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19 Yummy Spanish Appetizers You Need To Elevate Your Next Party

Spain is one of the few countries that sit along the Mediterranean and Spanish Appetizers allowing them to have a perfect blend of eastern and western flavors in their cuisine.

This is why Spanish food is popular for being filled with flavor and a perfect balance of nutrition and health, and with a wide range of fruits, veggies, olives, and olives oils that the country is known for, it’s no surprise that Spanish appetizers are one of the most well known around the world. 

So, whether you’re looking to spice up your next dinner party with a unique appetizer or planning for a Spanish tapas party, we’ve put together some seriously delicious Spanish appetizers that are easy to make and will get any party off the right start.

Quick Table: Spanish Appetizers

RecipesCalories Per ServingPreparation Time
Pan-Fried Spanish Cauliflower Tapas200 30 Min
Spanish Gazpacho16515 Min
Garbanzo Beans With Tomato And Onions145 55 Min
Spanish Marinated Olives145 8 Hours 10 Min
Patatas Bravas202.320 Min
Pinchos Muronos100 2 Hours 3 Min
Champinones Al Ajillo (Spanish Garlic Mushrooms)11120 Min
Spanish Empanadas100 45 Min
Spanish Spiced Almonds185 5 Min
Spanish Cod Fritters68 40 Min
Pan Con Tomate (Spanish Toast With Tomato)185 25 Min
Spanish Garlic Shrimp374 10 Min
Tortilla Espanola Bites347 40 MIn
Manchego Cheese Tapas136 10 Min
Spanish Tomato Salad80 10 Min
Padron Peppers287 Min
Bacon-Wrapped Stuffed Dates2840 Min
Spanish Croquettes327 15 Min
Berejenas Fritters463 50 Min

1. Pan-Fried Spanish Cauliflower Tapas

These Spanish cauliflower tapas are a healthy appetizer you can throw together without much hassle.

Steamed cauliflower florets are coated in breadcrumbs and paprika and then fried into crispy brown perfection. Serve with a garlicky aioli sauce, and you’ll want to nibble on these savory tapas all day.

You can also make these delicious appetizers ahead of time. Just pop them in the oven for a few minutes when you’re ready to serve to make them crispy again.

Calories Per Serving: 200

Preparation Time: 30 Minutes 

2. Spanish Gazpacho

There’s no better comfort food to serve in the summer than a chilled soup loaded with flavor, this Spanish gazpacho is the perfect appetizer for that task.

It consists of a refreshing blend of tomatoes, cucumber, onions, garlic, olive oil, sherry vinegar, and french bread.

You can get creative when adding toppings to this soup. Some great options include tomatoes, cucumber, and onions. Whatever toppings you choose, make sure to add them right before serving the soup, so they remain fresh and crunchy.

Calories Per Serving: 165

Preparation Time: 15 Minutes 

3. Garbanzo Beans With Tomato And Onions

If you’re looking for a gluten-free appetizer with Mediterranean flavors, you’ll love this garbanzo beans dish.

With a sauteed mix of onions, olive oil, tomatoes, garlic, and cooked garbanzo beans, this is an easy to make appetizer with rich flavor you’ll love. 

To make this a complete spanish tapa appetizer, serve this creamy beans combo over toasted gluten-free bread and add a sprinkle of parsley for a pop of color and flavor

Calories Per Serving: 145

Preparation Time: 55 Minutes 

4. Spanish Marinated Olives

Olives are a staple part of Spanish cuisine, and what better way to enjoy them than  in a refreshing appetizer that anyone can whip up no matter their cooking skills?

These Spanish marinated olives are a simple yet tasty appetizer that combines olives, cheese, garlic, chorizo, and rosemary in a light olive oil and vinegar marinade.

It is so easy to make, all you have to do is assemble the ingredients overnight and serve when ready.

Calories Per Serving: 145

Preparation Time: 8 Hours 10 Minutes

5. Patatas Bravas

Fried potatoes are a well-loved dish that almost no one can resist munching on, and patatas bravas are a Spanish variation that are popular appetizers and tapas dishes.

Bite-sized chunks of potatoes are deep fried and drizzled with a lightly spicy bravas sauce that can be made at home.

Feel free to serve these fried potatoes with aioli sauce for a contrasting kick of flavor.

Calories Per Serving: 202.3

Preparation Time: 20 Minutes 

6. Pinchos Morunos (Spanish Pork Kebabs)

These little bites of skewered pork are a juicy appetizer that are sure to spice up any party menu.

Known as pinchos morunos in Spanish, these pork kebabs feature grilled pork tenderloin coated in a spic blend of cumin, coriander, lemon, garlic, and paprika.

These pork kebabs pair nicely with aioli sauce, so you’ll need to make a rich paprika aioli sauce. If you’re not a fan of the taste, feel free to use any other dipping sauce you prefer.

Be sure to serve these pinchos with some baguette slices, as that’s how they are traditionally served in Spain.

Calories Per Serving: 100

Preparation Time: 2 Hours 23 

RELATED: 10 Delicious Spanish Bread Recipes

7. Champinones Al Ajillo (Spanish Garlic Mushrooms)

This tasty appetizer is a traditional Spanish tapas dish that’s great to serve up in a tapas bar.

It features a combination of bold flavors that include a sauteed mixture of button mushrooms, olive oil, garlic, thyme, and Spanish cherry. This delicious combo tastes great alone but can also be paired with some bread slices to mop up the rich sauce.

For an added kick of heat, feel free to throw in some red chili flakes into the sauteed mix.

Calories Per Serving: 111

Preparation Time: 20 Minutes

8. Spanish Empanadas

Looking for a crumbly and flaky pastry to serve you up in easy bites? These Spanish empanadas are the perfect dish for you.

A flour dough is filled with a spice-filled mixture of onions, oregano, lingua sausage, bell peppers, potatoes, and hot sauce and baked till golden brown.

If you can’t get your hands on lingua sausage, chorizo or spicy Italian sausage are great substitutes.

Calories Per Serving: 100

Preparation Time: 45 Minutes

9. Spanish Spiced Almonds

Spiced almonds are protein-filled Spanish appetizers that are really easy to make.

With a tasty mix of baked macarona almond tossed in olive oil, paprika, coriander, and cayenne pepper, this is a nutty appetizer you’ll find yourself nibbling on all through the day.

They are the perfect appetizer to make all through the year, as you can always get your hands on sweet almonds whenever you need them.

Calories Per Serving: 185

Preparation Time: 5 Minutes

10. Spanish Cod Fritter

Known as buenos de bacalao in Spanish, these fritters are a classic Spanish appetizer typically made with dried cod, but this recipe features a much easier and tender version that you’ll love.

Mashed potatoes, scallions, garlic, flour, and cod chunks are combined and shaped into bite-sized balls and baked until light brown.

Serve with refreshing tomato salsa or aioli sauce, and your guest will devour these fritters with pure satisfaction.

These fritters can be made ahead and frozen until you’re ready to bake, so feel free to make a large batch and store up for future snacking.

Calories Per Serving: 68

Preparation Time: 40 Minutes

11. Pan Con Tomate (Spanish Toast With Tomato)

This flavor-filled Spanish toast is a classic appetizer with origins in the Cataclonia region of Spain.

It is so easy to make and features toasted ciabatta bread covered with grated tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, and parsley. 

Feel free to use gluten-free bread or any other bread loaf to make this tasty toat suit your preferences. 

Calories Per Serving: 185

Preparation Time: 25 Minutes

12. Spanish Garlic Shrimp 

There are few dishes that elevate an appetizer as a tasty shrimp dish does, and these Spanish garlic prawns are one appetizer that’ll surely up the ante of your starters.

It is a common tapas dish, more traditionally known as gambas al ajillo that features shrimp sauteed in a rich sauce composed of olive oil, garlic, onions, pepper flakes, and paprika powder.

Served hot or cold, these delicious oily shrimp appetizers taste great when paired with a nice slice of baguette or toasted bread.

If you can find them, serve these garlic shrimp in a typical clay tapas dish for a traditional Spanish feel.

Calories Per Serving: 374

Preparation Time: 10 Minutes 

RELATED: Spanish Onions: The Differences Between Them And Sweet, Red, White, And Yellow Onions

13. Tortilla Espanola Bites

There’s no way we could get through this list without including tortilla Espanola. Not to be confused with the Latin tortilla bread, this potato appetizer is a classic Spanish appetizer popular on tapas menus all around the world.

This version features cute bite-sized squares made from potatoes, heavy cream, eggs, yellow onions, butter, manchego cheese, and spicy chorizo sausage, all baked into a mouth-watering potato omelet.

Serve with a homemade aioli sauce for dipping, and you’ll be tempted to make these every day.

Calories Per Serving: 347

Preparation Time: 40 Minutes

14. Manchego Cheese Tapas

These cheese tapas are another appetizer with the rich taste of manchego cheese.

They are the perfect last minute dish to whip up and only consist of baguette slices topped with chorizo sausage, manchego cheese slices, black pepper, and a dollop of fig jam.

Prosciutto or jamon would be great meat substitutes for the chorizo sausage, so feel free to use them if you’re not a fan of chorizo sausage.

It is critical to avoid overdoing it with the fig jam as the taste can overpower these little bites, so try no more than a teaspoon for each tapa.

Calories Per Serving: 136

Preparation Time: 10 Minutes 

15. Spanish Tomato Salad

Need a simple salad that is vegan and gluten-free? This Spanish tomato salad is the perfect appetizer to serve in the summer.

It requires basic ingredients you probably already have lying around your kitchen and can be whipped up in minutes.

It consists of a flavorful combination of tomato slices and black pepper drizzled with an olive oil, sherry vinegar, garlic, parsley, and oregano dressing.

Try to avoid using overripe tomatoes for this salad, as the excess liquid in those tomatoes is much harder to remove and can dampen the flavor of your appetizer.

Calories Per Serving: 80

Preparation Time: 10 Minutes

16. Padron Peppers

A spicy appetizer with a mild taste that doesn’t overwhelm the palate, Padron peppers are tasty appetizers perfect for any occasion.

Whole Padron peppers are coated in olive oil and paprika and fried until lightly charred and soft. The peppers can be air-fried or pan-fried, depending on your preference.

If you’re not able to get Padron peppers, you can easily substitute them with shishito peppers.

Calories Per Serving: 28

Preparation Time: 7 Minutes 

17. Bacon-Wrapped Stuffed Dates

Bacon-wrapped stuffed dates are a traditional Spanish appetizer with a sweet and savory flavor to satisfy any crowd.

Pitted dates are stuffed with manchego cheese and neatly wrapped in bacon before being baked till crispy.

Feel free to use goat cheese or blue cheese for the date filling if you prefer.

Calories Per Serving: 28

Preparation Time: 40 Minutes

18. Spanish Croquettes

Spanish croquettes are a popular appetizer served all through the year in Spain, and they are the perfect way to turn your favorite ham into a crisp appetizer.

They are ham croquettes made from a bechamel and jamon serano mixture that’s coated in bread crumbs and fried till golden brown.

Jamon serrano is a type of ham traditionally used for this appetizer, but you can use other cured meats like cooked ham

Calories Per Serving: 327

Preparation Time: 15 Minutes 

19. Fried Eggplant With Molasses And Rosemary ( Berejenas Fritters)

These sweet and savory bites of berejenas fritters are delicious appetizers that are perfect for the summer.

Breaded eggplant slices are fried till golden brown and perfectly crisp and then drizzled with molasses and sprinkles of rosemary.

Honey is a great substitute for molasses as drizzle in this dish, so feel free to use it if you’re not a fan of the strong flavor of molasses.

Calories Per Serving: 463

Preparation Time: 50 Minutes 

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is A Typical Appetizer In Spain?

In Spain, a typical appetizer will often include any of the dishes listed in this article. However, a few staples such as olives, fruits, plates of cheese, and cured meats are almost always served before the start of a meal.

Sandwiches and churros are also commonly enjoyed as light snacks before dinner time.

What Is A Spanish Tapa?

A popular word derived from the Spanish verb meaning to cover, tapas are small plates that contain small portions of food served as a light meal or snack. A wide variety of different dishes could be served tapas style.

From light servings of olives to more elaborate plates of Spanish tortilla, skewered meats, or chorizo sausage, these days, the options for these appetizer plates vary widely.

What Should I Bring To A Spanish Party?

If you’re going to a Spanish party, you can bring a wide range of dishes. Some traditional Spanish dishes that would be appreciated include Spanish tortillas, empanadas, and gambas al ajillo.

You can also opt for an elaborate dish like paella if you really want to impress your hosts.

19 Yummy Spanish Appetizers You Need To Elevate Your  Next Party

Yummy Spanish Appetizers You Need To Elevate Your  Next Party


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Jess Smith