Chia Cheese Bread (Pão de Queijo com Chia)

Everyone who has ever been to Brazil or eaten at a Brazilian restaurant probably knows the “Pão de queijo”. It’s one of the most iconic food of the Brazilian cuisine! They are tiny, delicious cheese breads, usually eaten still warm, freshly baked, straight from the oven. They are eaten throughout the day, but I have seen them mainly consumed for breakfast (with a cafezinho, a small cup of strong Brazilian brewed coffee) or in the afternoon, as a snack. Brazilians simply love their pão de queijo!


I wanted to make them for the longest time, but always thought they were complicated to make, but then I found an easy recipe on the Simply Recipe site which I was going to adapt slightly to make it superfood-worthy 😉 Actually, my Brazilian friend from work gave me this idea a while back, to add the chia seeds to the pão de queijo – so thanks to her for inspiring me at this point 😉 Also, this recipe isn’t authentic by no means, it’s just a way to make cheese bread. They are also baked in a muffin tin instead of a baking tray, so the shape is different from the authentic ones. Nevertheless, I felt they tasted quite similar to the original ones I have tried in Brazil and the Brazilian restaurants here in Miami.

These special pão de queijo breads contain following Superfoods:

  • Chia seeds
  • Hemp seeds


  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup hemp seed milk (instructions: mix 2 tbsp hemp seeds with 2/3 cup of water, put into a blended and blend until you get a smooth “milk”)
  • 1 1/2 cup tapioca flour (in Brazil they use “polvilho doce” – manioc starch – but tapioca is quite similar I understand)
  • 1/2 cup grated cheese (I used the Mexican “queso fresco”, it’s very similar to the “minas cheese” used in Brazil)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds



  • Mix all ingredients together in a bowl (don’t be worried that it looks really liquid, it will miraculously become a bread while baking)
  • Put into a greased muffin pan, about 2/3 of the height to allow room to expand
  • Bake at 400°F for about 20 minutes

The crust becomes super crispy – amazing! The cheese breads are best when eaten right out of the oven. They have a tasty gooey texture and are a perfect addition to this weekend’s brunch!

Left-over cheese breads should be frozen within 3 hours after they come out of the oven (before they turn too gooey). You can keep them in the freezer for several weeks. Once you want to eat them, just pop into the oven at 400° F for about 10 – 15 minutes, they will be almost like freshly baked and crispy! 😉

Chia-pao-de-queijo-in-baking-tray Chia-pao-de-queijo-1 Chia-pao-de-queijo-3 Chia-pao-de-queijo-4 Chia-pao-de-queijo-5

Have a lovely weekend! 😉


    • superfoodista says

      Thank you so much! You are right! Chia seeds really look like poppy seeds. I have also added them to muffins previously and there they look the more like poppy seeds! 😉 Thanks for stopping by!

    • superfoodista says

      Thank you Afra! 😉 Yes, they are super airy, but at the same time, dense and super crispy in the crust, very interesting texture, very unique to pão de queijo! I love it 😉

    • superfoodista says

      Thank you dear for your kind comment! :-) Hm, I think it should theoretically work too. I am not sure how the consistency would turn out, but we should give it a try! When I tried a bite of the cheese, I found the texture was quite similar to a cow milk mozzarella (a drier than buffalo mozzarella and a bit “rubbery”) or a full fat hard cheese, like Folepi? You know it? Let me know if you try it with another cheese – I would be really interested to hear about it! :-) Thanks for stopping by!

    • superfoodista says

      Thank you so much Laura! :-) I know, they are almost addictive. The problem when they put them on the table in the Brazilian restaurant that they are still warm, and soooooo good, so I end up eating way too much of them and being full before the main course gets served! :-)

  1. stacilys says

    Ok Sylvia, you knew you would get a comment from me on this one eh. Hehehehehe. Ummmm pão de queijo. When I first moved to Brazil I lived in Contagem, Minas Gerais. And I believe that Tapioca is from Mandioca flour. In the North-east (where I live now) it is very common to make beiju from it. Have you heard of it? It’s made from the finest part of the polvilho doce, passed through a fine mesh colander and then spinkled onto a low heat pan. My kids really like them. Never see pão de queijo with hemp and chia seeds. What a great idea to ‘superfood’ this famous Brazilian recipe. Thanks for it.
    Blessings =)

    • superfoodista says

      Thank you Staci for your kind comment! Yes, it was a must! :-)
      Yum, I don’t know beiju – do you have a recipe? I must google it! I never even tried it, but I have also rarely been to the Northeast, just once to Bahia for 1 week.
      Yes, my recipe is really freestyle, not very authentic, but my Brazilian man liked them and approved of them! :-)

      • stacilys says

        I think you would need the type of wet flour that is needed for it. It’s called ‘goma de mandioca’. Your boyfriend should know what it is. Being that you live in Florida (right?) and there are a ton of Brazilians there, maybe you can find it somewhere. The recipe is just that ‘goma’ gone through a mesh colander and then spread on the bottom of a small frying pan on low heat. You don’t even need butter or anything to keep it from sticking. You heat it for around minutes and then flip and heat for another 1-2 minutes. Super easy. Or, you could let it heat on the one side, then put some type of filling like cheese or shredded chicken or any number of things on half of it and fold over the other half so that it becomes like a sandwich type of deal.
        Anyhow, long reply I know. Sorry.

        • superfoodista says

          Wow, Staci, thanks so much for this great explanation and tip!! 😉 I need to go to the Brazilian store and ask for this. The sandwich idea sounds very interesting! I will ask my boyfriend if he knows this dish! Thanks so much for taking time to write down the instructions! 😉


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