A Healthier Spanish Tortilla

With few starring ingredients, namely potatoes, onions and eggs, the Spanish tortilla is famous for a reason. It’s a classic served throughout the day such as for breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner, and to boot, it can be served warm or at room temperature.

While the Spanish tortilla is enjoyable for all the reasons mentioned above, it also has a darker reputation due to the huge amounts of oil with which it is frequently prepared. I’m not about to do that to myself, or to you. An average recipe uses up to two cups of olive oil. Using a good non-stick pan, I’ve found I can reduce the oil to only half a cup. So now it’s still delicious, but also healthy.  Below I share a recipe for a basic Spanish Tortilla, but feel free to add in herbs (rosemary or dried oregano or sage would be great) or even ham or cooked bacon.

How do you eat a Spanish Tortilla? As is, perhaps with a side salad or a dollop of sour cream, or as I had in a small town near Zaragoza, Spain — they stuffed a slice of the tortilla into a thinly sliced pocket bread and I ate it as a sandwich.

Arliano Update (Aggiornamento Arliano):

About a month ago before the first frost we pulled up all the rubber irrigation hoses in the garden. This past week, with three big freezes under our belts, we took down the tomato support poles and pulled all the dead stalks and roots of the various plants and vegetables that we grew last summer. And now, “to plow now or not?”  That is the question. If we have the field plowed now it will give a chance for all the things we pulled up to rot and nurture the soil. If we wait until mid-spring, we only have to do it once. The expression, “Penny-wise, pound foolish” comes to mind. However, there are competing priorities, like paying European heating bills.  Gulp!

Another argument for not plowing the field right away is that we still have about a dozen cabbages and some herbs left. And – what’s this?! One random Brussel sprout that looked like a cabbage until just a couple of weeks ago. I didn’t think any of them had made it past sprouting, but lo and behold, let there be Brussels!

Home renovations continue and I’m afraid we are not any closer to moving in than we were two weeks ago. Sigh… Speaking of renovations, the annual filling of dirt road potholes has begun. Thanks to all the worker’s trucks and our daily trash service truck, who all drive like banshees, the potholes form when there is a lot of rain. We had leftover terracotta roof tiles, so I used a sledgehammer and broke them up into little piece to fill the potholes. I had seen this “technique” while taking my daily passeggiata (a stroll). Country living at its finest!


Did you enjoy reading or making the recipe from this post? If so, please consider giving it a “like” or a comment. It would be nice to know you are out there and that my posts connect with you.

A Healthier Spanish Tortilla

  • Servings: 6 - 8
  • Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Print


  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) olive oil, plus 2 tablespoons, divided
  • 4 medium sized WAXY potatoes (about 2.5 – 2.75 pounds)
  • 1 large onion, any color
  • 8 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt (not iodized table salt), more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black [pepper


  1. Thinly slice the onion and set it aside
  2. Bring a nonstick frying pan to medium heat and add the olive oil, then add the onions
  3. While the onions are cooking, peel the potatoes and then thinly slice them (between an 1/8 inch and 1/4 inch, or approximately .5 cm). A mandolin is a useful tool for this if you have one. Add the potatoes to the pan with the onions and very gently stir to combine, trying not to break apart the potatoes. About every five (5) minutes, stir the potatoes until they are full cooked and there are some golden edges (this may take between 30 – 35 minutes)
  4. While the potatoes are cooking, whisk the eggs, salt, and pepper into an extra-large bowl until they are lightly frothy
  5. Transfer the potatoes and onions into a large colander and let them drain and cool for 10 minutes
  6. Add the potatoes and onions to the egg mixture and gently mix to combine
  7. Off the heat, wipe out the pan you used for the potatoes and onions with a paper towel. Add 2 tablespoons of fresh olive oil to the pan and bring the pan to medium-low heat then add the potatoes, onion, and egg mixture to the pan in an even layer
  8. Cook for about 25 – 35 minutes, or until there’s almost no runny egg on top. This is a wide range of time because I don’t know what type of stovetop you have. I’m still getting used to my induction stovetop, which typically takes longer than gas.
  9. Now it is time to flip the tortilla to cook the other side. Don’t panic! Use a spatula to loosen the perimeter of the tortilla. Next, place a plate on top of the tortilla and flip it. Now that the tortilla is on the plate, slide it back into the pan and cook for another 5 minutes, or until it is golden. Slide it back on to a serving plate

Author: gregnelsoncooks

Visit weekly for original and adapted recipes as well as cooking tips to make your kitchen life easier — and more delicious! I’ll include simple, straight forward instructions along with recipes that are truly worth your time making. And, recipes that elevate the familiar and introduce you to the new and unexpected.

Leave a Reply.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s