Perfect Tortilla de Patatas Recipe

May 18, 2019
tortilla espanola

The first tortilla I ever made wound up all over the floor (arg, the dreaded flip!). But practice makes perfect, and now I think I can turn out a pretty good Spanish omelette. So this is my recipe and process.


  • 1 kilo of potatoes
  • 7 eggs
  • 1 onion
  • Salt
  • Olive oil
  • A sense of adventure


  • Start by peeling the potatoes. Then slice them into thin slices – about 1/2 cm each
  • If you have time, I like to rinse the peeled potatoes under water to get the starch off and prevent them from sticking. Then leave them to dry (or pat them dry)
  • Heat enough olive oil on a medium in the pan so it will NOT QUITE cover the potatoes when you add them (too much oil = an oily tortilla).
  • Add the potatoes to the oil and let them sizzle away, moving them occasionally so they all get cooked evenly
  • While the potatoes are cooking, slices up the onion into very small pieces
  • Once the potatoes are about to start taking some colour, add the onion to the pan.
  • Add salt (use your gut on this – you can always add more a little later)
  • Let the onion and the potatoes cook, and once the potatoes are pretty well cooked through, slice them up into smaller chunks using your spatula (while they’re still in the oil). They’ll probably be cooking for about 15-20 minutes total.
  • Prepare a bowl for the potatoes with a base of paper towels
  • Once the potatoes and onion are nicely golden, remove them from the oil, making sure to squeeze out the extra oil off and add them to the bowl lined with paper towels (to soak up excess oil). Set the potatoes aside until they no longer have steam coming off them. You’ll need to move the potatoes around in the bowl every 5-10 minutes as the middle will still be very hot. This is so they don’t cook the egg when you add them to the egg (so the potatoes can still be warm, just not hot hot hot such that they’ll cook the egg).
  • Break the eggs into another bowl. Beat the eggs for about 30 seconds.
  • Add the cooled potatoes to the egg mixture. Then leave the mixture for about 15 minutes so the potatoes soak up some of the egginess.
  • Taste (raw egg is fine to taste in Spain at least!) to check for salt.
  • Drop a touch oil into a non-stick pan on a medium heat (see picture below for the pan I use). I also oil the inner sides of the pan so the tortilla doesn’t stick there either.
  • Pour the tortilla mixture into the pan. Shake the pan to even the tortilla mixture out in the pan.
  • Let it cook on a medium heat for about 7 minutes.
  • Once you sense (or small) that it’s nicely golden brown on the bottle side, this is the moment of truth. Flipping the tortilla!
  • Take a flat pan lid with a handle (as per the picture below) or large plate and cover the top of the pan with it, then flip the pan so the tortilla is left sitting atop the pan lid or plate. Then slide the flipped tortilla back into the pan, using a spatula to ease it out (see this video at 3:50 for an example)
  • Let the tortilla cook for another 5 minutes or so.
  • Then flip it back onto the plate and leave it to rest for 10 minutes before eating.
  • It should be gooey on the inside! If you don’t like it gooey, simply let it cook for longer on each side, taking care so it doesn’t burn (so you might need to cook it on a lower heat).


A tortilla can be eaten warm or cold. But I suggest never reheating it – it becomes a bit rubbery.

If you want to experiment, try adding peas, or parsley, or garlic. Added ingredients may not necessarily be orthodox, but who cares!

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