Floortje/E+ via Getty Images
Tapas are small plates or snacks that are popular in Spanish cuisine. While anything can be served tapas style, traditional dishes include marinated olives, meatballs and patatas bravas. Originally, tapas started as a bar snack, but they’ve become much more than that over time. The snackable factors of these dishes make them the perfect foods for entertaining. If you’re planning to organize your own tapas party, whip up a pitcher of sangria and try making these small-plate dishes.
Any good party starts with a good beverage and sangria, a Spanish wine punch, is perfect for a tapas party. The cocktail, which even works as a mocktail, will keep you refreshed in the dog days of summer and complement the salty and savory flavors of the small plates outlined below.
Marinated olives are a common tapas-style dish. Here, the briny fruits are cooked in a skillet with thyme, orange zest, garlic, fennel seeds and white wine vinegar. Enjoy the snack cold or hot and if you have leftovers after your party, we recommend using them to take your salads to the next level.
Traditional patatas bravas are prepared by frying cubed potatoes and serving them with a spicy sauce. This playful recipe switches things up by using tater tots instead of potatoes so you don’t need to go through the laborious process of frying food at home. Add in crumbly Mexican chorizo for added texture and kick.
Charcuterie boards speak a universal language; after all, who doesn’t love a smattering of cured meats and various cheeses? To give the appetizer a Spanish flair, make the board with jamon (a dry-cured ham from Spain), Spanish chorizo and Spanish cheeses like manchego, idiazabal and sharp cabrales.
Sardines are an essential part of Mediterranean food culture and also a popular tapas food in Spain and petiscos food in Portugal. In this recipe from Gordon Ramsay, they’re stuffed with bell peppers and breadcrumbs and is one of many seafood recipes sure to please pescatarians and meat eaters alike.
When cooked correctly, flank steak is a lean and juicy cut of meat that doesn’t break the bank. Marinate it with this recipe then serve it with a chimichurri sauce or over sliced bread, crostini-style.
Salty and savory foods are a staple at any tapas party, but it's possible to blend those flavor profiles with sweeter ones as well. This recipe wraps salty, crispy bacon around sweet, chewy dates for a classic juxtaposition of flavors and textures.
In the United States we tend to think of eggs as breakfast food, but in Spain they are fair game for bar snacks. Spanish tortillas, also known as Spanish omelets, are made with eggs and potatoes. This recipe adds chorizo for a welcome kick or you can substitute sliced andouille or kielbasa sausage.
If you have room for dessert after finishing your small plates, end the evening with flan. This light but decadent dessert has a custard-like consistency sweetened with a layer of caramel sauce. However, if you don’t want to fire up the oven, check out these easy no-bake desserts.
More from The Daily Meal: