Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Dec 11, 2013 09:03 AM

Tortilla Espanola recipe

Does anyone have a tried and true recipe for Tortilla Espanola? I'm considering making this to take to a brunch.

Thanks in advance!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
    I like this version a lot and I served it with the romesco sauce I found on this site.
    Do not skimp on the oil.

    2 Replies
    1. re: DowntownJosie

      I have made many tortillas and eaten several in Spain. I completely understand the traditional method of cooking them (in a massive amount of olive oil), but I find it absolutely unnecessary to use that much oil (note that the potatoes can also be steamed, to avoid all the frying). I always use my Scanpan, which is nonstick, but still a heavy pan that cooks evenly and can safely go right into the oven to be browned on top to finish. I use 4 or 5 generous tablespoons of olive oil and it is plenty. I used to try to do it with 1 or 2 and it worked fine, but it tastes much nicer when the oil quantity is more generous. Onions and garlic need oil to become sweet and delicious. These tortillas almost taste better the next day, at room temperature, because the sweetness of the onions (and garlic) really comes out.

      The ingredients in the recipe provided by DowntownJosie are perfect, though I don't believe any tortillas I ate in Spain contained 5 cloves of garlic (or any, for that matter). However, I frequently add garlic to mine, as I love garlic.

      The texture of the tortilla is nicest with the thinly sliced potatoes, but I have diced them into small cubes and had success as well. I also leave skins on and use yellow fleshed small potatoes that have thin skins. They're more nutritious that way and nobody has EVER suggested that the skins are unsightly or affect the texture or taste of the finished product.

      My last point is that using the broiler to finish the tortilla, rather than the careful flip for cooking on both sides, works just fine, particularly if you have a lower broil setting. My oven offers three broil levels. The lowest or middle one browns gently and pretty evenly.

      I no longer refer to any recipe when making a tortilla. Everything is by the eye. I sometimes add a colorful vegetable for variety, but the basic tortilla is a winner, in my books. Served with a nice salad of baby mixed greens, tomatoes, cucumber and any other veggie that strikes your fancy, tossed with an olive oil, shallot, lemon and thyme vinaigrette (with or without Dijon), it's a light and perfect meal. Add to it some fresh baguette (my preference is multi-grain) and it's a substantial and well balanced meal fit for any casual occasion.

      EDIT: IMHO it goes without saying that fresh eggs, preferably from farm-raised free range chickens (or ducks!) are essential for tortilla greatness. You can use factory eggs, but the color AND taste will be much paler.

      1. re: 1sweetpea

        I too have eaten my share of tortillas and I really disagree with the idea that nothing is lost by finishing a tortilla under a broiler. I think it changes the texture (allows the eggs to puff more) and it's much easier to cook to the proper temperature (the middle should be barely set, not hard) with even heat applied to both sides.
        Also, I think the admonishment not to skimp on oil applies mostly to the cooking of the potatoes - frying them rather than sautéing them gives better, fluffier texture and helps make sure they cook without browning.

    2. Stick to the classic potato onion (maybe a tad of garlic). Avoid the ones with things like green peppers. Not as good!

      1. This recipe looks right- i no longer use a recipe but this one has you cook the potato and onion in the oil and then drain them (keep the oil to reuse in another recipe)

        I prefer to flip the tortilla onto a large plate and then flip and finish in the pan.
        Please practice before making for company-it can take a few times to get the technique right with your own stove and pans

        1. The classic starts with onions and potatoes fried in a lot of olive oil, then drained. They are mixed with the eggs and cooked. Part way through it is flipped to cook the other side.

          But tortillas can have a variety of other fillings. They also very in how firmly cooked they are. I've seen videos (with Jose Andres) where it ends up as a wet pillow. But they are also cooked firm and served at room temperature by the slice. There is also a variation, endorsed by luminaries like Andres and Adria, using commercial potato chips (good quality olive oil cooked ones) instead of the home fried ones. At Grocery Outlet I've seen (but not bought) imported jars of precooked potato and onion filling.

          Rather than looking for the one tried and true recipe, I'd suggest looking at several videos. There are lots on Youtube, from professionals like Andres to home cooks who make a mess of the flip. And then practice. Make some for breakfast for yourself (an 8" skillet size in a good starting point). Ultimately it is more about practice and technique than recipe details.


            is an authentic tortilla, but not the classic potato one. Instead it use eggplant. I tried this (from a another source) and rather like it - it has lighter texture since cooked eggplant is slightly spongy.

            This is a very clear video. I like the flipping aid, a light weight platter with a handle on the back - a giratortillas. Come to think of it, I have a dutch oven lid that might just do the trick.