The Spanish cuisine is known for being heavy, one of the reasons this happens, is because the most famous meals, are main courses. It is easy to end up full with many of them, even without even trying the starters and deserts.
There are all kind of types of Spanish mains, with meat, for vegetarians, with all kinds of spices… let us tell you about them.
📋 List of the best Spanish main courses
If you are visiting the country and you want to make sure you don´t miss the best ones, get ready, because today we bring you delicious main courses:
🍳 10. Tortilla de Patatas (Spanish omelet)
The Spanish omelet isn´t just one of the most famous spanish main dishes you will find, but also one of the tasty. It´s one of those plates almost everyone in Spain loves… If you ever find someone from the country. who doesn´t like it, you better don´t trust them.
It is an omelette made with eggs and potatoes, optionally including onion. Served at room temperature as a tapa.
🍝 9. Fideua from Valencia
It is not a popular main once you are out of the Iberic Peninsula, but here everyone loves it. The Spanish fideua is also known as the sister of the paella, not only because of how much they look alike, but also because of its similar taste.
Like many other dishes, the invention of the fideuá is attributed to an “accident”, or in this case, rather to an anecdote starring two Valencian sailors (from Gandia specifically) around 1930.
🥫 8. Fabada Asturiana
Fabada asturiana, often simply known as fabada.
The fabada is a type of stew that usually includes beans (huge ones), chorizo, tocino (pork belly) and morcilla, just by hearing the names of the ingredients, one can tell it is a heavy dish. This dish is typical from an area in the north of Spain called Asturias, and historically it has been used many times during winter days, so your body stays warmer.
7. Grandma´s classic Spanish meatballs
One of those dishes, grandmas in Spain have always made, and kids love.
The albondigas, are eaten many times as tapas, but we had to include them as a main course… You know how grandmas always make as much food as possible and then they force you to eat it all, right? Well, that happens with Albondigas every time you go to their house. They make 100 of them and you must eat them… of course you always end up full! One of those traditional Spanish main courses you must try…
🍗 6. Pollo al ajillo
Garlic chicken is also an important Spanish main course and although it originally comes from Andalusia, now a days it is eaten all over the country. The Pollo al ajillo has hundreds of recipes, as it doesn´t just change depending on the region, but also on the family!
As the name suggests, garlic is the main player in this recipe. It is combined with white wine to make the base for the sauce.
🥖 5. Spanish migas
Even though when you first look at the migas, they seem like a simple dish, they are actually pretty heavy. The recipe changes a lot depending in the region, other than the bread and the pork fat, they each add some extra ingredients, sometimes eggs, other times cucumbers and olives, even chorizo in some of them…
The best thing about migas, is that you get to use the leftovers from different days, that way you won´t have to go shopping again and go straight to the cooking part. The most famous migas you will see are from Aragón, Andalucía, and La Mancha.
🥣 4. Sopa Castellana
We are sure we weren´t the only ones, who as kids would dunk the bread every time there were soups, sometimes to the point where the whole soup (and bread) were ruined. Well, let us tell you something, that is one of the most important things about Castilian soup!
This Spanish main dish is made of simple ingredients, such as eggs, bread, paprika… But the whole combination done in the right way, ends up in a must try dish!
🍲 3. Cocido madrileño
In this spanish main dishes list, we had to include of course the famous cocido madrileño. It isn´t like any other stew, this one includes all kind of meat, noodles and of course chickpeas.
The origins of the dish are uncertain, but most sources agree that probably it was created during the Middle Ages as an evolution of the Sephardic dish adafina.
🥗 2. Spanish spinach and chickpeas
Don´t worry if you are vegetarian and you aren´t seeing much food you could try in Spain, because this one is for you! For those who can´t or don´t want to eat cocido, this one could be the perfect alternative, it isn´t so heavy, but still will do its job as a main course.
This traditional dish from Seville (in the south of Spain), isn´t just delicious, but also healthy. By the way, if you are vegetarian, hold on, because we have more dishes coming your way.
🥘 1. Paella
Of course, ranking 1st in this typical spanish main courses list, you will find the paella. There is nothing like eating a paella while admiring the ocean. At this point, we guess everyone knows or have hear about paella, but if it is your first time, you should know one thing, this is the type of food you must try at least once in your life.
There are many types of paella and they change depending on the ingredients, some of them are made with fish, others with rabbit or chicken… But all of them are delicious!
Traditional Vegetarian Spanish main dishes
As you have probably seen, most of the popular Spanish main courses include meat, which is something that kind of sucks if you are vegetarian or vegan. Unfortunately, these types of dishes tend to be forgotten because of the small amount there is in comparison, but that doesn´t mean there is none at all, so it is also possible for vegetarians to enjoy the Spanish food.
Other than tortilla de patatas and the spinach and chickpeas, you will also find the pisto, which is a stunning mix of many types of vegetables and the tombet from Mallorca. There are all kind of Spanish vegetarian main courses!
These are some of the best and most famous main courses in Spain, but there are many other plates. Therefore, we would love to know, which plates would you add if you had to design your own Spanish main courses menu!