19 Sensational Spanish Side Dishes To Make Your Mouth Water

Spanish cuisine, known for its rich flavors and diverse influences, offers an array of side dishes that perfectly complement its main courses.

These delightful accompaniments range from the simple to the sublime, each promising a taste of Spain’s culinary heart.

Sensational Spanish Side Dishes To Make Your Mouth Water

Feel the sun on your skin, pour yourself a Sangria, and indulge in our top picks of the best Spanish side dishes to give you the flavor of the Mediterranean in your own home.

1. Patatas Bravas

We’re starting off strong with a staple from tapas bars across Spain and the world over.

These fried potato cubes are loved for their contrasting textures and flavors. Crispy on the outside and tender inside, they’re irresistibly good.

Flavor Profile: Crispy potato cubes paired with spicy tomato sauce and aioli.

Our Top Tip: For added crunch, double-fry the potatoes.

Pairing: Complements grilled meats or seafood perfectly.

2. Alcachofas a la Plancha (Pan-fried Artichokes)

Experience the pure, unapologetic flavor of artichokes with this traditional Spanish preparation.

Grilled to perfection, they offer a tantalizing taste of Mediterranean cuisine.

Flavor Profile: Grilled artichokes drizzled with lemon and olive oil.

Our Top Tip: Use fresh artichokes for maximum flavor.

Pairing: Best with light fish dishes or tapas spreads.

3. Pimientos del Padrón (Spanish-Style Blistered Padrón Peppers)

This is a game of culinary Russian roulette! These small peppers are unpredictable – mostly mild, but occasionally you’ll find a fiery one.

This is a perfect Spanish side dish for those who enjoy a little surprise with their meal.

Flavor Profile: Small green peppers, fried and sprinkled with sea salt. Mostly mild, but occasionally spicy!

Our Top Tip: Fry in a hot pan until blistered.

Pairing: Pairs well with cold beers or white wines.

4. Espinacas con Garbanzos (Spinach And Chickpeas)

A heartwarming union of spinach and chickpeas, this dish showcases the simple elegance of Spanish home cooking.

It’s a rustic treat for the palate.

Flavor Profile: Spinach and chickpeas cooked with garlic, onion, and paprika.

Our Top Tip: Use smoked paprika for added depth.

Pairing: Excellent with roasted or grilled meats.

5. Setas al Ajillo (Mushrooms With Garlic)

Mushrooms are transformed in this garlic-rich delight, highlighting Spain’s love for simple ingredients and robust flavors.

It’s a must-try for garlic and mushroom enthusiasts.

Flavor Profile: Mushrooms sautéed in garlic-infused olive oil.

Our Top Tip: Use wild mushrooms for enhanced flavors.

Pairing: A match for grilled steaks or poultry.

6. Ensalada Mixta

Spain’s answer to the mixed salad, this dish often features lettuce, tomatoes, onions, olives, and tuna.

With a simple olive oil and vinegar dressing, it’s a refreshing side to heavier mains.

Flavor Profile: Fresh and crisp with a balance of tang from the dressing and saltiness from the tuna.

Our Top Tip: Ensure the lettuce is dried thoroughly after washing to keep the salad crisp.

Pairing: Perfect alongside grilled meats or fish.

7. Ensaladilla Rusa (Spanish Potato Salad)

While its roots are Russian, Spain has adopted this creamy potato salad as its own.

This is a chilled, comforting classic that’s perfect for warm days.

Flavor Profile: Creamy potato salad with peas, carrots, and mayonnaise.

Our Top Tip: Chill before serving to let flavors meld.

Pairing: A cool drink or chilled white wine.

8. Calçots With Romesco Sauce

Springtime in Catalonia is marked by the arrival of calçots, tender green onions grilled and savored with Romesco sauce.

A communal treat, it embodies the spirit of Spanish festivity.

Flavor Profile: Grilled spring onions served with a nutty red pepper sauce.

Our Top Tip: Char the onions for a smoky flavor.

Pairing: Pairs beautifully with Cava, Spain’s sparkling wine.

9. Berenjenas con Miel (Fried Eggplant With Honey)

This Andalusian specialty marries the savoriness of fried eggplant with the sweetness of honey.

A dance of flavors, it’s a testament to Spain’s Moorish influences.

Flavor Profile: Fried eggplant strips drizzled with honey.

Our Top Tip: Ensure the oil is hot for crispy eggplant.

Pairing: Ideal alongside grilled lamb or beef.

10. Espárragos a la Plancha (Grilled White Asparagus)

A staple in Spanish springtime cuisine, these tender stalks are grilled to perfection, capturing the essence of the season.

Flavor Profile: Earthy with a smoky hint from the grill, finished with a sprinkle of sea salt and a drizzle of olive oil.

Our Top Tip: Choose fresh, firm asparagus stalks, and don’t overcook them so you retain a slight crunch.

Pairing: Perfect with grilled meats or a soft-poached egg on top.

11. Pan con Tomate (Spanish Tomato Bread)

Simple yet profoundly flavorful, this dish celebrates the beauty of ripe tomatoes.

Rubbed onto toasted bread with a hint of garlic, it’s a Spanish breakfast favorite.

Flavor Profile: Toasted bread rubbed with garlic and ripe tomatoes, drizzled with olive oil.

Our Top Tip: Use crusty bread for a hearty texture.

Pairing: Perfect as a tapa with jamón serrano.

12. Croquetas

Creamy bechamel mixed with ingredients like ham, fish, or mushrooms, then breaded and deep-fried.

These little morsels are addictive and commonly served alongside main courses.

Flavor Profile: Crispy on the outside with a creamy, savory center infused with the flavors of ham, fish, or mushrooms.

Our Top Tip: Don’t overcrowd the frying pan; it can reduce the oil’s temperature and result in less crispy croquetas.

Pairing: A chilled glass of Spanish white wine or a light beer.

13. Tumbet

An iconic dish from the Balearic Islands, Tumbet beautifully layers baked vegetables in a tomato sauce, capturing the essence of the Mediterranean in every bite.

Flavor Profile: A symphony of vegetables, predominantly featuring eggplants, bell peppers, and potatoes, unified with a robust tomato sauce often infused with garlic and fresh herbs.

Our Top Tip: Slice the vegetables uniformly to ensure even cooking. Pre-frying each vegetable separately before layering can enhance the flavors.

Pairing: Tumbet serves as a wonderful accompaniment to grilled meats, especially lamb or chicken. For a pescatarian twist, it pairs well with grilled fish or shrimp.

14. Escalivada

Celebrate the art of grilling with Escalivada, where vegetables are transformed into smoky, tender delicacies.

Each bite is a journey to Catalonia, where this dish is cherished as a symbol of simplicity and taste.

Flavor Profile: Smoky and tender grilled vegetables, enhanced by the rich flavor of olive oil and a hint of garlic.

Our Top Tip: Grilling the vegetables over charcoal adds an authentic smoky flavor.

Pairing: Perfect alongside grilled lamb or with toasted bread drizzled with olive oil.

15. Zarangollo Murciano

Hailing from Murcia, this dish showcases zucchini and onions in a delicate scramble, highlighting the region’s bountiful produce.

Flavor Profile: Soft and savory with a mild sweetness from sautéed onions and zucchini.

Our Top Tip: Sauté the vegetables on low heat to retain their moisture and natural sweetness.

Pairing: A slice of crusty bread and a glass of light Spanish rosé.

16. Spanish Bean Salad

Bursting with vibrant colors and flavors, the Spanish Bean Salad combines beans, fresh vegetables, and a tangy dressing to create a refreshing yet hearty side dish.

Flavor Profile: This salad offers a mix of creamy beans, crunchy vegetables, and a dressing rich with olive oil, vinegar, and aromatic spices. The flavors meld together to create a delightful balance of tangy, savory, and slightly sweet notes.

Our Top Tip: Using a mix of beans like chickpeas, kidney beans, and white beans adds variety in texture and flavor. Allow the salad to marinate for a few hours before serving to enhance the taste.

Pairing: This salad pairs excellently with grilled meats, especially chorizo or grilled chicken. It can also st

17. Ensalada de Pipirrana

A colorful medley of finely chopped vegetables, this Andalusian salad is the perfect refreshing side on a warm day.

Flavor Profile: Crisp, fresh, and tangy with a touch of olive oil richness.

Our Top Tip: Use ripe tomatoes for a sweet and juicy base.

Pairing: Perfect with grilled sardines or a cool glass of Fino sherry.

18. Patatas a lo Pobre

Originating from Andalusia, these thinly sliced potatoes cooked with green peppers and onions are a humble yet flavorsome treat.

Flavor Profile: Soft potatoes infused with the sweetness of onions and the slight tang of green peppers, often with a hint of garlic.

Our Top Tip: Slice the potatoes uniformly for even cooking and use a good quality olive oil for the best flavor.

Pairing: Works wonderfully with roasted or grilled meats, especially chorizo, or simply with fried eggs.

19. Papas Arrugadas (Wrinkled Potatoes)

A treasured dish from the Canary Islands, these small potatoes boast a unique wrinkled appearance and salty crust, a result of their distinct cooking method.

Flavor Profile: The potatoes have a dense and dry texture, heightened by a strong salty exterior, making them an irresistible bite.

Our Top Tip: Use small potatoes for the best results. Cook them in heavily salted water or sea water, if available, until they’re tender but not falling apart.

Pairing: Traditionally served with mojo picon (a spicy red sauce) or mojo verde (a green herb and garlic sauce). The potatoes’ simple flavor allows them to complement a variety of dishes, especially grilled fish, meats, and various Canarian specialties.

In Summary

Spanish side dishes are more than just accompaniments; they are a journey into the vibrant culture and rich history of Spain.

From the crisp freshness of a mixed salad to the creamy allure of croquetas, these dishes capture the essence of Spanish dining.

As you explore these sides, let them transport you to the bustling streets of Madrid or the serene landscapes of Andalusia.

¡Buen provecho!

For more Spanish cuisine inspo, take a look at our favorite Spanish cookbooks here.

19 Sensational Spanish Side Dishes To Make Your Mouth Water

Recipe by Barbara HuntCourse: Other Recipes, Recipes


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  • Chose your favorite Spanish side dish
  • Prepare your ingredients
  • Create your side dish
  • Enjoy!
Barbara Hunt


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