Catalan Christmas

Planning on being in Barcelona for Christmas and want to know the traditional foods and Christmas dishes? Catalans have very unique traditions, but especially around the Christmas season.

Even tho in Catalunya they celebrate the tree kings more than Christmas itself, they still find it a time to surround yourself with your loved ones in front of a warm Christmas dinner!

Catalan Christmas dinner

Christmas dinner in Barcelona and Catalunya usually happens on Christmas Eve (Nochebuena), instead of Christmas Day. While selling turkey has become more popular in recent years, locals would not buy it. The typical feast involves a huge lump of meat slow-cooked for hours (carn d’olla), this meat is used for different meals around the Christmas days. For the christmas meal its stock served first as a soup, into which are thrown large pasta shells known as galets.

Any leftover meat is used for the next important christmas meal, cannelloni, served on Sant Esteve (Boxing Day or Saint Stephen’s Day). Sea bass is also popular, along with a pile of shellfish and a large leg of cured ham, carved table-side.

Traditional catalan Christmas foods


It is a kind of stew that has everything: made from chicken, beef, pork backbone and ham bone’s bouillon, to which later used to add meatballs and crumble meat. Also includes some veggies as carrot, potato and cabbage.

A typical catalan Christmas dish is ‘Escudella i carn d’olla’. This is a tasty bowl (escudella means bowl) of pasta shells ‘galets‘ in a meat and vegetable stew or soup. Another typical Catalan Christmas dish is the delicious ‘carn d’olla’  which is a meat dish of stuffed capon or turkey.

Sopa de galets

However, the star ingredients of this festive are “galets”. We talk about large pieces of pasta that only one of them fills the spoon. This traditional soup usually Catalans eat on December, 25. This is a very substances bouillon. Very comforting for cold winter dish, do not doubt to try it.


Cannelloni is one of our favorite dishes traditionally eaten the day of Sant Esteve, that we celebrate on December 26. Chicken stuffed with meat and bechamel sauce. The difference between Catalan and Italian cannelloni is that the typical Catalan cannelloni does not have tomato sauce.

Cochinillo Asado

This traditional spanish dish can be found almost everywhere in the country during Christmas, “Roast Pig” .

Christmas Sweets

Though there is no traditional pudding, as such, in Catalan bakeries and pastry shops you can expect to find them all stocked with special treats for the holiday season. A hard nougat bar called turrón is the most popular throughout Spain. Another specialty is the neules, or cylindrical wafers, that is also a typical gift of the cagatió.


A typical Christmas dessert in Spain and Barcelona is ‘turrón,’ which is on sale at Christmas markets and supermarkets everywhere in Barcelona. Traditional turrón is nougat made with almonds, hazelnuts and honey and nowadays comes is many delicious varieties, a softer type, turrón blando made with almond paste and egg yolk, and the versatile chocolate version.

Mantecados and Polvorones

Polvorones and Mantecados can be found around all supermarkets 1-2 months before Christmas in special presentations near the register. These small little baked and crumbly christmas cookies will be served with “Moscatel”. The difference between mantecados and polvorones is normally the shape. While Polvorones have an oval shape, Mantecados are round.

You can join us on our cooking class to learn more Catalan and Spanish traditional Christmas dishes.

We love Barcelona. We love Catalonia. We want you to fall in love with it too!

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