Portugal is a seafaring nation with a well-developed fishing industry and this is reflected in the amount of fish and seafood eaten.

Fish is served grilled, boiled (including poached and simmered), fried or deep-fried, stewed (often in clay pot cooking) or even roasted. Foremost amongst these is bacalhau (cod), which is the type of fish most consumed in Portugal. It is said that there are more than 365 ways to cook cod, one for every day of the year.

Many meat dishes feature in Portuguese cuisine. In Bairrada area, a famous dish is Leitão à Bairrada (roasted suckling pig). Nearby, another dish, chanfana (old goat, slowly cooked in wine) is claimed by two towns, Miranda do Corvo ("Capital da Chanfana") and Vila Nova de Poiares ("Capital Universal da Chanfana"). Alcatra, beef marinated in red wine and garlic and then roasted, is a tradition of Terceira Island in the Azores. In continental Portugal, alcatra, an Arabic word meaning piece or bit, refers only to a certain expensive meat cut. Carne de porco à alentejana, fried pork with clams, is a popular dish with a misleading name as it originated in the Algarve, not in Alentejo.

Rich egg-based desserts are very popular in Portugal and are often seasoned with spices such as cinnamon and vanilla. The most popular are leite-creme (a dessert consisting of an egg custard base topped with a layer of hard caramel), arroz doce (a typical and popular rice pudding), and pudim flã (a caramel custard, in Brazil known as pudim de leite condensado). A dessert called aletria, similar to arroz doce but made with a kind of vermicelli instead of rice, is also very popular. They are also omnipresent as traditional home desserts in Brazil and other Portuguese-influenced countries.