spanish tortilla recipe

Listed as one of Spain’s most popular dishes, Tortilla de patatas is a simple yet satisfying omelet made of eggs, potatoes, onions and optionally garlic. There are so many ways of cooking a tortilla but we think we’ve discovered the best and we will share it with you here.

We’ll hand you over to the lovely Annie B to share the secret recipe …

The Spanish are the most fantastic cooks. They cook from their hearts and not from cookbooks. They follow traditions and not recipes. They take a few simple ingredients and create dishes that you will never ever forget . You will never forget the taste of a perfect tortilla. Soft and warm. Comforting and indulgent. Like Gazpacho, people will argue that their tortilla is the best. Some cut the potatoes in slices, some in cubes and some even use Patatas Fritas!

Here is my definitive recipe for Tortilla, from the hand of my master, Pepi. Pepi is Vejeriega. Her family own and run the best place for pescados fritos in town. There is nothing about fried fish, Gazpacho & Tortilla she doesn’t know. She can whisk up magic with the simplest of ingredients. No recipe required.

Here is Pepi’s Perfect Spanish Tortilla Recipe:


I kilo of large new waxy potatoes (they soak up less oil than old floury potatoes)

500mls Olive Oil (never use Extra Virgin for cooking)

1 medium finely chopped onion

5 beaten eggs

1 ½  teaspoons of salt

Optional extras – diced green pepper, diced Jamón, chorizo, salt cod – in fact just about anything


Peel potatoes and cut into large sticks the size of a large chip. Dice each chip into small nuggets.

Heat the olive oil in a frying pan, (preferably non-stick), large enough to hold all the potatoes. Mix 1 tsp of salt through the potatoes and when the oil is hot enough, add the diced potatoes. The potatoes should be pretty much submerged under sizzling oil.

Stir every 4 minutes or so until they are tender. After around 15 minutes or so, when the potatoes are just turning golden around the edge, add the finely chopped onion and cook for a further 8 – 10 mins until it is translucent and sweet. The potatoes will be really soft by this stage but will still hold their shape due to the fact they are new and waxy.

Sit a colander over a bowl and drain the potatoes from the oil.

Whip up 5 eggs, adding the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Then add the drained potatoes to the egg mixture, mixing gently with a fork.

Return a tablespoon of the oil to the fry pan and after a few moments, pour in the potato and egg mixture.

Using a spatula or wooden spoon, smooth over the surface of the mixture , pressing down to make sure that the potatoes are compacted.

Fry for several minutes until the eggs appear to have just set throughout the mixture.

Place a plate large enough to hold the tortilla over the pan and very carefully flip the pan over, in the hope that the tortilla will slip out! If not, no worries as any part of it sticking to the pan can be scraped off and placed back to where it should have been.

Add a teaspoon or so of the oil back into the pan, reheat, and then slide the tortilla off the plate into the pan. Cook for a further 5 minutes on a medium heat until golden.

Slide the glistening tortilla onto a plate or again, place. Plate on top of the pan and invert

Enjoy with several glasses of chilled Fino , some Jamon, olives and a tomato & onion salad.

¡Buen Provecho!


Remember, learning to cook is a great way to spend time with the children.

We had great fun at Annie B’s Spanish Kitchen. Read about it here.

For more delicious Spanish recipes, visit

”Annie B’s Spanish Kitchen included in The Sunday Times Top 100 Holidays for 2012” – January 2012

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