Bacalhau a Lagareiro Recipe: How to Make Cod Fish Lagareiro-Style

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This bacalhau a lagareiro recipe is for a classic Portuguese codfish dish that is effortless to make. Simply bake codfish with potatoes, add olive oil, onions, and garlic and create a delicious dish everyone will rave about.

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What is Bacalhau à Lagareiro or Cod Fish Lagareiro Style?

Bacalhau Lagareiro Recipe by Authentic Food Quest
Simple yet delicious way to prepare codfish

The Bacalhau a Lagareiro, goes by many names in Portugal. It is sometimes referred to as bacalhau assado com batatas a murro or bacalhau no forno or oven baked cod.

This is one of the most famous ways of preparing codfish as it is delicious and uncomplicated.

It combines baked cod and potatoes abundantly coated with Portuguese olive oil along with onions and garlic.

The “à lagareiro” style of cooking typically refers to the abundant use of Portuguese olive oil in the recipe. 

Lagar is the Portuguese word for the place where olive oil is made. And, Lagareiro is the name given to the individual who works in an olive oil mill.

This bacalhau a lagareiro recipe, not surprisingly, calls for a bathing of the cod and potatoes in luscious Portuguese olive oil. 

Onions, garlic and herbs are added to the recipe and some versions even call for the addition of olives.

Once baked the result is slightly crispy potatoes, with soft onions and fish cooked to perfection.

History of Bacalhau A Lagareiro Recipe

Portuguese Cod Fish Lagareiro Style by Authentic Food Quest
Modern version of the bacalhau à lagareiro

The origin of Bacalhau a Lagareiro is controversial. However, it most likely comes from Lagares das Beiras, between the south of the Douro River and the north of the Tagus River. 

A town belonging to the Parroquia Oliveira do Hospital in Portugal. 

In Lagares, olive plantations are plentify and the workers are known as lagareiros.

In the past, the mills were rustic tanks where olives were first crushed into paste. And, then large millstones would be used to crush the paste and extract the oil.

The process of making the oil was arduous and delicate and overseen by a lagareiro.

To make sure the oil was of the highest standard, some of the testing included using it in dishes.

In the town, bacalhau a lagareiro was made with the first harvest oil. When it turned out perfectly, it was a source of joy and relief knowing the olive oil was good.

The town’s oral tradition tells that, after a good harvest, there was a grand celebration with recipes.

The codfish was desalted, covered in breadcrumbs, and fried in olive oil directly in the Lagareiro.

Today we present the modern version of the bacalhau à lagareiro, baked with potatoes, onion, garlic and lots of olive oil.

Discovering Bacalhau A Lagareiro In Portugal

Bacalhau Most Popular food in Portugal
The secret of good taste is in high-quality ingredients

While in Lisbon, we stayed in Penha de França, a non-touristy neighborhood in the city. 

Around the corner from our Airbnb apartment was Carvoaria Jacto Restaurant, a neighborhood restaurant always full with locals.

One evening, we stopped in for dinner and Rosemary ordered the bacalhau à lagareiro. On the menu though, it went by other popular name bacalhau assado brasa com batata a murro.

Though modest in appearance, this à Lagareiro cod fish dish exceeded our expectations.

It was a very simple preparation of roasted codfish accompanied with potatoes.

We very much enjoyed the simple flavors and the way it was prepared. Though massive in size, we savored every last bite.

The secret to the exquisite flavors of bacalhau à lagareiro is in the use of high quality ingredients. 

The Portuguese cod fillets need to be of the finest quality. And, equally important is the use of the best Portuguese olive oil available. 

Follow the simple instructions below and enjoy making this delightful bacalhau lagareiro recipe at home.

READ MORE: 7 Of The Best Lisbon Food Tours You Want To Try

Bacalhau A Lagareiro Recipe – How To Make Codfish Lagareiro Style at Home

Ingredients for bacalhaua lagareiro recipe by Authentic Food Quest
Ingredients for bacalhau lagareiro recipe

To prepare this simple bacalhau à lagareiro recipe,  you need just a few ingredients. The main ingredient is salt cod. 

This cod must be desalted for at least 24 to 48 hours before preparing this bacalhau dish.

Alternatively, you can also use ready to cook cod fish pieces to save time.

AUTHENTIC FOOD QUEST RECIPE: If you have left over cod fillets and want to try another Portuguese recipe, try our simple and delicious Bacalhau à Brás recipe.

Bacalhau A Lagareiro Recipe Tips

Preparing The Cod

Cod Fish by Authentic Food Quest
Use natural fish that is sustainably sourced

The most important part of this Bacalhau a Lagareiro recipe is to desalt the cod. For this, you must soak the cod in water for about 24 to 48 hours. 

During this period, change the soaking water every six hours. Be sure to leave the cod in the fridge the entire time in a vacuum sealed container with a lid.

Alternatively, you can use ready to cook cod fillets, which are delivered frozen, and must be thawed out first before cooking.

AUTHENTIC FOOD QUEST RECIPE: For another traditional Portuguese recipe made in the “à lagareiro” style of cooking, see our Polvo A Lagareiro Recipe: How To Make Octopus Portuguese Style

Cooking The Potatoes

Baked Potatoes Lagareiro Style by Authentic Food Quest
For bacalhau lagareiro style, potatoes need to be baked two times

Bacalhau a Lagareiro, the classic Portuguese food is quite effortless to make. 

The base of bacalhau a lagareiro, the classic Portuguese food is potatoes. Since potatoes have a longer cooking time than cod fillets, you have to cook everything separately.

It is best to bake or steam the potatoes until they about 70% done. These half-cooked potatoes are first lightly mashed and then baked a second time. This time with lots of fried onions and garlic, cod, and herbs.

Portuguese Olive Oil

Portuguese Olive Oil Herdadedo Esporao by Authentic Food Quest
Olive oil is a common ingredient in Portuguese dishes

Olive oil features prominently in Portuguese cuisine. It is added abundantly to numerous dishes including this bacalhau à lagareiro recipe.

You want to use high quality ingredients including Portuguese olive oil for the best flavors.  

We’ve had the pleasure of using and  cooking with Esporão’s olive oils, some of the best in Portugal from the Alentejo region.

The Esporão’s oils are produced using natural methods and traditional processes. What you get in the bottle are the best flavors preserved from the pure juice of the olives that are harvested. 

For the best flavors for this simple recipe, consider using premium Portuguese olive oil.

Bacalhau Lagareiro Step by Step Instructions

Prepare the Potatoes

Wash the potatoes and clean them thoroughly. Using a sharp knife, slice and remove any of the dark spots. 

Place the potatoes in a baking dish and bake them in the oven for about 20 minutes at 300°F /150°C.

Cook Onions and Garlic

Peel the onions and cut them into thin slices. Peel the garlic cloves and crush them. In a skillet or frying pan, pour a little olive oil. 

Cook the sliced onions with garlic for about 10 minutes, until onions are golden brown.

Bake Cod and Potatoes

Slightly mash the baked potatoes and place the cooked onions over them. Spread the onions around to cover the potatoes.

Place the uncooked and seasoned pieces of cod loin on top of the punched potatoes. Drizzle with olive oil and put back in the oven. Bake for another 20 minutes at 300°F /150°C.

Bacalhau Lagareiro Recipe by Authentic Food Quest

Bacalhau a Lagareiro Recipe

This bacalhau a lagareiro recipe is for a classic Portuguese codfish dish that is effortless to make. Simply bake codfish with potatoes, add olive oil, onions, and garlic and create a delicious dish everyone will rave about.
5 from 4 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Recipes
Cuisine: Portuguese
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 2
Calories: 993kcal
Author: Authentic Food Quest


  • 1 lbs cod fillets fresh or desalted
  • 1.3 lbs potatoes small
  • 3 cups white onion
  • ½ cup Portuguese olive oil extra virgin
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ teaspoon hot paprika optional
  • 2 tbsp cilantro or coriander chopped, optional


  • If you are using salted cod, start preparing the recipe two days in advance. Start by rinsing the cod with a little running water. Then, place it inside an airtight container, with a lid. Fill the container with enough water to cover the cod at least partially. Keep it inside the fridge. Every six hours, remove the cod from the fridge, drain the water, and top up again with more freshwater. This process removes the salt from the cod.
  • If you are using ready to cook cod fish pieces, start by thawing them out if they are frozen.
  • Select small potatoes of a similar size. Wash the potatoes thoroughly and make sure there is no traces of dirt. Then, using a sharp knife, scoop out the dark spots from the potatoes. Place the potatoes in the baking dish you’ll use to make the bacalhau a lagareiro recipe.
  • Season the potatoes with salt and pepper. Bake them at t 300°F /150°C for approximately 20 minutes.
  • While cooking the potatoes, peel and cut the onions into thin slices.
  • Peel the garlic, and crush it.
  • Pour the olive oil into a skillet over medium heat; When hot, add the sliced ​​onions and the crushed garlic. Cook for about 10 minutes until onions are golden brown.
  • Remove the half cooked potatoes from the oven. Mash lightly using a fork while being careful not to burn yourself. Mashing the potatoes ensures they are cooked evenly.
  • Add the fried onion over the potatoes along with the bay leaves.
  • Season the cod fillets with salt and pepper. Put them on top of the onions, drizzle a little olive oil over the cod, and put it in the oven at 150°C/300°F for another 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Before serving, remove the bay leaves. If you wish, sprinkle a little paprika and chopped coriander on top.


If you prefer, you can also substitute chopped parsley for coriander or cilantro.


Serving: 1 | Calories: 993kcal | Carbohydrates: 76g | Protein: 49g | Fat: 56g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 40g | Cholesterol: 98mg | Sodium: 152mg | Potassium: 2550mg | Fiber: 11g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 135IU | Vitamin C: 80mg | Calcium: 137mg | Iron: 4mg
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