Spanish recipe ideas - paella with other tapas

For his new book, 5 Ingredients Mediterranean, Jamie travelled around the beautiful Med, taking inspiration from the delicious dishes he enjoyed. And he visited a couple of brilliant Spanish spots, including Barcelona.

While there, Jamie met the wonderful Martín Habiague, founder and director of charity restaurant Mescladis, who gave him some top tips. “Barcelona is well known for its regional cuisine,” Martin said. “Try the calçots (a sort of long onion) with salsa romesco, then a fricando and to finish a crema Catalana. And don’t forget to ask for pa amb tomàquet (an old way of reviving old bread using the juices of a tomato and garlic). I’m sure you’ll enjoy it!” 

Spanish food is so much more than paella, patatas bravas and gazpacho. Think saffron-infused rice dishes and chorizo-flavoured stews; garlicky paprika prawns and tonnes of fresh seafood; ripe tomatoes, peppers and garlic; as well as bright citrus, and, of course, lots and lots of olive oil.

Spanish cooking is vibrant, diverse and packed with fresh produce, robust flavours and age-old cooking traditions. And you can easily recreate those flavours at home. Here are 10 Spanish recipe ideas to get the taste buds going. 

Find out more about Jamie’s 5 Ingredient’s Mediterranean and buy your copy today

“Right the way across the Mediterranean, foods from the sea and mountains collide in truly beautiful ways”, says Jamie in 5 Ingredients Mediterranean. These skewers are a fantastic example of that, combining prawns, mushrooms and Pata Negra (cured Iberian ham), served up with burnt leeks and creamy beans.


This super-refreshing, cold Spanish soup champions ripe tomatoes, garlic and olive oil, and really is a taste of sunshine. Stale bread is the magic ingredient here, bringing the whole blend together for gorgeous smooth results.  

You can’t think of Spanish food without thinking of paella, and this recipe pulls out all the stops, with homemade fish stock and a megamix of monkfish, squid, prawns and mussels, all made in a traditional paella dish. For a simplified take on the traditional dish, try this Chicken ‘paella’

Smoky, intense chorizo is a core ingredient in Spanish cooking, used in paella, soups, stews and sandwiches. Try it in this warming, spicy fish stew, paired with prawns and chickpeas.

Spanish tortilla (AKA Spanish omelette) is budget-friendly, versatile and quick to get on the table. Master the basic recipe, then twist it up how you like – add leftover vegetables, crumbled or grated cheese, jarred red peppers or cooked sausage. You could even try leftover gravy from your Sunday roast. Check out this step-by-step guide to help you make the perfect tortilla.

You can’t cook up a Spanish tapas feast without including patatas bravas. Learn how to make your own spicy bravas sauce, or go the full shebang with your own homemade aioli, too. 

This simple, gutsy rabbit stew combines the popular white wine from Galicia, albariño, with paprika and peppers for a true celebration of Spanish flavours.  

A Tapas must-have. Try this take on a Spanish favourite, combining garlic prawns with a lovely, fresh tomato sauce, pepped up with fennel and parsley, and served with crusty bread to mop up all those delicious flavours. 

Crema Catalana is often confused with French crème brûlée, but it actually comes from Catalonia (hence the name), and is also a delicious combo of smooth, rich custard and  a caramelised sugar crust. This sumptuous, bright and delicious version is flavoured with lemon and orange zest, and cinnamon.

A Flying visit to Spain

Want to learn more about Spanish cuisine? Learn to cook classic Spanish dishes at The Jamie Oliver Cookery School with our ‘A Flying visit to Spain’ class. Not in London? Try our online class instead!