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Empadas de bacalhau

Learn how to make these traditional Portuguese empadas de bacalhau with a creamy filling of codfish

by Maria
Empadas de bacalhau

Empadas de bacalhau are a typical dish of Portuguese cuisine, which consists of small pies filled with shredded cod and other ingredients, such as onion, garlic, olives, cream or bread. The pies can be made with homemade dough or puff pastry, and can be served hot or cold.

Empadas de bacalhau are a way of using up leftover cooked or roasted cod, which is a fish very consumed in Portugal. The cod is soaked to remove excess salt and then cooked in water or milk. After cooking, the cod is shredded and mixed with the other ingredients of the filling.

To make the dough for the pies, you can use all-purpose flour, margarine at room temperature, olive oil, water and egg. The dough should be kneaded until smooth and then rolled out with a rolling pin on a floured surface. With a round cutter or a glass, cut out circles of dough that serve to line the pie molds.

To make the filling for the pies, you can sauté onion and garlic chopped in olive oil and then add the shredded cod. In a separate bowl, mix milk, crumbled bread crumbs and flour. This mixture is added to the cod sauté and seasoned with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Let it cook until thickened and then remove from heat.

To assemble the pies, place a tablespoon of filling on each circle of dough that lines the molds. On top of the filling you can put pitted black olives or peeled cooked shrimp. With another circle of dough cover the filling and press well on the edges to seal the pies. Brush the surface of the pies with beaten egg and bake in preheated oven until golden.

They can be served as an appetizer or as a main course accompanied by a green salad and are also a great option to take in your lunch box or for a picnic. Empadinhas de bacalhau are a delight that pleases all palates!

Empadas de bacalhau

Empadas de bacalhau

Serves: 10 Prep Time: Cooking Time:
Nutrition facts: 243 calories 13 grams fat
Rating: 5.0/5
( 1 voted )


  • 17 ounces of cod loins
  • 7 ounces of butter
  • 1.7 ounces of carrots
  • 1.7 ounces of celery stick
  • 2 onions
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon of pennyroyal leaves
  • 1 egg
  • 6 oz of milk
  • 6 oz of cream
  • puff pastry
  • salt
  • black pepper



  • Put 2 ounces of butter in a pan and add the bones and cod shavings; cook over medium heat until the bottom of the pan is toasted; add 1 julienne onion, chopped carrots and celery, and 1 minced garlic clove; sauté for 3 minutes.
  • Add the milk and cream to the previous preparation and cook over low heat for 30 minutes. Chop the other onion and garlic clove; Melt 2 ounces of butter in a pan and sauté the onion and garlic until translucent.
  • Add the raw shredded cod and sauté for 4 minutes; add the flour.
  • Filter the milk preparation and add it to the shredded codfish; cook until thickened. Season the mixture with salt, black pepper, vinegar and pennyroyal leaves; Reserve.
  • Grease 10 patty molds with butter; line with puff pastry; fill up to 2/3 of the shape; cover with puff pastry and with the help of a fork press on the edge of the mold; cut off excess dough.
  • Make a small hole in the center of the dough topping; lightly scratch the frosting diagonally with a knife and brush with the beaten egg.
  • Bake in a preheated oven at 390 ºF for 7 to 10 minutes. The cod pies are ready!


  • For the dough, you can use butter or margarine at room temperature in cubes. You can also use the broth from cooking the codfish instead of water to give more flavor to the dough.
  • For the filling, you can use sliced or chopped onion . You can also add other ingredients to the filling, such as chopped tomato, thinly sliced potatoes, grated carrot, peas or corn.
  • To vary the flavor of the pies, you can season the filling with different spices, such as black peppercorns, nutmeg, chopped parsley or cilantro.

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