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Anchovy and Pepper Spread (Canapé de Anchoa y Pimiento)

Written By: Byron | November 10, 2023
A plate of anchovy and pepper spread on some slices of toasted bread.

Anchovy and Pepper Spread (Canapé de Anchoa y Pimiento) is a tasty no-cook tapas recipe that’s ideal for dinner parties as it is easy to prepare and ridiculously tasty. It’s best prepared a few hours in advance to allow the rich saltiness of the anchovies to meld with the sweetness of the pepper and the sharpness of the onions. 

Simple, tasty, and with very little prep or cleanup, this recipe is a dream for your next dinner party or tapas spread. To make this recipe, simply combine the ingredients, season to taste, and refrigerate for a few hours before serving. Serve with some slices of lightly toasted bread or your favorite cracker. 

Note: This recipe is an adaptation from the incredible recipe book by Penelope Casas, 1000 Spanish Recipes. See page 90 for Penelope’s original recipe.

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Serving:

Makes 15 tapas

Ready in:

2 hours, 5 minutes

Skill level:

Easy

Serve with:

Bread, wine

A small bowl of anchovies sits beside some roasted piquillo pepper, olive oil, fresh parsley, and onion.

How to Make Anchovy and Pepper Spread (Canapé de Anchoa y Pimiento)

  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Cook time: None
  • Refrigerate: Around 2 hours
  • Total time: 2 hours, 5 minutes 

Ingredients

(makes around 15 tapas) 

  • 1.5 ounce / 42 g of anchovy fillets, diced fine
  • 1 red pepper (capsicum) tinned (we used tinned Piquillo Peppers)
  • ½ white onion, diced fine 
  • 2 tablespoons of freshly chopped parsley
  • 2 tablespoons Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of red wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper (season to taste)

For serving

  • Fresh baguette, cut into ½ inch / 1.25 cm thick slices, lightly toasted, or on crackers. 

Equipment needed

Method

  • Prepare your ingredients and combine them in a bowl and mix well. 
  • Season to taste and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. 
  • Right before serving, slice and lightly toast your bread and spoon a mouthful of the anchovy mix over the bread. 
  • Serve!

 Watch step-by-step recipe video

If you’re looking for this recipe’s video and many other great recipe ideas, why not check out our Spanish Radish YouTube Channel? We’ve got everything from quick and easy tapas recipes, delicious main meals, and incredible Spanish dessert options too.

Tapas, Canapés, and Party Food

When it comes to preparing party food, it must be easy to make with little fuss and as little cleanup as possible. This recipe is ideal: it uses just one bowl and a few simple ingredients you can pick up from the corner store or local supermarket. 

The result with just 5 minutes of prep is a delicious tapas that can be made in advance and served either hot or cold. We prefer to serve it cold on top of some lightly toasted warm bread.

Ingredients and substitutions

Anchovies

This recipe uses anchovies as the flavor driver, and for some, the flavor can be quite salty and intense. If you prefer a softer flavor, use sardine fillets in oil. Just drain off the excess oil before breaking up the sardine fillets with a fork. 

Peppers / Pimiento

We used tinned piquillo peppers for this recipe. They are available with the skins removed and they have a delicious sweet flavor that pairs well with the saltiness of the anchovies. If you prefer to keep as close to the original recipe as possible, use fresh pepper (capsicum). 

If you prefer a spicy version of this recipe, experiment with different types of pepper or add a dash of chili to really heat things up. 

Fresh parsley

Adding some fresh chopped parsley helps freshen up the flavors and color this recipe. If you don’t have parsley, a good alternative is fresh basil. Dried parsley or basil leaves can also be used, however fresh herbs are recommended. 

Extra virgin olive oil

With so few ingredients used in this recipe, you’ll want to find the best quality olive oil. We highly recommend using extra virgin olive oil. It is considered the healthiest of the oils and has an excellent depth and flavor. A milder variant like the Hojiblanca EVOO is a good choice for this recipe. 

Onion

Raw white onion is used in this recipe but it can be intense for some. If you want to dull the flavor of the onion, submerge it in an ice bath of water for around 15 minutes. It will take away the sharp bite from raw onion. This trick also works with red onion which can be used to give this recipe a fantastic pop of color. 

Red wine vinegar

A small amount of red wine vinegar is used. The sourness of the vinegar helps to balance the saltiness of the anchovies and the sweetness of the pimiento pepper. If you don’t have red wine vinegar, use white vinegar. Don’t use balsamic vinegar as it’s too sweet and may easily overpower the dish.

A plate of anchovy and pepper spread on some slices of toasted bread.

FAQs

How long does this tapas recipe take to make?

  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Cook time: None
  • Refrigerate: Around 2 hours
  • Total time: 2 hours, 5 minutes 

Can I prepare and serve this recipe without refrigerating? 

Short answer, yes. However, allowing the ingredients to chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours really helps meld the flavor and remove any sharpness. 

Can I use sardines instead of anchovies?

Yes. Tinned sardines packed in olive oil have a more subtle flavor and can be used. Be sure to drain off the oil before using them.

A small bowl of anchovy and pepper spread sists next to some served canapes.
A plate of anchovy and pepper spread on some slices of toasted bread.

Anchovy and Pepper Spread (Canapé de Anchoa y Pimiento)

Byron
Anchovy and Pepper Spread (Canapé de Anchoa y Pimiento) is a tasty no-cook tapas recipe that’s ideal for dinner parties as it is easy to prepare and ridiculously tasty. It’s best prepared a few hours in advance to allow the rich saltiness of the anchovies to meld with the sweetness of the pepper and sharpness of the onions.
4.67 from 3 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Refrigerate 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 5 minutes
Course appertizer, canape, party food, pintxos, Snack, tapas
Cuisine Authentic Spanish recipe, Mediterranean, Spain
Servings 15 tapas
Calories 26 kcal

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 1.5 ounce / 42 g of anchovy fillets diced fine
  • 1 red pepper capsicum tinned (we used tinned Piquillo Peppers)
  • ½ white onion diced fine
  • 2 tablespoons of freshly chopped parsley
  • 2 tablespoons Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of red wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper season to taste
  • 1 Fresh baguette cut into ½ inch / 1.25 cm thick slices

Instructions
 

  • Prepare your ingredients and combine them in a bowl and mix well.
    1.5 ounce / 42 g of anchovy fillets, 1 red pepper, ½ white onion, 2 tablespoons of freshly chopped parsley, 2 tablespoons Extra virgin olive oil, 1 teaspoon of red wine vinegar, Salt and pepper
    Chopped ingredients sit in a bowl.
  • Season to taste and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
    Mixture of ingredient are seasoned in a bowl.
  • Right before serving, slice and lightly toast your bread and spoon a mouthful of the anchovy mix over the bread.
    1 Fresh baguette
    A plate of anchovy and pepper spread on some slices of toasted bread.

Video

Nutrition

Serving: 50gCalories: 26kcalCarbohydrates: 1gProtein: 0.9gFat: 2.2gSaturated Fat: 0.3gCholesterol: 2mgSodium: 99mgPotassium: 38mgFiber: 0.2gSugar: 0.6gCalcium: 8mg
Keyword 5-minute recipe, Easy tapas, Spanish tapas, tapas

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