Classic Gilda Pintxo (Easy Spanish Tapas Recipe)

Treat your tastebuds to a party with this Gilda Pintxo recipe. A one-bite sophisticated Spanish snack, the briny olives, salty anchovies, and spicy-ish guindilla peppers on skewers pair perfectly with martinis and wine!

It doesn’t take much to enjoy the sophisticated flavors of Spain. Take this easy Gilda Pintxo recipe from the Basque region of Spain for example! Made with olives, anchovies, and guindilla peppers threaded onto skewers, the bold and salty bites instantly transport you to Europe (especially while sipping on a martini or glass of white wine).

What is gilda pintxo?

A pintxo (or pincho) is a small snack from the Basque region of Spain. More specifically, a gilda pintxo is made with green olives, anchovies, and pickled guindilla peppers on a skewer. These 3 simple ingredients give it big and bright flavors that pair especially well with cocktails, which is why you’ll find these salty delights served in most bars throughout the Basque Country.

This briny, salty, and savory appetizer is said to have been invented during the 1940s in San Sebastián’s Bar Casa Vallés. Customer Joaquín Aramburu combined the olives, guindilla peppers, and anchovies served with his wine on a toothpick, thus inventing the delicious snack that would soon be named after the film, Gilda, starring Rita Hayworth.

Ingredients for gilda pintxo labeled on counter.

Ingredients needed

Remember to pick up some toothpicks or wooden skewers as well! They wouldn’t be classic gildas without them. Here’s what you need to make this simple Spanish snack:

  • Manzanilla olives – These are the most common variety of green olives, so you should have no trouble finding them in grocery stores, European markets or Amazon! I recommend using pitted olives for easy threading and eating.
  • White anchovies – I like oil-packed anchovies best. Ortíz is my go-to brand, not to mention Serious Eats’ favorite as well!
  • Pickled guindilla peppers – These mild Spanish peppers are grown and harvested in the Basque region of Spain where the gilda pintxo recipe originated. They have a bright and somewhat sweet flavor and lots of crunch to make this snack texturally interesting. If you can’t find guindilla peppers, use Italian pepperoncini peppers instead.

How to make gilda pintxo

Slide an olive onto a skewer (close to the tip). 

Slide on one end of an anchovy filet, then a pepper folded in half, followed by the second end of the anchovy. Finish by sliding a second olive over the anchovy.

Repeat until you run out of ingredients or skewers. Enjoy!

Prepared skewers in anchovy tin.

Tips and tricks

  • Are your peppers a bit too sour? Rinse them under running water to remove some of the tangy brine.
  • Thread the ingredients on small toothpicks or longer wooden/bamboo skewers, depending on how big of a portion you want or how many people you’re serving.
  • You can make vegetarian gilda pintxo by omitting the anchovies (although it wouldn’t be true to the traditional recipe).
  • Serve them in the empty anchovy tins or empty martini glasses for a fun presentation.

Serving suggestions

Unlike Spanish tapas, which are eaten as a small meal, gilda pintxos are better off being served as a complement to a good, stiff drink. A vodka or gin martini is a classic, but the bold flavors also pair nicely with beer, sparkling wine, cognac, and dry white wine (like Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio).

When making these for cocktail parties, put out more briny and salty snacks so your guests have a few snacking options. With the drinks, bring out a few bowls with the gildas, salted nuts, bacon wrapped dates, patatas bravas, marinated olives, manchego cheese, nectarines, or prosciutto wrapped avocado bites.

Storing

Are you making gildas pintxos for the cocktail party? Save yourself a bit of time by assembling them up to 1 day in advance. Just keep them in an airtight container in the fridge until it’s party time.

Any leftover pintxos can be covered and kept in the fridge for 2 or 3 days.

Gilda pintxo skewers on grey plate and pink table.

More Spanish recipes

More easy snacks

​​​​Did you make this gilda pintxo recipe?

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Close up of prepared gilda pintxo on plate.

Gilda Pintxo

This Gilda Pintxo is a classic, easy Spanish tapas recipe. A skewer made with briny olives, salty anchovies, and spicy-ish guindilla peppers.
5 from 1 vote
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4 people

Ingredients

  • 16 Manzanilla olives (pitted)
  • 8 oil-packed white anchovies (such as Ortíz)
  • 8 pickled guindilla peppers or Italian peperoncino

Instructions

  • Making one skewer at a time, slide an olive to about 1 inch from the tip of a skewer. Slide on 1 end of an anchovy filet, then a pepper folded in half, followed by the second end of the anchovy filet. Slide a second olive over the anchovy to finish the skewer.

Notes

If you find that your peppers are too sour, you can rinse them first.
Did you make this recipe?Mention @platingsandpairings or tag #platingsandpairings!

Equipment

Skewers

Nutrition

Calories: 39kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 0.4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 5mg | Sodium: 261mg | Potassium: 89mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 0.5g | Vitamin A: 135IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 23mg | Iron: 0.4mg

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