Recipe: Spanish Tortilla

A Spanish Tortilla is not what most people associate with tortillas… most Americans… when hearing the word tortilla immediately think of those thin flour or corn flatbreads that we wrap our tacos or burritos with…. not so with the Spanish Tortilla.

The Spanish Tortilla is made up of eggs and potatoes… at least that much most will agree on.. however.. after you get past the eggs and potatoes … the debates begin… most people add onions.. and still others add chorizo and possibly peppers…

So what exactly is a Spanish Tortilla?

Tortilla literally means little torta or little cakes… Spanish Tortillas are made of thinly sliced potatoes that are cooked in oil, tossed with slightly cooked onions and beaten eggs… placed in a skillet with rounded sides (an omelet pan would suffice) and cooked to form a “little cake” that’s sliced into wedges. It is served at all times of the day… a breakfast or snack (tapas)… eaten warm or cold…

This recipe is a traditional one.. made simply of potatoes, onions and eggs. We enjoyed it as a Sunday breakfast with some bacon.


I cooked the potatoes and onions (separately) in a large skillet… they had to removed anyway, so there was no point in using the smaller skillet as in would increase my cooking time at the stove.

I used non-stick pans… which are easier to use… as the potatoes won’t stick and you will need less oil.

A word of caution… you are not making potato chips.. so try to avoid browning the potato slices… you want them a bit crusty on the outside and cooked soft on the inside… do not do as I did… I did not keep a close eye on them.. and some of mine browned… they tasted fine but the others that were cooked less worked better. Cooking time over medium high heat should be roughly 3-5 minutes.

As I mentioned.. don’t think you can cook the potatoes and continue to prep the remaining ingredients… it just doesn’t work well.. take my advice… get all your potatoes and onions sliced before starting the cooking process.

Cook the potatoes in batches… after about 2 minutes I flipped them with a spatula and cooked for another minute or so… they get a very pale tan.. then they should be done… assuming you cut them as directed … about 1/8 inch thick.

I cooked all the potatoes.. removed them as they were done to paper towels to drain… then put them in a large bowl.

When the onions went in.. there was probably no more than 2 teaspoons of oil in the pan.. I stirred the onions in the oil.. so it coated them very lightly and I cooked them over medium heat, stirring constantly until they were soft. They went into the bowl with the potatoes.

I allowed the onions to cool for a few minutes.. until they were cool enough to handle.. tossed them to evenly spread the onions throughout the potatoes.

Flipping the tortilla can be tricky…. I have an oven safe large plate that I used to place over the pan when flipping the tortilla.. it worked fine .. but it is awkward.. and you may need help… if your pan is heavy and you think you will have trouble… allow the pan to cool a bit too prevent any burns.. it won’t affect the end result…

This makes about 4 large servings.

Eat this hot, warm or cold… it is totally delicious any way you serve it.

Recipe: Spanish Tortilla

All you need:

4 large potatoes (white or Yukon Gold)
1 medium onion
6 eggs, beaten
Olive oil
Sprinkling of salt and pepper

All you have to do:

Peel and slice the potatoes into 1/8 inch thick slices.

Peel and cut the onion in half.. then slice the onion into thin slices.

In a large non-stick skillet… add a thin layer of olive oil… heat over medium high heat.

When oil is hot.. and enough potato slices to cover the skillet (you will need to cook the slices in batches). Cook until they are a very pale tan (a little crusty on the outside, soft on the inside) and flip them for a minute to cook the other side. Remove and drain on paper towels. Add a little olive oil as needed for the additional batches. *See Tips

When all the potatoes have been cooked and drained, place them in a large bowl.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Remove any excess oil from the skillet, leaving about 2 teaspoons of oil. Heat the skillet over medium heat and cook the sliced onions, using a spatula, continuously stir the onions until they are soft. Add them to the bowl with the potatoes.

All the contents of the bowl to cool a bit… then toss to evenly mix the onions with the potatoes.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs. Add the beaten eggs to the potato and onion mixture and toss to evenly coat them. Allow them to sit for 5 minutes.

Spray a 9 or 10 inch non-stick omelet pan (skillet with sloped sides) with cooking oil spray.

Heat the pan over medium high heat.

Add the potato mixture … making sure you pour all the beaten egg at the bottom of the bowl over the potato mixture.

Cover the pan and cook for about 5-7 minutes or until the bottom is golden and the egg mixture is almost set. (Check by peeking underneath .. lifting an end with a spatula). Remove the lid.

Place a large plate or another omelet pan….over the pan and flip the tortilla onto the plate or 2nd pan.

Now slide the tortilla back onto the original pan and cook until the bottom has cooked and is golden… the amount of time you cook it will depend on how you like your eggs… 2-4 minutes will have a wet interior.. if you prefer your eggs drier.. then 7-8 minutes would be about right. Make sure you keep an eye on it .. you don’t want the bottom to burn… if it starts getting too dark.. lower the heat.

Slide the tortilla onto a serving plate.

Allow the tortilla to set about 5 minutes before cutting into wedges.

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