Portuguese Salt Cod and Chickpea Salad

Accompanied with a simple green salad, olives, crusty bread, and vinho verde, this dish makes a no-fuss meal. When I am in a hurry, or if I get a sudden impulse for this dish, I will use canned chickpeas and canned oil-packed tuna fish. I pile this on a bed of lettuce and lunch is ready.–Ana Patuleia Ortins

Portuguese Salt Cod and Chickpea Salad

Ana Patuleia Ortins

Prep 30 mins
Cook 2 hrs
Total 2 hrs 30 mins
4 servings
418 kcal
5 from 1 vote
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  • 1/2 pound dry chickpeas soaked at least 15 hours in 3 1/2 cups water
  • 2 quarts water or as needed
  • 1/2 pound dry salt cod soaked for 16 for 24 hours
  • 1 small sweet onion finely chopped (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1 large clove garlic finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley or cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt or to taste
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs chopped or cut in wedges for garnish
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika


  • Drain the chickpeas and rinse. Place in a 3-quart saucepan with enough water to cover by 2 inches, about 4 cups. Cover and bring to a boll over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer until very tender, but not mushy, about 1 1/2 hours. Drain and set aside.
  • Remove the fish from the soaking water and rinse. In a medium pot, bring the remaining 4 cups of water to a boil. Turn off the heat and add the cod. Cover for 15 to 20 minutes, then drain. Set aside until it is cool enough to handle.
  • Hand-shred the cod, discarding any skin or bones, and place in a serving bowl together with the chickpeas, onion, and garlic.
  • In a small bowl, whisk the oil with the vinegar. Stir in the parsley and salt, if needed. Pour the dressing over the chickpeas and toss gently.
  • Garnish with the chopped eggs and a sprinkling of paprika. This dish can be served hot, cold, or at room temperature; it can also double as a light meal or side dish.
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Show Nutrition

Serving: 1portionCalories: 418kcal (21%)Carbohydrates: 22g (7%)Protein: 45g (90%)Fat: 16g (25%)Saturated Fat: 3g (19%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 179mg (60%)Sodium: 4631mg (201%)Potassium: 1130mg (32%)Fiber: 5g (21%)Sugar: 7g (8%)Vitamin A: 255IU (5%)Vitamin C: 8mg (10%)Calcium: 164mg (16%)Iron: 4mg (22%)

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

This is very much the traditional salt cod and chickpea salad from Portugal, which is very delicious for summer days. For those not too fond of salt cod, don’t worry as the taste isn’t strong since the cod is shredded. Also, instead of water, you can leave the cod in milk as it helps soften the strong taste of the salt cod. This recipe can easily be changed to your personal taste. You can add more or less onion, add black olives as a garnish, even use balsamic or wine vinegar in place of cider vinegar.

Originally published May 10, 2019


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  1. Cilantro is uh-uh at all. We, Portuguese, in Azores/Portugal don’t use it at all. The parsley is the best and more tradition. By the way, Cilantro is yucky (its for Mexican recipe and not this recipe at all and we never use dit in the past and never today in our tradition. By the way, we grew up with it…all my life and never bored about it. Parsley is yummy with it.

    1. azoreseuropa, my family is from the Azores, too, and they NEVER, EVER ate cilantro. I never had it until I was an adult. But when I spent a year living and cooking in Portugal for my cookbook, I was shocked at how much the mainlanders love cilantro. In fact, açorda Alentejana is made of only bread, water, cilantro, garlic, and eggs. You can also see it here in this video.

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