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.

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 she prepared every dish and we kept a notebook of notes so that we could try to recreate our favorite dishes when we returned to the US. 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. She made amazing Paella, 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.

Looking for more Spanish recipes? Try:

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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
Save Recipe

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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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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  1. I have made this dish multiple times. I was skeptical of the amount of oil but I strained and refrigerated it afterwards and used it in other dishes successfully. This is now my all time favorite potato dish. Even better with sour cream, scallions, and bacon bits.

  2. Recipe call as for “2 ½ cups extra virgin olive oil”. Can this be right? Otherwise, the recipe sounds wonderful! I look forward to trying it with 2 or 3 Tablespoons of olive oil.

    1. It is 2 1/2 cups oil, you are essentially cooking them in the oil and will have leftover oil. Hope you enjoy!

  3. 5 stars
    I made this dish today after being home from a two week trip to Spain.
    I don’t have a non-stick pan and had to use an 8″ frying pan instead. That meant that I had to make this dish at 1/2 recipe.
    It turned out great! Wonderful recipe. Much appreciation to Lauren Allen for her contribution!!!

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