A bowl with gluten-free Brazilian cheese breads

Gluten-free Brazilian cheese bread (Pão de Queijo)

When I started the FODMAP diet in 2014, I was looking for recipes for gluten-free bread rolls. Then I found Pao de Queijo. This is gluten-free cheese bread made with tapioca starch, grated cheese and egg and are naturally gluten-free. Perfect! 

These little cheese puffs are not really healthy, because there is enough cheese in them. But that’s not the point of a cheese bread? They should above all be soft, fluffy and cheesy. And that’s what they are! 

They are delicious as a snack, as part of your lunch or to serve as a party snack. 

Update: I first shared this recipe in 2014. Fun fact: it was the very first recipe on Karlijn’s Kitchen. In January 2022 I gave this recipe an update.

Gluten-free Brazilian cheese breads

What are Pao de Queijo

Pao de queijo are Brazilian cheese breads. They are baked dough balls that are slightly crispy on the outside, with a soft cheese filling on the inside. Cassava flour, also known as tapioca starch, is used for the dough.

This flour is naturally gluten-free, so we don’t have to adjust anything to this recipe to make it low FODMAP. Ideal!

You can buy tapioca starch usually very cheaply at Asian supermarkets (at least here in the Netherlands you can), but you can also order it online. 

A Brazilian cheese bread with a bite taken out of it

What cheese can I use? 

If you eat low FODMAP you may wonder what cheeses are suitable for the FODMAP diet. You can read more about this in my blog: What cheeses are low FODMAP?

There are quite a lot of cheeses that you can eat during the low FODMAP diet. Many cheeses contain little or almost no lactose anymore due to the processing process. This is especially true for hard yellow cheeses.

In this recipe I choose to use aged Gouda cheese and Parmesan cheese. I choose two aged cheeses, because this gives more flavour to the breads. 

Monash University indicates in their app that parmesan cheese only contains traces of FODMAPs and remains low FODMAP up to a portion of no less than 500 grams.

A bowl with Pao de Queijo

Gouda cheese is not in the app, but Monash University maintains a threshold for lactose of less than 1 gram per serving.

If a serving of a milk product contains less than 1 gram of lactose, most people with a lactose intolerance will be able to tolerate it. This is often the case with Gouda cheeses because the processing process has left almost no lactose in it.

You can find an extensive explanation about this in the blog about cheeses that I linked above.

If you don’t like aged cheese, you can also choose a different type of grated cheese.

Will you let me know if you have made my gluten-free Brazilian cheese bread? I would love it if you would let me know what you think about the recipe by leaving a comment and a rating below. You can also share your creations with me by tagging me on Instagram @karlijnskitchen or by using the hashtag #karlijnskitchen. 

A hand holding a gluten-free Brazilian cheese bread
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A bowl with Pao de Queijo

Gluten-free Brazilian Cheese Bread

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  • Author: Karlijn
  • Total Time: 40 min
  • Servings: 16 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free


Gluten-free Brazilian cheese bread made with tapioca flour. Also known as Pao de Queijo. Delicious soft and cheesy. Low FODMAP, low lactose and vegetarian.


  • 250 g (8.8 oz) tapioca starch
  • Pinch of salt
  • 100 g (3.5 oz) old cheese, grated
  • 50 g (1.8 oz) parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 egg
  • 100 ml (3.4 fl. oz) lactose-free cow’s milk
  • 100 ml (3.4 fl. oz) water
  • 50 ml (1.7 fl. oz) sunflower oil


  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius (392 F).
  2. Place the tapioca starch in a bowl along with a pinch of salt.
  3. Heat the milk, water and sunflower oil in a saucepan over low heat. Heat until it starts to bubble.
  4. Add to the bowl and stir everything together well.
  5. Add the egg and stir.
  6. Then add the parmesan cheese and grated Gouda cheese.
  7. Stir everything together well.
  8. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
  9. Wet your hands a bit and divide the batter into 16 balls. Place on the baking tray with some distance in between.
  10. Bake the breads in the oven for about 20-25 minutes. It can differ per oven exactly how much time is needed. In my oven they were done after 22 minutes.


Storage: you can store the cheese rolls in a sealed container in the refrigerator for a week. Heat them briefly in the oven or microwave before eating them.

  • Prep Time: 20 min
  • Cook Time: 20 min
  • Category: Snack
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: Brazilian


  • Serving Size: 1 bread
  • Calories: 127
  • Fat: 6
  • Carbohydrates: 14
  • Fiber: 0
  • Protein: 3
A bowl with Pao de Queijo

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  • Beatriz says:

    Hi! Is there any way to work around how unease to maneuver the tapioca starch is once you add liquid to it ? I had to break it out and crumble it with my hands … maybe I’m doing something wrong ?

  • Sarah Hartnup says:

    I haven’t tried this recipe yet but wonder if anyone has tried cooking the bread in an airfryer?

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