Traditional Easter Foods in Spain

by Last updated Mar 30, 2023 | Published on Apr 9, 2018Denia, Feature Story, Gastronomy, Spain, Valencia

The traditional Easter foods in Spain are a major part of this important holiday. Here and all throughout Spain, the Spanish people love to make a big deal out of it and that means enjoying a lot of great food. Where some cultures celebrate Easter with one day, Spain celebrates it with an entire week, known as Semana Santa (Holy Week). The different areas of Spain also have varying traditions distinct to their history and their local foods.

One year, we spent our Semana Santa at our home-sweet-home of Denia in the region of Valencia. With the help of a local, we experienced of some of the traditional Easter foods in Spain that we’d like to introduce you to here.

First Things First – Setting Up for Traditional Easter Foods in Spain

Our Valencia friend Angels taught us all about the ‘merienda’. Now, before you go translate that, know that we already tried. It’s more officially ‘coma merienda’ which informally means eat. It’s a phrase they use that refers to having a snack, or like tea-time. We previously misspelled it here and appreciate our good friend Jeanne letting us know of the correct word.

Along with our friend Neil, we all gathered at our apartment in Denia and each brought some goodies. Angels brought most of the very traditional items from our region of Valencia. She explained that usually this is done on the actual day of Easter Sunday (called Pascua in Spanish), but we decided to do it on Good Friday, just before Easter.

And remember that Easter here in Spain starts with Semana Santa (Holy Week), which kicks off the weekend before Easter.

Traditional Easter Foods in Spain That are Savory & Sweet

What Angels brought were three scrumptious treats that are very traditional to the Valencia Region. We started with the panquemado. This super light and airy bread is more like a pastry, with a light dusting of sugar and egg whites baked onto the top for the ‘burnt’ effect. Thus its name, which literally means ‘burnt bread’.

Not only was this mountain of a loaf gorgeous, it was delicious and easy to eat a lot of. The way to eat it was with savory and with sweet. So first we had it with longaniza, a dry sausage typical in the Valencia Region. Year-round it’s referred to as ‘longaniza seca’ and at Easter it’s called ‘longaniza de Pascua’. Cutting this into short sticks, we wrapped chunks of the panquemado around it and devoured it like a mini hotdog. But it was far more delicious than a regular hotdog, at least if you like sweet and savory combined.

Panquemado with Sweet as a Traditional Easter Food in Spain

Then we had the sweet version of panquemado which was dipping chunks of it into homemade hot chocolate. Oh my! So amazingly good. Take note that hot chocolate in Spain is also distinct from other cultures. It’s not watery or thin like a drink. It’s thick and more like a pudding which you can drink it, but you can also eat with a spoon. We were in charge of making the hot chocolate and Eric gets to take the credit for how well he did. It was perfect and divine.

Cocas for Easter Foods in Spain

And if you thought we were done, think again. Now it was time for the cocas, which are also referred to as ‘tortas‘. Angels really spoiled us and brought two different kinds. Both were dulce (sweet), with one of nuts and raisins (nuezes y pasas) and the other one of nuts and chocolate chunks. These were enjoyed with mistela, the sweet dessert wine made from the moscatel grapes in Valencia. Neil had brought a nice bottle of it that was local to our area of Valencia.

Funnily enough, it was us two ladies, Angels and myself (both of us quite petite), who polished off their entire ‘tazas de chocolate’ (mugs of hot chocolate). The panquemado didn’t stand a chance either. By the end of the night, it was all gone between the four of us.

A Healthy Final Meal for Easter in Spain

What seemed like a food marathon continued into the next day. On Saturday we all went to Angel’s home for lunch. She made homemade ‘guiso’ (stew). A Pascua tradition for devote Catholics is that they don’t eat meat during lent, thus where this stew of vegetables comes from. This one also came accompanied with ‘albondigas de bacalao’, which are meatballs of cod fish. She even made some of the bacalao as croquetas which I really loved (I’m a croqueta fiend).

We enjoyed this meal so much that, as you can tell, we forgot to take any photos. You’ll have to use your imagination but at least know that it was delicious and quite healthy.

Other Traditional Easter Foods in Spain

We delved into only a handful of the traditional Easter foods in Spain, but there are many more, especially depending on what region of Spain you’re in. Here is a list of other traditional Easter foods in Spain. Have you enjoyed any of them? 

  • Mona de Pascua, a sweet, spongy cake that is topped with a colorful egg or chocolates. 
  • Sopa de Ajo, garlic soup with chicken stock, paprika, and a hard boiled egg.
  • Flores Fritas, or fried flowers, that are a sweet and crunchy cookie found in bakeries.
  • Borrachuelos are small chunks of dough soaked in brandy or wine while they’re cooked and then dusted with powdered sugar. The Spanish word borracho means drunk so you can see where they’re named as such.
  • Torrijas are the Spanish version of French Toast and one of my fave desserts in Spain. Sometimes they’re even made with the bread pieces soaked in wine!
  • Buñuelos are essentially doughnuts or fritters, sometimes with cream or even anise liquor. You can enjoy them at other times of the year as well and made with pumpkin. 


What’s your experience with traditional Easter foods in Spain?

These were the main traditional Easter foods in Spain that we enjoyed in Denia. There’s a lot more though. Which ones do you know of? Have you ever celebrated Easter in Spain and exactly where? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below. And we hope you had a wonderful Easter, wherever you were.

Written by Amalia & Eric

Written by Amalia & Eric

Founders & Producers of Move to Traveling

We’re Amalia and Eric – a traveling couple who are living a traveling lifestyle. Do you love to travel? Perfect! Come along…


  1. Lionel

    All of this already made me hungry!!! I guess that since Pant and I will be in the area during Semana Santa we will be trying many traditional dishes while in Spain.

    • Amalia and Eric

      Semana Santa is a great time to be here in Spain. The local traditions and food are so great and a wonderful way to get to know the area. Definitely get ready to enjoy some delicious foods!


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