Brazilian Coxinha

If you’re looking for a delicious appetizer to share with your friends, look no further than the coxinha. This chicken croquette is a popular snack in Brazil and it’s easy to see why! It’s crunchy, deep-fried and full of flavor. Plus, it’s perfect for any occasion – from game night to cocktail parties! So get ready to enjoy some authentic Brazilian cuisine!

What is Coxinha?

These chicken cheese balls come in all sizes but the shape remains the same, resembling teardrops with pointed tips. Coxinhas are the traditional appetizer for any Brazilian birthday party and the ideal snack for a perfect day at the beach. At the inside, they are stuffed with shredded chicken breast and are similar to croquettes or cheese balls, although they are usually pointed at the top.

What Ingredients do you Need for Coxinha?

You’ll need flour, milk, butter and chicken stock to make the dough. For the filling, you’ll need boiled chicken breasts that have been shredded and combined with cream cheese, onions and spices like salt & pepper or chili powder if you want it a little spicy.

How to Make Coxinha Dough:

The dough is really easy to make, just follow these simple steps:

Bring the leftover chicken stock to a boil and sift in the flour slowly while stirring constantly until it is lump-free. Place over medium-low heat and stir vigorously until the mixture thickens and the dough forms. Once you have a soft, smooth dough, let the dough rest for 15 minutes at room temperature.

How to Make Coxinha Filling:

For this part you’ll need some boiled chicken breasts that are shredded with two forks or in a food processor. Then simply sauté onions until translucent and add the shredded chicken. Next, season with salt, pepper and chili powder (optional) and add cream cheese for a more creamy texture.

How to Shape Coxinhas:

To shape your coxinha into teardrop shapes you can use tablespoons of filling or just use your hands to scoop out the filling from a bowl. Once you have the filling, place it in the middle of a flattened piece of dough and press the dough around it so that it is well-coated. Make sure to seal any cracks or seams really well or your coxinha will fall apart when frying.

How to Fry Coxinhas:

Now for the best part! To fry your coxinhas, first make sure that the oil is at a temperature of 175 degrees celsius or 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Then dip each coxinha into some flour, then the egg yolk mixture and finally the bread crumbs. Gently place them in the hot oil and let them cook until they are a beautiful golden brown.

Serve with a delicious sauce, like chimichurri or tzatziki, and enjoy!


Traditionally, coxinhas are prepared using shredded chicken and cheese. In modern times, there are many versions including vegetarian, sweet, and cheese-only coxinhas. Let me give you a few ideas so you can get creative yourself:

Vegetarian Coxinha: Instead of using chicken as your filling, try a vegetarian option like lentils with cheese or potatoes. Beef coxinhas are also popular in Brazil and Argentina.

Cheese-only Coxinha: Just use shredded mozzarella for the filling! It’s delicious and so much easier than deep-frying chickens.

Sweet Coxinha: Add sugar to the dough and replace chicken with guava paste, dulce de leche or doce de ovos (egg yolk jam).

Mini Coxinhas:

These are perfect for parties! Instead of making one large coxinha, make small bite-sized ones. Just follow the below steps for Mini Coxinhas, and you will get the perfect finger food or appetizer for your next event!

Can you make a Gluten-Free Coxinha?

Yes, just use tapioca flour for the dough instead of regular wheat flour.

Frying vs Baking

If you don’t want to deep-fry your coxinhas, you can also bake them at 180 degrees Celsius or 360 degrees Fahrenheit for 20-25 minutes. Make sure to brush them with some melted butter or olive oil before baking. You can also use an air fryer to make them healthier. Just put them in at 180 degrees for about 15 minutes.

How to Store Coxinhas?

Coxinhas are best eaten fresh but you can also store them in the fridge for up to five days or freeze them for three months. Make sure they are completely cooled down before storing. Then place a layer of wax paper between each coxinha so that they don’t stick together.

What do Coxinhas taste like?

Coxinhas are a great mix of textures. The outside is crunchy and the inside is soft, tender, and moist. They also have a flavor that’s similar to chicken nuggets or popcorn chicken but with more spices and herbs like paprika (optional).


Where did Coxinha come from?

Coxinhas are a popular dish in Brazil and Argentina, but their origin is actually disputed. Some say that they were brought over by the Portuguese settlers, while others claim that they originated from African slaves who made them using leftover dough. Coxinhas are also popular in countries like Portugal, where they have been adapted to the local taste with a variety of ingredients.

What is the best Cream Cheese for Coxinha?

Catupiry is the most popular cheese used in Brazil. It’s a soft, mild and creamy cheese that is made with cream and whey. In other countries like Argentina, they use a different type of Catupiry called queso blanco which is similar to mozzarella but more flavorful.

What is Coxinha served with?

Traditionally coxinha is served as an appetizer or snack. It can also be eaten on its own for breakfast or lunch and it’s a popular street food in Brazil too. Coxinha is typically served with chimichurri, salsa, or Ketchup for dipping. Below you will find some delicious sides which go perfectly with Coxinha:

Chimichurri: This Argentinian sauce is made with parsley, garlic, and olive oil for an amazing flavor that goes great with Coxinha.

Salsa: If you’re looking to add some heat, try making a salsa de molho pimenta (hot pepper sauce) or a fegioda which can be used as both a dip or spread on top of Coxinhas before serving them up!

Pao de queijo: This Brazilian cheese bread is the perfect accompaniment for Coxinhas. It’s made with cassava flour and has a delicious flavor that goes well with anything!

Rice: You can make white rice, black beans, sweet potato fries (batatas fritas) or even mashed potatoes to go alongside Coxinha.

Salad: A simple green salad is perfect for any meal and it’s especially great with Coxinha. Try adding some avocado, cherry tomatoes, cucumber or even roasted beets for a delicious and healthy side dish!

What drink and dessert go well with Coxinha?

Brigadeiro: This delicious Brazilian dessert is made with condensed milk, butter and chocolate. It’s a must-try when visiting Brazil!

Limeade: A refreshing Brazilian limeade is a perfect drink to enjoy with Coxinhas.

What to do with Leftover Coxinha Filling?

You can make quesadillas using your leftover filling! Just add some mozzarella cheese and place between two tortillas before frying them on both sides. You can also use the filling to stuff bell peppers or potatoes. Enjoy!

How many calories do Coxinhas have?

A typical Coxinha has about 190-210 calories. This may vary depending on the size and recipe.

Close up of the Brazilian Coxinha.


Now that you know all about Coxinha, it’s time to give them a try! When it comes to finger food, coxinhas definitely steal the limelight in Brazil. Whether you’re a fan of Brazilian food or not, I promise you that these delicious snacks will change your mind. They are the perfect appetizer for any event and can be enjoyed by the entire family.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Snack
Cuisine Brazilian
Servings 6
Calories 463 kcal



  • 2 Chicken Breasts
  • ½ Celery
  • 1 Carrot
  • ¼ Rutabaga
  • 2 cups Water or chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon Oil
  • 1 Onion
  • 1 teaspoon Chili
  • 1 teaspoon Thyme
  • 1 tablespoon Crushed Red Pepper
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons Parsley freshly chopped
  • 1/4 cup Cream Cheese


  • 2 cups Flour
  • 2 cups Water or Milk
  • 2 tablespoons Chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon Butter


  • 2 cups breadcrumbs finely grated
  • 2 Eggs yolk
  • Vegetable oil for frying



  • Cook the chicken with vegetable or chicken stock. Add some vegetables like carrots, celery, onion and rutabaga.
  • Cook the chicken until it is fork tender (around 20 to 25 minutes or until chicken is just cooked through).
  • Shred the chicken in a food processor or with two forks.
  • Then, sauté the onions until translucent and add the chicken. Mix everything together and season with salt, pepper, and chili.
  • Add the cream cheese and parsley, set aside.


  • In a non-stick saucepan, place the chicken stock, and bring to simmer over medium-low heat.
  • When the stock is hot, add the sifted flour little by little while stirring constantly.
  • Continue to stir vigorously until obtaining a lump-free tough.
  • Make sure the dough is soft and well stirred.
  • While it is still warm, knead the dough with a scraper or spatula until it is silky and smooth. Let it rest for about 15 minutes at room temperature.
  • Make sure to cover the dough, you can also put a little bit of oil for an even smoother result.


  • Now it’s time to form your coxinhas, chose your desired size, and make them according to the amount of dough.
  • Flatten each piece of dough to a disc, then take a tablespoon or your hands to put the filling into the middle of the dough.
  • Press the dough close around the filling, shaping it like a teardrop.
  • Continue the prosses on each coxinha.
  • In a bowl, lightly whisk egg yolk. Place bread crumbs and flour in two separate bowls and carefully dip each coxinha into the flour first, then into the egg yolk, and at the end into the breadcrumbs until fully coated.
  • Pour enough vegetable oil into a heavy-bottomed pot and heat over medium-high heat (175°C/ 350°F).
  • Fry your Coxinhas until they are golden brown


You can use Philadelphia Cream Cheese if you can’t get any Catupiry. You can freeze your coxinhas before frying and enjoy them on another day. Don’t defrost them before frying.
You can use the water from the chicken breast to make the dough. Just drain the chicken stock first.


Serving: 1 portionCalories: 463kcalCarbohydrates: 63gProtein: 28gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 108mgSodium: 439mgPotassium: 575mgFiber: 4gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 2406IUVitamin C: 11mgCalcium: 113mgIron: 5mg
Tried this recipe?Let me know how it was!

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