Spanish Omelet—Tortilla Española

Spanish Omelet (Tortilla Española)

The Spruce

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Cool Time: 15 mins
Total: 60 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
891 Calories
76g Fat
45g Carbs
10g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 891
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 76g 98%
Saturated Fat 11g 57%
Cholesterol 155mg 52%
Sodium 396mg 17%
Total Carbohydrate 45g 16%
Dietary Fiber 5g 17%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 10g
Vitamin C 20mg 101%
Calcium 58mg 4%
Iron 3mg 19%
Potassium 1164mg 25%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Tortilla española, or Spanish omelet, is a commonly served dish in Spain. In a country filled with regional food, some might call it the national dish. It's locally referred to as tortilla de patatas and bars and cafés throughout the country offer it as a tapa, or appetizer. In Spanish homes, however, it is often served as a light dinner. Moist, flavorful, hearty, and simply delicious, a slice of tortilla is the perfect combination of exceptional ingredients. As there are so few components, the key to a perfect dish is to use great olive oil and fresh eggs. The oil is used to cook the potatoes and its flavor can be tasted through the finished dish.

Because it keeps well in the fridge and can be eaten cold, this dish can be made ahead of time, and also turned into an element for bocadillos, or sandwiches, placing a slice of the omelet between two pieces of a baguette. It's amazing for a mid-morning snack—nothing beats a piece of tortilla with a steaming cup of café con leche

Our tortilla makes 8 to 10 servings as an appetizer or 6 servings as a main course. Serve it with sofrito, fresh crusty bread, and a simple salad. We recommend using Yukon potatoes for the best results.


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"The perfect thing to bring to a brunch or potluck. It's easy to customize using whatever you have on-hand (green chiles, sliced chorizo, fresh herbs). Anyone who loves eggs and potatoes (especially in the same dish) will enjoy making and eating this." —Colleen Graham

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A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 6 to 7 medium potatoes, peeled

  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced into 1/4-inch pieces

  • 1/2 tablespoon kosher salt, or to taste

  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups Spanish olive oil, for frying

  • 5 large eggs

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Cut the peeled potatoes in half lengthwise. With the flat side on the cutting surface, slice the potatoes into pieces approximately 1/8-inch thick. Place the potatoes and onions in a large bowl, sprinkle with salt, and mix together.

    make a layer of potatoes
    The Spruce
  3. In a large, heavy, nonstick frying pan, heat 1 1/2 cups of olive oil over medium-high heat. Carefully place the potato-onion mixture into the frying pan, spreading it evenly over the surface. The oil should almost cover the potatoes. Turn down the heat slightly so the potatoes do not burn—you want them to slowly fry until tender and creamy.

    cook the onions and potatoes
    The Spruce
  4. Cook the mixture until the potatoes are cooked—if a slice of potato breaks easily when poked with a spatula, the potatoes are done. Remove the mixture from the heat and drain or remove with a slotted spoon. Let the potatoes cool off. To speed up the process, carefully spread them out on a baking sheet.

    allow ingredients to cool
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  5. Crack the eggs into a large bowl and beat by hand with a whisk or fork. Pour on top of the cooled potato-onion mixture. Mix together with a large spoon. Let sit for about 5 minutes.

    add eggs
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  6. In a 9- or 10-inch non-stick pan, heat over medium heat 1 to 2 tablespoons of the remaining olive oil. Add the egg mixture, spreading it out evenly. Allow the egg to cook around the edges. Carefully lift up one side of the omelet to check if the egg has slightly browned. The inside of the mixture should not be completely cooked and the egg will still be runny.

    cook in a pan
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  7. When the mixture has browned on the bottom, remove the pan from the stove and place a large dinner plate bigger than your pan on top. Turn the pan alongside the plate so the tortilla sits on the plate.

    plate and prep quiche
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  8. Place the frying pan back on the stove and put just enough of the remaining oil to cover the bottom and sides of the pan. Let the pan warm for 30 seconds or so.

    brown the top of the food
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  9. Slide the omelet from the plate into the frying pan. Use the spatula to shape the sides of the omelet and allow to cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Turn the heat off and let the tortilla sit in the pan for 2 additional minutes. Slide the omelet onto a plate or cutting board and slice into 6 to 8 pieces, like a pie.

    cut pieces of quiche
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  10. Enjoy!

    Spanish Omelet (Tortilla Española)

    The Spruce

La Mejor (The Best) Tortilla Española

For a maravillosa tortilla, follow our expert advice:

  • Hand-slice the potatoes. Food processors might slice them too thinly and the potatoes might stick to each other when cooking.
  • Drop a single piece of potato or a bit of bread into the oil to determine when the oil is hot enough to fry the potatoes and onions. The piece of food should sizzle when the oil is ready.
  • Watch the heat while frying. If the oil is too hot, the potatoes will brown rapidly on the outside but be raw on the inside.

Add-Ons for a Flavorful Tortilla

  • Add 1 chopped green or red bell pepper ​to the potatoes and onions and fry.
  • Slice a Spanish chorizo sausage and add to the potato and onion mixture after frying. Or simply slice Spanish chorizo and combine it with beaten eggs in the frying pan.
  • Add 1/4-inch slices of finely chopped Serrano ham to the potato and onion mixture after frying. Canadian bacon or deli smoked ham work well for this variation. Be careful to adjust the salt accordingly, since ham can be very salty.