Portuguese Roupa Velha Recipe for Christmas Dinner Leftovers

Written By Lara Silva

While the star of the show tends to be the Christmas Eve cod on December 24, the traditional Christmas Day lunch does not disappoint. On Christmas Day, many Portuguese families eat Roupa Velha, meaning Old Rags. The name doesn’t do it justice as this dish is incredible and full of flavor. A great way to transform your Christmas dinner leftovers into something special, this dish is a staple all over the country.

What is roupa velha?

Roupa velha is a peasant-like lunch that consists of mixing the leftover cod, potatoes, cabbage, and eggs. It is usually served before the meat dish. Once a tradition of poorer families from the region of Minho to fight food waste, it is now one celebrated all over the country due to its delicious flavor. 

Roupa Velha Recipe

6 Portions 


  • Leftover baked cod 500 gram
  • Potatos 600 grams
  • 2 onions
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons coriander
  • 1 tablespoon Vinagre 
  • Olives to garnish
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Firstly, make sure the cod has been removed from all its skin and bones. Break the cod into smaller pieces. 
  2. Peel the potatoes and cut them up into small round slices. Boil them in water with salt and then remove them from the pot.
  3. In the same pot, boil the eggs. While these are boiling, dice the onions and garlic, and then cook them in olive oil in a large pan on low heat. 
  4. Then add the cod and the potatoes to the pan and cook on medium heat for a few minutes.
  5. When the ingredients are warm, add the vinegar, pepper, and salt. 
  6. Right before serving, add the olive oil, eggs, olives, and coriander.
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