Spanish cuisine offers many vegetarian recipes that you can easily make at home, taste delicious, and are packed with fresh vegetables. The Mediterranean diet is considered one of the best diets in the world, and being Spanish myself, I had the urge to share these 20 yummy recipes from Spain that can be enjoyed without meat or fish.
Spanish Popular Ingredients
If you get to know the Spanish most popular ingredients, these are mostly vegetarian. Fresh vegetables, olive oil, spices, seasonal fruit, and legumes are some of the ingredients you will find in any Spanish home. If you want to introduce more Mediterranean dishes into your kitchen and start cooking Vegan and Vegetarian Spanish Recipes, here are some ingredients you will need to have in hand.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Spain is the number one country in terms of good-quality olive oil. One thing you need to know about extra virgin olive oil is that you need to serve it raw. This type of olive oil is best for salads, dressings, cold dips, cold soups, etc. You can find Spanish Olive Oil in big supermarkets or online. This is a good olive oil we use regularly.
- Spices. Spain is well known for its Pimentón. This includes smoked paprika, sweet paprika, hot smoked paprika, and others. Other spices that you will need for Spanish recipes are turmeric, cinnamon, black pepper, saffron, curry, and nutmeg.
- Tomatoes. We love tomatoes, especially when in season. Many Spanish recipes are tomato based and even one of the most famous Spanish recipes is a cold tomato soup. You can find good quality tomatoes in Spain most of the year, and this is why many recipes are based on this fruit.
- Potatoes. As in many other countries, we have a good amount of recipes that have potatoes are one of the main ingredients such as Tortillas de Patata (Spanish Potato Omelette), Patatas Bravas, Patatas a lo pobre, Papas Arrugadas, etc.
- Fresh Vegetables. The most popular vegetables in Spanish recipes are green and red bell peppers, garlic, onions, cabbage, and leeks.
- Legumes. You can find entire supermarket aisles with just legumes. White beans, butter beans, garbanzo beans or chickpeas, or lentils are really popular in Spanish recipes. You can buy them canned or dried.
Vegetarian Spanish Recipes
We made a list that contains 20 of the most famous Spanish recipes. These recipes are naturally vegetarian or vegan or slightly twisted to make them plant-based.
You can get here from appetizers or Spanish Tapas to mains, soups, drinks, and snacks.
Vegetarian and Vegan Traditional Spanish Tapas or appetizers
Some of the most traditional dishes from Spain are served as tapas or appetizers.
What is a Spanish Tapa?
A Spanish "tapa" is a small, flavorful appetizer or snack that is commonly prepared in Spain. Originally, a plate was placed on top of your drink to avoid any dust or dirt from going in. This plate acted as a "tapa" (lid in Spanish). Over time, small portions of food were served on top of these plates, becoming really popular.
Nowadays, you can still find restaurants and Tapas Bars that serve you a generous "tapa" when you order a drink. Other restaurants have a menu just for tapas, becoming really popular to go out "for tapas" with friends or family.
4. Pimientos de Padrón (fried green peppers)
One of the simplest vegetarian tapas: Pimientos de Padrón. As simple as it sounds, this is a national dish that especially during summer, becomes really popular. It's normally served as an appetizer or side dish. You can make this recipe using the air fryer too!
5. Spanish Omelette (Tortilla de Patatas)
Tortilla de Patata or Spanish Tortilla is one of the most well-known dishes in Spain. Served in many restaurants and bars, is a delicious national dish that most people love and miss when they leave Spain. You can serve this dish as an appetizer or main meal with a fresh tomato salad. If you want a vegan version, you need to check this recipe from Simple Vegan Blog.
Vegetarian Spanish Main Dishes
From classic Paella, to hearty stews, you can find here some Spanish Vegetarian Recipes that the whole family can enjoy as a main.
7. Vegetarian Paella
Isn't Paella the most popular Spanish dish? I think so! And you can make your own vegetable paella at home that tastes amazing. This yummy rice cooked in a Paella Pan is a recipe to prepare and enjoy with the family, packed with Spanish flavors, made with a delicious vegetable broth, and seasonal vegetables.
9. Pisto (Vegetable Stew)
Pisto Manchego is the Spanish version of France’s ratatouille, Italy’s caponata or Turkey’s imam bayildi. It’s a hearty vegetable stew made with eggplant, zucchini, onion, tomatoes, red pepper and green pepper, and lots of olive oil. You will love this traditional Spanish Pisto which is one of the Spanish vegetarian dishes that you can find in most of the Spanish cities.
Escalivada Catalana, is a Catalan roasted vegetable dish. It features eggplant and red bell peppers, and sometimes onions and/or tomatoes. It's a light option for a Spanish tapas menu or can act as a simple vegetarian meal served with some bread or eggs.
Vegan Spanish Soup Recipes
One-pot recipes are widely loved around the world, and Spain is no exception. Hearty one-pot vegetarian Spanish recipes that you can easily make at home.
12. Spanish lentil Stew
Any Spanish person has a family Lentil Soup Recipe. With or without meat, made with different veggies, using dry or canned lentils, this Spanish Vegetable Stew is on weekly rotation at home. It's nutritious, both kids love it, and is a quick one-pot meal.
We couldn't leave our famous Pan con Tomate out of this list. Pan con Tomato (Fresh Tomato served on bread), is the most popular breakfast and snack served in Spain. Check what other popular plant-based snacks we enjoy in this country!
Summer is quite long in Spain, and this season comes with refreshing drinks such as Tinto de Verano or Agua de Valencia.