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Tapas

Tapas

Explore a selection of recipes perfect for serving as tapas.

Tapas—little plates of food—are the perfect party treat. Fun for tasting and small enough to carry while mingling, they encourage interaction and foster a festive atmosphere!

No surprise that there are bars devoted to tapas, both in Spain (where they originated) and around the world. Tapas are often salty (perhaps deliberately when served at bars) and usually eaten with beverages, such as wine, beer, sangria, sherry, and cider. In fact, the word tapas comes from the Spanish tapar, or "to cover." That's because the first tapas (slices of bread or meat) reportedly were used to cover glasses of sherry between sips.

Tapas can stand on their own or serve as appetizers to a main course. But you don't need to plan a party to enjoy tapas. They make great after-school snacks, weekend lunches, and even picnic foods. Of course, you can easily tally enough tapas to create a complete meal, too.

In Spain, tapas traditionally include fresh seafood, vegetables, olive oil, nuts, olives, cheese, chopitos (battered, fried baby squid), slices of meat, anchovies, eggs, fried potatoes, small servings of hot paella and fish croquettes. But the horizons have expanded for these little snacks. Now just about anything on a skewer or served in small portions is fair game for serving as tapas.

Here are some tapas-inspired possibilities.

(Note that they needn't be authentically Spanish to join in the fun.)

Adobo Stuffed Portabellas — filled with flavorful veggies and quinoa and seasoned with Adobo Seasoning

Almond-Paprika Dukkah and Hazelnut Dukkah — for serving with bread and olive oil

Baked Scamorza and Pear Skewers — pairs smoked scamaroza cheese and Anjou pears

Balsamic Lemon Peppered Vegetable Skewers — colorful skewered veggies seasoned with Lemon Pepper Seasoning

Beef and Vegetable Samosas and Filo Turnover Samosas — Indian, yes, but very tapas-friendly!

Beef-Filled Bread Triangles — little bread pockets you can stuff with lamb, spinach, leeks, or cheese

Biscotti with Apricot, Green Pistachio and Hyssop — apricots poached in a simple syrup combine with anise or hyssop and orange zest

Breaded Tofu Tenders — perfect in place of chicken tenders for the vegan guest

Cheddar Herbed Gougeres — a savory puff pastry seasoned with rosemary, cayenne, and nutmeg

Corn Cakes with a Smoky Paprika Sauce — light and crispy cakes with a smoky sweet sauce on top

Crispy Sausage-Stuffed Olives — a strongly flavored Italian appetizer that transforms olives

Crostini with Mushrooms — another flavorful Italian option, seasoned with garlic, oregano, and thyme

Crunchy Sesame Chicken Wings — a popular choice, here dipped in sesame, salt and cayenne

Curried Sweet Potato Roti — a flour tortilla wrapped around a curried sweet potato and seitan filling

Georgian Spiced Bean Balls — Russian bean and nut balls, highly seasoned with basil, thyme, cinnamon, cloves, saffron and black pepper

Glazed Nuts — walnuts enlivened with honey, vanilla, cinnamon and salt

Jalapeno Johnnycakes Topped with Smoked Fish — very savory cakes topped with your choice of seafood

Little Pies with Eggplant — fun little "pasteles" filled with seasoned eggplant

Peruvian Quinoa Shrimp Chicharrones with Aji Sauce — a popular Peruvian snack, perfectly seasoned with oregano, cumin, and cayenne

Pickled Jalapenos and Carrots — a tasty, colorful pickled tapa that's worth the necessary advanced planning

Roasted Dates with Pancetta, Almonds and Chile — sweet dates, salty pancetta, nutty almonds, and spicy red pepper flakes

Skewered Marinated Pork — a quickly assembled, tasty Thai dish

Street-Style Crispy Chicken — chicken marinated in flavorful fermented bean curd

Thai Summer Rolls — rice paper rounds encompass pork, spinach, mint, and mango

Tiny Turkey Meatballs — tasty little meatballs seasoned with pepper, cumin, garlic, salt, and cinnamon and coated with chili sauce

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