Brazilian Salt Cod and Potato Gratin (Bacalhau Gratinado)

This cheesy potato gratin with salt cod is very rich and filling, perfect for family gatherings. Salt cod must be soaked for 24 hours in water to remove the excess salt, so plan ahead.

Serves: 10Hands-on: 30 minutesTotal: 1 hour 40 minutesDifficulty: Medium

Serves: 10


  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 1⁄2 lbs. salt cod, soaked overnight, rinsed, and dried
  • 1⁄2 cup coconut milk
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 4 lbs. potatoes, peeled
  • 1⁄2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1⁄2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 Tbsp. whole-grain mustard
  • 1⁄2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup grated cheese (white Cheddar, Monterey Jack, or mozzarella)


  • Place the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the onion and cook over medium heat until onion is soft, about 5 to 8 minutes. Add the salt cod, and cook about 10 minutes. Add the coconut milk and cream cheese. Mix well and set aside.
  • Cut the potatoes into large chunks and place in a pot of boiling water. Simmer until potatoes are very tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Drain. Pass potatoes through a potato ricer, into the bowl of a standing mixer. Add 1⁄4 cup of the Parmesan, cream, mustard, salt, and pepper, and beat until well mixed and fluffy. Set aside.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking pan. Spread half of the mashed potatoes to cover the bottom of the pan. Place the fish mixture over the potatoes, then cover with remaining potatoes. Sprinkle grated cheese and remaining Parmesan over the top.
  • Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until cheese is melted and slightly browned and casserole is heated through.