Top 10 Beginner Recipes for Spanish Food

The following are the recipes we recommend that cooks who are new to Spanish cuisine try. This list includes dishes that are some of the most typical or representative of the Spanish kitchen, or the most famous.

  • 01 of 10
    Tortilla Espanola, a Spanish Omelet

    The "tortilla española" has to be the most common Spanish dish. If you have visited Spain, you've seen it in cafes and "tapas" bars everywhere. Thankfully, "tortilla española" or "tortilla de patata" as it is also called, is not a difficult dish, but it does take a little practice to turn it over without spilling.

  • 02 of 10
    Gazpacho - Andalusian Cold Tomato Soup

    This dish is called a "soup" for lack of a better term. With fresh ingredients like tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, oil, and vinegar to name a few, it counts as a serving of vegetables. Like a soup, it can be served in a bowl, although it can be served like a cold beverage in a tall glass with ice.

  • 03 of 10
    Paella de Marisco - Seafood Paella
    "Paella" is the most internationally known dish of Spain. It originated on the farms of Valencia as a dish for the midday meal, made over open flame right in fields and has evolved into the most well-known Spanish dish inside and outside of Spain. It comes in many varieties now, including seafood and vegetarian. "Paella de Marisco" is probably the most popular version.
  • 04 of 10
    Alioli - Spanish Garlic Mayonnaise
    Lisa Sierra (c) 2010 Licensed to About.com Inc.

    "Alioli" is a garlic mayonnaise sauce, originating in Cataluna and served with many different dishes and as an ingredient in many more. If you are a beginner to Spanish food preparation, try preparing the simple "patatas con alioli" or "potatoes with alioli sauce" as a "tapa."

    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10
    Empanadas - Galician Turnover or Pasties

    There is no more perfect traveling food than "empanadas" or the small version called "empanadillas." They are tasty turnovers filled with different fillings. The traditional filling for these turnovers is tuna or ground meat and spices. Originating in Galicia province, "empanadas" are extremely popular all over Spain and Latin America.

  • 06 of 10
    Gambas al Ajillo - Shrimp in Garlic
    Gambas al Ajillo - Shrimp in Garlic (2006) Lisa Sierra

    One of the most common "tapas" of Spain, "Gambas al Ajillo" is quick, easy, and FULL of garlic flavor. Your guests will be asking for the recipe after the first bite and only you will know how simple it was to prepare.

  • 07 of 10
    Lechazo (Cordero) Asado - Roast Suckling Lamb
    Lisa Sierra (c) 2010 Licensed to About.com Inc.

    Tender suckling lamb roast is a favorite dish of the region of Castilla in Central Spain. It is roasted until crispy on the outside and so tender on the inside that it almost falls off the bone. It requires no special cooking utensils and is simple to make.

  • 08 of 10
    Cochinillo Asado - Roast Suckling Pig
    Cochinillo Asado - Roast Suckling Pig Segovia, Spain

    "Cochinillo Asado" or Roast Suckling Pig is one of the most typical dishes in the cuisine of Castilla. The city of Segovia is famous for this dish, where the pigs are roasted until the meat is so tender that it is cut with plates! "Cochinillo Asado" is eaten everywhere - from the smallest village to the largest cities and practically has a cult following!

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  • 09 of 10
    Fabada Asturiana - Asturian Bean and Sausage Casserole
    Lisa Sierra (c) 2010 Licensed to About.com Inc.

    "Fabada Asturiana" is a typical dish from Asturias, made with beans, sausage, ham, meat, and tomatoes. If you don't have the time or all the ingredients, try this simplified "fabada" recipe, which does not require overnight soaking, takes half the cooking time, and only a few ingredients.

  • 10 of 10
    Spanish Tomato Sauce - Sofrito (c)
    Lisa Sierra (c) 2008 Licensed to About.com

    "Sofrito" is a basic tomato sauce that is made all over Spain. Tomatoes, onions, garlic, green peppers, and olive oil are sautéed in a frying pan so that the acid in the tomatoes mellows and mixes with the flavors of the onion, pepper, and garlic. It can be eaten with rice or eggs, but often it is used as an ingredient in other dishes, such as the filling for "empanadas."