March 24, 2021| By

Pao De Queijo - Brazilian-Inspired Cheese Bread

Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
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Pao de Queijo is a Brazilian Cheese Bread that's chewy, cheesy, and delicious! These cheesy bites are super easy to make and are so good that you'll be making this recipe over and over again!

Pao De Queijo on a wooden cheese board with fresh herbs in the background

I first had Pao De Queijo while visiting Rio De Janeiro, Brazil back in 2013. I did Semester at Sea and had been on a world tour, living my best life prior to graduating from college. There were so many memorable experiences that I had embarked along the way including amazing views, parties, excursions, etc that my wildest dreams could've never fathomed. Of those experiences, I can honestly say that of all of the places I've travelled, Pao De Queijo was one of the most memorable things I've ever eaten.

Pao de Queijo is one of those foods for when you eat them, you want like a million more. I'm the type of person who loves texture in food. I also love finger foods. So this cheesy bread was right up my alley. I purchased a little appetizer basket of them and ending up wanting more to take back to the ship!

Pao De Queijo on a wooden cheese board with fresh herbs in the background

Pao de queijo - a cheesy chewy delight

I made these Bacon Cheddar and Thyme Biscuits a few months ago. Upon first bite, it really got me thinking about Pao de Queijo. They were cheesy and soft and reminiscent of the Brazilian cheese bread but not the same texture. However, it sparked my curiosity to make Brazilian cheese bread.

I got some tapioca flour and some cheese and started experimenting. Also, don't be intimidated by tapioca flour. It's sold at most supermarkets, it's just a matter of finding it! Tapioca flour is also pretty inexpensive and won't break the bank! Anyway, I experimented with a lot of different cheeses and ended up mixing together three - cheddar, mozzarella, and parmesan.

Pao De Queijo on a wooden cheese board

what ingredients do I need?

  • Tapioca Flour - tapioca flour is what gives this delicious cheesy bread it's chewy texture.
  • Whole Milk - to provide texture and added flavor to the pao de queijo
  • Vegetable Oil - I've seen some people use butter but I found that vegetable oil gives this cheese bread a better texture and keeps the bread moist longer than butter.
  • Parmesan - adds a buttery, nutty flavor
  • Mozzarella - for a beautiful cheese pull fresh out of the oven!
  • Cheddar - for a little boost in flavor. In my research, I didn't see many people use cheddar. So, I tried it and it was truly delicious!
  • 1 egg - to keep everything together
  • Kosher Salt
Pao De Queijo on a wooden cheese board with fresh herbs in the background

what cooking tools do I need to make pao de queijo?

No special equipment needed!

Pao De Queijo on a wooden cheese board with fresh herbs in the background

How do you make pao de queijo?

Start by preheating the oven to 325 degrees °F. Bring milk and vegetable oil to a boil and simmer for 3 minutes and remove from heat to cool. In a stand mixer using the paddle attachment OR in a large mixing bowl, mix together tapioca flour, salt, shredded mozzarella, shredded parmesan, and shredded cheddar. Give it a good stir and set aside.

Add egg and boiled milk mixture to the tapioca flour/cheese mixture until a thick dough forms. Spray a muffin tin with oil/cooking spray. Add about 1-2 tbsps to each muffin cup. Bake for 30 minutes. Then you're done!

TIP: for the cheddar and parmesan cheeses, I highly recommend using whole block cheese and shredding it at home as opposed to buying the cheese shredded. Pre-shredded cheeses tend to be drier so it's best to shred them yourself at home. Totally optional.

Photo of me in Rio De Janeiro at Copacabana Beach!

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up close shot of pao de queijo

Pao De Queijo - Brazilian Cheese Bread

Pao de Queijo is a Brazilian Cheese Bread that's chewy, cheesy, and delicious! These cheesy bites are super easy to make and are so good that you'll be making this recipe over and over again!
Serving: 20 servings
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Calories: 150kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 ¼ cup Whole Milk
  • ¼ cup Vegetable Oil
  • 3 ½ cups Tapioca Flour/Starch
  • 2 tsps Kosher Salt
  • 1 cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
  • ¾ cup Shredded Parmesan Cheese
  • ½ cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 egg

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees °F.
  • In a small sauce pan, add milk and vegetable oil and bring to a boil. Simmer for 3 minutes and remove from heat and allow to cool.
  • In a large mixing bowl or stand mixer with the paddle attachment, add tapioca flour, salt, shredded mozzarella cheese, shredded parmesan cheese, and shredded cheddar cheese. Mix everything together.
  • Add whole milk/oil mixture and 1 egg and mix together until a thick dough forms.
  • Spray a muffin tin with oil and add 1-2 tbsp dollops of batter to each muffin cup. Bake for 30 minutes.

Nutrition

Calories: 150kcal
Course: Appetizers, Snacks
Cuisine: Brazilian, Brazilian-Inspired

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  1. 5 stars
    These turned out great. I did not shred the cheese myself but they still are delicious. We’ll see if they dry out though- I wonder if the pre shredded cheese may lead to that. Either way, thanks for the great recipe. My daughter tried one and said right away “you are going to have to make these all the time.”

  2. These look incredible and I think my family will love them. Does boiling the milk with the oil just help to combine them, or is there some other purpose? Do you cool it to room temp before adding to other ingredients, or just enough to avoid scrambling the egg? Can't wait to try these!

    • Boiling the milk and oil assists with incorporating the ingredients because milk and oil don't mix. You don't have to cool it to room temperature, it shouldn't scramble, once you add it to the flour/cheese mixture, the temperature decreases enough where it shouldn't scramble the egg. I hope that you love these, they're so good!