Tortilla Española

Tortilla Española

In Spain, the word tortilla means omelette. Tortilla Española aka tortilla de patatas is basically an omelette that’s layered with potatoes and onions. It’s naturally gluten and dairy free! Tortilla is typically eaten at room temperature as pincho or tapas, a small snack served with drinks, or with coffee as a mid-morning snack.

To make tortilla de patatas, potatoes and onions are fried in oil before being stirred hot into the egg mixture so that a creamy sauce forms. Once your thick, eggy potato mixture has been assembled, you’ll pour it back into a pan and fry until golden, ideally with the eggs reaching a custardy texture. Some recipes then flip the whole tortilla to cook the other side, but the top can also be browned in the oven.

Tortilla Española is a signature dish of Spanish cuisine. Because it’s so beloved, there are various origin stories and different recipes in each region. Mix-ins could include bacalao, chorizo, shrimp, veg, or spices. Tortilla is sometimes topped with sauces or mayo, and is often made into a baguette sandwich for a portable snack.

Below we’ve included recipe links to some common types of tortilla. Tortilla normal is the basic recipe, and the rest are twists on the classic. One thing to note: there are some pretty wild but rare twists on tortilla de patatas that include things like spaghetti or other leftovers. It’s unlikely this would be served at most restaurants, but if you’re ordering it while dining out, be sure to double-check that it’s safe for you!

Tortilla Normal

The basic and delicious version of tortilla Española.

tortilla española

Image from blackieshoot via Unsplash

Tortilla de Betanzos

Tortilla de Betanzos is a particularly popular type, which is runnier, includes more yolk, and does not contain onions.

tortilla española

Tortilla de Betanzos from Condé Nast

Tortilla de Patatas con Bacalao

Tortilla with bacalao (salt cod) is often served in Basque Country in a sidrerías (cider houses).

Tortilla de Patatas con Chorizo

Chorizo is cooked in a skillet and the rendered fat is saved to fry the potatoes and onions. Chorizo adds some spiciness to tortilla.

tortilla española

Potato Chip Tortilla Española

A popular hack is using storebought potato chips to make tortilla Española quickly and easily, rather than taking the time to fry potatoes and onions.

tortilla española

Tortilla de Manzana

There’s even a dessert version of tortilla made with apples! Best not to order this at a restaurant because it could include both flour and butter, but it’s easy to make gluten and dairy free at home.

tortilla española

Image from Recetas AMC

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