Spanish Marinated Anchovies (Boquerones en Vinagre)

If you don’t like anchovies, you just haven’t had good ones. I used to think that statement was nonsense, until I had delicious marinated anchovies on my first trip to Spain.

Spanish Marinated Anchovies (Boquerones en Vinagre) with lemon and bread

One of my favorite tapas in Spain is called boquerones en vinagre, or anchovies in vinegar. These Spanish style marinated anchovies are a tasty umami packed treat that goes great atop some crusty white bread or a pan con tomate.

You can find these vinegar and herb marinated anchovy fillets already made at various grocery stores. However I find it even better when you make it yourself since I prefer to use higher quality ingredients. Like many of the best Spanish recipes, a focus on high quality ingredients is key.

What Are The Best Anchovies For Boquerones en Vinagre?

Spanish Marinated Anchovies (Boquerones en Vinagre) ingredients top down photo

There are two types of anchovies that are popular in Spain. You can easily differentiate them by color: brown and white.

The brown type are most common in tins or cans. They are more salty and have been aged longer than their white counterpart. The white anchovies are less salty and are usually packed in a higher quality olive oil. They can also be packed in vinegar as well, but as I am making my own marinated anchovies I specifically bought ones in just oil.

How To Make Spanish Marinated Anchovies

Place your white anchovy fillets in a bowl. If you want you can discard the oil they were packed in and re-add your own. I like to do this if the oil they were packed in seems low quality.

bottle of sherry vinegar

Next I add some sherry vinegar. In Spain many people will add regular white vinegar but I find sherry vinegar to be so much tastier.

Remember, most of the flavor and all of the acidity is comes from the vinegar chosen so look for something that you actually like. Don’t buy something cheap just because it is cheap.

To make the best Spanish marinated anchovies you should also add herbs and spices. You don’t need to add salt as the fish was already cured, but I love this ajo y perejil spice mix I found at my local grocery in Spain.

It is just granulated garlic and chopped dried parsley so you can easily make it yourself by using a 1:1 ratio. I add two teaspoons to the marinated anchovies, so figure one teaspoon of granulated garlic and one teaspoon of dried parsley.

marinated anchovies ready to sit for an hour in a bowl

Give everything a good mix and cover the bowl with a lid or plastic wrap. You can let the anchovies marinate overnight, but I find an hour is just fine. Fish, unlike meat, needs less marinating time as the flesh is much more porous.

spanish marinated anchovies on a white plate with lemon wedges in the middle

You can serve the anchovies fanned out on a plate with some lemon wedges and crusty Spanish bread.

How To Eat Spanish Marinated Anchovies?

Spanish Marinated Anchovies (Boquerones en Vinagre) on slices of bread with a glass of fino manzanilla sherry

A popular way to eat boquerones en vinagre is simply laid atop some slices of crusty white bread. This is a popular tapa in Granada and other cities in Spain.

You will also find people that put these marinated anchovies on some pan con tomate, or Catalonian tomato bread. Either way, I find they are best eaten along with a glass of crisp fino sherry!

spanish marinated anchovies on a white plate with lemon wedges in the middle

Spanish Marinated Anchovies

This simple tapa recipe is one of my favorites. Simple marinated anchovies go perfect on some crusty Spanish bread with a chilled glass of fino sherry.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Marinating Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Course Appetizer, Tapas, Topping
Cuisine European, Spanish
Servings 4 people
Calories 55 kcal


  • 100 grams Anchovy Fillets white anchovies packed in oil
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil the highest quality cold pressed olive oil you can find
  • 1 tsp Granulated Garlic
  • 1 tsp Chopped Dry Parsley
  • 2 tbsp Sherry Vinegar


  • Open the pack of white anchovy fillets and drain them from their oil. Place them in a bowl
  • Add in your own high quality olive oil and vinegar along with the garlic and parsley.
  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the fridge to marinate for at minimum one hour, ideally overnight.
  • Enjoy these marinated anchovies on top of some crusty white bread or a pan con tomate.
Keyword Anchovies, Pinchos, Seafood, Spanish Tapas
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