The Pretend Chef

Easy Spanish omelette

Thick, dense, rich and indulgent easy spanish omelette

Egg, Recipes, World food | April 24, 2017 | By

Easy Spanish Omelette, Spanish tortilla, Tortilla española or tortilla de patatas is a delicious Spanish appetiser, snack and picnic dish made with eggs and potatoes. It is thick and dense, rich and indulgent and can be served hot or cold, in large wedges or small cocktail size (hors d’oevure) with toothpicks.

The easy Spanish omelette bears no relationship to the Mexican tortilla rather it closely resembles the Italian frittata. It is quick and easy to make and there are regional variations to this dish with many optional ingredients but once you have potatoes, egg and oil, you can make yourself a complete meal. My son no. 1 loves this dish so anytime I visit, I try to make it for him as often as he wants it.

Thick, dense, rich and indulgent easy spanish omelette

Easy Spanish omelette and Italian Frittata

Like I said before, the Spanish omelette is similar to the frittata, some people get confused about this and there have been arguments about it. So let me make it clear, the difference between the Spanish omelette and the Italian frittata is that the frittata is made with egg and any other ingredients, it is cooked on top of the cooker and finished under a grill or in the oven. A Spanish omelette, on the other hand, is made with egg, potato and some other ingredients, cooked on top of the cooker, flipped and finished on top of the cooker. The texture of the Spanish omelette is different and the flipping redistributes the heat giving it a creamy dense centre, so it is firmer and denser than the frittata.

The Spanish omelette is usually about 1″-3″ high, the higher the better. It can be made to have a slightly runny centre or to be fully cooked. I like mine totally and fully cooked but not dry. The amount of vegetable oil used in frying the potatoes, which is on the high side, is necessary in order to cook and soften the potatoes and give them a silky smooth richness without colouring them. The oil is eventually drained off and the dish is not oily in the least.

Some optional extra ingredients and seasoning for easy Spanish omelettes

  • Green, red, yellow or orange bell pepper, diced ham, sausages, tuna, shrimp, parsley, spring onions, peas, asparagus, mushroom, cheese, chili Pepper, Oregano etc.


To make Easy Spanish omelette

1 medium Onion
500g Irish Potatoes
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
6 eggs

To prepare Easy Spanish omelette ingredients

Peel and wash the potatoes cut them into thin even slices about 1/8-inch thick. Use a mandoline if available.

Peel and finely slice the onion. 

Heat the vegetable oil in a large frying pan or skillet over medium heat, when hot add onions, cook for 5 minutes. 

Add potatoes. Cook, stirring occasionally with a fish slice, until the potatoes are soft, about 15 to 20 minutes. 

Don’t stir too often so the potatoes don’t all break up. Drain in a sieve. 

While potatoes are frying, break eggs into a large bowl. 

Pour the hot potato mix into the eggs, season with salt and pepper. 

Breakup, combine and mix both egg white and yolk with the potatoes. 

Cover and leave to stand for 15 minutes, then give a gentle stir.

You will notice the egg has thickened by now and would have absorbed the taste of the onions.

To fry Easy Spanish omelette

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a small frying pan, about 8 to 10 inches wide, over medium high flames. 

When oil is hot, pour the egg mixture into the frying pan and cook for 1 minute, then reduce the heat to low.

Shake the frying pan from time to time and run a palette knife around the edge of the omelette so that it won’t stick to the pan. 

Cook until the egg has only a moderate circle of the wet mix on top about 10 minutes.

Run a fish slice or palette knife round the sides and under to make sure the omelette is not stuck to the frying pan.

Pick the frying pan by the handle, place a wide plate over the frying pan, press down and quickly flip the omelette into the plate. 

plate over frying pan to flip easy spanish omelette

Set the frying pan back onto the flame and gently slide the omelette and any liquid into the frying pan. 

Raise the heat to high. 

Tuck in the sides of the omelette to make it look neat and round. 

After about 1 minute, reduce heat to low, shake the pan to loosen the omelette.

Cook till it is springy to touch, or when a toothpick is inserted into the middle, it comes out clean. 

The residual heat will dry it out some more. If you want it runny, don’t cook for too long once you flip.

Slide into a plate, your Spanish omelette is ready.

Leave to cool a little before cutting.

Thick, dense, rich and indulgent easy spanish omelette

Serve warm or cold with bread and a salad e.g Sweet corn salad

Thick, dense, rich and indulgent easy spanish omelette

To serve as small chop (hors d’oeuvre), cut the omelette into squares and serve with toothpicks.



  • The depth of the frying pan will determine how high the omelette can be.
  • Taking care to cut the potato slices evenly thick will ensure they cook uniformly.  
  • You can cook the potato in batches.
  • Take the time to soften your potatoes in the oil, if potatoes are too firm, they will not bind well with the egg which causes problems of breaking up when flipping your Spanish omelette. 
  • Also, with too firm potatoes, your easy Spanish omelette will be loose and the texture all wrong.
  • Soaking your potatoes, onions and egg together for some time helps your ingredients hold together better and their flavours blend with each other.
  • The flipping of the Spanish omelette has caused quite a lot of disasters in the kitchen. Sometimes the egg might slip and fall, it might get stuck to the pan etc, and when circumstances call for it, rules need to be broken. Just pop your Spanish omelette into the oven and finish it up there if you are not sure you can do the flip.
  • The plate used for flipping the omelette should be much wider than the frying pan used in frying the egg.
  • You can use leftover boiled potatoes for Spanish omelette. Just cut potatoes into small cubes and add to the vegetable oil when the onions have softened. Cook to warm potatoes through.

My next assignment is to try adapting this to yam and sweet potatoes.

You will also enjoy my Egg sandwich, Stuffed eggs (Deviled eggs), Green (amaranth) omelette, Egg muffins and Easy French toast. Do you have any comments, questions or suggestions, please leave a comment below.

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Thick, dense, rich and indulgent easy spanish omelette

Thick, dense, rich and indulgent easy spanish omelette

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