Spanish Omelette: Tortilla Española

Spanish tortilla

I haven’t posted a recipe for a while, so I’ll make up for that by giving you a classic Spanish dish, that can be found in many variations, anywhere in Spain.

The Spanish tortilla can be eaten as a main course or, because it is good served cold, it makes excellent picnic food cut into wedges and wrapped in cling-film.  Here in Spain, tortilla is often served as tapas, cut into small cubes and speared with cocktail sticks – and is delicious with chilled amontillado sherry.

You might also find it lurking between chunks of crusty bread as a sandwich filling!


2 medium-to-large-sized potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced

1 medium-to-large onion, peeled and thinly sliced

1 clove garlic, crushed

Olive oil

6 eggs – beaten

Salt and pepper to taste

(Variations: you can also add a little red or green pepper, spinach, diced ham, chorizo or mushrooms – but the classic Spanish tortilla doesn’t contain these.  In fact, often no onion is added, but I think it adds flavour, along with a little red pepper for colour.  I also like to add a teaspoon of dried mixed herbs or fresh coriander if I have any).

Spanish tortilla


Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a frying pan.  Add the sliced potatoes, onion and garlic and gently fry over a moderate heat until the potatoes begin to soften.  Try not to brown them.  In the meantime, whisk the eggs gently in a large bowl, and season.  When the potatoes have softened slightly, tip the onion and potato mixture into the bowl containing the eggs.  Stir gently but thoroughly.  (Don’t be tempted to just add the beaten eggs to the potato and onion mixture in the pan – it doesn’t seem to work!)

Wipe the frying pan with some kitchen roll (taking care not to burn yourself), add some clean olive oil and pour in the mixture.  Cook over a low heat for approximately 10-15 minutes and then flip the tortilla over to cook the second side.  You can easily do this by placing a round plate face-down on top of the pan and then, with one hand on top of the plate and the other holding the pan, invert both, leaving the tortilla upside-down on the plate. You should then carefully slide the tortilla back into the pan  and continue frying gently, until the underside is browned.

Serve with salad and a squeeze of lime juice.

Spanish tortilla - ready to serve

Other recipes to tickle your taste-buds, include:

Fresh Figs Stuffed with Goat´s Cheese and wrapped in Smoked Bacon

Patatas a lo pobre: Poor man´s potatoes

Home-made Hummamole dip


80 thoughts on “Spanish Omelette: Tortilla Española

  1. Pingback: Food Glorious Food: Moroccan Chicken | East of Málaga .... and more!

  2. These are so delicious! I learned to make them from a woman that worked for my ex mother in law while I was in Cadiz. She also took a few threads of saffron and crushed them with her finger tips before adding them to the hot olive oil. The tortilla takes on a beautiful golden color and the saffron adds a new dimension to the flavor profile. I make these a few times a month and serve with a dish of salsa.

    • Mmmm … that sounds delicious. Thanks for letting me know about the saffron. It’s such a “Spanish” thing, isn’t it?

      Your comment is much appreciated.

  3. Thanks for this recipe Marianne, now I have tomorrows lunch sorted… I have a glut of eggs compliments of very enthusiastic chooks, so am always on the lookout for egg using meals

  4. This must be the queen of all tapas,,,,,
    It took me ages to realise that you should never try and economise on the eggs…..When I first came to Spain, in my youth on a tight budget, I would try and make a tortilla for 4 people with 2 eggs…..I notice you vey wisely use 6 eggs for 2 medium to large potatoes……I’m starting to get peckish just looking at your fabulous photos!

  5. Yes please to the Morrocan chicken recipe, Marianne. I don’t often read cookery posts but there it was, top of the page, and I was tempted. Well, it’s nearly teatime (so much earlier in the UK) 🙂

  6. Oh, that looks so delicious Marianne and I am saving this for sure! Thanks so much for sharing hon. I love it! 😀 *big hugs*

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