Spanish tortilla – simple and tasty

Tortilla (Spanish omelette) in Pamplona, Spanish cuisine

Tortilla de patatas is one of the simplest yet most delicious meals in Spanish cuisine. During the 19th century the potato omelet used to be extremely popular among soldiers as it is a cheap and filling food. Nowadays tortilla is a staple in the tapas menu of any Spanish bar. Some celebrated chefs have developed more elaborate dishes inspired by tortilla. But the original is a classic you absolutely need to try.

I present you the traditional recipe for a fried tortilla. I also offer you an equally delicious and significantly tastier baked alternative. Whichever recipe you choose to follow, you will be delighted.

For one omelet:

  • 400g potatoes
  • 3-4 eggs
  • 1 medium-sized onion
  • olive oil
  • salt

Fried tortilla

Peel the potatoes and cut them without a cutting board. Use a knife to cut through the potato and break each piece. In this way you preserve the juices of the potatoes and the tortilla will be more savoury.

Pour about 0,5 cm of olive oil into a pan and heat it up. Lower the temperature to minimum and add the finely chopped onion. When the onion becomes transparent add the cut potatoes and salt. Cover the pan and stir the ingredients occasionally. It takes 20-25 min to cook the potatoes on low heat – they should easily break without being crispy.

Beat the eggs in a bowl and add onion and potatoes using a slotted spoon to strain them off from excess oil. Stir the ingredients. Put some olive oil into a 22 cm pan and let it heat up on the highest temperature. Pour the mixture into the pan and wait until it forms a crust. Bring the heat to low and turn the tortilla over using the following method: cover the pan with a plate, turn the pan upside down so the tortilla falls onto the plate, slide the tortilla back in the pan. Fry for 5 more minutes, firstly on high heat and then on minimum until the meal is ready.

Baked tortilla

Heat the oven to 200oC.

Peel the potatoes and cut them into cubes. Put them in a saucepan and cover them with cold water. Bring the water to a boil, add salt and lower the heat to medium. In 7 min take the potatoes out.

Cut the onion finely and fry it in a pan with heated olive oil. Beat the eggs and stir them with the onion and the potatoes. Pour the mixture into an oiled, 22 cm baking dish and bake for 30-45 min. Check if the meal is fully cooked by using a toothpick.

Cut the omelet and enjoy it accompanied by some bread with tomato. Now you know why tortilla is so popular in all of Spain.



  1. August 3, 2015 / 12:45 pm

    Hey Eva, Good to see a fellow veggie traveller. You have a lovely blog.

    • Eva Milano
      August 4, 2015 / 7:11 pm

      Thank you, Anuradha! I wish you delicious travels 🙂

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