28 Appetizing Spanish Side Dish Recipes

Side dishes are a great addition to any dish because they are full of flavours and can add a unique touch to any meal.

spanish side dish recipes

If you are looking for side dishes to accompany your main or second course, you will love these 28 Spanish side dishes recipes.

Whether you want something light, healthy or flavourful, there is a Spanish side dish out there for you.

Spanish side dish recipes

1. Menestra de verduras – Mixed vegetables

Menestra de verduras is a vegetarian dish which is also often served as a side dish with meat or fish.

It is very simple to prepare and a good way to serve vegetables in a more attractive way. Vegetables are boiled and then slightly fry with corn flour.

You can use any vegetables you like, however, some of the most popular ones to make menestra are cauliflower, carrots and green beans.

2. Patatas a lo pobre – Poor’s Man Potatoes (Andalusia)

Potato is a common ingredient you will find in many Spanish side dishes, and potato is the main ingredient for this Andalusian side dish.

Patatas a lo pobre, known as Poor’s Man Potatoes in English, is an easy side dish that goes perfectly with meat or fish.

To make this recipe you will only need potatoes, red and green peppers, onions and garlic. Potatoes, peppers and onions are cut into thin slices and fried until potatoes are golden.

3. Ensalada murciana – Murcia-style salad (Murcia)

Ensalada murciana is a traditional refreshing salad from the region of Murcia. It is extremely popular in the summer months, but you can enjoy it any time of the year too.

This is a humble and easy dish that is delicious and healthy too. Tomatoes, tuna, hard-boiled eggs, spring onions, black olives and extra virgin olive oil are the ingredients you need to make this traditional salad.

4. Papas arrugadas – Wrinkled potatoes (Canary Islands)

One of the most popular side dishes in the Canary Islands is papas arrugadas, wrinkled potatoes.

These aren’t any potatoes but Canarian potatoes, called papas bonitas, which are perfect for boiling.

Potatoes are boiled in a large pot of hot water and coarse salt until they start to wrinkle. They are often served with mojo sauce, a spicy sauce that also originated in the islands.

However, you can serve them with any main course too.

5. Zanahorias aliñadas – Marinated carrots (Cadiz)

Zanahorias aliñadas or zanahorias aliñás is a common tapa and side dish, especially in Cadiz, in the south of Spain.

This is a perfect side dish for any main course – whether it’s a meat, fish or vegetable dish. The main ingredient is carrot, and in addition to this, you will also need garlic, oregano, cumin, paprika, salt and apple vinegar.

Carrots are boiled and marinated, and the key to having the best zanahorias aliñadas is to leave them to rest in the fridge for 24 hours.

6. Patatas al horno – Roasted potatoes

One of the easiest and favourite potato side dishes is patatas al horno, roasted potatoes.

Roasted potatoes are a great addition to any main dish, and you can always serve them with sauces like mayonnaise or aioli.

Simply, cut the potatoes into quarters, add dry herbs like thyme or oregano, drizzle olive oil and add a pinch of salt.

They are very easy to make and delicious too.

7. Escalivada catalana – Catalan-style roasted vegetables (Catalonia)

Escalivada catalana is a typical Catalonian salad made of roasted vegetables. It is healthy, low in calories and simply delicious.

The main ingredients to make this side dish are red pepper, aubergine, onion, olive oil and coarse salt. 

The vegetables are roasted, and then the aubergine and red pepper are put into boiling water to make the process of peeling the skin easier. Finally, you cut all the vegetables into slices and put them in the fridge.

The best way to serve this salad is cold and with a good splash of olive oil.

8. Champiñones al ajillo – Garlic mushrooms

If you are looking for a straightforward side dish, look no further, champiñones al ajillo is the answer.

In less than 20 minutes, you can prepare these delicious garlic mushrooms which are cooked with fresh parsley, garlic and olive oil.

This is a side dish that works with any main course and you can serve it either hot or cold.

9. Ensalada de tomates – Tomato salad

Ensalada de tomates - Tomato salad - spanish side dish recipes
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Ensalada de tomates is the ideal salad to have as a side dish on a summer day, but the truth is that you will love having this dish any time.

With a few ingredients and in less than 10 minutes, you will have a refreshing salad to accompany your main course.

Tomatoes, onions, garlic, olive oil and salt are the main ingredients to make this dish. You can also sprinkle some oregano if you like.

10. Ensalada mixta – Spanish mixed green salad

top view of the Ensalada mixta

One of the most common side dishes in Spain is salad, especially ensalada mixta.

You are likely to find different variations of this Spanish mixed green salad, but it generally has lettuce, tomato, tuna, and hard-boiled egg. You can also add cucumber, beetroot, carrot and olives.

It is a great salad to accompany any fish or meat dish.

11. Pimientos de Padrón – Padron peppers (Galicia)

If you love peppers, you need to try this side dish from the region of Galicia in the north of Spain.

Pimientos de Padrón are small green peppers which grow in the town of Padrón. They often have a mild flavour, but you can find the odd pepper that is spicy.

To make this delicious side dish you will only need Padron peppers, olive oil and coarse salt. The peppers are fried in olive oil until they start blistering.

Padron peppers are the perfect match with any meat dish and red wine.

12. Puré de patatas – Mashed potatoes

Puré de patatas - Mashed potatoes, spanish side dish recipes
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Another popular Spanish side dish made with potatoes is puré de patatas (mashed potatoes). You will find it alongside a good steak in many restaurants across Spain.

This mashed potatoes ingredients are potatoes, ideally Russet potatoes, butter, milk, salt and pepper.

The best way to enjoy this mashed potatoes is warm.

13. Pisto Manchego – Spanish-style ratatouille

If you love vegetable side dishes, there is no better side dish than pisto manchego, a Spanish-style ratatouille which you can enjoy as a side dish or main course.

The ingredients for this recipe are peppers, courgettes, canned tomatoes, onions, garlic and olive oil.

However, you can also add other vegetables like aubergines and potatoes. If you want to make it a main course instead of a side dish, simply add a fried egg and serve it with a few slices of bread.

This Spanish-style ratatouille is perfect for any meat or fish dish. It isn’t the quickest side dish to prepare, but it is worth the effort.

14. Ensaladilla rusa – Russian salad

best Ensaladilla Rusa- Spanish russian Salad recipe by the Mediterranean fork

Despite its name, it is one of the most popular tapas and side dishes in Spain. It can be filling, so this is why it is often served as a tapa in many bars and restaurants.

Ensaladilla Rusa consists of a potato salad with carrots, peas, hard-boiled eggs, tuna, and mayonnaise. However, you can find some variations in the south of Spain. For example, some places add prawns to this potato salad.

Russian salad is a favourite and it is always served with some breadsticks.

15. Patatas bravas – Fried potatoes with spicy tomato sauce

a plate of Patatas bravas

Who hasn’t heard of patatas bravas? You can find them anywhere in Spain, no matter if you are visiting the north, south or east of Spain.

This delicious potato side dish is made with potatoes, ripe tomatoes, onions, cayenne pepper, paprika, garlic, olive oil, sugar and salt.

You can have these spicy potatoes as a starter or side dish with your main course.

16. Samfaina – (Catalonia)

Samfaina - (Catalonia) - spanish side dish recipes
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Samfaina is one of the most popular side dishes in Catalonia. It consists of a vegetable dish which can be served with meat, fish, pulses or eggs.

This recipe is packed with vegetables – tomatoes, peppers, courgettes, aubergines, and onions which are cooked with garlic, thyme and black pepper.

It is a side dish you can prepare the day before because it takes about 1 hour and 30 minutes to cook.

17. Ensalada de alubias – Bean salad

Ensalada de alubias is a side dish as well as a main course, it just depends on the quantity you serve.

This bean salad is prepared with white beans, red and green peppers, tomatoes, hard-boiled eggs, spring onions and a vinaigrette that includes sherry vinegar, olive oil, ground garlic, salt and pepper.

In addition to these ingredients, if you want to make it more filling, add a tin of tuna or anchovies.

18. Pipes I carasses – (Elche)

Pipes I carasses - (Elche) - spanish side dish recipes
Photo by Receta Petitchef

If you are looking for regional side dishes, Pipes I carasses is a delicious traditional dish that originated in Elche, a city near Alicante.

This recipe is made with salted cod, dried ñora peppers (a red, round pepper which is normally dried in the sun), wine vinegar, garlic and olive oil.

It is a side dish to enjoy with a few slices of bread and a good glass of wine.

19. Espinacas con ajo – Sautee spinach with garlic

Espinacas con ajo - Sautee spinach with garlic, spanish side dish recipes
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Healthy, simple and full of nutrients, this side dish goes perfectly with any main course. Espinacas con ajo is a recipe that won’t take you much of your time.

You will only need spinach, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper. Wash the spinach, add some olive oil and garlic to a hot pan, and then sautee with spinach.

In less than ten minutes, you will have an easy side dish.

20. Gofio escaldado – (Canary Islands)

The most traditional side dish in the Canary Islands is Gofio escaldado. This dish consists of a mash made of roasted corn flour.

Roasted corn flour, fish stock, and mint leaves are the key ingredients to prepare this side dish. It is also typically served with a few chunks of white onion.

This side dish goes perfectly with lamb and other meats.

21. Ensalada de capellán – (Alicante)

Ensalada de capellán is a salad that originated in Alicante, and it is common to have as a starter or side dish.

This salad is made of tomatoes, blue whiting, garlic and olive oil. The blue whiting is cured and dried, then roasted, served with tomatoes, garlic and black olives and dressed with olive oil and a pinch of salt.

It is a salad full of flavour.

22. Berenjenas fritas con miel – Fried aubergines with honey (Andalusia)

Berenjenas fritas con miel is a traditional side dish or tapa served in many parts of Andalusia. It consists of fried aubergines with sugar cane honey.

The combination may sound odd but the flavours of this side dish will amaze you.

If you are ready to prepare it at home, you will only need aubergines, flour, sugar cane honey and olive oil. The aubergines are cut into slices, coated in flour and fried. Once they are thoroughly cooked, drizzle a bit of sugar cane honey on top.

23. Coliflor rebozada – Fried cauliflower

Coliflor rebozada - Fried cauliflower, spanish side dish recipes
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Cauliflower isn’t an ingredient loved by everyone, but this side dish makes it a great addition to any main course.

To make coliflor rebozada you need cauliflower, flour, a light beer or sparkling water, all-purpose flour, olive oil, salt and pepper.

These fried cauliflower florets are crunchy and delicious, and to top them off, add a splash of lemon juice.

24. Espinacas a la catalana – Catalan-style spinach (Catalonia)

Espinacas a la catalana is a light and healthy side dish which you can have with any main or second course. As its name suggests, this is a traditional recipe from Catalonia.

Spinach, pine nuts, raisins and garlic are sautéeed in a hot pan with extra virgin olive oil.

It is a side dish you can put together in less than 15 minutes.

25. Patatas a la importance

Another potato side dish that you might want to taste during your Spain holidays or make at home is patatas a la importancia.

This side dish consists of sliced potatoes which are coated in egg and flour and deep-fried.

The main ingredients to make patatas a la importancia are eggs, flour, onions, garlic, fresh parsley, white wine, saffron, olive oil and salt.

These potatoes are delicious with a good steak.

26. Trampó – Majorcan salad (Majorca)

best Trampó recipe by the Mediterranean fork

Trampó is a refreshing Majorcan salad which is very common to have as a starter or side dish during the summer months. Not only is it refreshing, but very healthy too!

The process to make this Majorcan salad is very simple and won’t take you more than 10 minutes.

Ripe tomatoes, peppers, onions, olive oil and salt are the only ingredients used in this dish.

27. Pimientos asados – Roasted peppers

If you are looking for a vegan, gluten-free and healthy side dish, this side dish ticks off all the boxes.

Pimientos asados is a dish that is made with simple ingredients – red peppers, garlic, extra virgin olive oil and salt.

You can serve them either cold or warm, they are delicious anyway!

28. Pericana alcoyana – (Alicante)

Pericana alcoyana is one of the most popular Spanish side dish recipes in Alicante and it is a dish that you can serve as a starter or side dish.

This dish is made with ñora peppers, choricero peppers (a variety of red pepper which is dehydrated), dried blue whiting, raff tomatoes, garlic and olive oil.

It is ready in 30 minutes and you will impress your family and guests.

If you liked this article about Spanish side dish recipes, consider checking out these other round up recipes below —

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Cristina Reina is a freelance writer and translator, and owner of My Little World of Travelling, a travel blog that shares local tips for beautiful locations and hidden gems in Spain, her home country, and the rest of Europe, so travellers can have better and more meaningful experiences abroad. Apart from her passion for travel, she also loves cooking and trying new foods in her free time.