Spanish tapas parties are a fun and easy way to plan a night with family and friends. Make the recipes ahead of time, set the table, and keep the red wine flowing!
Guys, let’s talk TAPAS.
You all know I’m obsessed with dinner parties. My favorite type of party involves taking care of the work ahead of time, setting everything out on a table, pouring myself a glass of wine, and spending time with my friends and family. Just like my Turkish Meze Party, a Spanish Tapas theme provides the perfect opportunity to host this type of low key get-together with make ahead tapas recipes.
While visiting Barcelona I had the chance to sample many different tapas. Some of my favorite dishes (and my own recipes!) are listed below, but first we need to talk about equipment.
I’m sharing my suggestions for equipment through affiliate links from Amazon because I’m a total prime junkie and I know you are, too.
Alright, here we go!
You really don’t need anything special to make tapas, but I find that having these items on-hand make the whole process a breeze:
- Mini Food Processor – great for making dips, spreads, and prepping chopped ingredients. I have a very serious relationship with my mini-prep plus processor. Get one (see below, so many colors!), and then check out this article from Pinch of Yum that shows 12 Magical Ways to Use a Food Processor.
- Small Scraping Spatulas – ideal for scraping those dips and spreads out of the food processor! Any small-size spatula will do, but if you’re in the market for one I like this set by OXO.
- Sharp Knife – obvious, I know, but no one likes cutting tomatoes with a dull knife. I am a total Wusthof junkie (I favor the Classic Ikon series), and my favorite is the Deli Knife shown below. So versatile!
- Deep Fry Thermometer – ever tried to deep fry without one? I suck at it. If you’re already putting in an Amazon order, here’s the one that I use:
- Adorable Serving Dishes – just go to World Market and go crazy.
Okay, enough of the obligatory stuff. Let’s talk RECIPES.
Spanish Tapas Recipes
I’m still meat-free (7 months now!), so I’m sharing vegetarian tapas recipes for this post. If you’d like to incorporate some carnivorous Spanish party food into the spread, try Clams in Salsa Verde and Gambas al Ajillo. You can also set out a plate of jamon serrano (or prosciutto) and chorizo. Here is the vegetarian tapas party menu.
My recipe for patatas bravas roasts the potatoes instead of frying them. The red sauce is KILLER. Make extra as they will go fast at a tapas dinner party.
A traditional Tortilla Española is absolutely delicious, but takes quite a while to make. I like to make a simpler version with potato chips! Authentic? No. Delicious? Yes.
If you’re the gambling type, fry up a batch of padron peppers and wait to see who gets the hot one. Prefer mild flavors? Just swap for shishito peppers instead.
This might be the easiest recipe I’ve ever shared for a tapas spread, but the flavors are totally on-point. You won’t be disappointed.
I love this easy dish of spinach and chickpeas – I’ve had success with this recipe from Smitten Kitchen!
If you’re short on prep time, just hit up the olive bar at your local specialty market and set out a tray of olive varietals.
Any crusty bread will do, but the salty olives in this bread really pairs well with all of the tapas.
To Round Out the Spanish Dinner Party
For Mindless Snacking: Set out a small bowl of salted marcona almonds to go along with the marinated olives. Bring a little sweetness to the mix with a tray of dried fruit – I’m thinking dates, figs, and apricots.
Dessert: To stick with the make-ahead theme, I’d recommend preparing a classic Tarta de Santiago, which is a Spanish-style cake make with almonds.
Alright, I think that’s enough to keep us busy for a while.
Now you have a great Spanish Tapas Party Menu.
Who’s ready to host a Spanish Tapas Party?
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