Spanish garlic coves

Tortilla de Patatas -
Potato Tortilla

The Tortilla Espanola or Spanish Omelette is one of the most commonly served dishes in Spain. It is also called Tortilla de Patata or Potato Omelette. Bars and cafés serve it as a tapa or appetizer, but it is often served as a light dinner in Spanish homes. Because it is easy to transport, the Spanish make bocadillos or sandwiches by placing a piece between two pieces of a baguette. 

The following recipe is taken from Janet Mendel’s book “tapas a bite of Spain”, published by Santana books and available via our online shop.

Makes 12 tapas or 4 main dishes


120ml or 1/2 cup of olive oil
1kg /(about 4 large) peeled potatoes, thinly sliced

2 x tablespoons chopped onion (optional)
6 eggs
1 teaspoon of salt.


Heat the oil in a non-stick or well seasoned frying pan (about 26cm). Add sliced potatoes and turn them in the oil. Let them cook slowly in the oil, without browning, turning frequently. If using onions, add the when the potatoes are partially cooked. The potatoes will take 20 to 30 minutes to cook.

Meanwhile, beat the eggs in a bowl with the salt.

Place a plate over the potatoes and drain off excess oil into a small heatproof bowl. Add the potatoes to the beaten eggs and combine well. Add a little of the reserved oil to the frying pan and pour in the potato-egg mixture. Cook on a medium heat without stirring until set, about 5 minutes. Regulate the heat so the tortilla does not get too brown on the bottom. Shake the pan to keep the tortilla from sticking.

Place a flat lid or plate over the pan, hold it tightly, and reverse the tortilla onto the plate. Add a little more oil to the pan , if necessary, and slide the o tortilla back in to cook on the reverse side, about 3 minutes more. Slide out onto a serving plate.

Cut into squares for tapas or slice in wedges as a main dish. Serve hot or room temperature.

Tips from Artesano:

  • If the oil is too hot, the potatoes will brown rapidly on the outside, but still be raw on the inside
  • It is simply delicious served with “Salsa de tomate frito”, tomato sauce that is made all over Spain. see the recipe in this blog.
  • You can make it in the morning and refrigerate it until your ready to serve it. Allow I to warm up to room temperature before serving. Because the tortilla is so popular and will disappear quickly, be sure to cut it into 1 1/2 – 2 inch squares and place each piece on top of a piece of bread or serve with tooth picks. This way, your guests will eat their fill, but everyone will have the chance to taste it.

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