Tortilla de patata (Spanish Omelette)


Tortilla de patata

Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time1 hour 50 minutes
Course: Small Bites
Cuisine: Basque, Spanish
Servings: 2 8-inch tortillas


  • 6 Medium Yukon gold potatoes
  • 1 onion
  • 4 C olive oil
  • 6 eggs
  • salt


Mise en place

  • Peel and half the potatoes lengthwise. Place the halves cut side down and slice into thin half rounds. Place slices into a bowl of water to remove excess starch.
  • Similarly slice the onion.
  • Strain the potatoes, pat dry, and liberally salt on all sides.


  • Layer the potatoes and onions in a wide bottomed skillet at least 2 inches deeper than the ingredients.
  • Pour enough olive oil into the pan just enough to submerge the slices (approximately 4 cups).
  • Let the potatoes and onions confit (slow simmer in the oil) until fork tender but not falling apart (about 30 minutes).
  • Remove the slices from the oil by straining in a colander, and let them cool. (Retain the flavored oil for cooking.)

Cook the Tortillas

  • In a medium bowl, beat 3 eggs. Then add 3 kitchen spoons of the potato and onion mixture into the eggs and combine gently without mashing the ingredients.
  • Heat 2 Tbl of olive oil, coating the bottom and sides of a 8-inch pan, over medium heat.
  • Add the mixture to the saute pan (it should fill it nearly completely) and move the mixture around gently with a spatula, as if you were scrambling eggs until the mixture begins to set.
  • Let cook untouched until the tortilla pulls away from the sides of the pan and, when shaken, it jiggles only in the center - about 10 minutes.
  • Place a flat plate over the pan and, in one swift move, flip the pan and the plate together to turn the tortilla out onto the plate. return the plan to the burner and distribute 1 tbl olive oil around the surface before sliding the tortilla back into the pan, uncooked side down.
  • Cook until it no longer jiggles in the middle and then turn out the finished tortilla onto a plate or cutting board.
  • Repeat process to make the second tortilla.


  • Cut the tortilla into wedges for an larger portion or 2" squares for appetizers (pintxos) and serve at room temperature.


You can confit potatoes and onion in advance. If you do, refrigerate and then allow the mixture to come to room temperature before mixing with the eggs. 
Jamie Kelly is an American marketing professional turned gastronaut. She is eating her way through a full-spectrum exploration of food culture in Spanish-speaking lands and staging ambitious re-enactments of her finds in her own kitchen. To join the expedition, follow at FB: gastro-curious, IG: jamie_gastrocurious and