Would you like to impress your friends and family this year with a Spanish-style Christmas meal?
In this blog, we will tell you about delicious and traditional Spanish Christmas recipes that you will want to add to your menu this year.
Christmas in Spain
Christmas is a magical time in Spain – family and friends’ gatherings, unique traditional events like the Three Kings Parade, and of course, mouthwatering food and big meals.
If you are wondering what the Spanish Christmas menu is like, these are the main dishes you can expect in a Spanish house:
– Starter. A great variety of snacks and appetizers like ham, cheese, prawns, and crisps.
– First course. A soup.
– Second course. A fish or meat dish.
– Dessert and or Christmas sweets like mantecados and nougat.
Spanish Christmas Recipes
If you are ready to start planning your Christmas menu, here is a list of the most traditional Spanish Christmas recipes in Spain and specific regions across the country.
1. Sopa de marisco – Seafood soup
If you love fish and seafood, you must try this soup. Made with prawns, clams, mussels, and hake, among other ingredients, this soup is perfect for winter days.
However, it is also served on days like Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve as the first course in many homes. This recipe is an absolute treat as it is prepared with fresh, quality ingredients.
2. Sopa de galets – Galets soup (Catalonia)
A traditional Catalonian Christmas recipe is sopa de galets. This soup consists of snail shell pasta (galets) that are filled with ground beef and pork, ham, egg, garlic, and parsley.
For Catalan people is a tradition to have this delicious soup on Christmas Day, and any remaining meat from the filling is used to make cannelloni the next day.
If you want a different type of soup this Christmas, this recipe is loved by everyone!
3. Cordero asado – Roast lamb
A popular second course for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day is roast lamb. This piece of meat is very simple to prepare as you don’t need to add much to it (just salt and rosemary if you wish).
Lamb’s leg isn’t a cheap cut of meat, so if you are looking for a cheaper alternative, you can make this recipe with a suckling pig.
However, you won’t be disappointed by this juicy and delicious lamb dish.
4. Tetilla con semillas de sésamo y miel – Tetilla cheese puffs with sesame seeds and honey (Galicia)
These homemade cheese puffs are the perfect appetizer for the Christmas season or any party. What’s special about this recipe is the key ingredient, tetilla cheese, a cow’s-milk cheese made in Galicia.
The cheese is mixed with other ingredients, deep-fried, and drizzled with some honey. This appetizer will disappear from the table in seconds.
5. Huevos rellenos de atún – Spanish-style deviled eggs
A delicious starter is these Spanish-style deviled eggs. Although you can find variations of this recipe, most of them consist of boiling eggs and stuffing them with the cooked egg yolk and tuna.
They aren’t only prepared for the Christmas season but for other special occasions, picnics, birthdays, and parties.
You will never go wrong with these Spanish-style deviled eggs.
6. Polvorones – Spanish almond cookies (Andalusia)
If you have a sweet tooth, you will love polvorones, and Spanish almond cookies. Eating these cookies is a tradition in most of Spain; however, they are produced in Antequera and Estepa in Andalusia.
Made with ingredients like lard, almond crumbs, and flour, they can easily be made at home too.
7. Mantecados – Spanish crumble cakes (Andalusia)
These Spanish crumble cakes are on everyone’s table on Christmas. Lard, flour, sugar, and Moscatel wine are the perfect ingredient combination to prepare these delicious cakes.
Most mantecados are produced in the region of Andalusia, but they are enjoyed and found anywhere in Spain.
Although many Spaniards buy mantecados, they aren’t difficult to make at home.
8. Cochinillo asado – Roast suckling pig
One of the star Christmas recipes is cochinillo asado, roast suckling pig. It is traditionally eaten on the 25th of December, but it is also made at other times of the year.
This recipe is easy and perfect for big gatherings. The best way to serve it is with a side of roasted potatoes or a refreshing salad and a glass of wine.
9. Roscón de Reyes – Three Kings cake
Roscón de Reyes is one of the most emblematic cakes on the Christmas holidays. The Three King’s cake consists of an oval brioche filled with whipped cream and topped with candied fruits.
You will find this delicious cake in supermarkets and bakeries from mid-December, but it isn’t eaten until the 6th of January when children open the three wise/kings’ presents.
The cake also has a surprise inside! Whoever finds a toy in their slice of cake will get good luck for the whole year; however, if you get the bean, you will need to pay Roscón de Reyes next year.
It is a fun cake to make and eat with your family.
10. Sopa de picadillo – Picadillo soup (Andalusia)
A traditional Christmas soup in Andalusia is sopa de picadillo, a soup that is made with chicken broth and topped with ham, hard-boiled eggs, and croutons.
Depending on the area of Andalusia you are in, the soup can also have rice and pieces of carrots.
It is a delicious and not heavy soup that children and adults love.
11. Ensaladilla rusa – Russian salad
This Russian potato salad is a common dish in Spain, and as its name suggests, the origins of this salad are Russian.
However, it is prepared with potatoes, carrots, peas, tuna, and hard-boiled eggs. In some parts of Spain, prawns are also added to the salad.
Although it isn’t a quick recipe, it is straightforward, but if you want to cook the best ensaladilla rusa, you must make homemade mayonnaise.
12. Pavo relleno – Stuffed turkey
Stuffed turkey is one of the most popular Christmas foods in the world, and many Spaniards choose this delicious dish, although it isn´t the first choice for many.
Cooking a stuffed turkey from scratch does take time, but it is completely worth it.
If you are a small family, a great alternative is cooking stuffed chicken. Regardless of the type of meat you choose, serve it with a side of peas or roasted potatoes.
13. Almejas a la marinera – Spanish-style clams
Almejas a la marinera is a delicious and light Christmas starter. Fresh clams are stir-fried with tomato sauce, sweet paprika, wine, onion, and garlic.
Serve them with a slice of bread to dip in the sauce.
14. Gambas a la plancha – Grilled prawns
Gambas a la plancha is a very simple recipe, but it is a great success. These prawns, which you can get fresh or frozen, are only seasoned with sea salt and go straight to the pan to be grilled.
They are an excellent appetizer before digging into the main courses and desserts.
15. Besugo al horno – Roasted bream
Roasted bream is a popular fish dish at Christmas but all year round too. It isn’t difficult to cook; it is a delicious and healthy meal.
As long as you get the fish cleaned by the fishmonger, you won’t have much trouble preparing this recipe.
The best way to serve this roasted bream is with a side of roasted vegetables like onions, peppers, and potatoes.
16. Bacalao con coliflor – Cod with cauliflower (Galicia)
This healthy, tasty, and easy-to-prepare recipe is a traditional Christmas meal in Galicia, Northern Spain.
Simple ingredients like cauliflower, potatoes, and sweet paprika elevate the taste of this fish dish. Although cod is the key ingredient of this recipe, it can be substituted with other white fish like hake.
17. Calamares rellenos – Stuffed squid
If you are looking for a second course that isn’t fish or meat, stuffed squid is an excellent and delicious choice.
The squid is stuffed with hard-boiled eggs, other parts of the squid which are chopped into small pieces, breadcrumbs, and sometimes prawns. Then it is slowly cooked with a delicious homemade tomato and vegetable sauce.
They are perfect, with a side of chips and a slice of bread to dip in the sauce.
18. Arroz con Leche – Spanish rice pudding
One of the most classic Spanish desserts is Arroz con Leche (rice pudding). This dessert is perfect at any time of the year, so there is no reason not to add it to your Christmas menu.
Interestingly, rice pudding isn’t only popular in Spain but in other South American and Asian countries too. The main difference between Spanish rice pudding and others is that Spanish rice pudding is made with whole milk instead of condensed milk.
Not only is it delicious, but a quick dessert that you can make a day or two before Christmas.
19. Tigres – Stuffed mussels
If you want to surprise your guests on Christmas Day, these stuffed mussels are a great addition to your menu.
This delicious appetizer is prepared with bechamel sauce and mussels that are battered and fried. You can eat them cold or hot, and they are perfect with a glass of white wine.
20. Redondo de ternera – Rolled veal
Rolled veal is one of the most traditional meat dishes in Spain at Christmas. Prepared with simple ingredients but loved by everyone.
When it comes to the second course, the rolled veal is the center of the table, and it is served with delicious roasted vegetables – including crispy and golden potatoes.
It is a recipe that won’t take a lot of your time when cooking a big Christmas dinner.
21. Croquetas de jamón – Ham croquettes
One of the most well-known tapas is croquetas de jamón; you can easily find them everywhere across Spain. They are ideal at any time of the year, including Christmas.
Bechamel sauce, ham, flour, and breadcrumbs are some of the key ingredients to make this tasty appetizer.
You can serve them as they are, but you can also prepare a homemade sauce like aioli or mayonnaise to go with them.
22. Truchas de batata – Sweet potato pastry (Canary Islands)
A traditional Christmas recipe in the Canary Islands is Truchas de batata. This sweet consists of puff pastry filled with sweet potato, ground almonds, cinnamon, and lemon zest that are deep-fried and sprinkled with icing sugar.
If you go to the Canary Islands during the Christmas period, make sure to grab one of these from a pastry shop. You won’t be disappointed!
Alternatively, you can also make them at home. They are easier to prepare than they look.
23. Sopa de almendras – Sweet almond soup
Sopa de almendras is a traditional Spanish dessert at Christmas. Despite not being as popular as other Spanish desserts, it is incredibly delicious.
This dessert is made with key ingredients like almonds, bread, and milk, and there is no better sopa de almendras than the one that is homemade and warm.
It is a great dessert to enjoy at the end of the Christmas dinner.
24. Yemas – (Avila)
Yemas, which literally means “egg yolks,” is a small but rich traditional dessert enjoyed at Christmas. These “egg yolk” sweets are made with egg yolks, granulated sugar, and water with a sugar coating.
They originated in Avila and are also prepared for the feast day of St. Theresa on the 15th of October.
25. Marzapán – Marzipan (Toledo)
There is no table without marzipans at Christmas in Spain. They are one of the most popular desserts in the country.
The recipe for marzipan contains very few ingredients (ground almonds, eggs, and icing sugar), but it is essential that you get the best quality ingredients to prepare delicious marzipans.
Locals often get these marzipans from convents as they sell the best ones; however, you can also buy them from bakery shops and supermarkets.
26. Pollo en salsa de almendras – Chicken in almond sauce
An excellent alternative to the traditional stuff turkey is this delicious chicken recipe. The chicken is fried and then cooked with a homemade sauce made with almonds.
Served the chicken with a side of chips and bread to dip in, this is a dish that everyone will love, even smaller kids.
27. Tarta de turrón – Nougat cake
If you are ready to impress your family and friends at Christmas, tarta de turrón is ideal for the occasion.
It can be prepared in different ways, but if you are in a rush, you can make it without putting it in the oven, and it can be made the day before too.
Decorate the cake with a bit of whipped cream and red berries for a final touch.
28. Roscos de anís – Fried aniseed donuts (Andalusia)
These traditional fried aniseed donuts are a sign of Christmas in Andalusia. Their sweet and zesty taste will make you fall in love with this dessert.
They are better warm, but you can have them cold too. Enjoy these roscos with a glass of sweet wine, hot chocolate, or milk!
29. Briouats – Sweet or savory pastries (Ceuta and Melilla)
Briouats, also known as briwats, are pastries made in Ceuta and Melilla at Christmas. Due to the proximity of these two Spanish cities to Morocco, this recipe is influenced by Moroccan cuisine.
These delicious pastries can be made with sweet or savory ingredients.
30. Salpicón de marisco – Seafood salad
Salpicón de marisco is a popular and refreshing seafood salad that isn’t only made at Christmas but all year round.
The dish has ingredients like mussels, prawns, and octopus and vegetables like onions, peppers, and tomatoes.
It is an easy and light appetizer to serve to your guests on Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve.