What is Empadão?

June 21, 2024

What is Empadão?

Empadão is a traditional Portuguese dish that consists of a savory pie filled with a variety of ingredients such as meat, vegetables, and cheese. It is a popular comfort food in Portugal and other Portuguese-speaking countries, known for its rich and flavorful taste. Empadão is often served as a main course for lunch or dinner, and it is a favorite among both locals and tourists.

The History of Empadão

The origins of empadão can be traced back to Portugal, where it was originally created as a way to use up leftover ingredients and create a hearty and satisfying meal. Over time, empadão has evolved into a beloved dish that is enjoyed by people of all ages and backgrounds. Today, empadão can be found in restaurants and homes across Portugal and beyond.

Ingredients in Empadão

Empadão can be made with a variety of ingredients, depending on personal preference and regional variations. Some common ingredients used in empadão include chicken, beef, ham, sausage, vegetables such as carrots and peas, and cheese. The filling is typically seasoned with herbs and spices to enhance the flavor of the dish.

How to Make Empadão

To make empadão, start by preparing the filling ingredients and cooking them until they are tender and flavorful. Next, line a baking dish with a layer of pastry dough, then add the filling on top. Cover the filling with another layer of pastry dough, crimp the edges to seal the pie, and brush the top with egg wash for a golden finish. Bake the empadão in the oven until the crust is golden brown and the filling is hot and bubbly.

Variations of Empadão

There are many variations of empadão that incorporate different ingredients and flavors. Some popular variations include seafood empadão, vegetarian empadão, and sweet empadão made with fruits and nuts. Each variation offers a unique twist on the traditional dish, allowing for endless possibilities for creativity and experimentation in the kitchen.

Serving Empadão

Empadão is typically served hot, straight from the oven, with a side salad or vegetables for a balanced meal. It can also be enjoyed cold as a picnic or party food, making it a versatile dish for any occasion. Empadão pairs well with a glass of Portuguese wine or a refreshing beverage to complement the rich flavors of the pie.

Health Benefits of Empadão

While empadão is a delicious and satisfying dish, it is important to enjoy it in moderation due to its high calorie and fat content. However, empadão can be made healthier by using lean meats, whole grains, and plenty of vegetables in the filling. By making smart ingredient choices and watching portion sizes, empadão can be a nutritious and enjoyable meal option.

Where to Find Empadão

Empadão can be found in Portuguese restaurants and bakeries around the world, as well as in homes where traditional recipes are passed down through generations. In Portugal, empadão is a staple on the menu of many restaurants and cafes, where it is served as a classic comfort food that never goes out of style. Whether you are in Lisbon, Porto, or the Algarve, you are sure to find empadão on the menu.


In conclusion, empadão is a delicious and versatile dish that has stood the test of time as a beloved comfort food in Portugal and beyond. With its rich and flavorful filling, buttery pastry crust, and endless variations to explore, empadão is a dish that is sure to satisfy your cravings and delight your taste buds. Whether you are a fan of meat, seafood, or vegetables, there is a version of empadão that is perfect for you. So why not give empadão a try and experience the delicious taste of this traditional Portuguese dish for yourself?

Tatiana Cesso

As a journalist, I've made it my mission to explore and share stories that inspire, inform, and entertain. You may have stumbled upon my work in esteemed publications such as InStyle, Marie Claire, Bazaar, L’Officiel, and Vogue, among others. Having called the U.S. home since 2010, I've lived in Chicago, LA, and currently, Miami. But my heart always beats to the rhythm of Brazil. It's where I was born and raised, and my love for its culture, people, and energy knows no bounds. To share this passion, I've founded Brazilcore, a platform aimed at bridging the gap between Brazil and English speakers worldwide.