4 Delicious Protein-Packed Brazilian Dishes That Pack a Punch

Are you a big fan of Brazilian foods and other Latin cuisines? Do you want to enjoy a Brazilian-style protein-filled diet? If you’re looking for recipes on Brazilian dishes, you came to the right place.

Protein-Packed Brazilian Recipes

The average person needs about 0.36 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight or 0.8 grams per kilogram. For a gym rat, you’re likely going to need more than that.

Below, we’ve got 4 Brazilian protein dishes that may be what you need for your active lifestyle.

1. Feijoada

Bowl and spoon full of feijoada

Feijoada is a traditional Brazilian black bean and meat stew and it is also happens to be the national dish of Brazil.

It has 51 grams of protein content per bowl (2 cups) per serving. You can add other meat like sausages according to your tastes. Here are the ingredients you’ll need:


  • 1 (12 oz.) dry black beans, soaked overnight
  • 1/2 cup green onions, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves, crushed
  • 2 ham hocks (smoked)
  • 1 1/2 cups of chopped onion
  • 1/2 lb. sliced bacon, thick and diced
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 8 oz. ham (diced)
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley (chopped)


  1. The first step is to heat oil in a large pot. Add and cook a 3/4 cup of chopped onion, green onions, and garlic until soft.
  2. Pour the soaked beans and fill with water to cover them by 3 inches.
  3. When they boil, reduce the heat and leave to simmer uncovered for 2 hours or until tender.
  4. Place the ham hocks in another pot with 1/4 chopped onions and submerge in water.
  5. Simmer then drain. Add this to the beans.
  6. Preheat oven to 375 F and then add remaining onion along with ham and bacon in a baking dish. Bake for 15 minutes.
  7. Drain the mixture and add to the beans. Season with bay leaves, coriander, salt, and pepper. Simmer uncovered for 30 minutes and serve.

2. Picanha

Protein Picanha Brazilian Steak
Picanha Steak

Brazilians love their picanha. It’s far and away the most popular cut of meat in Brazil. In the United States we refer to picanha as sirloin cap.

However, to truly enjoy it, you need to cook picanha like a Brazilian. Unlike in the United States where the fat is typically removed prior to cooking, in Brazil the the fat is left one until the steak has been cooked.

Picanha packs a whopping 32 grams of protein per 100 gram serving.


  • 2 to 3 lbs top sirloin cap
  • 2 tablespoons coarse sea salt
  • Olive oil


  1. Bring sirloin cap to room temperature
  2. Preheat the grill to high
  3. Score the fat cap on the picanha by making crisscross cuts into the fat covering one side of the picanha
  4. Cut with the grain into approximately 5 pieces
  5. Season liberally with sea salt on both side
  6. Place picanha on the grill and cook until the internal temperate reaches 80°F. Flip and cook the other side until the internal temperature reaches 125°F
  7. Remove from the heat
  8. Prepare the grill for searing
  9. Pat the steaks dry with a paper towel
  10. Rub each steak with olive oil
  11. Place each steak over high heat, let cook for 2 minutes, flip and let cook for 2 more minutes
  12. Remove from the heat and let it rest for a few minutes
  13. Serve with juices from meat

3. Salpicão de Frango

Salpicão de Frango served along with farofa in white trays
Brazil’s Salpicão de Frango (center)

One of the easiest Brazilian recipes is the Salpicão, a Brazilian version of a chicken salad. It has 17 grams of protein content per serving of 350 grams. Not quite the protein as our other Brazilian dishes. For this recipe, you’ll need:


  • 1 lb. shredded chicken, cooked
  • 8 oz. can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 cup pitted green olives, chopped
  • 3/4 cup golden raisins
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped well
  • 1/4 green apple, chopped well
  • 4 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 pinch white sugar
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley or to taste


  1. In a large bowl, mix the olives, celery, raisins, carrots, apple, and chicken. Stir cream and mustard in a separate cup. Season the mixture with sugar, salt, and pepper.
  2. Pour over the salad and mix. Next, season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with parsley to taste.
  3. Optional extras are lettuce leaves and watercress to place the salad on top of on a plate.
  4. Chill until serving time. Enjoy this Brazilian recipe with a Caipirinha cocktail.

4. Grilled Brazilian Beef Skirt Steak with Onion Marinade

Brazilian Beef Skirt Steak served with chimichurri sauce
Brazilian Beef Skirt Steak

Lean beef is one of the best natural protein sources. It has 36 grams of protein content per 100 grams. It’s also a great natural source of creatine for efficient muscle building and strength boosting.

Try this Brazilian protein recipe along with an optional chimichurri sauce.


For this recipe, you’ll need the following for the onion marinade:

  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • 1/4 cup and 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon water

For the skirt steak, gather:

  • 2 lbs. skirt steak
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Smoked sea salt
  • Ox’s Chimichurri (optional)


  1. Prepare the onion marinade by combining the onion, garlic, 1/4 cup of oil, and water in a blender.
  2. Blend the onion marinade until smooth. Pour the onion mixture to coat both sides of the skirt steak.
  3. Cover the meat well and chill for at least 4 hours.
  4. When cooking the steak, preheat the grill to medium-high.
  5. Remove the steak from the marinade and season with kosher salt and pepper on both sides.
  6. Transfer to the grill and cook until one side is well-seared.
  7. Flip and cook for about 2 more minutes.
  8. Remove the steak from the grill and let it rest for 2 minutes.
  9. Return the steak to the grill and cook per side for 1 more minute.
  10. Before slicing, let rest for 1-2 minutes out of the grill.
  11. Garnish with remaining oil and smoked sea salt and serve with the chimichurri.

Enjoy These Brazilian-Style Foods

Those are four delicious, protein-packed Brazilian recipes everybody should try.

But why stop here when there are more amazing Brazilian dishes to try? Feel free to explore our other guides to discover more, like 19 Best Brazilian Foods You Have To Try Right Away. Or this one revealing the secrets of Moqueca!

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