Spain knows their food, and tapas is proof of that fact. Spanish tapas recipes are snacks or appetizers meant to be served to groups of people celebrating or enjoying a meal.
It’s an exciting way to enjoy a meal of Spanish food, the best Spanish tapas recipes allow you to enjoy many different tastes and textures in a single sitting with small plates of food.
If you’re considering creating your own little bites for a tapas party, this is the list of easy tapas recipes for you!
Table of Contents
What Are the Most Popular Spanish Tapas?
While there are many options out there for Spanish recipes, some of the most popular Spanish cooking options for tapas traditional dish include the following:
- Fried baby squid
- Spanish Meatballs
- Seared chorizo
- Crispy potatoes
- Mixed olives
As you can see from these examples, the idea for delicious Spanish tapas is to present eaters with as much variety as possible in Spanish dishes.
That way, the main course of tapas spread constantly changes, keeping their tastebuds happy and on their toes at the dinner party.
What Are the 3 Types of Tapas?
Spanish tapas fall into three broad categories, although some might jump the boundaries between them every once in a while. Let’s review the triumvirate of tapas:
- Cosas de picar (finger foods). Meant to be eaten with nothing but the hands. These finger foods are ideal appetizers at a busy party. Some examples include stuffed olives and miniature pizza.
- Pinchos (with a utensil). Next up are pinchos, which are meant to be eaten with a little toothpick or tiny fork. Pieces of saucy meat or oiled bread are common in this category.
- Cazuelas (a little dish with sauce). The last category is for little dishes with delicious sauces. Meat is most common in this category, which might include fried shrimp or even meatballs.
Best Spanish Tapas
Let’s kick our list off with the best of the best! If you’re not worried about specific dietary requirements, packing your table with these favorite tapas recipes is a surefire way to delight your guests.
First, we have a cosas de picar contender, which is a great option for parties where finger food is necessary.
The sauce on these smoked salmon bites is light and vibrant, bringing the party to your tastebuds.
If you’re looking for an easy way to blow your guests away with flavor and traditional Spanish tapas, you’ve found it.
These other savory smoked appetizers might peak your interest!
Next is a cazuelas-style dish featuring a tender meatball and plenty of delicious sauce. These meatballs cook in massive batches, packing each morsel with the sauce’s bold flavor.
Then, it’s up to you to serve each in its own little dish. It’s a super simple way to make delicious tapas for many people.
In the tapas game, having an air fryer will make things easier by orders of magnitude. It’s a great way to free up counter space while you focus on making the other tapas dishes in your line-up.
That’s not even mentioning how good these potato croquettes are! These are sure to be a hit, crunchy, crispy, and bursting with fluffy potato.
Bring out the grill for this next one because it’s time to get some char on these skewers! Pinchos morunos – or chicken skewers – are a great way to cook a lot of food quickly.
Make sure you marinate the chicken in advance to get as much flavor as you can into every ounce of the chicken.
This next dish may take over three hours, but perfecting this flavor profile is worth every minute. This is a melt-in-your-mouth stew dish with oxtail as the main protein, which goes in the history books.
This cazuelas-style dish will impress your guests with its bold flavor and ridiculously tender oxtail meat.
Keep things light and breezy by adding a roasted red pepper salad to your collection of tapas. This salad is a great palate cleanser, offering rich roasted pepper notes to accompany everything else.
Not only is this delicious, but it’s also super easy to prepare in the oven!
Calamari is an essential option when it comes to Spanish tapas. Get your calamari perfect by using a countertop air fryer! This results in crispy batter every time without a ton of oil ending up in the mix.
To complete the dish, serve with a side of homemade aioli or tartare sauce and a lemon wedge.
Think of pisto as Spanish ratatouille. It’s a vegetable stew with several components, including a delicious basting of olive oil to keep everything tender and delicious.
This dish fries quickly, so you don’t have to worry about hovering over the stove while other dishes burn in the background.
Vegetarian Spanish Tapas
Don’t worry if your guest list has a few vegetarians– possibly including yourself! – because these authentic Spanish tapas recipes have you covered.
Check out some delicious vegetable-only Spanish cuisine.
Chickpeas and kale may sound like somewhat of a boring combination, but this dish proves you can make anything delicious with the right spices. This protein-packed vegetarian dish is ideal for tapas!
This is technically a cazuelas-style dish, even if it doesn’t have a liquid sauce, because it needs a full dish and utensils. You can also try serving the pot in the middle of the table for easy sharing.
This is one of the most popular cold appetizers for parties as well!
If you have a host of fresh summer tomatoes waiting in your pantry, this is a great way to use them. The fresher your tomatoes are, the better this simple tapas recipe will taste. Why?
Because it’s all about celebrating tomatoes’ natural flavors! You can create seasonal perfection in minutes using crusty white bread and a few select herbs and spices.
Patatas bravas is a favorite, featuring perfectly-roasted potatoes with cheese and sauce. So, imagine how good it must be with two sauces to choose from! This recipe is out of this world.
The first sauce is a standard patatas bravas sauce, with acidic tomato and plenty of paprika. The second sauce is a creamy garlic aioli that balances the tomato, making this taste well-rounded.
Simplicity is delicious; no recipe proves that better than this stuffed mushroom dish. With just three ingredients to worry about, you can churn out a whole tray of these little mushrooms pronto.
Even if you’re not making tapas as a meal, these are brilliant appetizers for any situation.
This amazingly crispy and indulgent recipe gives leeks their day in the sun. That’s right, I said indulgent, about leeks of all things! These are deep-fried leek croquettes, and they’ll blow your mind.
Serve with a quick and easy aioli for a healthier twist on potato croquettes (that might just overtake them on your list of favorites).
This next dish, a Spanish Tortilla, features a simple omelet made of… potatoes? This is like a giant hash brown with the attitude of an omelet, and it’s worth learning, trust me.
Eggs, potatoes, and onions combine into a perfectly crispy pan-sized cake every time. Plop this in the center of your table with a knife for everyone to share. It’s great finger food, too!
Did you know that you could make vegan calamari? That’s right, it’s possible! This super simple gluten-free and vegan calamari tastes just like the real deal.
The secret? Hearts of palm. This plant-based game changer is revolutionizing the world of vegan eating. Get in on the ground floor of this amazing innovation and try some calamari.
Pimientos de Padron is a staple in tapas bars all over Spain. So, if you’re searching for authenticity, this is an essential dish to know. Simply put, they’re fried green peppers.
The trick is in what the peppers contain. Most of them are mild, but about one in ten of them are quite spicy. Eating this is like a low-stakes game of roulette; highly recommended!
Beans and tomatoes are two staples of the Spanish culinary world. That’s why this dish is essential knowledge! Making it is simple, requiring a single pan and just twenty minutes of simmering.
Drop this in the center of your table with a few slices of crusty white bread to serve it on. It’s a warming, wonderful way to bring your friends and family together for a meal.
Spanish Chorizo Tapas
Chorizo is the spicy sausage star of Spanish cuisine. So, it makes sense to dedicate an entire category to honoring this delicious ingredient! Check out some of the best ways to use chorizo in tapas.
Blend Italian methods with Spanish sensibilities to create something beautiful. These chorizo arancini – or ‘risotto balls’ – are the perfect finger food for a refined occasion.
Whether you need an appetizer, entrée, or snack, arancini have your back. These are stuffed with a particularly rich and fragrant risotto that will have your guests salivating.
Chorizo al vino tinto translates to ‘Spanish sausage in red wine,’ I just don’t think I need to say anything else here to prove my point. This is a wonderful tapas recipe, and you should try it.
The fragrance of the red wine pairs with the spicy sausage to create something truly unforgettable. Why are we still here? Go try it!
If you’re a fan of potatoes, this croquette recipe warrants your interest. Not only is this magically vegan, but it tastes as if it stepped straight out of a Spanish tapas bar.
They’re crunchy, fluffy, and utterly addictive. Pair them with a creamy sauce or dressing for the ultimate experience.
Speaking of combining chorizo and potato, here’s another method to try! With perfectly-baked potatoes as your base, stack cheese and chorizo to form a delicious morsel.
These taste as good as they look, with a rich chorizo spice singing over the top of the mellow potato.
Chorizo isn’t just good in wine! Using cider is a wonderful way to cook Spanish sausage. As it cooks, the meat stays tender and juicy while the fragrant spice becomes even stronger.
Not only is this delicious, but it’s also super easy to make. Just twenty minutes and some quality time with your stove, and you’ll be ready.
If you want the best hot appetizer for your tapas party, this is it!
Looking for a laid-back tapas dish to suit a gathering of friends? Why not try this recipe on for size?
The flavors of this dish echo the Chorizo al Vino Tinto from earlier. However, this version is dry, reducing the wine into the sausage.
Easy Spanish Tapas
If you’re managing that many dishes, looking for some easy dishes to pack on the table is essential. Luckily, the Internet has got our backs with many easy Spanish tapas recipes.
Shrimp is so easy to use for appetizers because it cooks quickly. There’s nothing like biting into a perfectly-cooked shrimp seasoned to high heaven.
With this dead simple shrimp appetizer recipe, that’s exactly the experience you can provide to your guests!
Here’s another take on pan-friend poblano peppers, with shishito peppers taking center stage. These Japanese peppers are just as mild as the original peppers needed for this recipe.
The upside is that these can be easier to find than Padron or poblano peppers in grocery stores, depending on your area.
Need something for the table before appetizers ever hit the deck? These rosemary-roasted almonds fit the bill to perfection. These crunchy little delights are super herbaceous and earthy.
They’re ideal for priming your guests’ appetites and getting them ready to indulge in Spanish-style feasting.
Make things as easy as possible on yourself with this delicious tomato and eggplant stew. The two vegetables stew into a tender, the flavor-packed sauce you can’t beat.
Either vegetable in isolation is good, but combining the two makes them really sing. Just whip out your cast iron pot, whack it on the stove, and you’re a go!
Baby potatoes occupy a special spot on the dinner table. They’re technically a side dish, but they have the power to steal the spotlight from almost any main dish.
Luckily, Spain recognized their potential to create a super simple tapas dish with baby potatoes. Now, they’re the main event!
Everyone will love these finger food recipes at your tapas party!
You don’t need potatoes to enjoy delicious fries! These eggplant fries send a warning shot across the table to the other dishes, letting them know they’re in trouble. These are absolutely addictive.
Since they’re made of eggplant, these fries are guilt-free and even good for you. But they taste amazing! Pair with a creamy aioli or a drizzle of honey to bring out their Mediterranean roots.
Mushrooms are one of the most versatile members of the food pyramid. This next recipe is dead easy, offering an earthy, almost meaty course to add to your tapas menu.
With plenty of garlic and herbs to grease the way, this is a quick and simple way to start an evening with your guests.
Finally, we have patatas bravas. Occupying the top spot on many tapas bar menus worldwide, this potato-heavy appetizer has a hard line to our happy hormones. Translation: it’s delicious!
Not to mention, it’s much easier to make than you might think. The key is to nail the cook on the potatoes, as that sets the tone for the rest of the dish.
There you have it! That’s thirty-one tapas recipes to provide the perfect setting for your next gathering with friends. Are you new to making tapas, or are you a veteran of the tiny plates?
Let me know what you think of these recipes in the comments below! If you liked this, check out my other lists of appetizer recipes for meal inspiration from all over the globe.
- 1. Avocado Smoked Salmon Bites
- 2. Meatballs in Tomato Sauce
- 3. Air Fryer Potato Croquettes
- 4. Pinchos Morunos
- 5. Rabo de Toro
- 6. Roasted Red Pepper Salad
- 7. Air Fryer Calamari
- 8. Spanish Pisto
- 9. Chickpeas and Kale
- 10. Pan Con Tomate
- 11. Patatas Bravas with Two Sauces
- 12. Manchego and Roasted Pepper Stuffed Mushrooms
- 13. Leek Croquettes
- 14. Potato Omelette
- 15. Air Fryer Vegan Calamari
- 16. Pimientos de Padron
- 17. Beans with Tomatoes
- 18. Chorizo Arancini
- 19. Chorizo al Vino Tinto
- 20. Vegan Chorizo Croquettes with Alioli Tomatoes
- 21. Chorizo and Potato with Cheese
- 22. Chorizo in Cider
- 23. Chorizo in Red Wine
- 24. Garlic Shrimp with Paprika and Lemon
- 25. Blistered Shishito Peppers
- 26. Rosemary Roasted Almonds
- 27. Tomato and Aubergine Stew
- 28. Air Fryer Baby Potatoes
- 29. Eggplant Fries with Honey
- 30. Garlic Mushrooms
- 31. Patatas Bravas
- Scroll up to get a bunch of easy, yummy, and delicious Spanish Tapas recipes. Don't be afraid to get creative with the ingredients, you might discover a flavor you didn't know you liked.
- Get your shopping list going and make sure you've got all the ingredients.
- Get cooking and make your next Spanish Tapas Recipe!
Which one of these recipes was your favorite? Let me know in the comment section or on Pinterest!