Spanish food is full of color, flavor, and a wonderful mix of ingredients. Spanish culture knows exactly where to put the spice in each dish.
From familiar Spanish rice to more exotic paella and flan, Spanish food has some of the best flavors and the most exciting desserts there are.
Here you’ll find a list of 17 of the best Spanish recipes out there. We’ll cover foods from breakfast all the way to desert, and provide the recipes!
17 Best Spanish Recipes
Here is a list of the 17 best Spanish recipes to try.
Paella is a popular dish in Spain. It is made with fresh, aromatic ingredients like saffron, chicken, rice, and veggies, along with some classic spices.
This dish takes about an hour to fully prepare, but most of that time will be spent baking the dish. Here’s an authentic recipe to try at home.
2. Ham Croquetas
Also known as croquetas de jamon, these tasty little dough balls are packed with flavor and made with easy ingredients you probably already have stored.
Croquetas are a traditional poor man’s food, being made with leftover ham and simple ingredients that were commonly found around the house. Here’s the recipe.
Salmorejo is a cold soup made with tomatoes, bread, oil, vinegar, and a few spices. It’s topped with ham, hard boiled eggs, and croutons. Interested yet?
This soup is popular in southern Spain, and takes a bit of time and willpower to make, so hang in there! Here’s a tested recipe.
4. Pollo en Pepitoria
This delicious dinner meal consists of marinated chicken nestled in a thick, aromatic creamy sauce and garnished with cooked egg whites and fresh parsley. Yum!
This recipe takes a lot of work, so be prepared to spend time in your kitchen! There’s an option to start this dish the night before as well.
5. Pimientos de Padron
Also called Padron peppers, this flavorful tapa (snack) is a Spanish classic. The peppers originally came from Mexico, and then grew in the Northwest region of Spain.
Today, they’re grown everywhere. This recipe is simple, with only a few ingredients that are easily found around the kitchen. It takes about 10 minutes to prepare.
6. Spanish Rice
It doesn’t get much more traditional than Spanish rice. This is sometimes referred to as Mexican rice as well. It’s made with long grain rice.
Spanish rice goes great with fajitas, enchiladas, and quesadillas, and is traditionally served as a side dish to classic Spanish meals. Here’s a great recipe.
7. Chickpea and Chorizo Stew
This hearty stew is made with protein-packed chickpeas, flavorful chorizo (seasoned pork sausage), and a mix of nutritious greens, all served in a single bowl.
This recipe takes about 35 to 40 minutes to make, with the majority being the cook time. The ingredients include plenty of spices for a flavorful meal!
8. Patatas Bravas
Patatas Bravas are another tapa that is great to serve at parties. These little potatoes are smothered in a delicious sauce that’s sure to be a hit.
This recipe takes about an hour and a half to make, with the majority being prep time, so be prepared! The time and work are worth it.
9. Arroz al Horno
Also known as baked rice, this dish isn’t like your other rice dishes. Instead of being put on the side, Arroz al Horno is the main dish!
It’s more of a casserole than anything. It takes a little over an hour to make, most of which is cook time, not preparation. Here’s the recipe.
10. Tortilla Espanola
Despite the misleading name, tortilla Espanola is not made with tortillas. It’s actually closer to a breakfast omelet, but served in pie shape. Interested yet?
This dish is made with eggs, potatoes, and onions, along with a few spices and oil. It may take practice to get this omelet down perfectly. Here’s the recipe.
If you love ratatouille or caponata, you’re sure to love Spanish pisto. It is a hearty vegetable stew made with fresh vegetables and olive oil.
This recipe takes about an hour and a half to make, with an hour of it being cook time. Consider serving it with a side of soft bread.
Churros are a delicious snack or desert, covered in cinnamon sugar with soft, chewy dough. The snack stand churros just don’t compare to made from scratch.
All in all, these take about 40 minutes to cook. This recipe calls for a piping bag to shape the churros, but you can always do it by hand.
13. Spanish Chickpea Stew
This vegetarian stew is great for cold winter nights. It’s made with chickpeas, spinach, and a ton of seasonings to really pack in the flavor.
It takes about 45 minutes to put everything together, most of it being the spices! It pairs nicely with a side of rice. Here’s a great recipe.
14. Chorizo, Potato & Cheese Omelet
This classic breakfast dish is a little different than tortilla Espanola. It’s made in typical omelet style, folding the omelet in half instead of cooking it flat.
It takes about 20 minutes to make due to having to boil the potatoes until soft and cook the chorizo. One bite and you’ll be hooked! Here’s the recipe.
15. Calamari a la Plancha
This dish is made with fresh calamari. The ‘a la plancha’ refers to the way it is cooked; seared over a very hot metal plate.
It takes about a half hour to make, and is best cooked in an iron skillet if you have one. Here’s a great step-by-step recipe.
Flan is a custard desert served in similar fashion to a pie. It’s made with simple ingredients: sugar, eggs, condensed milk, whole milk, and vanilla extract.
Timing is important in this recipe, as flan requires a few quick transitions before ingredients harden or burn. It will also need to cool once cooked for about 4 hours.
17. Spanish Fig & Almond Balls
The delicious snack food has a sweet flavor to it and pairs great with a cheeseboard and crackers. Be sure to prepare them ahead of time.
This recipe takes only about a half hour to prepare, but the balls must dry for a considerable amount of time before they’re ready to be eaten.
Spanish dishes contain a healthy mixture of meats and veggies, some even being completely vegetarian. Recipes typically contain a fair number of spices, giving these dishes tons of flavor.
Whether you’re looking for breakfast, lunch, dinner, a snack, or maybe some desert, you’re sure to find something on this list to try at home.