Tapas and Paella: The Perfect Spanish Pairing

Updated on 
19 April, 2023

Spanish Starters To Go With Paella

Paella is a traditional Spanish dish that can be enjoyed with a variety of starters. From creamy soups to savory salads, the perfect starter can add an incredible depth of flavor to your paella.

Spanish Starters To Go With Paella

Here, we'll explore some of the best and most popular Spanish starters to go with paella. Whether you're looking for something light or hearty, there's sure to be an option that fits your taste buds.

With these delicious starters, you'll be able to enjoy the classic flavors of Spain without leaving your home. We'll also provide tips on how to make them as authentic as possible, so you can be sure you're getting the real deal!

Gazpacho Soup

Un buen aperitivo para comenzar una deliciosa paella es el plato tradicional de gazpacho.

Esta sopa fría es un acompañamiento ideal para la paella, y hay muchas variaciones que puedes preparar.

Puedes agregar un toque de chorizo para darle más sabor, o incluso servir una ensalada de gazpacho con algunos ingredientes adicionales.

El gazpacho es versátil, refrescante y se combina bien con otros platos típicos de la cocina española como la ensalada mixta.

Ensalada Mixta

Gazpacho Soup is a popular Spanish starter to accompany paella, and it's no wonder why: its ingredients are fresh, healthy, and easily accessible. But there are other starters that can be just as delicious when served alongside paella.

Ensalada Mixta is an excellent example of this. This salad typically includes lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, artichokes, red onions, and olives - all of which provide a great crunchy contrast to the flavors in the paella. Additionally, adding pan con tomate and calamares fritos can really add depth to the meal.

Pan con tomate is a traditional dish made of bread rubbed with garlic and tomato pulp while calamares fritos is fried squid rings. Both dishes offer different textures and savory flavors that will enhance the taste of your paella. With these two dishes as part of your Spanish starter selection you're sure to impress any guests!

Moving onto the next course - garlic shrimp - this dish combines the delicate sweetness of shrimp with fresh garlic for an unforgettable combination.

Ensalada Mixta

Garlic Shrimp

Grilled garlic and chorizo shrimp make for a delicious accompaniment to paella.

The combination of flavors from the garlic, chorizo, and shrimp provide a savory yet slightly spicy taste that complements the paella's ingredients perfectly.

The garlic adds an earthy aroma and flavor, while the chorizo provides a smoky richness.

The shrimp bring in a subtle sweetness that helps round out the overall flavor of the dish.

It's no wonder why this combination is so popular when served with paella!

As for the next step, patatas bravas provide another flavorful option to go alongside your paella.

Patatas Bravas

Patatas Bravas son un acompañamiento clásico para la paella.

Esta tapa consiste en patatas fritas cubiertas con una salsa picante, lo que le da al plato un sabor intenso y delicioso.

También se pueden servir con otros platos como el pulpo a la gallega o el pan con tomate.

Las patatas bravas pueden ser preparadas de diferentes maneras dependiendo del gusto y preferencia del cocinero.

No hay límites para probar nuevos sabores mientras se disfruta de esta maravillosa tapa española.

Después de disfrutar de un buen plato de Patatas Bravas, vamos a pasar a una receta muy popular: la tortilla española.

Spanish Tortilla

Following the patatas bravas, Spanish tortilla is a classic starter for paella that can't be overlooked. With an infinite combination of tortilla toppings and fillings, there's something for everyone to enjoy.

This mouthwatering dish is cooked in a skillet, producing a golden-brown exterior with a creamy center and filled with nutritious ingredients such as potatoes, eggs, and onions. Each bite is just as savory as the next, making it a great addition to any meal.

From its versatility to its deliciousness, Spanish tortilla is an ideal way to begin any paella feast. And now we move onto another delectable appetizer - almejas con ajo.

Almejas Con Ajo

Almejas con ajo son un plato típico de España, y generalmente se sirve como un acompañamiento para la paella. Estas almejas se hacen con ajo, aceite de oliva y vino blanco, lo que le da un sabor suave pero muy sabroso. También puedes añadir gambas al ajillo y escabeche de pescado para darle más sabor.

Almejas Con Ajo

Esta es una excelente opción para aquellos que quieren probar la cocina española sin complicarse demasiado. Con sus sabores ricos y sus ingredientes sencillos, Almejas con Ajo puede ser disfrutado por todos los miembros de la familia.

Transicionando suavemente, ahora veremos los olivas españolas.

Spanish Olives

The Spanish olives are a delight to behold and savor. Their marinated taste tantalizes the tongue, while their olive tapenade offers an indulgent experience that cannot be found anywhere else. The flavor of these olives is truly unique and completely unforgettable. Every bite is full of intense flavor that will leave you wanting more.

With this in mind, let us move onto the next item on our menu- pimientos de padron. These delicious peppers offer a unique twist on classic Spanish cuisine that can't be missed!

Pimientos De Padron

Pimientos de Padron are a type of small, green pepper hailing from the Galicia region of Spain. They have become popular throughout the country due to their unique flavor and slightly spicy kick.

The peppers are usually cooked in a pan with a bit of olive oil and sea salt, which is why they make an excellent accompaniment to paella. As with most Spanish dishes, there are regional variations when it comes to preparing Pimientos de Padron - some people like to add garlic or other spices for extra flavor.

As a classic part of Spanish culture, Pimientos de Padron can be found on the menu in many restaurants and it's easy to find them in local markets as well.

To conclude, Pimientos de Padron are an ideal starter for any paella dish and their unique flavor makes them a favorite for all ages.

Pimientos De Padron


In conclusion, Spanish starters are a great way to add flavor to paella.

From the classic gazpacho soup to pimientos de padron, there's something for everyone.

I personally enjoy garlic shrimp and patatas bravas as they make a delicious combination with paella.

Did you know that Spaniards consume more than 1 million tons of olive oil every year?

This shows just how important olives are in the Spanish diet.

So why not try adding some Spanish olives to your next paella dish?

They're sure to provide an extra burst of flavor!

Jennifer is a certified nutritionist and weight loss coach with a Master's in Nutrition from Cambridge. With over 10 years experience, she shares healthy recipes and science-backed slimming tips on SheCooksSheEats to help people reach their wellness goals. Jennifer stays up-to-date by regularly attending conferences and continuing her nutrition education. She aims to provide research-backed advice to inspire balanced, happy living.
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