Aletria Recipe

Indulge in a taste of Portugal with our Aletria recipe. Creamy, sweet, and authentic – your journey to this traditional dessert begins here!



  • Cuisine: Portuguese
  • Category: Dessert
  • Prep Time:
  • Cook Time:
  • Servings: 6
  • Calories: 250 calories

Aletria is a delightful and traditional Portuguese dessert that holds a special place in the country's culinary heritage. This sweet and creamy dish is typically made with vermicelli pasta, milk, sugar, and a hint of cinnamon, resulting in a comforting and flavorful treat.

Aletria's roots can be traced back to Portuguese convents and monasteries, where nuns and monks were known for their exquisite culinary creations. Over the years, it has become a beloved dessert for various occasions, from family gatherings to holidays and celebrations.

The preparation of aletria involves toasting vermicelli pasta until it turns a golden brown, infusing it with a subtle nutty flavor. Then, it's cooked in milk with sugar, often accompanied by a cinnamon stick and sometimes a touch of lemon zest.

The addition of egg yolks gives it a rich, custard-like consistency, and the dish is allowed to cool and set, often in individual serving dishes or a communal one, before being dusted with ground cinnamon.

This sweet treat strikes a balance between simplicity and indulgence, making it a popular choice among both young and old, especially during special occasions like Christmas or Easter.

Aletria reflects the warmth and hospitality of Portuguese cuisine and is cherished for its nostalgic and comforting qualities. Whether served on a cozy evening at home or as part of a grand family feast, it's a dessert that encapsulates the essence of Portugal's culinary traditions and the joy of sharing delicious food with loved ones.


Now, discover the magic of Portuguese cuisine with our delectable Aletria dessert recipe! Creamy, sweet, and easy to make – a taste of Portugal awaits!


  • 200g of vermicelli pasta
  • 500ml of milk
  • 150g of sugar
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 lemon peel (optional)
  • 25g of butter
  • A pinch of salt
  • Ground cinnamon for dusting

Method Instructions

  1. In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the vermicelli pasta and sauté until it turns a light golden brown.
  2. Add the milk, cinnamon stick, and lemon peel (if using). Bring it to a gentle boil while stirring continuously. Reduce the heat and let it simmer for about 10-15 minutes until the pasta is soft and the mixture thickens.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the sugar until it becomes a smooth, pale mixture.
  4. Remove the cinnamon stick and lemon peel from the pasta mixture. Slowly pour a small amount of the hot milk mixture into the egg yolk mixture while continuously whisking. This is to temper the eggs, so they don't scramble.
  5. Pour the egg mixture back into the saucepan with the pasta and milk. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until it thickens further, but don't let it boil.
  6. Remove from heat and let it cool for a few minutes.
  7. Pour the aletria into serving dishes or a single large dish. Allow it to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for a couple of hours to set.
  8. Before serving, dust the top with ground cinnamon.

Enjoy your homemade aletria! It's a delicious and comforting dessert.

Recipe Video


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Recipe Tags: Aletria, Aletria Recipe, Recipe


Serving aletria is a delightful experience, and it's often presented in a simple yet elegant manner. Here's how to serve aletria:

  • Portioning: You can serve aletria in individual dessert dishes, small bowls, or even in one large communal dish, depending on your preference.
  • Chilling: It's best to serve aletria chilled, so make sure you refrigerate it for a couple of hours to allow it to set properly.
  • Dusting with Cinnamon: Just before serving, dust the top of each portion with ground cinnamon. This not only adds a touch of flavor but also enhances the dessert's visual appeal.
  • Garnish (optional): While not traditional, some people like to add a sprig of fresh mint or a twist of lemon zest for a subtle burst of color and aroma.
  • Accompaniments (optional): Aletria is delicious on its own, but you can also consider serving it with a side of fresh berries or a scoop of vanilla ice cream if you want to make it extra special.
  • Enjoy: Aletria is meant to be savored slowly. Encourage your guests to relish each bite, as it's a dessert that combines rich flavors with a lovely, creamy texture.


  1. Choose High-Quality Ingredients: Since aletria is a relatively simple dessert, using high-quality ingredients is key. Opt for good vermicelli pasta, fresh eggs, and flavorful cinnamon for the best results.
  2. Stir Constantly: When cooking the vermicelli pasta in milk, make sure to stir constantly. This prevents sticking and ensures even cooking.
  3. Temper the Eggs: When adding the egg yolk mixture back to the hot milk, temper the eggs by slowly incorporating a small amount of the hot milk into the eggs while whisking. This prevents the eggs from curdling.
  4. Don't Boil: Avoid boiling the mixture once the egg yolks are added. Keep the heat low to maintain the creamy texture without curdling the eggs.
  5. Cool and Set: Allow the aletria to cool to room temperature before refrigerating. This cooling and setting period is crucial for the dessert to achieve the right consistency.
  6. Serve Chilled: As mentioned earlier, serve aletria chilled. It's at its best when it's cold from the fridge.
  7. Dust with Cinnamon Just Before Serving: Add a generous dusting of ground cinnamon on top of each serving just before you present it to your guests. This adds a burst of flavor and a visually appealing touch.
  8. Experiment with Garnishes: While not traditional, feel free to experiment with garnishes. Fresh berries, a dollop of whipped cream, or a sprinkle of lemon zest can add a creative twist to your aletria.
  9. Share and Savor: Aletria is a dessert meant to be shared and savored with loved ones. So, enjoy it in good company.

Ingredient Substitutes

If you need to make substitutions for the aletria recipe, here are some options for certain ingredients:

  1. Vermicelli Pasta: If you can't find vermicelli pasta, you can use angel hair pasta or even broken-up spaghetti as a substitute. Just keep in mind that different pasta shapes may affect the texture slightly.
  2. Milk: Whole milk is traditionally used, but you can substitute it with low-fat or dairy-free alternatives like almond milk, soy milk, or coconut milk if you have dietary preferences or restrictions. Keep in mind that the flavor and consistency may vary with these substitutions.
  3. Sugar: You can use other sweeteners like honey, maple syrup, or agave syrup as a replacement for sugar. Adjust the quantity to taste, as these alternatives may have different sweetness levels.
  4. Egg Yolks: To make the dessert egg-free, you can use a commercial egg replacer or silken tofu blended with a bit of cornstarch as a substitute for egg yolks. The texture and flavor may differ slightly, but it should still be delicious.
  5. Cinnamon Stick and Lemon Peel: If you don't have a cinnamon stick or lemon peel, you can use ground cinnamon and a bit of lemon zest as substitutes. Just use a smaller quantity of ground cinnamon, as it's more concentrated in flavor.
  6. Butter: You can replace butter with margarine or a dairy-free butter alternative if you're looking to make the dessert vegan or dairy-free.


Embrace the rich flavors of Portugal with this authentic Aletria recipe. Share this delicious tradition with loved ones and savor every bite.

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