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Feijoada (Brazilian Black Bean Stew)

Brazilian Feijoada is a black bean and pork stew that is often served with farofa, toasted cassava flour. This comfort food is sometimes called the national dish of Brazil.  

Feijoada, Brazilian black bean stew served with farofa and orange slicesFeijoada, a popular Brazilian dish, owes its name to its main ingredient, black beans (feijão). It is a rich stew traditionally made from different parts of the pig, such as feet, ears, and bacon, as well as other smoked meats. (But don’t worry, I have some substitutions for you if you’re not up to cooking with pig ears and feet!)

Brazilian Cuisine

Brazilian cuisine is very regionalized, each region has its own typical dishes. This is the result of a mixture of different European, Indigenous, and African ingredients and influences.

In the northeast region of Brazil, there is a great influence of African cuisine.

In the northern region, there is a greater influence of the Natives, where the use of cassava and fish come in to play in many of their dishes.

Farofa, fried cassava flour with bacon

In the southeast region of Brazil, there are diverse dishes linked to the Bandeirantes (bandits) that include ingredients like corn, beans, and pork.

In the south region, Italian cuisine has a great influence on dishes such as polenta and pizza. And we also see the influence of German cuisine.

History of Feijoada

Some historians say that feijoada (pronounced fay-jwa-da) is a dish that was created by African slaves. After feasts given by the owners of the plantations, the slaves would pick up the leftovers and mix them with black beans, making a new stew.

This new dish they served with farofa (fried cassava flour with bacon) and orange slices.

Feijoada, Brazilian black bean and pork stew with farofa, toasted cassava flour in a bowl over rice

Other historians say that a similar dish was consumed in the north of Portugal, where its main ingredients were white or red beans and pork.

Whichever the story is, feijoada is a symbol of the fusion within Brazilian gastronomic culture. It is a Brazilian icon.

When to Eat Feijoada

Feijoada is usually eaten on Wednesdays and Saturdays when restaurants traditionally offer it on their menus and families prepare it in social gatherings.

Being a low-cost dish, Feijoada is consumed by all social classes.

In some parts of Brazil, feijoada is served during the winter months. However, in Rio de Janeiro this dish is served all year around.

How to Serve Brazilian Feijoada

If you are up for a challenge, serve a feijoada completa (complete feijoada) meal.

Feijoada completa starts with fried cassava as an appetizer.

Feijoada, Brazilian black bean stew served with farofa and orange slices

Then, the main dish, feijoada, white rice, fried plantains, farofa (fried cassava flour with bacon), and sliced oranges.

Drinks can be fresh juice, caipirinhas, or beer.

To finish up, serve some fruit compote or this simple and delicious Romeu e Julieta.

What is Feijoada Made Of?

Traditional feijoada is made with pig’s ear, feet, and snout.

For our recipe, we are using bacon, pork ribs and 2 kinds of sausages, Mexican chorizos, and linguica.

Slab bacon, diced on a cutting board

Our Feijoada Recipe

This is such a great dish for big groups. It is easy to make and very cheap.

It is very important that the beans are soaked overnight. You can very well use canned beans too.

Feijoada can also be made in a slow cooker. After sauteing the vegetables and browning the meat, add it to the slow cooker and cook on low for 10 hours.

While making farofa to serve with feijoada is an extra step, it is so worth it. I definitely recommend you serve this feijoada with farofa. 

Any leftovers, I like to freeze in individual portions for easy reheating. The stew keeps well in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Feijoada, Brazilian black bean stew served with farofa and orange slices

 

Feijoada, Brazilian black bean stew served with farofa and orange slices
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4.7 from 20 votes

Brazilian Feijoada (Black Bean Stew)

Brazilian Feijoada is a black bean and pork stew that is often served with farofa, toasted cassava flour.
**Since we're using dried beans, you will need to soak them overnight before cooking the stew. **
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time2 hrs 30 mins
Total Time2 hrs 45 mins
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Brazilian
Keyword: beans, pork
Servings: 10 people
Author: Lizet Bowen

Ingredients

  • 1 pound dry black beans (soaked overnight)*
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 ounces slab bacon (rind removed), diced
  • 1 pound pork ribs, cut into individual ribs
  • 2 Mexican chorizo sausages, sliced
  • 1 smoked sausage, such as linguica or kielbasa, sliced
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 bay leaves
  • water
  • white rice (for serving)
  • farofa (for serving)

Instructions

  • In a large bowl with water, soak beans overnight.
  • When you are ready to make your stew, in a large heavy-bottom soup pot, over medium heat, add the oil and bacon. Cook until crisp and transfer to a plate.
  • Use the same saucepan to brown ribs and sausages in batches. Set aside.
  • If needed, add more oil to the pan. On medium-high, sauté onion and garlic until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and cook for another 3 minutes.
  • Drain and rinse the soaked beans. Add them to the pot along with the ribs, bacon, sausages, salt, pepper, bay leave. Cover with water (about 8 cups).
  • Bring the mixture to a boil and reduce the heat to low. Cover and let it cook for 2 to 2 and a half hours, or until the beans are soft.
  • If the stew is too liquidy, uncover the saucepan and continue to cook for another 20 minutes to allow some of the liquid to evaporate.
  • Serve with white rice and sprinkle some farofa on top.

Notes

*  1 pound dry beans = 2 cups dry beans = 6 cups cooked beans (Feel free to substitute drained, canned beans if desired.)

 

 

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Lizet Bowen

Lizet is Bolivian and lives in Paraguay. Through friends and travel she has developed her love of food. From Africa to Asia, Europe to the Americas, there is always something new to try when you come to dinner. You can find more of Lizet's tasty creations on her website ChipaByTheDozen.com. You can also find her on Instagram and Facebook.

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Davey Houston

Wednesday 24th of March 2021

Dear Sarah I don't have any bay leaves can I still make the stew? No access all out of money.

Sarah Ozimek

Friday 26th of March 2021

Hi Davey. You can omit the bay leaves in this recipe if you don't have them. They just help add another layer of flavor. Enjoy!

Mimi

Sunday 7th of March 2021

Hi.. black bean is same as a black soy bean. ??

Sarah Ozimek

Tuesday 9th of March 2021

Hi Mimi. No, not black soy beans, just standard black beans.

Christine

Monday 25th of January 2021

I have visited Brazil several times, love the food. My last visit, a colleague of mine too me to a local restaurant on a Saturday, lunch hour. We had Feijoada, it was wonderful. and her Uncle who has won Carnival two times, was playing for the visitors salsa music. It was a magical day !!. Chris

Sarah Ozimek

Tuesday 26th of January 2021

That is such a lovely memory! Thanks so much for sharing!

Gla Oak

Sunday 10th of January 2021

It is a very good dish, but it does not taste like our feijoada. The Mexican chorizo changes the final flavor. It needs to be replaced by something else.

Sarah Ozimek

Monday 11th of January 2021

I'm sure every family has their own way of making it. What do you typically use in yours?

Chrysovalantis Georgiou

Wednesday 2nd of December 2020

Question: we don't cook the beans separately? We just cook them once with all the ingredients?

Sarah Ozimek

Friday 4th of December 2020

Yes, the beans will cook in the stew. Enjoy!

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