Spanish Appetizer Recipes

From Spanish omelets to tortillas, find easy and delicious Spanish tapas recipes. These appetizers are great as a starter or serve several dishes to make a full meal!

Community Picks

Chef John's Patatas Bravas

Rating: 4.5 stars 79
These fried potatoes are fiercely textured, fiercely flavored, fiercely presented, and fiercely enjoyed. How fierce is really up to you and your inner Spaniard. There are as many patatas bravas recipes as homes in Spain, and this is nothing more than my latest rendition.

Spanish Garlic Shrimp (Gambas al Ajillo)

Rating: 4.5 stars 71
You will find this dish on every Spanish restaurant menu — for good reason!

Avocado and Tuna Tapas

Rating: 4.5 stars 286
Living in Spain I have come across a literal plethora of tapas. This tuna stuffed avocado is a light, healthy dish that goes best with crisp white wines and crunchy bread. This recipe is great for experimenting with a variety of different vegetables, spices, and kinds of vinegar.
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Tortilla Espanola (Spanish Tortilla)

Rating: 4.5 stars 83
Unlike most omelets, a Spanish tortilla is served at room temperature. It is the classic tapa, prepared all over Spain.

Fried Empanadas

Rating: 4.5 stars 186
These fried empanadas are the best! Raisins and eggs make this recipe extra delicious believe it or not!

Authentic Patatas Bravas

Rating: 4 stars 8
Spanish tapas are tasty small plates that when combined can create a light supper or serve as a great appetizer. Patatas Bravas are tasty fried potato cubes served with a smoky, spicy dipping sauce.

Espinacas con Garbanzos (Spinach with Garbanzo Beans)

Rating: 4.5 stars 441
This recipe can be eaten as a side dish or as a light meal. It's great with a grilled pork chop and some crusty bread. Its origins date back to North African cultures and is one of the very popular choices of tapas in Seville's bars.

Tortilla Espanola

Rating: 4.5 stars 52
Tortilla Espanola is a dish I make all the time at home. My boyfriend's family are Spanish, and he just loves this authentic dish. It's easy to prepare and always a crowd pleaser. Traditionally this dish only uses only onions, potatoes and egg; however I like to add a little green, either parsley or chives depending on your taste. They're both wonderful.

Quince Paste

Rating: 4 stars 9
The quince is an old-fashioned, intensely aromatic, and dearly loved fruit. It is not an easy fruit to prepare, as it needs to be poached or cooked before it can be used in recipes. Quince paste is a wonderful accompaniment to cheese and crackers-try chevre as well as other mild, firm cheeses. You can also serve it for breakfast in place of jam.

Chickpeas and Chorizo

Rating: 4.5 stars 21
Garbanzo beans, or chickpeas, and chorizo is a classic Spanish dish sometimes served as tapas and sometimes as a full stew. This recipe adds potatoes to make a it little more hearty as a full meal. Serve with a citrus and fennel salad and some crusty bread for a full meal. I like to leave the garlic cloves whole as above and spread the cloves on the bread during meal. If you don't, then reduce garlic but chop and don't add until after liquid has been added or it may scorch.

Valencian Savory Empanadas

Rating: 4.5 stars 18
Small pockets of dough filled with ham, onion, tomatoes, parsley, and hard-boiled eggs. These are as tasty as they are easy and impressive. They make great appetizers!


Rating: 4.5 stars 34
I had this at a tapas bar in Spain way back and was able to figure out how to mimic it. It's an easy way to clean out the fridge and pantry. And, perfect for a low carb diet. I was introduced to this as a tapa. But you could always pair it with a salad or other veggie side dish for dinner.

Inspiration and Ideas

Tortilla de Patata (Spanish Tortilla)
Rating: Unrated 17
This is a fine Spanish potluck dish that can be served hot or cold, is inexpensive, delicious, and easy to pack. Hope there will be leftovers to take home, but don't count on it.
Spanish Chicken Skewers
These chicken skewers are typical Spanish tapas and are quick and easy to make. You do need to plan ahead as the chicken needs to marinate overnight.
Pan Tomaca (Spanish Tomato Bread)
Rating: 5 stars 1

Pan tomaca, or more accurately pa amb tomaquet, is a traditional Catalan breakfast dish that is also loved in other parts of Spain. It couldn't be easier to prepare! If you don't fancy it for breakfast, it also makes a lovely snack or starter.