Even if you can’t eat meat, you can still explore the wonderful flavors of Spain.
All you’ll need are these Spanish vegetarian recipes!
Spanish food is most often associated with chorizo, cured ham, and other meat tapas.
But cheer up, because there are also plenty of vegetarian-friendly dishes to choose from.
From colorful vegetables to rich cheeses to protein-packed legumes, Spanish cuisine has so much more to offer than meat.
This collection of recipes is proof.
From hearty paella to delicate polvorones, these vegetarian dishes showcase Spanish cuisine in all its glory.
Most importantly, they’re totally doable at home!
Just because you’re vegetarian doesn’t mean you can’t have fun.
Add color and flavor to your diet with these delectable Spanish dishes!
What are you waiting for? Bamonos!
Pan con Tomate is a popular breakfast recipe in Spain.
It’s toasted bread topped with garlic and tomatoes, seasoned with salt, and drizzled with olive oil.
The crunchy toasted bread serves as a perfect vessel for the tomatoes.
The freshness of the tomatoes combined with the intense flavors from the garlic and olive oil create a beautiful harmony.
It’s already great as it is, but you can add more flavor by throwing in some fresh parsley.
Eggs for breakfast are always a good idea. Called tortilla de patatas, the Spanish omelette isn’t only all about eggs, though.
It’s also loaded with potatoes.
Diced potatoes are fried in olive oil so they’re nice and crispy. They’re then cooked in eggs to form a fluffy tortilla.
The result is a hearty dish that’s great either on its own or as a side dish or appetizer.
Slice it like pizza or into little squares to make tapas.
The popular patatas bravas is the Spanish version of fried potatoes.
It’s delicious on its own, but even more terrific with the sauce.
You can’t go wrong with creamy aioli, but this recipe calls for a spicy red salsa.
A word of warning: patatas bravas is insanely addictive, especially when eaten with the sauce! Your diet won’t stand a chance.
Pro-tip: the key to making the chips ridiculously crispy, pre-cook the potatoes for several minutes, then let them cool in the fridge for a bit.
Cook them on high heat and voila!
Pimientos de Padron is probably one of the simplest vegetarian tapas in Spanish cooking.
It’s definitely tasty, but it’s not for the weak!
You see, pimientos de padron is a type of pepper. The peppers are fried in hot oil until their skins wrinkle and turn golden brown.
Aside from a sprinkling of salt, the peppers are served as is.
Don’t worry, though, these peppers aren’t all agonizingly hot. They’re mostly mild, with an exception of a few.
The only problem is – there’s no way to tell! But it’s this uncertainty that makes eating the peppers fun.
They may be called “poor man’s potatoes,” but they’re definitely rich in flavor.
Patatas a la Pobre is a vegan dish made of potatoes, onions, green pepper, garlic, olive oil, and salt.
As you can probably tell, the ingredients don’t cost a fortune, hence the name.
Because of the starchy potatoes, this dish can stand as a meal on its own. It doesn’t lack in flavor either!
6. Ajo Blanco
Ajo blanco is a chilled soup of garlic and almonds.
Many believe that it is the predecessor of the more popular cold soups, such as gazpacho.
Unlike the red gazpacho, though, ajo blanco has an ethereal white hue thanks to the almonds.
The soup is rich, creamy, nutty, and purely delicious. Because it’s served cold, it’s best enjoyed during summer.
Escalavida is another Spanish tapa that’s 100% vegetarian and 100% delicious.
In this dish, whole vegetables are cooked directly in an open fire until the skins are charred and the flesh soft and tender.
The vegetables are then peeled, and either paired with meat or fish or served on their own, drizzled with olive oil.
Pro-tip: While you’re free to choose any veggie, the best ones for roasting are bell peppers, eggplant, onions, and tomatoes.
Mushrooms and garlic are a match made in heaven.
This easy tapa is a simple combination of the two ingredients, but it will definitely blow your taste buds away.
Cooked in olive oil and seasoned with cayenne, smoked paprika, chili flakes, and pepper, these mushrooms can’t be faulted for being bland.
Best of all, it only takes 10 minutes to make! Serve it as an appetizer along with ham, bread, and cheese.
This Spanish salad is a colorful medley of cannellini beans, red peppers, capers, and onions.
The dressing is a mixture of extra virgin olive oil, white wine, salt, and pepper – it’s basic, but the flavor combinations are spot on.
What I also love about this salad is that it’s hearty enough to be enjoyed on its own.
However, it can also serve as a side dish to any vegetarian entrée.
Paella is perhaps the most iconic Spanish dish, and for good reason. How can anyone resist this insanely rich and aromatic dish?
This spectacular rice dish is typically loaded with meats and seafood, but that doesn’t mean an all-veggie version is no good.
In fact, this vegetarian paella is extra appetizing because of all the bright colors.
Full of tomatoes, peas, bell peppers, and artichokes, you definitely won’t miss the meat.
What makes paella such a treat, though, is the crunchy crust formed at the bottom of the pan during cooking.
Called socarrat, it’s the indication of a good paella. With this recipe, you’ll be able to achieve just that!
If you’re tired of the usual cheese and aioli dips, give this one a try.
The combination of creamy white beans, tart tomatoes, paprika, and garlic creates a dip that’s absolutely to die for!
It makes your chips, crackers, vegetable sticks, and bread a lot more fun to eat.
The recipe takes 20 minutes to complete, and while that seems like a lot of time for a dip, trust me when I say it’s worth it.
Zanahorías aliñadas is a fantastic Spanish tapa that features carrots in all its sweet glory.
Boiled carrots are marinated for at least 4 hours in a blend of garlic, Spanish paprika, cloves, cumin, oregano, and vinegar.
The carrots soak up all the flavors, giving you a marvelous combo of sweet, spicy, and tangy.
After marinating, the carrots are drained and drizzled with olive oil. Its nuanced taste offers another layer of flavor.
These almonds seem unassuming, but don’t be fooled. Almendras Fritas are wildly addictive.
Even simple, unseasoned almonds are already amazing.
And if you dress them up with Spanish smoked paprika and sea salt, and roast them in extra virgin olive oil?
Every mouthful is nutty, salty, smoky, and spicy all at the same time!
14. Spanish Rice
Not to be confused with paella, Spanish rice is made by toasting rice with onions and bell peppers, and then cooking it in tomato sauce seasoned with paprika, garlic, and herbs.
Unlike a regular bowl of steamed rice, Spanish rice is rich in color and flavor! In fact, I don’t mind eating it on its own.
Pro-tip: long-grain rice yields nice and fluffy Spanish rice.
Pisto is the Spanish version of the French ratatouille.
This vegetable stew is brimming with tomatoes, bell peppers, eggplant, zucchini, and onion.
Another crucial ingredient is olive oil. Its distinct flavor tastes amazing with fresh vegetables.
Serve pisto warm with egg, bread, and cheese for a delicious, hearty breakfast.
Wrinkled potatoes: it’s not the most appetizing name out there, but it definitely delivers in flavor.
Papas arrugadas is a simple dish that calls for only 2 ingredients: potatoes and sea salt.
It’s definitely the easiest recipe on this list.
It’s so easy you don’t even need to peel off the skin!
It’s basically boiled potatoes, but as simple as it may be, it will not disappoint.
Tapenade is a spread or condiment made of pureed or chopped anchovies, olives, and capers.
The ingredients are all very salty, so you can just imagine how wonderfully salty this spread is.
While the term is French in nature, tapenade actually has roots from all over Europe.
This Spanish version combines manzanilla olives, garlic, capers, olive oil, cilantro, and lemon juice to create a more well-balanced flavor.
These croquettes are like balls of heaven!
From the crunchy exterior to the creamy interior to the mind-blowing overall flavor, these croquettes are the best.
Creamy bechamel is loaded with shredded leeks and flavored with onion, bay leaves, cloves, and nutmeg.
From that alone, you can already tell these croquettes are amazing.
It’s chilled overnight, so it sets into a solid, moldable mixture.
It’s formed into balls, coated in breadcrumbs, and deep-fried to golden perfection. It’s umami at its best!
Espinacas con garbanzos, or spinach with chickpeas, is another traditional Spanish tapa.
It’s flavored with extra virgin olive oil, sweet paprika, garlic, and salt, so you can just imagine how good it is.
It’s so good even the kids won’t say no to it. After all, it’s pretty hard to say no to the buttery texture and nutty flavor of chickpeas.
As for the spinach, well, as long as you chop it finely, the kids will barely even notice it.
This chickpea stew is another version of the previous dish.
In this recipe, the stew has a rich tomato base infused with smoked paprika, cumin, and cayenne pepper.
This is perfect if you’re fond of spicy food!
Serve this soup with brown rice to make a satisfying meal.
Because rice has a very subtle flavor, it helps dial down the heat from the stew, giving you perfectly balanced flavors.
Cauliflower florets are coated in breadcrumbs and fried until golden and crispy. What a brilliant idea!
This is a highly addictive appetizer that even kids will enjoy.
In fact, I doubt they’d even notice they’re eating cauliflower. They’re just that good.
They’re already pretty amazing on their own, but try dipping these bad boys in garlic aioli. You’re welcome.
22. Spanish Gazpacho
Beat the summer heat with a bowl of cold Spanish gazpacho!
This silky smooth soup is filled with bits of tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, and croutons for added crunch.
The soup is seasoned with a bit of olive oil, vinegar, and salt for an extra layer of flavor.
One spoonful is enough to make you feel refreshed.
There are tons of outstanding Spanish desserts out there, but to me, polvorones are the best.
These shortbread cookies are full of flavor, but what makes them special is their unique crumbly consistency.
The word “polvo” is Spanish for powder or dust, which is exactly the texture of these cookies.
Biting into it will cause the cookie to crumble like sand and melt in your mouth. It’s a one-of-a-kind experience you won’t want to miss.
Torrijas is the Spanish version of the French toast. The recipe is the same.
It’s stale bread soaked in a mixture of milk and eggs, pan-fried until golden, and sprinkled with cinnamon sugar or drizzled with honey.
There’s another variation of torrijas, though. Called torrijas de vino, the bread is dipped in red wine, instead of milk.
This version is typically served during Lent or Semana Santa.
Last but not least is my favorite beverage in the world: hot chocolate!
If you think American hot cocoa is amazing, wait until you try the Spanish version.
Called “chocolate caliente,” Spanish hot chocolate is a lot thicker and more decadent than any.
Aside from using quality chocolate, the secret is cornstarch! It thickens the mixture and creates that luscious consistency.
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