International Dinner Ideas: Exploring the Flavors of Spanish Cuisine

Posted: February 9, 2021 11:24 pm

If you and your loved ones enjoy an authentic Spanish meal, you may be wondering how you can replicate these dishes at home. You don’t have to go to a fancy restaurant for a tasty Spanish dinner. These entrees are simple to make and packed with flavor.

Spanish Tortilla

When you think of a tortilla, you’re most likely thinking of the flatbread used for tacos, burritos, and enchiladas. However, the tortilla Espana or Spanish tortilla is more like a crustless quiche. This homemade dish is made from scrambled eggs filled with bits of golden-fried potatoes. You can serve this to your family for breakfast, dinner, or brunch with a side of rice and fresh fruit.

Spanish Rice

If you want to serve a side dish that is full of flavor, skip bland white rice for savory Spanish rice. A variety of spices like tomato, paprika, and chili are used to make this rice as visually appealing as it is delicious.

Paella

Paella is one of the most popular Spanish dishes to order at a restaurant, but you can make the homemade version as well. Your family will love this easy recipe, and since paella is filled with lots of protein and fiber, the dish is sure to satisfy. Paella is a satisfying rice dish with seafood like shrimp and lobster. The dish also includes rice seasoned with saffron, the world’s most expensive spice. You can add peppers and fresh herbs to your paella as well to intensify the flavor of the seafood.

Patatas Bravas

This well-known Spanish tapas is popular for a reason. This delicious appetizer is made from fried potato cubes topped with brave sauce, which is a tomato sauce flavored with spicy Spanish paprika. You can add a drizzle of garlic aioli to the potatoes as well for a savory, cool flavor that pairs well with the spicy sauce. You can serve patatas bravas as a tapas or serve it alongside steak or chicken.

Watermelon Gazpacho

Even though this chilled soup contains watermelon, it’s definitely a savory side dish. The watermelon and tomato pair nicely for a mild yet distinct flavor combination. You can top this cold soup with fresh herbs and onions for even more flavor.

Deep-Fried Padron Peppers

Pimientos de Padron, which are Padron peppers that are deep-fried to develop their smoky flavor, is a popular Spanish appetizer. If you and your family enjoy these peppers when you dine at a Spanish restaurant, you can make the homemade version of these next time you prepare a Spanish meal. These tiny green peppers grow in Padron, Spain, and are naturally mild. However, there are some spicy Padron peppers, and you never know when you’ll find one! Once you cook the peppers, you can top them with sea salt before enjoying them with the rest of your Spanish tapas.

Spanish Chickpea Stew

This hearty chickpea stew is easy to make and has a wealth of nutritious ingredients. The stew is spicy and smoky and contains cumin, cayenne, and smoked paprika. In addition to chickpeas, this side dish or entree also contains tomatoes and spinach for a nutrient-rich dish that you can eat with brown rice for a complete meal.

Salmorejo

This cold tomato soup is similar to gazpacho and easy to make at home. You can pair it with your favorite grilled fish, steak, or chicken. Or, you can serve salmorejo with a boiled egg, cured ham, and a piece of bread for a light and refreshing summer meal.

Deep-Fried Squid

Deep-fried squid, also known as calamares a la Romano, is pretty similar to the calamari you likely get as an appetizer when you visit a Spanish or Italian restaurant. This appetizer has a chewy texture once you get past the crunchy outer layer, and you can pair these tapas with a dipping sauce and fresh herbs for a satisfying treat.

Pisto

Pisto is the Spanish version of ratatouille. It’s packed with savory vegetables stewed in a hearty tomato broth and served with a fried egg. This vegetarian dish is one your family will love, and it’s a delicious and creative way to get more veggies in your diet.

Sangia

This delicious and popular beverage is a must-have when you’re serving a Spanish meal. Sangria is a fruity wine-based beverage that is as delicious as it is colorful. You can use a combination of red and white wines for your homemade recipe, and add pieces of your favorite fruits like oranges, grapes, and apples. Sangria is a refreshing way to end a Spanish meal and impress your dinner guests.