You just need 5 ingredients to create this fluffy potato omelette! It’s budget-friendly and makes a delicious dinner with a side salad.
A Spanish Omelette, also known as Tortilla Española, is a humble mixture of olive oil, eggs, onion, and potato. And wow is it good! It’s perfect for a simple dinner, and it’s budget-friendly.
I learned to make tortilla española as a college student in Seville, Spain. I stayed with a host family who cooked breakfast, lunch, and dinner for me daily (it was wonderful). The best part was the fresh squeezed orange juice that my host mother, Paquita, made each morning. This tortilla española is a close second.
Paquita often made tortilla española for supper, which is the lighter meal of the day (a larger meal is eaten at lunchtime in Spain).
Supper was at 9:30pm on the dot every night, and I knew to be home for it! She’d often serve soup and wedges of tortilla española and we’d nibble on fresh fruit for dessert.
When I would leave for a weekend trip, Paquita would pack me leftover tortilla española on a soft and squishy roll for lunch.
You just need five ingredients for this easy omelette:
- I used large eggs for this recipe; you’ll need five of them.
- Olive oil serves a variety of roles: it adds flavor, fries the potato and onion, and keeps the omelette from sticking to the pan.
- You’ll just need one potato. Russet potatoes or Yukon Gold potatoes work well.
- A yellow onion or Spanish onion can be used here.
- Salt makes all of the flavors pop!
How to make a potato omelette
Peel and slice the the potato into ⅛ inch slices. Then, heat ¼ cup of olive oil (this much olive oil is key to the recipe!) in a 6 inch nonstick pan. I used the smallest frying pan in this nonstick frying pan set, which I love.
Add the potatoes and let cook, stirring occasionally.
After 8–10 minutes, the potato will soften to the point of being fork-tender. Add the onion and sauté for another 2–3 minutes, or until the onion is soft.
Whisk the eggs together and add them to the pan. They puff up and will fill the pan. We want a nice, tall omelette here—it will all fit in a 6-inch skillet but barely! 🙂
How to flip a potato omelette
The key to a perfectly cooked potato omelette is the flip. When the first side is lightly brown, turn off the heat and place a dinner plate on top of the skillet.
Place your hand on the top of the dinner plate, and use your other hand to invert the omelette onto the dinner plate. The cooked side will be facing up on the plate, and the uncooked side is facing down.
Slide the omelette back into the pan, uncooked side down. Place the pan back on the stove and continue cooking until the omelette is cooked through.
The result? A tall, fluffy Spanish potato omelette! I finish mine with flaky sea salt, but regular salt works, too.
Do I have to serve tortilla española hot?
Tortilla española is delicious hot, warm, at room temperature, or even straight from the refrigerator.
Can omelettes be reheated?
To reheat an omelette, slide it back into a nonstick skillet. Place the skillet over low heat and cook for 2–3 minutes, then flip and cook for another 2–3 minutes.
Can I make a larger version of this?
Yes! Double the ingredients and use a 10–12 inch skillet. Larger potato omelettes are harder to flip, which is why I prefer to use a 6 inch skillet and make two, instead of making one large one.
How to serve a potato omelette
Tortilla Española is super versatile. I serve it for dinner, along with a simple green salad and pan con tomate (translation: bread with tomato). It’s basically Spanish garlic bread and a wonderful way to use up less-than-stellar or out of season tomatoes.
It can be served hot out of the skillet, at room temperature, or cold, so that also makes it great for a brown bag lunch. It’s delicious on a soft and squishy roll—add a little mayo if you like!
I’ve even cut the omelette into little squares and served it at room temperature as an appetizer for a Spanish dinner party. It was a hit!
Spanish Potato Omelette (Tortilla Española)
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 medium russet potato, peeled
- ½ medium Spanish onion, finely chopped
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 5 large eggs
- To finish: more kosher salt or flaky sea salt
- Heat the olive oil in a 6-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Meanwhile, cut the potato into quarters. Cut each quarter into ⅛ inch thick slices.
- Place the potatoes in the hot oil and cook, stirring occasionally with a spatula, until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork (about 8–10 minutes). Stir often enough that the potatoes do not brown—they should just be soft. Add the chopped onion and cook for 2–3 minutes more.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs and salt. Pour the mixture over the cooked potatoes. Let the mixture sit for 30 seconds, then drag a spatula through the mixture to allow the uncooked egg to settle into the bottom of the pan. Repeat this process once more. Continue cooking for 2–3 more minutes, or until the underside of the omelette is golden brown.
- Remove from the heat. Place a heat-safe dinner plate on top of the skillet. Carefully flip the omelette onto the plate. Then slide the omelette back into the pan, uncooked side down. Continue cooking for 2–3 minutes, or until the underside is golden brown.
- Transfer to a cutting board and cut into wedges. Garnish with a sprinkle of flaky sea salt (a sprinkle of regular salt works, too) and serve immediately, or let cool and serve at room temperature.
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