Spain has gifted us with one of the most delicious food customs: tapas. Made up of bite-sized savoury snacks that are crumbed, dipped, fried, skewered or stuffed, a tapas spread is a luxurious way to enjoy the vibrant flavours of Spain in a variety of different dishes. Ranging from chorizo croquettes to marinated olives, these are our all-time favourite recipes to host your own Spanish tapas dinner party with friends.
1. Spanish meatballs
Meatballs, or ‘albondigas’, are a classic addition to a Spanish tapas spread. Succulent and seasoned with warming flavours, serve these meatballs on toothpicks to save guests from getting greasy fingers.
2. Crispy potatoes
Crumbed in polenta, parmesan and rosemary, these super crunchy morsels of potato satisfy all those intense umami cravings. Serve with a creamy aioli on the side for dipping.
3. Grilled prawns
Coated in a punchy butter laced with smoky paprika, these prawns are a must-have in your Spanish tapas spread. We cooked these prawns over the braai for extra flavour, although they can also be fried if you prefer.
4. Lamb skewers
These succulent lamb skewers are spiced with a dry rub of cumin, chilli and salt. Serve inside small tortillas with a fresh slaw and dollop of yoghurt for a pop of colour and freshness.
Spicy chorizo sausage is a staple of Spanish cooking. An extremely versatile and delicious ingredient, we stuffed pieces of chorizo inside croquettes for the ultimate Spanish tapas snack.
6. Crumbed mushrooms
A vegetarian option that is just as satisfying as meat, these crumbed mushrooms will keep your guests coming back for more!
7. Spanish mussels
These Spanish-inspired mussels will be sure to add some fire to your palate. Serve with crusty garlic bread on the side to mop up all the delicious sauce.
8. Marinated olives
A few small bowls of simple marinated olives are essential for a Spanish tapas evening. Feeling more creative? Serve them on top of baked feta with roasted tomatoes – yum!
Oh empanadas, how we love you! Although classically made with beef, our chicken version with a kick of lime is just as delicious. If you don’t have enough time to make your own pastry, then grab a roll of pre-made shortcrust or puff pastry from the shops – whichever you prefer.
10. Pan con tomate
Pan con tomato is best described as the Spanish version of classic tomato bruschetta. It is a simple snack that celebrates the beautiful flavour of in-season tomatoes.
Many tapas dishes are not complete without a bowl of aioli on the side for dipping. Similar to mayonnaise, aioli can be flavoured in many ways and whipped up from pantry staples. Learn how to make aioli from scratch with our guide below.
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ALSO SEE: How to make Sangria