Spanish Winter Dinner Menu

A Warm and Satisfying Hearty Spanish Dinner for the Colder Months

When the months are cold, many of us enjoy rich, hearty, stick-to-your-bones comfort dishes. But the lower temps doesn't mean you can't enjoy lighter, veggie-based dishes. While this traditional Spanish menu is perfect any time of year, it's especially good after the holidays!

Included here are a typical Spanish appetizer, red peppers stuffed with tuna, which is a simple, light tapa that's a perfect way to start off the meal. The first course, grilled eggplant in tomato vinaigrette, is equally light and tasty. The meal then moves on to a delicious, traditional Spanish chicken dish, Rioja-style chicken cooked with garlic and peppers. The potatoes as a side dish are optional -- you may substitute salad if you wish. Equally optional (but totally recommended) is the rich Tarta de Santiago with fruit for dessert. ​

The entire menu can be made ahead of time except for the fried potatoes, which are best served immediately after making. 

  • 01 of 05

    Tapa: Red Peppers Stuffed with Tuna (Pimientos Rellenos de Atún)

    Pepper stuffed with tuna
    Getty Images/Philippe Desnerck

    This tapa is light, easy and delicious -- and no cooking required! It is about as simple as opening a jar of peppers, a can of tuna and chopping green onions and olives. Regardless of your cooking expertise, you can easily make this dish. It is one of those classic Spanish tapas that's perfect any time of year when you want a light start to the meal.

  • 02 of 05

    First Course: Grilled Eggplant in Tomato Vinaigrette (Berenjena con Vinagreta)

    Amazing Grilled Eggplant!
    Amazing Grilled Eggplant!. D.Schmidt for

    Although this dish is often served as a tapa, it can also replace a standard green salad any day of the year. Even people who think that they don’t like eggplant or tomatoes have raved about this dish! The only cooking involved here is grilling slices of eggplant under the broiler. The rest is chopping some tomatoes, garlic, green onions, and garlic, then mixing the vinaigrette. Make it ahead and allow it to marinate before serving.

  • 03 of 05

    Main Course: Rioja-Style Chicken (Pollo a la Riojana)

    Pollo a la Riojana - Rioja-Style Chicken
    Pollo a la Riojana - Rioja-Style Chicken (c) 2007 L. Sierra Licensed to

    The northern region of Spain called La Rioja is best known for its high-quality wine production, but the cuisine of this area is delicious as well. The winters in La Rioja are cold, so they know what foods will warm you up. Chicken cooked in white wine and flavored with garlic, red peppers and Spanish chorizo make a flavorful winter stew. Serve with homemade french fries and plenty of bread to soak up the sauce.

  • 04 of 05

    Side Dish: Homemade French Fries (Patatas Fritas)

    Deep-Fried French Fries
    Deep-Fried French Fries. Diana Rattray

    Homemade french fries are a popular side dish in every region of Spain. They are served with just about every main course and are tasty, especially when fried in olive oil. There is really no trick to make these potatoes and no special fryer is required. Use a large, deep frying pan and keep a close eye not to burn the oil.

    Continue to 5 of 5 below.
  • 05 of 05

    Dessert: Spanish Almond Tart (Tarta de Santiago)

    Baked Almond Tart
    Baked Almond Tart. Westend61 - Getty Images

    This delicious almond cake is named in honor of Santiago (St. James), the patron saint of Spain. It is made with lots of ground almonds, sugar and a bit of flour. A small slice of this flavorful cake with a cup of espresso is a delightful way to end a wonderful Spanish dinner.