Tortilla de Patatas (also known as Spanish Omelette or tortilla de papas) is an easy Spanish recipe made with potatoes, onion, eggs, salt, and oil. 

I love to travel and I love to eat and cook ethnic food.  Some of my favorite ethnic recipes include Homemade Pupusas, Authentic Mexican Rice, and Easy Pad Thai.

Spanish tortilla de patata on a plate with a slice being served and a baguette and salad in the background.

Tortilla de Patatas

Several years ago I had the amazing opportunity to study abroad in Spain and live with a local family there.  Our “madre” was an AMAZING cook and made us every authentic Spanish dish you could imagine.

My sister and I loved her cooking so much that we would bombard her with questions about how it was made and we kept a notebook where we would record her recipes. Tortilla de patatas is one recipe that she made often for us during out time in Spain and it quickly became one of our favorites.

She made Tortilla de Patatas for us when we came home for lunch, and she’d offer the leftovers for breakfast or a snack. I plan to share her Paella recipe soon as well.

What is Tortilla de Patatas?

In Spain, the dish goes by a few different names, including tortilla de patatas, tortilla española, or tortilla de papas. (The American translation is a Spanish Omelette.) It’s an egg and potato dish that’s cooked in a skillet and served as a tapa, a main dish with a baguette and green salad, or even enjoyed as a snack.

It tastes great served warm, cold, or at room temperature.

Ingredients for Tortilla de Patatas:

  • Olive oil. The potatoes are cooked in a generous amount of oil, and the oil can be strained and reused 2-3 more times in the future.  
  • Yukon Gold Potatoes. Waxy potatoes with a lower starch content work best (like Yukon gold, or red potatoes) because they hold their shape when boiled. Peel the potatoes and use a knife or mandolin to slice them into uniform ¼ inch thick slices. 
  • Onion. I like to use yellow onion, but white onion would also work well.
  • Eggs
  • Crushed sea salt

The ingredients for tortilla de patata (potatoes, eggs, olive oil, onion, salt) next to another photo of the potato and onion thinly sliced on a cutting board.

How to make Tortilla de Patatas:

  • Add olive oil to a 10 or 12 inch skillet over medium heat. (It’s best to use a skillet that is at least 1 ½ inches deep.)
  • Add sliced potato and onion to the pan; they should be mostly covered with olive oil (add a little more oil if needed).
  • Season with 1 ½ teaspoon sea salt.
  • Cook on medium-high heat, maintaining a gentle boil, for 8-12 minutes, turning occasionally, until potatoes are just fork tender. Don’t overcook them!
  • Drain potatoes, reserving oil for later use. Taste and season potatoes with more salt, if needed. Allow them to cool for a few minutes.

A skillet with sliced potatoes and onion in oil, next to another photo of the cooked potato and onion in a fine mesh strainer placed over a metal bowl.

  • Meanwhile crack the eggs into a bowl and season with about ½ teaspoon of salt. Beat the eggs together and pour over the cooked potatoes and onion and toss to coat. 

Eggs being beaten with a fork in a small clear bowl next to another photo of the beaten eggs combined with cooked slices of potato and onion in a bowl.

  • Add a little bit of oil to the bottom of a 10-inch non-stick skillet over high heat. Once hot, pour potato mixture into it and cook on high heat for 1 minute. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for about 5 minutes.

How to flip a Spanish Omelette:

  • Run a rubber spatula along the outer edges of the tortilla to make sure it’s not sticking and to help it form its shape.
  • Once it starts to firm up around the edges and in the center (although it will still be a little runny on top) place a large plate (larger than the size of the pan) over the pan and flip the omelette onto the plate.
  • At this point the cooked side of the omelette is facing up.
  • Now gently slide the omelette back into the pan. Aim the omelette to slide into the very back of the skillet and use the spatula to help slide the rest of it off the plate and into the pan.
  • Now use the spatula again to press the sides of the omelette in and under, to keep that rounded edge.
  • Cook on high heat for 1 minute, and low heat for 2-3 more minutes or until done. It’s done when it feels set in the center and a knife or toothpick inserted into  the center comes out clean.

Three process photos with text overlay for cooking tortilla de patata in a skillet, flipping it onto a white plate and cooking it in the skillet on the other side.

  • Flip the finished tortilla de patatas back onto a plate, and serve. Serve warm or at room temperature.

How do you slice the potatoes to make a Spanish omelette?

If you don’t have a mandolin, you can easily cut the potatoes into thin, uniform slices, using a sharp knife:

After peeling the potato, cut it in half lengthwise, then in half lengthwise again, to make four long, thin pieces. Then cut the pieces horizontally, into thin slices.

Tortilla de patata on a white plate with salad and a baguette in the background.

What to serve with Tortilla de Patatas:

Tortilla de patatas is traditionally served with a warm baguette and a green side salad.

Storing and freezing tortilla de patatas:

Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.  You can also freeze your Spanish omelette.  To freeze, allow it to cool completely and wrap it well in plastic wrap.  Then slide it into a freezer safe ziplock bag and put it in the freezer for up to 1 month.

Thaw it overnight in the refrigerator. Once thawed, it can be eaten cold or you may cut a slice and warm it in the microwave for a few seconds.

A slice of tortilla de patata served on a white plate with green salad on the side and sliced baguette in the background.

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Recipe

Spanish tortilla de patata on a plate with a slice being served and a baguette and salad in the background.
Prep 15 mins
Cook 25 mins
Total 40 mins
Add to Meal Plan

Video

Ingredients
  

  • 2 ½ cups extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 medium Yukon Gold Potatoes , (about 2 lbs), peeled and thinly sliced (about ¼ inch thick)
  • 1 yellow or white onion
  • 6 eggs , beaten
  • 2 teaspoons crushed sea salt , divided

Instructions
 

  • Add olive oil to a large skillet over medium heat.
  • Add potato and onion; they should be mostly covered with olive oil (add a little more oil if needed). Season with 1 ½ teaspoon sea salt. Cook on medium-high heat, maintaining a gentle boil, for 8-12 minutes, turning occasionally, until potatoes are just fork tender. Don’t overcook.
  • Drain potatoes in a colander, reserving oil. Taste and season with more salt, if needed. Allow to cool for a few minutes.
  • Meanwhile crack eggs into a bowl and season with about ½ tsp salt. Beat eggs together. Add potato and onion and toss to coat.
  • Add a little bit of oil to the bottom of a 10-inch non-stick skillet over high heat. Once hot, pour potato mixture into it and cook on high heat for 1 minute. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for about 5 minutes.
  • Run a rubber spatula along the outer edges of the tortilla to make sure it’s not sticking and to help it form its shape.
  • Once it starts to firm up around the edges and in the center (although it will still be a little runny on toplace a large plate (larger than the size of the paover the pan and flip the omelette onto the plate.
  • At this point, the cooked side of the tortilla de patatas should be facing up.
  • Now gently slide the omelette back into the pan. Aim the back of the omelette to slide into the back of the skillet and use the spatula to help slide the rest of it off the plate and into the pan. Then use the spatula again to press the sides of the omelette in and under, to keep that rounded edge. 
  • Cook on high heat for 1 minute, and low heat for 2-3 more minutes or until done. It’s done when it feels set in the center and a knife or toothpick inserted into  the center comes out clean.
  • Flip the finished tortilla de patata back onto a plate, and serve. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Notes

This dish can be enjoyed warm, cold, or at room temperature. Store leftovers covered, in the fridge.

Nutrition

Calories: 199kcalCarbohydrates: 13gProtein: 8gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 164mgSodium: 847mgPotassium: 439mgFiber: 2gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 240IUVitamin C: 11.1mgCalcium: 54mgIron: 3.6mg

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About The Author

Lauren Allen

Welcome! I’m Lauren, a mom of four and lover of good food. Here you’ll find easy recipes and weeknight meal ideas made with real ingredients, with step-by-step photos and videos.

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    We had to make this recipe for my son’s Spanish class. I have never made it before, it was really delicious. We also flipped it over again to brown the bottom. Served with hot sauce!

  2. 5 stars
    this was the recipe that interested me the most when I looked up how to do a tortilla espanola and I followed all the steps and my tortilla espanola came out just perfect! Thank you vey much for sharing!! ps. I also studied abroad in Spain and I loved this dish!!!

  3. 4 stars
    I would definitely add Cheese to this recipe!! Hollandaise would be good, too! I can’t wait to make this and experiment with the recipe!! :))

    1. Yeah that would be a nice way to ruin the dish…

      Wondering why all americans cannot eat without adding cheese to a dish, or any sauce, for that matter…

      1. you do realize that Argentinians LOVE cheese and a signature Argentinian version of this is with copious amounts of cheese? If you’re gonna be rude, at least don’t be ignorant lol

      2. Uh, a signature Argentinian version of this dish is traditionally made with copious amounts of cheese…. Not just an American thing!

        1. It can be done, but is like making chimichurri, and add diced tomatoes, and jalapeño peppers to it. It is delicious, but it is not chimichurri.
          I agree, with variations, but I find, in the end, everything tastes the same. I love cheese, but in countries where they over use any ingredient, becomes a monotony.

      3. 5 stars
        I have made this several times and this is the best recipe. So close to my House Mother’s recipe when I studied abroad in Sevilla. I will be making this for my wife and kids tonight!

      4. I also lived in Spain and loved the food. The great debate in Spain is ‘onions or no?’ You can also get them with peppers, and stuffed with cheese and jamon. All versions delicious!

    2. I realize, there are many ways to eat or prepare a dish, but for teaching someone, that has never eaten , tortilla de papas, you must teach the original, the authentic, which is delicious. It has a taste of its own, you add anything else, it might taste good, but it is a totally different dish, a different flavour, all together.
      I love cheese btw

  4. 5 stars
    My friend studied in Spain and introduced me to this dish. I finally tried it after he gave me this web address. It turned out beautifully! I couldn’t stop eating it!! Yum!!!

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