipe - How to Make Portuguese Feijoada | Hank Shaw". 5 December 2013.
  6. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-06-02. Retrieved 2016-02-09.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. Multicultural America: An Encyclopedia of the Newest Americans - Google Books p. 180.
  8. "A feijoada não é invenção brasileira" (in Portuguese). Superinteressante. Retrieved 26 June 2017.
  9. "O Carapuceiro (jornal)" (in Portuguese). Fundaj. Retrieved 26 June 2017.
  10. "Feijoada completa". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 17 December 2020.
  11. Hinchberger, Bill (2014). National Geographic Traveler: Brazil. National Geographic Society. p. viii. ISBN 9781426211645. national dish of Brazil black beans pork Friday.
  12. Fajans, Jane (2013-07-18). Brazilian Food: Race, Class and Identity in Regional Cuisines. A&C Black. ISBN 9780857850430.
  13. "A feijoada não é invenção brasileira. Todo mundo acha que os inventores foram os escravos. Mas o prato já era apreciado na Europa desde os tempos do Império Romano". Super Interessante. Retrieved 10 September 2016.
  14. "O mito da feijoada, cuja real origem é lusitana". UOL educação. Retrieved 10 September 2016.
  15. Bitocchi, Elena; Rau, Domenico; Bellucci, Elisa; Rodriguez, Monica; Murgia, Maria L.; Gioia, Tania; Santo, Debora; Nanni, Laura; Attene, Giovanna (2017-05-08). "Beans (Phaseolus ssp.) as a Model for Understanding Crop Evolution". Frontiers in Plant Science. 8: 722. doi:10.3389/fpls.2017.00722. ISSN 1664-462X. PMC 5420584. PMID 28533789.
  16. Elias, Rodrigo. "Feijoada: A short history of an edible institution." Flavors from Brazil. Brasília: Ministry of External Relations, 2008. "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-02-22. Retrieved 2016-02-23.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  17. Lam, Francis (May 27, 2015). "Brazilian Soul Food". New York Times. Retrieved August 5, 2021.
  18. Elisa Macedo Dekaney; Joshua A. Dekaney (2021). Music at the Intersection of Brazilian Culture; An Introduction to Music, Race, and Food. Taylor & Francis. pp. 96–97. ISBN 9780429537059.
  19. Anderson, John (16 July 2020). "'Street Food: Latin America' Review: A Platter of Vicarious Delights". The Wall Street Journal. Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Retrieved 9 September 2020.
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