The Great Spanish Cookbook: Ultimate Tapas Party

When you think of Spanish food, you instantly think of tapas! Hosting a tapas party is a wonderful way to show off your culinary flare and host a high octane yet traditional Spanish party where every dish is loaded with richness and flavour. Serve each dish with a jug full of Sangria, and your guests are sure to keep coming back for more!

Tapas are small dishes, often served in Spanish bars. According to legend, the origins of tapas began when at a farmer’s bar in Seville, the bartenders would serve beer or sherry with a saucer on top to keep the flies out. They soon realised that they could use the saucer to serve a little ham, some olives, or some cheese and the concept of tapas was born.

Some tapas dishes can be fiddly to make, and some are incredibly simple. The focus of this menu is on the simple dishes that you can make in minutes, leaving you wish more time to enjoy your party with your friends and family.

Top Tips for Hosting a Tapas Party

Struggling to decide how many dishes to make? As tapas flavours are so delicious, it’s easy to take a ‘more is more’ approach, but in reality between 3-5 dishes should be enough when served alongside a charcuterie board. A smaller amount of dishes prepared well will always be better than dozens of dishes that aren’t prepared properly.

Create a balance of meat-based and vegetarian dishes, so that there’s something that will appeal to everyone. Don’t forget to add plenty of dips, such as hummus, that are easy to prepare in advance, to give you more time to enjoy yourself and get ready for your party. A bowl full of crusty bread and crackers on the table are also essential, and can also be prepared well in advance.

When it comes to making your charcuterie board, visit your local deli and add plenty of authentic local flavour: Spanish meats such as amon Iberico, chorizo, and Serrano ham are all good options. Alongside this, add soft and hard cheeses such as Manchego, Spanish blue cheese, and Mahón, then finally don’t forget your accompaniments: marinated olives, spiced almonds and sun-dried tomatoes are all great for adding different textures and flavours.

Patatas Bravas With Garlic Aioli

Patatas Bravas is one of the most famous and traditional tapas dishes, but the good news is that it is reassuringly easy to make at home. It would be impossible to throw a tapas party without it, so we’ve included our recipe below:


  • 1 1/2 pounds potatoes
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Fresh thyme and parsley
  • Spanish paprika
  • 3 garlic cloves, pressed
  • 1/2 cup high-quality mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Cooking Method:

  1. First, make the simple version of garlic aioli by combining the mayonnaise with the olive oil, pressed garlic and lemon juice. Blend together until smooth, and then add the salt and pepper to taste. Chill in the fridge until ready to serve.
  2. Boil the potatoes for around 10 minutes until they are just tender. Drain them and leave them to dry
  3. Once cooled, slice the potatoes into slices
  4. Heat a heavy pan, and add 3 table spoons of olive oil. When hot, add the potatoes in batches, frying them until they are crisp and browned.
  5. Sprinkle the hot potatoes with salt, paprika, and fresh thyme.
  6. Serve immediately with the aioli either on top or to the side. It really is as easy as that!

Fantastic Tapas Recipes

When it comes to choosing other dishes to serve, the world really is your limit! But if you’re looking for more inspiration, then here are some of our other favourite tapas dishes, all of which are easy to prepare at home:

  • Delicious Spanish Tortilla can be sliced and served as a traditional tapas dish. The best thing about adding a tortilla to your menu is that you can tailor it to your guests dietary needs, depending on the fillings you choose.
  • Creamy on the inside and crispy on the outside, traditional Croquettes can also be filled with almost anything, and can be prepared in advance, making them the ideal choice for a tapas party.
  • Simple Chorizo a la Sidra will show off the distinctive flavours of the chorizo, adding a rich and meaty dish to your menu. Even better? It's a dish that can be prepared in just a few minutes!
  • Don’t forget to throw together a jug of delicious Spanish Sangria to serve alongside your tapas dishes, and really create a casual, and traditional, party atmosphere.

 Are you thinking of moving to Spain? Perhaps you like the idea of submerging yourself into the traditional Spanish lifestyle and cooking Spanish recipes every day? Whatever your dream, we can help. Why not get in touch with our team of local property experts today, to find out more about how we can help you.