Looking for Spanish dinner ideas? Here are 30 of the best Spanish recipes including paella, churros and traditional tapas recipes from Spain.
As you probably know by now, Spain is my second home. My husband is Spanish and we lived in Spain for around 8 years. So I might be biased, but I think Spain has the best food in the world.
Spanish cuisine is vibrant and diverse, rich in culture and history. Cooking methods in Spain are simple — allowing flavors of the fresh ingredients and condiments to shine through. Each region also has its own specialties, creating plenty of variety and distinctive flavors in one country.
After sharing some of the most popular Spanish food with you last week, I have been inspired to show you how to prepare them. But since I’m not a food expert, I enlisted the help of the real experts: food bloggers who definitely know what they’re talking about.
Here are 30 easy, authentic Spanish recipes that you can make at home!
Recipes from Spain: Typical Spanish Breakfast
One of the most traditional Spanish dishes for breakfast is a tostada, basically a slice of toasted baguette bread. The Spanish usually eat their tostada with olive oil or grated tomato (and topped with Spanish ham if they’re fancy!).
We made this at home almost everyday when we lived in Spain. Originally from Catalonia, the tostada is called Pa amb tomàquet in Barcelona, Valencia and the Balearic islands.
Churros with chocolate sauce are a very popular snack in Spain. These deep-fried pastries are sometimes referred to as Spanish doughnuts. Churros are very crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. They are sprinkled with cinnamon sugar and smell heavenly.
Churros are very easy to make and this recipe from Spain is simple to follow. All you need to do is throw all the ingredients except the flour into a pot. When they come to the boil, add the flour, mix in and it’s ready!
Torrijas have long been part of the Spanish cuisine. While traditionally eaten on specific religious celebrations, these sweet delights have found their way into breakfast tables and regular menus.
Traditionally, torrijas are made of a slice of stale bread soaked in milk that is flavored with vanilla, cinnamon and the likes. It is then re-soaked in a bowl of beaten egg before being fried in olive oil.
Recipes from Spain: Traditional Spanish Tapas
Tortilla de Patatas or Tortilla Española is definitely one of the most popular Spanish tapas among both locals and tourists. The Spanish Omelette is an egg and potato dish that is cooked in a skillet.
It might sound pretty basic and simple to make, but making a good Spanish Omelette isn’t quite as easy as you think. The best ones are crispy on the outside and runny on the inside. This is one of the best Spanish recipes I’ve found on the internet.
Patatas Bravas are one of the most popular street foods and traditional tapas in Spain. It is a simple dish of white potatoes fried in oil and drizzled with a spicy sauce.
In this healthy version of the Spanish recipe, potatoes are baked instead of fried and then topped with a homemade aioli and tomato sauce! The three components together with a bit of lemon juice is decadent.
Every Spaniard swears that their mother makes the best croquettes. These creamy fritters are a staple of the Spanish tapas scene, and you’ll find them on the menu in almost every tapas bar and restaurant in Spain.
They come with different fillings, but the most popular ones are croquetas de jamón (cured ham croquettes). These are small, lightly breaded and fried bechamel fritters that have tiny bits of delicious Spanish cured ham in them.
Gazpacho is a famous dish from the Andalucía province of southern Spain, where I used to live. It is a soup made of raw, blended vegetables, like tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, onions, and garlic.
It is drank cold, and this is a popular dish throughout Spain during the sizzling hot summers! Try this simple authentic Spanish recipe for a summer respite.
One of the most unique Spanish dishes, the Ajo Blanco is a close relative of the Gazpacho. Originally from Andalusia in southern Spain, the dish itself has a storied history stretching back centuries.
Every year in early September, the town of Almachar near Malaga holds a festival in celebration of this soup. This ajo blanco recipe is really easy to make and most of its ingredients are easy to find anywhere in the world.
Pimientos de Padron takes its name from the Spanish town of Padrón, located in the Coruna province of northern Spain. Locals have been growing these little peppers for ages. Over time the cultivation has spread to southern Spain as well, and they are widely grown in Mexico and some southern American states.
Eating pimientos de Padron is like playing the Russian roulette, as nobody knows if a pepper is hot or mild. Around one out of every ten is rather hot and spicy. This is an easy Spanish recipe that requires only 5 minutes to cook!
Gambas al Ajillo (shrimp in garlic sauce) is one of my favorite Spanish dishes and it is hugely popular in Spain. It is often served as a traditional Spanish tapa (small dishes), designed to be shared with friends. The smell of garlic is amazing and the sizzling sound even more enticing.
The recipe for Gambas al Ajillo varies depending on the region. For example, in Seville they are prepared with a favorite local sherry, Manzanilla. Other areas favor brandy or sweep paprika, different types of hot peppers (or none) and fresh lemon juice.
Espinacas con garbanzos are a traditional Spanish tapa hailing from Seville, and are popular during the chilly winter months. But the dish’s history goes far beyond Andalusia.
Spinach originates from Ancient Persia (modern Iran). Arab traders got their hands on it and eventually introduced it to the Mediterranean.
This authentic Spanish recipe is really simple and perfect for vegans. You can serve it as a main course or as part of a traditional Spanish tapas spread.
These little bite-sized pork tenderloin served in skewers are a fun and tasty addition to a tapas party. Pinchos are simple bites found commonly in the northern provinces of Spain, such as the Basque Country and Castilla y Leon.
Pincho Moruno is one of the best Spanish recipes for a summer barbecue. It simply involves grilling small chunks of pork tenderloin spiced with paprika and cumin.
Originating from Granada (where I lived!), this is a simple but delicious dish best made with fresh broad beans and mountain-cured Serrano ham. Sometimes it is topped with a runny fried egg, with the yolk spilling over the beans. My mother-in-law used to make this often at home and it is one of my favorite home-cooked Spanish dishes.
Spanish Recipes: Seafood Dishes
Mention Spanish cuisine and most people would think of paella. The national dish of Spain is well known all over the world, and is definitely the number one most popular Spanish food.
The paella is originally from Valencia, but is popular all over the country these days. Seafood paella is a variation of this famous dish, and it is one of the most delicious one in our opinion.
This easy authentic Spanish recipe is surprisingly easy to make, and you can easily remove one or two of the seafood ingredients.
Another of my personal favorite Spanish dish, Fideua is essentially paella made with pasta instead of rice. Like paella it should be cooked in a big paella pan. The best way to cook paella is outside on an open fire.
However, this easy Spanish recipe works just fine in a normal frying pan if you’re cooking for two. This recipe is remarkably delicious, but it’s also quick. It only takes 20 minutes including prep time to whip up this amazing dish.
Bacalao a la Vizcaina is a delicious salt cod dish from the Basque Country of Spain, that’s popular throughout Latin America. Although this bacalao seco (dry salt cod fish) dish is most popular on Christmas Eve and at Easter, you can enjoy it any time of the year.
This Spanish dinner recipe features bacalao seco (dry salt cod fish) in batter bathed in a savory tomato sauce. It gets loads of personality from the mix of olives, red pepper, potato and herbs.
Originally from the Catalunya province of Spain, the Catalan fish stew is a wonderful combination of fishiness, tomato and the smooth earthiness and aroma from the nut flours and the herbs. It is warmly comforting but also not too heavy.
The dish is also sometimes known as a romescada, the Spanish translation. The romesco sauce comes from Catalunya, and it is delicious mix of peppers, hazelnuts, almonds and garlic, amongst other things.
Spanish Recipes: Meat Dishes
One of the most common Spanish main courses found in restaurants is the Rabo de Toro or bull’s tail stew.
Rabo de toro was originally developed so as not to waste any part of the bull killed in the bullfighting ring. Hence the dish is most common in southern Spain, home of traditional bullfighting.
This recipe from Spain is authentic and requires lots of patience and time. But rest assured the stew will turn out amazing, with a thick garlicky sauce and tender fall-off-the-bone meat.
Cocidos, or stews, are a longstanding tradition in Spain and are especially eaten in winter. Each region in Spain produces its own version of the cocido, but the most popular version is the cocido madrileño (Madrid stew).
The dish originated in Madrid, and grew in popularity during the 19th and 20th centuries. Since the main ingredient — chickpeas — were relatively cheap and easy to acquire, it was often on the menu in taverns and small restaurants. Nowadays, it’s a household staple and mixed meat play a big role in it.
It might come as a surprise to many, but Albondigas is a meatball dish that is typically served as tapas in Spain. Drenched in a thick garlicky tomato sauce, the meatballs often have a soft texture and rich flavor. You can make albondigas in stages, using this easy Spanish recipe. First mix and roll the meatballs a day before, and then prepare the sauce later.
Originally from the mountainous region of Asturias in northern Spain, this classic stew is a pork lover’s dream, packed with chorizo, morcilla (blood sausage) and pork belly. It’s just what you might expect of mountain food – relatively simple, hearty, and making use of cheaper cuts of meat.
The base of this Spanish stew consists of white beans and a hint of pimentón. It is very heavy, and I would recommend making this traditional Spanish recipe for lunch instead of dinner.
This is my Spanish husband’s absolute favorite dish in the world! Spanish Migas is a traditional dish from Spain and enjoyed throughout the country. The dish was cooked for breakfast using leftover bread, but over time, Migas became a popular Spanish dish that is served as the first dish for lunch.
“Migas” actually means “crumbs” and the bread crumbs or pieces of bread are the main ingredient for this dish. The bread crumbs are then fried with pieces of sausage or meats, in olive oil with garlic, then flavored with Spanish paprika.
Originally from northern Spain, Chilindron is a Spanish beef stew that incorporates red peppers, tomatoes and paprika with Spanish red wine. It is a classical meat stew that braises all day, making it an easy recipe and yet luxurious enough to make a great Spanish dinner idea. It is even better the next day so it’s perfect to make in advance and warm up when everyone is ready to eat.
Libritos de Lomo are Spanish style pork schnitzels that are reminiscent of Ukrainian Chicken Kiev. They are basically pounded pork chops stuffed with melted cheese, ham and sometimes roasted bell pepper. Then it gets coated into a simple breading and cooked until crispy.
Recipes from Spain: Traditional Spanish Desserts
Flan is a popular dessert not only throughout Spain, but also throughout Central and South America. It’s a simple egg custard mixed with vanilla and topped with a delicious, sticky caramel sauce
This authentic Spanish recipe will give you a creamy and sweet flan, with a caramel sauce that’s so good, you’ll want to lick the plate clean! Bonus points since you can make it several days in advance.
Another popular Spanish dessert, the Crema Catalana is a creamy, smooth custard dish that has been said to be virtually identical to the French crème brûlée. It might not be as well known as crème brûlée, but in our opinion, it is both better and easier to make.
One of the wonderful things about this recipe from Spain is that it takes only a few ingredients and they are easy to find in most parts of the world.
This is Spain’s version of rice pudding, which is a common dessert around the world. Unlike other versions though, the Spanish arroz con leche is served cold.
In this Spanish dessert recipe, we use risotto or paella rice as the base. That gives the dessert a nice, chewy texture. To add Mediterranean flare, sprinkle some cinnamon and lemon peel on top of the arroz con leche.
Tarta de Santiago or St. James’ cake is a typical Spanish dessert that originated in Galicia, Northern Spain. You can easily recognize it by the St. James’ cross in the middle (which you will see often on the Camino de Santiago).
For this Spanish dessert recipe, you only need 10 minutes of preparation. Also, you don’t need any special tools or gadgets to make this flourless almond cake. A fork, a bowl and a wooden spoon is all you need.
Recipes from Spain: Typical Spanish Drinks
A popular summer drink originating from Spain, the Sangria is a hot favorite in many parts of the world these days. You’ll find it in bars, restaurants, chiringuitos, and festivities throughout Spain.
The refreshing punch is made of red wine and chopped fruit, and often enhanced with a strong spirit. Follow this easy Spanish recipe to have a summer party right in your own home!
A cooling creamy drink for summer, horchata (or orxata as it is spelled in Valencia and Catalunya provinces) is essentially tiger nut milk. It is squeezed from the tiger nut (not actually a nut at all, but a small root vegetable) or chufa in Spanish. It tastes slightly similar to almond milk and is often mixed with cinnamon.
For this easy Spanish recipe, feel free to use other nuts (such as almonds) if you can’t find tiger nuts. Horchata only lasts about 2 days in the fridge, but it tastes so good, so you’ll probably want to drink it all at once!
What are some of your favorite Spanish recipes from this list? Do you have any other recipes from Spain to share? Leave a comment below!
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Nellie Huang is the founder of WildJunket. Since creating this website in 2008, she has fulfilled her dream of becoming a full-time traveler and writer. She continues to help readers by sharing her travel experiences to off-grid destinations. Her mission is to visit every country in the world.
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