20 Traditional Spanish Christmas Foods for the Holiday

Traditional Spanish Christmas Foods
Image credit: amigofoods.com

For many people, Christmas is a special time of year, and Spanish Christmas traditions are some of the most festive and delicious.

There are many ways to enjoy Christmas, from traditional Spanish Christmas foods to decorations and music. 

Check out this list if you’re looking for some traditional Spanish Christmas food to add to your holiday menu. We’ve got everything from appetizers to main course dishes to desserts. 

So we’ve got you covered if you’re looking for something classic like paella or something a little more unique like nougat candy.

1. The Three Kings’ Cake

When it comes to traditional Spanish Christmas foods, one of the most iconic is the Three Kings’ Cake.

This cake is traditionally made with a circular base of sponge cake, topped with a layer of almond paste, and decorated with candied fruit. 

It is said that the Three Kings’ Cake represents the three gifts that the Magi brought to baby Jesus: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

The Three Kings’ Cake is often served on Epiphany (January 6th), which marks the end of the Christmas season in Spain. 

If you want to try this traditional Spanish dessert, you can find recipes online or in many Spanish cookbooks.

2. Roscón de Reyes

Roscón de Reyes is one of the best traditional Spanish Christmas foods. It is a sweet, round cake decorated with candied fruit and nuts. The cake is often served with a cup of hot chocolate or coffee.

3. Roscos de Vino

Roscos de vino, or “wine rolls,” are another traditional Spanish sweet delicacies that should not be missed after a meal during this festive season. 

One of its peculiarities is that these doughnut-shaped cookies from Spain include a tiny quantity of sweet wine and nuts and are then dusted with powdered sugar to give them a white look. 

A Roscos de vino is produced using flour, sugar, olive oil, lemon zest, crushed sesame seeds, and a little wine in addition to the other ingredients. Those from Castile-La Mancha and Malaga are especially well recognized.

4. Turrón

This is a type of Spanish nougat made with nuts and honey. It is a traditional Christmas food in Spain and can be found in various varieties. Turrón de Alicante is the most well-known variety and is made with almond paste. 

Turrón de Jijona is another popular variety, made with ground almonds and sugar. There are also many other types of turrón, such as those made with chocolate, fruits, or even spices.

5. Polvorones

Polvorones are one of the best traditional Spanish Christmas foods. They are a type of shortbread cookie that is usually made with almonds, flour, sugar, and lard or butter. Polvorones are often flavored with cinnamon, aniseed, or other spices.

These cookies are typically round or oval and have a crunchy texture. They are sometimes dipped in chocolate or coated with icing sugar. Polvorones are often given as gifts during the holidays.

6. Mantecados

Mantecados are one of the traditional Spanish Christmas foods that are made with lard or pork fat. They are typically flavored with spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves and have a crumbly texture. Mantecados are often served with a glass of milk or espresso.

7. Marzipan

Marzipan is a traditional Spanish Christmas food made from almond paste and sugar. It is often used to make decorations for cakes and pastries, or it can be eaten on its own as a sweet treat. 

Marzipan is believed to have originated in the Middle East, and it was introduced to Spain during the Moorish occupation.

8. Yule Log Cake

A Yule log cake, or bûche de Noël, is a traditional Christmas dessert from France and other parts of Europe. It is made from a sponge cake rolled into a log shape and then filled with buttercream or whipped cream. 

The cake is then decorated with chocolate, nuts, and other festive ingredients. Yule log cakes are often served at Christmas parties and gatherings.

They can be made ahead of time and refrigerated until ready to serve. Leftovers can also be frozen for about two months.

9. Gazpacho Andaluz

Gazpacho Andaluz is one of the traditional Spanish Christmas foods that is served cold. It is made with tomatoes, garlic, green peppers, and olive oil. Gazpacho is typically eaten as a starter or appetizer but can also be enjoyed as a main course.

10. Paella

Paella is a traditional Spanish dish that is often served during Christmas. It is made with rice, seafood, and vegetables and is typically flavored with saffron. Paella is a very versatile dish and can be made with different ingredients to suit your taste.

11. Tapas

One of the most popular traditional Spanish Christmas foods is tapas. They are small dishes that are typically served as appetizers or snacks. 

There are many types of tapas, but some common ones include tortilla española (a type of omelet), croquetas (fried balls of meat or vegetables), and patatas bravas (potatoes in a spicy tomato sauce).

Tapas are usually eaten with friends or family to socialize and bond. They can be enjoyed at any time of day but are often eaten in the evening as part of a larger meal. 

12. Empanadas

Empanadas are a type of pastry that is typically filled with meat or vegetables. They can be fried or baked and are often served as an appetizer or main course. Empanadas are popular in many Spanish-speaking countries and in Portugal and Italy.

13. Churros

Churros is one of the best traditional Spanish Christmas foods that dates back to the Middle Ages. These fried-dough pastries are served with hot chocolate or coffee and are a popular breakfast or snack food.

There are many different ways to make churros, but the most common method is to fry them in oil until they are golden brown and then dust them with sugar.

Churros can also be baked, but this is less common. No matter how you make them, churros are a delicious treat that will get you into the Christmas spirit.

14. Suckling pig

In certain regions, lamb is the main meat, while in the Castile and Leon part of Spain, suckling pig is a traditional Christmas dish that often takes center stage as part of the Christmas Eve meal. 

When the big day comes, the flesh is grilled until the skin is crispy and dark brown. This is a common practice among people from various regions of Spain who order their suckling pig from Segovia or Valladolid months in advance. 

This tender meat is often served with potatoes and caramelized onions cooked below the meat.

15. Pinchos Morunos

Pinchos Morunos is a type of Spanish skewer typically made with pork. The pork is marinated in various spices, including paprika, garlic, and cumin. It is then grilled or roasted and served with various dipping sauces.

Pinchos Morunos are one of the most popular traditional Spanish Christmas foods because they are easy to make and can be served as an appetizer or main course.

They are also good for those who do not eat red meat, as pork can be replaced with chicken or fish.

16. Cochinillo

Cochinillo is a traditional Spanish dish of roasted suckling pig. The pig is rubbed with garlic and herbs, then roasted over an open fire or in a special oven designed for cooking cochinillo. This dish is usually served with potatoes and a green salad.

17. Entremeses

Spanish people like any type of cured meat or charcuterie, including ham, chorizo, and morcilla (black pudding), as anybody who has spent even a little time in Spain, will know. Christmas in Spain is no exception. 

Entremeses are essentially plates of cured pork that are presented at the opening of a Christmas meal and are traditionally offered during Christmas in Spain.

Imagine it as an appetizer that will likely include a variety of local cheese in addition to the best Spanish “jamón.”

18. Jamón

Jamón is a type of cured ham that is popular in Spain. It is made from the hind leg of a pig and is usually served as an appetizer or main course. Jamón can be found at most Spanish restaurants and markets.

19. Cocido Madrileño

Cocido Madrileño, also known as Madrid-style stew is one of the common traditional Spanish Christmas foods typically made with chickpeas, potatoes, cabbage, pork, and beef. 

While the exact ingredients and cooking method may vary depending on region or family recipe, the dish is typically slow-cooked for hours to allow the flavors to meld together.

20. Coquinas a la Valenciana

There are many ways to prepare coquinas, but the Valencian way is the most delicious. This dish consists of small clams cooked in a flavorful tomato-based sauce. It’s usually served with white rice, making it a complete and satisfying meal. 

Whether you’re looking for an authentic Spanish Christmas dish or something new, coquinas a la Valenciana is worth checking out.

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