Our Guide to Throwing the Perfect Tapas Party (With Recipes)

When it comes to Spanish food, your thoughts immediately turn to tiny plates loaded with big flavours. Yes, we’re talking about tapas! Spanish food is famed across the world for its use of bold flavours, fresh local ingredients, and a hint of Latino spice for good measure!  If you’re thinking of throwing a dinner party during your time in Spain then there’s no better theme than a tapas party: many of these dishes are easy to prepare and can be prepared in advance, making hosting a breeze. Pop a big jug full of sangria on the table, so that you don’t spend your whole evening making drinks, and you have everything you need for the perfect, laid-back party with minimal effort.

Here’s everything you need to know about throwing the perfect tapas party, including links to our favourite recipes:

What is Tapas?

Tapas is the name given to small dishes that are typically served in Spanish bars. Whilst their origin is unclear, most Spaniards agree that the serving 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 to their customers and the concept of tapas was born.

Choosing the Right Dishes

Not every tapas dish is simple to make, but when you’re throwing a party you should look for recipes that are as simple as possible. Remember this: the less time you spend in the kitchen, the more time you have to spend with your friends and family!

Don’t be tempted to cook too many dishes; between 3-5 dishes is normally enough, particularly if you serve these alongside a charcuterie board and plenty of fresh bread. Remember that it is better to serve up one dish well than ten dishes badly!

If you’re not sure whether any of your guests are vegetarian or follow a plant-based diet then be sure to add some veggie dishes. Dips, like hummus, are also popular and easy to prepare in advance: you could even make these the day before the party. When served with bread and crackers, these can become a meal in themselves without any real effort to you.

When it comes to making your charcuterie board, head to your local deli and stock up! Spanish meats such as amon Iberico, chorizo, and Serrano ham will all add local flavour, and you should also be liberal with your accompaniments: marinated olives, spiced almonds and sun-dried tomatoes are all great for adding different textures and flavours.

Our Favourite Tapas Recipes

Now you know what you need, and how many dishes you’re looking for, it’s time for us to share some of our favourite tapas recipes. Choose between 3-5 of the dishes outlined below. You can choose these based on the flavour palette of your guests, the ingredients you have available, or simply how easy they are to cook! Don’t be afraid to mix things up, experiment, and even miss ingredients out if you don’t have them available; cooking tapas isn’t an exact science, and all of these dishes should be easy for you to prepare at home:

  • Traditional croquettes are a classic tapas dish that your table would be empty without! These potato bites are creamy on the inside but crispy on the outside, are easy to prepare in advance, and can be filled with almost anything, making them an easy way to use up your left overs.
  • Delicious Spanish Tortilla can be sliced and served as a traditional tapas dish. Just like the croquettes the filling of the tortilla can also be adjusted to suit your guests dietary needs, or the ingredients you have available in your fridge!
  • One of our favourite meaty tapas dishes is the simple Chorizo a la Sidra which can be prepared in just minutes, and has a rich and distinctive flavour. The better the chorizo you buy, the better this dish will be.
  • Gazpacho might not be a traditional tapas dish, but served in small bowls (or even shot glasses) this fresh and tasty cold soup would be the perfect solution for vegetarian or vegan guests.
  • If you’re not sure how to make a jug of delicious Spanish Sangria then don’t forget to check out our recipe! This will be the crowning glory of your tapas night, ensuring that everything on your table oozes Spanish flavour.
  • Finally, if you want to finish your party with something sweet then why not whip up a batch of churros with chocolate dipping sauce? It’s the ideal tapas party dessert, because it be eaten casually, with fingers.

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, Right Casa Estates 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.

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