I was lucky enough to experience Christmas in Spain one year while we were stationed in Europe.
Christmas dinner in Spain is held on Christmas Eve and doesn’t begin until 10 or so in the evening, when the celebrants return from Christmas Eve Mass.
The Spanish Christmas meal is typically comprised of several courses and will often last for two or three hours filled with conversation, eating special foods that have been prepared ahead of time, and sharing with family and friends in the joy of Noche Buena (The Good Night).
Feast plans and traditional foods are made in advance, allowing the “cook” of the house to participate in Mass and all the assorted trappings and festivities of this Holy Eve.
Typical foods might include the following courses:
- A tapas course of appetizers and cheeses
- A soup course, typically a fish chowder
- The main entree, perhaps lobster or a lamb roast
- Numerous traditional sweets
- Wonderful Spanish wines
Want to join in this special Spanish-style celebration with your own family this year? I’ll get you started with a Spanish tapas meatball to serve at the start of your feast, followed by a fish chowder, and my favorite version of homemade roast lamb.
Spicy Moroccan Meatballs
Spicy meatballs made with a North African or Middle Eastern spice combination are often a popular type of tapas or appetizer to serve that can be made ahead of time, and heated up right before serving.
Spanish Fish Chowder
You must, must, absolutely must make your own fish broth to have an authentic fish chowder. The taste of a good fish stock is absolutely stunning, and good cooks take the time to make it from scratch as the base ingredient for wonderful seafood soups.
Roast Lamb with Oven Roasted Potatoes and Onions
It’s the simple Christmas roast enjoyed by many, and ones that is very typical in Spain. You can’t go wrong with a good roast lamb, flavored with rosemary and garlic, and plenty of creamy potatoes on the side.
The roast lamb can be prepped and placed into the refrigerator until you return from Mass. Put it in the oven as soon as you arrive back at home.
Put out the tapas with some wine, and begin the first course.
While the party begins, the lamb is already roasting. Add the potatoes about an hour before it’s time to serve the lamb, and the main entree will be ready before midnight!
An Authentic Spanish Meal to Celebrate the Holidays
And there you have it: a Christmas Eve feast comprised of easy and flavorful recipes that the cook can prep ahead of time, and enjoy with the family.
Or, if you like, enjoy making them with the family, even the kids!
What’s your favorite type of cuisine to serve to celebrate the Christmas holiday? Share with us in the comments below. Feliz Navidad!
For even more tasty treats to serve at Christmastime, try these recipes next:
- Brie en Croute with Cranberry Jam: An Edible Present Everyone Will Want to Open
- A Handful of Sugar and Spice Candied Nuts for Holiday Gatherings
- Bring Good Tidings with the Gift of Mulled Wine
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Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Lynne Jaques
Lynne is a stay-at-home mother of two boys. As a former US military officer and the spouse of an active duty US military member, Lynne enjoys traveling the world (although not the moving part!) and finding new cuisine and methods of preparing food. She also has the habit of using parenthesis way too much!