In Spanish Lessons, Spanish Vocabulary

tortilla de patatas con cebolla

Spanish Potatoes Tortilla with Onion 


Tortilla española is a very popular food in Spain.  It’s cheap, somewhat easy to make and available at most bars and tapas places.  Not only will you find it on the bar sitting on a plate like a pie ready to be cut, but it can also be smashed between two pieces of bread or in a roll as the main filling in a sandwich – una bocadilla de tortilla de patatas.

It’s often translated as a Spanish omelet, but this is a bit of a misnomer since it almost more potatoes than eggs and not the same texture or shape of a true omelet. It is typically made with just two ingredients – eggs and potatoes (and a lot of oil) –  but you can also find variations including onions or ham.

Use the all Spanish recipe below to learn how to make Spanish tortilla and practice your Spanish, starting with the ingredients and 12 Spanish cooking vocabulary words. In this one we’re including onions.


patatas (3)


huevos (8)


cebolla (1)


aceite de oliva


sal y pimienta


12 Spanish Cooking Vocabulary Words

pelar y cortar = to peel and cut

trozos  = pieces

sartén = pan

cubrir = to cover

tapa = lid / cover

vapor de agua = steam (water vapor)

vierte (vertir) = you pour  (to pour)

tazón = bowl

huevos batidos = beaten

mezclar suavemente = to gently mix

deslizar – to slide

dorar / doradas – to brown / browned

Receta Española

Spanish & English

1. Pelar y cortar las patatas en trozos de 1 o 2 cm. Pelar la cebolla y cortarla en trozos pequeños.

2. Poner todos los ingredientes en la sartén

3. Cubrir con aceite de oliva (de forma que estén todas las patatas cubiertas<. en aceite). Cubrir la sartén con una tapa (importante: es necesario que las patatas se estén cocinando tanto en aceite como vapor de agua).

4. Una vez que las patatas estén cocidas (tiernas), pon el aceite de oliva en un recipiente vacío.

5. Vierte las patatas y la cebolla en un tazón. Añade los huevos batidos, sal y pimienta. Es necesario que haya suficientes huevos para que quede compacta.

6. Para terminar, mezclar suavemente (no hacer puré de patata). Volver a poner en la sartén, que ya tiene 2 o 3 mm de aceite de oliva. Una vez que el fondo coja color marrón, poner la tortilla en un plato. Esto es complicado porque los huevos en la parte superior no se cocinan bien y el aceite del fondo está muy caliente. Entonces normalmente, la técnica es cubrir la sartén con un plato, y dar la vuelta a toda la sartén para poner la tortilla en el plato.  Poner un poco de aceite en la sartén para dorar el otro lado y deslizar la tortilla de nuevo en la sartén desde el plato.

Una vez que ambas partes estén doradas, poner la tortilla en un plato nuevo y disfruta.

1. Peel and cut the potatoes into pieces of 1 or 2 cm. Peel the onion and cut it into small pieces.

2. Put all the ingredients in the pan.

3. Cover with olive oil (so that all the potatoes are covered in oil). Cover the pan with a lid (important: the potatoes need to be cooking as much in oil as in steam).

4. Once the potatoes are cooked (tender), put the oil in an empty container/can.

5. Pour the potatoes and onion in a bowl. Add the beaten eggs, salt and pepper. There needs to be enough eggs for the tortilla to stay together.

6. Finally, gently mix (do not make mashed potatoes!). Return everything to the skillet, which already has 2 to 3 mm of olive oil and pour the mixture. Once the bottom turns golden brown, put the tortilla on a plate. This is complicated because the eggs on top part are not cooked well and oil on the bottom is very hot. Then normally, the technique is to cover the pan with a plate, and to flip the entire pan so that the tortilla is on the plate.  Put a little oil in the pan to brown the other side and slide the tortilla again into the pan from the plate.

Once both sides are browned, put the tortilla on a new plate and enjoy.

Watch Us Make Tortilla Española In Spanish

As part of our online video course, we spent an evening in Madrid making Spanish tortilla with Carlos.
Click on the link below to watch a clip of the video.


For subscribers  –  Watch the entire episode in Madrid 7 – Cena Española
Not yet a subscriber? Tour the course here

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  • Eli

    My Abeulo has made this before.

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