Spanish Tortilla (Tortilla Espanola)

Chef Potpie (Laurel)


After studying many recipes for this traditional Spanish tapa, I decided to make my own, using instructions from many different chefs. This seems like a lot of oil, but this is the authentic way to make it. Others call for boiling the potatoes in water, but after trying both ways I will stick with the authentic method; the taste is amazing, even with so few ingredients. It is no wonder that in Spain this tortilla is served at every meal. As with any deep-type fry, there will be a lot of leftover oil which you can save for future fries. This recipe is for a 7-8 inch skillet for finished cake.


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10 Min
15 Min
Stove Top


  • 3 medium
    yukon gold potatoes, peeled.
  • 1 large
    onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 c
    olive oil
  • 5 large
  • 1 1/2 tsp
    salt, and more to taste

How to Make Spanish Tortilla (Tortilla Espanola)


  1. Put oil in a medium skillet (not the 7-8 inch skillet for the final cooking), and heat on medium-high, while quartering the onion and slicing it thinly. Add the onion to the hot oil and let it bubble, stirring a few times, while preparing the potatoes.
  2. Cut peeled potatoes in half, then in half again, then slice these quarters in thin slices, about 1/8 inch thick.
  3. Check the onion to see if they are just beginning to caramelize. You want them to be starting to turn a light golden color. If they are, add the potato slices to the bubbling oil and stir so everything is being bathed in the oil.
  4. While coming back to stir everything in the skillet now and then, break the eggs into a large bowl, add 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and stir them with a spoon until yolks are smooth, but don't beat them.
  5. When potatoes look done, (not much opaque white showing), using a skimming ladle or large slotted spoon, remove the vegetables to another bowl, draining as much oil as possible back into the skillet.
  6. Now put the potato and onion mixture into the egg mixture and stir well. Leave this to sit for 15-20 minutes to allow the sugars from the vegetables to thicken the mixture a bit, stirring a time or two.
  7. In a 7-8 inch non-stick skillet, spoon about 2 tablespoons of the leftover oil and heat on medium-high. When oil is hot, add the potato mixture and pat it down into the skillet. Turn the heat to high for 1 minute, then down to low. Let the mixture sizzle and cook, about 5 minutes, checking to make sure it isn't sticking.
  8. If the edges are starting to cook and the tortilla is loose in the skillet, it is time to flip! Place a plate over the skillet and turn the whole thing over onto the plate. (I was afraid of this step with my arthritis, but it worked like a charm!)
  9. Now gently ease the tortilla back into the skillet, placing the edge of it nearest the far side of the skillet and allowing it to slide right back into it. Tuck any loose pieces, (if any), under the edges and pat it down to make it look nice. Turn heat to high for 1 minute, then back to low. Cook for 2-5 minutes, depending on how you want your tortilla to be, very moist in the middle or cooked through and sliceable. You can check the tortilla with a toothpick just like a cake to determine what the inside is doing.
  10. Flip it onto a plate or platter, let sit for a couple minutes before slicing, and serve hot, warm, or room temperature. Taste for salt, it will probably need more, and do not be afraid to salt this, it needs it to bring out the wonderful flavors!

Printable Recipe Card

About Spanish Tortilla (Tortilla Espanola)

Course/Dish: Vegetables
Main Ingredient: Vegetable
Regional Style: Spanish

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