The national dish of Brazil is Feijoada. Eaten daily in some households, this highly nutritious, comforting stew is made up of beans, kale and cassava. This is traditionally a meat dish, but can made vegetarian as well.

There are many versions of this Feijoada, but this is my simplified version which can be easily made in Canada. Feijoada is best eaten hot and served with farofa (similar to toasted breadcrumbs), sautéed kale, hot sauce and rice.


  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large smoked sausage, Brazilians use chorizo, sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 400g smoked bacon, soaked overnight and cubed
  • 500g baby back spareribs (smoked will bring out the best flavour), cut into individual ribs
  • 500g dried black beans, soaked overnight and drained
  • 10 cups water, approximately
  • Kale, 1 medium bunch, washed and roughly chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • To serve, fresh rice, Brazilian hot sauce and sautéed kale or other greens


Heat a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add the oil and sauté the onions and garlic until translucent. Add the sausage and cook for about 4 minutes to get a nice colour on the meat. Add the smoked bacon, ribs, beans and water. Throw in the bay leaves. Bring the liquid to a boil before reducing to a medium simmer. Simmer for about 60-90 minutes until the beans are tender or use a crockpot and cook accordingly. Season with salt and pepper before serving with sautéed kale, rice and topping with Brazilian hot sauce.

For the sautéed kale, add 1 Tbsp. olive oil to a medium pan. When hot, add in garlic and kale. Lightly toss until the kale wilts down, about 3-5 minutes. Set aside.

Nutrition facts per serving: Calories 359; Fat 16.8g; Carbs 30.5g; Protein 21.8g.

Click to view the Brazilian Inspired Recipes article.

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