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How to make Spanish Omelette - Tortilla Española

Updated on September 20, 2017
marieryan profile image

I started learning Spanish classical guitar several years ago, after falling in love with some wonderful classical pieces.

Tasty stuff

by reneetimpone
by reneetimpone | Source

Ingredients: Egg and chips!

Well, not exactly, but near enough!

The Spanish omelette is the Spanish tapa 'par excellence' and is readily available in all Spanish 'tapas' bars. Some Spanish people pride themselves on their ability to create the 'perfect' Spanish omelette! People are occasionally introduced to each other on the basis of their culinary skills with eggs and chips! Many's the time I have been introduced to Spanish friends with: "Marie, this is Quique." and then aside, in whispered reverence: "He makes a great tortilla!" , as if it were one of the greatest compliments one could be paid, while the blushing Quique stands awkwardly in false modesty, secretly loving the compliment, proud of his culinary skills. Egg and chips, often used as a euphemism for a simple, basically nutritional meal is the 'no-frills' option of many a busy house-hold, yet, hidden carefully under the chips, there is a potential Tortilla EspaƱola (Spanish omelette) just waiting to leap out and be transformed into all its glory onto the plate!

For more information on the fascinating Origin of the Spanish Tapa, click here

See how easy Francisco makes it look!



The secret of any good tortilla is to have plenty of eggs in ratio to the potaoto, to make sure it remains juicy and moist inside, while being a lovely golden brown on the outside:

A) Potatoes: Half a kilo (500 grams)

B) Eggs: 4

C) Onion: Half a medium:

D) Salt : 2/3 pinches

E) Olive oil

Egg to potato ratio! 70 Eggs!

A XXL-sized tortilla made with 70 eggs!!!
A XXL-sized tortilla made with 70 eggs!!!


tortilla accompanied by a good red wine chabbie5 at photobucket
tortilla accompanied by a good red wine chabbie5 at photobucket | Source

Sliced or Chopped?

variation: tortilla made with sliced potato
variation: tortilla made with sliced potato | Source

Tortilla with Spinach

Tasty AND healthy... the perfect combination
Tasty AND healthy... the perfect combination | Source

How to Make the Magic!

1) Peel and chop the potatoes into small squares. Soft fry the potatoes in deep olive oil.

2) Peel and Cut onion and add to potaoes halfway through frying. (After about 5-7 minutes).

The potatoes should NOT become crisp, like chips, but rather soft and even a little mushy. Remove potaoes and onion mix from frying pan with a draining spatula. Drain the oil off in a colander or on absorbent kitchen paper. Reserve oil for later use.

3) Beat the eggs in medium-sized kitchen bowl and slowly spoon the potatoe and onion into the egg mixture. Leave to soak in the egg for several minutes. Add the salt at discretion.

4) Heat only a little of the previous oil in the frying pan again, this time to bind the omelette.

5) When hot, add the egg, potato and onion mixture to the pan and cook on high for one minute then reduce heat and cook several minutes.

6) NOW FOR THE EXCITEMENT! Cover the pan with a large plate, big enough to to cover the entire pan. The plate should not fit directly into the pan, as it may mean you burn yourself on hot oil dripping from the pan onto your wrist! (Many a fine tortilla has ended in disaster at this point, so it is worth taking extra care!)

7) Firmly hold the plate over the pan with your hand outspread, and with the other hand carefully turn the frying pan upside-down placing the omelette onto the plate. The omelette should be a beautiful golden brown colour. Then, gently slide the half-cooked omelette back into the pan to finish cooking the under-side, now keeping the heat low. Cook the omelette for several minutes.

Healthy Options

Other healthy options can include adding green leafy vegetables such a spinach or 'saltwort' ( a green leafy vegetable, similar to spinach) to the egg and potato stage of the process. These options add extra flavours and different textures, to what is already a tasty dish in itself.

Calorie Counting?

This above is not exactly the Weight-watcher version of the recipe, But do not despair. Calorie content can be reduced by substituting the soft-fried potato with microwaved or boiled potato instead. This DRASTICALLY reduces calories (and the guilt!) but also compromises taste, so choices have to be made!

Also, to reduce the amount of potato, some cooks add pre-cooked spinach, courgette or tomato. Of course, once you master the basic technique, it is obviously up to you how you develop your own-style!

Click on the following link for a low-calorie version from Slimming World.


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    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 

      3 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Wow, this looks so good! I'll have to pin it to try!

    • marieryan profile imageAUTHOR

      Marie Ryan 

      5 years ago from Andalusia, Spain

      Moonlake, thanks for comment. You have some fabulous cooking articles, I can see you are a professionañl!

      That's interesting you can see cooking programmes with Tortilla Española in the US. In the UK that would be very unusual. Thanks for voting this hub up and for sharing!

    • marieryan profile imageAUTHOR

      Marie Ryan 

      5 years ago from Andalusia, Spain

      Hi Rosalía, Thanks for comment.

      I'm sure if you asked her nicely she would make one of them for you. You could also have a try yourself, of course!

    • IslandBites profile image


      5 years ago from Puerto Rico

      We love tortilla española in Puerto Rico. Sometimes, we add peppers too. Nice hub.

    • moonlake profile image


      5 years ago from America

      This looks so good. I have heard of a Spanish omelette, must have been on the many cooking shows I watch but have never made one. Voted up and shared.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      This is a great article!

      They look lush!!! I wish my mother would cook a tortilla for me once in a while...

    • marieryan profile imageAUTHOR

      Marie Ryan 

      5 years ago from Andalusia, Spain

      Ohh! turtlewoman, I bet it would be great with sweet potato. If you get addicted to it like I am, we could call you "Tortilla woman"!

      Muchas gracias for your comment!

    • Turtlewoman profile image

      Kim Lam 

      5 years ago from California

      I've never heard of Spanish omelette until now. I might try it with a sweet potato too. Sounds delicious. Thanks for sharing!

    • marieryan profile imageAUTHOR

      Marie Ryan 

      8 years ago from Andalusia, Spain

      What a great story, PeggyW! Imagine ...3 tortillas españolas at one sitting! The bar owner must have been thrilled to be serving so much food!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      8 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Funny story regarding a friend of ours who is used to thinking about tortillas such as found in Texas. Flattened either flour or corn versions. He was in Spain and after ordering his main meal asked for an additional 3 tortillas on the side. His eyes practically bulged out of his head when the entire meal was presented! Not wanting to seem ignorant of the meaning of tortilla in Spain...he did his best to make at least a dent in the food before him. Did not eat much for days following this unexpected feast.

      We have laughed about this for years. The same word in different cultures can definitely wreck havoc on one's waistline!

    • marieryan profile imageAUTHOR

      Marie Ryan 

      8 years ago from Andalusia, Spain

      IzzyM, hope you can 'convert' your man to the onion version! I always thought onion added a bit of extra ZAP to the basic recipe.

    • IzzyM profile image


      8 years ago from UK

      Marie thanks from me too! I'll maybe give it a go. My man makes great tortillas but without the onion and I prefer them with onion! Now I know what to use :)

    • marieryan profile imageAUTHOR

      Marie Ryan 

      8 years ago from Andalusia, Spain

      Thanks for great comments, V, glad you liked it and hope the 'tortilla' works out well....I'm off to my local tapas bar for lunch!

    • v_kahleranderson profile image


      8 years ago from San Jose, California

      Marieryan, what have you started here?! This looks absolutely lucious! Now, you know, my loving to cook and eat, a permanent hobby of mine, I will need to cook this up, and probably this very coming weekend. I will keep you posted on how well, or bad, I did.

      Thank you for letting me see Spain through your eyes, for now, at least.

      I rated this Hub two-thumbs way UP!


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