What to serve with paella? The Best Drinks, Desserts, and Appetizers

Dec 29, 2023 | Paellas

Paella is a classic Spanish dish that is made with rice, seafood, and vegetables. It is a hearty and flavorful meal that is perfect for a special occasion or a casual gathering. When serving paella, it is important to choose the right drinks, desserts, and appetizers to serve with it.

What drinks should have to serve with a paella?

When choosing drinks to serve with paella, it is important to consider the flavors of the dish. Paella is a complex dish with a variety of flavors, including seafood, meat, vegetables, and rice. As a result, the best drinks to serve with paella are those that complement these flavors without overpowering them.

Consider the type of paella you are serving. For seafood paella, a light and refreshing white wine, such as Albariño, is a good choice. For chicken or vegetable paella, a fuller-bodied red wine, such as Tempranillo, can be a good match. Think about the flavors of the paella. If your paella is savory and bold, you may want to choose a wine with similar characteristics. If your paella is lighter and more delicate, you may want to choose a wine that is more subtle. Don’t be afraid to experiment. There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to pairing wine with food.

Red wine: A Rioja or a Ribera del Duero are both excellent choices for paella. These wines are full-bodied and have a good balance of acidity and tannins.

White wine: A Sauvignon Blanc from Spain or France is a good choice for paella. These wines are dry and have a citrusy flavor that pairs well with the dish.

Sparkling wine: Cava is a good choice for paella. This sparkling wine is made from Spanish grapes and has a refreshing flavor.

Beer: A lager, such as a Pilsner, is a good choice for paella. These beers are light-bodied and have a crisp flavor.

Sangria: Sangria or “tinto de verano” is a refreshing and flavorful drink that is perfect for a warm day. A good choice is a sangria made with red wine, fruit, and spices.

Ultimately, the best way to choose drinks to serve with paella is to experiment and find what you like. There is no right or wrong answer, and the best choice will depend on your personal preferences and the specific flavors of the paella you are serving.

What appetizers are best for a paella?

Paella is a flavorful dish that can be made with a variety of ingredients, including seafood, meat, or vegetables. As a result, the best appetizers for paella are those that complement the flavors of the dish without overpowering them.

When choosing appetizers for paella, it is important to consider the type of paella you are serving. If you are serving a seafood paella, you may want to choose appetizers that feature seafood, such as shrimp cocktail or crab cakes. If you are serving a chicken paella, you might want to eat appetizers that feature chicken, such as chicken wings or chicken satay.

With a little planning, you can easily choose the perfect appetizers to complement your paella and create a memorable meal for your guests.

Tapas: A variety of tapas, such as olives, cheeses, and cured meats, will make a great appetizer before paella. A good selection of tapas will provide your guests with a variety of flavors and textures to enjoy.

Salad: A simple salad of greens, tomatoes, and cucumbers is a refreshing appetizer that is perfect for paella. The salad will help to cleanse the palate.

Soup: A bowl of gazpacho or a tomato soup is a warming appetizer that is perfect for paella. The soup will help to warm your guests up before the main course.

Oysters: Oysters are a briny and flavorful appetizer that is perfect for a summer meal.

Another good dishes to serve with paella are tomato bread, Spanish green salad, patatas bravas, green beans, fried rice, gazpacho, roasted red peppers, garlic shrimp, Spanish omelette, marinated olives, grilled artichokes, and sautéed spinach with garlic.

Before the end: Desserts to serve with paella

Dessert is the perfect way to end a delicious meal, and paella is no exception. When choosing a dessert to serve with paella, it is important to consider the flavors of the dish. For example, if you are serving a seafood paella, you may want to choose a dessert that features fruit, such as a fruit salad or a sorbet. If you are serving a chicken paella, you may want to choose a dessert that features chocolate, such as a chocolate mousse or a chocolate cake.

  • Fruit: Fruit is a light and refreshing dessert that is perfect for paella. A simple fruit salad or a bowl of fresh berries will pair well with the dish.
  • Ice cream: Ice cream is a decadent dessert that is perfect for a special occasion. A scoop of vanilla ice cream or a bowl of sorbet will pair well with the richness of the paella.
  • Churros: These crispy, golden-brown fritters, often served with a rich chocolate sauce, are a quintessential Spanish dessert that pairs perfectly with paella. The light, airy texture of the churros provides a delightful contrast to the hearty flavors of the dish, while the chocolate sauce adds a touch of indulgence.
  • Sorbet: Sorbet is a refreshing and flavorful dessert that is perfect for a summer meal. A good choice is a sorbet made with fresh fruit, such as lemon or orange.
  • Cream: Creamy desserts, such as flan or crème brûlée, can also be a good choice for serving with paella. They can help to create a smooth and decadent finish to the meal.
  • Chocolate: Chocolate is another popular choice for serving with paella. It can be served in a variety of ways, such as in a cake, mousse, or brownie.
dessert to serve with paella

Spanish crema catalana. Creme brulee. Traditional French vanilla cream dessert. Burned cream, burnt or Trinity creme. Rich custard base topped with layer of hardened caramelized sugar.

Spanish typical desserts

Spanish desserts are known for their rich flavors and diverse ingredients. From the classic churros con chocolate to the more unique crema catalana, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Its often feature local ingredients, such as almonds, oranges, and honey. They are also often made with fresh fruits and vegetables, which gives them a bright and refreshing taste. Are typically served at the end of a meal, but they can also be enjoyed as a snack or a midday treat. It´s a delicious way to end any meal or simply enjoy a sweet treat.

  • Crema catalana: This velvety custard dessert, with its thin caramelized top, is a classic Spanish treat that offers a delightful contrast to the savory flavors of paella. The subtle sweetness of the crema catalana gently cleanses the palate while leaving behind a lingering, comforting warmth.
  • Tarta de Santiago: Resembling a rustic fruit tart, tarta de Santiago, also known as almond cake, is a Galician specialty that boasts a delightful marriage of textures and flavors. The dense, crumbly almond base provides a satisfying contrast to the creamy paella, while the hint of cinnamon and orange zest adds a touch of sophistication.
  • Torrija: This traditional Spanish bread pudding, soaked in milk and infused with cinnamon and citrus flavors, is a warm and comforting dessert that perfectly balances the richness of paella. The soft, custardy texture and the subtle sweetness of the torrija create a harmonious finale to a hearty meal.
  • Flan: A decadent and creamy custard dessert, flan is a popular choice for ending a Spanish meal. The rich,eggy base and the delicate sweetness of the flan offer a satisfying finish to the savory flavors of paella.
  • Helado de turrón: This ice cream, made from a base of almonds, honey, and egg whites, is a delightful treat that embodies the essence of Spain. The rich, nutty flavor of the ice cream complements the savory components of paella without overpowering them.

By choosing the right drinks, desserts, and appetizers to serve with paella, you can create a complete and enjoyable dining experience.

What is Paella Lover?

“Paella Lover is a personal experience of paella as a Valencian, but also the knowledge I have accumulated during my whole life. It is not a mere company, Paella Lover is me, sharing my knowledge with anyone who wants to participate in this culinary journey.” Guillermo Bermell

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