Tortilla Espanola

The first time I had Tortilla Espanola was on a girls trip to Turks and Caicos. We rented a large beach house, Real Housewives style, but sans the private chef. Instead, we all took turns cooking meals.

Tortilla Espanola, also known as Spanish Tortilla or Potato Tortilla, is a Spanish egg dish made with fried potatoes, onions and cheese. #tortillaespanola #spanishtortilla #potatotortilla www.savoryexperiments.com


 

One friend’s mother-in-law is from Spain and makes Tortilla Espanola all the time, she thought it would be a great dish to prepare for this house full of foodies.

I remember her being in the kitchen mumbling under her breath to a vat of frying potatoes. I thought to myself “how hard can this be? It’s basically a frittata.”

So I came home to make one for my own family and soon learned, these things are HARD! At least to make an authentic Spanish Tortilla is hard.

Spanish Tortilla

Tortilla Espanola, or more commonly called a Spanish Tortilla in the West, is a Spanish omelet. In Italy, it would be a frittata.

In France, just an omelet. A traditional Tortilla Espanola only has a few key ingredients: potatoes, onion, eggs and olive oil. A lot of oil.

Simple, right? Wrong!

Spanish Tortilla is easy at its core, but more challenging in execution. I learned this my first time having one with a friend saying a few choice words to her frying potatoes.

But have no fear, I’m going to teach you how to make an authentic Tortilla Espanola and then I am also going to reassure you that if you don’t follow the “right way” it will be just fine. Yours will taste amazing, I am sure of it!

Tortilla Espanola is not an omelet in the sense you are probably thinking.

While Spanish omelette uses olive oil instead of butter and requires a certain amount of browning, it is more akin to Italian frittata or crustless quiche.

The first element of a Tortilla Espanola is the potatoes. They are really the hero of the dish. They need to be thinly sliced, so your best bet is to use a mandolin slicer and make sure you use the safety guard!

I can’t tell you how many times I thought “this is easy, just a few slices” and the next thing you know, I need a BandAid… or stitches.

Tortilla Espanola, also known as Spanish Tortilla or Potato Tortilla, is a Spanish egg dish made with fried potatoes, onions and cheese. #tortillaespanola #spanishtortilla #potatotortilla www.savoryexperiments.com

Why You’ll Love This Tortilla Espanola

With a short ingredients and no time at all, you are going to love everything about this dish.

  • Authentic – I learned how to make this straight from my friend’s mother-in-law, so it’s as authentic as it gets!
  • Easy for home cooks – You don’t need to be a professional chef to make this recipe! I have a section of tips so that you can’t fail.
  • Simple ingredients – The ingredient list is both short and simple, with easy to find ingredients.

Ingredients

For an authentic recipe, the ingredient list to make this tortilla espanola is actually quite short.

  • Russet potatoes – Make sure these potatoes are peeled and thinly sliced. Sliced potatoes are easier if you have a mandolin.
  • White onion – You want your onion to be thinly sliced as well. The best way to do this s with a mandolin or sharp knife. You can also use yellow onions.
  • Extra virgin olive oil – When making a dish like this, one of the best pieces of advice I can give you is to use a good quality olive oil.
  • Eggs – Always assume a recipe is calling for large eggs. Working with room temperature eggs is always a little easier.
  • Manchego cheese – I like to top my Tortilla Espanola with Manchego cheese, which is an aged sheep’s cheese. It is hard and buttery and has a similar texture to Parmesan, which can be substituted.
  • Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper – Freshly ground seasonings are always the way to go in my book.
  • Parsley – This is optional, but a like to add a little minced parsley on top for garnish for a little green.
Tortilla Espanola, also known as Spanish Tortilla or Potato Tortilla, is a Spanish egg dish made with fried potatoes, onions and cheese. #tortillaespanola #spanishtortilla #potatotortilla www.savoryexperiments.com

How to Make a Tortilla Espanola

Following these simple steps, you will have this delicious dish ready in no time!

  1. Prepare oven and pan. Preheat oven and heat olive oil in a 10-inch cast iron skillet or other 10-inch ovenproof pan.
  2. Fry potatoes and onion. Working in batches, lightly fry potatoes and onion until soft, but not browned or crispy. Using a slotted spoon, remove to a bowl or plate. Set aside.
  3. Grease pan with oil. When through frying, reserve a tablespoon oil, discard the rest. Rub remaining tablespoon through the bottom and sides to prevent sticking.
  4. Add potato mixture and onion to skillet. Layer cooked potatoes and onions back into the greased skillet.
  5. Pour egg mixture over the top. The number of eggs will depend greatly on the size of your potatoes. You want the eggs to come up just to the top, if not covering the top, of your potatoes and onions.
  6. Add back to hot stove. Place back onto a hot burner on medium heat until you start to see the sides setting.
  7. Put in oven and bake. Transfer to the oven. Bake until the center has just set.
  8. Remove and allow to rest until ready to serve at room temperature. Garnish with freshly minced parsley, fine sea salt, freshly ground black pepper and finely grated manchego cheese.
Tortilla Espanola, also known as Spanish Tortilla or Potato Tortilla, is a Spanish egg dish made with fried potatoes, onions and cheese. #tortillaespanola #spanishtortilla #potatotortilla www.savoryexperiments.com

What to Serve with Tortilla Espanola

How you serve it really depends on what meal you are making it for. It’s great as a snack or tapa all on it’s own. It would also make a great appetizer for any spanish dish you’re making.

If you’re making this as a side for dinner, it would taste great with any spanish meal and also a warm baguette on the side.

You can also serve this tortilla espanola for breakfast, as it is made with eggs after all. Serve with a side of crispy bacon and some fresh fruit and you’ve got yourself a complete meal.

Tortilla Espanola, also known as Spanish Tortilla or Potato Tortilla, is a Spanish egg dish made with fried potatoes, onions and cheese. #tortillaespanola #spanishtortilla #potatotortilla www.savoryexperiments.com

Variations

There are plenty of ways for you to make this tortilla espanola your own.

  • Add-ins – The ingredients for this recipe are pretty basic, so feel free to throw in extra veggies or seasonings to take it up a notch.
  • Potatoes – I used russet potatoes, but you can use yukon golds or red potatoes instead. Waxy potatoes like yukon gold potatoes work best though.
  • Cheese – While I use manchego cheese, you can swap it out for cheddar, mozzarella or just about any cheese you prefer.
Tortilla Espanola, also known as Spanish Tortilla or Potato Tortilla, is a Spanish egg dish made with fried potatoes, onions and cheese. #tortillaespanola #spanishtortilla #potatotortilla www.savoryexperiments.com

Tips and Tricks for Perfect Tortilla Espanola’s

After trial and error, I have a few tips to make suer you make the perfect tortilla espanola.

  • Clothes – Wear an apron or crappy clothes, a few oil splats are inevitable.
  • Mandolin – Use a mandolin slicer for even cuts.
  • Olive oil – Don’t use your best olive oil.
  • Skillet – Use a non stick skillet or well seasoned cast iron.
  • Time – Take your time. This isn’t a speedy dish.

Realize the even if you don’t follow all the suggestions for a perfect, authentic tortilla española, it will still taste delicious!

Tortilla Espanola, also known as Spanish Tortilla or Potato Tortilla, is a Spanish egg dish made with fried potatoes, onions and cheese. #tortillaespanola #spanishtortilla #potatotortilla www.savoryexperiments.com

Storage and Freezing

How to Store Tortilla Espanola

You can store any leftovers in an airtight container. It will stay in the refrigerator for up to three days.

You can reheat it by the slice in the microwave, or add to hot oven until warmed through.

Can I Freeze Tortilla Espanola?

make sure to tightly wrap the leftovers in plastic wrap and then place in an airtight container or freezer bag. You can freeze for three to six months.

Tortilla Espanola, also known as Spanish Tortilla or Potato Tortilla, is a Spanish egg dish made with fried potatoes, onions and cheese. #tortillaespanola #spanishtortilla #potatotortilla www.savoryexperiments.com

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Tortilla Espanola, also known as Spanish Tortilla or Potato Tortilla, is a Spanish egg dish made with fried potatoes, onions and cheese. #tortillaespanola #spanishtortilla #potatotortilla www.savoryexperiments.com
Tortilla Espanola, also known as Spanish Tortilla or Potato Tortilla, is a Spanish egg dish made with fried potatoes, onions and cheese. #tortillaespanola #spanishtortilla #potatotortilla www.savoryexperiments.com

Tortilla Espanola Recipe

4.70 from 20 votes
Tortilla Espanola, also known as Spanish Tortilla or Potato Tortilla, is a Spanish egg dish made with fried potatoes, onions and cheese. 
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 9 minutes
Total Time: 24 minutes
Servings: 8

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Heat olive oil in a 10-inch cast iron skillet or other 10-inch ovenproof pan.
  • Working in batches, lightly fry potatoes and onion until soft, but not browned or crispy. Using a slotted spoon, remove to a bowl or plate. Set aside.
  • When through frying, reserve 1 tablespoon oil, discard the rest. Rub remaining 1 tablespoon through the bottom and sides to prevent sticking.
  • Layer potatoes and onions back into the greased skillet.
  • Pour lightly beaten eggs over the top. The number of eggs will depend greatly on the size of your potatoes. You want the eggs to come up just to the top, if not covering the top, of your potatoes and onions.
  • Place back onto a hot burner on medium heat until you start to see the sides setting, approximately 3-4 minutes.
  • Transfer to the oven. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the center has just set.
  • Remove and allow to rest for 1-2 hours, or until ready to serve at room temperature. Garnish with freshly minced parsley, fine sea salt, freshly ground black pepper and finely grated manchego cheese.
  • If you’ve tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was! 

Notes

Variations: chorizo, roasted red peppers, sun dried tomatoes, olives, bacon, scallions, chives, chard, kale Use discarded olive oil in salad dressing or other dishes, it is now flavored olive oil!

Nutrition

Calories: 175 kcal, Carbohydrates: 15 g, Protein: 7 g, Fat: 9 g, Saturated Fat: 2 g, Cholesterol: 147 mg, Sodium: 81 mg, Potassium: 406 mg, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 1 g, Vitamin A: 230 IU, Vitamin C: 5.6 mg, Calcium: 75 mg, Iron: 1.4 mg
Author: Jessica Formicola
Calories: 175
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: Spanish
Keyword: potato tortilla, spanish egg dish, spanish tortilla, tortilla espanola
Did you make this recipe?I’d love to see your recipes – snap a picture and mention @savoryexperiments or tag #savoryexperiments!
Jessica Formicola in her ktichen

About the Author

Jessica Formicola

Jessica the mom, wife and chef behind Savory Experiments. You might see her on the Emmy- nominated TV show Plate It! or on bookshelves as a cookbook author. Jessica is a Le Cordon Bleu certified recipe developer and regularly contributed to Parade, Better Homes & Gardens, The Daily Meal and more!

Read More About Jessica

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Questions and Reviews

  1. 5 stars
    I’ve been making Tortilla Espanola for years, using the ‘flipping’ method. Flipping the partially set mixture onto the lid of the pan not only takes strength, but is messy. This method provides even cooking and the perfect texture. Thank you!!

  2. 5 stars
    Made this last night. I peeled and sliced the potatoes and cooked them in the microwave. Satueed the onions and some diced green chiles in a little olive oil. Layered the potatoes on the onions, then shredded the cheese on top. Lastly, poured the eggs on top. Cooked until the bottom was set, then finished in the oven for 10 minutes. So easy to make. Very tasty. Thanks for the recipe.

  3. Wow this looks really delicious. It’s perfect for family dinner. I’m saving this recipe to give it a try. I bet my boys will love this.

  4. Did you prefer this with the sun dried tomatoes or roasted red peppers? I can’t decide, both it is!

  5. 5 stars
    I have wanted to make this for the longest time! Thanks so much for the recipe and, most importantly, the tips! And what a fun girls trip!!!!!! We’re going to the Caribbean in April, and that was an Island we strongly considered. It’s still on the list!

  6. 5 stars
    This looks amazing! I have made the traditional version before, and agree, not as easy as you would think, but so delicious! I also have a quick and easy version I make for my family. I saute onions in olive oil, add frozen shredded hashbrowns, then top with egg mixture and bake. Not quite as good as the original, but still very tasty 🙂

  7. 5 stars
    That trip sounds wonderful! I bet you had a lot less drama than a housewives trip! This dish looks like a great one to make for a weekend brunch.