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Cocido Madrileno | Spain’s Favorite Stew

A traditional Cocido recipe, Spain’s ultimate comfort food. Cocido Madrileno will feed a crowd with this communal recipe, perfect for family gatherings. Several types of meat are stewed with Winter vegetables and served family style in this traditional Cocido recipe.

Cocido second and third course on a white plate.

What is Cocido Madrileno?

Cocido is a traditional stew popular in Spain, Portugal and their former colonies. Each region has their distinctive version and families put their own precious spin on family recipes. The version I made today is Madrid-style, also known as Cocido Madrileno.

Cocido is derived from the Spanish word cocer which means to cook.

How to Serve Cocido Madrileno

What sets Spanish-style Cocido apart from traditional stews is how it is served. After the main ingredients are stewed for several hours or all day in a very large stock pot, the broth is strained and set aside to cook either rice or vermicelli noodles in. This simple soup is then served as the first course.

The garbanzo beans and potatoes are set aside on a large platter and served as the second course family-style. The third course consists of the remaining vegetables and meat. Optional condiments, bread and wine are also served with this meal. Cocido makes a large amount of food and therefore is perfect for family gatherings. It is a social food tradition going back many generations. It is very popular in the Winter as a comfort food that keeps you warm.

Cocido Madrileno on a white plate.

What type of meat do I use in Cocido?

Many of the meats are cured meats. There are some smoked elements such as smoked hocks, tails or trotters as well as sausage and bacon. It is for this reason that salt is added at the end, after you can check the seasoning. It may not need any salt at all.

Other meats are added such as beef and chicken. The many types of meat builds a complex broth that is both satisfying and nourishing. Winter vegetable such as carrots, potatoes, cabbage and turnips round out the broth. I left turnips out of this recipe simply because we don’t care for them but you can add them for that more authentic experience.

A close up picture of Cocido on a white plate.

You can add condiments to the courses to add a fresh zing such as this tomato relish. The tomatoes, vinegar, garlic and cumin give it quite a punch of flavor.

Tomato relish in a white bowl.

How to Make Cocido Madrileno

Two dutch ovens layered with the Cocido ingredients.

Since this is a traditional recipe using many types of meat, a very large pot is required or two small ones. I used two large dutch ovens but I had wished I had used my canning pot. Go big or go home.

If you tried to scale this down you would lose some complexity in taste that the several types of meat offers. This will definitely feed a crowd and is intended to be a very social and communal meal served family-style.

If you do insist on scaling it down for everyday cooking, I suggest choosing less variety of meats and scaling down the rest of the ingredients accordingly. There are five types of meat in this recipe, try using only three such as two smoked meats and one non-smoked. Perhaps chicken, Spanish chorizo and ham hocks. The ham hocks are almost only for flavor, there is very little meat on them. You won’t want to skip any of the other ingredients so just use smaller quantities.


  • Bake shin bones.
  • Add shin bones, water, meats, veggies, bay leaves, peppercorns and garlic to large stock pot, simmer three hours covered.
  • Add potatoes and garbanzo beans, simmer thirty minutes more.
  • Strain broth into another pan, add vermicelli, simmer five minutes. Serve as a first course.
  • Separate meat and veggies and serve this as a second course on a large serving platter, family-style.
  • Place garbanzo beans and potatoes on a large serving platter and serve this as a third course, family-style.

There is little doubt this communal recipe will bring together distant family and friends in a moment of sharing and community. As the day draws long and bellies fill, know that all your culinary efforts will be worthwhile as bonds are strengthened and laughter lingers in the air.

Do you LOVE soup?

Since we are about to enter soup season, do you have any favorite soups that you love to make? I am partial to my dad’s Potato Soup of course. I am also pretty smitten for Farikal also. It is Norways national dish. It is super simple to make with just a few ingredients.

Have you ever made Spanish Cocido before? Let us know any tips you have. Rate this recipe and leave a comment below. If you make this, tag us on Instagram so we can see #FusionCraftiness.

Bon Appetit!

Overhead of Cocido Madrileno on a white plate.
A bowl of Cocido Madrileno

Cocido Madrileno

Yield: 18 servings
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 45 minutes

A traditional Cocido recipe, Spain’s ultimate comfort food. Cocido Madrileno will feed a crowd with this communal recipe, perfect for family gatherings. Several types of meat are stewed with Winter vegetables and served family style in this traditional Cocido recipe


  • 3 lb of beef shin bones
  • 20 cups of water
  • 1 lb smoked ham, roughly chopped
  • 1 lb beef stew meat
  • 1 lb of smoked ham hocks, pig tails or trotters
  • 1/2 – 1 lb of chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 lb of Spanish Chorizo (not Mexican), cut into 1 inch slices. May substitute any smoked sausage if needed.
  • 3–6 carrots, cut into 1 inch chunks
  • 1 white onion, peeled, cut in half then skewered to keep the onion intact. You will take this out later.
  • 1/2 head of cabbage, cut into 4 wedges
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 Tbs peppercorns, crushed or whole
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 4 small potatoes or 2 large, cut into large pieces
  • 15 oz can garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
  • 1 cup vermicelli noodles
  • salt to taste
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 28 oz can of diced tomatoes, drained
  • Fresh herbs such as tarragon and parsley.


  1. On a piece of foil bake the shin bones at 350F for 30 minutes.
  2. In one extra large stock pot or 2 dutch ovens, evenly divide the shin bones as well as the rest of the ingredients thru garlic** (See note)
  3. Simmer for three hours, covered. Skim off any scum that forms on top.
  4. While the Cocido is simmering, make the tomato garnish as follows and let rest at room temperature. In a medium bowl add first 4 ingredients, stir well. Add tomatoes. Cover and let rest at room temp until Cocido is ready to serve.
  5. Add potatoes and garbanzo beans to the pots, simmer for another thirty minutes, covered. Check for seasoning.
  6. Strain broth into a large soup pot. Bring pot to simmer, add vermicelli and cook for 5 minutes. Set aside to serve as the first course.
  7. Meanwhile strip any meat from the hocks, tails or trotters. Throw away the bones. In a large bowl place all of the meat and vegetables, this will be the third course. In a separate large bowl add the garbanzo beans and potatoes. This will be the second course. See notes below for serving.


- This recipe is designed to feed large crowds family style, sitting around large platters of food. You can easily feed 14 people with this recipe. If you need to feed more and you have a large enough pot, you can feed 28 people or more. This traditional all-day stew was originally designed to feed a lot of people. This is perfect for family reunions or backyard potlucks.
- If you don’t have an extra large stock pot, you can use two ‘soup pots’ or large dutch ovens.
- The first course is served as soup. After the first course is finished, microwave the large bowl with the second course. Turn that out onto a large platter and serve family style with the tomato garnish and fresh herbs. When that course is finished, microwave the last course and turn out onto the large platter. Serve with the tomato garnish and fresh herbs if desired.
- This is Spain’s version of Cocido, Mexico has a different version.
- I adapted this recipe to the type of meat we can easily find in the U.S. I couldn’t find Spain-style chorizo so I substituted andouille sausage. It’s a French/Louisiana style sausage but it has the closest flavor profile that I could find in my neighborhood market. Other meats you can use are pancetta, salt pork, pork belly, blood sausage, smoked bacon and any bones with marrow.
- Because of the various cured meats that are simmering, the amount of salt may vary. Check for seasoning at the end of simmering, add any salt desired

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 18 Serving Size: 2 Cups
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 659Total Fat: 36gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 20gCholesterol: 149mgSodium: 1097mgCarbohydrates: 32gFiber: 7gSugar: 7gProtein: 52g

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

A pinterest banner of Cocido.

carol mcg

Monday 25th of December 2023

when you say 1/4 red wine vinegar, did you mean 1/4 cup or tbsp?


Thursday 28th of December 2023

Hello Carol, 1/4 cup. Thank you for your feedback.


Sunday 4th of December 2022

Andouille is a solid option if you can’t find Spanish-chorizo (as the author states, do NOT use Mexican Chorizo it is way too strong), but Whole Foods has a Portuguese linguica and a Spanish chorizo (I’ve tried both and this Spaniard actually prefers the linguica) in the refrigerated sausage section.


Sunday 4th of December 2022

Hi Diego, great feedback! I have tried the Portuguese Linguica and Spanish Chorizo also. I think I found it at Winco or Trader Joes. These can be hard to find so I keep my eye out for them and grab them when I can and put in the freezer.

Dana Sandonato

Thursday 10th of October 2019

Oh my gosh, this is so hearty and has so many healthy components! I'm all about treating myself to comfort food. But it's so nice when a comfort food has nourishing ingredients thrown in. Makes me feel less guilty ;)

Marisa Stewart

Monday 7th of October 2019

What a delicious looking stew. Full of spice and so meaty. The Hubby would love that part of it. I know it would make great leftovers too. With the cooler season just around the corner the stew will be eagerly welcomes.


Saturday 5th of October 2019

I've never had stew split into 3 courses before! That sounds like such a great way to serve up dinner. As a soup lover, I'm going to have to try this stew from Spain!

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