Making a Spanish Omelette

For my birthday a few years ago, we visited Barcelona and I was given the ultimate gift – an introduction to the Spanish Omelette. There we were in an overcrowded café late at night with a friend who was living there, listening to the rumblings of Catalan and Spanish around us. We understood little but who needs words when there is good food. Our friend ordered up a selection and we feasted on the local specialties. I took notes.

My favorite food that trip was the Spanish omelet, which is also known as potato fritatta, torilla de patatas, potato omelet, or just plain tortilla. To describe it to someone who has never seen or tasted one, I found it to be like the laid back love child of a potato latke and a frittata. Ideal as a tapas dish, it can be a lovely light meal when paired with a green salad. Our friend’s wife Helena happens to write a muy sabrosa vegan cooking blog, Quatre Gats Vegan Kitchen (in English) and previously Cat Universe in the Kitchen (in Spanish), and she shared her Vegan Spanish Omelet Recipe for those rough nights when we are not walking distance to a charming Spanish café. Here’s my version for egg and dairy lovers:

Spanish Omelette

Olive oil
5-6 cups diced raw potatoes
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped onion
7 medium eggs
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup very thinly sliced roasted red bell pepper (optional)
Chives, chopped (optional garnish)
Passata sauce, salsa, or sour cream (optional for serving)

1. In a pan over medium to medium-high heat, cook the potatoes until lightly browned, stirring often. Stir in the onions and continue the frequet stirring as they cook together. This entire step will take less than 15 minutes so long as the ingredients are already washed and chopped.

2. In a large mixing bowl, have all the eggs (be mindful to have no shells). Fold in the potato mixture and red pepper. Add more olive oil to the same pan (if residue is stuck to the inside of the pan you may wish to wash, dry, then reheat and add the oil).

3. Pour the egg and potato mixture into the hot pan with oil, being cautious to not splash the oil. Let cook until the bottom has solidified then using a dinner plate flip the omelette out then slide it back in with the cooked bottom facing up and continue to cook it for several more minutes. Garnish with chives, as shown in the photo below or your desired herbs/sauces. Serve warm or cold with taco or enchilada sauce or salsa.

Spanish Omelette

Spanish Omelette

One comment

  1. Helena says:

    Hey, thanks for the link!

    The traditional ingredients to make “tortilla de patatas” are potatoes, onion, eggs, olive oil and salt. But there are many variations depending on what else you want to try: eggplant, zuccini, red pepper, green pepper, spinach…

    Try this salad as a side dish:
    (my grandma’s Andalusian recipe)

    4 sweet red tomatoes (chopped)
    1 piece of garlic (use a garlic press)
    1 tsp cumin seeds
    5 tbsp olive oil
    a little vinegar
    a little black pepper
    4 tbsp spring water

    *Eat with chunks of bread, using the mixture as a dip.

    Hope you enjoy it!


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