Ever since we moved to Spain, I’ve received tons of requests from you all for one specific recipe — how to make a Spanish tortilla!
Also known as a Spanish omelette in English, or a tortilla de patatas (or tortilla española)in Spanish, this iconic dish truly can be found absolutely everywhere in Spain. It’s traditionally made with just eggs, potatoes, onions, olive oil, and salt. (Although the decision whether or not to include onions is a hotly debated issue here.) It’s usually served cold without any toppings, and can be eaten for any of the five meals of the day here in Spain. (Yes, five. I love this country.) And most of all, it is just total comfort food.
Everyone here loves a good tortilla!
That said, the traditional method for making a Spanish tortilla requires slow-simmering the potatoes and onions (if using) in lots of oil before cooking the omelette, which requires quite a bit of time and patience. But when we moved here, our local friends were quick to make sure that we learned the “shortcut” for how Spaniards often make a tortilla in just 15 minutes. Turns out, the secret ingredient was one we already had in our pantry — potato chips!
Even better? Kettle Brand chips. Turns out that those extra-thick and delicious potato chips cut out the step of having to fry the potatoes. And once you soak them for five minutes in the eggs, they magically soften and bake up in the tortilla beautifully! Barclay and I are forever fans of the Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper kettle chips, which we most often use to make this shortcut Spanish tortilla. But I’ve gotta say, we recently made one with Sea Salt and Vinegar chips, and it was to die for.
So grab a bag of your favorite chips and let’s make a quick tortilla together!
Shortcut Spanish Tortilla Ingredients:
To make this potato chip Spanish tortilla, you will need…
Potato chips: I always use Kettle Brand® chips, because I love the thicker texture and also love that they are made with real ingredients. I would recommend starting with either the Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper or Sea Salt and Vinegar, which make the tortilla taste more traditional. But really, any flavor of chips would work in this recipe, so feel free to get creative!
Eggs: A half dozen.
Olive oil: Which we will use to both sauté the onions and cook the tortilla.
Fine Sea Salt: Depending on what variety of tortillas you use, feel free to adjust the quantity of salt.
Onions: As I said, people have strong opinions in Spain about whether or not onions belong in a Spanish tortilla. I’m a big fan and love the extra flavor/texture, so I have included them in the recipe below.
Also — very important! — you will need either an 8- or 9-inch non-stick skillet (or a seasoned cast iron pan) to make a Spanish tortilla. Unfortunately, the eggs will stick to the pan if you use a stainless steel skillet. You will also need a large plate (a normal dinner plate is just fine) to flip the tortilla.
How To Make A Spanish Tortilla:
So how do you make a Spanish tortilla? Here’s the shortcut potato chip method. Simply…
Combine the chips and eggs. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk the eggs until combined. Then crumble in a half bag (4 ounces) of potato chips, and stir the chips and eggs together until combined. Set aside, and let them soak together while you cook the onion.
Sauté the onion. In a non-stick or cast-iron skillet, sauté some thinly-sliced onions until they are nice and soft and start to brown just a bit around the edges. Then transfer the onions to the mixing bowl with the egg mixture, and stir quickly to combine (so that they hot onions don’t immediately scramble some of the eggs).
Cook the bottom of the tortilla. Add a bit more oil to the skillet. Then pour the egg mixture into the skillet and use a spatula to spread it out so that the egg mixture is in an even layer. Cook over medium heat for about 2-3 minutes, or until the bottom of the tortilla is lightly golden. (You can gently lift up the edge of the tortilla with the spatula to take a peek and see if it’s ready to go.) The top of the tortilla will still be a bit wet, which is ok. But you just want to be sure that the bottom has set.
Flip the tortilla. Then comes the most dramatic moment. Carefully place a large plate face-down directly on top of the skillet. Then — with one hand holding the skillet handle, and one hand firmly holding the plate on top of it — flip them both 180°, so that the plate is on the bottom. (I like to do this over the sink, just in case any oil or egg spills out.) If the bottom of the tortilla is cooked, the tortilla should fall easily onto the plate, with maybe just a bit of runny egg or oil leaking out.
Cook the other side of the tortilla. Then return the skillet to the heat, and slide the tortilla off from the plate back into the skillet to cook the second side. If the edges of the tortilla are a bit loose and splayed, no worries, just run a spatula around the edges of the tortilla and tuck the sides back under so that the edges are nice and rounded. Cook for another 2 minutes, until the bottom of the tortilla is also lightly golden.
Serve warm or cold. Then slide the tortilla onto a clean plate. And feel free to either serve it right away, or cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
As you can see, the traditional Spanish tortilla is made with super-simple ingredients. But of course, there are tons of ways that you could customize yours! For example, feel free to:
Add a splash of sherry vinegar. This is a common addition here in Spain and tastes delicious.
Add extra veggies/greens. Any number of other diced veggies and/or greens would be delicious in this tortilla! Just be sure to sauté them thoroughly before adding to the egg mixture, since they will not cook much more afterwards.
Add cheese. Shredded cheeses or crumbled cheeses are also delicious mixed into (or served on top) of a tortilla española.
Add olives or capers. These can also add a nice tang to the tortilla if you’d like.
How To Store A Spanish Tortilla:
You can either store a Spanish tortilla in the:
Refrigerator: Simply cover the tortilla with plastic wrap or store it in a sealed container and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
Freeze: Or let the tortilla cool to room temperature. Then wrap it tightly with plastic wrap (ideally so that no air is still touching the tortilla). Freeze for up to 3 months. Then let it thaw to room temperature again before serving.
What To Serve With Spanish Tortilla:
The sky’s the limit! Most often in Spain, tortillas are served plain and cold, but they are delicious served warm as well. If you’d like, you can also sprinkle yours with some fresh herbs, or top the individual servings with a dab of aioli.
Feel free to serve the tortilla on its own for breakfast, maybe with a side of bread with tomato. Or of course, it’s delicious served with any other traditional tapas as well, such as Iberian ham, pimientos de Padrón, patatas bravas, Manchego cheese…you name it.
Combine the chips and eggs. In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the crumbled chips and whisked eggs together until evenly combined. Set aside, to let the mixture soak together while you cook the onion.
Sauté the onions. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a 9-inch non-stick or cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the onions are completely soft and slightly golden around the edges. Transfer the onions to the mixing bowl with the egg mixture, and give the mixture a quick stir to combine (so that the onions don’t immediately scramble the eggs they touch).
Cook the bottom of the tortilla. Add the remaining oil to the skillet and reduce the heat to medium. Pour the egg mixture into the skillet and use a spatula to spread it out so that it is in an even layer. Let the tortilla cook over medium heat for about 2-3 minutes, or until the bottom of the tortilla is lightly golden. (You can gently lift up the edge of the tortilla with the spatula to take a peek and see if it’s ready to go.) The top of the tortilla will still be a bit wet, which is ok.
Flip the tortilla. Carefully place a large plate face-down directly on top of the skillet. Then — with one hand holding the skillet handle, and one hand firmly holding the plate on top of it — very carefully and quickly flip them both 180°, so that the plate is on the bottom and the skillet is upside-down on top. (I like to do this over the sink, just in case any oil or egg spills out.) If the bottom of the tortilla is cooked, the tortilla should fall easily onto the plate, with maybe just a bit of runny egg or oil leaking out.
Cook the other side of the tortilla. Return the skillet to the heat, and slide the tortilla from the plate back into the skillet to cook the second side. Run a spatula around the edges of the tortilla to tuck the sides back under so that the edges are nice and rounded. Cook for another 2 minutes, until the bottom of the tortilla is also lightly golden. Then slide the tortilla onto a clean plate.
Serve warm. Or let the tortilla cool to room temperature. Seal tightly with plastic wrap and either refrigerate for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.
This post has been sponsored by Kettle Brand® chips. Many thanks, as always, for supporting the brands I love who help make this site possible.
I have always roasted the potato slices before making a tortilla b/c I don’t like the texture of the slow-simmered slices. So basically I’ve been making my own potato chips and this shortcut never occurred to me………………….
I also use an oven safe pan and finish the top under the broiler instead of attempting the flip.
The flip gets me everytime and I never have thought to do it under the broiler. Thanks for this.
OMG!! This is genius!!! I also finish under broiler-haven’t mastered the flip!
This looks super easy! Can’t wait to try it!
I’ve never had a Spanish tortilla before, but I love savory breakfasts and this is such a fun recipe!
Potato chips?! Shut the front door!! Awesome idea
We just made this and LOVED it! I can’t believe how well the kettle chips worked! Please tell your Spain friends thanks for the shortcut. This is so much easier than frying potatoes, lol.
This was soooooo good!
The recipe is so adorable, secret ingredient is potato chips!!!! I went to Spain this past summer and took a cooking class in Madrid. We made this dish and I loved it, so simple and very favorable. I make it at home all the time. NOW I have a new way to make my favorite Spanish omelette!!!!
Can’t wait to try this and eggs are on the menu for dinner tonight anyways!
More tapas recipes, please!
I love this shortcut of the tortilla de patatas. I’m spanish, also living in barcelona and I have found this version in some restaurants around here too.
It’s said that the first that came up with this genious idea was Ferran Adria several years ago and it’s been extended evern since!
My recommendation is to use high quality potato chips, they make all the difference in the world, and try to use the thinnest ones.
I have never tried making them with Kettle brand but sure will do it next time I come across one bag of them!
Another twist of this tortilla i make in the microvawe. It’s a dish that kids can make and they totally love it!
I cannot express how exciting this is for me. I’ve wanted to make a spanish tortilla for years but it seemed a bit daunting. This is right up my alley!……pun intended ;P LOL I really enjoy your blog, keep up the great work!
This was a fun recipe to try. I was very intimidated about the flip but pleasantly surprised at how easy it ended up being! Having a good nonstick pan really helps.
We enjoyed this but felt it lacked something. I think the next time I’ll dice up some tomatoes to toss on top, or maybe some salsa.
Made this tonight for my husband and I who adore Spain. We went there for our honeymoon ? I did add cheese and a little diced chorizo, our favorite! Thanks for the tip on the potato chips. Definitely a redo!
You know this is a recipe from Ferran Adria! only the best chef in the world!!
After my husband and I had this in Spain, I was on a search to figure out how to make one and came upon your blog. This was very easy and we both loved it!
I don’t know, it doesn’t take all that long to cook the potatoes in the oil, I lived in Southern Spain for 3 years, I have never heard of this, maybe it is a Northern thing,lol. I will do it the traditional way,the potatoes need to be creamy, you don’t want the potatoes crispy before adding to the egg so adding crispy potato chips would change the texture!
It turned out great. I missed Spanish tortilla too while visiting Madrid last fall. The idea of using Kettle chips easily sold me over peeling and cutting up potatoes. I didn’t do the plate and pan technique. I just used two skillets and that also worked great. No egg spillage.
Easy and delicious. Even the flip went smoothly
Followed exact instructions. Thank you!