One of my favorite meals when I lived in Madrid, Spain was tortilla española, also known as a Spanish omelette. The traditional dish can easily be found all over the country at cafes in the morning, served with a glass of cafe con leche, or in the evening, alongside a pitcher of sangria and assortment of tapas. A thick egg omelette made with a potato crust and fried in olive oil, tortilla española is filling, simple to make, and easy on the wallet. Special bonus? It will also cure the meanest of hangovers.

In honor of my host mother, Paola, who made this dish for me every morning in such a spectacular way that I never grew tired of it, I submit to you this tried and true recipe. It is light but savory and really lets each simple ingredient shine. The versatility of tortilla española allows for it to be served cold or warm, with any additional ingredients (from red bell pepper to chorizo) that might tickle your fancy.

I think Paola would be proud.


  • 1 cup Spanish olive oil
  • 3 large russet or Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, quartered, thinly and evenly sliced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled, halved, and thinly sliced
  • 6 eggs
  • Green Olive for garnish on each slice


1. Lightly beat eggs in bowl, sprinkle with salt and set aside.

2. Heat oil over medium-high heat in a sauté pan. Add potatoes and onions and coo until potatoes are soft but not crispy, about 15 minutes.

3. Transfer sautéed potatoes and onions to beaten eggs. Reserve oil.

4. Heat 1 tbsp. reserved oil in the same pan over medium heat. Add egg and potato mixture, spreading potatoes evenly in the pan. Cook uncovered until the bottom is lightly browned and eggs begin to set, about 3 minutes.

5. Gently shake pan to prevent tortilla from sticking, then slide a spatula along edges and underneath tortilla. Place a large plate over pan and quickly flip tortilla onto the plate.

6.  Add 1 tsp. reserved oil to pan, slide tortilla back in, uncooked side down, and continue cooking over medium heat until eggs are just set, about 3 minutes. Cut into wedges, garnish with green olive if desired. Serve hot or at room temperature