The tapas culture has been around for centuries in Spain and has spread to other parts of the world, becoming a popular culinary trend in many cities. It is a Spanish cuisine that consists of small, flavourful dishes served as appetisers or snacks. It is typically enjoyed with friends or family over drinks, designed to be shared and eaten in a social setting. If you’re looking to bring a taste of Spain into your home, trying your hand at making tapas is a great place to start. Here are some of the best tapas dishes to try at home. Pair your tapas with a refreshing drink like Spanish wine, sangria, or a cold beer. Bon Appetit!

The Best Tapas Dishes to Try at Home

Albondigas (Spanish Meatballs)

These Spanish Meatballs, known locally as Albondigas, are beautifully seasoned and smothered in the tastiest tomato sauce you can ever cook. 


  • Ground meat
  • Seasonings for meatballs – Garlic, eggs, breadcrumbs, milk, sweet paprika (some recipes use smoked paprika instead of sweet paprika, but the flavour would differ), salt, pepper, and parsley.
  • All-purpose flour.
  • For tomato sauce – Olive oil, Spanish or white onion, garlic, grated carrot, canned whole tomatoes, sweet paprika, white wine, chicken stock, salt, and pepper.
  • Garnishing – Chopped parsley


  1. Make the meatballs: Add breadcrumbs and milk to a large bowl; stir until well combined and let stand for 5 minutes. Add ground beef, pork, eggs, garlic, salt, pepper, sweet paprika, and parsley to the breadcrumb mixture.

Knead the mixture gently until thoroughly combined. Roll into 1¼-inch meatballs and place them on a baking sheet. Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate the meatballs while you make the sauce.

  1. Tomato Sauce: Heat 3 Tbsp olive oil in a saucepan or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrot, garlic, and sauté for about 15 minutes until the onion caramelises. Break the canned whole tomatoes into a puree in a bowl, then add them to the pot. 

Add paprika, salt and pepper and cook until the liquid evaporates, about 10 minutes. Stir in wine and chicken stock, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste and adjust for salt and pepper.

  1. Cooked Meatballs: While the sauce is simmering, heat two tablespoons of the olive oil in a large, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Gently roll each meatball in some flour, shaking off any excess, and brown them on all sides for about 5-8 minutes. Transfer the browned meatballs to a paper towel-lined plate.
  1. Add browned meatballs and gently stir them. Simmer for a further 15 minutes to cook the meatballs completely. Transfer them to a cazuela and garnish with chopped parsley. 

Indulge and cherish this heavenly meal!

Gambas al Ajillo (Spanish Garlic Shrimp)


  • 1.5 lbs peeled and large deveined shrimp (tail on or off)
  • 1/4 cup Garlic
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon red chilli flakes
  • 2 tablespoons Dry sherry (or any dry white wine)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • Kosher salt to taste


  1. Pat dry the shrimp and season with kosher salt.
  2. Slice the garlic thinly. Chop the parsley.
  3. Add sliced garlic and extra virgin olive oil in a skillet and cook on low to medium heat, occasionally stirring till they start caramelising at the edges, about 5-7 minutes.
  4. Bring the heat to medium-high and add in shrimp. Sauté till pink, about 3-4 minutes. Season with red chilli flakes and kosher salt (Remember you had marinated shrimp in salt initially, though you may want more salt for the sauce). Give it a toss for a minute.
  5. Stir in dry sherry and chopped parsley, and lemon zest. Cook for a couple of minutes. Taste and adjust for seasoning.
  6. Serve immediately bubbling hot, along with some lemon wedges and crusty bread.

Patatas Bravas

These spicy potatoes are a classic tapas dish that can be easily made at home. 

Here’s a simple recipe:


  • 2-3 medium-sized potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Toss the cubed potatoes with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread them on a baking sheet and roast for 20-25 minutes until crispy and golden brown.
  3. While the potatoes are roasting, make the bravas sauce: In a small saucepan, combine the tomato sauce, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, minced garlic, white vinegar, and honey. Cook over medium heat for 5-7 minutes or until the sauce has thickened.
  4. Once the potatoes are done, transfer them to a serving dish and drizzle the bravas sauce over the top.
  5. If desired, serve the Patatas Bravas hot, garnished with chopped parsley or a sprinkle of smoked paprika.


Savour this delightful homemade Patatas Bravas!


These crispy and creamy croquettes are a popular tapas dish. They can be filled with various ingredients, such as ham, cheese, or mushrooms.


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup cooked ham, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup grated Manchego cheese
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • Vegetable oil for frying


  1. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and constantly whisk for 1-2 minutes to make a roux.
  2. Slowly whisk in the milk, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and comes to a boil—season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
  3. Reduce the heat to low and stir in the chopped ham and grated cheese. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly, until the cheese is melted and the mixture is thick and creamy.
  4. Transfer the mixture to a shallow dish and let it cool to room temperature. Once cool, cover the dish and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  5. When ready to fry, shape the mixture into small, cylindrical croquettes. Dip each croquette in the beaten eggs, then roll it in bread crumbs to coat.
  6. Heat about 1 inch of vegetable oil in a deep skillet over medium-high heat. Fry the croquettes until golden brown and crispy, about 2-3 minutes per batch.
  7. Transfer the croquettes to a paper towel-lined plate to drain excess oil.
  8. Serve the Croquetas hot, garnished with chopped parsley or a squeeze of lemon, if desired.

Here’s to tasty homemade Croquetas!

Spanish Tortilla


  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 5 medium-sized potatoes, diced into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 large brown onion, chopped
  • 8 eggs
  • Salt, to taste
  • Cracked black pepper, to taste
  • parsley to garnish (optional)


  1. Heat the oil in a nonstick medium-sized (30cm/12-inch) pan. Fry potatoes until crispy, golden and tender. Add the onion and fry until transparent. Drain oil (use a metal colander if you have one) until all the oil is drained.
  2. Return potatoes and onions to the pan, arranging them in a single layer. Reduce heat down to low.
  3. Beat eggs with salt and pepper to taste. Pour the egg mixture into the pan, moving the potatoes and onions around the eggs using a plastic spatula. Every so often, move the eggs around the potatoes while cooking to ensure the eggs cook on the bottom so there are not many eggs left on the top.
  4. Place a big, round plate on top of the pan, and with your hand holding the plate, flip the tortilla onto the plate. Then, carefully slide the tortilla back into the pan, moving the onion and potatoes back into the pan and the tortilla.
  5. Keep cooking, gently shaking the pan occasionally, until completely cooked through.
  6. To remove the tortilla from the pan, place a clean plate on top and flip it onto it again. Garnish with parsley (optional).

These tapas dishes are easy to make and impress your guests with their bold flavours and beautiful presentation. So why not host your tapas night at home and enjoy Spain’s vibrant and delicious cuisine!

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