What do Spanish people typically eat for dinner?

April 2, 2021

albondigas
What do Spanish people typically eat for dinner? What does a typical Spanish dinner table look like? What sort of dishes are very typical in a Spanish household? Spanish meals and eating habits are unique. Even though every household is different and typical food varies from region to region, I'm going to show you what the last meal of the day is like for us Spaniards so that you get a better idea of what a typical Spanish dinner looks like.


When it comes to eating habits, Spain is different from most countries in the world. Spaniards are well-known for having their meals later than most and lunch is also more abundant and relaxed. Lunch being our main meal, Spanish dinners are usually light and late.

typical spanish dinner

Eating for Spanish people is much more than a biological need. It's part of our culture, it's a pleasure not a necessity and we are very proud of our cuisine. 


Spanish meals vary from household to household but lunch generally occurs somewhere between 2 and 4 pm and dinner from 9 to 11 pm. One thing that is common to every Spanish home is that dinner is a family matter. Families eat together either in the kitchen or dinning room and tell each other about what their day has been like.

typical spanish dinner

typical spanish dinner

What do Spanish people typically eat for dinner?

Dinners accross Spain can be put into different categories:


Light dinner. Since our lunch generally consists of a starter, main course and dessert, dinner at home is more casual and simple. It's also close to betime, since you need less energy at this time there's no need to eat a lot. We tipically have a salad, an omelette or a sandwich. Cured meats and cheese are also common. 

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Light dinners are my favorite ones, especially during summer months when the heat makes your appetite go down. I make huge salads with lots of ingredients: boiled egg, canned fish or chicken, chickpeas, avocado, mixed greens, berries, nuts, cherry tomatoes.... Like different versions of a cobb salad.


Fish or meat dinner. Some people have dinners that requiere more prep like fish with baked potatoes and grilled veggies or meat and a salad.


Find the fish cake recipe here

typical spanish dinner

redondo ternera

Lunch leftovers. We don't like food going to waste so having leftovers for dinner is common practice. If you mix small leftovers from different lunches you can end up with a dinner that looks more like a tapas party.


Find out how to create your own tapas feast here

typical spanish dinner

typical spanish dinner

typical spanish dinner

Friday night dinner a.k.a. comfort food day. After a long week of hard work, giving yourself a treat during weekend dinners is the least you could do, right? We are good at keeping up with our Mediterranean diet during the week but we like to cheat on weekends. Friday night dinners vary from pizza -as proud as we are of our food, we do love our pizza night- and take-out to chocolate con churros. Yes, you read that right, chocolate con churros is not only a breakfast. You will most likely find a line outside a churreria from 8pm onwards on a weekend. 

typical spanish dinnertypical spanish dinner

Empanada -or the small verion, empanadillas- is another common dinner that's perfect for weekends. Empanada is a pie filled with savoury ingredientes for example tuna, fried tomato and grilled onion and peppers.

typical spanish dinner

Comfort food doesn't necessarily mean pre-cooked meals. A good old homemade quiche is a big favorite of mine.

Fancy a quiche? Check out therse recipes

typical spanish dinner

I hope this post has given you a better idea of what Spanish people tipically eat for dinner. Maybe you got new ideas for dinner at home this week!

What is a typical dinner like where you are?


PUT TOGETHER THE PERFECT SPANISH DINNER WITH THESE ITEMS

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typical spanish dinner

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