Tapas are the best party food, and I can’t think of a better way to celebrate World Tapas Day than with these delicious Cuban appetizers. This is one holiday that’s totally worth celebrating because it’s just made for hanging out with friends, drinking wine, and noshing on party food. So, let’s get the party started with these fun and delicious Cuban appetizers.
World Tapas Day is either June 16 or 17, depending on the calendar you follow. But you can celebrate it anytime you feel like it. I like to celebrate it every month. And I’m sharing some of my favorite Cuban tapas recipes to help get you in tapas party mode.
Spanish Tapas Montaditos
I love, love, love montaditos and you will too when I ‘splain what they are. These Spanish tapas are made of little baguettes filled with delicious meats, cheeses, and other sweet and savory goodies. The Spanish root word for montadito is montar which means to mount. So, these little pieces of bread are mounted with tons of delicious toppings. I like to think of them as my little bread canvas where I can get creative and inventive. Here are two fun Cuban tapas recipes to try.
Cuban Ropa Vieja Montaditos
These impressive little Cuban ropa vieja appetizers are perfect for a tapas party! They come together quickly and can be assembled and finished later. If you don’t have ropa vieja leftovers, you can get the recipe here and enjoy it for dinner the night before. If you don’t have ropa vieja, you can try pulled pork, or use whatever leftovers you do have on hand. Top with a little cheese and olive, pepper, or a little spicy sauce.
Smoked Salmon Toast (Montadito)
I called this recipe Smoked Salmon Toast, but you can also call it a montadito. These smoked salmon toasts are an easy Cuban tapas recipe to make and requires no cooking. Smoked salmon and avocado piled high on a crostini with a lemon and caper gremolata is the perfect dish for breakfast, brunch, or a tapas party. Now, I know these are technically not Cuban, but they are made by a Cuban, and avocado toast is a Cuban thing anyway… we were eating avocado toast (aka pan con aguacate) way before it was trendy ??❤?
Grilled Sausage And Peppers Montaditos
These little grilled sausage and peppers montaditos made with Argentinian sausage are perfect for summer grilling! Enjoy a glass of sangria as you’re grilling this summer. They can be a starter for an epic summer barbecue or part of a no-fuss tapas party. They are so satisfyingly delicious and fun to make!
Pan Con Tomate Traditional Spanish Tapas
This simple and delicious Pan Con Tomate is a traditional tapas recipe that’s super quick and easy to make. It requires no cooking and can really be done with just the four basic ingredients in ten minutes tops. Try it with a little prosciutto, wine and cheese. You’ll love, love it!
Chicken Croquettes Are Party Platter Favorites!
Chicken croquettes are party animals! They are the life of every Cuban party and it’s no wonder. Croquettes are crunchy on the outside with a creamy chicken filling made with béchamel sauce. They are also great as a snack or for breakfast. You can switch things up by swapping the chicken filling with ham or fish. So perfect for tapas!
Cuban Appetizers with Leftover Picadillo
I love to turn my leftovers into tapas party food, especially Cuban picadillo. It’s the perfect filling for tons of Cuban appetizers, like empanadas and stuffed tostones cups. Oh, and quesadillas… not a Cuban appetizer but in the Latin family ?
Beef Picadillo Empanadas
These cheesy ground beef empanadas are a very popular Cuban appetizer that’s easy to make and can be fried or baked. I filled these empanadas with picadillo, but you can try other savory fillings. Ropa vieja (used in the montadito recipe above) would also be great here.
Picadillo Ground Beef Quesadillas
Quesadillas are another great canvas for creating delicious tapas. I love using my leftover picadillo to make these cheesy ground beef quesadillas, but you can use any leftovers you have on hand. That’s one of the many things I love about quesadillas! Just open up your fridge and pull out your leftovers, a little cheese, some peppers, and onions and you got the makings of some great party food.
Stuffed Fried Plantain Tostones Cups
Tostones are twice-fried green plantains and a go-to side dish for many Cuban dishes. But they can hold their own as a Cuban appetizer, especially if you turn them into tostones cups. Follow my tostones recipe to make these fun little cups and then you can fill them with picadillo or ropa vieja topped with cheese. Or fill them with shrimp ceviche cocktail.
Crunchy Malanga Fritters Are Great As An Appetizer or Side Dish
These malanga fritters (aka frituras de malanga) are a super crunchy cuban appetizer perfect for tapas. If you’re not familiar with malanga, it’s a root vegetable that’s creamier and more nutrient-dense than potatoes. They are great on their own, with a little dipping sauce or as a side for soups, stews or salads.
Shrimp Ceviche Cocktail
This Shrimp Ceviche Cocktail recipe is easy to make and is a great, refreshing appetizer for summer parties! I like to serve them with plantain chips or tostones cups, but they are also wonderful with tortilla cups. Ceviche is a popular Latin American appetizer and is usually made with lime juice, onions, and peppers. This version has a tomato base and spicy habanero peppers for a little heat.
Cuban Deviled Eggs
These Cuban deviled eggs, or huevos endiablados, are made with saffron. This Spanish spice is usually used to make paella and adds a subtle and distinctive flavor to this classic deviled egg recipe. Top it with bacon or a Spanish olive and they make a great appetizer for your next tapas party.
Now no tapas party would be complete without a pitcher of sweet sangria. Make a pitcher to enjoy with the great apps by using my Fruity Sangria recipe.
So, now that you’re fortified with some great Cuban tapas recipes and a pitcher of sangria, go forth and party.