Tortilla Espanola is a Spanish egg dish packed with potatoes and onions. It's filling, good for you, and much easier to make than you would expect.
I fell in love with Tortilla Espanola while living abroad in Spain during college and have been making it ever since. Packed with fried potatoes, onions, and eggs, it is a delicious and hearty dish that is absolutely delicious in its simplicity.
When I first moved to Spain during college as a study abroad student, I didn't understand the obsession with the Tortilla Espanola. The idea of having a potato and egg omelet that was either room temperature or cold didn't appeal to me. Then I finally had a good one, and things forever changed. The simple combination of eggs, potatoes, and onions can really become something amazing.
Traditionally the potatoes in this Spanish egg dish are cooked in about a cup of olive oil. However, in this lightened-up version, the potatoes and onions are fried in just a couple of tablespoons of oil. They still have plenty of flavor, just are slightly less fried. Trust me, no one will notice.
What is a Tortilla Espanola?
The Tortilla Espanola is one of the most popular tapas dishes in all of Spain. It's also called a Tortilla de Patatas. It is basically an omelette or frittata made with olive oil poached or fried potatoes, onions, and eggs. Traditionally it is served slightly runny and eaten at room temperature.
It is also often served in a baguette for a quick sandwich or lunch. You will literally find this dish at almost every tapas bar, cafe, and traditional restaurant in Spain.
As I mentioned before, this delicious dish is made with very humble ingredients. In fact, you only need five ingredients.
- Eggs: The ratio of eggs to potatoes is much debated in the world of the Spanish omelet. Some people like more potatoes, some more eggs, some tortillas are paper-thin, and some are very thick. I like about equal parts potato and eggs and I find that 8 eggs is perfect. Make sure to season the eggs well with salt and pepper. The salt will also help the eggs stay moist.
- Potatoes: Normally I use Yukon gold potatoes when making this dish but it will work with almost any potato. The potatoes can be chopped into small cubes or sliced into thin rounds. You will find Tortilla Espanolas made with both cuts of potatoes.
- Onions: Onions are another debated ingredient in this dish but I think they add so much flavor to the dish.
- Olive oil: Choose a bright and flavorful olive oil since it flavors the potatoes as they cook. Spanish olive oil is traditionally used.
- Salt and pepper: This dish uses ingredients that can be bland on their own so salt and pepper are extremely important. Make sure to use enough. If your omelet tastes bland, you probably need more salt.
How to Serve Tortilla Espanola?
There are so many ways to serve this dish from a traditional tapas-style to a hearty sandwich or quick dinner. Here are some ideas:
- Go tapas style and simply serve small slices of the tortilla with crusty bread. Sometimes you will also find some romesco or tomato confit on the side.
- Some people slice the Tortilla Espanola into cubes and serve it on a toothpick with olives, tomatoes, greens, or roasted red peppers.
- If you are serving it as a meal, pair it with a salad like this Arugula Salad or Cucumber and Tomato Salad.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the most common questions about making a Tortilla Espanola at home.
To store leftovers, let it cool to room temperature before storing. Then wrap the leftovers in plastic wrap or in an airtight container. Store in the fridge for 3-4 days.
This dish can actually be eaten warm, room temperature, or cold. It can be eaten for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or a snack.
The easiest way to reheat a Tortilla Espanola is to reheat it in the oven at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes until it is warmed through.
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- 1.5 lbs. potatoes, chopped
- 1 onion, sliced thin
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 8 eggs
- Salt and pepper
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* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.
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