Tortilla Española My Way

Alright, so it’s not entirely my way.

I learned it from my husband and then declared it mine.

Fifteen years ago I lived in Madrid, Spain.  Sixteen years ago Nick, my (now) husband, lived in San Sebastian, Spain.  It wasn’t until 8 years ago that we met for the first time.  And we had one thing (only one) in common: we couldn’t live without tortilla.  I’m not talking about those things you wrap around meat to make burritos and tacos.  I’m talking about Tortilla Española, a staple in Spanish culture.  Back in Madrid, I didn’t adapt well to the Spanish cuisine.  I wasn’t a pork eater, and paella always tasted way too fishy for me.  I could always count on some good tortilla though.  Upon arriving home, I had many failed attempts to make a good tortilla.  I was making the stupidest of mistakes.  I was too impatient to cook the potatoes enough.

I stopped eating tortilla for 7 years.

Then when I met Nick, he let me in on his little secret: cook the potatoes until they are soft.

Now I make a damn good tortilla.  It’s a simple dish made with eggs, potatoes, and onions.  Here’s a little warning for the tortilla purists in the world: I add yams.  This makes a much more interesting tortilla.  Try it. You’ll love it.

Tortilla Española My Way

Difficulty: Moderate/Easy

Cooking time: 1 hour

Servings: 4

Ideal Protein: Phase 4


  • 2-3 medium Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 medium jewel yam
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 8 eggs
  • olive oil
  • sea salt and black pepper

  1. Peel and cube the Yukon golds first, as they take the longest to cook.
  2. Cover bottom of a 12 inch non-stick frying pan with a thin layer of olive oil and add potatoes to cook on medium heat.  Cover pan.
  3. While potatoes are cooking, peel and cube yam.  Add to pan.
  4. Stir potatoes occasionally.
  5. While potatoes are cooking, chop the onion and add to pan.  Continue to stir occasionally throughout.
  6. Add sea salt and black pepper to taste.  Here is my trick: I periodically pull out a potato cube to taste for desired saltiness.  This way I can be conservative with the salt until I get just the right amount and, I am sure to get the flavor exactly how I want it.
  7. While the potatoes are cooking, beat eggs in a large bowl.
  8. Cook potatoes through.  They will almost be mushy.  You should be able to cut through them with the side of the spatula.
  9. Remove pan from burner and turn burner to low.  Using a slotted spoon, transfer potatoes into the eggs removing as much of the oil as possible.
  10. Stir potato and egg mixture.
  11. Drain oil from the pan and place on burner on low heat.
  12. Pour potato and egg mixture back into pan and let sit.  Cover.  Do not stir.
  13. Let sit for 10 minutes or until cooked on bottom.  Entire tortillas should slide as one piece in pan when you slide pan from side to side.
  14. Use a large plate to cover tortilla in pan and flip over so tortilla rests on plate with the cooked side down.
  15. Slide tortilla back into pan, raw side down.  Continue to cook on low heat until cooked through, 10 minutes.
  16. Flip onto large plate and let cool slightly.
  17. Serve.  Avocado slices make a nice addition.

I recently learned a lesson from making destroying a tortilla.  It was a reminder not to take life too seriously.  After 8 years of perfecting the craft, I recently had my first colossal failure.  The whole bottom layer stuck to the pan, and I couldn’t keep the tortilla in one piece.  I had to improvise and make it a scramble (along with buying a new non-stick pan.)  If you try it, and it doesn’t work, don’t sweat it.  Just do what I did.  So it wasn’t quite the classic non-traditional version I always make, but it was still a tasty treat.

When it works, I’d put my tortilla up against a traditional tortilla any day.

Buen provecho!

19 comments on “Tortilla Española My Way

  1. Nothing wrong with a little thievery – haha. I always look forward to a good tortilla when I visit Madrid – we’re going again this summer 😀 This looks SO delicious.

    • That’s right! 🙂 You are so lucky to be going to Spain this summer. Have an extra piece for me. That’s the one way my tortilla can’t hold up: location! Thanks!

  2. This looks delicious, but I was wondering: Have you ever made these with a squash? Or any other vegetables? I ask because, as a dieter, I have to be careful about my carb intake (the potatoes).

  3. Oooh that looks delicious! The yams sound like a great idea. I’ve seen the Spanish put pretty much any veggies or form of pork in a tortilla.

    • Thanks, Jessica! It is quite good. Very true– they do put everything in there, so in a sense, this isn’t quite sacrilege. I usually preferred to stick with the plain potato and egg version while living there, but I bet some of those other variations are quite good. Except… tortilla de bacalao doesn’t sound so good to me.

  4. Yum !! I am a huge fan of breakfast…in the southwe call these Fritattas….nice assistant in the pictures

  5. Very Nice!! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  6. Yummy! I hope someday you make a book. Your photos and directions are fantastic. I’m on a fast of no sugar, no wheat, no dairy for a few days, but this looks so Yummy!!!

  7. oops, and no potatoes, at the moment. Look forward to trying this soon. 🙂 Keep up the great job.

    • Thanks, AG! That is very sweet! Sounds like a good cleanse. Have you ever looked into seeing if you have any food sensitivities to gluten and dairy? It’s pretty common. I try my best to rarely eat those foods as well as eggs and soy because I have sensitivities to all those. Obviously, I struggle the most with eggs. 🙂

      • I have been checked for celiac. Don’t have it. But gluten acts like opiums to some people’s brains—including mine. I go on binges and then try to avoid it. I’m sensitive to lots, too. 🙂 Thanks for asking.

  8. I loved having tortilla espanola when I was in Spain! And I love how you added yams! Looks so good.

  9. […] Tortilla Española My Way (idealdiet.wordpress.com) […]

  10. […] Tortilla Española My Way (idealdiet.wordpress.com) […]

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