People constantly ask me what are tapas which really are just small plates of food. Basically, they are bar snacks that are served with beer or wine. In the past, they came free with every drink, but things have changed.
Some places, especially in southern Spain, will still give you the occasional plate, but it’s more likely to be olives or chips than something more interesting. However, there are a few places where you might be pleasantly surprised. But even if you have to pay for them, it’s usually worth it because there are so many tasty things to choose from.
In Spain, people often eat dinner late, so tapas are a great snack to have before. You could also go from bar to bar and eat different tapas as you go. When there are a few of you, tapas are a great way to try a lot of different dishes without ordering too much or spending a lot.
So if somebody does ask you what are tapas? Now you are ready answer to the question. They are small plates of some of the tastiest foods you have every had.
The 35 Best Spanish Recipes for Tapas Ever Created
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If you’re daunted by cooking mussels – YOU ARE IN THE RIGHT SPOT! I PROMISE these Spain tapas recipes are so easy to make. This is the perfect dish for a date night in. In fact, I quickly took this photo as I was sipping a glass of bubbles celebrating our wedding anniversary.
These days, you can get a bag of live black mussels from your fish shop. I like that these bags display an expiry date so you know you’re getting something fresh. I recommend the small black mussel variety over the large green mussel variety for this recipe. They are sweeter in taste and softer in texture.
Tender cuts of sirloin seared and dripping with garlic butter sauce are used in these Spanish recipes for tapas – that’s our Juicy Garlic Butter Steak Bites recipe! Ready in just 15 minutes with just a handful of simple ingredients, this is an easy steak recipe that’s perfect for lunch, dinner, or even as an appetizer.
Oh, where do I even begin with this amazing recipe? These delicious, juicy garlic butter steak bites are one of my favorite dishes to make. My family is wild about them, and whenever I serve them at game day parties or for a dinner party, I get asked for the recipe.
Champinones Al Ajillo, Spanish Garlic Mushrooms is a wonderful Tapas dish, often served as party food. It’s really easy and quick to make too!
Champinones Al Ajillo, Spanish Garlic Mushrooms is a wonderful Spain tapas recipes, often served as party food. It’s really easy and quick to make too!
I first came across this dish whilst visiting the Canary Islands and thought it was delicious!
Pair these simple Spanish recipes for tapas Butter Bean Dip with a bag of pita chips or a loaf of crusty bread, and you’ve got the perfect campfire appetizer to hold everyone over until dinner.
We adapted this butter bean dip from a recipe we found on Serious Eats, which itself was an adaption from multiple different Spanish tapas sources. While some of the ratios changed, the main elements remained the same: big and creamy white beans, tomato paste, garlic, shallot, olive oil, and paprika, stewed together and served warm.
Spain tapas recipes for meatballs, albondigas, tapas meatball thingy’s, whatever you call them in your house, I can guarantee a huge handful of us have tried these little bites at one time or another at a restaurant. Let’s make some at home.
The meatballs were so spicy they would blow your socks off, just how I like it! Not as it would turn out, how my kids like it….enter the family-friendly version of my favorite Spanish meatballs recipe.
My favorite Spanish recipes for tapas in Madrid, without a doubt, all have a mushroom.
Not just any mushroom, mind you. The mushrooms I’m talking about are served at the Mesón del Champiñon, where Madrileños crowd the bar to order as many as possible.
The secret to this mushroom madness is their filling. Champiñones al ajillo con chorizo aren’t just plain mushrooms, they come with stuffing. Fill the mushroom cup with garlicky breadcrumbs and chorizo, bake in the oven, and you have one delicious tapa.
You can’t go wrong with comforting potatoes, but Spain tapas recipes to create Patatas Bravas takes fried potatoes to the next level, thanks to spicy Red Bravas sauce. I’ve got all the tips for these crispy-on-the-outside, fluffy-on-the-inside Spanish potatoes.
Patatas Bravas, spicy Spanish potatoes, are no exception. Chunks of potato are fried in extra virgin olive oil until perfectly crisp on the outside, and tender on the inside. The potatoes are then drizzled or drenched (your call) in a vibrant, perfectly smoky Bravas sauce.
It’s the perfect sharing snack to enjoy with friends and family, perhaps with a jug of sangria or a lemony cocktail.
Homemade Spanish recipes for tapas ham croquettes, prepared with a mixture of butter, milk, onion, flour, Serrano ham, nutmeg, breaded with breadcrumbs and egg, and fried until perfectly crisp and golden.
Most Spaniards swear that ham croquettes belong to them, that they invented them, and that they have been eating them since time immemorial. However, the croquettes are of French imperial origin, particularly from the time of Louis XV.
The word “croquette” comes from the French croquer or croquette , and this word in turn refers to the action of “crunching”. The French word, adapted to Spanish, became “croquette”, and although it is a bit unexpected, the recipe has not had many variations despite its long history.
Every year I plant three plants of Padrón peppers in the garden that give us approximately one pan of peppers like this a week. It’s not bad at all! I always prepare the Spain tapas recipes for them on the grill because we love them.
This is the sweet variety, that is, the one that does not bite. For years I planted the conventional variety but they stung so much that they couldn’t be eaten and I ended up throwing away half the harvest. As soon as the little pepper measured more than 5 cm, that was hellish.
This sweet variety can grow as long as you want that never itches, and it is appreciated.
For a 30-minute appetizer recipe that will steal the show try these Spanish recipes for tapas, turn to Bacon Wrapped Shrimp. Or serve this easy shrimp recipe with rice, pasta, or potatoes to make this a meal!
Consider Bacon Wrapped Shrimp like a pint-sized version of surf and turf. Whether you broil or grill the shrimp, you’ll be ultra juicy and loaded with savory flavor thanks to their bacon “jacket.”
This 30-minute appetizer recipe idea can also act as a meal. Think of it like shrimp scampi with a Midwest twist! Pile the Bacon Wrapped Shrimp atop pasta or rice or serve alongside roasted or baked potatoes, add a vegetable side dish, and you have one irresistible meal.
Nothing beats the flavor of fresh asparagus spears with just a touch of olive oil and salt quickly grilled. Make this Spain tapas recipes tonight for a fast, healthy side dish.
The smoky flavor, the char marks. Tender, but still with a little crunch. Grilled asparagus is seriously so good! I could eat it like French fries (and have).
The best thing about grilling asparagus? It’s so easy. You don’t need anything more than thick asparagus spears, olive oil, salt, and a hot grill. It just takes a few minutes to get some char.
A light coating of breadcrumbs makes this Spanish recipes for tapas cauliflower crispy without weighing it down. Also, since it can be fried a few hours ahead and then crisped up again in the oven, it makes a a great, low-stress appetizer for your next get-together!
The inspiration to make fried Spanish cauliflower came from an excellent tapas dinner I had last summer at a cute restaurant when my husband and I had a date night. I loved their light coating on the cauliflower and how they got it all crispy.
The restaurant is on the other side of the state, so visiting frequently is out of the question, but I wanted that cauliflower again. And again. Since I had no idea how exactly they made it, I started experimenting until I came up with a version that, though different from theirs, gave me the same happy feeling.
Chicken wings with garlic and paprika are a traditional Spain tapas recipes dish, with a sticky, lemony, boozy sauce. Our only regret is that the recipe doesn’t make more. These are seriously good.
After making this outstanding chicken wings recipe more than once—lots more than once—we came to understand that certain instructions in the recipe be followed precisely in order to ensure finger-licking results.
Want more ideas to round-out your Recipe Box?
A lot of great options are in these posts!
- 15 Spanish Meatball Recipes To Die For
- 10 Very Tasty Spanish Recipes for Pork Chops
- 38 Easy Spanish Dishes & Spanish Desserts With Recipes
- 24 Authentic Spanish Recipes For Chorizo
Easy Shrimp Ceviche (Ceviche de Camarón)! It’s a Spanish recipes for tapas that is bursting with flavor and perfectly refreshing. Serve it as a chip dip or as a main entre over crispy tostada shells or rice.
Ceviche is a healthy Peruvian dish that is usually served as an appetizer. It’s generally made from raw fresh fish or shrimp, that’s marinated in lemon and/or lime citrus juices. The acidity in the citrus cures the fish causing it to denature the proteins and become firm and opaque while absorbing flavor.
After the seafood has sort of cooked in a way other ingredients are tossed in such as onions, cilantro, peppers and tomatoes.
The earth and the sea unite to bring you these crab-stuffed mushrooms. If you’re looking to impress your friends, these Spain tapas recipes goodies are all you’ll need.
Large, hollowed-out mushrooms are filled with a rich and creamy crabmeat mixture and baked to perfection. Best of all, these shrooms are surprisingly easy to make. It only takes a few minutes of mixing the filling and stuffing it in the mushrooms. The rest is up to the oven.
These flavorful Spanish recipes for tapas for Chorizo, Manchego and Olive Skewers will be the star of your Christmas or New Year’s Eve! You won’t believe how easy they are!
These Chorizo, Manchego, and Olive Skewers are the perfect tapas for any holiday party!
Personally, I’m a huge fan of anything that’s served on a stick. Just pop it in all your mouth, chew and enjoy. Isn’t that really all we ever want out of an appetizer?
Mojo Picante, Spanish Red Pepper Sauce. This is a lovely tasting sauce popular in the Canary Islands. Serve Spain tapas recipes, goes great with seafood, chicken, and pork.
This is a wonderful sauce. I first came across this flavor sensation whilst on my travels to the Canary Islands in Spain. It was always on the menu where ever we ate, you could order it with tapas or it came along with a meal. It’s so popular, you can even use it like you would tomato ketchup, applying it on everything!
Garlic Shrimp (Gambas al Ajillo) are a classic Spanish recipes for tapas dish. Succulent shrimp in a spicy garlicky sauce that you will need to dip your bread into!
I am so excited to share another tapas dish with you today! As I mentioned a few weeks ago when I posted my first tapa. This is a simple tapa dish that is garlicky and spicy. One thing to note is you really are going to want some nice bread to serve with this to dip into the garlicky, spicy sauce that the shrimp are in.
This easy crab cakes Spain tapas recipes have just 7 simple ingredients. It’s packed with lumps of juicy crab meat, savory seasonings, and flaky breadcrumbs. And the recipe is so easy to make!
Crab cakes started as a staple dish in Maryland and Virginia but have become famous all over the United States. Whether they’re fried, baked, broiled, or grilled, the end product is a soft and flaky cake that is absolutely to die for.
I used to think crab cakes were super fancy and hard to make. But they’re surprisingly simple! Want to try your hand at making these easy crab cakes yourself? Well, you’ve come to the right place.
Chorizo al Vino Tinto is a simple Spanish recipes for tapas where you cook slices of chorizo in red wine giving them a wonderful extra boost of flavor. They’re great to nibble on along with other tapas for a light meal or snack.
Tapas are something that you can put your own twist on, but there are a few classics that you’ll see regularly on the menu if you are visiting Spain. Some Spanish tapas you’ll find across the country while others are more regional, like Salmorejo in Cordoba and Pulpo a la Feira (octopus) in Galicia.
This chorizo tapas is one you will find all around the country. It’s easy to see why since it uses the beloved chorizo, is easy to make and tastes delicious.
Chicken Pintxo is a Spain tapas recipes dish that’s full of flavor and great party food. My family loves tapas because it’s a fun and delicious way to try a variety of dishes in small bites. This past weekend, I threw my husband a tapas party for his birthday.
Chicken Pintxo was one of the nine tapas dishes I made that evening, and it was one of the favorites from our dinner. Served with Red Chimichurri Sauce on top, these little bites are packed with flavor.
Spanish meatballs, albondigas, or tapas; these are the best meatballs in tomato sauce I’ve ever had, Spanish food at its best.
Easy to make Spanish recipes for tapas, incredibly comforting and aromatic Spanish meatballs or albondigas in tomato sauce. Serve as tapas or as a main course with rice or noodles. So, finally, I get to post this recipe for Spanish meatballs in tomato sauce.
Somehow I managed to lose the first set of pictures. But now I have everything again and, let me tell you, this amazing albondigas recipe is so worth it!
In San Francisco, I would frequent a Spanish Tapas restaurant called Esperpento, where they had a Spain tapas recipes dish called Alcachofas a la Plancha – which translates to “an artichoke dish that gives you midnight cravings that Godiva chocolate cannot even cure.”
Artichokes are in season now until end of May – the baby artichokes are so tender and sweet. The best part is that you don’t have to worry about the vicious choke stabbing at your throat – the baby artichoke is almost all edible.
Just snap away the outer leaves until you reach the light, pale colored leaves. The choke is actually very soft and fuzzy – totally edible.
One of my favorite Spanish recipes for tapas is Pinchos Morunos — delicious Spanish pork skewers that are marinated in a flavorful spice blend. These are the perfect quick meal option, just make sure to marinate them in advance!
Pinchos Morunos are a welcome addition of spice and excitement to tapas menus all around Spain. These savory pork kebabs break the general rules of Spanish simplicity by soaking in a marinade of up to 20 different spices!
The story behind this popular Spanish Pincho is fascinating, and my recipe for these skewers is perfect any time of year.
We recommend using medium shrimp for this Spain tapas recipes choice. You should also buy the shrimp peeled and deveined if you can. It helps ensure that dinner is as quick and easy as possible. This may seem obvious but make sure you’re buying the shrimp raw instead of pre-cooked. Cooking pre-cooked shrimp can lead to a very rubbery result.
Weeknight cooking can be exhausting. There’s so much thinking that needs to happen. Mainly, is there enough time to make this? But this garlic butter shrimp recipe requires almost no planning—all you need to do is pick up shrimp.
Albeit it should be the least of my worries, dinner plans for the kids can be really distracting to me. As I have alluded to before, sometimes it’s the freezer section at the grocery store that is the savior for those undecided dinner choices, as much I hate caving in to it.
And sometimes it’s a simple cheese and pepper combo that looks complicated but is easier than spaghetti and marinara from a jar. If your kids like cheese but not into the smelly ones, consider a mild goat cheese in this Spanish recipes for tapas choice. Add some cayenne if you have little ones with fiery tongues or grown-ups who like that sort of thing.
Delicious baked tomatoes, filled with goat cheese and topped with a homemade, buttery, garlic and herb bread crumb mixture. Baked tomatoes make a great side dish or main, stuffed with goat cheese and topped with homemade garlic and herb bread crumbs.
Every part of this simple Spain tapas recipes dish is made to deliver maximum flavor; from the homemade bread crumbs that start with Italian bread and dried herbs, to the creamy and tangy goat cheese, to the buttery garlic, Parmesan and herb flavored crumb topping and finally, to the beautiful Summer tomatoes.
Enjoy as a side for your Summer meal or pair with a great salad for a light, meatless meal.
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