Brazilian Cheese Bread

Brazilian Cheese Bread (Pão de Queijo) is surprisingly easy to make…and incredibly delicious!

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Brazilian Cheese Bread (Pão de Queijo) is surprisingly easy to make...and incredibly delicious!Crispy outside, chewy inside…and stuffed with cheese!  What’s not to love about this Brazilian Cheese Bread??  I first came across Pão de Queijo (aka Brazilian Cheese Bread) back when we lived in Atlanta and went to a Brazilian steakhouse to celebrate my sister-in-law getting into grad school.  

Since my wife and I were both in grad school at the time, too, we didn’t get to go out to eat all that often.  So this was kindof a big deal!  We dressed up, picked up my little sister-in-law, and headed over to the Brazilian churrascuria over in Buckhead.  If you’ve ever been to a churrascuria, then you know it’s a marathon not a sprint.  It’s literally all you can eat meat.  But not sketchy meats that have been sitting on a buffet since 9am that morning.  I’m talking 15+ different styles of freshly grilled meats.  Bacon-wrapped filet, Parmesan-crusted pork loin, braised beef ribs and my favorite…the classic Brazilian picanha.  (Mental note to self: I should figure out how to make picanha on my grill here at home.)

Brazilian Cheese Bread (Pão de Queijo) is surprisingly easy to make...and incredibly delicious!While the various grilled meats are certainly the star of the show, the amazing salad bar (yes, the salad bar) and this Brazilian Cheese Bread definitely compete for Best Supporting Role.  As soon as you sit down, a basket of these hot rolls appears on your table.  At first glance, they appear to be a tasty but basic roll.  That is until you tear one apart.  The cheesy-goodness inside of these rolls just speaks for itself!

Brazilian Cheese Bread (Pão de Queijo) is surprisingly easy to make...and incredibly delicious!Brazilian Cheese Bread

I’ve always thought these were just rolls stuffed with cheese…but no!  These rolls are actually made from tapioca flour.  Similar to pate a choux–the dough used to make eclairs–this dough actually starts in a saucepan before moving to the oven to finish baking.  But don’t fret…this Brazilian Cheese Bread is actually incredibly easy to make.  Trust me.  I’ve made it more than several times lately!

Tapioca flour (also called tapioca starch) is an interesting ingredient.  It’s made from the root of the cassava plant, and it resembled corn starch in texture.  Oh, and if you have friends or family members with gluten sensitivities, tapioca flour is gluten-free!  (I picked up a bag of tapioca flour from Bob’s Red Mill at my local grocery store.)  The hardest part about making this recipe is stirring the tapioca flour into the saucepan with the milk and melted butter.  I actually recommend using a countertop mixer on low speed for this step…either that, or just use it as an excuse to get your arm workout in for the day!

Brazilian Cheese Bread (Pão de Queijo) is surprisingly easy to make...and incredibly delicious!So this Brazilian Cheese Bread is not actually stuffed with cheese.  Sure, there’s a bunch of shredded cheese in the recipe, but it’s actually a uniformly mixed dough.  The outer edges turn a nice golden brown once baked while the inside remains chewy.  The only problem is you can’t eat just one!  (I’m convinced that churrascurias bring an endless supply of these rolls to your table so that you fill out up bread before the meat comes out.  And you know?  I’m almost ok with that.  Almost.)

Brazilian Cheese Bread (Pão de Queijo) is surprisingly easy to make...and incredibly delicious!Have you ever been to a churrascuria?

If so, how many Brazilian Cheese Breads did you eat?  Be honest.

Looking for more cheesy bread recipes?  Check out these below!

Bacon Cheddar Popovers

Bacon Jalapeno Cheesy Breadsticks

Bacon Cheddar Buttermilk Biscuits

Brazilian Cheese Bread (Pão de Queijo) is surprisingly easy to make...and incredibly delicious!

Brazilian Cheese Bread

Brazilian Cheese Bread (Pão de Queijo) is surprisingly easy to make...and incredibly delicious!
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 15 servings
Calories: 169kcal



  • Using a large saucepan, add the milk, butter and salt; stir and bring mixture to a boil over medium-high heat.
  • Remove saucepan from heat and stir in the tapioca flour ½ cup at a time. (Tip: This step can produce quite an arm workout. For an easier method, just transfer the hot liquid into a countertop mixer and mix flour in on low speed.)
  • Set saucepan aside for 15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400°F.
  • After the flour mixture has rested, stir in the eggs and cheeses.
  • Roll 2-3 Tbsp of dough into balls and place on parchment-lined sheet pan. (Note: you can also place the dough in mini-muffin cups. Just fill each muffin cup to rim with dough.) (Tip: This dough can be a bit sticky. Dip your hands into water occasionally to keep the dough from sticking to your hands.)
  • Bake at 400°F for 22-24 minutes, or until tops are golden brown.
  • Let cool in pan for several minutes and then serve warm.

Brazilian Cheese Bread (Pão de Queijo) is surprisingly easy to make...and incredibly delicious!

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    1. Tell me about it, Dannii! I think I could just eat cheese and delicious bread for dinner and be perfectly happy. In fact, I pretty much did that with this bread here…yum! Hope you had an awesome weekend, my UK friend! 🙂

  1. David, I so loVe that these rolls are made with tapioca flour as I have a whole bag of it hanging out in my pantry! I’ve used it in combination with other GF flours, but never all by itself – what an interesting texture these rolls have! This is one recipe I wouldn’t have to adapt at all and if Lil Shashi saw these pictures, she’d be all over these rolls!
    BTW – Fogo de Chão is still doing GREAT in Buckhead – I drive right by there every week when I go to visit my mom and their parking lot is always PACKED! Have a wonderful weekend!

    1. You are indeed right, Shashi! These are Shashi and lil Shashi approved. Trust me…I’ve made them several times now. They’re crazy delicious…and they actually reheat decently well in the toaster oven (if there are any leftovers at all…haha!) Oh man, dont tempt me with Fogo de Chao talk…that was our special anniversary or birthday place when we lived in Atlanta. Well, one of them. ATL has so many great restaurants! Hope you had an awesome weekend! 🙂

    1. Brazilian cheese bread is such a unique creation, Kathy…but you totally need to try it out! It’s crazy good…in fact, you could put it right there into the addicting and eat the whole tray category. 🙂

  2. Oh yes, I have had these at a Brazilian steakhouse and I ate an incredible amount. They are SO good! Thanks for reminding me of these, cheese is so necessary 😉

    1. Tell me about it, Lauren! I think I eat my weight in these rolls whenever we go out to Brazilian steakhours. They’re just so incredibly addicting when they’re warm! Thank you!

    1. You totally need to track down some tapioca flour ASAP, Johlene. And I’ll apologize in advance because you really just can’t stop eating these rolls. They’re so light and fluffy…and chewy in a good way! 🙂 Thank you!

  3. Please don’t show me how to make these at home, or I will never stop eating them! As much as I love churrascurias, I lose any shred of discipline or decency as soon as they bring the first beautifully grilled meats around. (I’m especially fond of the sausages.) I laugh ironically at the salad bar, but these bready-cheesy things are way too good to pass up.

    1. You and me both, Jeff! You’d think I’d never eaten in my entire life when I walk into a churrascuria. We’d pretty much be their worst nightmare if we both walked into one of those places…haha! Hope you had a great weekend…I saw that you guys got dumped on with snow this weekend. Too early for that!

    1. You definitely do need to try these out, Jess! I had a fun time playing around with tapioca flour…that was a new one for me. Oh, and I apologize in advance if these rolls just disappear too quickly…they have a tendency to do that. 🙂

  4. Hi David! I’ve never been to a Brazilian restaurant, but I know I wouldn’t wear tight clothes. More like very stretchy and loose! I’m going to be on tapioca flour mission! Happy weekend my friend!! 🙂

    1. Oh my gosh, Dorothy…add this to your bucket list! A Brazilian steakhouse is such a unique experience. But you have to like meat. 🙂 And you have to not eat lunch if you’re going there for dinner…that’s my rule! 🙂

  5. they look amazing, I have never worked with tapioca flour though I have eaten taipoca pearls quite a lot. This makes me realize that I have never been to a Brazilian restaurant, I guess there won’t be many vegetarian options haha

    1. Yeah, I dont think a Brazilian restaurant would be your best bet, Manali. Although, to be fair, the salad bar is absolutely insane. And most of them let you just order the salad bar. Heck, the salad bar + endless baskets of these rolls would be enough to keep me happy. And yes, give the tapioca flour a shot. It’s a really interesting flour to work with…and essential for this cheesy bread! 🙂

  6. We have been to several of those Brazilian restaurants. I just have breakfast on those days because you need to leave yourself plenty of room for dinner. Once we forgot to turn that little red and green block of wood over and when we went for salads to get some vegetables in, we came back to more meat than we bargained for! Fun stuff, but not once have I ever seen these cheese breads rolls. They look wonderful and I actually have some tapioca starch in my pantry! Maybe I’ll be making these tomorrow!
    Hope you all are doing well out there. #WolfpackDadToBe

    1. I’m with ya, Kevin! We have to barely eat anything on the days we go out to Brazilian steakhouses. Those places are insane. We don’t go often, but when we do it’s an adventure. And I have to do my best to avoid filling up on this delicious cheesy bread. Give these a shot at home. They’re a really fun bread to make! We are indeed doing well…albeit really, really tired. #WolfpackDadfor4DaysNow 🙂

  7. Answering your question, last time I ate…practically any of this Brazilian Bread, David! And you know why? Because you never sent it to me! But if seriously, I’ve never tried or even herd of it. But it looks like the bread you’ve got to make at least once in your life! Well done.

    1. Haha…you are right, Ben. I never even sent this bread to you. I kind of forgot actually. I took one bite of the first roll, and the next thing I knew they were all gone. Guess I’ll need to make you a new batch…and I hope I can avoid eating it all before it gets shipped out. No promises there! And yes, this is a very unique bread…but you just have to make it at least once. Plus, you can add another flour to your list of things you’ve baked with. 🙂

    1. You’ve got that right, Nicole! Once you eat one of these bad boys, you’ll just keep going back for more. I apologize in advance for these disappearing way too fast! 🙂 Thank you!

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