Coxinha: Brazil’s answer to chicken nuggets and drumsticks

coxinhas unique food glutto digest

Where Can I Get it?  |  How Can I Make It?

What are coxinhas? 

Coxinha (a.k.a. “coxinha de frango” co-SHEEN-ya dee FRAHN-goo, or “coxinha de galinha” co-SHEEN-ya dee ga-LEEN-ya) is a popular Brazilian street food which is a boneless teardrop-shaped croquette containing chicken meat.  It is usually eaten as a snack or appetizer.

In the late 19th century, these savory Brazilian bites were invented because there were not enough chicken thighs to meet demand.  Pieces of dough were filled with chicken meat, shaped into a chicken thigh, then fried to hold its shape.  Coxinha literally translates to “little thigh.”

There are currently many variations of these fried chicken bites which use cheese, corn and other vegetables.

Where can I get it?  

You can find this chicken-filled appetizer at many authentic Brazilian restaurants and certain places that serve international cuisine.  Here are some places across the country known to serve delicious coxinhas.

Atlanta, GA (Marietta): Brazilian Bakery Cafe

Miami, FL: Farofa

coxinha miami florida
photo: Farofa on Facebook

New York, NY: Emporium Brasil

Brazilian coxinha new york manhattan
photo: Emporium Brasil on Facebook

 San Diego, CA: Cafe Zzo

coxinhas in san diego california
photo: Cafe Zzo in Casa Mira View

Looking for more places that serve coxinhas?  You can find them on Glutto right here.

How can I make it?  

Here is an easy recipe to make your very own Brazilian coxinhas at home.

Ingredients (approx. 12 coxinhas)

  • 3 cups cooked rotisserie chicken (finely shredded)
  • 1-2 tablespoons mayonnaise (or requeijão cream cheese)
  • 1/2 white onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon chives
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 2-3 cups of flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1-2 cups of very finely grated bread crumbs
  • vegetable oil (to fry)
  • salt & pepper (to taste)


  1. First chop the onion and the garlic finely.  Then heat in a pan with butter until they start to brown.
  2. Fully mix the shredded chicken, mayonnaise/cream cheese and chives with the lightly browned onion and garlic. Set this chicken filling aside.
  3. Place the chicken stock and olive oil in a large saucepan.  Add salt to taste, and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Once hot, add the flour while stirring constantly for about a minute until a lumpy dough is formed.
  4. Remove dough from heat and knead for an additional 5 mins, or until dough has softened and become smooth.
  5. On a flat floured surface, separate golf ball-sized pieces of dough and shape them into flat discs.
  6. Place approx. 1 tablespoon of the chicken filling in the center of each disc and wrap the dough around, pinching it closed at the top for form a teardrop/drumstick-like shape.  Repeat until all the dough & filling are used.
  7. Whisk eggs in a bowl and put bread crumbs (seasoned with salt & pepper to taste) in a shallow pan.
  8. Dip the each coxinha in the whisked eggs, then the bread crumbs until fully coated.
  9. Fry the coxinhas in small batches until golden brown.  Enjoy!

Hello! I'm Kristina

Kristina Reynolds is the Founder & CEO of Glutto and an alumna of the University of California, San Diego. She writes articles & posts for Glutto Digest with insights from fellow industry experts. Furthermore, she is the author of The Fittest Food Lovers: How EVERY BODY Can be Incredibly Fit and Still Enjoy Food, a collaborative philanthropic book with proceeds going to charities that fight world hunger.