How many truly authentic Spanish dishes have you tried? No, sorry you can’t count Americanized Spanish restaurant foods. We’re talking about delicious Spanish foods that come straight from the streets of Seville to the kitchens of Catalonia!
If you have ties to the amazing Spanish culture, then you’re probably familiar with a couple of authentic Spanish recipes. But if you’re a Latin food enthusiast who needs some direction towards scrumptious Spanish meals worth trying, then look no further.
We’re here to help! We’ve put together a list of 21 Spanish dishes that will have your stomach begging for more! Keep reading to find out more.
The Spanish version of croquettes is croquetas. And they’re made with several different fillings. The most popular filling for this Spanish delight is jamón (ham).
They’re found in almost every restaurant or bar in Spain. But each establishment presents them in their own style. Croquetas are made with the main ingredient of choice which could vary from ham, fish, cheese, vegetables, ground meat, potatoes, and more.
The main ingredient mixes with béchamel, white bread, egg, onion, and any other type of filling and spices. The ingredients used varies on who is making it. But no matter what’s used, everything’s rounded together in the shape of a disk and deep fried into perfection.
Because there are so many options and ways to make croquetas, there’s no telling how one might differ from the other without tasting them yourself. And whether they’re made with ham or vegetables only, one thing remains true: they’re delicious!
2. Rabo De Toro
Traditionally created and served after the bullfights, rabo de toro is bull’s tail stew or stewed bull’s tail! If while visiting Spain you happen to ask for or mention stew, you’ll most likely be directed towards rabo de toro. It’s one of Spain’s most popular stews.
The bull’s tail is braised until it reaches a tenderness perfection. It’s a Spanish meal that’s filled with history. And it can’t be missed!
Pisto is a Spanish ratatouille dish. Usually eaten as a tapa, appetizer, or side dish, this Spanish meal can also be served as a main dish when paired with chorizo or a fried egg. It’s filled with many different vegetables springing with a variety of garden flavors. Veggies like tomatoes, peppers, onions, zucchini, garlic, eggplant and more are paired together with olive oil to create a wonderful dish.
It’s usually served warm. And it’s a great starter to any meal. But if you want to add even more flavor to this dish, then try grilling the vegetables! Use vegetables that are favorites in your home.
And don’t feel obligated to stick to a recipe precisely. You can spice it up or cool it down depending on what types of spices and herbs you want to use in this wonderful Spanish tapas dish.
Paella is a flavorsome rice dish served with vegetables and meats. It can be made with chicken, rabbit, or both. Or, sometimes seafood is used in the dish such as fish, muscles, calamari, and others!
It simply depends on what you like or where you order it from. Vegetables can also vary. But white and green beans are usually present.
It’s one of the most colorful Spanish meals, especially when topped with vibrant prawns. But for an even more unique flare, some places offer paella with arroz negro (black rice). It’s stained with octopus ink to get it’s color and produces a rich taste.
Made with beef cheek or pork cheek, carrillada is a mouthwatering Spanish delight that melts in your mouth. The meat in carrillada is usually braised in a mixture of popular Spanish sauces. Because the meat is so tender, it resembles a pot roast texture.
The sauces that the dish is prepared in often times relies on the type of meat that is used. When using pork cheek, it’s best to use garlic, tomatoes, and port wine or white wine with onions and carrots. When using beef cheek, it’s best to use red wines with onion or a mushroom sauce mixed with wine and tomatoes.
Either meat can be braised in a variety of sauces and still taste yummy. But these suggestions are sure to give the dish an extra spark!
If you love a fresh bowl of tomato soup, then Gazpacho is a Spanish dish you’re sure to love! And if you’re accustomed to eating canned tomato soup, then you’re really in for a treat. Because canned soup has nothing on this Spanish recipe.
Gazpacho is made with fresh Spanish tomatoes bursting with flavor. The tomatoes are blended with other ingredients such as cucumbers, green peppers, onions, vinegar, garlic, and herbs. This bowl of soup is absolutely mouthwatering.
Thought Spain was famous for only one cold soup? Not a chance, it gets even better. Salmorejo is a very similar dish. But it’s made from blending the fresh tomatoes with bread, garlic, and vinegar. It’s served hot or cold and is topped off with Spanish ham or pieces of hard boiled egg sprinkled on top.
8. Jamón Ibérico
Cured Iberian ham or, jamón Ibérico, is one of Spain’s most universal snacks. The cured ham is sliced into incredibly thin slices. And it’s the perfect snack to nibble on alone or coupled with fine cheese.
When traveling the streets of Spain, it’s not uncommon to find jamón Ibérico hanging from store and bar ceilings. And if you’re lucky enough to try this Spanish snack while in Spain, then you’ll need to grab some locally made cheese as well.
It’s the perfect mid-day snack that’s hearty but not overwhelming.
Cochinillo is a very popular Spanish dish found mostly in the city of Segovia. This meal features a suckling pig roasting on an outdoor spit. It’s a great way to gather around friends and family.
Roasting the pig creates extremely tender meat that doesn’t require a knife to cut. With a few veggies and some fruity Spanish olive oil, you’ve got one heck of a delicious meal! The suckling pigs are much smaller pigs than we are used to.
So finding one might be hard to do. Ask your local butchers about purchasing one. They will come as much help.
And if you want to truly experience this dish in it’s most authentic form, then head straight to Spain where you’ll have no trouble finding it!
10. Pulpo A La Gallega
If the sea is home to some of your favorite foods, then you won’t want to pass up on an opportunity to try pulpo a la gallega. It’s made by boiling an octopus. And includes limited ingredients.
Spanish seafood meals are unique and tend to use many spices, herbs, and ingredients to give full flavoring. But this dish only needs paprika, rock salt, and a little bit of olive oil to reach the same flavorful effects. It’s a signature meal in Galician.
And it’s served in many Galician restaurants through Spain. The best way to serve up this delicious Spanish dish is on a wooden platter after cooking it in a copper cauldron. Copper cauldrons are known to give the octopus a unique flavor.
11. Tortilla Española
Tortilla Española or tortilla de patatas is the Spanish omelette! And it’s definitely worth a try. What makes it different from a regular omelet?
Unlike the classic omelet that we’re used to, the tortilla Española is made with not only eggs but potatoes and caramelized onions as well. It’s fried in oil and often times served cold. This delicious Spanish dish is inviting for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
They’re much thicker than the traditional omelet. And have a soft and sweet center. This cake-like meal is found in many restaurants and bars throughout Spain.
12. Crema Catalana
If crème brulee is one of your favorites, then it’s time to let crema Catalana have the spotlight. This Spanish dessert is a rich custard that’s topped with caramelized sugar. And it’s oftentimes given a final touch with sprinkled on citrus zest and cinnamon.
Milk, cream, egg yolks, sugar, vanilla, orange peel, and cinnamon all come together to create this tasty dessert. And if you have the chance to try this Spanish treat, you won’t want to pass it up.
13. Fabada Asturiana
For cold winter days, a bowl of fabada Asturiana is a great way to warm up. Fabada Asturiana is a Spanish bean stew. And it’s filled with white beans and meat. Blood sausage, chorizo, or pork is the usual meat of choice.
This dish is an Asturian staple. And it’s similar to black pudding.
14. Patatas Bravas
If you have a love for spicy foods or dipping sauces, then patatas bravas is soon to be your new favorite dish! If you’re not a fan of overly spicy foods, then don’t worry. You can enjoy this dish just the same.
Patatas bravas is a dish of many peeled and cubed potatoes with a side of a spicy red sauce. Ingredients placed in the sauce depends on where you go to try it. So some sauce mixtures may be spicier than others.
And if making from home, you have complete control of which spices go into it. So you can make it as hot or mild as you’d like. Either way, the potatoes always remain delicious.
The Spanish are obsessed with chorizo. Have a taste and you’ll understand why. This delicious Spanish food can be added to practically any dish, or enjoyed with your favorite Spanish cheese or Rioja wine. This flavorful dry-cured smoked sausage is ready to eat and can be enjoyed any time of day. Trust us or better yet, 50 million Spaniards can’t be wrong!
Bacalao is cod that’s salted to perfection. It comes in several different forms. For example, it’s sometimes found stuffed inside of a croqueta, or grilled, or fried. Which way sounds best to you?
Although the original reasoning for salting fish was to keep it preserved, the technique is used today because of the great taste that it offers. Salt is no longer needed as a means to preserve the fish. But it’s needed for taste!
And it’s great when paired with paprika, tomato sauce, and vegetable with wine sauce!
17. Pan Tumaca
If you’re familiar with the Italian favorite, bruschetta, then you’ll absolutely adore pan tumaca. It’s a simple Spanish dish that doesn’t require much work or ingredients. But don’t let the simplicity of its recipe fool you.
The flavors in this appetizing snack or quick breakfast bite are nothing close to simple. It’s bread, salt, tomato, and olive oil. So you can see its resemblance to bruschetta.
But just like bruschetta, its small combinations of ingredients is just enough to keep you coming back for more. It’s the most famous in Catalonia. But you can find it all throughout Spain.
18. Leche Frita
When in the mood for a sweet dessert, leche frita is a go-to dish. It’s just what the name suggests: fried milk. And it’s nothing less of scrumptious.
This cool milk pudding is the center of a crunchy coating made with flour and egg. The flour and milk cook together until a dough consistency’s produced. It’s then fried into a tasty treat powdered with cinnamon and confectionery sugar.
This traditional Spanish dessert is one of Spain’s most popular street foods! And it’s easily altered in a couple of ways to tend to your preference. For example, some prefer using a sugar glaze on top.
19. Gambas Al Ajillo
Concluding our list of delicious Spanish foods is gambas al ajillo. It’s a classic Spanish recipe including shrimp and garlic with olive oil. If the shrimp were still alive, they’d be swimming in a large amount of garlic oil on this dish.
This dish is another popular tapas served mainly throughout the southern part of Spain.
From restaurants to cafés to local street corners you’ll find them. Churros are one of those foods that everyone is sure to love. They are a classic sweet Spanish snack consisting of fried dough dusted with sugar. Typically churros are long and have ridges from the churrera that helps create their unique shape. Churros are typically eaten with cafe con leche or Spanish hot chocolate.
Well, your going to need something to wash it all down with, aren’t you? At it’s core, Sangria is a traditional Spanish punch. But what makes it special is the medley of chopped fruits added to the red wine, brandy and orange juice mix. It’s typically served in a pitcher with a long wooden spoon.
Delicious Spanish Foods You Can’t Pass Up
When given an opportunity to try any of these delicious Spanish foods, you won’t want to pass it up. So if you’re lucky enough to come across one of these Spanish meals, make sure you stop and try it. You won’t regret it as flavorful explosions spark on top of your tastebuds!
And if you enjoyed reading about these 21 delicious Spanish dishes, then you’ll also love reading about why Carbonell Olive Oil is excellent for your at-home Spanish dishes! Click here to learn more.
Our blog is all about sharing our love of Latin American foods & drinks. We will bring you articles and recipes of the very best Latin American & Spanish cuisine. Amigofoods was founded in 2003 and is the largest online grocery store offering a wide variety of hard to find freshly imported foods & drinks from all over Latin America and Spain.