Tortilla Española (Spanish Tortilla)

Tortilla Española, sometimes called Tortilla de Patatas, is a Spanish omelette unrelated to the corn and wheat tortillas found in Mexico and neighboring countries (in Spanish, the word tortilla means “small torte/cake”). It is often served cold as a tapa, or warm as part of a meal.

References to the Spanish tortilla didn’t surface until the early 19th century, as a quick meal (for soldiers, as legend has it) using readily-available ingredients of eggs and potatoes, and sometimes onion. Common add-ins for Spanish tortillas include chorizo sausage, mushrooms, bell peppers, peas, and eggplant; the name of the dish will often change depending on which ingredients are added to the mix.

Tortilla Española (Spanish Tortilla) (Gluten-free, Perfect Health Diet, Paleo, Primal, Whole30, Vegetarian)

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Easy

1 cup olive oil
1 small onion, coarsely chopped (about 1 cup chopped)
2 lbs yukon gold potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced (about 1/8″)
6 large eggs, beaten
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 small handful parsley, chopped (about 1/2 cup chopped), divided
2 cloves garlic, minced

1. In a 8-10″ skillet, warm the oil over medium-low heat. Add the onion and potatoes; the oil should just nearly cover the potatoes. Gently simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 25 minutes, reducing heat as needed to keep a steady but gentle simmer. As the potatoes are nearly done simmering, combine the eggs, salt, pepper, and all but a bit of the parsley in a large mixing bowl.

2. Once the potatoes are tender, add the garlic and saute until aromatic, about 30 seconds. With a slotted spoon, gently remove the potatoes, onions, and garlic and transfer them to the bowl of eggs; alternatively, gently transfer the items to a colander lined with a bowl (to catch the oil) then transfer to the bowl of eggs. Gently mix the potato and egg mixtures, trying to not break up the potatoes (it’ll happen, but try to minimize the damage!).

3. Remove all but 2 tbsp of the oil from the skillet, then increase heat to medium. Once the oil is shimmering, add the egg/potato mixture, then spread evenly and reduce heat to medium-low. Saute without stirring the mixture until it starts to get firm around the edges, about 4 minutes. Flip the egg mixture onto a large plate (well, a plate that’s larger than the skillet), uncooked-side-down, then slide the omelette back into the skillet; tuck down the sides to round it out, then saute until golden brown, about 4 more minutes.

4. Transfer the omelette to a plate and let rest for 10 minutes, then scatter with the remaining parsley, slice, and serve. To serve as a tapa, cool in the fridge before serving, or serve at room temperature.

** If adding other ingredients to the tortilla, such as mushrooms or bell peppers, add them a couple minutes before adding the garlic.

13 thoughts on “Tortilla Española (Spanish Tortilla)

  1. I couldn’t fit 1.5lb of thinly sliced potatoes in my 10″ skillet. I transferred to a 13″ skillet, and used a little more olive oil and egg. It turned out delicious, though!


  2. I dated a guy from Spain for a while and he showed me how to make this. My kids and I loved it and I still make it occasionally. Your recipe is exactly how he made it. The plate process still is a little awkward but absolutely worth it.


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