This delicious simple Spanish tortilla is a recipe that came to my hands from a Spaniard. I am so happy and blessed to have Spanish neighbors in the Netherlands.
Sakis and I love Spain, especially in the summer. It is one of our go-to holiday destinations. Not only because of the great weather and the beautiful attractions but also because the food is delicious. Food is always an important factor in our destination bucket list.
So I am very lucky that I can learn some secrets from this beloved Mediterranean cuisine from a native, and Mrs. Pepa Moreno gave me her recipe along with some great tips and advice about this Spanish favorite.
What is a Spanish tortilla?
Spanish tortilla or Spanish omelet is a traditional dish from Spain, commonly known as tortilla de patatas, tortilla de papas, or tortilla española. The word tortilla is the diminutive form of torta literally means small cake or pancake.
It is an essential part of Spanish cuisine. Made primarily with eggs and potatoes, some seasoning, and, optional, onion which apparently is a big debate issue in Spain. Two large groups of people exist the concebollistas (those who add onion) and the sincebollistas (those who think that adding onion to a tortilla is an attack on the original recipe). Every Spanish house has its own different recipe adding more or fewer ingredients.
The original recipe was created around 1500 AD when the potatoes arrived in Spain from the Americas and it quickly became very popular because of its simplicity and deliciousness. Spanish tortilla is often served as a tapa and it is celebrated as the national dish by Spaniards.
Ingredients of the Spanish tortilla
Eggs: I use organic large eggs to make this recipe. They add more color and they are delicious.
Potatoes: A starch type of potato is the best to make a tortilla. Use Russet (international) or Nicola (NL). The success of a tortilla relies on the carefully cooking of the potatoes.
Onion: Optionally the tortilla can include onion, lightly caramelized in the pan, before adding it to the potatoes and eggs. Favor white or yellow onion for the best result.
Seasoning: A good amount of salt and some pepper are enough to elevate the flavor of the eggs, onions, and potatoes.
Tips & tricks for a delicious Spanish tortilla
The potatoes are a critical element and their texture plays a significant role in this recipe. Simmer them in olive oil until extremely tender and soft.
Flipping is the part that I dread, but if you wiggle and shake the pan, the tortilla comes off easily. Place the tortilla on a large plate and flip it quickly.
You can always bake the tortilla in the oven. Although in this case the taste and texture are different because the eggs are cooked all the way through.
If you want a lighter tortilla then cook the potatoes in the microwave. Place them in a glass bowl with some olive oil and the onions (if used), and microwave for 14 minutes (check the softness and mix them midway).
Season the tortilla mixture with salt and let it rest for ~ 15 minutes. This is to ensure that the whole mixture is properly salted.
How to serve
Serve the Spanish tortilla warm, cold, or optimally at room temperature as:
- Main dish
Serve it plain or top it with:
- Manchego cheese
- Aioli or mayonnaise
- Serrano Ham
- Harissa sauce
How to store
The tortilla can last up to 3 days in the fridge. Let it cool completely and store it in an airtight container. You can reheat it in the microwave, in the oven, or eat it cold.
Looking for other delicious breakfast ideas?
Check the following recipes:
- Greek Swirl Spinach and Cheese Pie (spanakotiropita)
- Greek Sesame Bread Rings (koulouri Thessalonikis)
- 800 g/28.2 oz potatoes
- 6 large eggs
- 1 medium white onion
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½t teaspoon black pepper
- 1 ½ cup olive oil extra virgin
- Peel the potatoes, thinly slice them (~ 0.5 cm/0.2 inches), and rinse with cold water. Pat them dry, place them in a bowl, and sprinkle with half the salt.
- Peel and cut the onion in half and thinly slice it.
- Place a nonstick frying pan with the olive oil over medium/high heat. When the oil gets warm, cook the potatoes until soft and easily breakable. Remove from the pan and drain the excess oil from the potatoes in a colander.
- In the same pan, cook the onions until soft and lightly caramelized. Remove and drain them in the colander.
- In a large bowl, break and beat the eggs until frothy. Season with salt and pepper and add the potatoes and onions. Let the mixture sit for ~ 15 minutes.
- Remove the oil from the pan (you can keep it in a jar for future use) and place the pan over medium/low heat. When hot, add the egg mixture.
- Use a spatula to fold the edges and cook the tortilla for ~ 8-10 minutes per side. Tortilla needs to get a light browning before flipping it. Shake the pan and place the tortilla on a large plate.
- Place the pan over the tortilla and flip it quickly. Place it back on the stove and when cooked on this side, slide it out of the pan.
- Let the tortilla cool at the preferred serving temperature, slice into pieces and serve.
Servings: 1 (178g) | Calories: 244kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 13.7g | Saturated Fat: 2.9g | Trans Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 184mg | Sodium: 405mg | Potassium: 607mg | Fiber: 3.2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 248IU | Vitamin C: 27.6mg | Calcium: 42mg | Iron: 1.6mg | Phosphorus: 148mg