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21 Authentic Spanish Recipes – Easy Ideas For Dinner & Dessert

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Discover the rich and diverse world of Spanish cuisine with these 21 Spanish recipe ideas. This collection will transport you straight to Spain’s sun-soaked coastlines, vibrant cities, and lush vineyards through your taste buds. Whether you’re a fan of classic tapas, hearty stews, or indulgent desserts, there’s a dish for every palate. Each recipe comes with a brief description and a link to a detailed recipe, making it easy for you to start your culinary adventure.

1. Paella Valenciana

A Culinary Emblem of Spain

Paella Valenciana is more than just a dish; it’s a celebration of Spanish culture and cuisine. It combines succulent rabbit, chicken, and a variety of vegetables, all cooked in a rich and aromatic saffron-infused rice. Each bite is a journey to Valencia, the birthplace of this iconic dish.

A Feast for All

Perfect for family gatherings and dinner parties, Paella Valenciana is a visual and gastronomic feast. It’s a dish that calls for communal eating, encouraging people to gather around the pan, sharing stories, laughter, and good food.

Your Personal Touch

Feel free to customize your paella, adding ingredients like shellfish or different types of meat. Remember, the beauty of this dish lies in its flexibility and the harmony of flavors. Check this recipe.

2. Gazpacho Andaluz

A Refreshing Andalusian Classic

Experience the refreshing simplicity of Gazpacho Andaluz, a cold tomato soup that perfectly encapsulates the vibrant spirit of Andalusia. This chilled soup is a blend of ripe tomatoes, cucumber, bell pepper, garlic, and olive oil, resulting in a dish that’s both refreshing and satisfying.

Beat the Heat

Gazpacho is the perfect antidote to hot summer days, offering a cooling, light, yet flavorful reprieve. It’s an ideal starter or a light lunch, especially when served with crusty bread on the side.

Add Your Own Twist

Adapt your gazpacho by incorporating other fresh vegetables or herbs, or by adding a splash of vinegar for an extra tang. The options are limitless. Check this recipe.

3. Tortilla Española

Spain in an Omelette

Savor the homely comfort of a Tortilla Española, a Spanish omelette that is a staple in every Spanish home. Made with simple ingredients like eggs, potatoes, and onions, this dish is humble in its components, but rich in flavor and texture.

Anytime, Anywhere

Whether it’s for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or tapas, the Tortilla Española is versatile and comforting. Serve it warm or at room temperature, accompanied by a simple salad or some rustic bread.

Make It Your Own

Feel free to customize your tortilla. Some add chorizo or green peppers for added flavor. Some like it runny in the middle, while others prefer it fully set. Whatever your preference, enjoy the process of making it your own. Check this recipe.

4. Albondigas

Savory Spanish Meatballs

Indulge in the rich flavors of Albondigas, the Spanish meatballs. These savory morsels, often made from a combination of beef and pork, are simmered in a flavorful tomato sauce, infused with a blend of Spanish spices.

Perfect for Sharing

These meatballs are an ideal dish for sharing, whether as a main course or as part of a tapas spread. They’re also perfect comfort food, especially when served with crusty bread or over pasta.

Your Albondigas, Your Way

Personalize your Albondigas by playing with the blend of meats or by experimenting with different spices. Add a Spanish twist to your regular meatball routine. Check this recipe.

5. Pollo al Ajillo

A Garlicky Delight

Relish the flavor-packed simplicity of Pollo al Ajillo, or Spanish garlic chicken. Infused with a hefty dose of garlic and cooked to golden-brown perfection, this dish is a testament to the flavor-enhancing powers of this humble ingredient.

An Easy and Satisfying Meal

Whether it’s a weekday dinner or a weekend gathering, Pollo al Ajillo is an excellent choice. Serve it with some roasted potatoes or a fresh salad, and you have a satisfying, crowd-pleasing meal.

Flavor It Your Way

Feel free to play around with additional flavors. A splash of white wine, a sprinkle of smoked paprika, or a squeeze of fresh lemon juice can all add an extra dimension to your garlic chicken. Check this recipe.

6. Churros Con Chocolate

A Sweet Spanish Treat

Indulge in Churros con Chocolate, a deliciously sweet end to any Spanish meal. These fried dough pastries, dusted with sugar and served with a side of thick, rich chocolate sauce, are sure to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Perfect for Celebrations

Whether it’s for a festive celebration or a cozy weekend breakfast, Churros con Chocolate bring a touch of indulgence. They’re a favorite at fairs and festivals, but they’re also surprisingly simple to make at home.

Sweet Variations

You can customize your churros by adding spices like cinnamon or nutmeg to the dough, or experiment with flavored dipping sauces like caramel or fruit compote. Check this recipe.

7. Gambas al Ajillo

A Seafood Sensation

Savor the succulent simplicity of Gambas al Ajillo, or Spanish garlic shrimp. Sauteed in olive oil and a generous amount of garlic, these shrimp are finished with a splash of sherry and a sprinkle of chili for a deliciously tangy kick.

Read also: 26 Strawberry Recipes 

An Appetizing Starter

Perfect as a tapas dish or a starter, Gambas al Ajillo are a great way to begin a meal. They’re also surprisingly easy to prepare, making them an ideal choice for dinner parties or romantic meals.

Make It Your Own

Feel free to adapt the recipe according to your taste, adding more or less garlic, changing the type of alcohol used, or adjusting the level of heat with your choice of chili. Check this recipe.

8. Pisto Manchego

A Veggie-Packed Delight

Experience the vibrant flavors of Pisto Manchego, a Spanish ratatouille. Full of ripe tomatoes, bell peppers, eggplants, and zucchini, this dish is a rainbow of nutritious and delicious ingredients.

Read also: 26 Strawberry Recipes

A Versatile Dish

Pisto Manchego can be enjoyed at any meal, whether as a tapas dish, a side, or a light main course. Some people even like to top it with a fried egg for a heartier dish.

Personalize Your Pisto

Feel free to play around with the vegetables you use in this dish. Some versions also include pumpkin, while others add a spicy kick with a bit of chili pepper. Check this recipe.

9. Patatas Bravas

Spain’s Beloved Tapas

Savor Patatas Bravas, a classic Spanish tapas dish. These crisp, fried potatoes are served with a spicy tomato sauce and a drizzle of creamy aioli, creating a combination that’s irresistibly indulgent.

A Crowd-Pleasing Appetizer

Perfect as a starter, a side, or a part of a larger tapas spread, Patatas Bravas are a surefire crowd-pleaser. They’re also an excellent comfort food, perfect for cozy evenings at home.

Add Your Own Twist

Feel free to customize your bravas sauce, adjusting the spices to your taste. Whether you prefer it milder or spicier, this dish is all about personal preference. Check this recipe.

10. Tarta de Santiago

A Sweet Almond Delight

Indulge in Tarta de Santiago, a traditional Spanish almond cake. Sweet, moist, and richly almond-flavored, this cake is topped with powdered sugar and the Cross of Saint James, from which it gets its name.

Perfect for Special Occasions

Tarta de Santiago is a wonderful dessert for celebrations and special occasions. Despite its impressive appearance, it’s surprisingly easy to make, requiring only a handful of ingredients.

Make It Your Own

Feel free to add your own spin to this traditional cake. Some versions include a splash of brandy or almond liqueur for an added flavor dimension. Check this recipe.

11. Fabada Asturiana

A Hearty Bean Stew

Relish in the hearty comfort of Fabada Asturiana, a rich Spanish bean stew. Made with fabes (white beans), chorizo, morcilla (blood sausage), and pork belly, this stew is a flavorful, satisfying meal.

Perfect for Chilly Days

Fabada is the perfect dish for colder days, filling your kitchen with enticing aromas and your stomach with warm, comforting food. It’s a true example of Spanish home-cooking at its best.

Customize to Your Liking

Feel free to adapt the recipe to suit your taste or dietary needs. Substitute the meats or add additional vegetables if you wish. Check this recipe.

12. Calamares a la Romana

Spain’s Fried Squid Rings

Enjoy Calamares a la Romana, a popular Spanish seafood dish. These tender squid rings, coated in a light batter and deep-fried to golden perfection, make for a tasty appetizer or tapas dish.

A Delight for Seafood Lovers

Whether enjoyed in a bustling tapas bar or made at home, Calamares a la Romana is a must-try for seafood lovers. Serve with a squeeze of lemon and a side of aioli for the perfect finish.

Add Your Own Twist

Feel free to add your own spin to the batter, such as incorporating beer for added crispiness or spices for extra flavor. Check this recipe.

13. Crema Catalana

A Creamy Catalan Dessert

End your meal on a sweet note with Crema Catalana, Spain’s answer to crème brûlée. This creamy custard dessert, flavored with citrus and cinnamon and topped with a layer of caramelized sugar, is a delight for the senses.

A Perfect Ending

Whether it’s a special occasion or an ordinary weeknight, Crema Catalana is the perfect way to round off any meal. Its smooth texture and balanced sweetness are sure to be a hit with your dinner guests.

Your Own Spin

Feel free to experiment with the flavorings in your custard, like swapping the traditional citrus and cinnamon for vanilla, coffee, or even rosewater. Check this recipe.

14. Tostas de Tomate y Jamón

Spain’s Simple Delight

Savor Tostas de Tomate y Jamón, or Spanish tomato and ham toasts. This simple yet flavorful dish features ripe tomatoes and thinly sliced ham on crusty bread, making it an ideal appetizer or snack.

A Crowd-Pleaser

These toasts are a hit at parties and gatherings. They’re quick and easy to prepare, and their simple, delicious flavors are universally appealing.

Create Your Own Tostas

Feel free to vary the ingredients to your liking, perhaps swapping the ham for other cured meats or cheeses, or adding extras like garlic or herbs. Check this recipe.

15. Escalivada

A Roasted Vegetable Medley

Enjoy the flavors of Escalivada, a Catalan dish of roasted eggplant and bell peppers. Marinated in olive oil, garlic, and sherry vinegar, these vegetables take on a smoky, savory flavor that is utterly delicious.

Versatile and Healthy

Escalivada can be served as a main dish, a side, or even a topping for crusty bread. Plus, it’s packed with vitamins and antioxidants, making it as healthy as it is delicious.

Tailor to Your Taste

Don’t hesitate to play around with the vegetables you include in your Escalivada. Try adding zucchini, onion, or tomatoes to add even more flavor and nutrition. Check this recipe.

16. Flan de Huevo

Spain’s Beloved Custard Dessert

Dive into Flan de Huevo, a smooth and creamy Spanish custard dessert. Topped with a golden caramel sauce, this sweet treat is sure to satisfy any dessert lover’s cravings.

Perfect for Any Occasion

Whether you’re hosting a dinner party or looking for a sweet finish to a weekday meal, Flan de Huevo is a reliable choice. Its smooth texture and sweet caramel flavor are universally loved.

Experiment with Flavors

Feel free to add a personal touch to your flan, such as a splash of vanilla extract, a sprinkle of cinnamon, or a swirl of citrus zest. Check this recipe.

17. Pisto

Spain’s Ratatouille

Enjoy Pisto, often considered Spain’s answer to ratatouille. This comforting stew of bell peppers, tomatoes, onions, and eggplant is slowly simmered until tender and bursting with flavor.

Read also: 22 Watermelon Recipes 

A Versatile Dish

Pisto can be served in a variety of ways: as a main dish, a side, or even a topping for crusty bread or grilled meats. It’s an excellent way to enjoy a medley of nutritious vegetables.

Adapt to Your Liking

Feel free to experiment with the vegetables and seasonings in your Pisto, adding extras like zucchini, garlic, or herbs to suit your tastes. Check this recipe.

18. Tarta de Queso

Spain’s Creamy Cheesecake

Treat yourself with Tarta de Queso, a Spanish-style cheesecake. This rich, creamy, and slightly tangy dessert is bound to be a hit with anyone who tries it.

Read also: 22 Watermelon Recipes

Ideal for Celebrations

Whether it’s a birthday, anniversary, or holiday celebration, this cheesecake is sure to impress. It’s rich and indulgent, yet its light texture keeps it from being overly heavy.

Experiment with Flavors

Feel free to play around with your cheesecake, adding different flavors or toppings to suit your taste. A berry coulis, a chocolate ganache, or even a citrus glaze could be excellent additions. Check this recipe.

19. Patatas Bravas

A Classic Spanish Tapas

Indulge in Patatas Bravas, a classic Spanish tapas dish. These crispy fried potatoes, served with a spicy tomato sauce and aioli, are the perfect blend of flavors and textures.

A Crowd-Pleaser

Patatas Bravas is always a hit at parties and gatherings. It’s an excellent option for a snack or appetizer, and it pairs well with a variety of other dishes.

Make It Your Own

Feel free to tweak the recipe to suit your tastes, perhaps by adding extra spices to the sauce, or by topping the potatoes with chopped fresh herbs for an extra burst of flavor. Check this recipe.

20. Caldo Gallego

A Hearty Galician Soup

Warm up with Caldo Gallego, a hearty soup from the region of Galicia. Loaded with beans, potatoes, and various meats, this dish is a comforting and satisfying meal.

Perfect for Cold Weather

This soup is the perfect antidote to chilly weather, but it’s so delicious that you’ll likely find yourself craving it year-round. The savory broth, tender vegetables, and flavorful meats make for a well-rounded meal.

Customize Your Caldo

Feel free to experiment with the ingredients in your Caldo Gallego. Swap in different vegetables or types of meat, or add some heat with a dash of spicy paprika. Check this recipe.

21. Croquetas de Jamón

Creamy Ham Croquettes

Indulge in Croquetas de Jamón, creamy ham croquettes that are a staple in Spanish tapas bars. These crispy, golden brown delights are packed with flavor and are sure to be a hit.

Perfect for Parties

These bite-sized treats are perfect for parties or gatherings. Their crispy exterior and creamy interior make them an irresistible snack.

Customize Your Croquetas

Feel free to experiment with the filling in your croquetas. Try using different types of cheese, vegetables, or even seafood. Check this recipe.


With these 21 Spanish recipe ideas, you’re all set to embark on a culinary journey that spans the diverse regions of Spain. From the comforting warmth of a hearty Fabada Asturiana to the refreshing coolness of a chilled Gazpacho, these recipes capture the essence of Spanish cuisine. So go ahead, explore these dishes, personalize them to your liking, and most importantly, enjoy the process of creating and savoring these Spanish delights. Happy cooking!

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