40 Easy Tapas Recipes For 2023
Apr 18, 2023
If you’re throwing a party this spring, and don’t want to spend the entire night in the kitchen, look no further than these tapas recipes: they’re small plates of food to be shared among your guests. These smaller servings of unique cuisines can be a great way to try something new, and really impress your foodie friends that always want a little bite!
Most of these tapas recipes come together in no time, which can be super helpful if you lean toward procrastinating the daunting task of hosting. To get you started, we’ve got the dish on the best easy and authentic Spanish tapas recipes. And don’t forget — these babies taste even better when paired with a pitcher of sangria.
What are the 3 types of tapas?
The three types of tapas include cosas de picar (finger foods), pinchos (which require something like a toothpick to eat), and cazuelas (little dishes served in a sauce).
What are some typical tapas foods?
Tapas foods are usually smaller portions, but they’re all delicious. You can serve everything from olives and fried cheese to chorizo and sweet baked churro chips.
What do you serve at a tapas party?
There are a variety of foods you can serve at a tapas party, but our favorite include jalapeño poppers, fried cheese, and olives. We love a fig and bacon jam crostini, too!
Seared Tuna with Manzanilla Olive Tapenade
This tapas bite may look super involved and fancy, but we promise you it’s as simple as it gets. Sear some fresh tuna before using it to top cucumber slices that pair with a delicious homemade tapenade. (via The Endless Meal)
Spinach And Chickpeas (Espinacas Con Garbanzos)
This spinach and chickpea stew is popular in Seville, Spain. Aside from the delicious flavors, the best part about this recipe is definitely the fact that it only takes half an hour to make! (via Spanish Abores)
Chorizo, Manchego, and Olive Skewers
These honey-drizzled skewers embody the rich, fresh flavors of Spanish foods and are a fireworks show in your mouth. (via My Modern Cookery)
Fig and Bacon Jam Crostini
Smear goat cheese on some toasted baguette slices, add bacon jam and fig slices, and drizzle with honey. This fresh flavor combination is nothing like you’ve ever tasted before. (via Barley & Sage)
Garlic Shrimp With Lemon and Parsley
This simple lemon-garlic shrimp is sure to satisfy. Serve with toothpicks for spearing or crusty baguette slices for dipping. This is a great dish to pair with white wine. (via Spain on a Fork)
Spanish Tortilla With Burrata and Herbs
This recipe using potatoes, eggs, fresh herbs, prosciutto, and burrata is perfect for a tapas brunch. (via Half Baked Harvest)
Croquetas de jamón, logs of ham coated in breadcrumbs and fried until golden, are easy to find at most bars in Spain. These are filled with mushrooms and made with non-dairy milk, so even your vegan friends can enjoy them! (via Cilantro and Citronella)
Squash Cornbread Mini Muffins
These finger food cornbread tapas are made with squash to boost your bite with tons of nutritional value. They’re sweet yet super savory, and the perfect dish to serve at a tapas party! (via Chef Bai)
This recipe originates from old Spanish tradition of finding ways to reuse crusty bread. Adding tomato and olive oil will soften up your crust to be topped with flavorful meat and spiciness. (via Cilantro Parsley)
Fried Cheese Curds
Fry some cheese curds in your oil of choice, and this finger food is ready to be enjoyed! Get ready to make a big batch, though, because these crunchy, creamy bites are addictive! (via Culinary Hill)
Chorizo Al Vino Tinto (Chorizo In Red Wine)
The red wine in this dish gives an extra layer of flavor that you cannot miss. This recipe tastes delicious with both mild and spicy chorizo, so it’s a great option for everyone. (via Caroline’s Cooking)
Baked Churro Chips
Steer away from tradition by making churros into chips. They’re easy to make in big batches, and they’re even easier to dip into mocha-fudge sauce, caramel sauce or whipped cream. (via Brit + Co.)
Spanish Cheese Board Easy Tapas Dish
Cover all of your flavor bases on a single board instead of making multiple plates. This tapas assortment is a yummy twist on modern charcuterie, and is full of Spanish cheeses, meats, grapes, olives and flavorful spreads. (via My Kitchen Love)
These takes on a classic bruschetta bite can take your tapas party so much further, and display a range of flavors, from spicy to sweet. (via Signature Concoctions)
Bacon and Goat Cheese Pops
Make this finger food an easy hack by using skewers to serve them! You’ll get a mouthful rich with sweet and savory notes. (via The Endless Meal)
Watermelon Salad with Feta, Cucumber, and Basil
Keep things fresh and fruity with this unique combination of flavors! This recipe will hit different during the summer, as it’s a relaxing and refreshing bite. (via Rachel Mansfield)
Air Fryer Lemon Pepper Chicken Wings
These delicious, tapas-worthy chicken wings are prepared in the air fryer, making prepping for a party so much easier. Everyone won’t be able to get enough of the spicy, citrusy flavors! (via Cozy Cravings)
Chicken Empanadas Tapas Recipes
Because no one ever complained about chicken, cheese, and carbs, and we’re not about to start. (via Food With Feeling)
Vegetarian Jalapeño Poppers
You’ll want to eat tons of these flavorful bites! Get into the crunch with these baked jalapeño poppers. (via Live Eat Learn)
Spanish-Style Tomato and Butter Bean Dip
This addictive dip is so simple, you can even make it on a camping trip. (via Fresh Off the Grid)
Bacon-Wrapped Dates With Goat Cheese and Pecans
These four-ingredient bites are both crispy, chewy, and creamy all at once. They’ll add some flavor variety to your tapas spread. (via The Cookie Rookie)
Quiches are always a hit, so why not make them bite-sized for your tapas party? You can take this recipe in so many different ways to produce unique flavors. (via Culinary Hill)
Chickpea Cranberry Lettuce Wraps
Make entertaining simple with these fresh lettuce wraps. You’ll get a mouthful of sweet cranberry and pack in tons of nutrition. (via Chef Bai)
Gambas al Ajillo
This spicy shrimp recipe can be used to toss with pasta or served on skewers! The choice is yours. (via A Spicy Perspective)
Pan Con Tomate
This snack is us-per common in Spain and just an easy way to make tapas. Fresh and garlicky, we could never pass up pan con tomate. (via A Spicy Perspective)
Blistered Padrón Peppers
Olive oil, salt, lemon juice, and heat transform these Spanish peppers into a party-worthy treat. (via What’s Gaby Cooking?)
Flank Steak With Goat Cheese on Toast
Grilled flank steak and roasted red pepper sit atop creamy goat cheese and crusty bread, but the real kicker is a roasted fig and onion jam that adds a perfect touch of sweetness. (via Steamy Kitchen)
Meatballs are a welcome guest at any party. These bites are made with spicy chorizo, a Spanish staple. (via Grab a Plate)
Zanahorias Saliñadas Tapas Recipe
These vibrant pickled carrot slices, served in olive oil and parsley, make a refreshing accompaniment to heavier, meatier tapas. (via Tara’s Multicultural Table)
Two-Minute Olive Tapenade
Black olives, capers, and olive oil make a salty spread that you’ll hungrily smear on endless baguette slices. (via Mommy Musings)
Fried Calamari With Cilantro Aioli
Looking for a dish with a little wow factor? Behold this simpler-than-you-think squid appetizer. (via Baker by Nature)
Quick-fried cauliflower is a healthier alternative to fried cheese or meat, but it still tastes indulgent. (via Just a Little Bit of Bacon)
Heirloom Tomato, Basil, and Manchego Toast
If your tomatoes are in season, you’ll want these tomato-manchego toasts topped with basil. They look gorgeous, fit to serve at a tapas celebration! (via Half Baked Harvest)
Balsamic Roasted Grape and Brie Crostini
Toasted baguette slices are topped brie, balsamic roasted grapes, and toasted pecans along with balsamic glaze, thyme, and black pepper. (via Barley & Sage)
Sriracha Buffalo Cauliflower Bites
Again, you could never go wrong with prepping cauliflower bites. This recipe leverages that buffalo flavor we all know and love! (via Half Baked Harvest)
Broccoli and Cheese Hand Pies
Handheld snacks are just a ‘yes’ from us. These hand pies are packed with cheese and broccoli to deliver the most satisfying bite. (via Feel Good Foodie)
Whipped Feta, Corn and Zucchini Crostini
Light whipped feta sits atop a crunchy crostini to balance out all of the comforting flavors of this tapa. (via Live Eat Learn)
Mexican Tortilla Roll Ups
These rollups are perfect for snack time, and easy to make with simple ingredients so that even little ones can enjoy! (via Culinary Hill)
Roasted Cauliflower Bites with Mint Dip
Try something a little bit different and whip up some cauliflower to be dipped in this fresh mint concoction. (via Salt & Lavender)
Spinach Artichoke Cups
It’s like the dip, but even better. Serve these as finger food at your next tapas party for the ultimate reward. Everyone will enjoy them! (via Rachel Mansfield)
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This article has been updated.
Sara is a food and lifestyle freelance writer in Los Angeles. She writes a weekly events column for the Los Angeles Times and loves writing food content for Brit + Co. After all, the English language’s most fun adjectives are best applied to delicious foods. In her free time, she’s a hip hop dancer, avid moviegoer, and thorough face-mask user.
Tapas recipes | BBC Good Food
Tapas recipes | BBC Good Food
Try these tapas dishes, then check out our main collection of Spanish recipes and seafood recipes.
Showing items 1 to 24 of 50
Patatas bravas meatballs
A star rating of 4.8 out of 5.17 ratings
Take inspiration from the classic tapas dish patatas bravas with this recipe. The addition of homemade pork meatballs makes it the ideal Friday night family treat
Stuffed cherry peppers
A star rating of 4.7 out of 5.3 ratings
These low-fat, gluten-free canapés can be put together in just 10 minutes – perfect as a last-minute party nibble
Warm kale salad with almonds & Serrano ham
A star rating of 4.7 out of 5.7 ratings
This modern take on coleslaw and cold cuts makes a delicious starter or light main, with shallots, celery, and a sweet and tangy dressing
A star rating of 4.6 out of 5.13 ratings
Serve these padron peppers as a side dish or starter in a Spanish feast. They’re super-simple to make, requiring little prep and just five minutes of cooking
A star rating of 4.2 out of 5.22 ratings
This impressive Spanish one pot, with monkfish, king prawns and mussels, is perfect for feeding a crowd at a dinner party
Ham & cheese croquetas
A star rating of 4.7 out of 5.20 ratings
These tasty, deep-fried bites can be made ahead and frozen, perfect for no-fuss entertaining as part of a party buffet spread
A star rating of 3.6 out of 5.29 ratings
Fluffy vegetarian tortilla is a great meal to make with older children – this one’s filled with peppers and potatoes
Seared beef, grilled pepper & caper berry
A star rating of 0 out of 5.0 ratings
This Spanish beef, pepper and caper berry skewer is great for a tapas evening or dinner party
A star rating of 4. 4 out of 5.6 ratings
A nod to traditional tapas, these freezable party canapés of potatoes, red pepper and chorizo can be made in advance
A star rating of 4.5 out of 5.38 ratings
Spicy, sweet and fragrant, this one-pot tastes even better if you make it ahead – a tasty addition to any tapas or buffet spread
A star rating of 4.8 out of 5.14 ratings
A typically Spanish snack that makes great party food. Well worth the effort, these crisp, golden brown bites have a creamy Ibérico ham and leek filling
Pancetta, date & chorizo meatballs
A star rating of 5 out of 5.4 ratings
Stuff medjool dates with chorizo and wrap in pancetta for a new take on meatballs, with a simple tomato sauce. A great tapas-style dish for entertaining
Citrus & fennel marinated olives
A star rating of 5 out of 5. 3 ratings
This simple tapas dish can be made well in advance – the longer they are left, the more flavour the olives will absorb
A star rating of 4.4 out of 5.16 ratings
This dish of calamari in red wine, fennel, rosemary and tomatoes is perfect served as a tapa or simply with rice or new potatoes
Clams with sherry & Serrano ham
A star rating of 4.9 out of 5.6 ratings
Sweet clams and salty ham are a perfect combination, and this tapas dish or sharing starter can be made in minutes
Parsley omelette with olive ricotta
A star rating of 4 out of 5.1 rating
Wrap herby omelette around a creamy cheese filling and top with juicy oven-roasted tomatoes to make delicately flavoured nibbles to share
Baby potatoes in sea salt with herb salsa
A star rating of 4. 2 out of 5.7 ratings
These herb-crusted new potatoes and piquant salsa are perfect partners in this tasty tapas or side dish
A star rating of 4.3 out of 5.7 ratings
Try making our crispy calamari and serve with an easy garlic mayo for a sharing starter or as part of a seafood feast
Ham & peach nibbles
A star rating of 5 out of 5.7 ratings
These super simple juicy bites are bursting with bold flavours – a perfect pre-dinner canapé or easy tapas dish
Spanish tomato salad
A star rating of 4.6 out of 5.12 ratings
Combine Serrano ham, manchego cheese and different varieties of tomato, drizzle with an almond parsley dressing, for a light summer side or tapas dish
Stuffed & grilled vegetable bites
A star rating of 3.7 out of 5.6 ratings
These delicious vegetarian tapas bites are filled with creamy ricotta, sundried tomatoes and basil – a perfect dinner party nibble
Warm chickpea, chorizo & pepper salad
A star rating of 4. 3 out of 5.21 ratings
A rough-and-ready salad bursting with Mediterranean flavours – great as a starter or main
Sautéed chorizo with red wine
A star rating of 4.9 out of 5.41 ratings
These chunks of spicy sausage in a rich glaze of garlic, honey and red wine are sure to disappear quickly from a buffet or tapas spread
Smoky paprika peppers
A star rating of 5 out of 5.4 ratings
A great gift for a dinner party host, or just a tasty snack on their own
Spanish Tapas: Top 5 Recipes
In Spanish, tapa is a lid. And it is in the name that the original idea of the dish is reflected – several centuries ago, the Spaniards covered a glass with an alcoholic drink with a small piece of bread soaked in tomato juice. This gastronomic invention served as a kind of lid and prevented the ubiquitous midges from getting into the glass.
However, over time, the people of Spain liked to drink beer or wine with small snacks so much that tapas began to change, and today in different regions of the country you can find the most diverse variations of the dish.
There is also a version that tapas were introduced by the Spanish king Alfonso X of Castile, who regularly drank wine, but wanted to stay sober in order to make important government decisions. For this, the monarch’s cooks suggested that he eat a small snack after each glass of alcohol he drank. The king liked the idea so much that he ordered to introduce this culinary tradition in every tavern in Spain.
Today, the dish has not only firmly entered the life of the Spaniards, but has also become one of the main gastronomic traditions – the inhabitants of the Mediterranean country regularly arrange evening walks to tapas bars, where they enjoy the perfect combination of wine and light snacks from local chefs.
Olives stuffed with capers and anchovies
- Large olives 6 pcs.
- Anchovy fillet 6 pcs.
- Capers 6 pcs.
This recipe is notable for its simplicity. First you need to remove the pits from the olives (or buy pitted olives). Next, wrap each caper with anchovy fillets, and stuff the olives. If desired, the finished snack can be sprinkled with a mixture of olive oil and lemon.
Shrimp tapas and chutney
- Tiger prawns 10 pcs.
- Arugula 10 g
- Sweet pepper 1 pc.
- Red onion 1 pc.
- Zucchini 1 pc.
- Olive oil 4 tbsp.
- Balsamic vinegar to taste
Cut the baguette and lightly fry each piece in a hot frying pan without oil. Clean the shrimp and fry in olive oil. Cut all the vegetables into small cubes and also fry in a deep frying pan in olive oil for about four minutes. Then send the prepared vegetables in a heat-resistant dish to a preheated to 180 degrees for 15 minutes, previously tightly covering the dishes with foil.
Arrange the chutney, shrimp and arugula on top of the baguette and drizzle with balsamic vinegar.
Almogrote – Tomato and Cheese Pate
- Hard cheese 400 g
- Garlic 3 cloves
- Large tomatoes 2 pcs.
- Olive oil 50 ml
- Chili pepper
Method of preparation:
Peel the tomatoes and chop in a blender. Add garlic, chili pepper, salt and olive oil there, beat again. Next, grate the cheese on a coarse grater and add to the ingredients in a blender.
Slice the baguette and fry in a frying pan without oil until crispy. Put the finished pate on the baguette slices. If desired, the finished dish can be decorated with a leaf of fresh basil.
- Ham 100 g
- Chicken egg 3 pcs.
- Olive oil 3 tbsp.
- Red ground pepper
Cut the ham into cubes and fry in olive oil. Add spices. Next, beat the eggs in a bowl and pour them into the pan with ham, mix.
Then cut the baguette and fry the slices in a frying pan without oil or warm them up in a toaster. Put the resulting omelet on the toasted baguette slices and serve immediately.
Mini Octopus Tapas
- Mini Octopus 10 pcs.
- Garlic 2 cloves
- Cherry tomatoes 5 pcs.
- Olive oil 4 tbsp.
- Lemon 1 pc.
Fry seafood in olive oil with garlic, sprinkle with lemon juice, salt. Cut the baguette into small circles and lightly heat in a frying pan without oil.
Halve the tomatoes. Top each slice of toasted baguette with half a tomato and a mini octopus. Connect with a wooden skewer, drizzle with olive oil and serve.
Photo: Getty Images
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Spanish tapas – everything a tourist in Spain should know about them
Tapas are cold or hot mini-snacks that are traditionally served in Spanish bars with alcoholic drinks. The variety of such snacks in the country is very large. It can be a couple of olives or a full-fledged small and elegantly decorated dish.
How tapas was invented in Spain
No one can say exactly when Spanish tapas appeared. There are several theories on this. Some believe that in the old days, tapas literally protected alcohol from … flies. That is why the appetizer was placed directly on a glass or jug of alcohol. Most often, bread or a piece of jamon was used for this purpose.
The name of the dish – tapa – is literally translated from Spanish as “lid”.
Other researchers are of the opinion that with the help of tapas unscrupulous innkeepers “masked” the smell of bad wine. There is also a simpler explanation that concerns the wind: they say that tapas protect alcohol from it, they do not allow dust and sand to get into the glass.
There is also a playful legend according to which King Alfonso the Wise of Spain was very fond of wine. But it did not allow the monarch to maintain clarity of mind. So Alfonso began to drink wine along with a small snack that helped keep him from getting drunk. In order to maintain clarity of mind not only for himself, but also for his people, the king ordered all drinks to be served in taverns with a small snack. This quickly reduced the number of fights and accidents. Well, Spanish cuisine has been enriched with a new interesting dish.
However, it is not necessary to drink alcohol with tapas. Feel free to order ordinary mineral water. This will not seem strange to anyone – Spain has long been accustomed to the quirks of tourists.
Tapas loved by the Spaniards
Modern tapas snacks amaze with their variety. It can be tiny canapés and large hearty sandwiches, slices of savory pies, mini-scrambled eggs, banderille skewers, pâté tubes or a micro salad served in a rosette. You can try tapas and feel what kind of dish it is in almost any institution in Spain. The bars in Madrid are especially tasty:
Alcachofas con anchoa (artichokes and anchovies) is a delicious low-calorie combination of anchovy fillet and artichoke heart, often served with beer. In a well-salted fillet, the cooks add lemon juice and a little pepper, most often black.
Caracoles en salsa de tomate (grape snails in tomato sauce) – snails are boiled and then dipped in a sauce made with tomatoes, peppers, almonds and cognac. The dish is served in a “retro” plate of the 19th century.
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Pulpo a la gallega (octopus on plank) is a delicacy baked, seasoned with parsley and olive oil, cut into small pieces and served on a rounded board.
Pimientos rellenos (pepper with mincemeat) – chefs use the “king” of Spanish peppers, del Piquillo, to prepare an appetizer. Cod is usually used as a filling.
La gamba con gabardine (shrimp “dressed in a coat”) – shrimp breaded in flour and fried, served with cold beer.
Matrimonio anchoa y boqueron (“marriage union” of anchovy with boqueron) – marinated anchovy (boqueron) is placed on the bottom, then topped with a slice of salted anchovy and pierced with a skewer with an olive strung on it. Red pepper is also sometimes added to the appetizer.
Ensalada de mariscos (seafood salad) is probably the most popular type of tapas: there are many variations of this Spanish dish. The basis of the salad are crab sticks, shrimps, lobsters. Vegetable slices or potato cubes are added to it. Topped with mayonnaise.
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Spaniards are also very fond of simple but tasty tapas: Almendras fritas (fried almonds) and Patatas adadas (baked potato halves with sauce).
Where to find the best tapas in Madrid
To fully experience and understand what tapas is in Spain, you should definitely visit at least a few local establishments. Madrid has long been famous for tapas bars, where you can taste the most unusual Spanish snacks. True, more and more often visitors are offered to order them for a fee. The average cost of snacks is around 1.5-3 €. It all depends on the size: the larger the size, the more expensive.
If you eat a snack next to the bar, you will pay a little less. Plus, you can save on tips for the waiter.
The most original and delicious tapas in Madrid can be tasted at the following establishments.
Casa Alberto (C/Huertas, 18)
A tavern with an old-fashioned feel throughout. For example, wine in this establishment is cooled not in the refrigerator, but in water. Casa Alberto has a sumptuous selection of snacks. Braised oxtails, shrimp and chorizo sausages stewed in cider are considered the “stars” of the menu.
Casa do Companeiro (C/San Vicente Ferrer, 44)
Cozy bar filled with a homely atmosphere. The menu is dominated by dishes to wine Galician cuisine. “Highlight of the program” – stew with beans.
Alambique (Plaza de la Encarnacion, 2)
This is a store that specializes in organic wine. Together with him, Alambique serves a sea of excellent tapas, such as jamon with truffles.
De 1911 (Plazuela de San Gines, 5)
“Ancient” bar. Here you can taste “retro” tapas, which were popular in Spain at the beginning of the last century.
Matritum (C/Cava Alta, 17)
Bar with excellent Catalan wines and snacks: foie gras, oysters, calamari. The cost of tapas is 6-16 €.
You can also find bars with free tapas in the capital of Spain. For example, La taberna de Antonio Sanchez (C / Meson de Paredes, 13), where one small snack is added to any ordered drink. The interior of the institution is entirely dedicated to bullfighting. And in El Tigre (Calle Infantas, 30), an ordered glass of beer for 2.5 € is accompanied by a medium-sized plate with several dishes: baked potatoes, chicken wings, jamon, cheese, turkey.
Guests of Madrid bars are usually offered to take not just one snack, but a whole set (the so-called tapas set) along with alcohol. There are usually several such sets on the menu. Their cost is 5-7 €.
Features of eating tapas
Anyone who wants to feel like a real Spaniard should remember a few good manners when ordering tapas. So, in the country it is customary to eat these snacks while standing, not sitting down. And in the evening it is advisable to visit at least 2-3 tapas bars – as they say, “dip”.