Awesome Tapas Appetizer Ideas

Spanish Tapas

Tapas are a tradition of Spanish cuisine. They're an appetizer that can be served either hot or cold, and are traditionally eaten with a glass of wine, pint of craft beer, or a nice liquor like whiskey or bourbon. Tapas are meant to encourage conversation: instead of people focusing completely on a full meal, guests can snack on small items while talking.

If you're planning a dinner party or just a friendly get-together, tapas are a perfect alternative to a fruit or cheese tray. They can use a variety of exotic ingredients, such as baby squid, or stick to more traditional items such as fried potatoes. Either way, your guests are sure to love them while they mix and mingle.

Patatas Bravas

This is a tapas staple that is famous all over the world. You'll need about an hour to prepare this one, but you can multitask while making the other tapas. Here's the recipe.

  • Fry one small chopped onion for five minutes in a pan with oil
  • Add two chopped garlic cloves, a can of chopped tomatoes, and a few pinches of sugar, salt, paprika, and chili powder
  • Let simmer for about 10 minutes
  • Cut several potatoes (depends on how many guests are coming) into small cubes, then pat dry with a roll of paper towel
  • Pour two tablespoons of olive oil on a cooking sheet, then roast the potatoes for 40-50 minutes until they look golden
  • Mix the potato cubes into the sauce and puncture with little sticks so your guests can easily retrieve a patata brava without getting their hands messy


Shrimp and Chorizo Tapas

This one is for the intermediate cook. It's a favorite recipe of Emil Lagasse, but we've tweaked it to make it a little easier.

  • In a skillet, saute half a pound of sliced chorizo in olive oil for eight minutes
  • Add a cup of thinly sliced onions and saute for five minutes in the skillet
  • Add a sliced clove of garlic and saute for one minute
  • Add half a pound of peeled shrimp and a pinch of salt, pepper, and paprika for seasoning, cooking for five minutes
  • Add a quarter cup olive oil, a tablespoon of lemon juice, and a tiny bit more salt and pepper
  • Stir the mixture around until your ingredients have been fully cooked
  • Serve with the juices, which you can mop up with slices of fresh bread


Dipping Olive Oil and Bread

This is another snacking staple which technically qualifies as a tapas. After all, it's a lovely appetizer that's simple yet tasty.

  • Mix two cups of olive oil with teaspoons of thyme, minced garlic, basil, parsley, oregano, and black pepper
  • Add half a teaspoon of salt and lemon juice
  • Add two tablespoons of grated cheese (Parmesan usually works well)
  • Mix together to create a tasty, tangy dipping sauce for fresh bread

If you're inviting many guests, you can always double the recipes; for more intimate parties, halve the recipes. Enjoy your tapas snacking!

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