Easy Spanish Tortilla

Spanish tortilla is one of my favorite budget bites.  I first learned of this dish when I went to Spain quite a few years ago.  I toured the food markets, restaurants, and took a local cooking class to learn more about the regional techiniques and flavors.  One thing that really struck me was how simple a lot of the dishes were.  Very little seasonings were used compared to what I was used to, but everything still tasted perfect.  Sometimes less really is more!

During times in life when budgets have been tight or I have had leftover fried potatoes, I would make up a tortilla and it could easily last a couple days.  (if I didn’t sneak too many cold pieces out of the fridge!)   The recipe today is for a family sized portion, but you can certainly make this recipe your own and reduce the size or add in your own fillings, but when it comes to this dish, so much of the beauty of it is in how simple it is.

Traditionally the potatoes and onions are fried in a large amount of oil.  While I certainly love that method, and you are welcome to research that on your own, I wanted to keep this a little on the healthier side by covering the pan and using steam to help soften the potatoes and onions.

Easy Spanish Tortilla

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: medium
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5 tablespoons olive oil

1 large onion, sliced thin into half moons

6 potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper

1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika (optional)

10 large eggs

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper

handful of fresh herbs, chopped (optional)


Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a non-stick 10-12 inch saute pan over high heat until shimmering.  Add in onions and potatoes.  Season with the first amounts of salt and pepper.  Cover and let cook for 5 minutes.  (if you do not have a lid for your pan, just use a sheet pan)  carefully remove the lid from the pan, stir the potatoes and onions, scraping up any bits that might be sticking on the bottom.  Put the lid back on the pan and cook for an additional 5 minutes.  Remove the lid.  Season with smoked paprika and stir the potatoes.  They should be cooked through at this point, if they are not, just repeat the steps above one more time.  Do not over cook the potatoes.  (if they start to crack, they are cooked too much.  Remove the pan from the heat.

In a large mixing bowl, add eggs and second amount of salt, pepper, and fresh herbs.  Whisk until combined and add hot potato mixuture to the bowl.  Stir together and let sit for 10 minutes, meanwhile, preaheat oven to 400 degrees and wipe out the non-stick pan.

Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in your non-stick pan over high heat until shimmering.  Pour in egg and potato mixutre.  Let cook on high for 5 minutes or until the edges have set.  DO NOT STIRE.  You may use a spatula at this point to gently check the edges to make sure sure they are releasing from your pan and that the eggs are not burning.  Browning is fine, you want a dark golden brown color on the eggs.  Reduce heat to medium low and let cook for an additional 5 minutes.  DO NOT STIR.  Place the pan in the oven for an addition 5-10 minutes or just until the top of the eggs start to brown and puff.  Remove the pan from the oven, make sure the edges are loose by checking with a spatula and invert onto a serving board or platter.  Cut into wedges and serve.  If your edges didn’t stay loose, it will still be delicious.  Eat it as-is and try, try again!

(you can also skip the oven step, place a large plate oven the pan, invert the tortilla onto the plate and then slide the tortilla back into saute pan and cook for an additional 5-10 minutes.  this works better with a recipe half this size)

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