Spanish cuisine has never been more popular in the US than it is right now. With so many Spanish restaurants and people cooking Spanish meals at home, it’s never been a better time to bring some Spanish flair into your kitchen.
When many people think of Spanish cuisine, they no doubt think of tapas. These little dishes are the ideal way to experience a wide variety of Spanish flavors quickly and easily.
In this article, we have the 28 best tapas recipes that your guests are sure to love. Whether it’s hot dishes or cold dishes, we have a large selection for you to choose from.
We’ve also included some vegan and vegetarian options for guests that follow those diets.
Our first recipe is berenjenas con miel or fried eggplant with honey. This recipe is a delicious mix of both sweet and savory flavors and is very easy to make and prepare at home.
Eggplant is often seen as a soft vegetable but this recipe ensures that it is cooked in a way that makes it crispy.
You will need to soak the eggplant first to draw out the bitterness of the vegetable and it is then fried in a flour coating. Once cooked, drizzle the eggplant with honey or molasses.
Patatas bravas is one of the most common Spanish tapas dishes. It’s simply fried potatoes and most cuisines around the world have their own take on this.
Cut some potatoes into chunks and then deep fry them in olive oil. They’re then served with a bravas sauce drizzled on top. You can make your own bravas or use a store-bought sauce.
This easy recipe is for Malaga-style shrimp skewers. The recipe will only take around 10 minutes to prepare and cook but ensures delicious shrimp every time.
You will need to prepare the wooden skewers first with a coat of olive oil before you thread them with several shrimp. Coat the skewers with some chopped garlic, olive oil, salt, and paprika before grilling.
Ceviche was originally a Peruvian dish but it is commonly served as tapas in Spanish restaurants.
It’s a seafood dish that is usually made from shrimp or raw fresh fish and in the case of this recipe, it’s made from shrimp.
You can serve it as a standalone tapas or as a dip for chips. As well as the shrimp, it also includes tomatoes, red onion, jalapeno, cucumber, and avocado.
Garlic is one of the most prevalent flavors in Spanish cooking and these garlic mushrooms are a delicious dish that everyone is sure to love. At 15 minutes from start to finish, they’re quick and easy to make, too.
As well as garlic and mushrooms, the recipe calls for lemon juice, dry sherry, paprika, and parsley. You can also add some dried chili flakes to finish off the dish.
This dish is simply chorizo cooked in red wine. You will need to sear the chorizo in a pan or skillet for a few minutes before adding the red wine.
To add some extra flavor, bay leaf and garlic are also added to the mix. The wine should be heated until it boils and then reduced to a simmer for around 15 to 20 minutes.
Manchego is one of the most well-known and popular varieties of Spanish cheese.
These skewers take manchego and add Spanish chorizo and manzanilla olives to make a great combination of flavors. As they’re served on skewers, it makes it easy for your guests to pick up and enjoy this dish.
Croquettes are very popular in Spanish cooking and especially when it comes to tapas. They’re ideal for tapas due to their small size, ease of cooking, and the number of different varieties you can make.
This recipe is for ham croquettes and it makes a croquette with a deliciously creamy filling.
The croquettes do need some forward planning, however, as the dough will need to be refrigerated for at least four hours, but preferably overnight.
Tapas recipes can also cater to vegetarians and this recipe is bound to be a hit with both vegetarians and meat eaters.
It also makes use of a slow cooker, so you can prepare the tapas and leave it to cook while you deal with other tasks. It will take around two to three hours for a slow cooker to be cooked.
Translated to English, this means spinach with chickpeas and you’ll find a variation of this served in restaurants across Spain, but especially in Seville.
If you choose to use dry chickpeas, you will need to soak these overnight. Also included in this recipe are spinach, raisins, bacon, tomato sauce, and onion.
The key to making this delicious tapas is to get some nice and crusty bread. We would recommend French baguettes cut into thick slices.
The main topping is a bacon jam that is made from bacon, apple cider vinegar, onion, garlic, and brown sugar. To make this more interesting, you can add some bourbon if you wish! The jam is then topped with goat cheese and figs.
Calamari, or squid, can be a little divisive but it’s one of our favorites and a common ingredient in Spanish tapas recipes.
In this recipe, the calamari is breaded and fried and then served with a couple of dressings. The first is a delicious tabasco and honey drizzle and the second is a cilantro aioli.
13. Gambas Al Ajillo
This is another tapas recipe that includes shrimp and is a very common dish that you’ll find in many tapas restaurants.
The name gambas al ajillo means shrimp with garlic and that is a very apt description of the dish.
You will need to saute the shrimp in a skillet with garlic and olive oil before adding red chili flakes and dry sherry. Serve while hot and alongside some delicious crusty bread.
Although this is also a recipe for garlic shrimp, it is quite different from the rest due to the additional lemon and parsley.
It also switches out some of the other ingredients for other flavors. Why not try preparing both and see which one you prefer?
Pintxo (or pinto) are one of the most common type of appetizers. We’ve already included a couple in this list and it means tapas that is served on bread.
In the case of this recipe, it’s caramelized onion and goat’s cheese on baguette slices. To ensure everything holds together, you can use a toothpick or skewer if you wish.
We had calamari earlier and now we’re heading back into the ocean for octopus. Like calamari, this can be an acquired taste but this starter is sure to win over some more converts.
If you’ve never prepared octopus before then don’t worry, the recipe has full instructions on how to do this. The octopus is then served with onion, carrot, celery, potatoes, and seasonings.
17. Huevos Rotos
This is a very simple and common Spanish recipe and it makes for great comfort food that is also surprisingly delicious.
When translated, huevos rotos means broken eggs and in the case of this recipe, it is broken eggs with ham, chorizo, potatoes, and peppers.
Jalapeño poppers are a common fixture in several different cuisines and countries and they also make a great tapas recipe.
The jalapeño peppers should be halved and emptied and then filled with cream cheese, grated cheese, and chives. You can then coat each jalapeño in breadcrumbs and bake before frying.
Gazpacho is a soup that is served cold and it is traditionally made with tomatoes.
However, this recipe puts a new twist on this classic by reducing the number of tomatoes and replacing them with strawberries instead. This recipe does require some preparation time due to the time it needs to chill.
For this recipe, we’re back to manchego cheese and this is the perfect choice to complement the padrón peppers.
Each pepper is stuffed with a baton of manchego and cooked. The recipe also gives instructions to make a delicious romesco dip for your peppers.
21. Pan Con Tomate
Depending on where you are in Spain, you may also hear this called pan tumaca or pa amb tomàquet.
Whatever it is called, it is still toasted bread that is topped with a mix of tomatoes, olive oil, and salt. It’s one of the most simple pinto recipes but that doesn’t mean that it’s lacking in flavor.
22. Papas A Lo Pobre
This translates to “poor man’s potatoes” and as you might have already guessed, the recipe is based on potatoes. They’re similar to potato fries and are sure to be a hit with everyone who tries them.
The potatoes should be cut into thin slices and then cooked in a skillet with green peppers, onions, and garlic.
Our next recipe has even more potatoes. The croquettes in this recipe aren’t just filled with potatoes, however, as they also have bacon and cheese inside.
You’ll need to prepare the potatoes and bacon first so that they can be mashed together and then rolled in breadcrumbs before being fried.
Seafood such as clams are a common ingredient in Spanish cooking and tapas is no different.
This dish is full of clams and these are cooked with chorizo, garlic, cannellini beans, chicken stock, and seasonings. When cooked, serve with some crusty bread.
Empanadas are a delicious dish that are made from pastry and a savory filling. The recipe for these empanadas has two different options that you can choose from.
One is vegan and the other is a beef empanada. Both have a variety of vegetables and seasonings inside. You can also make the pastry vegan if you wish.
This dip is ideal for crusty bread or chips. It’s really easy to make as well so you can use it for more than just a tapas dish!
The dip is made from shallots, garlic, tomato paste, paprika, butter beans, and red wine vinegar. You can make it in advance as well and just reheat it before serving.
This is an easy and classic Spanish recipe that is great for tapas but can also be eaten at any point of the day.
It’s a Spanish omelet and this version only requires five ingredients, which are eggs, onion, potatoes, olive oil, and salt.
Our final recipe is a simple dish of marinated carrots. Unlike most tapas recipes this is completely vegan too, so you can serve it to vegan guests.
Although the recipe is easy to prepare, you should allow the carrots to marinate for at least four hours before serving.
Are Any of the Tasty Appetizers Kids Will Love Also Suitable for Adult Guests?
Are Any of the Tasty Appetizers Kids Will Love Also Suitable for Adult Guests? Yes! Tasty appetizers for kids, such as mini sliders, crispy chicken tenders, and cheesy pizza bites, can be a hit among adult guests too. These bite-sized treats offer nostalgic flavors that adults will appreciate, making them a perfect option to please everyone at any gathering.
Are There Any Tomato-Based Tapas Recipes in Your Collection of Tomato Recipes?
Looking for tasty tomato recipes to add to your collection? Look no further! Whether you’re a tapas aficionado or simply looking to explore new flavors, we’ve got you covered. Check out our assortment of tomato-based tapas recipes that will surely tantalize your taste buds. From bruschetta to gazpacho, each dish is bursting with the rich and vibrant flavors of tomatoes.
In this article, we listed the 28 best tapas recipes that your guests are sure to love. We included a wide variety of recipes and covered as many different types of tapas as possible.
Some recipes are very traditional Spanish recipes whereas others have an American spin on them. We also made sure to include some vegan and vegetarian options.
Frequently Asked Questions
Let’s now answer some of the most commonly asked questions about tapas.
Tapas is the name given to a variety of foods served in Spain. They are small portions or plates of food that can be snacks, canapes, or just smaller versions of larger dishes.
There are many different types of tapas and they can be both hot and cold dishes. The tapas dishes on offer vary greatly throughout different regions of Spain and from restaurant to restaurant.
Virtually anything can be a tapas dish but they can be largely divided into four different categories. These are:
This category relates to tapas which are slices of bread that have different toppings. This is one of the most common varieties of tapas and one of the most common toppings is tomato.
Cheese And Charcuterie Platters
Cheese and meat boards are very common types of tapas. Spain has several delicious kinds of cheese with the most well-known being manchego. Popular meats on these boards include serrano ham and chorizo.
This is one of the broader categories of tapas. Examples of cold tapas include salads, cold soups, olives, and tortillas.
The final category of tapas is hot tapas. There are so many different dishes that can be served as hot tapas and you will have seen that there are more hot tapas recipes in our list than any other type of tapas.