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Bacalhau Cozido com Batatas

Bacalhau Cozido com Batatas

by Maria Pacheco

Bacalhau, or salt cod, has been a staple in Portuguese cuisine for centuries. It is said that the Portuguese were the first to fish for cod in the waters around Newfoundland, Canada, and began salting and drying the fish to preserve it for the long journey back to Europe. This practice allowed for cod to become a major part of the Portuguese diet, as it could be stored for long periods of time without spoiling.

Bacalhau Cozido, or boiled salt cod, is a traditional Portuguese dish that is often served on special occasions, such as Christmas Eve. It is typically made by soaking the salt cod to remove excess salt, then boiling it with vegetables such as potatoes, carrots, and onions. The dish is typically flavored with olive oil, garlic, and herbs such as bay leaves.

The origins of Bacalhau Cozido are unclear, but it is likely that the dish has been a part of Portuguese cuisine for centuries. It is a popular and beloved dish that has been passed down through generations of Portuguese families, and remains an important part of the country’s culinary heritage to this day.

Here’s a suggested recipe for Bacalhau Cozido com Batatas.


  • 1 pound salted cod (bacalhau)
  • 2 large potatoes, peeled and sliced into rounds
  • 2 carrots, peeled and sliced into rounds
  • 2 onions, peeled and sliced into rounds
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • Mediterranean black olives
  • Green vegetables – usually Portuguese kale (couve), but other green can be used
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Eggs. Boil eggs either with the vegetables or apart. Usually one eg per person.


  1. Soak the salt cod in cold water for at least 24 hours, changing the water 2-3 times.

  2. Drain the cod and place it in a large pot with the potatoes, kale, carrots, onions, garlic, and enough water to cover.

  3. Bring the pot to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 20-25 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender and the cod is cooked through.

  4. Using a slotted spoon, remove the cod from the pot and place it on a plate. Remove any skin and bones, and flake the fish into large pieces.

  5. Arrange the vegetables and cod on a serving platter. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.

  6. Serve hot with crusty bread and enjoy!

Note: You can also add other vegetables, such as turnips or cabbage, to the pot for added flavor.


A Portuguese favorite way to eat bacalhau cozido to place in dish and cut in small chucks. Mix everything and sprinkle with olive oil. Eat until the cows (or the fish) come home!

Bom Proveito!


Joe Portugal - Chef