Simple Spanish Tapas Menu

The key to pulling off this simple Spanish tapas menu is doing what the Spanish do best: use excellent ingredients and keep things simple. I chose the dishes in this menu because they’re straightforward, delicious and because you can make just about everything days in advance. It caters to vegetarians, picky eaters, and foodies alike, and your guests will be begging you for the recipes they’re that good.

citrus marinated olives, part of a simple spanish tapas menu

Citrus Marinated Olives

Serving olives can be boring. But, these olives are different. By marinating fresh juicy olives in warmed olive oil, herb, and orange and lemon peel, you infuse flavor into every bite.

Make these olives days in advance, keep them in the fridge, and bring them to room temperature before serving.

citrus marinated olives
fried padron peppers

Fried Padron Peppers

As your guests start to trickle in, make these delicious salty fried padron peppers and serve them warm. They require less than 10 minutes of your time, are very hard to screw up, and will be gone just as fast (if not faster) than potato chips.

Feel free to double up the recipe if you feel the need.

fried padron peppers

Tip: If you can’t find Padron peppers look for the Japanese variety, Shishito. Do not substitute for Jalapeno peppers.

spanish tortilla

Spanish Tortilla

I make this Spanish tapas dish a lot. And I mean a lot.

It’s filling and affordable, and I’ve never met anyone who didn’t like it. My Spanish friends shake their heads when they hear I add chorizo and cheese to a tortilla. But, I find that these additions make this dish more substantial and delicious. It might not be very authentic, but I firmly believe in making things the way you like.

Find out how to make a Spanish tortilla my way, with a handy shortcut to save you time and energy.

spanish tortilla
basque cheesecake makes the perfect end to a simple spanish tapas menu

Basque Cheesecake

This is a lazy man’s cheesecake even my husband (who never cooks or bakes) could probably make. It’s almost fool-proof, and tastes just as good, if not better, than a New York style cheesecake. There’s no need for a fancy spring form pan, a water bath to avoid cracking, or even a crust. You combine room temperature cream cheese, sugar, eggs, vanilla, and cream, pour the mixture into a circular baking pan, and cook on high heat until the top and edges are dark brown and caramelized.

Like the other recipes in this simple Spanish tapas menu, you can make this a day or two ahead.

basque cheesecake

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