Best Spanish & Tapas Cookbooks

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Tapas are adored worldwide as bite-sized snacks served with drinks where joviality and easy sharing of food and friendship make the day better. The Spanish tradition of ‘ir de tapeo’ refers to going from bar to bar, sampling the best Tapas while sipping drinks with friends. Tapas cookbooks are indispensable for making these exquisite little dishes available to the home cook.

The Best Spanish/Tapas Cookbooks

Legend has it that the original Tapas (from the Spanish word for pot-lid) were slices of bread or meat used to cover drinks in between sips to keep the flies out. Tapas have evolved to encompass the varied cuisine of Spain and can be served cold or hot, small portioned or full-sized. Tapas styles vary from region to region, and there is great variety in the recipes that different cookbooks offer. 

Tapas recipes reflect Spanish cuisine’s diverse influences, including Muslim, Jewish, and Mediterranean flavors. Tapas cookbooks are often both travel journals and cookbooks with beautiful photographs, local stories, and anecdotes. Below are some of the most popular Tapas cookbooks with recipes you have to try when entertaining your family and friends.

Tapas: And Other Spanish Plates To Share

  • Total Recipes: 60
  • Total Pages: 144
  • Recipes Preview: Catalan Chickpea Salad; Spicy Chicken Empanada; Tortilla With Artichokes And Serrano Ham; Spicy Moorish Kebabs
  • The Best Recipe We Want To Try: Baked Mushrooms With Manchego Béchamel

Anne Ryland, David Peters, and Jacqui Small own the publishing house Ryland Peters & Small, renowned for their beautifully illustrated interior design, health, and cooking books. The book Tapas: and other Spanish Plates to Share is a celebration of the Spanish bar-snack tradition with new and traditional recipes eaten any time of day and for any occasion.

It is possible to prepare the recipes in this book before serving time, so the inspired cook need not miss out on the fun and socializing. Party food at its best!

Tapas Revolution

  • Total Pages: 224
  • Recipes Preview: Chicken With Grapes, Red Wine, And Chestnuts; Beer-Braised Ribs; Patatas A La Riojana (Potatoes With Peppers And Chorizo); Pescaíto Frito (Fried Fish)
  • The Best Recipe We Want To Try: Crema Catalana (Catalonian Custard Pots)

The Tapas Revolution teaches a new easy way to prepare Spanish food wherever in the world you are situated. Omar Allibhoy is enthusiastic and passionate about Spanish food that is uncomplicated to prepare and made from store-cupboard ingredients but with no compromise on flavor. This book provides a solid introduction to making Tapas at home and is illustrated with step-by-step photos.

Omar makes it easy to cook traditional Tapas like Tortillas and Salsa and adds his enticing touch to recipes like Boquerones (marinated fresh anchovies). Chef Omar Allibhoy believes that “food like life is best shared with friends and loved ones.”

The Food Of Spain

  • Total Pages: 609
  • Recipes Preview: Salt Cod Fritters; Fried Goat Cheese With Honey; Tomatoes Stuffed With Tuna; Ham Croquettes
  • The Best Recipe We Want To Try: Catalan Tomato Bread

Claudia Rodin is an expert on Mediterranean, Italian, and North African food. In her book The Food Of Spain, she achieved a compendium of historical influences and regional recipes that do justice to the diversity of Spanish cuisine. Her book includes authentic recipes like Sweet Lamb Stew and Paella and unknown regional recipes from Andalucia to Galicia.

 The Food Of Spain is a delightful, engaging, and insightful modern classic. Claudia Rodin’s food has won six Glenfiddich awards and two of Italy’s most prestigious prizes, the Premio Orio Vergani and the Premio Maria Luigia, Duchessa di Parma. If you are curious about the places and people that gave Tapas to world cuisine, then read this book.

Pintxos: Small Plates In The Basque Tradition

  • Total Recipes: 75
  • Total Pages: 208
  • Recipes Preview: Oxtail Empanadas With Spicy Mango Dip; Fava Beans With Crème Fraiche And Mint; Prawns With Garlic Chips And Preserved Lemons; Griddled Ham And Cheese Bocadillos
  • The Best Recipe We Want To Try: Roasted Beets With Moroccan Spices

Pintxos (pronounced PEEN-chos) are the Tapas of the Basque region in the northwestern corner of Spain. Small samples of the elaborate dishes served in the Basque country are traditionally speared to a piece of bread. Chef Gerald Hirigoyen serves his native Basque country dishes in his famous San Francisco restaurants: Bocadillos and Piperade

Gerald Hirigoyen’s Cookbook Pintxos is full of his favorite tapas recipes, sometimes reflecting his Californian culinary experiences. Every recipe is accompanied by a suggestion of which style of wine would be a perfect accompaniment. Maren Caruso’s prize-winning food photographs add to the beauty of this book.

Basque Country: A Culinary Journey Through A Food Lover’s Paradise

  • Total Pages: 320
  • Recipes Preview: Corn Flatbread (Taloa); Kokotxas In Pil-Pil Sauce; Pork Hash With Paprika (Txitxikis); Cider-Braised Chorizo; Salt Cod Omelet; Cheese Ice Cream (Gazta Izozkia)
  • The Best Recipe We Want To Try: Caramelized Custard Bread (Ogi Torrado)

American journalist and chef Marti Buckley’s book on the soulful food of the Basque country was named Best Cookbook as a gift by The Guardian and New York Times. Marti owns a small restaurant called Etxebarri in the Basque village of Axpe, Bizkaia. Her style is elegant, rustic, and refined while keeping the recipes simple and easy to cook at home.

Basque cooking culture honors good, basic ingredients with age-old techniques like slow simmering and poaching. Marti Buckley is a champion of the ‘cult of good eating,’ a unique way of life in Basque countries where food culture is taken seriously. This Cookbook delights with its historical information on different types of Tapas and world-class photography by Simon Bajada.

Sabor: Flavours From A Spanish Kitchen

  • Total Pages: 304
  • Recipes Preview: Piparras Peppers; Braised Iberian Pork Ribs; Goat’s Cheese With Sobrasada & Honey On Toast, Banderillas (Skewers With Olives, Green Chilies & Anchovy); Clams In Salsa Verde
  • The Best Recipe We Want To Try: Medjool Date, Almond & Smoked Panzetta Bonbons

Nieves Barragan Mohacho is the Basque-born chef that has compiled her favorite childhood dishes and a wealth of recipes she cooks for her family into this Cookbook celebrating the flavors of Spain. She was awarded a Michelin Star as the chef of Barrafina restaurant in Covent Garden, serving various tapas dishes and her mix of Galician, Catalonian, and Basque recipes.

Sabor means Flavor in Spanish, and the recipes in this book are flavored with the ingredients Nieves loves best:  garlic, parsley, wine & alcohol, tinned goods, dried peppers, smoked paprika, and the ham and fish that is available locally. Sabor is a cookbook that honors Nieves’s philosophy that food, like life, is best shared with friends and loved ones. 

1,000 Spanish Recipes

  • Total Recipes: 1000
  • Total Pages: 720
  • Recipes Preview: Piquant Potatoes (Patatas A La Brava); Butter Beans In Caper Vinaigrette; Pickled Mackerel With Lemons And Orange; Black Olives Marinated In Paprika 
  • The Best Recipe We Want To Try: Mushrooms In Sherry Sauce

Penelope Casas introduced America to the food and wines of Spain in the 1980s with several inspiring cookbooks like The Little Dishes Of Spain and The Food And Wines Of Spain. 1,000 Spanish Recipes is Penelope Casa’s treasury of recipes spanning a lifetime of cooking expertise. 

The 1 000 recipes in this book are straightforward and precise and reflect the cuisine of various areas in Spain, from Madrid to the Canary Islands. There are a magnificent array of Tapas recipes, including 18 types of Spanish Omelets, 50 types of Paellas, and 20 Flan recipes. Penelope shares her expertise with notes on the best ingredients for Spanish meals and how to compile special menus.

Made In Spain: Spanish Dishes For The American Kitchen: A Cookbook

  • Total Recipes: 100+
  • Total Pages: 256
  • Recipes Preview: Lobster And Mushroom Paella; Lentil Salad With Blue Valdeón Cheese; Figs In Sweet Malvasia Wine; Steamed Mussels With Bay Leaf & Pimentón; Cold Almond And Garlic Soup With Figs And Marcona Almonds
  • The Best Recipe We Want To Try: Gazpacho Bloody Mary

Spanish chef José Andrés is well-known for his television show Made in Spain. His Cookbook of the same title is inspired by the food of Spain’s people, streets, beaches, and restaurants. José is passionate about showing Americans how to cook his favorite food using ingredients available in America. 

Made in Spain is a culinary tour in a cookbook format that stretches through the heartland of Spanish cuisine from Andalucia, Valencia, Cantabria, and Aragón to Castilla La Mancha of Don Quixote. The diversity of Spanish cooking is reflected in this book, with soups, salads, Tapas, and main dishes organized according to region. 

Gran Cocina Latina: The Food Of Latin America

  • Total Recipes: 500+
  • Total Pages: 912
  • Recipes Preview: Cuban Black Bean Soup; Shrimp Ceviche; Puerto Rican Pasteles; Coquito (Coconut-Rum Drink)
  • The Best Recipe We Want To Try: Santiago De Cuba’s Roast Pork Marinated In A Garlicky Allspice-Cumin Adobo (Cerdo Brujo)

Maricel E. Presilla’s Cookbook will astound even hardcore foodies. She is a Cuban-born food historian with a doctorate in Spanish medieval history and one of the owners of Cucharamama and Zafra, two restaurants in Hoboken, New Jersey. Gran Cocina Latina won the James Beard Foundation Cookbook of the year in 2013. 

Gran Cocina Latina (The Great Latin Kitchen) is a Magnus Opus cookbook that gathers recipes from every Spanish-speaking country, including Mexico, Argentina, and the Caribbean. The range of recipes is vast with Tamales, Sofritos, Empanadas, Moles, and much, much more. This book logs Maricel’s 30-year involvement with food research, importing, cooking, teaching, and traveling. 

Gran Cocina Latina is a comprehensive book with many full-color photographs and illustrations.

The Book Of Tapas

  • Total Recipes: 250
  • Total Pages: 232
  • Recipes Preview: Garlic Prawns (Gambas Al Ajillo); Hard-Boiled Eggs With Black Olives; Baked Cheese Sticks; Zucchini Tortillas; Saffron Rice With Clams
  • The Best Recipe We Want To Try: Artichoke Hearts With Scrambled Egg

Simone and Inés Ortega wrote the giant bible of Spanish cooking with their 1080 Recipes Cookbook. With The Book Of Tapas, they compiled more than 250 dedicated Tapas recipes. The Book of Tapas is a beautifully designed book with full-color photographs. With this book, the experience of sipping drinks with friends while nibbling authentic Spanish bite-sized treats are possible in your own home.

Traditional Vegetarian Tapas Recipes Of Spain (Traditional Recipes Of Spain)

  • Total Recipes: 280
  • Total Pages: 346
  • Recipes Preview: Gazpacho Of Cucumber And Avocado; Manzanilla Olives With Orange, Ginger, And Coriander; White Bean And Lime Paté; Tomato Rubbed Bread; Canapés With Creamed Avocado
  • The Best Recipe We Want To Try: Beetroot And Cheese Canapé

Malcolm Coxall is a passionate organic farmer and wrote the influential book Ethical Eating: A Complete Guide To Sustainable Food. Malcolm collected more than 280 meat-free Tapas recipes for his book Traditional Vegetarian Tapas Recipes Of Spain. Tapas are considered to contain meat mostly, but in reality, Tapas are made with what is fresh and available, and this varies from region to region.

This book starts with chapters on the history and culture of Tapas. Main chapters are ordered according to ingredients with headings like: 

  • Tapas, Canapés, and Montaditos with Bread and Toast
  • Potato Tapas
  • Rice and Pasta Tapas
  • Tortillas
  • Empanadas and Pies
  • Tapas with Beans, Nuts, Lentils, and Chickpeas
  • Sweet Tapas

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