Healthy Breakfast Recipes

This Gluten-Free, Vegan Brazilian Cheese Bread Is Loaded With Gut-Healthy Fiber and Resistant Starch

Photo: Getty Images/ Leticia Senciani

A play on pão de queijo, a popular Brazilian cheese bread that’s eaten as a snack throughout the day or for breakfast, this vegan recipe by Salted Plains has all of the same gooey goodness minus the dairy. Plus, this pão de queijo is filled with loads of gut-healthy fiber and resistant starch, making it the perfect excuse to eat more bread—not that you ever need one.

Why we’re drooling over this vegan Brazilian cheese bread

Aside from having two of our favorite ingredients (cheese and bread) all in one bite, these cute little cheese buns are filled with tons of health benefits. For starters, as with other pão de queijo recipes, this vegan version also stars tapioca as one of the main ingredients.

Tapioca flour (aka tapioca starch) comes from cassava, an edible starchy root with a nutty flavor that is a staple of West African, Latin American, and Caribbean cuisines. It’s highly versatile to cook with, is loaded with nutrients, and is great source of energy, as Ilyse Schapiro, RD, CDN, a registered dietitian, previously told Well+Good. Cassava root is also packed with antioxidants as well as vitamin C, which supports immune health and collagen production.

Cassava flour can also help boost digestion thanks to its fiber content: It contains roughly six grams of fiber per 100 grams, which is nearly 20 percent of the recommended daily fiber intake (between 21 and 38 grams of fiber each day) for the average adult. Meanwhile, raw cassava contains almost 75 percent resistant starch, which studies have shown can support gut health and has anti-cancer properties.

Aside from its comprehensive health benefits, tapioca flour gives this vegan Brazilian cheese bread bites a gooey, chewy texture that’s nearly impossible to resist. (IYKYK: Many gluten-free bread recipes have a tendency to turn out unpleasantly dense or dry, so calling one gooey and chewy is *big.*) And if this texture reminds you of boba pearls or that creamy pudding with the floating transparent spheres, you’re not wrong: They’re also made with from tapioca.

Ready to bake? Trust: Once you try these, you'll be saying “muito obrigado!” in no time.

brazilian cheese bread recipe
Photo: Salted Plains

Vegan Brazilian cheese bread recipe

Yields 12 servings

Ingredients
1 cup cooked Russet potato
2 cups (236g) tapioca starch
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 pinches ground turmeric
2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
1/2 cup boiling water
1/3 cup olive oil
3 Tbsp unsweetened almond milk (or other non-dairy milk)

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Pierce the potato with a fork and cook on the appropriate setting in the microwave until cooked and mashes well with a fork.

3. In a large bowl, combine tapioca starch, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, turmeric, and nutritional yeast. Whisk to combine.

4. In a small bowl, combine boiling water, olive oil, and almond milk. Whisk to combine. Add the liquid mixture to the tapioca mixture with a wooden spoon or spatula, stirring until most of the dry ingredients have been incorporated.

5. Add the cooked potato and stir and mash with the back of the spoon until mostly incorporated. Then, using your hands, squeeze and knead the dough together until it becomes smoother. There will be some dry bits of dough, just press and knead them into the dough.

6. Scoop the dough by the tablespoon, and roll it into balls. It is helpful to squeeze the dough together a few times as you roll to make a cohesive ball. Space about an inch and a half apart on a baking sheet.

7. Bake for 32 to 35 minutes. The outsides should be dry, and the bottoms should start turning a golden brown (lift one to check). The tops of the cheese bread will not really brown at all.

8. Allow vegan Brazilian cheese bread to cool for a few minutes on a baking sheet. Serve warm. Best eaten the day they are made.

For leftovers: Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. To reheat, warm in the oven at 350°F for 8-10 minutes. You can also reheat it in the microwave for 15-20 seconds. The microwave will not make them crisp.

If you're down for more vegan cheese, bookmark this dietitian-approved cheese guide ASAP:

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