Dinner in Spain is the less important meal of the day, but at the same time is the most fun one. It all depends on weather you are staying at home, or you are going out with your friends. In the first case the Spanish dinner foods would be super simple, that way you don´t go to sleep being too full. In the second case, it is typical to share some tapas with your friends while you have a few drinks. Today we are going to tell you everything you need to know about having dinner in Spain.
Best Spanish dinner recipes
As we were saying Spanish dinner foods are always super simple, so most of the times they are extremely easy as well. Whether you are going to try to make them at home or going out, these are the most popular and easy Spanish dinner recipes, and you should try them.
1) Spanish Omelet
Yes, we know we have said Tortilla de Patatas is also a Spanish breakfast, but it is the truth, Spaniards love this meal so much, they eat it whenever they can.
That said we must also admit the portions won´t be the same, while during the day many can eat half of a Spanish omelet, at night (unless they are super hangry) they would just eat a few slices of it as tapas.
As you may already know Spanish omelet is made of eggs, potatoes and in some cases, it can also include onions. Learn how to make it with our easy recipe:
2) Padron Peppers
These tiny peppers are also a traditional Spanish dinner. They are not too heavy, and they are also perfect to eat them as shared tapa.
Padron peppers are usually mild and soft, but if you order a bunch of them, you will see how a few are spicy. That´s the reason why they are so much fun to eat as tapas, everyone will be looking for the spicy ones.
If you want to make them at home, below you can find our Padron peppers recipe.
Of course, we had to talk about croquettes in this Spanish dinner foods list. The origin of croquettes is said to be French, but Spaniards love them, and they even have created different recipes of croquettes.
The most famous ones are serrano ham croquettes, but you will also find croquettes made with chicken, mushrooms, cod, shrimp and many more.
Croquettes are usually eaten as tapas, and the same happen when you have them for dinner.
4) Santiago Cake
This traditional cake from the northern region of Spain, Galicia, is one of the most popular desserts in the country and it is perfect for dinner.
Santiago cake is mainly made of almonds, and it taste like other almond cakes. It is soft and the best of all, it is light and it doesn´t include chocolate, therefore if you need sugar, it is a great option for dinner.
In the center of any Santiago cake, you will find the St. James Cross, which is the reason of its name.
5) Patatas Bravas
Another one of the most famous Spanish dinner dishes is patatas bravas. It is quite common to order one or two plates and share them with your friends on a Friday or Saturday night.
Bravas sauce with aioli (which by the way, could perfectly be another Spanish dinner food), are the most famous sauces in Spain and it is what makes this plate so special. Spicier than any other Spanish food and crunchy in the outside and soft in the inside, you will love this meal.
In case you want to learn ow to make brava sauce at home, here you have our recipe.
If you are not too hangry or you are looking for something simpler, Spaniards love to eat salad for dinner. It is also super easy to make and doesn´t take much time, so if you are coming late from work and you don´t feel like cooking, salad will be a great option.
Spanish salads can be made in many ways, but for dinner they would usually just get some lettuce, tomatoes, olives, onions and maybe tuna.
To make it even better, don´t forget to add the olive oil and salt at the end.
Calaaries are also one of the most populas Spanish dinner plates. Of course, this would always be in small portions. One of the dishes you will always find in restaurants is fried calamary.
Fried calamaries are typical from the coastal cities, like Cadiz, Valencia, Vigo… But they are popular in places like Madrid too. Furthermore, in the capital of Spain you will even find the famous “Bocatas the Calamares” or calamary sandwich, which are delicious.
8) Huevos Rotos
Spanish dinner meals with eggs are super popular, so here it comes another one. As you can see, they love eating them at the end of the day.
Huevos rotos, translated to English as broken eggs are primarily made of Iberian ham, potatoes, and eggs. In some cases, they would also add chorizo and morcilla (blood sausage).
We know this one sound like a much heavier meal, and it is indeed, but like most of them, you would usually share it with your friends or family.
Another seafood you will be able to eat as Spanish dinner, is octopus.
It is served in many restaurants all over the country, and it can be made in different ways, but the one every Spaniard love is the “pulpo a la gallega”, of course typical from Galicia.
It is a grilled octopus, served with paprika on top of it and usually accompanied with boiled potatoes, which can also be seasoned with the paprika.
Last of all, if you are at home and you are not feeling too hangry, what many Spaniards would do is just eat a couple of fruits. The main reason why many people decide to eat fruits at night is to avoid cooking after a long day working.
These fruits vary from one season to another, but they can be anything, an apple, pear, watermelon, or even bananas and strawberries, although these last ones aren´t so healthy at night.
Other Spanish dinner menu ideas
Those are our best Spanish dinner ideas and everything you should know about how to eat a typical dinner in Spain, but there are many other options. We would love to know, what would you choose if you had to design your own Spanish dinner menus!