A Spanish Christmas Feast

Spanish Cookaway chef Claire Hutchings shares her favourite Spanish Christmas foods.


Cookaway Chef Claire Hutchings

I’ve been living in Spain for over eight years now, and one thing I’ve learnt is that the Spanish love any excuse to celebrate with a delicious meal.

Christmas in Spain holds plenty of opportunities to eat, drink and celebrate across the holiday season. There are five main feasts, the first four are similar to those we enjoy in the UK: Christmas Eve dinner, Christmas Day lunch, New Year’s Eve dinner, New Year’s Day lunch. 

But in Spain, the 6th of January is El Día de Los Reyes, or Three Kings Day. It’s celebrated like a second Christmas Day by exchanging presents and serving yet another lavish meal.

Traditionally, Three Kings Day is celebrated with Roscon, a sweet oval shaped bread topped with candied fruit and dried dates – a tasty dessert with a small toy hidden inside, bringing luck during the coming year to whoever finds it. Roscon is a beloved traditional Spanish Christmas food that begins appearing in pastry shop windows as early as mid-November. It also makes the perfect accompaniment to a delicious cup of Spanish hot chocolate!


Spanish cuisine is very diverse, and every region has its own traditions. I draw ideas from all over the country, so have devised my own menu of favourite festive Spanish foods that I wouldn’t want to go without at Christmas. 

We kick off the celebrations with a big family dinner of roasted Suckling pig on Christmas Eve. I serve this with thin and crispy rustic chips roasted with whole garlic and slices of red pepper, blistered padron peppers and a fragrant tomato salad.

On Christmas Day we really go to town. We’ll start with a shellfish platter inspired by the Christmas tradition in Galicia, the North West corner of Spain.  It looks beautiful with colourful layers of giant red prawns and langoustines, fresh clams and octopus. Also served is the best pata negra. Cured Jamon traditionally from Andalusia, making an impressive centrepiece sliced directly from the leg.

The main course is sopa de galets. A flavoursome broth served with large meat-filled pasta shells, originating from Catalonia. On the 26th December we make cannelloni with any leftover meat from the broth.


Last but certainly not least, is our Spanish Christmas desserts. Our Christmas Day dessert is casadiellas from the Asturias region of Spain. Moreish little pastry parcels filled with toasted walnuts, sugar and anise are perfect for nibbling after a big meal.
Another Spanish Christmas food staple is Turrones, a sweet and nutty nougat that can be hard or chewy – my Christmas table is not complete without it.

One of my weaknesses; my mother in law makes an incredible Turrón de Yema Tostada which translates as toasted egg yolk. Ground almonds, lemon, sugar, egg yolk and cinnamon are combined in a pan, then left to set in a silicone mould. Finally, they are sprinkled with sugar and toasted under a grill until they have a crunchy topping and beautiful golden colour. And yes, they taste just as good as they sound – perhaps even better.


The lifestyle in Spain is very relaxed, so Spanish Christmas meals are always laid-back, fun affairs enjoyed with lots of laughter and some good wine. And of course the Spanish and the British share an unwavering commitment to one essential Christmas tradition: the post-lunch siesta.

During my time in Spain, I’ve enjoyed many happy (and tasty) Spanish Christmas meals here – so I hope this has given you some food for thought, to help shake up your Christmas.


For more Spanish Christmas food inspiration, or other meal ideas from around the world – check out Cookaway’s range of Christmas Food Boxes, or for more Spanish delicacies, have a trawl through my Spanish recipe boxes

And now all that’s left to say is, from everyone at Cookaway, Feliz Navidad!