Maria's Portuguese Bacalau Recipe -
Maria's Portuguese Bacalau Recipe
  • READY IN 1+ days

Maria's Portuguese Bacalau

Recipe by  

"This is a traditional Portuguese dish that brings back memories of mom. It is not only tasty but it is always a hit at parties. Plan ahead, because the salted cod needs to soak for 24 hours."

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 8 servings Change Servings
  • PREP

    1 day 1 hr
  • COOK

    1 hr

    1 day 2 hrs


  1. Soak the dried salted cod in cold water for 24 hours, changing the water several times.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the soaked cod, and boil for about 5 minutes, or until fish flakes easily with a fork. Remove cod from water, and save water for cooking potatoes. Remove skin and bones from the cod, and flake the meat into pieces using a fork. Set fish aside in a large bowl.
  3. In a small bowl, stir together the olive oil, 1 clove of garlic, 1 tablespoon of parsley, red pepper flakes, and black pepper. Pour over the fish, and toss lightly to coat.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Place the potatoes into the fish water, and bring to a boil. Cook for 20 minutes, or until tender. Drain under cool water, peel and cut into 1/4 inch slices.
  5. While the potatoes are cooking, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions, and saute until golden and caramelized. Stir one clove of garlic into the onions. Set aside.
  6. Layer half of the potato slices in the bottom of a greased 8x11 inch baking dish. Cover with half of the cod, then half of the onions. Repeat layers, ending with onion.
  7. Bake for 15 minutes in the preheated oven, until lightly browned. Before serving, garnish the top with green and black olives, and hard-cooked eggs. Sprinkle with remaining parsley.
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Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Jan 18, 2009

OH MY GOSH! This was unreal! I followed the recipe exactly except I omitted the chopped eggs and olives for garnish. The real name for this recipe is actually 'Bacalhau à Gomes de Sá'. I am Portuguese (my entire family was born and raised in Portugal) and when I told my mom I was making this dish she got so excited! She told me she hadn't had it since she lived in Portugual over 42 years ago! This dish was soooo incredible and tasted so much like something that my Portuguese family would make. Thank you so so much for posting this delicious, authentic recipe, BINGADING!

Most Helpful Critical Review
Mar 26, 2013

I read an article once that made my want to try this dish, and saw salt cod advertised at a local market. Like fish, like salt, like potatoes, love olives...but didn't care for this dish! The fish was chewy. The potatoes came out crunchy; as another reviewer noted, slice before boiling. But I won't be making it again.


39 Ratings

Jan 05, 2008

Delicious! I used fresh cod instead of salted, and added salt. My wife, she is Portuguese, loved this recipe. I will be making it for her as often as she will like. Thank you for sharing it with us.

Jun 10, 2006

Out of all the recipes I've seen on the internet, yours was the only true one that had the black olives which is always used in this dish in the Azores. Thank you.

Mar 15, 2010

I'm so glad I tried this recipe. By far, one of the best I've found on I had to make a few changes based on what I had in the house. I used fresh cod and boiled it in heavily salted water, and added some salt to the parsley/olive oil mixture. I also used red potatoes since that's what I had on hand. I followed the rest of the recipe as-is. The flavors were absolutely outstanding. I love that it's so healthy, too. I *never* go back for seconds on dinner, but I did with this one. My husband said he could survive on this dish alone. It's honestly so good, I almost felt guilty taking credit for it! Thanks for contributing this one.

Oct 19, 2008

Where is the cheese in this recipe? What kind? how much?

Apr 17, 2009

Mmmm tastes like tradition! Personally I find the dried, store bought bacalau tougher/chewier in this dish. Therefore I use (heavily salted) fresh cod instead of dried bacalau. Also, I sliced the potatoes prior to boiling them. The way I see it … slicing raw potatoes is easier than slicing potatoes that are mostly cooked. My father-in-law is from the Azores Islands and he LOVES this dish! Looks like I’ll be making this dish often instead of the in-laws ordering it from the European catering place down the street. This is a keeper!! :-)

Jun 26, 2008

I made this for my husband's Portuguese family and they all said that it tasted better than any other Bacalau recipe they have ever had. They couldn't believe how good it was! Thank you for an awesome recipe. There wasn't any left after the party! The only things I changed: I used 5 potatoes instead of 4 and double the onions from 2 to 4.


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  • Calories
  • 701 kcal
  • 35%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 25.2 g
  • 8%
  • Cholesterol
  • 277 mg
  • 92%
  • Fat
  • 31.3 g
  • 48%
  • Fiber
  • 2.5 g
  • 10%
  • Protein
  • 77.1 g
  • 154%
  • Sodium
  • 8223 mg
  • 329%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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