Spanish Tortilla is a Spanish omelet made with fried potatoes and onions, eggs and olive oil. The perfect brunch or make-ahead breakfast recipe!
Spanish Tortilla, also known as Tortilla Espanola, is a Spanish omelet. “Tortilla” translates to “omelet”, so no matter what you call this recipe you’re right! In Italy, it would be a frittata. In France, just an omelet. In any language, it is the perfect brunch recipe! I love that this Spanish Tortilla recipe can be made ahead of time just like my favorite breakfast casserole recipes.
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Simple, right? Wrong! Spanish Tortilla is easy at its core, but more challenging in execution. Have no fear, I’m going to teach you how to make an authentic Spanish Tortilla and then reassure you that if you don’t follow the “right way” it will be just fine. Yours will taste amazing, I am sure of it!
Spanish Tortilla is not an omelet recipe in the sense you are probably thinking. Here’s a breakdown of the two recipes to shed some light on the differences.
How to make an omelet
You butter up a non-stick pan, pour in your eggs, top them with filling, then fold your eggs over to envelope the fixings, all without a single bit of brown and another quick wash of butter at the end before serving.
How to make a Spanish Tortilla
While Spanish omelet uses olive oil instead of butter and requires a certain amount of browning, it is more akin to an Italian frittata or crustless quiche.
The first element of a Spanish Tortilla is the potatoes. The hero of the dish needs to be thinly sliced and your best bet is to use a mandolin slicer.
Potatoes are lightly fried in olive oil. Olive oil isn’t your typical frying liquid due to its lower smoke point, so you want to fry them at a low simmer. In fact, authentic Spanish Tortilla recipes will tell you to not have any brown on the potatoes. Only simmer until soft and easily pierced with a fork.
The next step is cooking the potatoes with eggs. Most recipes instruct you to mix eggs with the potatoes and onions, but I find this commonly results in my hard-earned, non-browned potatoes falling apart. So like an Italian frittata, I layer my potatoes and onions in the cast iron skillet and then pour beaten eggs over the top.
The next step is to flip your Spanish Tortilla. Well folks, I don’t have the arm strength to be flipping a pound of potatoes and 7 eggs in a cast iron skillet. And quite frankly, I don’t want to risk messing up my beautiful creation, so I cheat.
Yep, I am a tortilla Espanola cheater. I let the bottom brown up a little and then I bake that sucker. A little broiler heat at the end and the top is just as lightly golden as if I flipped it like the best omelet flipper ever and no one has to know.
The final step is the easiest. Let it sit. Spanish Tortilla is actually served at room temperature. Keep this dish in mind for a make-ahead option or a dish to make and allow to sit while you prepare the rest of your meal.
If you are looking for other creative egg recipes for breakfast you might like my super popular Chile Relleno Casserole!
Love a good meal to start your day? Try some of my other favorite breakfast recipes!
- Dutch Baby
- Home Fries
- Maple Sausage French Toast Bake
- Cheesy Ham and Hash Brown Casserole
- Bacon Jalapeno Popper Quiche
- More breakfast recipes…
Tools used to make this Spanish Tortilla recipe
Cast Iron Skillet: This cast iron skillet is one of my most treasured pieces of cookware. I’ve had mine for years and make everything from breakfast to dinner and dessert in it!
Spider Strainer: This is my favorite kitchen tool for frying or blanching. This strainer makes it SO easy to get everything out of the pot in a just a couple swipes.
Mixing Bowl: These mixing bowls are perfect for mixing and serving. I love the varied sizes so I always have to right size bowl for all my mixing needs.
- 3 medium Russet potatoes peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 medium white onion thinly sliced
- 1 ½ cups extra virgin olive oil
- 7-9 large eggs lightly beaten
- Fine Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- Parsley minced for garnish (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Heat olive oil in a 10-inch cast iron skillet or other 10-inch oven proof pan.
- Working in batches, lightly fry potatoes and onion until soft, but not browned or crispy. Using a slotted spoon, remove to a bowl or plate. Set aside.
- When through frying, reserve 1 tablespoon oil, discard the rest. Rub remaining 1 tablespoon through the bottom and sides to prevent sticking.
- Layer potatoes and onions back into the greased skillet.
- Pour lightly beaten eggs over the top. The number of eggs will depend greatly on the size of your potatoes. You want the eggs to come up just to the top, if not covering the top, of your potatoes and onions.
- Place back onto a hot burner on medium heat until you start to see the sides setting, approximately 3-4 minutes.
- Transfer to the oven. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the center has just set.
- Remove and allow to rest for 1-2 hours, or until ready to serve at room temperature. Garnish with freshly minced parsley.
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