This simple yet tasty Spanish tortilla (tortilla Española) can be made with traditional potato or swap it for rutabaga for a lower carb version. It's great as part of a tapas meal, or take it on a picnic or to a party. Versatile, comforting and so good.
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Tortilla Española, or tortilla de patatas, is something you see in virtually every bar and cafe that serves food in Spain. For those unfamiliar, it's a type of omelette, Spain's version of a fritatta, most typically made with potato and onion.
Some would be relatively 'normal' sized while others could be a good three inches thick (in case you are wondering, there are special double-sided pans that help that be possible but it still takes some skill).
It was always a regular on our tapas selection when I lived there, usually sitting outside on a patio. And indeed outdoors is a great setting for this dish. While you might think of it in a restaurant or at home, it's also perfect for a picnic. It's pretty robust and perfect for sharing.
As I said, a Spanish tortilla is most commonly made with potato, but I sometimes also make it with rutabaga which has a very similar texture but is is a little less starchy and lower in carbs, if that's important to you.
I have also had it with slices of zucchini/courgette mixed in with the potatoes which goes well.
How to make Spanish tortilla
Whether using potato or rutabaga, you peel and cut slices that are thin, bite-sized pieces before frying them with the onion. Cook them until the potatoes are tender to a knifepoint.
Beat the eggs then add the cooked vegetables to the eggs along with some salt and pepper. Stir gently then tip the mixture back in the skillet. Leave to cook over a low hear until the eggs are largely set.
See how it comes together in the short video!
As I mentioned, you can get special kind of double-sided skillets that will let you flip it over in the same pan, but they are not that common outside Spain.
Instead, if you don't have one the common alternative is to put a plate over the top, flip over the skillet then slide the tortilla back into the skillet the other way up. Some times work better than others, it's fair to say.
These days I often cheat a little and go more down the frittata cooking method of finishing it off under the grill/broiler. It's certainly less likely to have collapsing/falling on the floor or other similar issues! Do as you prefer.
Spanish tortilla is a great thing to take along to a picnic as it is easily transportable, not too messy and you can cut it either into wedge portions or bite-sized cubes to make for easy eating. It also goes well with pretty much anything and is really tasty, so what could be better?
Dishes to pair with Spanish tortilla include:
- Pinchos Morunos (warmly-spiced meat skewers)
- White wine marinated steak
- Gambas al ajillo (Spanish garlic shrimp)
- Spanish cheese plate
- Chorizo al vino tinto (chorizo in red wine)
- Simple summer Spanish tapas.
If you want to know more about tapas, head over to my what are tapas post that also has lots of classics to try. You'll also find many more Spanish recipes in the archives.
- 13 oz potato or while not traditional, you can use rutabaga/swede - if so, I usually use slightly more weight-wise
- 1 onion small-medium
- 1 ½ tablespoon olive oil
- 4 eggs large
- salt and pepper
- Peel the potato/rutabaga and onion. Cut the potato/rutabaga in to relatively thin disks - this is probably easiest if you cut chunks around 1in/2.5cm square or a bit smaller then slice them around ⅛in/3mm thick. Peel and dice the onion.
- Heat the oil in a small skillet/frying pan over a medium heat then add the potato/rutabaga and onion. Cook, stirring regularly to move the bottom pieces to the top and prevent browning for around 20min, until the potato/rutabaga slices are soft to the knifepoint.
- Beat the eggs in a medium bowl and season with salt and pepper. Add the cooked potato/rutabaga and onion and mix through.
- Add a little more oil to the skillet if it is dry then tip in the egg mixture and cook over a medium-low heat until you can see it has cooked round the outside and is fairly set in the middle. Heat the broiler/grill and put the pan under until the top is fully set - you aren't looking for it to brown too much, just set the egg.
- Allow to rest slightly before loosening from the pan, then place a plate over the pan and invert onto the plate. Serve warm or room temperature in slices or cubes.
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Post has been updated, primarily with new photos.
you do not have a newsletter that we can have recipes to our inbox ,would be nice Caroline and you Frittata version looks easy and tasty i have used potatoes mixed with the rutabaga and it was lovely and added some Red and Green diced Peppers and diced ham to it and wow it was tasty and looked good sliced into wedges and next day for Lunches was Super tasty and easy. Brought it for a potluck too. Will Try for a Pic Nic too this Summer .
I do have a newsletter, actually - there is a sign up in the side bar (at the bottom on mobile) or go to the 'subscribe' option in the top menu. Yes tortillas are pretty flexible with additions so worth experimenting with peppers and zucchini, for example. Glad you enjoyed.
What a great dish to bring to a picnic. Thanks for sharing with FF#65
Thanks, Effie, yes it's both very tasty and great picnic food. Great for lots of occasions!
Julie @ HostessAtHeart
What a show stopper dish! I've never used rutabaga before but this is a year of firsts for me!
Thanks, Julie, well first time for everything - this is a nice easy introduction to it, you'd hardly know!
Thanks, Loretta. Yes it's definitely a meal in itself, just maybe not in our hungry household 🙂
Thanks, Wendy, yes the rutabagas are great in there.
Wow! This is such a great dish, Caroline - so easy to make and very simple dish. Thanks for sharing and happy FF. xx
Thanks, Jhuls, yes simple can be great. Thanks for co-hosting FF this week!
Tammi @Momma's Meals
I would never have thought to bring something like this to a picnic but your right! Easy to slice and carry.
Thanks, Tammi, yes it's maybe not conventional but really works!
Lauren @ Sew You Think You Can Cook
I've never had rutabaga before, but my produce-curious adventurous husband really wants to try it because it "looks funny".
Sometimes funny-looking hides tasty! This is a nice easy introduction to it, so I hope you give it a try!
We LOVE these here! Great version
Thanks, Sarah, they are great, aren't they?
Such a simple and delicious dish, I've had it once before and it is just perfect !
Thanks, Shaina, sometimes simple is the best!
Sarah | Curious Cuisiniere
Ooh, I have been wanting to try making one of these! Yours looks terrific!
Thanks, Sarah, I hope you get the chance to make it and like it; it's not lots of ingredients but is tasty.
Wow, what a perfect tortilla! A great picnic entree!
Thanks, Liz, yes it's great for a picnic.
This looks wonderful! So many of my favorites in one dish!
Thanks, it is a simple but tasty dish
I would definitely not have the courage to flip this over, but I am totally adding it to my list of things to make.
I understand, Laura, but at least there's an alternative! I hope you manage to make it and enjoy!
Now, that is really cool, I love it!! Great unique idea for a picnic!
Thanks, Tara, we have taken it to a few outdoor picnic/parties and always goes down well!