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Tortilla Española – Egg and Potato Omelette {Recipe}

February 6, 2011
Tortilla Española
Tortilla Española

Eggs are a great way to get dinner on the table quickly. They’re fast to cook, inexpensive, and a great way to feed a hungry bunch.

Tortilla Española is the Spanish version of an egg and potato omelette. The Spaniards took this simple recipe to Mexico where it was named “tortilla española” since it was round like the Mexican tortilla. Then the name stuck in Spain. This tortilla can be eaten as a dinner, or smaller pieces can be served as “tapas” (snacks).

My grandmother Francisca from Spain cooked this dish often. My mother remembers:

My mom used a chunk of ‘unto’ with a fork stuck in to grease the pan . There were 7  to feed and not mucho dinero, but we always ate till we were full–no one ever went hungry. My mother must have been a good money manager.  I remember grandpa making $25 a week forever!

Francisca y Antonio
Francisca y Antonio, circa 1920s

My mom, one of the hungry 7, learned how to cook this and passed down the recipe down to me.  This recipe is relatively fast, but you’ll need some cooking time for the potatoes.  Some modern tips to speed things up – chop the onions and potatoes the night before – keep the potatoes submerged in cold water in the fridge, then drain before cooking.  You can also cook the entire tortilla ahead of time and it will heat up nicely in the microwave.

Francisca’s Tortilla Española


  • 4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, thinly chopped
  • 3 potatoes, peeled, thinly sliced, and halved
  • 4 to 6 eggs


  • Use a good pan that won’t stick
  • Heat  olive oil
  • Add 1 large onion chopped. Cook on medium/high until translucent.
  • Add sliced/halved potatoes
  • Cook potatoes until tender but not falling apart
  • Beat 4-6 eggs and pour over cooked potatoes
  • Cover and cook slowly for 5-10 minutes until set
  • Flip over with spatula or….flip by covering pan with a large dish. Turn pan over so eggs are on plate.  Slide eggs back into pan. Try to not break the omelette
  • Brown other side
Close Up
Close Up


This Tortilla Española recipe was originally posted on

One Comment leave one →
  1. zllzisen permalink
    March 17, 2011 1:31 am

    Thank you for sharing this to us

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