Tortilla de Patatas – Potato Omelette

20 Mar

This was a two egg omelette made in a small, deep frying pan

I can´t believe that I haven´t posted my version of this Spanish classic.  Probably one of the most famous tapas dishes in Spain, simple, economical and delicious. Can be served hot or cold. There is always a great debate about how to cut the potatoes.  Ask 5 people and you´ll get five different answers – the choice is yours.

Ingredients per person

  • One large potato peeled, halved and cut into thin (but not wafer thin) slices or chunks
  • Half a medium onion, finely chopped (optional)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon of milk
  • ½ teaspoon of cornflour (optional)
  • Salt
  • Olive oil for frying

Put the potatoes (and onion if using) into a deep frying pan with straight sides if possible. This helps with turning the tortilla.  Choose the size of pan according to how many people you are cooking for – you want the tortilla to be deep, so a smaller diameter and a larger depth works well.  Cover with plenty of olive oil (this can be drained and reused) and use a low heat to braise the potatoes until they are tender, turning them over gently a few times during cooking.

Drain the potatoes and save the oil. In a large bowl beat the eggs and milk together and if you want a thicker, spongy texture to your tortilla, add the cornflour to a little of the milk then mix in with the eggs.  Season with salt then add the potatoes to the eggs and mix gently. The secret to a successful tortilla, I´ve found, is to have a high quantity of “filling” in relation to egg.  The egg binds the potatoes (or whatever vegetable you choose to use) together.

Pour a little oil into your frying pan and when it is hot, turn the heat down low, add the eggs and potatoes and cover with a lid.  This now needs to cook very, very slowly until it sets in the middle and the bottom starts to brown.

Turn the tortilla using a large plate and then slide the uncooked side into the pan. Timings will depend on how large your tortilla is.  If you are unsure about flipping the tortilla, pop the frying pan under a hot grill for a few moments to completely set the top, then flip it.  Once it is browned nicely on both sides, turn out onto a plate and enjoy it hot or cold.

For a less authentic but less calorific version of this dish, use potatoes cooked in their skins. Peel and slice or cut into chunks and then warm them through in a very little oil before adding to your egg.  I use this method more often than the “oil braising” method to help in the waistline war, and no one has noticed the difference!

For another version, take a look at my Potato and Brocolli Tortilla here.


89 Responses to “Tortilla de Patatas – Potato Omelette”

  1. Piglet in Portugal March 20, 2012 at 09:16 #

    I like the second less calorific version 🙂 Being frugal I think this would make a great recipe for using up left over cooked potatoes. What about herbs? I am experimenting at the moment…

    • Chica Andaluza March 20, 2012 at 09:20 #

      The sky´s the limit with what you put in. I posted the first version because this is the “traditional” way the tortilla de patatas is made, but I mostly tend to make it with whatever I have to hand or if I have leftover cooked veggies!

      • Piglet in Portugal March 20, 2012 at 09:27 #

        It still looks delicious which ever way it is cooked. I think I am going to cook this for supper and raid the fridge. It’s far more hearty than a standard omlette and so versatile 🙂 I keep meaning to try paella.

  2. TBM March 20, 2012 at 09:18 #

    I need to stop reading your posts in the morning while I eat my oatmeal. This makes my oatmeal seem even more bland than it already is. Looks great!

    • Chica Andaluza March 20, 2012 at 09:21 #

      Oh yes, a nice little tortilla in the morning goes down well. Some people here even have a big thick slice of it in a roll! Have a great day, oatmeal is delicious and very good for you. But you have to call it porridge now you´re in the UK 😉

      • TBM March 20, 2012 at 09:26 #

        Really porridge! Well now I feel cooler. Call me Goldilocks.

      • Chica Andaluza March 20, 2012 at 09:38 #

        Will do!

  3. thecompletecookbook March 20, 2012 at 09:25 #

    It’s always the simple things in life that are the most satisfying and delicious Tanya – great recipe.
    🙂 Mandy

    • Chica Andaluza March 20, 2012 at 09:27 #

      You´re right. This is such a traditional dish here that I felt I had to post it, even though it´s so simple!

  4. Food,Photography & France March 20, 2012 at 09:27 #

    Spanish tortilla is delicious, and I’m going to try your version definitely.

    • Chica Andaluza March 20, 2012 at 09:39 #

      It´s how they all make it here, and it Works well giving a good solid, stays together, type tortilla!

  5. chaiselongue1 March 20, 2012 at 09:33 #

    Mmm, this does look very good and it’s one of my favourites! Lo Jardinier is the tortilla expert in our house so I’ll make sure he sees this post – he has a wooden tortilla turner that we bought in Navarra to help with the turning, a very useful implement. Our daughter introduced us to a very naughty version she’d eaten in Sevilla, with melted blue cheese over it….not for every day!

    • Chica Andaluza March 20, 2012 at 12:47 #

      I think you posted a photo once of your lovely tortilla turner – mine is just plastic 😦 Now as for that naughty blue cheese version…that sounds so good!

  6. fati's recipes March 20, 2012 at 09:47 #

    This is amazing! My dad’s two favourite ingredients (egg and potato) … I think I’ll try making this for him.. see what his reaction is 🙂

  7. promenadeplantings March 20, 2012 at 10:42 #

    As you say an absolute classic, and thanks for posting it and taking me through the steps. I think I’ll do your way so I don’t have yet another waistline war on my hands!

  8. Simply Tia March 20, 2012 at 11:07 #

    This looks very filling and delicious. I’m gonna have to try this for my PIC one weekend soon.

    Have a wonderful day Tanya!

    • Chica Andaluza March 20, 2012 at 13:32 #

      It´s so simple, but most people seem to enjoy it! Have a great day too Tia 🙂

  9. Michi March 20, 2012 at 11:45 #

    Yummy! D-Man just made a new one last night, but we were missing potatoes, so he caramelized half an onion and used that instead. The combination of sweet and salty was so good! Tortilla de patata grows on me more each time.

    • Chica Andaluza March 20, 2012 at 13:33 #

      Now the caramelised onion version sounds good too – sometimes I use onions too but just soften them…your way sounds much more exciting!

  10. gardenfreshtomatoes March 20, 2012 at 12:02 #

    I LOVE these…maybe for lunch today – if I come inside for long enough to cook something!

  11. Mad Dog March 20, 2012 at 12:18 #

    I love tortilla and cooked one with garlic, onions, potatoes and 8 eggs last Friday. I had half for supper with salsa brava and then used the other half in sandwiches for the next two days. Yours looks like a classic 😉

    • Chica Andaluza March 20, 2012 at 13:34 #

      Now that sounds like a proper family sized tortilla. And it´s very typical to have it in rolls or sandwiches too – are you sure you´re not half Spanish?!

      • Mad Dog March 20, 2012 at 16:25 #

        Not as far as I can tell, though my mother was adopted…
        I did move to Spain quite soon after trying my first tortilla and gazpacho 😉

      • Chica Andaluza March 20, 2012 at 17:34 #

        Quite clearly you are the long lost descendant of a Spanish King!

  12. whilehewasout March 20, 2012 at 12:36 #

    Love love love it, someone tell my Spanish boyfriend he should do it more often!!

    • Chica Andaluza March 20, 2012 at 13:31 #

      I´ll have a word with him! Or you could tell him his mother would be ashamed of him not making it…that usually works with Spanish men 😉

  13. Garden Correspondent March 20, 2012 at 13:00 #

    I’ve always wanted to try this, so lunch tomorrow is sorted. Thanks!

    • Chica Andaluza March 20, 2012 at 13:30 #

      Glad you liked it – it´s so very typical here. Spanish fast food!

  14. themateriallady March 20, 2012 at 13:10 #

    You really are not helping in my quest to lose weight!
    This looks fabulous – and a very easy meal (losing all of it’s calories by the inclusion of a salad…..)

    • Chica Andaluza March 20, 2012 at 13:39 #

      Absolutely…if there is something green and vegetabley on your plate it makes all other calories null and void!

  15. Karen March 20, 2012 at 13:27 #

    I love this dish and haven’t had it since we moved away for Florida where I used to order it often when eating out. Thanks for reminding me of a favorite.

    • Chica Andaluza March 20, 2012 at 13:39 #

      I can imagine there would be lots of lovely versions of tortilla in Florida!

  16. zestybeandog March 20, 2012 at 14:18 #

    This is something I’ve never seen, how unique! The possibilities are endless with this I’m sure! 🙂

    • Chica Andaluza March 20, 2012 at 15:32 #

      Sweet omelettes, savoury..just make sure you pack them full!

  17. TheDorsetFinca March 20, 2012 at 14:19 #

    Such a classic… I used to always order this from a lovely lady who had a little cafe on the side of her house. She lived up a tiny wiggly road, right up in the mountains. x

    • Chica Andaluza March 20, 2012 at 15:32 #

      Ah, that conjures up such a wonderful picture. Maybe because it sounds like where we live (without the café though)!

  18. ChgoJohn March 20, 2012 at 14:39 #

    Such a simple dish. Tanya, and I bet a great way to start the day. I’m sure that you could have any number of variations but, for me, sometimes simple is best. Next time i spy a potato in the bin looking lonely, guess what dish I’ll be making?

    • Chica Andaluza March 20, 2012 at 15:33 #

      Any time of day is tortilla time here in Spain! They love them and the potato one is their favourite…

  19. Karista March 20, 2012 at 16:28 #

    This looks delicious. One of the many reasons I love your blog so much! I can travel Spain and experience the food and culture through your posts. Thank you!

  20. niasunset March 20, 2012 at 19:24 #
    I have nominated your blog for this Sunshine award. Thank you, with my love, nia

    • Chica Andaluza March 20, 2012 at 19:35 #

      That is so kind of you Nia – you are such a thoughtful and generous person!

  21. ceciliag March 20, 2012 at 19:56 #

    This dish was exactly what i made maybe once or twice a week when it was just the kids and I but i added peas for the green. We called it the spanish omelette, and it was such a good economical meal! I have forgotton all about it!! love it. i must make it again soon. Thank you tanya.. c

    • Chica Andaluza March 20, 2012 at 20:06 #

      That right – in English this style of omelette is indeed called Spanish Omelette! I love it with some “greenery” in it too 🙂

  22. Bluejellybeans March 20, 2012 at 21:32 #

    Hola Tanya!
    Inadvertidamente me las había arreglado para bloquear los post de todos los blogs que sigo. Cuando esta tarde he visto que seguía sin recibir ninguna novedad me di cuenta de que algo no funcionaba bien. Ya lo he solucionado pero me temo que tendré que ir blog por blog para ver lo que habéis hecho hoy.
    ¿El primero que he visitado? El tuyo. Me encanta la tortilla de patata y me sorprende ni tu ni yo hubiésemos subido la receta todavía…
    Un saludo,

    • Chica Andaluza March 21, 2012 at 11:35 #

      ¡Ay qué pena! Menos mal que lo has solucionado, pero tarda mucho a veces arreglar problemas como esto. También me sorprendió que ningunos de vosotros hubiese subido la receta de la tortilla. Y esto seguro que hay muchísimas maneras individuales de hacerla…

  23. Michelle March 20, 2012 at 23:58 #

    Love those as tapas and, as somebody noted above, leftovers make great sandwiches if they stick around that long! Actually have been thinking about you all week as we’ve been on sort of a Spanish cooking kick. And, indeed, the contents of the olive oil can are dwindling, so may have to switch nationalities soon!

    • Chica Andaluza March 21, 2012 at 11:36 #

      How lovely – do hope you enjoyed your “Spanish Week” at home 🙂

  24. dotdos March 20, 2012 at 23:58 #

    I came to your blog by nia. I was delighted to see the recipe for potato omelette perfectly explained in English. Greetings! and I follow you from now.

    • Chica Andaluza March 21, 2012 at 10:01 #

      Pues muchisimas gracias – ahora voy a hacerte una visita tambien!

  25. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide March 21, 2012 at 00:00 #

    Looks absolutely delicious!

  26. atasteofmadess March 21, 2012 at 05:12 #

    Oh yum, I love potatoes, this sounds scrumptious!

  27. rsmacaalay March 21, 2012 at 06:03 #

    I think this is the Filipinos got our Torta, we have a very similar breakfast recipe

    • Chica Andaluza March 21, 2012 at 11:40 #

      I am constantly amazed and interested in the connections between the two cuisines!

  28. Stevie D March 21, 2012 at 08:47 #

    My lady and I learned to love this from our visits to Spain, so I tried to make one a while ago. It tasted pretty good although I put a little Garlic in it. Is this authentic, the Garlic I mean?

    • Chica Andaluza March 21, 2012 at 10:00 #

      Typically garlic isn´t used in this tortilla (although sometimes finely chopped and softened onion is) but I promise not to tell the Spanish Tortilla Police – you should do what you enjoy!

  29. foodblogandthedog March 21, 2012 at 12:27 #

    I have to admit that I have never made a proper Tortilla, can you believe it? I think it’s because I’ve had too many dodgy microwaved out of a plastic pack versions in tapas bars when it’s the only vegetarian option apart from Ensalada Rusa with the tuna picked out!! Your homemade version has really got my mouth watering at the thought, it is coming up to lunchtime as well!! Oh and so jealous of your veggie planting, do you know my tulips have flowered before the stalks have grown up, do you think that’s because of the mild weather?

    • Chica Andaluza March 21, 2012 at 13:25 #

      I expect you eat so much of it when you´re out for lack of options, I can understand why you don´t make it at home. If you do though, the touch of cornflour and the lid on the pan whilst cooking really slowly help to give it a great texture.

      My daffs did the same one year (it was the first year we had them in) and I think it was lack of moisture. Let them die back and dry as much as possible (they don´t look pretty at this stage) then cut the dry stalks back and hopefully next year they´ll do better!

      • foodblogandthedog March 21, 2012 at 14:09 #

        But there are no stalks it’s just the open flowers poking out of the soil!! Very weird looking…

      • Chica Andaluza March 21, 2012 at 14:37 #

        Yes, that´s exactly what happened to ours! Most strange….

      • Chica Andaluza March 21, 2012 at 14:41 #

        Sorry, should have said though, let the leaves dry off in the same way as stalks!

  30. Tandy March 21, 2012 at 15:11 #

    This sounds like a great dinner party side dish!

  31. Sawsan@ Chef in disguise March 21, 2012 at 20:40 #

    There is a very similar recipe that my mum makes but she pan fries the potatoes (no onions) and them adds the eggs, breaks the yolks and covers the pan for a couple of minutes for the eggs to cook through

  32. sportsglutton March 21, 2012 at 21:36 #

    Sounds great, but I might be tempted to braise the potatoes with some bacon fat. Couldn’t hurt right? 😉

  33. Just A Smidgen March 22, 2012 at 05:25 #

    It’s well into the evening here, and I would still love to have this cooking in a pan on my stove, never mind the morning! I think I would try the low-cal version.. my son would like the original… with lots of oil:)

    • Chica Andaluza March 22, 2012 at 09:42 #

      I bet if you made him the healthier versoinm he wouldn´t notice the difference!

  34. ....RaeDi March 25, 2012 at 20:51 #

    Beautiful pictures and I love the Tortilla, I know what egg dish I am making next!

    • Chica Andaluza March 26, 2012 at 09:56 #

      It´s a Spanish classic (and emergency meal standby)!

  35. Frances antoinette March 26, 2012 at 06:24 #

    This dish is important to me (as a vegetarian) because when in Spain…most of the dishes are meat-based!

    • Chica Andaluza March 26, 2012 at 10:07 #

      Spain is tough for vegetarians. A shame because there are so many incredible ingredients which lend themselves to amazing vegetarian dishes…Italy does seem to cater better with all its lovely grilled veggie antipasti and non meat pastas. Having said that, I am not a vegetarian, but we do often eat meat free meals so watch this space!

  36. Jimmy Cracked-Corn March 27, 2012 at 18:58 #

    YUM! A perfect recipe to cook in cast iron. And smother with hot sauce.

    • Chica Andaluza March 27, 2012 at 19:32 #

      Great idea! And thanks for visiting and commenting.

  37. foodblogandthedog June 21, 2012 at 18:42 #

    I’m going to attempt this tonight, my first ever tortilla, can you believe it? Going the whole hog and having pimientos fritos tambien!

    • Chica Andaluza June 21, 2012 at 18:46 #

      Ooh – enjoy, do hope it works well for you. Recommend being quite liberal with the olive oil in the pan, you can always drain it off, saves on getting the tortilla stuck to the bottom!

  38. Promenade Claire November 3, 2013 at 17:07 #

    I fancied Tortilla but need a reminder of the recipe – and thought I know someone who will know! Thanks honey !


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