Idées de recettes pour un menu de Noël portugais

Recipe ideas for a Portuguese Christmas menu

Portuguese gastronomy is an integral part of Portugal's culture. The country's history, the great Portuguese discoveries and Portugal's close ties with countries with incredible flavors make Portuguese cuisine one of the most eclectic yet rich in ancient heritage.

In addition to the ideas below, if you want to practice Portuguese cooking, take our recipe book (translated into French or English)

We find in this gastronomy the influence of the Atlantic Ocean, with many sea products (fish, shellfish), Mediterranean traditions (bread, wine, olive oil, citrus fruits) and flavors brought back from former colonies (spices).

Cod, potato, cinnamon or brown sugar are essential ingredients to prepare a typical Portuguese Christmas meal. To make your taste buds travel on December 25, from appetizer to dessert, here are our recipe ideas for a 100% Portuguese Christmas menu.


★ Christmas menu in Portugal : Appetizers.

The Portuguese love to eat dishes to share as appetizers. Served as tapas, they are called "pesticos". In our blog, you will find some examples of Portuguese recipes of petiscos to surprise your guests at the appetizer .

Pimentos Padron


Camarões à la guilho

Peixinhos da horta


★ The cheese platter

In Portugal, cheese is best enjoyed as an aperitif. Melted and spread on bread or cubed and eaten with a toothpick, the favorite cheeses of the Portuguese are often creamy cheeses made from goat or sheep milk. Compose your Cheese platter with Azeitão, Rabaçal and Serra da Estrela cheeses, which are typical Portuguese exceptions. For even more taste, add a cherry jam and a bit of bell pepper salt to your platter.

The famous Azeitão, sheep's milk cheese, made in the Lisbon region

Don't hesitate to present your Portuguese cheeses on a typical Portuguese platter.


★ Cestinhas com salpicão

To be made in a mini version, the cestinhas com salpicão are small baskets of puff pastry filled with an original chicken salad.


  • Puff pastry of about 500 g
  • 180 g chicken breast
  • 2 cooked carrots
  • 180 g celery
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 90 g chopped green olives
  • 3 tablespoons of raisins
  • 1 green apple
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped parsley
  • 200 g of mayonnaise.


  1. Cut all vegetables and chicken into small cubes.
  2. Cut the puff pastry into 10 cm x 10 cm squares.
  3. Shape the pastry squares into pasta molds and place them on an ovenproof baking sheet. Bake in a preheated oven at 200 ° C until the baskets are golden brown.
  4. Turn out and set aside.
  5. In a bowl, mix all ingredients. Season with salt and parsley and add the mayonnaise.
  6. Fill the baskets with the salad. It's ready to go!


★ Christmas starters in Portugal

The typical Portuguese gastronomy is often composed of sea products. For example, Portuguese appetizers are often cooked with cod or crab. Here are two typical Portuguese recipes that you will love to try at Christmas.

★ Pasteis de Bacalhau

Ingredients (6 people)

  • 500 g of cod
  • 500 g of potatoes
  • 2 onions
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons of paprika
  • parsley, pepper, salt
  • Frying oil.


  1. After desalting the cod overnight, boil the potatoes and mashed potato them.
  2. Cook the cod in boiling water for 15 minutes, then crumble it. Add it to the mashed potatoes.
  3. Add the egg, finely chopped onion and spices and fry the acras into small quenelles. Place on paper towels and enjoy!

★ Sapateira recheada

It is a Portuguese specialty, often offered in "marisqueiras" (restaurants specialized in seafood). The stuffed crab will be perfect on your Christmas table.


  • 1 crab (preferably female)
  • salt, pepper, parsley
  • 4 tbsp. mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons of pickles
  • 1 tablespoon of port wine
  • 2 boiled eggs
  • Cocktail sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of mustard
  • Toast or bread (to serve)


  1. Boil a pot of salted water and add the crab. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes and set aside.
  2. Once cold, peel the crab.
  3. Chop up the pickles, boiled eggs, two or three pieces of toast or bread and the parsley. Add this to the crab stuffing and mix together.
  4. Add the mayonnaise, mustard, cocktail sauce and a spoonful of port wine. Adjust the seasoning and fill the crab shell with the stuffing. It is ready! Enjoy on bread.

★ Typical Christmas dishes in Portugal

If the tradition of Christmas in Portugal is to eat simple on the 24th, it is because the real Christmas meal takes place on December 25th. On this occasion, the Portuguese enjoy the famous stuffed turkey, which has become very common in recent years. However, there are still some traditional households that prepare the "Leitão assado" or roasted kid "à Transmontana" that comes from the Trás-os-Montes region.

Traditionally, the kid is cooked over a wood fire, but baking it in a stoneware dish does not alter the qualities of this delicious dish.


★ Christmas desserts: Portuguese recipes

Portuguese gastronomy is very rich in desserts. However, at Christmas, the tradition is that the 13 desserts are placed on the table. Pão de Ló, Pasteis de Nata or the famous Bolo Rei are on every table in Portugal!

To make a success of these desserts, you will need the recipes that you can find in our blog "Discover the 13 desserts of the Portuguese Christmas" and some typical Portuguese utensils that are often not found outside Portugal.

Pasteis de Nata Molds

Portuguese pudding mold

Pão de Lo mold

Funil a Fio de ovos

For those who want to go even further in their culinary discoveries, feel free to browse our recipe book on Madeira cuisine.

Luisa Paixao

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