32 Recipes to Bring the Best of Europe to Your Kitchen

No, you don’t need to hop on a plane to experience some of Europe’s most delicious destinations.

And we understand you might not want to travel right now, anyway. But as long as you have access to a kitchen and some basic pantry staples, you can make some of our favorite recipes from Europe come to life no matter where you are in the world. (Seriously, you’d be surprised at how simple most of these are!)

Our favorite recipe from across Europe

Recipes from Madrid

1. Cocido madrileño

Cocido madrileño (Madrid's typical stew)
You’d better make sure you’re hungry before tucking into the meal experience that is cocido madrileño.

Spring is around the corner, but it’s still pretty chilly in many parts of the world. Enter cocido madrileño: Madrid’s ultimate comfort food-slash-multi course meal marathon. With a soul-warming broth, flavorful chickpeas and a hearty meat and veg course to round it all out, this one isn’t for the faint of appetite.

Cocido madrileño recipe

2. Gambas al ajillo

Garlic shrimp tapa in Madrid
Believe it or not, landlocked Madrid can churn out some incredible seafood dishes!

You’ll find gambas al ajillo—sizzling garlic shrimp—on tapas bar menus throughout Spain, but it has its roots right here in Madrid. It all comes together with fresh shrimp and a simple, decadent garlic-butter sauce. One bite and you’ll see why La Casa del Abuelo (the bar that started it all) is a fan favorite on our Madrid tours!

Gambas al ajillo recipe

3. Huevos rotos

Spanish huevos rotos (eggs broken over potatoes with cured ham)
Eggs, potatoes and cured ham: what more do you need?

Huevos rotos, or “broken eggs,” is another classic Madrid dish that seems like there’s no way it could be anything special with such limited ingredients. It’s nothing more than eggs broken over potatoes and fried—and if you’re using top-quality ingredients, it’s good enough even like that, but we’ll never say no to adding a little ham or chorizo.

Huevos rotos recipe

Recipes from Lisbon

4. Caldo verde

Portuguese caldo verde soup
Caldo verde is Portuguese comfort food at its best.

Soup is a staple of the Portuguese diet, but it doesn’t get more classic than caldo verde. Literally translating to “green broth,” this cozy crowd-pleaser brings together chouriço, kale and a host of other veggies into a delicious harmony of flavor.

Caldo verde recipe

5. Pastéis de nata

Pastéis de nata (Portuguese custard tarts)
The only hard part is stopping at just one.

If you ask us, custard tarts might be Portugal’s single greatest contribution to the culinary world. With a flaky crust and a creamy, sweet filling, we’ll take these simple treats over a fancier pastry any day.

Pastéis de nata recipe

6. Bifana

Bifanas (Portuguese marinated pork sandwiches)
The bifana is the ultimate Lisbon street food.

A thin slice of marinated pork sandwiched between chunks of crusty bread might not sound too special. But once you try the humble bifana for yourself, you’ll see why this simple sandwich has won the hearts (and stomachs) of generations of Lisboetas.

Bifana recipe

7. Sonhos

Sonhos (Portuguese Christmas donuts)
What’s not to love about what are essentially Portuguese Christmas donuts? Photo credit: Edsel Little

The name of these tasty treats literally means “dreams,” and we couldn’t agree more. Sonhos are a staple on any Portuguese Christmas table, but we’re not opposed to devouring them at any time of year.

Sonhos recipe

Recipes from Barcelona

8. Pan con tomate

Pan con tomate (Catalan tomato bread)
No Catalan table would be complete without pan con tomate.

You’ll be hard-pressed to find a Catalan bar or restaurant that doesn’t serve pan con tomate—or to be even more accurate, pa amb tomàquet. This tomato toast is perfect at any time of day, from breakfast (or second breakfast!) to evening tapas.

Pan con tomate recipe

9. Fideuà

Fideuà (seafood noodle dish from Barcelona)
Fideuà is a celebration of Barcelona’s fresh seafood.

When you think of Spanish food, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? If you said “paella,” you’re not alone. But while you can find great paella in Barcelona, it’s also worth trying fideuà, a similar seafood-based dish that swaps out the rice for noodles.

Fideuà recipe

10. Panellets

Panellets (Catalan sweets)
You’ll see panellets everywhere in Barcelona on All Saints’ Day. Photo credit: Juan Lupión

Barcelona residents traditionally snack on panellets on All Saints’ Day, but you don’t need to wait for early November to roll around to try these sweet and nutty treats for yourself.

Panellets recipe

11. Crema catalana

Crema catalana (similar to creme brulee)
One of the main differences between crema catalana and crème brûlée is that the former is made with milk, rather than cream.

Step aside, crème brûlée—in Barcelona, it’s all about the crema catalana. History is divided on whether the French or the Catalan version of this classic custard dessert came first—but we like to think it was our idea!

Crema catalana recipe

12. Romesco sauce

Cups of romesco sauce
Romesco sauce waiting for some calçots!

Few things pair quite as divinely as grilled vegetables and romesco sauce. Especially if said grilled vegetables are calçots, Catalonia’s delicious local onions that we can’t get enough of come wintertime. Whatever you’re dipping into it, peppery, nutty romesco is always a crowd-pleaser.

Romesco sauce recipe

Recipes from Paris

13. Boeuf bourguignon

Boeuf bourguignon is a cozy French classic. Photo credit: Valerie Hinojosa

It sounds fancy and expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. This French classic is deceptively simple and can be quite cheap to make, but when done right, one bite will transport you right to an elegant Parisian restaurant.

Boeuf bourguignon recipe

14. Chouquettes

Chouquettes (French pastries)
Chouquettes are little choux pastry puffs of perfection. Photo credit: LittleDaan

Devour Paris operations manager Jess shared her undying love for chouquettes earlier this year in our most popular video to date, and her excitement is understandable. In our book, these little balls of choux pastry are a must for anyone with a sweet tooth visiting Paris—and they’re not too tricky to make at home, either.

Chouquettes recipe

15. French onion soup

Bowl of French onion soup
One bite of the perfect French onion soup can make you feel like you’ve been transported to the chic Paris bistro of your dreams.

French onion soup combines so many of our favorite things (bread! cheese! caramelized onions!) into one little ramekin of happiness. As a bonus, it’s ridiculously easy to make at home, so you can feel like Julia Child without even trying.

French onion soup recipe

16. Croque monsieur

Croque monsieur sandwich
If you like grilled cheese, just wait until you try a croque monsieur. Photo credit: Alpha

It’s easy to think of the croque monsieur as being somewhat of a French take on the grilled ham and cheese sandwich, but that would be doing it a disservice—it’s so, so much better.

Croque monsieur recipe

Recipes from Seville

17. Tinto de verano

Tinto de verano drink in Spain
Even tinto de verano‘s name, which means “summer red wine,” makes you think of sunshine and happiness.

If you know us, you’ll know by now that sangria really isn’t a thing in Spain—at least not to the extent that most visitors think it is. Instead, you’ll find us cooling off in sunny Seville with a much simpler and more authentic alternative: the humble tinto de verano.

Tinto de verano recipe

18. Gazpacho and salmorejo

Salmorejo (Spanish chilled tomato puree)
Salmorejo usually comes topped with bits of cured ham and hard-boiled egg.

Most people are familiar with gazpacho, but have you heard of its thicker, richer cousin, salmorejo? They’re both chilled, tomato-based soups from the south of Spain, but while gazpacho is easily drinkable, salmorejo’s thicker texture makes it a more filling meal. It just boils down to how hungry you are!

Gazpacho recipe | Salmorejo recipe

19. Berenjenas con miel

Fried eggplant and honey
Fried food is big in southern Spain, but berenjenas con miel are among the best of the best. Photo credit: Sappy81

Fried eggplant and honey might not sound like the most appealing combination, but trust us on this one. This unexpected sweet-and-savory combo creates an explosion of flavors and textures that’s unlike anything else you’ve ever tried.

Berenjenas con miel recipe

20. Torrijas

Torrijas (Spanish french toast)
Three delicious flavors of torrijas!

We can sum up this classic Holy Week treat in three words: Spanish. French. Toast. Are you convinced yet?

Torrijas recipe

21. Espinacas con garbanzos

Spanish spinach and chickpea stew
Spinach and chickpeas are ubiquitous on Seville tapas bar menus.

We see your “Spain doesn’t have many options for vegans” and raise you this delicious spinach and chickpea stew. It’s so delicious even the most diehard carnivore is sure to be a fan.

Espinacas con garbanzos recipe

Recipes from Rome

22. Carciofi alla giudia

Roman Jewish-style artichokes
Carciofi alla giudia are proof that Roman Jewish cuisine is in a class of its own. Photo credit: Abbie Stark

You can’t visit Rome in winter without trying local artichokes. One of the best and most popular ways to eat them is alla giudia, or “Jewish-style,” a recipe that developed in Rome’s Jewish ghetto centuries ago.

Carciofi alla giudia recipe

23. Cacio e pepe

Cacio e pepe pasta
Forget general Italian food: cacio e pepe is 100-percent Roman.

Pasta dishes outside Italy tend to be quite elaborate, adding everything from meatballs to heavy cream. But the real deal is much simpler—and better, in our book. Exhibit A: cacio e pepe, for which you can count the ingredients on one hand. This recipe will whisk you away to a classic Roman trattoria without leaving your kitchen.

Cacio e pepe recipe

24. Coda alla vaccinara

coda alla vaccinara (Roman oxtail stew)
Roman cuisine is big on offal! Photo credit: Abbie Stark

Offal is a pretty big deal in Rome, but can be off-putting to some visitors. Coda alla vaccinara, or oxtail stew, is a great way to dip your toes into the unfamiliar waters of this traditional way of eating. It’s hearty and unbelievably tender, practically falling off the fork when done right.

Coda alla vaccinara recipe

25. Tiramisù

Plate of tiramisù
Anyone else craving tiramisù right now? Photo credit: Raffaele Diomede

The name of this popular dessert translates to “pick me up,” and that’s exactly what it is—the perfect midday or post-meal pick-me-up. And it couldn’t be easier to make. Whip up a batch, pour out some of the leftover espresso to go with, and find a sunny spot to sit and indulge in la dolce vita.

Tiramisù recipe

26. Aperol spritz

Aperol spritzes
The Aperol spritz is the essential Italian cocktail.

You don’t have to be on some picturesque Italian terrace to enjoy this iconic cocktail. In fact, the one we try on our Rome food tour comes from one of the most no-frills bars imaginable (and that’s exactly why we love the place!).

Aperol spritz recipe

Recipes from San Sebastian

27. Basque cheesecake

Basque burnt cheesecake
Forget everything you already know about cheesecake.

If you’ve taken our Ultimate Pintxos & Wine Tour, then you know: La Viña in San Sebastian has the best cheesecake in the world. It seemingly defies everything a cheesecake should be—no crust! burnt on top!—and it does it oh, so well.

Basque cheesecake recipe

28. Gilda

"Gilda" skewers
The gilda gets its name from the 1946 Rita Hayworth movie!

If you have olives, anchovies and guindilla peppers, you can make gildas. If not, go get some. This impossibly simple skewer of deliciousness was the first-ever pintxo, and a sure way to wow your friends. (Or you can do as we do and eat them all yourself.)

Gilda recipe

29. Talos con chistorra

Talos (corn tortillas) with chistorra sausage
The Basque Country and Navarra are famous for talos, which wouldn’t look out of place on a Latin American table, either!

Grilled corn tortillas (in this case, more like the Mexican kind than the Spanish omelet of the same name!) stuffed with spicy sausage are a favorite snack in northern Spain. Once you try them, you’ll see why.

Talos con chistorra recipe

Recipes from London

30. Scotch eggs

Scotch eggs
Scotch eggs are a staple of UK cuisine.

Soft-boiled eggs wrapped in sausage and coated in a golden breadcrumb crust: what’s not to love? It’s hard not to fall for this British classic that fits in everywhere from the pub to a picnic.

Scotch eggs recipe

31. Pancakes

Thin British-style pancakes
If you’ve never had thin pancakes with lemon and sugar, you don’t know what you’re missing. Photo credit: LearningLark

No, these aren’t just any pancakes. If you’re not from the UK, you’ll be delighted to know that Pancake Day is very much a thing—celebrated on the same day as Mardi Gras—and said pancakes are beyond your wildest dreams. They’re almost crepe-like in their thinness and go perfectly with a squeeze of lemon juice and a dusting of sugar.

Pancakes recipe

32. Scones and clotted cream

Scones with clotted cream and jam
The use of jam on your scones is highly encouraged, too.

No afternoon tea would be complete without scones, and no scone would be complete without clotted cream. As elegant as this classic English combo sounds, both of the above are incredibly easy to make at home.

Scones and clotted cream recipe

10 Comment

    March 11, 2020 at 11:31 pm


    1. Devour Tours says
      March 23, 2020 at 10:38 am

      So glad you enjoyed the post, Carmen! Happy cooking!

    March 13, 2020 at 5:15 pm


  3. BrianPiste says
    March 24, 2020 at 10:38 pm

    Maintain the excellent work and delivering in the group!

    1. Devour Tours says
      March 31, 2020 at 10:20 am

      Thanks so much, Brian!

  4. BrianPiste says
    April 4, 2020 at 12:00 pm

    Awesome web page you have got in here.

    1. Devour Tours says
      April 6, 2020 at 6:54 am

      Thanks for reading, Brian!

  5. Annette says
    October 7, 2020 at 7:16 pm

    Amazing! I was in Spain exactly a year ago with all of my brothers & sisters and my mom. I’m going to use some of these recipes for a tapas dinner next week, so THANK YOU! These dishes will take us right back where we were a year ago.

  6. Everest says
    January 14, 2021 at 10:45 pm

    Catalonia and the Basques are part of Spain. What you called pancakes looks like French crepes!

    1. Devour Tours says
      January 18, 2021 at 7:47 am

      British Pancake Day pancakes are very similar to crepes, despite the name! 🙂

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