Potato and Onion Tortilla

Also known as tortilla española or tortilla de patatas, this classic Spanish dish it is eaten at any time of day, not just for breakfast, and is often served at room temperature. It makes a wonderful meatless dinner.

Note: The Spanish use a special lid to turn the tortilla. You can do the same by inverting a plate over the skillet, turning the tortilla onto it, then sliding it back into the pan. Or, you can simply pop the whole thing about 4 inches below a pre-heated broiler. The turning makes for a nicer presentation but it is fraught with potential for disaster.

Serves 2 as an entree


  • 1 lb. potatoes (3 medium or 4 small)
  • ½ pound onions (2 medium)
  • ½ cup olive oil, preferably Spanish
  • 4 eggs (I use 2 whole eggs and an equivalent amount of non-fat liquid eggs)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Smoked paprika to garnish (optional)
  • Anchovies to garnish (optional)


Scrub or peel the potatoes and slice ⅛-inch thick. Halve the onions lengthwise and slice crosswise the same thickness as the potatoes. Heat the oil in a large (12”) non-stick skillet. When hot, add the potatoes and onions. Stir gently to coat with oil. Cover and cook for about 20 minutes, stirring a few times.

Beat the eggs in a large bowl (I use a stick blender to get them nice and frothy). Season with salt and pepper. Using a slotted spoon, remove the onions and potatoes from the oil and fold into the eggs.

Pour about 2 Tbsp. of the oil into a 10” non-stick skillet and put over medium-high heat. When the oil is very hot add the egg, onion, and potato mixture. Shake gently to distribute evenly. Reduce the heat a bit and cook until the edges are set, about 2 or 3 minutes.

Turn the tortilla as described in the note above and return to medium heat for about 5 minutes. Test with a small knife or toothpick to make sure it is cooked through. Slide out onto a serving plate, garnish, and serve.


4 responses to “Potato and Onion Tortilla

  1. Rachel Bethe July 5, 2011 at 15:00

    Just made this and it was wonderful. I don’t have a 10″ skillet so I used a 9″ one. This will be a “go to” recipe from now on.

  2. rachel May 13, 2017 at 13:24

    I just found this again by doing a search for “Leo Cotnoir onions and potatoes”

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