Tortilla de Patatas

By Victoria de la Maza
Victoria de la Maza
Victoria de la Maza
Victoria de la Maza is an award-winning cookbook author, columnist, and international TV host. Passionate about great food, she combines American traditions with her European heritage to create classic-with-a-twist recipes and ideas for stylish entertaining at home.
October 7, 2021 Updated: October 7, 2021

Tortilla de patatas, a thick Spanish omelet of potatoes, eggs, and onions, is one of my most favorite dishes ever. Considered the ultimate comfort food, this dish is everywhere in Spain: Every restaurant, tapas bar, and roadside tavern serves it. It can be eaten for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, served with bread and tomato sauce, salad, and sometimes, mounds of mayonnaise.

I love it with mayonnaise in the warmer months, and with hot tomato sauce in the winter. It can be a full meal between toasted baguettes, or cut into squares to serve as a tapa. I always have it in my fridge when I have houseguests as a last-minute change-of-plans lunch.

After peeling and chopping thousands of potatoes, I now make it with store-bought shredded potatoes. I know Spaniards will scream in horror, but a clever shortcut without giving up the flavor is a good thing in my kitchen. Once made, it keeps well in the fridge for a couple of days.

Serves 4 to 6

  • 8 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 pound shredded potatoes (hash browns), at room temperature
  • 1 cup finely diced Spanish onion
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt

In a 9-inch non-stick pan with a lid, heat 6 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add the potatoes, toss them with the oil, cover, and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring once in a while. You want the potatoes to soften but not brown. Add the onions, mix them with the potatoes, cover, and cook until the potatoes are completely soft and the onion is translucent. Season generously with salt.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs until all of an even color. With a slotted spoon, transfer the potato and onion mixture to the eggs, leaving as much oil as you can in the pan. Mix well.

tortilla flip
Use your pan lid to flip the tortilla: Flip it onto the lid first, then slide it from the lid back into the pan. (Victoria de la Maza)

Add 2 more tablespoons of oil to the pan, and heat over medium heat. Pour in the potato, onion, and egg mixture and flatten with the back of a spoon. Lower the heat to medium-low and cook for about 6 minutes, shaking it slightly to ensure it is not sticking, until the bottom is golden brown. Flip the tortilla, using the lid—flip it onto the lid first, then slide it from the lid back into the pan—and cook for about 3 more minutes, until golden brown on both sides. Transfer to a serving plate.

Let cool, then cut into squares or wedges to serve.

Victoria de la Maza is an award-winning cookbook author, columnist, and international TV host. Passionate about great food, she combines American traditions with her European heritage to create classic-with-a-twist recipes and ideas for stylish entertaining at home.