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Authentic Spanish Omelette (Tortilla Espanola)

This classic Spanish omelette is made of potatoes, egg and onion and is a basic staple in most Spanish homes! It is also called Tortilla de Patata or Tortilla Espanola. Easy to make and enjoy for any meal or snack during the day!

Course Appetizer, Breakfast, brunch, Dinner
Cuisine spanish
Keyword Spanish Omelette, Tortilla de Patata, Tortilla Espanol
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
cool time, minimum 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 8


  • 1 cup white or yellow onion diced
  • 2 cups extra virgin olive oil see recipe post for suggestions
  • 4 1/2 cups peeled Yukon Gold* potatoes cut into chunks about 1/2 inch or sliced
  • 8 eggs 2 cups beaten egg
  • 1/2 cup milk I use skim, any type will work
  • sea salt to taste I use about 1 1/2 teaspoons


Cook the potatoes and onion:

  1. Heat 2 cups of olive oil in a non-stick pan (12 inches) over medium heat. After about 5 minutes, test the oil by carefully placing a piece of potato in the heated oil. The pan of oil should continue to bubble, but not turn the potato golden. If the oil is too hot, turn down the heat and remove the pan from the burner for a few minutes. Remember, low and slow!

  2. Carefully place the remaining potatoes into the pan a few at a time until all potatoes are in the pan. Cook potatoes on medium to med-low heat for about 10 minutes. Add the chopped onion to the pan. Continue to cook the potatoes and onions. The potatoes should be soft, but not breaking apart. The oil should continue to bubble while the potatoes are cooking. Use a spatula or spoon to gently move the potato and onion around while cooking to prevent browning. Sprinkle 1 1/2 teaspoons salt over potatoes while cooking. The proces sof potatoes cooking usually takes about 20 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile, crack eggs into a medium size bowl. Whisk and measure to about 2 cups of beaten egg. The measurement of eggs does not need to be exact, a little less or more than 2 cups is fine! Add 1/2 cup of milk to eggs, whisk again and set aside.

  4. When the potatoes are soft and the outside of the potatoes begin to blister a bit, remove from oil using a slotted spoon. Let the excess oil drain off the potatoes, back into the pan. Place the hot cooked potatoes and onion directly into the bowl of egg mixture. Gently fold together. Set aside. It is fine if the eggs begin to cook a bit from the heat of the potatoes.

Cook Omelette:

  1. Heat a 9- 9 1/2 inch skillet over medium-low heat. Place a tablespoon of oil over the bottom and side of the pan. You can also do this using a paper towel to spread the oil around.

  2. Once the pan is heated, pour the egg and potato mixture into the pan. Let sit for a few seconds, then begin to fold the egg and potatoes gently from the bottom of the pan toward the middle of the pan. Remember to keep the heat on low, to medium-low heat, just enough to cook, but not brown the egg. Repeat about every 30 seconds. Taste a bit of the cooked egg to see if more salt is needed. This step takes about 5 minutes on medium low heat.

  3. The pan of eggs and potatoes will begin to take shape and look like scrambled eggs with potato chunks (see photos in recipe post), but should still look a bit wet. Using the spatula, shape the edges of the tortilla so the egg and potato begin to come together. This process takes about and additional 5 minutes. It will vary depending on the size of pan used and amount of heat.

  4. Turn the heat to low and cook for about 2-3 minutes more, while gently patting together the edges of the omelette. The omelette will still be a little wet, but not a lot of runny egg left in the pan. It will be similar to an omelette with a bit of a jiggly texture.

Invert omelette and finish cooking

  1. Using a plate that is larger than the diameter of the frying pan, place the plate over the pan and carefully flip the pan with the omelette over onto the plate and remove the pan.

  2. Place the pan back on the stove and add a tablespoon of oil back into the pan.Heat the pan for a minute on medium low. When the pan is warm, slide the omelette back into the pan.

  3. The top of the omelette should now be on the bottom of the pan. Let the omelette cook for about another 3-5 minutes on low heat. Using the spatula, reshape the edges of the omelette again, genlty pressing the edges of the omelette together to hold shape.

  4. After the omelette is done, remove pan from heat. Let the pan sit for a couple of minutes off of the heat. Repeat the process of flipping the omelette back onto the plate.

  5. Let cool (this will help the tortilla to hold its shape) for at least 30 minutes before serving. In Spain the tortilla is served at room temperature.

Recipe Notes

  • Allow 1 hour start to finish, and then cool time. The first few times I made tortilla de patata, I tried to hurry through. Patience is the key to success with this recipe. Tortilla is best served after it has cooled. Most Spaniards make it early in the day and eat it for dinner at around 10 pm! 
  • The oil needs to be hot enough to cook the potatoes without browning. If the heat is too low the potatoes will taste greasy. Make sure to add the potatoes a few at a time to the pan of oil so the oil temperature is not reduced too much at one time! 
  • In Spain the potatoes are not called Yukon Gold's but I believe Yukon Gold are the closest thing we have in the States to the preferred yellow potato in Spain.
  • Do not add more than the amount of potato called for  in the recipe or the omelette will not hold together! The ratio in this recipe is perfect for a tortilla that stays firm after slicing!
  • You may add other items to this tortilla for variation:  jamon, chorizo, red onion, garlic, cheese... the possibilities are endless.  
  • Refrigerate any leftovers.