Celebrating Birthdays: 8 Traditional Spanish Dishes

Celebrating Birthdays: 8 Traditional Spanish Dishes

Are you planning to celebrate a Spanish-themed birthday? They have various dishes that everyone will like. Traditionally, Spanish cuisine uses local ingredients cooked at a slow pace. However, other meals take a couple of minutes to prepare.

If you’ve visited Spain before, you know the taste of authentic dishes. But it’s okay if you add some twist, especially if it’s your day.


Meanwhile, if you prefer to cook at home instead of looking at Spanish restaurants, here are some of the dishes you can prepare.



1. Gambas al Ajillo

What could go wrong with garlic, shrimp, and olive oil? Gambas al Ajillo is one of the popular tapas usually served in Spanish restaurants and bars. And since the main ingredient is shrimp, it won’t take too long to prepare.

First, you need to heat olive oil in a pan. Next, toss in the garlic and shrimp. Continue to stir until the shrimp turns pink. If you want to add some colour, garnish it with some pepper flakes and parsley, and you’re done!

When serving Gambas al Ajillo, you can add a slice of bread on the side so that once the shrimp are all gone, your guests can savour the garlic and olive oil by dipping the bread.

2. Gazpacho

Are you looking for a fancy soup to serve on your special day? Gazpacho’s here, so make a way!

Kidding aside, this tomato-based soup is a great addition to your menu. You can use either fresh or canned tomatoes, some garlic, onion, herbs, cucumbers, and peppers. All you need is to blend everything, and don’t forget to chill it in the refrigerator at least an hour before your party.

And if you’ve guests enjoy it, this can be one of your go-to soups whenever you have a party in your place.

3. Croquetas

If you’re looking for something crunchy to start the celebration, don’t forget to add croquetas to your menu. Usually, people get confused with the croquetas from France and Spain. The one that originated in France is made of potatoes, while the Spanish croquetas are made of thick béchamel sauce.

Both versions can be mixed with ham or other proteins. In Spain, since Jamon is popular, it’s also one of the best options when making croquetas. Imagine the softness of the béchamel sauce mixed with the cured ham, what more could you ask for?

Main course

4. Paella

And for the main course, don’t forget to add the popular paella. Nowadays, paella has different variations. It can have seafood, chicken, pork, or beef. However, the original version was known for having rabbits and snails.

Aside from the protein, paella also has rice, vegetables, olive oil, rosemary, and saffron. As you know, saffron is popular worldwide, especially since it’s one of the most expensive herbs used to make paella.

5. Bocadillo

Bocadillo is a Spanish sandwich. However, since it’s all about the bread, you can put everything you want on it. However, it’s best if you can keep up with your theme. Some of the popular fillings for Bocadillo are Jamon, fried calamari, tomatoes, cheese, and olives.

However, you can also do so if you prefer to put chicken or chorizo. The special thing about Bocadillo is to appreciate simple ingredients that are popular in Spain.

6. Rabo de Toro

If you happen to visit Spain and you ask for stew, there’s a huge possibility that you’ll be directed to Rabo de Toro. Traditionally, it’s a slow-cooked meal made of a bull’s tail, but nowadays, it can also be made of a cow’s tail.

Similar to other stews, the key ingredients are garlic, onion, tomatoes, carrots, bell peppers, and leeks. For seasoning, they usually use salt, pepper, bay leaves, powdered ginger, and clovers. As for the soup, you can use beef stock, and add some red wine for more flavour.

The stew is cooked slowly until the meat is as tender as possible.


7. Leche Frita

Have you ever tried fried milk? Leche Frita is directly translated as fried milk made with milk-based pudding and coated with flour and eggs. The traditional recipe is dusted with cinnamon sugar, but there are modern replacements, such as lemon zest and vanilla.

In Spain, you can buy this at local cafes and bakeries. However, if you’re in a different country, you can visit Spanish restaurants and look up their desserts.

8. Crema Catalana

Crema Catalana is another milk-based dessert. The traditional recipe is boiling the milk, and adding a cinnamon stick and lemon peel. After that, set aside the mixture. As the first mixture cools, beat some egg yolks, sugar, and cornstarch in another container. Stir it constantly while adding the ingredients.

Once the first mixture cools, combine the two mixtures, but be sure to strain the first mixture to remove the cinnamon stick and lemon peel. Next, heat the combined mixture while stirring constantly. Cook it for about 10 minutes or until the consistency is creamy enough.

Lastly, transfer the mixture into smaller bowls, and put them in the fridge for a few hours. You can also torch sugar on top for a caramel taste.


We hope these dishes and simple recipes help you finalise your Spanish-themed birthday celebration. If you have questions or party suggestions, don’t hesitate to leave a comment below!




Aliana Baraquio is a web content writer who also loves cooking dishes from different countries. If you want to experience a Barcelona-style restaurant that serves high-quality food, and a modern, contemporary, fresh feel from the south of Europe, visit TAST Catala Spanish Restaurant.

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