How to make a Spanish Tortilla

La Tortilla is one of Spain’s most iconic foods. A fluffy omelette packed with potatoes and onions, it is one of those dishes that makes you wonder how something with such simple ingredients can be so delicious!

The exact origins of this traditional recipe is unclear, however some sources suggest that one of the first versions was created in País Vasco in 1817 by general Tomás de Zumalacárregui as a quick and simple meal to feed the Carlist army. It is said that Tomás discovered the recipe when he stumbled upon a farmhouse and demanded that the farmwife made him a meal. All she had was eggs, potatoes and onions in the cupboard so she made an omelette. Zumalacárregui was impressed and kept the idea for himself.

We met up with Susanna’s mum Conchi so she could show us all the secrets and tips behind making the perfect tortilla. Scroll down for our video!


  • 4 medium potatoes
  • 1 large onion
  • 8 eggs
  • Salt to taste
  • Olive oil


1. Dice onion and peel and chop potatoes into thin slices.

2. Mix both ingredients together in a large bowl adding a large pinch of salt to season.

3. Preheat on a large frying pan with approx 1cm of olive oil covering the base. All the cooking is done on a medium heat.

4. Add your onion and potato mixture to the oil and stir occasionally until the potatoes are easy to break up with a fork. To get to this point you can alternate covering the pan with a lid and leaving it open. While this is happening, in a separate large bowl beat 8 eggs with a pinch of salt until light and fluffy.

5. With a slotted spoon, begin to drain to potatoes by pressing them to the side of the pan leaving the oil to one side. (tip: tilt the pan so that the oil gathers in the lower side, doing most of the work for you!)

6. Add the warm potatoes and onions into the egg, combine, add return to the pan.

7. Without stirring mixture while it’s cooking, when you see the edges tortilla begin to set, gently run a spatula around the side of the pan to make sure it’s not sticking.  When you can see the tortilla begin to go golden brown, it’s time to flip!

(This is the trickiest part of the recipe and don’t worry if it goes everywhere! As you’ll see in the video, this is totally normal!)

8. Find a plate that is larger than radius of the pan, place it on top and confidently flip the tortilla on to plate and slide it back into the pan. Continue to cook.

9. You will know the tortilla is ready when you can push a knife through the centre and no liquid comes out. Feel free to flip the tortilla once more if you feel there is uneven colouring.

10. Turn your tortilla out on to a plate and enjoy warm with salad or in a sandwich with lots of alioli!

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2 thoughts on “How to make a Spanish Tortilla

  1. Rob says:

    My god far too much oil in there! and there is no need to transfer the potatoes out of the pan, you just drain any oil directly out of the pan and add the egg mixture.. end result does look good but there is just no need for so much oil or messing about, am sure it still tasted lovely though!

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