That Spicy Chick

Spanish Omelette (Tortilla Española)

This Spanish Omelette (Tortilla Española) is quick and easy to make with everyday ingredients like eggs, potatoes, and onion. Enjoy it for breakfast or brunch, a light dinner, or as a fun tapa during happy hour or on game day!

Front view of Spanish omelette on a plate with a wedge on a cake server.

Sometimes in life, it’s the simplest things like potatoes and eggs that give you the most satisfaction.

Friends, if you haven’t tried Spanish omelette (aka tortilla española or tortilla de patatas) before, then you are in for a treat today!

Back when I visited Barcelona for New Year’s in the winter of 2010, I stayed at the NH Constanza hotel. Bang opposite the hotel was this cozy little restaurant/bar named Bouquet, and they had the BEST tortilla española bocadillo (sandwich) EVER!!

It was so good that we enjoyed it for breakfast or lunch four out of the five days we were in the city. (And the only reason we didn’t have it on all five days is because they were closed on Sundays! 😂 ) The chef, upon learning of my love for spicy food (and perhaps taking pity on me since it’s difficult to find spicy food in Spain!) used to make my tortilla española bocadillo with wedges of their heavenly Spanish omelette placed between two generously buttered and Tabasco® splashed slices of baguette bread. SO SO GOOD! 😋

Anyways, here I am ten years later in my little kitchen, recreating a spiced-up version of the best Spanish omelette I’ve ever eaten! This egg, potatoes, and onion-based omelette is perfectly set on the outside, but slightly runny and creamy on the inside. It’s also spiced up a bit with some hot green chilies and ground cayenne, because…well I am That Spicy Chick. 😉

Baguette sandwich with potato and onion omelette on a plate.

Whether you serve it warm as a main, in a sandwich, at room temperature, or even cold as a tapa (appetizer/snack) at your next happy hour session or on game day, I guarantee you’ll find that this tasty omelette to be incredibly satisfying!

Why This Recipe Works

  • Quick. It’s quick and easy to make, and great for feeding a crowd!
  • Versatile. You can serve it for breakfast, brunch, dinner, or cut the tortilla into small squares and serve it up as a tapa for a party or a game day snack!
  • Everyday ingredients. You only need a handful of everyday ingredients to make it, and you probably have everything on hand already.
  • Spicy! It’s spiced up with a few hot green chilies and ground cayenne for a kick of heat! (But you can of course omit the spice elements if you want to make a mild and traditional tortilla española.)
  • Customizable. You can customize it by adding your choice of meat, veggies, seasonings, etc.
  • Convenient. It can be made ahead, and also frozen if needed.
Top view of Tortilla Española on a plate and a wedge on top of a cake cutter.

Ingredients

Labeled ingredients for Tortilla Española on a wooden board.
  • Potatoes: Use Yukon Gold or other waxy potatoes. Russets will be too starchy for this recipe.
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil: Use a good quality EVOO for the best flavor.
  • Hot Green Chilies: Feel free to omit the chilies if you would like to make a traditional and mild Spanish omelette.
  • Ground Cayenne: Ditto the above.

Full ingredient list and amounts are in the recipe card below.

How to Make Spanish Omelette (Tortilla Española)

1. Beat: Beat the eggs with the kosher salt, black pepper, and ground cayenne, and green chilies in a large bowl.

Beaten eggs, seasonings, and chopped green chilies in a mixing bowl.

2. Fry potatoes and onions: In extra virgin olive oil with a little kosher salt, fry the potatoes and onions until softened. Then transfer to a fine mesh strainer placed above a bowl and drain well. Save the oil for cooking the tortilla.

Potatoes and sliced onion cooking in a skillet on the stovetop.
Cooked sliced potatoes and onion in a fine mesh strainer placed on top of a bowl.

3. Combine the potatoes and onion with the eggs: Beat the eggs again to re-froth, then gently stir in the potatoes and onion.

Beaten eggs with cooked potatoes and onions in a mixing bowl with a rubber spatula.

4. Cook bottom of the tortilla: Add 3 tablespoons of the reserved oil to the frying pan and heat over medium-high heat. Pour in the eggs, potatoes, and onion mixture. Cook for 3-4 minutes until lightly golden and set.

Beaten egg with potatoes and onion cooking in skillet on stovetop.

5. Flip and cook the other side: Place a large plate face side down over the top of the skillet and place your hand on top of the plate. Invert the tortilla (above the sink in case there is any spillage) onto the plate. Place the skillet back on the stovetop and slide the tortilla back into it. Continue cooking for another 3 minutes, or until the tortilla has set and is lightly golden on the other side. Then switch off the heat.

Omelette cooking a nonstick skillet on the stovetop.

6. Serve! Slide the tortilla onto a clean plate and allow to set for 5 minutes. Then slice into wedges, and serve warm or at room temperature. Feel free to top with chopped spring onion, parsley, or chives.

Close-up front side view of Spanish Omelette garnished with chopped spring onion on a plate.

You can also make a bocadillo (sandwich) and serve in between of crusty baguette slices with some butter or mayonnaise and Tabasco®. That’s my favorite way to enjoy tortilla española! 😋

Omelette baguette sandwich on a plate. Plate with Tortilla Español with a wedge cut out behind.

Full detailed instructions are in the recipe card below.

Cook’s Tips

  • Flip the tortilla quickly and confidentially. There will be less or no spillage if you do it quickly. You’ll get better at inverting it onto the plate with more practice, so don’t worry if this is your first time and there is a bit of spillage.
  • Flip the tortilla over the sink or the garbage. Just in case there is any spillage and to avoid extra cleanup.
  • Drain the potatoes and onion well before adding to the egg mixture. This will prevent you from having a too greasy tortilla.
  • Shake the pan vigorously by the handle to even out the tortilla. Sometimes, most of the potatoes and onions will move to one side when you slide the tortilla back into the pan. Shaking the pan will help to even it out.

FAQs

What is the difference between a Spanish omelette and a frittata?

The main difference between a Spanish omelette and a frittata is that the Spanish omelette is cooked entirely on the stovetop, whereas an Italian frittata is cooked first on the stovetop and finished off in the oven (or under the grill in some cases). In addition, frittatas usually have some form of dairy in them such as milk or cream, and traditional Spanish omelettes usually aren’t made with any dairy.

What’s the best temperature to serve Spanish omelette?

It can be served cold, at room temperature, or warm. Typically in Spain, it is served cold or at room temperature as a tapa during happy hour or in the afternoon. But it can also be served warm during lunchtime, brunch, or dinner.

What should I serve Spanish omelette with?

You can serve it with an aioli or fried tomatoes based dipping sauce (sofrito) as a tapa during happy hour or as a fun game day snack. Or serve in a sandwich (bocadillo) for lunch or brunch. You can also serve it warm with a side salad for light dinner.

How do I store tortilla española leftovers?

Store leftovers in sealed airtight containers in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat wedges in the microwave for 30-50 seconds on high if you’d like to serve it warm. Or take it out of the fridge 60 minutes in advance before serving it at room temperature.

Can I make this ahead?

You can make it 2-3 days in advance. Wrap in cling wrap and store in a sealed airtight container in the fridge.

Can I freeze tortilla española?

Although the texture of the tortilla will be altered if you decide to freeze it, it is safe and possible to do so. Allow to cool completely after cooking, then wrap tightly in cling wrap and again in foil for added protection. Place in a sealed freezer-friendly bag or container and store in the fridge for up to 2 months. To thaw, place in the fridge overnight, and then set it out on a cutting board on the counter a few hours to take the chill off before you plan to serve it. Reheat in the oven at 150°C/300°F for a few minutes until warm throughout before slicing and serving. Or reheat sliced wedges in the microwave on high for 30-50 seconds.

Variations

  • Make it mild. Omit the ground cayenne and green chilies. They aren’t traditionally added, but I like my Tortilla Española to be spicy!
  • Add other seasonings or dried herbs. Switch up the flavor of the tortilla by adding garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, dried basil, dried parsley, etc.
  • Make it with cheese. Stir in broken up pieces of sharp cheddar, provolone, or Swiss cheese slices when you stir in the cooked potatoes and onion into the egg mixture.
  • Add meat. Cooked sliced chorizo or bacon, or smoked ham would taste delicious! Stir into the egg mixture when you stir in the cooked potatoes and onion.
  • Add veggies. Diced red or green bell peppers (or both!), sundried tomatoes, zucchini, baby spinach, peas, olives, etc.
Front and top view of potato omelette wedge on a cake cutter, and rest of omelette on a plate. Text overlay "Spanish Omelette (Tortilla Española)" and "thatspicychick.com".

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Front view of Spanish omelette on a plate with a wedge on a cake server.

Spanish Omelette (Tortilla Española)

5 from 2 reviews

This Spanish Omelette (Tortilla Española) is quick and easy to make with everyday ingredients like eggs, potatoes, and onion. Enjoy it for breakfast or brunch, a light dinner, or as a fun tapa during happy hour or on game day!

  • Author: Lavina
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x
  • Category: Breakfast and Brunch
  • Method: Fry
  • Cuisine: Spanish
  • Diet: Vegetarian
Scale

Ingredients

  • 8 Large Eggs
  • 2 TSP Kosher Salt (use half the amount if using fine sea salt, or to taste)
  • ¼ TSP freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 1 TSP ground Cayenne (optional), to taste 
  • 23 small hot Green Chilies (optional) – finely chopped
  • 1 pound / 454 grams Yukon Gold or other waxy Potatoes – peeled and cut lengthwise into ½ cm wide strips, then cut in half again widthwise
  • 1 medium Yellow Onion – thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil, plus more if needed
  • To Serve (optional): chopped spring onion (scallion/green onion), chives, parsley, baguette bread, mayonnaise, butter, Tabasco® or other hot sauce

Instructions

  1. Beat and season eggs: Crack the eggs into a large mixing bowl. Season with 1.5 TSP kosher salt, freshly cracked black pepper, ground cayenne, and add the chopped green chilies (if using). Beat until well combined, then set aside.
  2. Cook the onions and potatoes: In a 24cm / 10-inch nonstick frying pan or skillet, heat the extra virgin olive oil over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the potatoes and onion and season with the remaining ½ TSP of kosher salt. Fry for 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally with a silicone/rubber spatula, until the potatoes and onions have softened. Switch of the heat. Place a fine mesh strainer above a large bowl and tip the potatoes and onions into it. Drain well and reserve the oil.
  3. Combine potatoes and onion with eggs: Beat the eggs mixture again to re-froth, then gently stir in the potatoes and onion.
  4. Cook bottom of the tortilla: Add 3 tablespoons of the reserved oil to the frying pan and heat over medium-high heat. (If there isn’t enough reserved oil, you can add more to the pan if needed) Pour in the eggs, potatoes, and onion mixture and spread in an even layer. Cook for 3-4 minutes, lowering the heat as needed to prevent the bottom of the tortilla from burning. Shake the pan by the handle vigorously as it cooks to help the tortilla set smoothly. The edges will start to curl up and form a puck like shape.
  5. Flip and cook the other side: Once the bottom of the tortilla has set and is lightly golden (you can check by gently lifting the edge with the spatula to check the color and doneness), place a large plate face side down over the top of the skillet and place your hand on top of the plate. Move over to the sink in case there is any spillage, and quickly (and confidently!) invert the tortilla onto the plate. Place the skillet back on the stovetop and slide the tortilla (uncooked side down) back into it. Shake the pan vigorously by the handle to even out the tortilla (sometimes most of the potatoes and onions will move to one side when you slide the tortilla back in) and continue cooking for another 3 minutes. Once the the tortilla has set and is lightly golden on the other side, switch off the heat.
  6. To Serve: Slide the tortilla onto a clean plate and allow to set for 5 minutes. Then slice into wedges, and serve warm, at room temperature, or cold. Feel free to top with chopped spring onion, parsley, or chives. You can also serve wedges in a bocadillo (sandwich) by placing wedges in between of two sliced of baguette bread with mayonnaise or butter and a few drops of Tabasco® or other hot sauce (if you like it a bit spicy!).

Notes

FAQs

  1. What’s the best temperature to serve Spanish omelette? It can be served cold, at room temperature, or warm. Typically in Spain, it is served cold or at room temperature as a tapa (snack) during happy hour or in the afternoon, But it can also be served warm during lunchtime, brunch, or dinner.
  2. What to serve with Spanish omelette? You can serve it with an aioli or fried tomatoes based dipping sauce (sofrito) as a tapa during happy hour or as a fun game day snack. Or serve in a sandwich (bocadillo) for lunch or brunch. You can also serve it warm with a side salad for light dinner.
  3. Can I make this ahead? You can make it 2-3 days in advance and store in a sealed airtight container in the fridge.
  4. How to store leftovers: Store leftovers in sealed airtight containers in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat wedges in the microwave for 30-50 seconds on high if you’d like to serve it warm. Or take it out of the fridge 60 minutes in advance before serving it at room temperature.
  5. How to freeze it: Although the texture of the tortilla will be altered if you decide to freeze it, it is safe and possible to do so. Allow to cool completely after cooking, then wrap tightly in cling wrap and again in foil for added protection. Place in a sealed freezer-friendly bag or container and store in the fridge for up to 2 months. To thaw, place in the fridge overnight, and then set it out on a cutting board on the counter a few hours to take the chill off before you plan to serve it. Reheat in the oven at 150°C/300°F for a few minutes until warm throughout before slicing and serving. Or reheat sliced wedges in the microwave on high for 30-50 seconds.
  6. See post above for more tips and ideas for switching up the flavor.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 wedge
  • Calories: 182
  • Sugar: 2g
  • Sodium: 391.5mg
  • Fat: 11.9g
  • Saturated Fat: 2.6g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 8.6g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 11.8g
  • Fiber: 1.8g
  • Protein: 7.6g
  • Cholesterol: 186mg

The nutritional information provided is approximate and can vary based on several factors. It should only be used as a general guideline. For more information, please see our Disclosure.

This post may contain affiliate links. We are a part of the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you) by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. The nutritional information provided is approximate and can vary based on several factors. It should only be used as a general guideline. For more information, please see our Disclosure.