GF: Pao de quejo (aka “Brazilian Cheese Bread”)

GF:Pao de quejo, originally uploaded by Kate Chan.

I have to admit this. I love Brazilian Cheese Bread – but I really am working hard to save some money for us. So buying the different mixes is completely out. It’s been a long time since we’ve purchased the mixes. But, I’ve rather missed the quick and easy cheesy bread balls. Soo… I decided to try to make my own.

I think you will agree that the recipe isn’t complicated. The things required beyond the dry ingredients (eggs, cheese, butter and seasoning) are about the same as what is required from the mix you can buy. But this time, you can vary it enough for your own tastes and not worry running out to get the mix or spending the money for it!

I suppose one reason why this is easy for me is because I *always* have tapioca flour (same as tapioca starch or tapioca starch flour) on hand for my baking. I like the texture that it gives baked goods and it is cheap to buy (especially at the local Asian markets).

On New Year’s Day, I made a batch of these cheesy biscuits for my parents who had never had them before. As the bread baked, I laid out the leftover Jalapeño Popper dip, some ham and turkey slices, some sprouts and spinach, some cucumber slices etc. Basically whatever would make for great sandwich fixings. None of us were too hungry (we had a late lunch) but we could all stand to nosh on something – so this was perfect.

And let me just say this: This cheesy bread + jalapeño popper dip + cucumber slices is like HEAVEN in mini-sandwich form. My husband told me that his favorite was definitely the same but with ham in lieu of the cucumber slices because it reminded him of Jalapeño-Cheddar bread that we so adore. But heck! That bread takes an hour – and this took 15 minutes!

Okay… enough of my prattle. Here’s the recipe. We’re off to make Jambalaya for dinner… and I think I’m going to make some of these to accompany it as well. I just can’t get enough of them.

OH WAIT! I forgot to tell you something else important. You can EASILY adjust the seasonings to make this as a pizza crust (or pizza flavored sandwich bread, etc), or whatever. We used dried chives and dill to make it perfectly delish for us/our purposes. What seasoning will you use?

Gluten Free Pao de Quejo ~ Brazilian Cheese Bread
Makes 12 – 1 1/2 inch wide biscuits/rolls
1 1/4 cups tapioca flour (same thing as tapioca starch)
2 cups shredded cheese (we used an Italian blend)
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 eggs
1/4 cup melted butter
2 teaspoons dill
2 teaspoons dried chives


  1. Preheat your oven to 450F.
  2. Mix together all ingredients in your mixer well.
  3. Form in to balls (about 1 1/2 inches or 2 inches) and slightly flatten. (Almost make them in to small disks, if you want them to look like what is in the picture… or leave them as puffed balls! You decide!)
  4. Place on parchment paper on a baking sheet.
  5. Bake for 8 – 10 minutes or until golden brown.
  6. Serve warm with sandwich fixings or your favorite soup.



Last night we made our favorite potato pizza for the first time in a VERY long time.  The toppings are heavy so my usual pizza crusts (this one and this one) don’t really hold up to the weight of the toppings.  So.. last night I made this recipe.  I doubled it (for two pizza crusts) and only used 2 cups of shredded cheese.  (We were putting more cheese on top… so why kill ourselves with even MORE? LOL)  I formed the crusts by rolling it out on parchment paper.  Then I prebaked the crust alone for about 15 minutes on a preheated pizza stone.  We used one crust for potato pizza and the other for regular cheese pizza.  It was a HUGE hit with our two non-gluten free pizza fans.  This was their first gluten free pizza – and they were happily munching away.  😀  Hooray!


  1. I’m already trying to figure out when I can make these. If I can’t get to them this week, then they are going on next week’s menu. They look and sound great!

  2. Do you really mean blender? Doesn’t it stick? Could I do it in my kitchen aid mixer instead?

  3. Can these be made in the processor/Cuisinart? They sound yummy and I can’t wait to try them, but I don’t want to have to trial-and-big-big-error them in my Cuisinart.

  4. So exciting! I’ve been wondering if you could make Chebe from scratch…
    When you make the pizza, do you use the same amount of cheese as you do for the rolls, or perhaps decrease it? I seem to remember that the Chebe pizza mix doesn’t have a lot (or maybe any?) cheese in it.

  5. Amy Lineburg says:

    I had no idea these were made in Brazil. I just got the recipe when I was in Bolivia in Nov and made them for Christmas dinner. They were a smash hit.

    **Cook’s secret in Bolivia: make a whole with your thumb in the bottom of each little roll–they deflate less. Also, for this recipe, I’d only put in 1 egg and room-temp butter, in case that helps anyone.

    The dough is also AWESOME as a pizza crust!!!!

  6. Amy Lineburg says:

    OOps, I meant make a hole with your thumb. 🙂

  7. Tried your cheese biscuits today. THEY ARE FABULOUS!!! I am SO MAKING these again. My boys loved them!!
    YUM YUM..
    (I included the recipe and photos on my blog today. YAH for you! thanks)

  8. Thank you for posting this! I love Chebe, but hate to spend so much money on the packages. I tried making my own tapioca rolls awhile ago, and it was an unmitigated disaster 😦 Perhaps it is time to try this again!!

  9. Great flavours Kate. That sounds just fantastic!

  10. I cannot wait to try these! With a 20 month old, time is always at a minimum, and these look quick and delish!

  11. Varenikje says:

    Okay, I haven’t yet, but I will try this recipe first thing tomorrow. I love Chebe breads, but they are, as you say, rather expensive. And if you remember me, I am the one that a friend was going to go to a bulk foods store, and they did and they returned with different types of flour that I will be able to experiment with! Yay!

    Thanks for the recipe!

  12. Pao de Quejo was a favorite snack when I lived in Brazil in my teens. I have not attempted to bake them gluten free–now I will. Many thanks for this great post.

  13. Gluten Free Steve says:

    I think these might have to be on this weekend’s menu!

  14. Thank you for posting this recipe! I love Chebe bread. I will make them tomorrow!

  15. I just stumbled upon website while looking for gluten-free recipes. This recipe looks fabulous! I intend on baking it tonight. I was just wondering if these buns freeze well?
    Thank you! I look forward to more recipes! 🙂

  16. I tried these and they are out of this world. They are also kosher for passover. These are my new favorite rolls! I cant wait to think of different things to fill them with for breakfasts and lunches for work.

    • Can these be made without any cheese?

      • Sorry, Kelly, but they cannot. The cheese is the largest portion of the ingredients (double the flour quantity) and it is was truly holds these cheese bread rolls together.

      • Valerie says:

        I wish they could be made without cheese. The recipe on the Chebe packets makes the cheese optional, and since my family is dairy-free, we always make cheeseless Chebe bread. But my family likes to eat all organic, and Chebe isn’t organic. I can find organic tapioca flour easily. So I keep hoping that I can figure out how to make Chebe from scratch, without cheese. So far I haven’t found a recipe for that, but I keep looking.

      • Valerie –
        Chebe bread does have dried milk powder in its ingredients list which is how they are subbing out the richness from the cheese, I imagine. Since I am not dairy-free, I have not tried to sub this out. I would have to play around with the ingredients to drop the cheese and get the right consistency with the dairy powder (or obviously a dairy-free version, as you state your family is dairy-free).

        Maybe you want to try arepas without the cheese? Try this recipe: While NOT Chebe Bread (which is called “Cheese Bread” traditionally), it is a good substitute for the size/style of bread.

        Good luck!

      • Hi kelly. I as well cannot havethe cheese, so i left it out.i do the same with chebe mixes. I just tried this recipe i put salt oregano parsley or whatver u like. Wish i could use garlic but i hve allergies. They came out pretty good without the cheese. I mixed by hand dough is verrryy sticky but managed to get into balls. Try it see how u like it. I hve hunted allover the internet for these and they all didnt cme out as well as this one. I guess the cheese ismajor in the flavoring but no choice. I also didnt use baking powder. Just season it up! Good luck

      • Yes – the cheese is the major ingredient here.
        Have you tried the Daiya cheese? (I believe those are dairy free/soy based, right?)
        I wondered if they would work.

        I might just have to try it sometime over break. I love these little breads – my toddlers think they are “sliders” when I serve them as sandwiches. 😀

      • I’d bet that you could use grated romano cheese for these–they suggest hard cheese (aka parmesan) on the package and romano is very similar. The good news is it’s not dairy–it’s made from sheep’s milk. I’m trying a batch right now! Crossing my fingers…

  17. A friend told me about your site last week and I’ve had the best time reading your posts! I needed a breadstick for dunking marinara this afternoon and modified this recipe to include some shredded parmesan (1/4 cup of the cheese) and used 1 teaspoon oregano and a dash of garlic powder instead of the herbs. I doubled the recipe but will have to make another double batch before we head off to our friends’ this evening – they were that big a hit. Thanks!

  18. read this to my husband and he said…do not tell me these things when I am so hungry I could eat my computer…I said go eat something silly man…he said but now I want those…lol

    we will be trying these very soon thanks for sharing!

    I fond you through this link by the by..

    live laugh and enjoy!

  19. I finally got a chance to try your recipe. It turned out fabulous. I made them a little bigger and flatter, and used them as hamburger buns. It was great with your jalapeno-popper dip spread on it too! Thanks for sharing the recipes.

    • Yum! We’ve made them with slightly more baking powder too to have them puff up and have little “pockets” inside that we stuff with all things wonderful – like crab salad, cole slaw, etc. Whatever I’m craving at the moment! Had not thought of using them as hamburger buns – good idea!

  20. These look fabulous,I would love to try them today. I don’t have tapioca flour,can you use rice flour or the mixed flour that includes tapicoa flour? Thanks

    • Sorry Marte – You need tapioca flour, yuca flour or manioc flour. Rice flour does not have the same starchy/stretchy properties as tapioca flour. ¡Lo siento! ~Kate

  21. I just pulled these out of the oven. I am putting the recipe in my organizer now! thank you..

    I used Cheddar and Minced Dried Onions…just FYI

  22. Made these today and they were fantastic. Thank you for a such a quick and easy recipe.

  23. firebear says:

    I just want you to know; we make these at least once a week…thank you so much!

  24. Val of the South says:

    These look fabulous – thanks!

    Quick questions – can you use Silpat sheets instead of parchment paper?

    Have you ever tried using Egg Beaters in any of your recipes?

    Loving all these recipes – no longer feeling sorry for myself!


    • Absolutely! Use the silpat. I like them too – just hate when they get a bit greasy. The clean up is my downfall. LOL

    • I use aluminium half sheets…the same thing we used to use at the restaurant. In fact we just made a batch this morning for every ones lunch box sandwiches…lol

  25. Varenikje says:

    I have used this recipe a few times now and it turned out great! I even make little mini sandwiches. I also have purchased Chebe bread mixes and they are very good too. But it is nice to be able to make these without the mix. Thank you!

  26. Thank you, thank you, thank you!! I have been dreaming of a hamburger and THIS is going to be my bun. That is if they last until supper time…

  27. Kate, I finally made these last weekend. Big success! An even bigger success was the pizza I made! I did mine a little differently than yours, but oh boy, the crust was great. I’m swearing off cheese for a while, but I’ll definitely make one for my gf son when he’s home next.

    Thanks so much!


  28. Val of the south says:

    You saved me once again! I was grocery shopping and feeling sorry for myself about all the things I can’t have anymore 😦 I came home and made this as a pizza crust, but ended up cutting it in squares and using it for a heavenly ham sandwich! It was like a really buttery grilled ham and cheese. Saved my sanity for today 🙂 Thanks!!

  29. Carol Cripps says:

    These were good! I’m wondering if a sweet version could be made – say cheddar and chopped apples, with cinnamon? That would be worth getting up really early for.

  30. Melissa Burke says:

    Thank you so much for this chebe bread recipe. I changed the spices and cheese to accommodate Italian and OMG, delicious. My family gobbled them up. Should have made a double batch. I have also made several of your other recipies and love them all. Thanks for making my jouney into gf cooking so easy. You have made my celiac son very happy. 😀

  31. can you use almond flour instead of tapioca?

    • Sorry – no. Almond flour is not a replacement for tapioca starch/flour. You could use potato starch instead of the tapioca starch flour but your chebe bread rolls will be more dense.

  32. I’m going to try Pizza crust with this! I use the Jules Gluten Free Flour these days for just about everything and absolutely love it, but I love the chewy texture of Chebe. Just a thought for vegans (and I have not tried this) but aren’t there some good vegan cheeses that do melt enough to hold the dough together?

  33. WOOHOO! This is a very good, quick, easy and scrumptious bread! We used our hamburger/muffin molds and they worked great as hamburger buns. They held up well to a burger and had a great flavor. Thanks for this recipe!

  34. I’m forever in your debt for posting this recipe. I love how quick it is to whip up. I literally can do it while the burgers are grilling. As PP mentioned I use my burger molds and it works nicely. Today I just used the recipe for “baby” pizzas. My daughter was longing for the mini bagel bites she used to enjoy. I used a wide mouth glass to cut out 4″ circles. I do believe she likes this new baby pizza better. I used 1 teaspoon each of garlic powder, italian seasoning and onion powder. With much gratitude,


  35. These are awesome!! My kids love them and I am the only one gf so a double batch is always necessary. Tonight I used it for pizza and it was great!! Thanks for the recipe, this is a keeper.

  36. WOW!!! That is the word to describe these little rolls. I made some of them as little mini buns and some as more of a flat (thin) bun almost a mini pizza crust. My son LOVED them. I cook GF for him due to digestive issues and am on the hunt for easy lunch box ideas. I came across this recipe and we are hooked. I made him a mini pizza and he was in heaven. I used mozzarella cheese and no spices as I thought it would work nice this way for some many different things from mini pizzas to sandwiches to hamburger buns. Thanks so much for posting this. I am excited to try other recipes on your blog as well!

  37. Hi, these look great but we are also dairy-free. Is there anything like this that does not need the cheese???


  38. Hi Kate. You have no idea how happy I am to find this easy recipe for cheese rolls and pizza crusts. I am quite new to gf (just hit the 2 week mark) and I am beginning to see a glimmer of hope and anticipation in this new way of cooking which before seemed discouraging and freightening. I was led to you by Shirley at She has been so kind to me as a new blogger and as someone who has just learned they need to be gf.

    I’m so glad to have found your site. Now I’m wondering when I will get my other things done like laundry, cleaning, etc. Thanks again for a wonderful site. I’m going to try these rolls in about 2 minutes.


  39. What a delicious “quick bun” recipe I baked Sunday morning for brunch.I substituted Italian seasoning for the herbs and everyone enjoyed the crusty Italian rolls. Thank you

  40. Liana Montanher says:

    I had no idea there was a mix here in the USA or that it was called CHEBE bread—my husband is Brazilian and Pao de queijo is just soooo very good. I didn’t even think about looking for ingredients in an Asian market! BTW–what does Chebe mean? I am not GF but these recipes sound pretty amazing–can’t wait to try them!!!!

  41. Having only been GF for less than a week I was highly craving bread.. I found this recipe and I didn’t have tapioca flour but as mentioned in early comments potato starch would work instead, which I did have on hand. I will be the first to admit I was skeptical I went to Culinary School and one of my favorite classes was breads. But let me say OMG these hit my bread craving spot! They were fabulous, delicious and oh so bready! I told my husband these will have to be made weekly (at least!). Thanks for an awesome recipe!

  42. Lorraine says:

    These are amazing! We are thinking up different toppings for party foods – thank you so much!

  43. says:

    i made this for my family and they love it!!!
    thanks for sharing the recipe 🙂
    you can see my pictures at my blog

  44. I just made this recipe… thank you and I am quite impressed! I wanted to have something to make for pseudo hamburger buns for my kids so they won’t feel left out when my hubs has his wheat bun, and these will definitely do the trick. My kids don’t like “greens” in their food so to make it easy I seasoned them with garlic and onion powder and they are really really good. I also tried to flatten to various levels and I think that keeping them relatively “puffy” will work best for hamburger buns, as opposed to making two flatter biscuits and using 2 for the top and bottom buns. Thank you!

  45. What can I say – FABULOSO!!!! And that’s an understatement. Love this even better than Chebe Chesse Bread Mix. However, did add garlic powder, mixed cheeses (velveeta & sharp cheddar & 1 tsp. milk. Was not searching for gluten-free but if your recipe is indicative of texture and flavor, I’m sold!! Thanks for educating us all

  46. Our new FAVORITE bun recipe…I am going to try it as pizza crust next…THANKS!!!

  47. Thank you for posting this recipe! My son is on the autism diet and I discovered Chebe when we were phasing out the gluten, but, unfortunately, it contains dry milk powder so it was not dairy free. With your recipe, I simply substituted the cheese and butter with vegan alternatives. I used a combination of Galaxy Nutritional Food’s Rice Vegan American slices cut into small pieces and enough Daiya mozzarella shreds to fill the 2-cup measure. I’m not endorsing those brands, per se, but just to give an idea of what you can use. You did mention it to a poster, so I thought I would mention that yes, you can use cheese substitutes and still get a tasty result. I imagine you could use a vegan egg substitute and fully veganize the recipe.

    I also left out the herbs because my son can’t stand much seasoning, but I would like to try the original recipe sometime with real cheese, too.

    Again, thanks! I think these taste even better than Chebe and much less expensive. 🙂

    • In case it is useful: Original Chebe mix contains dairy, but for years now there have been strictly dairy-free Chebe options. My family really likes the Chebe All Purpose Bread Mix. And I think their pizza mix is dairy-free too, if I remember right. We buy the all-purpose Chebe mix in bulk from their website and use it for breadsticks, pizza, and a calzone-like recipe. I’d like to someday switch over to making them from scratch instead of from a mix, like in the recipe posted here, but I haven’t yet come up with a dairy-free Chebe alternative that I’m happy with.

  48. I’m late to the party, but thanks so much for this recipe! We love Chebe bread (when in the US) and Isabel’s (when in the UK). BUT now we’re moving to Hong Kong and I’m looking for lots more “from-scratch” recipes. We tried this tonight and it turned out great. Tapioca starch/flour is cheaply available in just about every grocery store in Hong Kong, so we’re very happy.

    Now off to think about how to keep more whole grains in our diet to balance out the tapioca starch…

  49. This is so delicious. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!!

  50. Katy (LethargicLass) says:

    So you don’t need to use xantham gum? I thought we had to use it in everything baked?

    • Nope. The cheese does a grand job of holding things together for these breads.
      You do need something for other breads – and cookies, etc.

      • And, for any of you who also can’t have dairy, eggs or soy, I’ve been making ours with egg replacer and daiya vegan cheese… it’s a bit more crumbly than it probably would be otherwise, but if you knead it really well it stays together just fine! Tastes like heaven, too 😉

  51. Jacqueline says:

    I’m very excited to try this as a pizza dough and wondering if it would freeze well once cooked? Would like to make lots for days ahead? Any advice would be appreciated.Thanks

    • Toni South says:

      I think it would freeze well. I have made a lot of gluten free bread, cookies and crackers and they all freeze great. As long as you reheat it in the oven to make it crispy I think it should taste good.

  52. Toni South says:

    I haven’t made these yet but I made some from a mix that were just like this. I’m so glad to find a recipe. I made mine a little larger about 2 1/2 inches then I cut them in half. I turned them “inside out” for grilled cheese sandwiches. They were great. I am a vegetarian so I put spinach and mushrooms on it too so it was pretty thick but if you balance an iron skillet on top of it it will flatten it. I learned that from Alton Brown on the Food Channel.

  53. Great! I am going to try them without the cheese, as I have milk and casein sensitivities. The pizza bread may have milk in it, but Chebe’s All Purpose Bread Mix does not have milk (I’m looking at the ingredients right now). Their bread mix comes out great without the cheese, so, I’m anxious to try this recipe without the cheese. Thanks for posting!!! What a great find.

  54. Getsy James says:

    Ok….OK ….Yum….I wanted lunch and the bread and cream cheese mix and cukes sounded like just the ticket…in no time flat it was done and on a plate and then yum….what a nice easy quick delicious fix…am GMO and Gluten free and have had more fun adventures with food than when I was eating a SADD diet…


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  5. […] to check out the pizza roundup at Gluten Free Is Life. Or maybe I’ll try making one with the Cheese Bread recipe from Gluten Free […]

  6. […] with Chebe Cheese Bread.  I love Chebe, but it can be pricey and hard to find. I just discovered Gluten Free Pao de Quejo ~ Cheese Bread. It is simple and quite […]

  7. […] the meantime, I am making Cheesey Bread (Faux Chebe Bread) that whips up and bakes in less time than it takes the Midge to read a couple books at my feet. […]

  8. […] recipe. Making it at home is easy, quick and uses items commonly used in my kitchen. I have linked GF: Pao de quejo (aka “Chebe Bread”) at Gluten Free Gobsmacked before. I felt that I should do it at least one more […]

  9. […] and used her Cheese Roll Recipe (homemade Chebe, anyone?) to make pizza and rolls! Recipe: Pao de Quejo–Homemade Chebe Bread Recipe for cheese rolls or pizza […]

  10. […] way to use up leftover ingredients. I’ve been wanting to try Gluten Free Gobsmacked’s “Chebe” bread recipe for a pizza crust for a while. I use the recipe frequently for rolls and hamburger buns, but never […]

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  12. […] I’ve fallen back on to some standards/fail-safes that are quick to whip up (lavash bread, brazilian cheese bread,, cookies (!),) and best of all:  QUICK BREADS!  Without time to have a loaf rising, it’s […]

  13. […] so it's pretty common (I usually find it next to the flour with gluten-free options). Here's a recipe where you just ix it with egg, some cheese, and baking powder. It makes an EXCELLENT crust! […]

  14. […] is almost always Pizza night at our house. Lately I have been using a recipe for Pao bread for the crust. I double the recipe using only 1/2 of the cheese, omitting the herbs adding in a […]

  15. […] to try the failed pizza crust again, to try and make it work better, but that was before I found this recipe today. As soon as I read it I could not wait to try it out! The thing that really caught my […]

  16. […] (bean or beef) (speedy buns – done in the oven while I grill/cook burger or pao-d-quejo buns – quick […]

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