TOrtilla EspaÑola made easy

Rianna Huertas

After about a month of WU food, takeout, and my own failed kitchen creations, I begin to miss my abuelitas food with a fierceness only matched by her personality. However, making these dishes with my own limited cooking skills proves to be a monumental challenge; as with many traditional Spanish dishes, the amount of steps, ingredients, and time that it takes to make such mouth-watering meals is a little overwhelming when balancing schoolwork and sleep is already a struggle. Yet, I remember my abuela’s tortilla española; it was ever-present in her house, always the perfect thing for lunch, dinner, or a late night snack, and absolutely delicious. I’m super excited to share a dish that not only means so much to me, but will also satiate cravings for good home-cooked food and  provide the productive procrastination outlet we all need. 


2 Cups of extra-virgin olive oil, with extra as needed

3 medium potatoes, such as Yukon Gold potatoes

1 medium sweet onion, such as a Vidalia

6 large eggs

2 teaspoons of salt

Faith in yourself


Large saucepan

Two medium-sized bowls

Metal strainer

Plate about the same size as the pan you use

Spatula (wooden or silicone)


  1. Peel, quarter, and slice the potatoes and onion into ⅛ inch thick slices -- this doesn’t need to be exact, but just make sure everything is about the same size. Combine the potatoes and onions together in a bowl. 

  2. In a large saucepan, heat the oil on medium-high heat until you can see it shimmering. Add the potatoes and onions into the oil -- they should be fully submerged, but not drowning in the oil (see photo on the right). Cover and lower to medium heat, cooking the potatoes and onions for 10-12 minutes, when potatoes are very tender when poked with a fork.  

  3. Place a metal strainer over a large bowl, and carefully strain the potatoes and onions, reserving the oil in the bowl for later in the process. Let both the vegetables and oil cool slightly while completing the next step.

  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and salt until the whites and yolks are fully combined.  Abuela used a fork to do this, but a whisk also works. 

  5. Add cooled vegetables to egg mixture, being careful as to not break the potatoes in the process. Set aside and let rest for 5 minutes. 

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6. In the same pan as before, add two tablespoons of the reserved oil, and heat on medium-high heat until oil begins to shimmer. Gently pour the egg and potato mixture into the oil and shake the pan gently to form an even layer. Let it sit and cook until the edges of the egg begin to turn pale yellow (see picture on the left), about two minutes, and run a silicone or wooden spatula around the edge of the pan to loosen the tortilla and cook for another 1-2 minutes, where the eggs will begin to set. 

7. Now, this is the tricky part, but also the most fun. Place a plate facedown on top of the pan where the precious tortilla is cooking; the plate should be slightly smaller than the pan, so you can set it gently on top of the tortilla. Now, with the confidence that everyone reading this possesses (you’re a bad bitch), quickly flip the tortilla onto the plate by inverting the pan (see image sequence below). Place the pan back on the stove; the tortilla should be on the plate with the uncooked side facing down. Slide the tortilla back into the pan, uncooked side facing down. Cook the tortilla for about 2 more minutes, using a spatula to tidy up the edges, by either tucking or patting. 

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  1. Once again, flip the tortilla onto the plate using the same method as before. Both sides should be lightly browned, and no liquid egg should be seeping from the tortilla (if this is the case, slide it back into the pan and cook for another minute or two). Let the tortilla rest for at least 5 minutes at room temperature on the plate. 


The final product should look something like the picture to the right. You can either cut it into slices and serve warm or let it cool completely and store in the fridge under tin foil or plastic wrap, whichever works best for you at the moment. Now that you’ve successfully made a traditional spanish tortilla, go do your work (you know you need to) and enjoy a slice!

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