the spanish tortilla

I am hesitant to tell you about this because I don’t think we’ve perfected the recipe to our taste, and I’m not sure how authentic it even is, though when searching “spanish tortilla recipe,” most of the results were some variation of what we did. Basically, poach potatoes and onions in oil, drain, add egg, fry in pan, flip, eat.

Of course we couldn’t just eat egg and potatoes so we added a few things, and then served the thing with a completely made up a version of the Spanish sofrito, based on a very vague description found online.

Having never eaten or seen this particular dish before, I wasn’t sure exactly how it was supposed to come out. Zach had eaten a version of it at Jaleo a few weeks prior, and thought it would be great for me since it’s naturally gluten and lactose free. My verdict on the recipe as is: it’s ok. We have some ideas for improvement (way less oil, more veggies, add some kind of meat), and I’ll try to update this when I have a final product. For now I thought I’d share just to see if anyone reading this might actually be an expert on the spanish tortilla, and/or have some ideas for how to make it better next time.

tortilla and sofrito

La Tortilla Española


  • 1 lb potatoes, peeled and cut lengthwise, then sliced into 1/8″ pieces (I think part of my problem was I used more like 1.5 lbs; we used russet, not sure if the type is important)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3/4 c. olive oil (I ran out of olive oil mid-recipe, so we used a combo of olive and canola. Also it should be noted that every recipe called for At Least 1 cup of oil, sometimes much more, I just couldn’t do it)
  • 6 eggs
  • 6 cups chopped kale
  • 1 can mushrooms, drained thoroughly (I know, gasp!! safeway was absolutely cleaned out of fresh mushrooms, so I grabbed a can kind of as a joke, and, it definitely reminded me of my youth)
  • Salt (most recipes called for 1 1/2 tsp or so, I reduced the amount dramatically since the canned mushrooms were already so sodiumy, just did a few cranks on the salt grinder)

Sofrito” (according to my interpretation)

  • 3 roma tomatoes, chopped small
  • 1 green pepper, chopped small
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped small
  • 1 or 2 cloves garlic, minced (I was out of garlic so I added 1/4 tsp garlic powder)
  • 1 Tbls olive oil (used some of the oil drained off the potatoes)

For tortilla, heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high. In a large bowl, stir together potato slices, onion, and about 1/2 tsp salt (more or less). When oil is hot, carefully add potato mixture, spreading pieces around to coat evenly with oil (one recipe said oil should cover the potatoes; I did not use enough oil to do that, so I stirred often).

potatoes poaching

Cook about 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender enough to break apart with a little pressure from the spatula.

While potatoes are cooking, blanch the kale (boil for a couple minutes, shock with cold water), drain thoroughly (squeeze as much liquid as you can out of them), roughly chop and then add to potato mixture when potatoes are a few minutes from being done.

kalewine and cookingCook mixture about five more minutes (drink some wine), then drain in a colander over a large bowl to capture the excess oil. Allow to drain/cool for 10 minutes or so. Add mushrooms and stir to combine.

IMAG1025While that’s cooling, (drink some more wine and) heat a bit of the reserved oil in a separate skillet, for the “sofrito.” I really should have researched this a bit but I’m lazy, AND my headspace was way taken up by this whole tortilla process, so all I did was throw all the ingredients into the hot oil and cooked over medium heat for about 10 minutes, then moved to a small glass bowl to serve on the side.

In a large bowl, lightly beat eggs, and then stir in potato mixture. Heat 1 Tbls of reserved oil in the original skillet over medium heat. When it’s hot, pour the egg mixture into the skillet and spread it out to distribute evenly to the edges. Cook about 10 minutes without stirring, until bottom is lightly brown.


I made Zach do the next part because I was too skeered (I was also too skeered watching him do it that I didn’t think to take pictures). Put a dinner plate over the skillet and flip so the tortilla ends up on the plate. Add another little bit of oil to the skillet and heat for 30 seconds before sliding the tortilla carefully off the plate into pan. Cook another 3 – 4 minutes, remove from heat and let it sit in the pan for a few minutes.


Remove from pan to a cutting board and slice into eight wedges, and serve with sofrito.* This is a tapas recipe, so, not intended to be an entire meal.

Nutrition info according to SparkPeople recipe calculator, per 1/8 of tortilla: 265.5 calories, 19g fat (ouch), 163mg sodium (if you add no salt; this is from canned mushrooms mostly), 547mg potassium, 17.5g carbs (3.5g fiber), 19.7g protein. Also, a whopping 270% of recommended vitamin A, and 85% vitamin C. The sofrito is about 28 calories per 1/4 cup.

*I just finally looked up a recipe for sofrito, and it turns out you’re supposed to use a can of crushed tomatoes instead of fresh, and season it with sweet paprika. huh.

This entry was posted in gluten free, Recipes, tapas. Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to the spanish tortilla

  1. Jenn says:

    I lurve tortilla! When I was in Spain by myself, instead of sitting awkwardly by myself in restaurants I would get tortilla sandwhiches to go. Delish, and also reasonably healthy considering. When I make it myself it is usually a bastardization of the recipe you’ve got above, but it works for me.

    • Latrice says:

      Hej Petunia! Jag är helt ny i bloggvärlden, men har följt abctema genom min väninna Christina. När jag sÃ¥g att du skulle börja med ny runda kände jag att jag ville följa med. Jag gillar att läsa en rejäl dagstidning (avis) tryckt pÃ¥ papper. Att läsa tidningen pÃ¥ nätet är inget för mig. Eftersom jag bor i Göteborg sÃ¥ är det GÃtrtbo¶gs-Poseen som gäller!

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  2. Beth says:

    There’s a Spanish Tortilla dish at a tapas restaurant that I always enjoy. I guess I never actually knew what sofrito was. I’m positively no expert on making them, only on eating them I’m afraid. Still I totally sympathize with this stage of recipe development. Sometimes I want to post things saying “finished product yet to come, but lots of effort went into all the intermediate steps!” I like the extra veggies you added, the versions I’ve eaten are usually just eggs and potatoes. Thanks for sharing, and good luck with your recipe tweaking!

  3. YUM! I’ve never tried this!

  4. Marnie Tao says:

    I know you love Simply Recipes like I do, so I found their recipe here: with lots of comments, etc. that might be helpful? She uses about a third the amount of oil and mentions the type of potato is, in fact, important – should use red or gold waxy potatoes, not russet… Looks great though, I want to try it with bacon! ;-) Also, if you have any leftover kale, I have had a kale cooking fest here – all gluten/dairy free too! Haven’t blogged about it yet, but Aarti’s massaged kale salad is one of my absolute favorites (I subbed clementines for mangos – still totally awesome!)

    • d-day says:

      thanks! I just bought a HUGE bag of kale so I need creative ways to use it up.

      duhhh bacon! obviously it needs bacon. can’t believe I didn’t think of that.

      • Marni says:

        Hallo Michi,Dein Set ist aber toll geworden. Es wirkt sehr edel und Du kannst wirklich auf Schnick Schnack veLezchtin.riebe GrüßeAndrea

  5. Michelle says:

    My spanish “family” always ate tortilla with mayo, which, in my opinion, pretty much improves everything it’s added to. Sometimes they would get crazy and mix mayo and ketchup together. Also bacon is a genius addition, either in or on top.

  6. Maryland says:

    Thank goodness! I went from 2,525 to 2,480. I'm very happy to hear that yo&;93#ure fixing it cause I was freaking out this morning. lol. Having so many subs means a lot to me and I'm glad it will be fixed! Thanks!

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