From our many years of travelling around Spain we’ve been able to accumulate an impressive selection of Spanish food recipes. Some were acquired first hand from cooks that we’ve met, some are from friends who have passed on family recipes and some we have created ourselves based on a particular dish we’ve enjoyed.
We try where possible to make suggestions of how you can serve each dish and how you can make changes to each recipe to suit your tastes. Each of these Spanish Recipes has been tried and tested by us and we have tried to make them as easy to follow as possible.
In most cases we’ve tried to list the recipes alphabetically with an English name followed by a Spanish translation. However, some dishes such as “Paella” don’t need a translation as they are widely understood using their Spanish name.
Agua de Valencia
Spanish Champagne Cocktail
This potent drink from Valencia is great to help break the ice at parties. Its main ingredient is ‘Cava’ mixed with fresh orange juice.
Baked Basque Fish
Pescado Asado a la Vasca
This recipe from the Basque Country in northern Spain is very easy to follow and results in a very tasty and colourful dish.
Baked Bream Madrid Style
Dorada a la Madrileña
This lovely fish recipe can used for whole bream or alter it slightly and use any white fish fillet. The tasty topping works better on filleted fish.
Blue Cheese Dip
Salsa de Queso Azul
I’m somewhat wimpy where strong, blue cheeses are concerned so discovering Cabrales cheese from Asturias whilst in a tapas bar in Madrid was a shocker. This seriously strong cheese which is a must for blue cheese lovers. This particular recipe uses any blue cheese you care to add.
Estofado de Carne
Estofado is Spanish beef stew which is common on ‘menús del día’ in northern Spain. It’s a great hearty meal to have on a cold winter’s day.
Calamares a la Romana
Deep Fried Squid Rings
Calamares has to be one of the most common dishes on tapas menus all over Spain. This recipe involves lightly coating the squid rings in salted flour and deep frying them – simple but very tasty.
Chicken and Olive Casserole
Cazuela de Pollo y Aceitunas
A distinctly Mediterranean dish served on couscous which is popular in the Moorish cuisine of Granada.
Chicken Livers in Sherry
Higaditos de Pollo al Jerez
Chicken livers in sherry is a recipe which can be used to prepare a tapa or it can be served as a main dish. Kidneys can replace livers if you prefer.
Chicken with Mushrooms
Pollo con Champiñones
Many chicken dishes in Spain use a full chicken chopped into pieces before frying it with garlic & other ingredients such as mushrooms in this recipe.
Chicken with Red Peppers
This delicious chicken dish comes from Navarra in the north of Spain and is known nationwide as ‘Pollo Chilindron’.
Chicken and Potato Stew
Guiso de Pollo y Patatas
This very tasty dish is perfect for a cold winter’s day. It is easy to cook and can all be done in one large frying pan.
Chickpeas with Chorizo
Garbanzos con Chorizo
There are so many variations of this popular ‘menú del día’ recipe in tapas bars all over Spain. Depending on the portion size it can serve as a starter, a tapa or a main course.
Chickpeas & Spinach Broth
Caldo de Espinacas y Garbanzos
Many hearty stews in Spain make good use of chickpeas. This recipe combines them with spinach to create a tasty broth which is perfect as a starter on a cold winter’s evening.
Chocolate con Churros
Chocolatería San Ginés in Madrid has been serving ‘Chocolate con Churros’ to its customers since 1894. Here’s a recipe which attempts to replicate this thick chocolate drink.
Chorizo in Red Wine
Chorizo en Vino Tinto
This tasty chorizo recipe is good for a tapa. It takes a little planning as the chorizo has to marinate in the red wine for 8 hours but is very easy to cook.
Clams and White Beans
Almejas con Alubias Blancas
This delicious dish comes from Asturias in the north of Spain. It is easy to prepare and is great for a cold winter’s day.
Cod and Potato Stew
Bacalao con Patatas
We first ate this delicious dish when we lived in the mountains outside Madrid. On the day of the local saint the whole town goes to the countryside and the council provide Bacalao con Patatas for everyone.
Cod in Tomato Sauce
Bacalao en Salsa de Tomate
The salt cod which is used in many Spanish dishes can be bought in specialist shops in most Spanish cities. Fresh cod is an alternative in this recipe.
Sopa de Calabacín
This isn’t a recipe you’d tend to see very often in public eating places in Spain yet it is fairly popular as a home-cooked dish.
Deep Fried Anchovies
This fish dish appears on almost every tapas bar menu all over Spain. You simply lightly coat the whitebait in flour and deep fry them.
Asturian Bean Stew
Fabada Asturiana is a fabulous, heavy stew from Asturias in northern Spain which is based on white beans with black pudding and sausage.
Valencian Noodle Paella
This is a great alternative to paella which comes from the same Valencia Region. It is cooked in the same large ‘paellera’ but uses thin pasta rather than rice.
Fish and Potato Pie
Puchero de Pescado
This is just one of thousands of versions of a Spanish fish pie recipe.
Caldo de Pescado
Many Spanish seafood dishes require the addition of fish stock. Here’s a very tasty, home made alternative to buying a pre-prepared stock.
Garlic Chicken Recipe
Pollo al Ajillo
This is another one of those dishes that seems to crop up on menus all over the country. Typically it involves frying up loads of bits of chicken in olive oil and garlic. This version uses full thighs or drumsticks so that you don’t have so many little bones to contend with.
Champinones al Ajillo
This is a very popular tapa throughout Spain which is cooked in a terracota dish placed directly on the burning gas ring.
Gambas al Pil Pil
Garlic Prawns are served in restaurants and tapas bars all over Spain as Gambas al Ajillo in some areas and Gambas al Pil Pil in others. The main difference is the paprika which is only used in Pil Pil.
Cold Andalucian Soup
Gazpacho is a cold soup which is very refreshing in the hot summer weather of southern Spain. It is an incredibly healthy option involving plenty of raw vegetables.
Green Bean Salad
Ensalada de Judias Verdes
Spanish cuisine always seems able to turn basic ingredients into tasty dishes without resorting to heavy sauces. Here’s a simple recipe for transforming green beans.
Hake with Clams
Merluza a la Vasca
This mouth watering recipe, which originates in the Basque Country, is very easy to follow and produces a wonderfully healthy dish of fresh fish with shellfish.
Ensalada de Lentejas
Spanish cuisine includes a wide range of salads using very different ingredients. Here’s a very tasty dish based on green lentils.
Macaroni with Chorizo and Tomato Sauce
Macarones con Chorizo en Tomate
If you like Spanish food then it’s probable that you love the flavour of chorizo. This dish uses a home-made tomato sauce combined with smoky chorizos to create that distinctive Spanish flavour.
Mero a la Mallorquina
Here’s a tasty Mallorcan fish recipe that we created after having this dish in a lovely restaurant in Fornalutx near Soller.
No tapas bar worth its salt could exist in Spain without large quantities of mayonnaise to add to a whole range of dishes. Of course it’s easy enough to buy it from the shop but through trial and error you can master the technique of making it yourself and will never need to resort to the jar of Hellmans ever again.
Spanish Pork in Sauce
Carne en Salsa
This is one of the most common tapas all over Spain. It’s cooked with pork in plenty tomato sauce and is great with fresh, crusty bread.
Spanish meatballs are a big favourite and are often served as a tapa in bars all over the country. It’s essential to get the tomato sauce just right for this dish.
Monkfish in Mushroom Sauce
Rape con Salsa de Setas
Monkfish is a versatile fish which can be cooked in many ways. Here it is roasted and then served with a creamy wild, mushroom sauce.
Mussels in Tomato Sauce
Mejillones a la Marinera
This mussels recipe is perfect for either a starter or a main course. For a spicy dish you should use hot paprika and for a milder dish use sweet paprika.
Mussels with Pipirrana Salad
Mejillones with Pipirrana
This is a cold dish of mussels covered with a salad of tomatoes, cucumber, green peppers and onions in a vinaigrette dressing. It is a lovely tapa for a summer’s day and is very refreshing.
Follow this recipe precisely and what is often claimed to be a difficult dish to get right comes out perfect every time. Many thanks to Emilio in Bar Victoria (Miraflores de la Sierra) for teaching me.
Patatas Ali Oli
Potatoes in Garlic Mayonnaise
If ever you’re in Palma de Mallorca be sure to visit Celler Sa Premsa (Plaça del Bisbe Berenguer Palou, 8). This was the first place I ever came across a dip made of mayonnaise which is mixed with lots of garlic. This recipe takes that ali oli mix and combines it with boiled potatoes which have been allowed to cool down. Delicious as a tapa or as a side dish at barbecues.
Spicy Roast Potatoes
This recipe for fried potatoes in a spicy tomato sauce is a big favourite in the tapas bars of Madrid. There are countless variations on how to make the sauce.
Patatas a lo Pobre
Poor Man’s Potatoes
Although not as famous as patatas bravas this dish can be found all over Spain. It can be served as a tapa or as an accompaniment to meat or fish dishes.
Peas and Ham
Guisantes con Jamón
Peas and ham is a popular starter in many places serving ‘menús del día’. A surprisingly simple and very tasty dish.
Spanish Pork Kebabs
Pinchos Morunos are skewers of marinated pork. They are a favourite in many tapas bars especially in Andalucia and Madrid.
Pork with Chorizo and Peppers
Cerdo con Chorizo y Pimientos Rojos
The smokiness of the chorizo and the paprika really make this a wonderfully tasty dish. Along with the pork it makes use of ingredients common to many Spanish dishes and the good news is that chorizo is becoming more widely available in other countries.
Prawns, Chorizo and Chickpea Stew Recipe
Guiso de Gambas, Chorizo y Garbanzos
A hearty stew thanks to the chickpeas but with a particularly interesting combination of prawns with chorizo.
Prawns in Batter
Gambas en Gabardina
Popular tapas dish in the bars of Madrid. Peeled prawns are dunked into a thick batter before being quickly deep fried.
Prawns in White Wine
Gambas al Vino Blanco
In this popular tapas recipe the prawns can be cooked in white wine or sherry according to taste.
Red Pepper Salad
Ensalada de Pimientos Rojos
This is another very simple but very tasty Spanish salad dish that goes well with barbecues or can be eaten as a tapa.
Revuelto con Setas
Scrambled Eggs with Mushrooms
This scrambled egg type dish is served as a popular starter in many Spanish restaurants. Here we add wild mushrooms but you can vary this if you prefer.
Arroz con Leche
This refreshing dish of cold rice pudding sprinkled with cinnamon is too often served in Spain from a plastic tub. Find a home made (‘casera’) version and you’ll never accept the shop bought ones again.
Roast Castilian Lamb
Cordero Asado a la Castellana
This is a typical dish around the north of Madrid especially on Sunday lunchtime when many families escape the city and head out to their favourite country restaurant for a feast.
Salmon with Clams
Cazuela de Salmón con Almejas
This simple recipe combines either a full salmon or salmon fillets combined with lots of clams to create a very tasty and healthy dish.
Salmorejo is a dish from Cordoba in the south of Spain. It’s a wonderfully tasting thick dip based on tomatoes and bread sprinkled with egg and ham. Fabulous with a fresh stick of crusty bread.
Classic Spanish Sangria
There are many variations of Spanish sangria recipes but they all use the same base of red wine, lemonade and fruit. Some add an alcoholic spirit to add strength.
Sea Bass in Salt
Lubina a la Sal
I first had this dish outside a street bar in Cordoba. The sea bream is baked in the oven in a crust of salt which keeps in all the flavour. It’s a great way to cook fish & is a cool way to serve it.
Zarzuela de Pescado y Mariscos
This seafood casserole takes a while to prepare but it is definitely worth it as the result is a delicious mix of flavours.
Espaguetis con Mariscos
With the abundance of seafood available in Spain there are numerous versions of seafood spaghetti produced by chefs around the country. This recipe is fairly flexible and results in a delicious main course dish.
Spaghetti with Garlic Prawns and Mushrooms
Espaguetis con Gambas al Ajillo y Champiñones
This is a very simple dish in which the pasta absorbs the flavour of the other ingredients to produce a delicious main course.
Spaghetti with Tuna and Olives
Espaguetis con Atún y Aceitunas
The combination of tuna & olives cooked in white wine makes this such a classic Mediterranean recipe. It’s perfectly fine to use tinned tuna rather than fresh.
Tortilla de Patatas
You can make a Spanish omelette at home and with practice it might look right. But how do you get that genuine flavour of the tapas bars of Madrid?
Spanish Ham Croquettes
Croquetas de Jamón Serrano
Everyone loves croquetas hence they are one of Spain’s most popular tapas which appear on menus throughout the country. Many supermarkets sell quite decent ones in their frozen food departments which then appear in some tapas bars. However, to get the best croquetas you really need to look out for home-made ones (‘Croquetas Caseras’). This is one of the more tricky tapas recipes but is still not terribly difficult. Once you’ve mastered the technique you can use all kinds of different fillings as an alternative to the ham such as fresh prawns.
Spicy Chicken Livers
Higados de Pollo Picante
An interesting tapa with a Moorish influence thanks to the use of cumin and coriander which aren’t common in Spanish cuisine.
Spinach and Potato Stew
Guiso de Patatas con Espinacas
This potato and spinach recipe creates a simple dish which is a typical starter on ‘menús del día’ in the little, family run restaurants around Madrid.
Squid and Potato Stew
Chipirones con Patatas
Squid and potato stew is a simple dish to prepare but the result is a delicious dish which is great on a cold winter’s day.
Stuffed aubergines, or eggplant, is a healthy but tasty dish which makes a fairly light main course. It uses minced meat but you could replace this with lentils to create a vegetarian meal.
Many tapas recipes are very straightforward but this is pretty much as easy as it gets. It’s a really tasty dish that looks great. You’ve probably seen these stuffed eggs in the display cabinet of tapas bars all over Spain.
There are many variations of tapas dishes that use some form of garlic mushrooms. This particular one is quite unique in using breadcrumbs as part of the stuffing.
Stuffed Red Peppers
This dish is most often seen in modern rather than traditional Spanish cuisine. You can be creative in what ingredients you use to stuff the red peppers. It’s great as a main course or as a side dish.
I know, I’m cheating here. Tapenade is indeed a French dish which originated in Provence. However, I’ve included it here because its ingredients of olive oil, garlic, anchovies and capers are so firmly entrenched in Spanish cuisine. It’s an absolutely delicious dip that is a fine addition to any tapas party.
Salsa de Tomate
It’s crucial for many Spanish dishes that you have a good homemade tomato sauce readily available. Here’s how to make one that works well with many of the recipes we’ve listed on this page.
Trout Navarra Style
Trucha a la Navarra
A very tasty way to cook trout by stuffing it with ‘jamón serrano’. The dish originates from Navarra but is quite common all over Spain.