Brazilian Christmas Food

La cena de Navidad en Brasil: Pavo, arroz, bacalao, frutas, rabanada, salgadinhos, nueces, pudín.

Hi folks! What’s up? In our Dica today we are going to talk about the Brazilian Christmas food, and learn what we eat for a Brazilian Christmas dinner. Do you think the traditional Brazilian Christmas dinner will be different from your own? What about our dessert? Do you know what we have as a beverage to accompany this meal? Let’s see the most common dishes on our table and learn more about each of them. I am sure after this class, you’re mouth will be watering.

Learning About Traditional Brazilian Christmas Food

Example of Brazilian Christmas food: Arroz de Natal. Christmas rice.

Arroz de natal or Arroz Natalino is a must have in the Christmas table. It goes well with almost all other dishes. What makes it so special is the number of ingredients that goes into the rice such as peas, corn, mushroom, ham, carrots and of course, raisins. This is a typical Brazilian Christmas rice and everyone loves it!

Example of Brazilian Christmas food. Roasted chicken.

Frango Assado is a great substitute for the turkey if you want to save some money! You will find lots of Chesters in the supermarket which is the name we give to a bigger chicken, because they have a big chest. It doesn’t matter which bird you choose to eat, this is one of the most important Brazilian Christmas dishes during the holiday!

Example of Brazilian Christmas food. Christmas Turkey.

Peru de Natal is also part of the Brazilian Christmas dinner, but as we said, some Brazilian families prefer the Chester because it’s cheaper and easier to prepare.

Example of Brazilian Christmas food. O pernil.

Pernil is the name we use to refer to the roasted leg of an animal and for Christmas dinner we usually cook pork. A good suggestion, if you are preparing it, is to marinate if in white wine before baking it in the oven.

Example of Brazilian Christmas food: O bacalhau.

Bacalhau is the main ingredient of different dishes you’ll find at Christmas time. Empadão de bacalhau, bolinho de bacalhau, bacalhoada, it doesn’t matter what you are cooking. As long as you are using bacalhau, people will love it, and it definitely is considered a traditional Brazilian Christmas dinner.

Example of Brazilian Christmas food. Fruits.

Frutas are included in the Brazilian Christmas meal of every family. It’s a hot country, they are really cheap and delicious. So, why not?

 Example of Brazilian Christmas food. A rabanada

Rabanada is one of the really special dishes on the Christmas table. It’s a special and sweet Brazilian Christmas bread. It’s only prepared at Christmas time and if you try to make it in any other time of the year, forget it, it will just taste different. Magic? Maybe!

 Example of Brazilian Christmas food. Os salgadinhos.

Every Brazilian party must have salgadinhos, and the traditional Brazilian Christmas dinner is no different. Prepare lots of them because they are going to be the first thing to disappear from the Christmas table!

Walnuts in Portuguese: Nozes

There many types of Nozes in Brazil but the one you are looking at are walnuts. Just remember to bring a nutcracker or you won’t eat any.

 Cooked chestnuts in Portuguese: Castanhas cozidas.

If you are preparing Castanhas cozidas, make sure to buy Castanhas Portuguesas. They are rich in vitamin B and C and also a great source of protein.

Pudding in Portuguese: O pudim.

Pudim is one of the most desired Brazilian Christmas desserts. It can be a Pudim de Leite or a Pudim de Pão. Both are easy to prepare and even easier to eat. If you are in love with Brazilian Sweets then you’ll have to bring Manjar to the Christmas dinner. At the end of the meal you’ll find yourself enjoying this delicious coconut pudim.

 Example of Brazilian Christmas food. O chocottone.

Another very common sweet dish that we have for our Brazilian Christmas dinner is chocottone. It’s like a light Brazilian Christmas sweet bread with chocolate chips. We also have a panettone which is the same thing but with dried fruit.

There are still many other dishes on a Brazilian table, but these are some of the most typical ones. The Christmas Dinner is very important and, usually, starts at midnight, after we wish Merry Christmas to our friends and family. It’s also very common in Brazil, after we eat a little of our own dinner, that neighbors visit each other to eat a little of their culinary delights as well. This represents the bond of friendship Brazilians have.

Let’s Listen and Pronounce!

Would you like to prepare any of this traditional Brazilian Christmas food? Click on the links below and check out the recipe:

Arroz de Natal
Peru de Natal
Frango Assado
Castanha Cozida

Exercises About Brazilian Christmas Food!

Complete the sentences with the words below:

rabanada / arroz natalino / frango assado / salgadinhos / nozes

  1. Minha sobremesa de natal favorita é a __________.
  2. Eu não sei como quebrar as __________ sem ajuda de alguma ferramenta!
  3. Os __________ são muito populares no Brasil, inclusive no Natal.
  4. O __________ é como um arroz comum, mas tem outros complementos como milho e presunto.
  5. Já que o peru é muito caro, o brasileiro decidiu inovar e comer __________ na ceia de Natal!

And what are the Brazilian Christmas dinner beverages? We typically drink soda, water, juice, and of course wine! That’s it, friends! Now we know a little more about the Brazilian Christmas food, come to our classes and talk about culture and traditions with our teachers! How is the Christmas Dinner in your country? What are the most typical dishes? Is there any big traditions for the Dinner?

We, from Rio & Learn, wish you all a Merry Christmas!

Ler esta Dica em português      Leer esta Dica en Español
Clique nos links abaixo para ver mais Dicas relacionadas:
Family in Portuguese
Rio de Janeiro New Years
Snacks in Brazil
Folia de Reis


  1. rabanada
  2. nozes
  3. salgadinhos
  4. arroz natalino
  5. frango assado

This post is also available in: English Português (Portuguese) Español (Spanish)

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