A bowl of feijoada with the traditional accompaniments

Feijoada recipe: Brazilian bean stew

The national dish of Brazil, feijoada, is a rich pork and bean stew created over 300 years ago by slaves in the southern part of the country.  Each region has its own spin on how to make Feijoada, but the stew is typically served over rice with fried greens and farofa (seasoned cassava flour) sprinkled on top with hot sauce to add some kick.  Oranges are served on the side and offer a sweet tang to the heavy stew.

My husband spent his childhood in Salvador, Brazil, and grew up loving things like guarana, bridgadeiros, and feijoada.  His family’s friend and housekeeper, Piedade, would often make feijoada for his siblings and him.  He loved to heap spoonfuls of farofa on top. 

To make the dish, various cuts of meat, along with beans, onions, garlic, and spices are simmered low and slow to blend the flavours into a thick soup.  Because of the time needed to make this dish, it is typically served during the Saturday midday meal with a nap promptly following!  Thankfully with slow cookers and pressure cookers, the average cook can replicate this traditional Brazilian dish without the all-day effort. You can also use canned beans in a pinch.


  • 900 g dried black beans, washed and soaked overnight
  • 450 g pork shoulder
  • 225g pork sausage
  • 450 g smoked pork sausage (such as kielbasa)
  • 4 slices thick-cut bacon
  • 1 ham hock
  • 3 tbsp cooking oil or rendered pork fat
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt and pepper


  1. 1
    Rinse the beans. Fill the Dutch oven with water to cover the beans. On the stove, bring beans to a boil and reduce heat to simmer for 2-3 hours, or until beans are soft.
  2. 2
    Dice the pork shoulder, and chop the smoked pork sausage.
  3. 3
    In a pan, sear all the meat and cook the bacon.
  4. 4
    Add the meat and ham hock to the beans.
  5. 5
    Chop the bacon and add to the beans.
  6. 6
    Sauté the onions and garlic twith he rendered pork fat. Ladle a spoonful of beans into the pan with the vegetables and mash. Add vegetable mix to the beans (this will thicken the stew).
  7. 7
    Add the bay leaf, and salt and pepper to taste.
  8. 8
    Boil for 10 minutes to bring all the flavours together.
  9. 9
    Remove ham hock before serving.
  10. 10
    Serve with hot rice, and top with farofa, fried greens, and hot sauce. Add a slice of orange on the side.

For a quicker meal

Use a slow cooker: Sear all meat and then vegetables. Place beans, meats, vegetables, and spices in the slow cooker and cover with water. Cook for 8 hours.

Use an instant pot: Sear all meat and then vegetables.  Place beans, meats,, vegetables, and spices in the pressure cooker and cover with water.  Set cook time for 40 minutes and all to naturally release (about 20 minutes).

Use canned beans: Rinse beans. Sear all meat and then vegetables in a Dutch oven.  Place all ingredients back into the Dutch oven with seasonings.  Bring to a boil.  Mash a ladle-full of beans to thicken if needed.

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Kyleen Bontrager

Author - Kyleen Bontrager

Kyleen is a passionate traveler who is also a wife, mother, and lover of tea time.  With a degree in Education, she has worked in the public and private sectors and has home-educated her children for 10 years. Kyleen has visited over 32 countries around the world and has lived in Greece, Togo, West Africa, and is currently based in the US. 

Her goal is to help others create memory-making experiences through multigenerational travel, and support parents as they teach their children to be curious global citizens

Last Updated 16 December 2022