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    Egg Dishes/ Spanish Recipes

    Spanish Tortilla Omelette

    Spanish Tortilla (or Tortilla Española) looks easier to make than it really is! Last year I attended a 5-week intensive course in Spanish cooking in Madrid and one of the first dishes we made was a Spanish Tortilla. My first thoughts were “I traveled thousands of miles to Spain in order to make a simple omelette?”

    Well, I was quickly humbled since I wound up burning my tortilla and it was “too dry” according to the chef! 

    It turns out that making the Spanish tortilla was more difficult than I thought. Different from the flat Mexican tortilla, this dish is more like an omelette, made of eggs, potatoes and sometimes onions. The trick is to cook the potatoes and eggs thoroughly enough, while still leaving the tortilla moist and creamy inside. Also, don’t forget the delicate layering effect of the omelette- if you slice your potatoes too thick, you’ll be left with a ‘chunky tortilla!’

    The Spanish Tortilla has a long history- legend has it that the simple but nutritious tortilla was invented in the early 1800s by a Spanish Carlist general to feed his army. Today, it is a mainstay of Spanish culture- you’ll find the Tortilla Española offered in most tapas bars in Spain. So, if you want to learn Spanish cooking, you definitely need to learn to make this dish!

    Here area few tips to make a successful Spanish Tortilla:

    Tip #1- slice the potatoes thinly and cook thoroughly on the stove top

    First, peel the potato, cut in half lengthwise then slice crosswise thinly into pieces 1/8 inch thick (2-3 mm). Cook on stove top in olive oil until soft, but not overcooked.

    Tip #2- slice the onions into thin strips and cook in olive oil

    Cut the onion in half through the root, then into thin strips; cook thoroughly in olive oil

    Tip #3-When cooking the eggs with the potatoes and onions, do not burn the bottom of the tortilla.

    Cook the tortilla over medium-low heat until the mixture is cooked through but still moist on top. Place a lid on top to help the cooking of the eggs. You’ll be flipping the tortilla over onto a large plate so it’s important that the eggs are not runny.


    Tip #4- After you flip the tortilla over onto a large plate, gently slide it back down into the pan to cook the underside.

    This will be the test to see if you’ve burned the bottom of the tortilla!

    Tip #5 -Tuck the edges under with a rubber spatula to neaten up the tortilla.


    Spanish Tortilla Omelette

    Print Recipe
    Serves: 3-4 Cooking Time: 30 mins


    • 2 cups potatoes (one large or two smaller potatoes), sliced thinly
    • 1 1/2 cups sliced onion
    • 7-8 eggs
    • Olive oil
    • salt and pepper to taste



    Peel the potato, slice in half lengthwise, then slice crosswise into thin pieces 1/8 inch (2-3 mm) thick. Heat several tbsps olive oil in a medium-size skillet, add potato slices and salt/pepper and cook for about 10-15 minutes until the potatoes are soft. Remove from pan and set aside.


    Peel the onion and cut in half lengthwise (through the root), then slice thinly lengthwise into long strips. Heat oil in skillet, add the onions with a little salt and cook covered for about 10 minutes until soft. Combine the cooked onions with the potatoes in a bowl.


    Whisk the eggs in a large bowl and season with salt and pepper; add the onions and potatoes and combine well.


    Heat several tbsps olive oil in a medium-sized pan, add the egg mixture and reduce heat to medium-low. Cover with a lid and cook until the eggs are almost cooked on top (but still a bit moist). Be careful not to burn the bottom part of the the tortilla as the eggs cook on top.


    When the eggs are almost cooked through, place a large plate on top of the pan and flip the tortilla over onto the plate. Slide the tortilla back onto the pan and cook the underside for several more minutes until the bottom browns. Tuck the edges of the omelette under using a rubber spatula to neaten the presentation.


    Remove from pan and serve; the tortilla should be moist inside and colored medium brown on the outside.


    For a variation, you could add some cheese or thinly-sliced tomatoes into the omelette.