The Successful Failure of the Lady’s Spanish Tortilla


Ever wonder what four pounds of Baby Gold Potatoes look like?

A bowl of potatoes.

After an Instacart fail of my own making, I found myself potato-rich. On the bright side, potatoes can last for several months in a cool pantry. But if you are like me, an unexpected surplus of an ingredient can inspire new creative directions in my test kitchen.

This week, my Floofs entertained my ambition to create the perfect Spanish Tortilla. 

Like the 19th-century Spanish peasants who invented it, my attraction to the Spanish tortilla came from its relative ease and affordability. That, and the fact that my children will mostly eat its main ingredients: eggs and potatoes.

Eggs and potatoes.

For my first attempt, I got fancy with a New York Times recipe that included one yellow onion. After thinly slicing the onion and potatoes like a boss, I confess, I got cocky. When it came time to flip the baby, my egg potato creation slipped off the plate and onto my just-cleaned floor.

While I’d like to blame gravity, I knew the tortilla was troubled before its fall from grace. It didn’t come together as I wanted. While I followed the directive to drain the oil from the fried potatoes, perhaps it was a little too moist. We try things!

After consulting an almost-octogenarian Argentinian tortilla maker, I learned that one must blot the fried potatoes after they’ve left the pan. Pro tips: use paper towels to remove moisture, and consider a pan fit for a flip. 

Below is my new and improved recipe for the Spanish Tortilla. It can be served hot, cold, or at room temperature, making it a perfect make-ahead dinner and next-day lunchbox hero.

The Lady’s Flip-Free Spanish Tortilla


  • 10 Baby Gold Potatoes or 3 Russets 
  • 9 extra large eggs
  • 1 tsp salt + some for sprinkling
  • 1 pinch of paprika, if you feel spicy
  • 1 cup of olive oil.

Sliced potatoes in a pan.

Step 1: Peel and slice the potatoes into ¼-inch thick coins. If you are using larger russets, quarter the potato before slicing. Sprinkle with salt and any other spices your Floofs will tolerate. 

Step 2: Whisk together the eggs and salt in a big bowl.

Step 3: In a 10-inch cast iron skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Drop one potato in there. The oil will bubble around the potato when it is ready for the rest.

Step 4: Add the rest of the potatoes. Lower the heat to medium-low and watch to raise it as needed to ensure it continues to bubble. Cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are fork tender.

Step 5: Strain over a bowl to drain the olive oil. Blot with paper towels to avoid my moist mess. Add the potatoes to the bowl of eggs.

A Spanish tortilla cooking.Step 6: Heat 2 tablespoons of the reserved olive oil over medium heat in the same skillet. Poor in the egg potato mixture. On medium-low heat, cook until the edges of the egg begin to set.

Step 7: Broil in your oven for five minutes to set and brown the top. Keep an eye on the broiler to avoid burning.

A cooked Spanish Tortilla.

For traditionalists who claim the authenticity of the tortilla rests in the stove top flip, by all means, go for it! I’ll eat my slice of potato heaven with peace of mind and clean floors. 



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