We have put together a typical Spanish Christmas menu for Christmas Eve dinner. It has several courses starting with some simple tapas or appetizers, first course, main course, and ending with dessert and coffee or after-dinner drinks. None of the recipes are terribly difficult to prepare, and you certainly do not have to use all of them. Pick and choose what you like to add some Spanish flavor to your Christmas table!
Tapas or Appetizers
- Jamón, Queso y Chorizo - Ham, Cheese and Spanish Chorizo Sausage: This easy tapa recipe uses jamón, queso y chorizo – ham, cheese and Spanish chorizo on bread. It’s a great way to start the dinner, served with a nice red wine or two. There are many good quality Spanish wines, especially from La Rioja, Ribera del Duero or Jumilla regions. Read about Wines from La Rioja, Wines from Ribera del Duero and Top Spanish Wines Under $20.
- Langostinos con Salsa Rosa – Large Prawns with Pink Sauce: This recipe is very easy and full of flavor. The langostinos or prawns are boiled, then served with a slightly spicy salsa rosa or pink sauce, made with mayonnaise, catsup and Tabasco. If you prefer a sauce without mayonnaise, try Spanish Romesco sauce, made with roasted red peppers, garlic, oil and vinegar. Either sauce goes well with shrimp or any seafood.
Do you need more ideas for Spanish appetizers? Top Spanish Tapas, Recipes for the Most Popular Tapas in Spain has our top picks for Spanish tapas.
Primer Plato or First Course
This first course is just a "warm-up" for courses to come, so be sure to leave room for the next course. Choose one or more of the following dishes.
- Sopa de Pescado y Marisco – Fish and Shellfish Soup: Spanish Sopa de Pescado y Marisco is a classic soup for the holidays. Shellfish is always part of the menu at any Spanish celebration and Christmas is no different. This soup is a wonderful start to a meal. Serve it piping hot with French bread slices.
- Try Creamy Spanish Prawn Soup Recipe - Sopa de Carabineros, if you prefer a creamy soup rather than a broth-based one. It is full of "carabineros" (large shrimp) and fish, mixed with fish stock, half-and-half and tarragon.
- Esparragos Blancos - White Asparagus: White asparagus is very delicate in texture and flavor, since these soft spears have never been touched by sunlight. Spaniards absolutely devour it! Try our recipe for white asparagus with oil and vinegar.
- Ensalada de Endibia con Vinagreta - Endive Salad in Tomato Vinaigrette: Try this salad, made simply with endives, tomatoes, oil and vinegar. It is a good winter salad choice.
- Spanish Romesco Seafood Pasta Salad: Traditional Spanish flavors combine in a new seafood salad. Romesco Sauce is classic Spanish cuisine, made with roasted red peppers, almonds, garlic, oil and vinegar. Add a bit of mayonnaise to it, and toss with cooked shrimp and pasta to make a rich and flavorful salad for any time of year.
Plato Principal - Main Course
In Spain, the next course is called segundo plato, the "second" course. Beef, lamb, poultry or game is served with rice or potatoes for this filling course.
- Cordero Asado - Roast Lamb: Roast lamb will not disappoint you or your guests at Christmas dinner. It is far less work than roasting a turkey or duck and is much tastier. Haven’t you had turkey already this holiday season? Why not try Cordero Asado - Roast Lamb this year?
- Patatas Fritas – Home-Fried Potatoes: If you are serving roast lamb, home-fried potatoes are a must! Lightly fried in extra virgin olive oil, you’ll always wish you had fried a couple more potatoes because they will disappear fast. Patatas Fritas – Home-Fried Potatoes
- Ensalada Mixta – Mixed Green Salad: Like most big Spanish meals, Christmas dinner is filled with some rich dishes. To balance that out, a fresh green salad is always at the ready. This salad compliments the heavier dishes that are passed around the holiday table.
Postre - Dessert
After a brief pause to catch your breath and clear the table, dinner continues with dessert or postre. At Christmas time that means plates of delicious Spanish treats like:
Want more Spanish treats? Spanish Christmas Sweets!
Spanish Cava, Brandy and More
No Spanish Christmas would be complete without several toasts and a few glasses of cava, Spanish sparkling wine. Spanish cava is generally good quality and priced right.
After the dinner dishes are cleared, a hot cup of espresso coffee and/or a small glass of Spanish sherry brandy like Cardenal Mendoza or Lepanto brands, anise liqueur or Licor 43 can be raised. Besides, you need something to wash all those cookies down!