Spanish cuisine made a splash in the American culinary scene when tapa bars became popular in the 1990s and since then it has become easily one of our favorites when it comes to dining out. Part of its appeal is that traditional Spanish food is down-to-earth and uncomplicated, and it uses seasonal local ingredients which makes it a sustainable way of eating.
But there’s more to it than just tapas. Spanish food is diverse and delicious because it’s the result of various cultures influencing the cuisine. From Romans to Arabs, and later, Europeans and Americans, many groups put a stamp on the cuisine so it became a melting pot of tasty flavors coming from different parts of the world.
It’s also nutritious and healthy. Because the country borders the Mediterranean Sea, Spanish food shares similar characteristics with the cuisine of the geographical region. Like the Mediterranean diet, it frequently uses olive oil and garlic, two ingredients that are known for their health benefits.
Cooking authentic Spanish food isn’t also difficult, especially if you’ve got a good Spanish cookbook. Because of its popularity, there are now a lot of cookbooks being published that make it easy for anyone to cook Spanish dishes in a home kitchen (even if you're a complete beginner). Whether it’s a traditional dish or a modern reinvention of a classic favorite, these cookbooks make short work of the cooking process so you can have an authentic and delicious Spanish meal even during a busy weeknight.
Here are my top 10 picks for the best Spanish cookbooks on Amazon now.
Best Spanish Cookbooks
- Cúrate: Authentic Spanish Food from an American Kitchen Hardcover
- Basque Country: A Culinary Journey Through a Food Lover's Paradise Hardcover – Illustrated
- Tapas Revolution Hardcover
- 1,000 Spanish Recipes (1,000 Recipes) Hardcover – Illustrated
- Rustic Spanish (Williams-Sonoma): Simple, Authentic Recipes for Everyday Cooking Hardcover – Illustrated
- The Food of Spain Hardcover – Illustrated
- The Cuisines of Spain: Exploring Regional Home Cooking Paperback
- Brindisa: The True Food of Spain Hardcover
- The New Spanish Table Paperback
- Rick Stein's Spain: 140 New Recipes Inspired by My Journey Off the Beaten Track Hardcover – Illustrated
1. Cúrate: Authentic Spanish Food from an American Kitchen Hardcover
From the kitchen of award-winning restaurant Cúrate, this cookbook features 125 recipes that recreate classic Spanish dishes using American seasonal ingredients. The selection includes traditional favorites such as Tortilla Española and Chicken Paella and modern ones like Ham and Cheese Stuffed Fried Pork Chops and Ribeye Steak with Blue Cheese Sauce.
Recipes are straightforward and approachable for home cooks with some experience. There are beautiful food photos that accompany most of the recipes. All the ingredients are easily available in local grocery stores.
Those who have eaten at Cúrate and tried out the book’s recipes say that the selection approximates the character and flavor of the restaurant. One liked the book’s attention to detail. Another found the recipes easy to prepare.
Recommended for anyone looking for delicious Spanish recipes for weeknight evenings.
2. Basque Country: A Culinary Journey Through a Food Lover's Paradise Hardcover – Illustrated
The Basque region in Spain is traditionally known for its fish-based cuisine and this cookbook presents a collection of accessible and authentic recipes that mirror its colorful culture.
The recipe selection is organized according to types of dishes: pintxos, or small bites, soups, fish and shellfish, veggies and meat, sweets, and drinks. Also included are sidebar articles on salt cod, Basque Santa Claus, shepherds, a history of pintxos, as well as gorgeous photographs of food and scenery.
Recipes are easy to follow and generally use five or fewer ingredients, most of which should be easy to obtain locally. Some recipes may require a bit of work but almost any newbie cook will find them accessible.
Readers liked the authenticity of the recipes and the quality of the writing. One said this is a worthy cookbook in terms of usability. Another loved its traditional pastry section.
Recommended for anyone looking for a great guidebook and cookbook on the Basque culinary scene.
3. Tapas Revolution Hardcover
This cookbook presents recipes from the UK-based Tapas Revolution restaurant which is known for its delicious tapas. There are 115 recipes here that also include traditional mainstays like the paella and the Spanish omelet. Some have been updated to include new takes on dishes like the classic tortilla de patatas, pinchos morunos, and pollo con salsa.
Recipes are straight forward and emphasize the use of simple techniques and ingredients. Their range covers vegetables, salads, rice dishes, meat, fish, cakes, and desserts. Measurements are in metric.
Readers liked that the recipes are explained clearly without overwhelming them with details. One said that it has the right balance of being prescriptive and laid-back. Another found it an ideal book for dinner parties, with its mix of tasty “aperitivos”, mains, and desserts.
Recommended for beginner and casual home cooks looking for great tapas recipes.
4. 1,000 Spanish Recipes (1,000 Recipes) Hardcover – Illustrated
This is a comprehensive selection of authentic Spanish recipes from Spain’s various regions. It contains a variety of recipes for tapas (including 18 Spanish omelets), soups (11 recipes for gazpacho), salads, main courses, vegetable, bean, and grain dishes (50 paellas), breads, and desserts (20 types of flan).
Written by an influential expert on Spanish cuisine, this cookbook does a great job of introducing the many regional specialties to experienced home cooks. It includes features on Spanish ingredients and special menus. Recipes are simple and precise but not all of them come with photos of the food.
Readers liked how informative and well-organized the recipes are. Great as a reference Spanish cookbook and recommended for skilled home cooks everywhere.
5. Rustic Spanish (Williams-Sonoma): Simple, Authentic Recipes for Everyday Cooking Hardcover – Illustrated
This cookbook features more than 100 easy Spanish recipes that range from classical favorites to modern dishes, including recommendations for wine pairings and ingredient guides.
Recipes are user-friendly for the newbie home cook and are accompanied by full-color photographs and illustrations. They’re categorized into meal types for easy reference; there are recipes for starters, soups and salads, eggs, pasta and rice, seafood, poultry and meat, sides, and dessert.
The Williams Sonoma cookbook series is well known for its accessible recipes and gorgeous food photography and this book is no exception. Readers who’ve tried the recipes say they turn out good.
Recommended for beginner and casual home cooks looking for easy authentic Spanish recipes.
6. The Food of Spain Hardcover – Illustrated
This cookbook takes a look at Spain’s multi-ethnic food culture by showcasing traditional and regional home cooking and the history behind the dishes. It begins with a region-by-region overview of Spanish cuisine and its specialties before presenting its diverse selection of authentic recipes, including the famous convent-based recipes for egg and almond pastry ‘bites'.
Recipes are accessible, straightforward and are accompanied by beautiful photos and interesting explorations of the country's culinary history. There is a special emphasis on kosher influence on Spanish cuisine on account of the author being Sephardic Jewish. All recipes are marked by area of origin and are chosen to reflect each region’s culinary specialty.
This is a thick book but all the recipes and the information make this an essential read. Those who’ve tried out the recipes say that they’re easy to make and are delicious, but they also enjoyed reading about the culinary culture of the region.
Recommended for anyone looking for a comprehensive cook bible for regional Spanish cuisine.
7. The Cuisines of Spain: Exploring Regional Home Cooking Paperback
This cookbook is an exploration of Spanish regional home cooking with recipes gathered from the author’s own collection and from various chefs across Spain. There are 250 recipes here, ranging from Valencia’s rice dishes, Canary Island’s mojos, to the assorted meaty dishes of Spain’s interior regions.
Recipes are easy to follow with clear directions for every step. Not every one comes with a photo but there are at least a hundred photos sprinkled all over the book to provide color and variety in its pages.
Readers liked the authenticity of the recipes. That being said, with ingredients like cooked peppers, whole fish, and lambs' brains, some of these recipes may require more intensive sourcing.
Recommended for experienced home cooks everywhere.
8. Brindisa: The True Food of Spain Hardcover
Brindisa is a Spanish culinary brand that’s well-known for its fine cuisine. This book collects a variety of recipes that introduce you to Spanish gourmet ingredients like jamon iberico de bellota, chorizo, cured ham and fish, fumet (rich Catalan fish stock), farmhouse cheeses, prepared pulses, olive oils and vinegars, and the like.
There’s a wide variety of recipes, ranging from breakfast meals to heavy lunches, tapas, and simple weeknight meals. Most of the selection uses seafood as the main ingredient. And despite some of the recipes requiring some specialty ingredients, all of them offer substitutions to make the recipe doable in your average American home kitchen.
Readers liked its emphasis on quality ingredients as well as its useful info on food producers. It could use some more pictures but then, there’s the internet for that if you need more for reference.
Recommended for experienced cooks interested in Spanish gourmet recipes.
9. The New Spanish Table Paperback
This is a collection of modern Spanish recipes that feature interesting and inventive uses of traditional ingredients. There are 300 unique recipes here that update classic Spanish food. These include recipes such as Crisp Potatoes with Spicy Tomato Sauce, Goat Cheese-Stuffed Piquillo Peppers, Toasted Pasta Paella and Cherry, Tomato, and Beet Gazpacho.
Most of the recipes come from tapas bars, tavernas, and Michelin-starred restaurants so they’re more complicated and time-consuming to prepare than recipes from other cookbooks. But the flavor profiles of the dishes are excellent and well-thought-of, justifying the book’s inventive combinations of ingredients. There are not many photos of the dishes for reference but if you’re skilled and experienced, this shouldn’t be a problem at all.
Recommended for chefs and experienced cooks looking for some creative and modern Spanish dishes.
10. Rick Stein's Spain: 140 New Recipes Inspired by My Journey Off the Beaten Track Hardcover – Illustrated
Rick Stein is a British celebrity chef/restaurateur and in this book, he has selected more than 140 recipes that defined his culinary journey throughout Spain. These recipes have been slightly altered to reflect the memories of his food tasting experience or improved to make them taste better.
Most of the recipes use seafood but there’s enough here to also satisfy meat and vegetable eaters. Recipes are easy to follow and use metric measures. There are also more than 100 location and recipe photographs in this book.
Recommended for beginner and experienced home cooks.
WILLIAMS-SONOMA RUSTIC SPANISH: SIMPLE, AUTHENTIC RECIPES FOR EVERYDAY COOKING by Williams-Sonoma, Paul Richardson
Unless you’re a professional cook looking for more sophisticated recipes, this book is all you’ll ever need to cook authentic Spanish food easily in your home kitchen. It doesn’t overwhelm you with too much info about the cuisine and its recipe selection provides a good base of foundational Spanish recipes for the casual cook or for anyone new to Spanish cooking.
The recipes are simple and unfussy, just like how Spaniards cook in their home kitchens. There are also cook’s notes and a glossary, as well as expert wine notes that makes this cookbook user-friendly for just about anyone.