More of a puff than a bread, these light, cheesy bites originated in the central Brazilian state of Minas Gerais, but have since become ubiquitous throughout the country. They are traditionally served for breakfast, as an afternoon snack, and are also eaten as an accompaniment to any main meal, so consider pairing this recipe with some barbecued meat.






Skill level

Average: 2.5 (235 votes)


  • 60 ml (¼ cup) vegetable oil
  • 180 ml (¾ cup) milk
  • 330 g (3 cups) tapioca flour
  • 80 g (1 cup) finely grated parmesan
  • 2 eggs


Vinaigrette salsa

  • 60 ml (¼ cup) white vinegar
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) olive oil
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • ½ cup mint leaves, chopped
  • 1 vine-ripened tomato, seeded, finely chopped
  • 1 small red capsicum, finely chopped
  • 1 Lebanese cucumber, seeded, finely chopped
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped


Lima bean dip

  • 2 x 400 g cans lima beans (see Note), drained, rinsed
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped coriander
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) olive oil
  • 1½ tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 1 lime, zested, juiced

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Marinating time 1 hour

To make vinaigrette salsa, place all ingredients in a bowl and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside to marinate for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, to make lima bean dip, process all ingredients in a food processor until smooth and combined. Season and set aside.

Preheat oven to 180°C and line 2 large oven trays with baking paper. Combine oil, milk and 1½ tsp salt in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Sift flour into an electric mixer. Gradually beat in hot milk mixture and parmesan until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat until well combined – the mixture will be very runny.

Working quickly, spoon heaped tablespoonfuls of batter onto prepared oven trays and bake for 25 minutes or until puffed and golden on top.

To serve, halve each pao de queijo then spread with lima bean dip and drizzle with vinaigrette salsa.


• Substitute cannellini beans, kidney beans or chickpeas.



Photography Chris Chen


As seen in Feast magazine, March 2014, Issue 29.