Spanish Potato Tortilla Recipe | Vegetarian Times Skip to main content

Spanish Potato Tortilla

In Mexico, a tortilla may be used to wrap around taco fillings, but in Spain the name refers to a frittata made with potatoes and onions. While delicious hot, this tapas standard is actually better when cooled to room temperature.



Ingredient Line: 
2 Tbs. plus 1 tsp. olive oil, divided
Ingredient Line: 
1 lb. fingerling potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
Ingredient Line: 
1 medium onion, quartered and thinly sliced (1 cup)
Ingredient Line: 
2 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp.)
Ingredient Line: 
5 eggs


1. Heat 2 Tbs. oil in nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add potatoes, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add onion and garlic, and cook 15 minutes more, or until onion is translucent and potatoes begin to brown. Transfer to bowl, and season with salt and pepper.

2. Beat eggs in separate bowl. Stir eggs into potato mixture.

3. Heat remaining 1 tsp. oil in same skillet over medium-high heat. Spread egg-potato mixture in skillet, and reduce heat to medium. Cook tortilla 5 to 7 minutes, or until browned and crispy on bottom and eggs are set halfway to center. Remove skillet from heat, loosen edges of tortilla, and place large plate over skillet. Carefully invert tortilla onto plate. Slide tortilla back into skillet, and cook 5 minutes more, or until both sides are browned and crispy. Transfer to serving plate, and cut into wedges.

Nutrition Information: 

10 g
Total Fat: 
14 g
Saturated Fat: 
3 g
26 g
264 mg
287 mg
3 g
3 g
Serves 4

Comments on this Recipe

I lived in Spain, and my favoite way to make tortilla was to cook the onions separately until they were really carmelized. It adds a sweetness to the tortilla which is great. I also don't use garlic - I never saw that in Spain. I think small yellow potoatoes are standard, but back in the States I've made tortilla with all types of potatoes - most recently with small red potatoes I grew in my garden (not peeled, which you'd never see in Spain) and the tortilla was delicious.

You can save several steps (& a bowl to wash) by just pouring the potato mixture into the beaten eggs, then back into the skillet. Also, far easier than flipping the tortilla is to just put it under the broiler for the last step, which also gives a lovely baked look to the final product. Learned both of these tricks from a Spanish cookbook. You can also add fresh mushrooms and spinach to the sautee process, but that almost becomes a different dish which my family calls 'the eggy thing.'

Spanish Tortilla (tortilla espanola) never has garlic in it. Also, two tablespoons of oil will not be sufficient. The potatoes need to soften and then brown, it will take longer than 5 mins. My mother was from Spain and I've lived in Spain and seen many versions of this wonderful dish. It is a one dish meal with a salad if done right. Tip, use more oil, use a slotted spoon to remove the potatoes and drop them into the beaten eggs. Reduce the oil in the pan so that there's just a coating a slide the egg potato mixture back in the skillet. If it's too heavy to invert, just slide in the oven and brown the top with your grill setting. Make sure to shake the pan to loosen the tortilla from the sides. Room temperature is best for serving. Good with mayo as a leftover in some pita bread.

I have a hard time finding fingerling potatoes. Is there a good substitute?

Agree with Mary. My parents were from Spain and I have lived there. Absolutely NO GARLIC. NEVER...EVER.... Mary's comment is also correct regarding the amount of oil. Two Tbps would never be enough. You may be able to cut down on the amount of oil if you cover the potato mixture as it is cooking. This will effectively steam the potatoes as they sautee and the flavor will not be as intense as a true Spanish Tortilla which requires closer to a cup of olive oil. Americas Test Kitchen has a good video on how to cook a lower oil tortilla. You may use garlic mayo as a condiment, but do not add garlic to the tortilla. Best potatoes are yukon gold because they retain their shape (lower starch). I've never heard of using fingerlings, but it could work. I also agree that you can use the broiler method to finish cooking as an alternative to flipping. Be careful that the heat source is not too close because you want to finish off and solidify the egg mixture in the middle, not burn it. You can add: onions sauteed with the potatoes as well as peas and roasted red peppers. This is a great one dish meal.