Tortilla Espanola and Tomato Bread

Tortilla Espanola is a Spanish potato omelet, served with a garlic alioli and Spanish Tomato Bread. Tapas night at home never tasted better!

Tortilla Espanola and Tomato Bread

One of my favorite restaurants in Chicago is the tapas bar Cafe Ba Ba Reeba. Delicious food, great sangria, and a fun atmosphere.

whole tortilla espanola

A few years ago I received the Williams-Sonoma cookbook “Savoring Spain & Portugal.” I recently decided to make two of my favorite tapas, Tortilla Espanola (potato and onion omelet) and Pa amb Tomaquet (tomato bread), which are both served with Spanish alioli. I have never fried food before, so this was a new experience. Not something I will do on a daily, or even weekly, basis, but I’m glad I tried it. (UPDATE: check out my Apple Cider Doughnuts and Onion Strings).

tortilla espanola on a plate with aioli

This dinner was really wonderful – it actually tasted just like the restaurant! My only problem was that my pan was apparently too big because the omelet is very thin – it’s actually supposed to be quite thick; didn’t affect the taste, but my Venezuelan friend brought it to my attention when I shared the leftovers with some coworkers 🙂 If it didn’t take so darn long to make, I’d probably always make it at home.

tomato bread on a plate

At Cafe Ba Ba Reeba, they sometimes serve the potato omelet cold, so we had the leftovers this way – yum! I think this could probably be adapted in a way that avoids frying the potatoes – perhaps baking up the potato slices in the oven . . . I’ll have to work on that!

Gluten Free Tortilla Espanola

The Tortilla Espanola is naturally gluten free. For the Tomato Bread, use a gluten free bread.

Looking for More Vegetarian Recipes?

Check out these vegetarian dishes:
Summer Vegetable Pasta
Pasta with Sun Dried Tomatoes
Baked Ziti Sorrentino
Mushroom and Mascarpone Ravioli
Spring Green Risotto
Five Veggie Four Cheese Lasagna
Baked Ricotta Cavatelli with Mascarpone Cheese Sauce
Tomatoes, Zucchini and Olive Orzo
Creamy Orzo
Lemon Orzo Salad
Tomates Provencales
Orzo with Parmesan and Basil
Lighter Eggplant Parmesan
Leek and Potato Soup
Roasted Tomato Soup – Panera Copycat

tortilla espanola on a plate with aioli

Tortilla Espanola with Tomato Bread

Tortilla Espanola is a Spanish potato omelet, served with a garlic alioli and Spanish Tomato Bread. Tapas night at home never tasted better!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Spanish
Servings 6


Spanish Alioli (Garlic Mayonnaise):

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise (light or regular)
  • 1 garlic cloves (grated)
  • lemon juice from 1/2 lemon (or to taste)

Tortilla Espanola (Spanish Potato Omelet):

  • 1/2 cup plus 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 pounds baking potatoes (peeled and sliced 1/4-inch thick)
  • salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 2 yellow onions (thinly sliced)
  • 6 eggs (lightly beaten)
  • chopped fresh flat-leaf (Italian parsley)

Pa amb Tomaquet (Grilled Bread with Tomato):

  • 6 slices coarse country bread (each about 1/3-inch thick)
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 very ripe tomatoes (halved)
  • salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


Make the Spanish Alioli (Garlic Mayonnaise):

  • Measure mayonnaise into a small bowl. Grate garlic directly on top, and squeeze in the juice of half a lemon. Stir to combine.
  • Store refrigerated until ready to use.

Make the Tortilla Espanola (Potato Omelet):

  • In a large frying pan over low heat, warm 1/2 cup olive oil. Add half of the potato slices and fry, turning occasionally, until tender but not browned, 10-20 minutes. If potatoes do brown, that is ok. Transfer to a plate and season with salt and pepper. Repeat with the remaining potato slices. Leave the oil in the pan.
  • Meanwhile, in another frying pan over medium heat, warm the 2-3 tablespoons oil. Add the onions and fry until soft and golden, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool a bit.
  • In a large bowl, whisk the eggs until blended. Mix in the onions. Season with salt and pepper. Fold in the cooked potatoes.
  • Heat the oil remaining in the large pan over low heat and pour in the egg mixture. Cook until the bottom is set and golden, 8-10 minutes. Invert a plate on top of the pan, invert the pan and plate together, and lift off the pan.
  • Slide the omelet back into the pan and return to low heat. Cook until the second side is set, about 4 minutes. Slide onto a plate, garnish with parsley, and cut into wedges. Serve with alioli for dipping and Tomato Bread, if desired.

Make the Pa amb Tomaquet (Grilled Bread with Tomato):

  • Preheat a broiler, or prepare a fire in a charcoal or gas grill.
  • Brush both sides of the bread lightly with oil. Place on a baking sheet and slip under the broiler, or place on the grill rack. Broil or grill, turning once, until golden brown on both sides, 4-6 minutes total.
  • Transfer the bread to a platter. Rub the hot bread on one side with the garlic cloves, and then squeeze the tomato halves as you rub them across the surface. Drizzle with oil and season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately, with alioli for dipping.


TORTILLA ESPANOLA:  Unlike most omelets, a tortilla espanola is served at room temperature. It is the classic tapa, prepared all over Spain, but reputed to be best in La Mancha, a forbidding land of parched earth and aging windmills.
TOMATO BREAD:  This classic Catalan tapa is the soulmate of the better-known Italian bruschetta. It is nothing more than good rustic bread that is grilled, rubbed with garlic, then rubbed with a ripe tomato half and drizzled with a fruity olive oil. The tomatoes can also be very, very finely chopped, almost to a puree, and rubbed into the bread.*
Tortilla Espanola and Tomato Bread Source: Adapted from Savoring Spain & Portugal by Joyce Goldstein
You’re Gonna Bake It After All
Keyword gluten free, main dish, potatoes, Spanish, vegetarian

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