Best Spanish cookbooks to help you Recreate Spain in your Kitchen
The food of Spain is a fabulous mosaic of diverse historical influences and regional specialities. Here we lay out the best Spanish cookbooks to transport you to your favourite Spanish restaurant from the comfort of your own home. Sunshine and wine are optional!
Spain holds a special place in our hearts as it played the backdrop to the moment that I popped the question to Katie, so it is somewhere we love to recreate through great recipes from our favourite Spanish cookbooks when we are at home.
Nieves Barragan was previously the Executive Chef at Michelin starred Barrafina in London. She is now the owner of Michelin starred Sabor in London. In this book, she shares her best home-style recipes which are not be missed. Whilst not for the absolute beginner, the recipes are not too complex and should be within easy reach for most. Like most Spanish cookbooks you’ll need a good fishmonger for the seafood recipes. But even if you don’t like fish there is lots to enjoy in this book. Our absolute favourite from the list, and one we turn to again and again.
If you’re only going to have one Spanish cookbook in your collection, this is probably the one to have. It is a compendium of almost every Spanish dish you could think of from snacks through to desserts. The recipes are less in-depth, with less photos so you need to have a bit more confidence in your cooking abilities to make the most of this book. But there’s so much to enjoy. Also fantastic for stealing ideas to add a Spanish spin to anything you currently love to cook.
A slightly different approach to Spanish cookery. Brindisa focuses on the ingredients used in Spanish cooking, their history and how to use them – the backbone of the Plate Unknown’s philosophy. This is more of a book for someone who has access to speciality produce, looking for a bit more of an in-depth explanation of Spanish cuisine. Being a huge nerd, I love this sort of thing and believe that it is totally worth it. Even if you only do a few recipes from the book, it is well worth having to learn more about the people behind the food and their stories.
We have a very personal connection to Catalonia as we got engaged at a vineyard just outside Barcelona. You can buy the wine from this vineyard here, which we also served at our wedding. There is so much to love about Catalonia from the architecture of Gaudi to the bustling nightlife in Barcelona. Plus the multi-time best restaurant in the world, El Celler de can Roca, in Girona. Encapsulating the spirit of this region of Spain, Jose Pizarro gives a collection of very accessible recipes. You will feel like you’re sitting by Las Ramblas.
Barrafina by Eddie Hart, Sam Hart & Nieves Barragan Mohacho
Straight from the kitchen of one of the best Spanish restaurants in the world, this book is not for those looking for a quick and easy dinner. Ingredient sourcing and prep work are key to creating the feeling of Spanish fine dining at home but the recipes are well laid out and easy to follow. It takes more time and a bit of getting used to, but the results are nothing short of spectacular. If you want to wow some dinner guests, this is the book for you!
Another wonderful book from Jose Pizarro. This one focuses on Andalusia in Southern Spain. The home of tapas and Sherry, the diverse history of this region gives it a unique look amongst Spanish regional cuisine. We love regional cuisine books as they give you a better sense of place and all those little recipes that don’t make the standard list of classics.
Named after his wonderful restaurant in London. Omar Allibhoy is on a mission to show that tapas is quick and easy to prepare. And it can be achievable for all home cooks, regardless of skill or experience. This is a very easy-going style with some great photos. Therefore, it is a wonderful book if you’re looking to get into tapas and really show off at a dinner party. Plus the recipes mean you don’t have to spend hours in the kitchen preparing or spending a fortune on premium ingredients.
‘Basque’ is another regional speciality book, this one looks at the great cuisine of Basque in Spain. Arguably the best food region in the world, the Basque boasts many of the best restaurants in the world as well as exporting many top drawer chefs. This book looks at the food found in the cafes and simple restaurants of beautiful Bilbao or San Sebastien. With more of a French/Spanish hybrid cuisine, the Basque really does have the best of both worlds. If you want the best Spanish cookbooks, you need the best regional cuisine cookbook.
This recommendation is something a little left field. ‘Charcuteria’ is very much focused on the various dried, smoked meats and sausages that are the backbone to a lot of Spanish cooking -tapas in particular. This book is really only if you want to get very involved in your own butchery and sausage making. It’s great fun and incredibly rewarding, but it does involve a significant time and effort investment. This is a phenomenal book; nothing beats serving your own chorizo to your friends!
Rick Stein is a British TV chef legend. He has several fantastic restaurants and many wonderful TV programmes exploring the lesser known dishes of the world. His book on Spain is based on the TV series of the same name. It features many of the more regionally specific dishes he encounters. All of Rick Stein’s books are very accessible, designed for use by almost anyone. A great intro to Spanish cooking which will take you beyond the obvious Paella and patatas bravas.
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The Plate Unknown is an educational food blog. Here we share information about world food culture, the origin of dishes from around the world, and tips for taking a food-focused trip.