Portuguese Recipe: Formigos de Natal

Christmas is fast approaching…

…and so I am already craving the traditional sweet delicacies of the holiday season. Born to a family that combines the spirit of Porto with the traditions of Trás-os-Montes, I am lucky enough to have a wide variety of northern sweets on my Christmas table.

Formigos de Natal recipe

One of my favorite ones is called Formigos, a traditional sweet made mostly of old bread and dried fruits, but also very easy to make. I am sure you will love its rich cinnamon and Port wine flavors, as well as its delicate texture. In short, it is amazing!

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How to make Formigos de Natal


  • 5 liters water
  • 6 tablespoons of honey
  • 50g of chopped nuts
  • 50g chopped almonds
  • 50g dried raisins (preferably dark ones)
  • 250g of old homemade bread, sliced
  • 1 small wineglass of Port wine
  • 2 liters milk
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • Lemon peel (a piece the size of a thumb)

Formigos de Natal recipe

  • In a pan place all of the ingredients, except for the bread, milk, and dried fruit, and bring the ingredients to a boil. After the combination has boiled for 15 minutes add the dried fruit and continue to boil for another 15 minutes.
  • When the combination is almost cooked (which means it has been boiling for around 25 minutes in total), place the bread in a large bowl and soak it in enough milk to cover the bread. Allow the bread to soak for 2 minutes.
  • Drain the milk from the bowl so that there is barely any milk left in the bowl.
  • Add the soaked bread to the mixture in the pan and let it cook at a low temperature for 20 minutes.
  • Correct the seasoning per your taste, you may want to add some sugar if you have a sweet tooth. Finally, pour the mixture into small bowls and enjoy.

Bom apetite” and let us know how it went on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter!
Taste Porto Foodie Team

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