Portuguese Baked White Beans with Chouriço

Portuguese Baked White Beans with Chouriço

These beans remind me so much of grandma (or vó, as we always call her).  These Portuguese Baked White Beans with Chouriço (or feijões, the Portuguese word for beans) is a staple dish at grandma’s and was often served at her house, on our many Sunday family dinners there, as I grew up.  I guess you could say, this dish is the Portuguese version of pork and beans.

I would like to add that although this dish is wonderful year round, it is especially great in the colder winter months.  There really is nothing better than coming home after a day out in the cold, and indulging in this warm and comforting dish.

This particular recipe is my mother’s, which tastes almost identical to grandma’s and was highly inspired by hers.  With mom’s permission, I’m sharing her recipe for Portuguese Baked White Beans with Chouriço with you today.

This dish is usually served as a side dish at our house.  I also personally find that these beans keep up really well as left-overs, and we almost always have some of these left over.  This recipe uses a 2.5 quart baking dish, so we purposely make a large enough serving.  At our house, our food motto has always been “better extra, than not enough”.  But trust me, the next day, heat up some of these in a bowl and they are just as delicious as the night before.

And please don’t be intimidated by all the ingredients, it may seem like a lot, but trust me, it comes together easier than you think.  And since this is a Portuguese dish, it uses some Portuguese ingredients, like the chouriço, which should be available at your local grocery store.  But if you are having a difficult time finding this there, try seeking out a local Portuguese market, or maybe try ordering it online…?  Living in a city myself, we do have this readily available to us, but I understand this may not be the case for everyone.

Portuguese Baked White Beans with Chouriço

Lastly, I wanted to mention that this recipe optionally includes sprinkling some additional brown sugar on top (approximately 1 teaspoon), prior to baking.  As I said, this is of course optional, but I definitely recommend this because it makes for a yummy crust that forms on top.  You may also change the amount of butter used to top the beans, to suit your preferences. And do not forget to remove the bay leaf prior to serving!

In addition to the nostalgia around this dish, for me, this dish is just plain and simple comfort food, the best kind.  These beans offer just enough sweetness which compliment their savoury side so well.

Portuguese Baked White Beans with Chouriço
Recipe type: Side Dish
Cuisine: Portuguese
Serves: 4-6
This recipe is cooked in a 2.5 quart baking dish.
  • 450 grams dry navy beans, soaked in cool water overnight, rinsed, drained
  • 1 cup Portuguese spicy sausage (chouriço), sliced
  • 1 cup thick-sliced slab smoked bacon, cubed
  • 1 yellow cooking onion, chopped
  • ¼ cup red wine
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1½ chicken bouillon cubes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 pinches ground cinnamon
  • 1 pinch ground cumin
  • 1 pinch ground allspice
  1. Heat olive oil in a medium size pot over medium-high heat. Add onions, and garlic. Stir and cook until golden. Add bay leaf, tomato paste, allspice, cinnamon, cumin. Stir until paste cooks down (1-2 minutes).
  2. Add wine. Stir until wine evaporates and thickens. Add chouriço and bacon. Stir. Cover pot partially. Stir often until meat browns. Add beans. Stir together. Add cold water to cover beans (approximately 5 cups). Stir. Cover pot partially. Bring to a boil. Let cook for 1 to 1 ½ hours until beans become tender. Stir occasionally. Add more water if needed.
  3. Add bouillon cubes. Stir until they dissolve. Add sugar. Stir.
  4. Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Place beans in a baking dish. Top beans with butter cubes.
  5. Optional: Sprinkle additional brown sugar on top of beans (approximately 1 teaspoon).
  6. Bring to a boil in oven, then lower to 300 degree F. Bake for 30 minutes until crust forms on top.
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