Healthy Spanish Recipes

Find healthy, delicious Spanish recipes including paella, tapas, empanadas, soups, salads, desserts and sangria. Healthier recipes, from the food and nutrition experts at EatingWell.

Staff Picks

Slow-Cooker Spanish Chickpea Soup

Rating: 4.5 stars 2
This easy soup recipe is inspired by cocido, the hearty stew of assorted meats, chickpeas and vegetables considered a national dish of Spain. Each region, family and restaurant has its own variation, but this slow-cooker soup has enough meat to satisfy the carnivores and enough vegetables to make it healthy. Ask for a 4-ounce slab of Serrano ham or prosciutto at your deli counter instead of buying slices. If you don't have a 6-quart (or larger) slow cooker, opt for the stovetop variation instead.

Paella Valenciana

A more traditional take on this paella, from the region of Spain where the dish originated, would include rabbit and chicken, but this recipe only calls for easier-to-find chicken thighs. If you want, substitute 1 rabbit (3 1/2 pounds) cut into 2-inch chunks for half the chicken. If you can't find cranberry beans, double the limas.
By Lorraine Allen

Slow-Cooker Shrimp & Chorizo Paella

Paella is an iconic Spanish dish made with rice, seasonings and various meats or seafood, depending on the paella type. Our slow-cooker paella recipe features shrimp, brown rice, turmeric, a host of vegetables and Spanish chorizo--not to be confused with Mexican chorizo, which isn't dried or cured like the Spanish variety.

Mississippi Spiced Pecans

Rating: 4 stars 2
Make plenty of these mildly sweet and salty nuts--they are great to have on hand over the holidays.

Pork, White Bean & Kale Soup

Rating: 4.54 stars 21
Kale is matched up here with white beans and chunks of lean pork tenderloin to create a soup that's satisfying and quick to make. Smoked paprika gives the soup a Spanish flair so some warm bread and sliced Manchego cheese would go well on the side.

Couscous Paella Soup for Two

Rating: 4 stars 1
This soup recipe for two is inspired by the flavors and ingredients of paella, but unlike paella it's simple enough for a speedy weeknight dinner. If you can't find Spanish chorizo, use pepperoni (add a pinch of smoked paprika if you have it). Serve with warm whole-grain garlic bread.

Seafood Couscous Paella

Rating: 4.83 stars 11
Whole-wheat couscous soaks up this savory saffron-infused broth.

Spanish Eggs

Anaheim chile pepper, cilantro and queso fresco combine to give a Spanish twist to a simple egg dish.

Spanish Seasoning Blend

Bright and zesty, this Spanish seasoning mixture is perfect for paella. It also works well with chicken, potatoes, seafood, and vegetables.

Chickpea, Chorizo & Spinach Soup

Rating: 4.11 stars 5
Chorizo lends this Mediterranean-inspired spinach soup recipe a smoky paprika flavor, and since the chorizo is sautéed first, much of the fat is drained away. Be sure to buy dry-cured, salami-style Spanish chorizo, not soft, Mexican-style sausage by the same name.

Catalan Spinach Sauté

Rating: 5 stars 1
In this quick and easy sautéed spinach recipe, a handful of standard pantry items transform frozen spinach into a satisfying side dish or omelet filling.

Quick Paella with Shrimp & Mussels

Rating: 4.17 stars 4
Our quick take on paella is studded with mussels and shrimp. Traditional paella made with short-grain rice takes a while to cook and can be a bit tricky. Instant brown rice is a great shortcut--what it lacks in authenticity it more than makes up for in convenience. Make sure you seek out saffron, which gives the dish its distinctive yellow color and signature flavor. Serve with: Spinach salad.
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Inspiration and Ideas

Baked Cod with Chorizo & White Beans
Rating: Unrated 18
This recipe follows the Spanish and Portuguese tradition of pairing mild white fish with full-flavored cured sausage--just a bit gives the whole dish a rich, smoky flavor. Make it a meal: Enjoy with steamed green beans and roasted potatoes tossed with thyme and coarse salt.
Roasted Red Pepper Vinaigrette
Rating: Unrated 1
This roasted red pepper vinaigrette recipe has a Spanish zing with the addition of sherry vinegar and smoked paprika. Purchased jarred roasted red peppers make this salad dressing recipe quick, or you can make it extra-special by roasting your own red peppers.
Arroz con Pollo
Rating: 4.1 stars
12

Arroz con pollo, or chicken cooked with rice, is a common dish in Spain, Latin America and the Caribbean. We use quick-cooking brown rice here to help you get this on the table in just 40 minutes. Serve with a mixed green salad tossed with cilantro-lime vinaigrette.