Tortilla Española

Spanish tortillas are those thick, round omelets filled with potatoes and onions, that I love to eat on the weekends for a light lunch.  I'll show you how I make my version of the Tortilla Española or Tortilla de Patata, which differs a bit from the ones you'll find in Spain or at the budding tapas restaurants that seem to be popping up everywhere.  One thing you won't find in those versions is jalapeño peppers.  I like the little bit of heat these peppers give off, but you can omit them if you want.  My version is also a bit thinner because I use less potatoes.  Let's get started, I'm hungry.

The Ingredients
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 lbs. Yukon gold potatoes, thinly sliced 
  • (Idahoes, New or White potatoes can be substituted)
  • 1 medium yellow onion thinly sliced
  • 1-2 seeded and sliced jalapeños (optional)
  • 6-8 tablespoons olive oil
Peeling your potatoes is optional; the skins have a good amount of fiber.  If they're organic simply scrub them well.  However, if your potatoes have any green on them, you must peel the skins off.  Slice them no thicker than 1/8" either with a mandolin or with a sharp chef's knife.
In a 10" nonstick frying pan w/ a tight fitting lid, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil on medium heat and add your onions. Toss well and add your jalapeños.  Season this mixture with salt and pepper.  Saute for about 5 minutes or until your onions and peppers soften.  Add your sliced potatoes on top of your onions, salt & pepper to taste, then place your lid on. 
Important: turn your heat to medium-low or you run the risk of burning your potatoes.
Every 5 minutes, remove the lid & give everything a good toss.  Don't forget to salt & pepper them to taste.  The potatoes will take about 20 minutes or so before they can easily be pierced with a fork or the tip of a knife.
When everything is fork tender, put the potato mixture onto a 12" plate.   Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in the same pan over medium heat.  Whisk your eggs and pour over your potatoes.  Immediately pour the entire contents back onto your frying pan.  Place your lid on, then lower your heat to medium-low.  
After about 4 minutes or so, your tortilla will begin to puff around the edges.  Loosen the omelet with a spatula and give the pan a good shake.  The entire tortilla should begin to slide easily.  This is a sign that it's well cooked & that it won't stick to the pan.
Place your oversized plate on top of the frying pan and get two pot holders ready.  You're going to flip the entire contents, away from you.  Put your left hand, with your pot holder, right where the handle meets the frying pan (where the rivets are).  Place your other hand, with your pot holder, directly opposite.  Keep your hands well clamped on both the pan & plate.  You're going to rotate the side closest to you, up & over(away from you).  This is important because you don't want any of that hot, scalding egg hitting you in the face.  The tortilla should release easily.  Put 2 more tablespoons of olive oil in your frying pan & have your heat on medium.  Return the omelet to the pan and cook for about 2 more minutes.  
Voila! The omelet is done.  I like to let it sit for about 5 minutes before I slice it up.  This should make anywhere from 4-6 servings.
A nice wedge served with a spinach salad.
 Making a Spanish tortilla isn't difficult at all and it's always a big crowd pleaser.  The other good thing about this omelet is that it can be served either warm or cold.  A mimosa made with Spanish cava and freshly squeezed orange juice, or perhaps a red or white sangria is perfect to have with this.  By the way, don't limit yourself to a weekend brunch to cook one.  Why not try it for dinner tonight?


  1. David, I love your blog so much! Learning a lot and so impressed by the attention to detail.

  2. Hi there, have you ever tried making a tortilla with jamon serrano? Also, what other kind of sides would you recommend with this? Thanks!

  3. Andrew, thank you so much for the support! I've learned a lot over the years & have even taught myself a thing or two, so I want to share that with people. I try to make things as clear as possible. It's a challenge sometimes!

  4. Michael, I've seen versions with Jamon Serrano in them, but I've never tried it (I don't really eat pork). As far as other sides go, any roasted vegetable, like asparagus, is always delicious with this or perhaps some pan tomate (toasted baguette slices with tomato rubbed all over them & then sprinkled with some Spanish sea salt). Enjoy!


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