Morcilla with Potatoes and Paprika Recipe

How to cook the Spanish version of blood sausage.

Pieces of morcilla served with potatoes on a white plate.

Serious Eats / Chichi Wang

Why It Works

  • Though you can cook the links whole, cutting them into sections exposes more surface area to take on a crusty texture.
  • The olive oil used to fry the sausage is infused with paprika and full of flavor.

The last time I made blood sausage, I stood by myself in my kitchen with one hand ladling a creamy blood mixture into casings supported by the other hand, thinking, why I am lading blood into intestines at two in the morning? Blood sausage—with its pudding-like texture of blood and fat, creamy in the center and crispy when browned in fat—is well worth the trouble if you can procure fresh blood.

If you're not in the mood for a blood hunt, you can find blood sausage at any number of butchers and purveyors of meat products. Like any kind of charcuterie, there are variants of blood sausage across many cultures and cuisines. Most are made with pork or beef blood, some contain a starchy filler such as rice or noodles, still others use vegetables like apples and onions to give body to the sausage.

The French version, boudin noir, is a mixture of blood, eggs, and cream and tastes especially pudding-like. It is richer than the Korean version soon dae, which uses sweet potato noodles and sweet glutinous rice as ingredients in the filling.

With so many different kinds of blood sausage, where to start? Morcilla, Spanish blood sausage that uses pork blood and fat, is one of the most widely available kinds here in the States. Morcilla is commonly made with onions or rice, though if you're lucky you'll come across links with pine nuts and almonds as well.

Several links of morcilla.

Serious Eats / Chichi Wang

Morcilla is so good that the Spaniards are partial to frying it in olive oil and eating it as-is. Though you can cook the links whole, cutting them into sections exposes more surface area to be fried in oil. To do so, simply cut the links into sections and brown on both sides for a minute or so over low heat, until the surface of the blood sausage takes on a crusty texture from the oil.

There is something very Spanish about blood sausage in olive oil, which becomes infused with the taste of paprika and lard as it cooks. All that flavorful fat can be put to good use if you fry up some potatoes in your pan along with the sections of blood sausage, though it's also wonderful to have the sausage in a crusty loaf of bread.

July 2011

Recipe Facts

Active: 20 mins
Total: 20 mins
Serves: 4 servings

Rate & Comment


  • 4 links morcilla

  • 4 medium sized potatoes, peeled and cubed into 1/2 inch cubes

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon paprika

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Bring a 3-quart pan of water to boil. Add potatoes and parboil for 3 to 5 minutes until just tender. Drain potatoes and set aside.

  2. Heat a cast iron skillet over low heat. Add 3 tablespoons of oil and brown pieces of sausage, turning once, until sausage is slightly crisp on both sides. Remove sausage from heat and set aside. Reserve all the oil and fat in the pan.

  3. Keep heat on low and add potatoes to the pan. Dust potatoes with paprika and brown in the oil, occasionally turning cubes of potatoes until surface is brown, about 5 minutes. When potatoes are browned, sprinkle with more paprika and serve with sausage.

Special Equipment

Cast iron skillet or sauté pan


Take care when browning the blood sausage, since the dark color of the sausage makes it deceptively easy to burn.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
681 Calories
49g Fat
39g Carbs
21g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 681
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 49g 63%
Saturated Fat 17g 83%
Cholesterol 136mg 45%
Sodium 944mg 41%
Total Carbohydrate 39g 14%
Dietary Fiber 4g 15%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 21g
Vitamin C 17mg 83%
Calcium 36mg 3%
Iron 9mg 52%
Potassium 986mg 21%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)