• Spain's news in English
The Local list
Thirteen mouthwateringly delicious reasons to be a vegetarian in Spain
Calçots are a seasonal treat. Photo: Gerard Romans Camps / Flickr

Thirteen mouthwateringly delicious reasons to be a vegetarian in Spain

The Local · 20 May 2016, 14:42

Published: 20 May 2016 14:42 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Long feared by vegetarians as the land of jamón, Spanish cuisine also boasts a host of delicious traditional alternatives.

Guidebooks warn vegetarians coming to Spain that they are entering the land of jamón. And it’s true - Spaniards love their pork products with passion, and ham and tuna are both considered acceptable vegetarian fare in some old fashioned tapas bars.  

But Spain is also home to a variety of delicious vegetarian dishes that locals love. Here’s what vegetarians in Spain should be eating.

1. Tortilla de Patatas
Let’s start with a classic choice— the famous potato omelette. You’ll find the tortilla de patatas all over Spain, and everyone has an opinion on the best way to make it. Onions or no onions? Fully cooked through or runny? Whatever your preference, there’s a tortilla for everyone and never a wrong time of day to indulge. 
2. Escalivada
A Catalan specialty, this dish of roasted pepper and aubergine (eggplant) is smoky and delicious. Generally cooked until charred, it’s the perfect combination for some 'pan con tomate' that’s been smothered in extra virgin olive oil.
3. Gazpacho
Possibly the most refreshing Spanish food that exists, gazpacho is a chilled vegetable puree that Spaniards swear by as a cure-all superfood. Vegetarian friendly and full of vitamins, who could resist a cold glass of gazpacho during the hot Spanish summers?
4. Berenjenas con Miel
These crispy fried aubergine (eggplant) are smothered in sweet honey or sticky cane sugar syrup— and either way they're are absolutely delicious. Found primarily in tapas bars in southern Spain, they’re one of those dishes that you’ll crave long after the last bite. 
5. Papas Arrugás con Mojo Picón

Photo: Spanish Sabores
A popular vegetarian dish in the Canary Islands, these tiny wrinkled potatoes are cooked in heavily salted water and then served with savory mojo picón sauce. They make the perfect snack, and it’s impossible to grab only one!
6. Huevos Rotos
A simple dish of homemade fried potatoes and runny fried eggs on top, huevos rotos is a true Spanish comfort food. Order as is or enhance with some grilled vegetables for a hearty vegetarian meal.  
7. Espinacas con Garbanzos
One of the best vegetarian options in Spain is a savoury spinach and chickpea stew called espinacas con garbanzos. This delicious dish is often served as a small tapa in Seville, and is easy to make at home too. 
8. Pimientos de Padrón
In the north of Spain you’ll find some of the world’s best green peppers. Pimientos de padrón used to be quite spicy, but over the years have  been adapted to become mild. However, every now and then a super spicy pepper is hidden among the others, making ordering a plate of these akin to playing Russian Roulette!
9. Patatas Bravas
One of Madrid and Barcelona’s most popular raciones to share, patatas bravas consist of deep fried potatoes smothered in slightly spicy homemade bravas sauce. Many Barcelona bars also add a healthy heap of alioli on top— and we won’t complain! We like our bravas extra spicy and served with a very cold beer. 
10. Pimientos asados
This cold roasted red pepper salad is one of the most satisfying Spanish salads come summertime. Dressed with sherry vinegar and extra virgin olive oil, the flavour is outstanding. They’re best enjoyed on a terrace with a cold glass of sherry. 
11. Calçots con Romesco
Story continues below…
Calçots are one of the most delicious seasonal treats in Spain, and vegetarians visiting Catalonia between November and March must partake in a calçotada— a special barbecue where the star of the show is a seasonal local onion called the calçot. Dipped into a nutty sauce made with ground almonds and hazelnuts, this is one barbecue where vegetarians will never feel left out!
12. Pisto
The Spanish version of ratatouille is called pisto, and it’s one of the most delicious stewed vegetable dishes in Spain. Usually consisting of peppers, tomatoes, onions and aubergine, many people like to make this dish a full meal by topping it with a fried egg. 
13. Chocolate con churros
Let’s not forget the sweet stuff. Vegetarians in Spain can still enjoy the sweetest of Spanish breakfasts, chocolate con churros. Sticks of fried dough dipped in melted chocolate? Yes, please!
Devour Spain was founded by Spanish food lovers as a way to connect hungry travelers with the local, family run businesses that make amazing food. Offering fun and delicious food tours in BarcelonaMadrid and Seville. Follow them on Instagram,  Pinterest,  Facebook and Twitter for Spanish food news, tips and recipes.






For more news from Spain, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local (news@thelocal.es)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Spain's Podemos sees golden opportunity in Socialist woes
Pablo Iglesias is ready to step up in opposition. Photo: AFP

As Spain's conservatives prepare to re-take power after 10 months of political limbo, anti-austerity party Podemos has set its sights on replacing the divided Socialists as the main opposition force.

Wildlife ranger accused over decapitated bison in Valencia
The headless corpse of Sauro was found last month. Photo: Carlos Alamo / Reserva de Valdeserrillas

The case of the beheaded bison at a wildlife reserve in Valencia just got a whole lot weirder.

Spain jobless drops below 20% for first time in six years
The unemployed queuing up outside a Madrid job centre. Photo: AFP

Spain's unemployment fell below 20 percent for the first time in six years, official figures showed on Thursday.

'Saints not ghouls' insists Spanish church for Halloween
Suggested outfits from the Bishopric of Cadiz and Ceuta. Photo: Shower of Roses

Spanish bishops are urging good Christian children to forgo zombie, ghost and devil outfits and instead dress up as "saints, virgins and apostles".

Tough road ahead, Spain PM warns before return to power
Rajoy will try and form a government this week. Photo: AFP

Spain's acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy warned on Wednesday of a tough road ahead as he prepares to take power again at the head of a minority government with little support.

Russia withdraws request to refuel warships in Ceuta
The aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov was due to dock in Ceuta

Russia has withdrawn a request for its aircraft carrier group to be refuelled at the Spanish port of Ceuta, authorities confirmed.

Bulls replace guard dogs at scrap yard in Valencia
Two bulls will be patrolling the scrap yard in eastern Spain. Archive photo: AFP

Guard dogs were not proving enough of a deterrent to thieves at a car breakers yard in eastern Spain so the owner has brought in a pair of fighting bulls.

Two-headed shark born in Spanish laboratory
Scientists are studying the rare find. Photo: IBIMA / University of Malaga

Scientists at the University of Malaga found the embryo of a shark with two heads and just one body.

Spain under pressure to stop refuel of Russian warships
Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov is due to arrive in Ceuta. Photo: Mil Ru / Wikimedia

Spain is facing international pressure to refuse permission for a Russian warship flotilla to refuel in Ceuta en route to continuing airstrikes against the Syrian city of Aleppo.

Most wanted: Fugitive rapist arrested in Tenerife
Mohammed Jahangir Alam was arrested n Tenerife. Photo: Crimestoppers.

Mohammed Jahangir Alam, one of Britain's most wanted fugitives, who fled the country in 2008 after allegedly raping a woman, was found working in Tenerife.

Analysis & Opinion
Out of the dark: Five years on from Eta ceasefire
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Spanish 'La Mafia' restaurants banned after Italian complaint
Spain's top court overturns bullfighting ban in Catalonia
Hunt launched for ten most wanted Brit fugitives hiding out in Spain
Napflix: Spaniards launch very boring TV channel for siestas
Madrid parish church faces fine over 'too noisy' bells
Celebrate expat life at Madrid’s THRIVE convention
Fury after kids told to bring their own loo roll to school
Disney announces plans for Don Quixote action movie
Activist tells 8-yr-old matador wannabe with cancer 'just die'
King to make last minute push to avoid third vote in Spain
Amazing photos of Catalonia's 'human tower' contest
What's on in Spain: October 2016
'No way, Jose! You'll never get your hands on our Rock'
Recipe: How to make a classic Spanish tortilla de patatas
Chorizo in paella? Go back to cooking school Jamie Oliver
Spain in eye of a perfect storm after 10 months without govt
Thousands share clips of life for 'Spain in a Day' film
Ten incredible Spain locations for Game of Thrones season 7
Analysis & Opinion
Why moving to Spain could be the best decision of your life
Seven reasons why autumn is the very best season in Spain
Spanish study finds four types of personality. Which are you?
New search underway for civil war grave of poet Lorca
jobs available