Explore a selection of recipes perfect for serving as tapas.
Tapas—little plates of food—are the perfect party treat. Fun for tasting and small enough to carry while mingling, they encourage interaction and foster a festive atmosphere!
No surprise that there are bars devoted to tapas, both in Spain (where they originated) and around the world. Tapas are often salty (perhaps deliberately when served at bars) and usually eaten with beverages, such as wine, beer, sangria, sherry, and cider. In fact, the word tapas comes from the Spanish tapar, or "to cover." That's because the first tapas (slices of bread or meat) reportedly were used to cover glasses of sherry between sips.
Tapas can stand on their own or serve as appetizers to a main course. But you don't need to plan a party to enjoy tapas. They make great after-school snacks, weekend lunches, and even picnic foods. Of course, you can easily tally enough tapas to create a complete meal, too.
In Spain, tapas traditionally include fresh seafood, vegetables, olive oil, nuts, olives, cheese, chopitos (battered, fried baby squid), slices of meat, anchovies, eggs, fried potatoes, small servings of hot paella and fish croquettes. But the horizons have expanded for these little snacks. Now just about anything on a skewer or served in small portions is fair game for serving as tapas.
Here are some tapas-inspired possibilities.
(Note that they needn't be authentically Spanish to join in the fun.)
Adobo Stuffed Portabellas — filled with flavorful veggies and quinoa and seasoned with Adobo Seasoning
Almond-Paprika Dukkah and Hazelnut Dukkah — for serving with bread and olive oil
Baked Scamorza and Pear Skewers — pairs smoked scamaroza cheese and Anjou pears
Balsamic Lemon Peppered Vegetable Skewers — colorful skewered veggies seasoned with Lemon Pepper Seasoning
Beef and Vegetable Samosas and Filo Turnover Samosas — Indian, yes, but very tapas-friendly!
Beef-Filled Bread Triangles — little bread pockets you can stuff with lamb, spinach, leeks, or cheese
Biscotti with Apricot, Green Pistachio and Hyssop — apricots poached in a simple syrup combine with anise or hyssop and orange zest
Breaded Tofu Tenders — perfect in place of chicken tenders for the vegan guest
Cheddar Herbed Gougeres — a savory puff pastry seasoned with rosemary, cayenne, and nutmeg
Corn Cakes with a Smoky Paprika Sauce — light and crispy cakes with a smoky sweet sauce on top
Crispy Sausage-Stuffed Olives — a strongly flavored Italian appetizer that transforms olives
Crostini with Mushrooms — another flavorful Italian option, seasoned with garlic, oregano, and thyme
Crunchy Sesame Chicken Wings — a popular choice, here dipped in sesame, salt and cayenne
Curried Sweet Potato Roti — a flour tortilla wrapped around a curried sweet potato and seitan filling
Georgian Spiced Bean Balls — Russian bean and nut balls, highly seasoned with basil, thyme, cinnamon, cloves, saffron and black pepper
Glazed Nuts — walnuts enlivened with honey, vanilla, cinnamon and salt
Jalapeno Johnnycakes Topped with Smoked Fish — very savory cakes topped with your choice of seafood
Little Pies with Eggplant — fun little "pasteles" filled with seasoned eggplant
Peruvian Quinoa Shrimp Chicharrones with Aji Sauce — a popular Peruvian snack, perfectly seasoned with oregano, cumin, and cayenne
Pickled Jalapenos and Carrots — a tasty, colorful pickled tapa that's worth the necessary advanced planning
Roasted Dates with Pancetta, Almonds and Chile — sweet dates, salty pancetta, nutty almonds, and spicy red pepper flakes
Skewered Marinated Pork — a quickly assembled, tasty Thai dish
Street-Style Crispy Chicken — chicken marinated in flavorful fermented bean curd
Thai Summer Rolls — rice paper rounds encompass pork, spinach, mint, and mango
Tiny Turkey Meatballs — tasty little meatballs seasoned with pepper, cumin, garlic, salt, and cinnamon and coated with chili sauce