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Pao de Queijo is a traditional peasants' bread from Minas-Gerais state in Brazil, but is now a delight countrywide. Last time I visited Brazil I was surprised to find cheese bread at the airport, offered along with American-brand pizza, though with a Brazilian brand that reminds us of this old Mineira tradition. (Minas-Gerais means the general mines, as this part of Brazil was the first where rich mines of gold, diamonds, emeralds, and other precious stones were found. It is also where one of the world's richest iron ore deposits are located.)

Recipe Summary

20 mins
30 mins
10 mins
1 hr
4 dozen


Original recipe yields 48 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

  • Pour tapioca starch into a wide bowl.

  • Combine 1 cup water, vegetable oil, and salt in a saucepan; bring to a boil. Slowly pour over the tapioca, mixing with a spoon until evenly combined. Let cool slightly, about 10 minutes.

  • Stir Mexican cheese blend and eggs into the tapioca mixture. Knead dough until soft and sticky, 5 to 10 minutes. Add water, 1 teaspoon at a time, if dough seems dry.

  • Drop spoonfuls of dough 1 inch apart on the baking sheets.

  • Bake in the preheated oven until lightly golden, about 25 minutes.

Cook's Notes:

Substitute manioc, cassava, or yucca starch (such as Yoki(R)) for the tapioca if desired.

You can substitute coconut oil, bacon fat, lard, or ghee for the vegetable oil, just know it can affect the flavor profile.

You can use grated Parmesan cheese to add a little bite.

Nutrition Facts

74 calories; protein 1.1g; carbohydrates 9.8g; fat 3.4g; cholesterol 14.2mg; sodium 240.7mg. Full Nutrition