Top 10 Spanish Tapas Recipes

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    Top Spanish Tapas Recipes

    A variety of Spanish tapas
    Will Heap / Getty

    In Spain, tapas are simply a part of life, and they have gained popularity around the world. Tapas are Spain's appetizers and are eaten any time—day or night. Put a few of these little dishes together and they can make a meal on their own. Going out to eat tapas is such a big part of the culture that there is even a verb tapear which means "to eat tapas." Here are 10 favorite tapas recipes you can make at home.

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    Spanish Patatas Bravas

    Patatas Bravas is a classic Spanish tapas dish featuring spicy potatoes. The legend is that it was invented at a bar called Las Bravas in Madrid, and you'll find variations throughout the country. The bravas sauce should be a bit spicy, and this version gets its kick from Tabasco.

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    Tortilla Espanola (Spanish Omelet)

    Spanish Omelet (Tortilla Española)
    The Spruce

    Bars and cafés throughout Spain serve this potato and egg strata as a tapa, but it is often served as a light dinner in Spanish homes. Tortilla espanola is portable as well, and many turn it into a sandwich by placing a piece between two pieces of a baguette.

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    Croquetas de Jamón (Ham Croquettes)

    Croquetas de jamón (ham croquettes) is a staple of the Spanish tapas scene. You can make them at home with Spanish cured ham. Enjoy them as an afternoon snack or with a glass of beer or wine as in Spain. You can make the dough ahead and freeze it, or freeze the croquettes themselves to keep them handy when you're ready for snacks.

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    Empanadillas Gallegas

    Empanadillas Gallegas, a type of meat or tuna-filled turnover, is the most popular dish from Galicia. The usual empanadas are large and round and cut into pieces to serve. Here, you'll make individual tapas-sized versions called empanadillas.

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    Almejas en Salsa Verde

    Basque cuisine takes advantage of the fresh seafood along Spain's northern coast. These clams in parsley green sauce, or almejas en salsa verde in Spanish, is a typical Basque tapa. Enjoy it with the Basque Txakoli white wine.

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    Gambas al Ajillo

    Spanish Garlic Shrimp (Gambas al Ajillo)
    The Spruce

    Gambas al ajillo (garlic shrimp) are one of the most popular tapas in all of Spain. You'll want lots of garlic, excellent Spanish olive oil, dried cayenne pepper, Spanish paprika, and a splash of brandy to make it with fresh shrimp.

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    Pulpo Gallego

    Pulpo Gallego is Galician-style grilled octopus. This tapa is very simple and is served all over Spain. The slices of grilled octopus are served with boiled potatoes, olive oil, and sweet Spanish paprika. It's typically set on a platter with toothpicks for you to spear and enjoy with your beer or wine.

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    Pimientos Rellenos de Atun

    Pimientos rellenos de atun (stuffed red peppers with tuna) is a great dish for the summer as no cooking is required. Mix tuna with a bit of green onion and olives, then stuff into roasted red peppers.

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    Banderillas gets its name from the barbed darts used during a bullfight. You won't have to do any cooking. Instead, you'll employ your artistic talents to create a colorful skewer of the ingredients.

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    Ham, Cheese and Chorizo Appetizer

    Everyone will enjoy this classic tapa of ham, cheese, and chorizo. Slicing the jamón (Spanish ham) is an artform in Spanish tapas bars. Enjoy Manchego cheese and chorizo as well, with a baguette.