Authentic Portuguese Cataplana Recipe

Authentic Portuguese cataplana recipe. Cataplana is a traditional Portuguese seafood stew cooked in a copper or aluminum clam-shaped pot, also called a cataplana.
Mon, Mar 13, 2023
Views: 3148
Authentic Portuguese Cataplana Recipe

This dish is popular in the Algarve region, located in the southern part of Portugal, where it is believed to have originated.

Ingredients used in Cataplana Dish:

The ingredients for cataplana vary depending on the recipe and region, but typically it includes a combination of seafood, meat, and vegetables. The most common ingredients are clams, shrimp, codfish, chouriço, onions, garlic, tomatoes, bell peppers, and potatoes.

Preparation of Cataplana Dish:

The dish is prepared by layering the ingredients in the cataplana pot and then cooking it slowly over low heat. The seafood and meat are usually added first, followed by the vegetables and spices. The pot is then tightly closed, and the contents are left to simmer and cook in their own juices, creating a rich and flavorful broth.

Serving of Cataplana Dish:

Cataplana is typically served with crusty bread or rice and is best enjoyed with a glass of Portuguese white wine. It is usually served as a communal dish, with diners helping themselves from the pot at the table.

Variations of Cataplana Dish:

There are many variations of cataplana, with different combinations of ingredients and spices used in different regions of Portugal. Some recipes also call for the addition of other seafood such as squid or octopus, while others may include different types of meat like chicken or pork. Additionally, the dish may be seasoned with spices like paprika, saffron, or cilantro.

Overall, cataplana is a delicious and hearty Portuguese dish that is perfect for sharing with friends and family. Its unique cooking method and combination of flavors make it a must-try for anyone visiting Portugal or looking to explore the country's cuisine.


  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup fish stock
  • 1 pound of seafood total (such as shrimp, clams, and mussels)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Heat the olive oil in a cataplana or large pot over medium heat.
  2. For 1-2 minutes, add the onion and garlic and sauté until fragrant.
  3. Add the tomatoes and peppers and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add the white wine and fish stock and bring to a boil.
  5. Add the mixed seafood and cilantro and stir to combine.
  6. Close the cataplana and cook for 10-15 minutes, or until the seafood is cooked through.
  7. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Serve hot, with crusty bread to soak up the delicious broth.
Get Portuguese spices

You might also like:

The best things to do in Lisbon Portugal are not always easy to figure out. Especially during the new normal.
Natasha's best chocolate chip cookies are big, soft, chewy and loaded with chocolate.
Ever wonder which are the most popular recipes on our site? Here is a list of the top 10 Portuguese recipes on
The best places to visit in Portugal in 2022. Portugal is a southern European country on the Iberian Peninsula, bordering Spain.
Learn how to make Portuguese donuts (filhoses) with Angela Castro from the Olive Branch, this recipe makes a small batch.
The Meco beach (or Moinho de Baixo Beach) is a beach next to Aldeia do Meco Village, on the west coast of Sesimbra municipality.


Isabel - 1 year ago
If I don’t have a cataplana what can I replace it with. Thank you
You can use a wide pot or a sauté pan.
1 year ago