Peppers, also called chile, chili or chilli peppers are native to the Americas and were introduced to Spain soon after Columbus made his first voyage. They belong to the nightshade family (Solanáceas), genus Capsicum. Grown widely in the Americas, they were brought back to Europe and used as a spice.
In Spanish food, peppers or pimientos are used in many different kinds of dishes. They might be sliced, salted and fried on their own to accompany the main course or eaten as a tapa with bread or roasted and drizzled with olive oil. Peppers are often mixed with onions, eggplant and garlic and sautéed in olive oil. There are an unlimited number of recipes for peppers stuffed with fish or meat. The Spanish also dry peppers and grind them into a fine powder, making paprika or pimentón.
Below is a list of Spanish recipes that include peppers:
- Shrimp-Stuffed Roasted Peppers Recipe - Pimientos de Piquillo Rellenos de Gambas – Roasted Piquillo peppers are the perfect size to stuff and make a great "tapa," Shrimp-Stuffed Peppers. This is a good appetizer for summer and is ready in less than 15 minutes! Shrimp, cucumber, green onion and "pink" sauce make the stuffing.
- Eggplant with Chicken and Peppers - Berenjena con Pollo y Pimientos – Slices of boneless chicken breast with roasted red pepper and tomato sauce are then added to the eggplant. Finally, top off these “montaditos” with melted cheese.
- Pimientos Rellenos de Atun - Red Peppers Stuffed with Tuna – A "tapa" that is light and easy - no cooking involved in this dish! Mix tuna with a bit of green onion and olives, then stuff into roasted red peppers.
- Piquillo Peppers Stuffed with Cod - Pimientos Rellenos de Bacalao – A superb "tapa" from the North of Spain, it is very popular. Sweet and tasty piquillo peppers stuffed with a mixture of cod, white wine, onions and garlic. Dipped in egg and flour, then lightly fried and covered in a tomato sauce.
- Red Peppers with Anchovies - Pimientos Rojos con Anchoas – This roasted red peppers with anchovies recipe is an easy Spanish "tapa" or appetizer that can be prepared at the last minute. Serve with bread.
Salads & Soups
- Spanish Potato Salad Recipe - Ensaladilla Rusa – We don’t know what the original Russian salad was like, but the Spanish have made their own version and eat it as a tapa or a side dish. Roasted red peppers, peas, carrots and tuna makes this salad extra-tasty.
- Gazpacho Recipe - Andalusian Cold Tomato Soup – ”Gazpacho” soup is tasty, satisfying and healthy, since it is made from nothing but fresh vegetables, including peppers, and a bit of oil and vinegar.
- Cold Tomato-Orange-Raspberry Soup - Sopa Fría de Tomate, Naranja y Frambuesa – A modern twist on “gazpacho” soup, orange juice and raspberries give the soup a fruity flavor. It is a cool and refreshing summer soup.
- Romesco Sauce - Salsa Romesco – Roasted red peppers combine with ground almonds, olive oil and vinegar to make a smooth, rich sauce that tastes great with meat, poultry or fish, or simply spread on bread.
- Red Pepper Sauce - Mojo Picon - In the Canary Islands, mojos or sauces are made with vinegar and oil and served cold, as an accompaniment to potatoes, meat and fish. This is a rich-tasting sauce that is easy to prepare.
- Spanish Seafood Salad Recipe - Salpicon de Marisco - Seafood is mixed with peppers, onions, pickles, olives and tossed with oil and vinegar. Serve it as a light main course, a side dish or a tapa.
- Sautéed Peppers with Garlic, Eggplant and Potatoes Recipe - Green peppers, garlic and potato are the primary ingredients of this easy side dish. Combine with olive oil and eggplant and serve with any type of meat.
- Sofrito - Tomato Sauce - Sofrito is a basic tomato sauce that is made all over Spain. Tomatoes, onions, garlic green peppers and olive oil are sautéed in a frying pan.
- Step-by-Step for Cod Fish with Tomato Sauce – Bacalao con Tomate - Salt cod is a traditional and popular fish that can be prepared many ways. However, the salty flavor of the cod, combines well with the sweeter flavor of tomato sauce, garlic and roasted red pepper and makes it a favorite of many Spaniards and visitors alike. Allow 24 hours for fish to soak in water before preparing. Serve with home-fried potatoes.
- Meat Stuffed Red Peppers Recipe - Pimientos Rellenos de Carne - Use ground meat combined with spices as the stuffing for roasted peppers. They are breaded and fried, then accompanied by a rich-tasting onion sauce.
- Easy Chicken Breast with Tomato Sauce Recipe - Pollo en Salsa de Tomate - Boneless, skinless chicken breast is pan fried in olive oil. Create a "sofrito" of crushed tomatoes, onions, mushrooms and pepper. Then, combine together for a quick and easy Spanish main course.
- Baked Snapper Roteña - Urta a la Roteña - Urta is a kind of snapper that is local to the area. Rota has had an annual Urta Festival for almost 40 years.
- Beef Tomato Stew Recipe - Carne de Vaca con Tomate - Tender chunks of beef cooked in tomatoes, onion, garlic and red peppers makes this beef tomato stew.
- Pork Chops with Peppers & Brandy-Chuletas de Cerdo con Ajo, Pimientos y Brandy - Pork chops sauteed with roasted red peppers, garlic and brandy to form rich, flavorful pan juices that are drizzled over the chops.
- Cod Fish with Vegetables Recipe - Bacalao con Samfaina - Cod with Samfaina, a vegetable sauce similar to ratatouille is from Cataluña.
- Garbanzos y Pimientos - Garbanzo and Pepper Stew Garbanzos y Pimientos - This stew is vegetarian, but very satisfying. Eat it as a first course or a main course, topped with fried eggs. Although this has several steps, it requires only basic cooking skills.
- Rioja-Style Chicken Recipe - Pollo a la Riojana - This stew includes chicken and chorizo with sautéed peppers and garlic. A hearty main course for any time of the year.
- Spanish Chicken Stew - Estofado de Pollo - A flavorful chicken stew, typical of Castilla. Chicken combined with wine, onions, garlic, peppers, mushrooms and more make this one of our favorites.