Portuguese Salt Cod and Potato Casserole

Portuguese Salt Cod and Potato Casserole Recipe

Chef Azevedo, born on the island of São Jorge in the Azores, literally turns this favorite upside down. Instead of cooking and serving it from the casserole dish, as is customary, he inverts it onto a cookie sheet then removes the dish, allowing the exposed codfish to brown slightly and the layer of potatoes on the bottom to crisp.–Manuel Azevedo


If you prefer well-done potatoes, leave the inverted casserole dish in place and cook for the recommended time, then uncover and continue cooking until the codfish is lightly toasted. The additional time will allow the potatoes to get extra-brown.

Portuguese Salt Cod and Potato Casserole Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 45 M
  • 1 H, 15 M
  • Serves 6 to 8


  • 2 pounds salt cod
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • 2 large yellow onions, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • White pepper, to taste
  • 4 medium waxy potatoes, boiled, cooled, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 8 hard-boiled eggs, halved, for garnish
  • Portuguese olives and chopped flat-leaf parsley, for garnish


  • 1. Rinse the cod under cold running water to remove any surface salt. Place the fish pieces in a large nonreactive pot, cover with water and refrigerate (covered) for 24 hours, changing the water several times.
  • 2. Pour off the water, refill the pot with clean water and gently boil the cod until it flakes easily with a fork, about 7 to 10 minutes (or longer), depending on the thickness.
  • 3. Meanwhile, heat 3 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat, and saute the onions until barely brown. Add the garlic and cook a minute more. Set aside.
  • 4. Drain the cod and let cool. Flake it into a large bowl and remove any bones or bits of skin. Add the onion-garlic mixture, nutmeg, white pepper and remaining olive oil, and toss lightly. Pack the mixture into well-oiled 9-x-13-inch ovenproof casserole dish. Cover the codfish with the potato slices.
  • 5. Lightly oil a cookie sheet, place it over the casserole and invert. Carefully remove the casserole dish to keep the cod mixture intact. Bake in a preheated, 400°F (200°C) oven for 20 to 30 minutes, or until cod is lightly toasted.
  • 6. To serve, cut a square of cod and center it on a plate. Drizzle with additional olive oil to moisten. Garnish with 2 egg halves, several olives and some parsley.
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  1. Tried this recipe as I liked the twist to its original. But I ended up creating my own little twist to it. Instead of using a casserole to place the ingredients in it. I decided to use individual round bowls then kept on following the recipe. It came out outstanding and the presentation was just as nice.

    Bacalhau a Gomes de Sa

    1. I almost got the hot sauce, a fork and a spoon to serve myself off the screenshot, Sofia. It looks great!

  2. David, this looks amazing. One quick question, please–this looks as though the olives were baked inside the dish instead of just as garnish. Maybe both? Thanks!

  3. My mom’s family was from Sao Miguel. My grandfather was David Decambra Leite and also had an uncle and cousin by the same name. Grandfather ended up in San Leandro, CA. When my cousin passed, I googled his name and found you. I have a cookbook Foods of the Azores Island by Deolinda Maria Avila. But, I would also like to purchase one of your books. How many have you published? Let me know where I can get them. Growing up our Sunday meal was always chuck roast, but not always marinated with Vin y Dois.

    Thanks for the coming info

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