10 Spanish Christmas Foods to Serve at Your Holiday Feast
When the holiday season rolls around in Spain, it’s time for the very best of Spanish cuisine to make an appearance on every table across the country. Especially on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, Spanish families plan big, elaborate meals featuring seasonal favorites. If you’re planning your own holiday feast, here are some Spanish Christmas foods that your guests won’t be able to get enough of!
Before any big holiday meal, there’s always a generous tapas spread as appetizers. While there are many possibilities, here are some favorites.
Jamón ibérico is the crown jewel of Spanish cuisine, so it’s no surprise that it’s one of the Spanish Christmas foods that everyone reaches for first. It’s a holiday tradition to buy a ham leg to slice off bits of salty goodness during Christmas, New Years, and 3 Kings Day. It’s the perfect way to start off any meal, but don’t fill up too quick!
To accompany jamón, there are always a few wedges of salty Spanish cheese on the table. Manchego is a favorite, of course, but there is a whole world of Spanish cheese to explore. In general, Spaniards just can’t get enough of strong, aged cheese made from goat, sheep, or cow milk.
Next up on the list are juicy prawns. Gambas a la plancha are very easy to make and go very fast at any holiday party. These prawns are cooked in a skillet with olive oil, lemon juice, and sea salt until tender and ready to eat. While this is a must when it comes to Spanish Christmas foods, they are also very popular during New Years parties as well.
The beauty of Spanish omelette is that it tastes delicious any time, any place. It’s a staple in Spanish cuisine that can be for any meal, morning or night, and is quite versatile when it comes to finding a recipe that suits your palate. At a holiday party, the Spanish omelette is usually cut up into bite-size chunks that can be picked up with a toothpick. This is comfort food at its finest, and only the appetizer course!
See more: What to Do in Madrid to Enjoy the Holiday Season
The first course is lighter than the second, and usually includes a soup or salad.
Sopa de galets
Moving past the tapas and into the first course is a Catalan specialty, sopa de galets. Galets are special noodles for Christmastime that look like a hollow shell. Ground meat is stuffed inside, so it’s essentially like having a little meatball inside noodley goodness. The galets are cooked in a savory broth made from veggies and different kinds of meats. Even though it’s a soup, it hits the spot and will warm you up on a cold, winter night.
To help lighten up a meal, the enslada mixta saves the day! A simple salad of greens, tomatoes, corn, onions, and tuna, this classic salad brings some veggies to an otherwise heavy meal. As its a holiday, some salads might be even more refined, consisting of avocado, smoked salmon, and nuts. Whatever you prefer, a nice, light salad helps to break up a heavy meal.
Spaniards love their proteins, so the second course most usually includes meat or fish.
Spaniards love fish and regularly incorporate it into their daily diet. One recipe that is among the favorite Spanish Christmas foods is dorada a la sal, sea bream baked in a layer of salt. It’s simple and easy to make, and tastes rich and delicious without being too heavy. It’s perfect if you’re looking for something tasty and on the healthier side.
As Christmas comes but once a year, so do the special dishes like roasted lamb or goat. As these cuts of meat are usually quite expensive and more laborious to prepare, they are usually reserved for holidays like Christmas Day or New Years Day. Oven-roasted with fresh herbs, this tender meat doesn’t need too much to bring out its natural flavors.
And if you’ve still got room, it’s time for dessert! Here are some of the favorite Spanish Christmas foods for all the sweets lovers out there.
Spanish turrón, or nougat, comes in a multitude of flavors and varieties. They can be hard or soft, contain nuts or dried fruits, and range in sweetness. This sweet treat is a staple during the dessert or coffee hour during the holiday season. Turrónes also make for a great gift or something to bring to a dinner party, as they are always a crowd-pleaser.
Polvorones are another holiday special, a dusty, crumbly cookie native to Andalucía. The most traditional recipe results in a rich almond cookie that is sweet without being too much so, and has a unique texture. Today, polvorones come in many flavors, like cinnamon, chocolate, and lemon, just to name a few.
Come join Food Lover Tour any time of the year to indulge in all of our favorite Spanish foods!