Tortilla de Patatas, the classic Spanish omelette, is easy to make with just 5 ingredients. Perfect for potlucks, BBQs, or picnics, it's tasty at room temperature and addictive once you've mastered it!
Ingredients and Substitutes
Yukon gold potatoes - red or white skinned potatoes can be substituted or any waxy potatoes.
White onion - sweet or Spanish onion can also be used.
Extra virgin olive oil - regular olive oil can also be used. It's important to use olive oil in this recipe for the flavour. Don't be alarmed with the amount of oil used in this recipe. Most of it is drained off and can be reused for cooking.
Eggs - the eggs are what hold everything together. Once you become experienced with the technique of making this recipe you can play around with the amount of eggs if you prefer the omelette to be either more dry or more wet.
Salt - this is a very important ingredient in this recipe. All of the ingredients are bland tasting and the salt brings out the flavour.
How to make this recipe
Step 1 - prepare the potatoes and onions by peeling and slicing into approximately ½ cm or ⅛ - inch slices.
Step 2 - Heat the oil in a large, deep frying pan. Once the oil is hot add the potatoes and onions. You want to "poach" the potatoes and onions in the oil so adjust the heat so it's not too hot. The oil should be bubbling gently.
Step 3 - Continue cooking for 15 to 20 minutes or until the potatoes are soft.
Step 4 - Place a colander over a large bowl and drain the potatoes. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and salt. Gently stir the potatoes and onions into the egg mixture and let sit for 10 minutes.
Step 5 - Heat a small amount of oil in a 9-inch non-stick frying pan. Gently pour the potato-egg mixture into the pan shaking gently to distribute evenly. Cook over medium heat until golden brown on the bottom.
To flip the omelette, place a larger plate on top, and flip the pan over the sink. Wipe the pan and add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Slide the omelette back in, push the sides to create a rounded edge, and cook for 3-4 minutes on medium heat until browned. Let cool for 20 minutes or more before serving.
Then slide it back into the pan after wiping it out and heating up some more oil. Use a wooden spoon or rubber spatula to push around the sides to create a nice rounded edge. Now it cooks until you get another golden brown bottom. Flip it back out onto a plate and voila!
Spanish omelette can be served warm but typically it is eaten at room temperature. If I make it in the winter I tend to prefer it warm and not in the summer. You can serve it as a side to anything you like or it can be the main attraction with a nice green salad. In Spain tortilla is even made into a sandwich with a slice between 2 pieces of baguette. Yum! Keep it in the fridge and it will last several days.
PRO TIPS FOR BEST RESULTS
- Use waxy potatoes and white onions, sliced thinly.
- Extra virgin olive oil gives the best flavour. You can reuse the drained oil for future cooking purposes. Not for salads.
- Heat up the olive oil before adding the potatoes and onions. Test with one slice of potato. Look for it to just start sizzling.
- Monitor the cooking temperature so it doesn't get too hot or too cool.
- Stir gently as not to break up the potatoes too much.
- Whisk the eggs very well. The salt added in this step helps to break up the eggs.
- Let the potatoes and onions rest in the egg mixture for several minutes so the potatoes can soak up some of the egg.
- Check the bottom of the omelette to see if it is the right colour. Adjust cooking temperature if necessary.
- Use a plate or flat tray larger than the omelette to flip it out. Do this over the sink.
- If either side needs more bowning put it back in the pan, on the heat, for a minute or two.
- 1 kg approximately, Yukon Gold or new potatoes
- 1 large white onion
- 2 cups extra virgin olive oil
- 5 large eggs
- 2 ½ teaspoon kosher salt, if using table salt or fine sea salt start with 2 tsp.
- Peel potatoes. Cut in half lengthwise and slice into approx. ¼" slices. Set aside.
- Peel onion. Cut in half lengthwise and slice the same thickness or slightly thinner than potatoes. Add to potatoes.
- Heat all the olive oil over medium heat in a frying pan large enough to hold the oil, potatoes and onion. Heat for 2-3 minutes. To check if it's ready put a slice of potato in the oil. It should be sizzling gently. Add all the potatoes and onion. Stir, making sure everything is coated in oil.
- Cover with a lid and continue cooking for approximately 20 minutes. Check and stir carefully every few minutes making sure the oil isn't getting too hot. It should be simmering gently. The potatoes and onions are done when you can easily break apart the potato with a wooden spoon or spatula.
- Drain in a colander over a bowl to catch the oil. Set aside the collected oil. Whisk together the eggs and salt. Add the potatoes and onions to the egg mixture stirring well but gently. Let sit for 10 minutes.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of the reserved olive oil in the finishing size frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the potato, egg mixture moving it around slightly to distribute the egg evenly. Turn the heat down to medium. Without stirring, cook for 6-7 minutes, checking the bottom by lifting the edge up slightly with a spatula.
- When nicely browned on the bottom remove from heat. Place a larger sized plate or tray on top. Over the sink. with one hand holding the pan handle and the other on top of the plate, carefully flip the pan over so the omelette is cooked side up on the plate. Wipe the pan with paper towel and heat up another 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high heat. Gently slide the omelette back into the pan with the cooked side up. Reduce the heat to medium. Using a wooden spoon or spatula push the sides in slightly to create a rounded edge. Continue cooking for 3-4 minutes or until the bottom is nicely browned and the center is firm and set. You can always return it to the pan to brown either side a little more if necessary. Let cool for at least 20 minutes before eating but ideally an hour or more to give it time to set.
I walked the Camino De Santiago a few years back. Every place I stayed had a continental breakfast, but no worries. Most of the time just a short walk away would be a bar, I would stop for freshly squeezed orange juice, a cana of cerveza, and a piece of tortilla. I have made it once since, and you have reminded me of how wonderful this is, going to make it for a work mate of mine next week with a nice salad. And vino 🙂
How wonderful to have walked the Camino! I hope you and your work mate enjoy the tortilla!
Adding this to my cottage collection of breakfast dishes for family weekends!
I'm so happy to hear that Lynn!
Judy Falardeau says
I’m just starting my first session of Gina Livy and was reading your bio so jumped to look at more recipes from your blog. I learned to make this when I lived in Madrid and I make it exactly the way you say. It is one of my favourites. I’ll have to have it only for lunch as a treat after I finish my first 12 weeks.
Alex Mut says
This is the best tapa!
I just love how it is just a little different every time I eat it. Personally I like it a little on the moist side, but I've never turned a piece down for being on the dry side.
Thanks for this post.
Yes any way is good in the end!