May 012013
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Spanish Omelette with Tomato and Green Bell Pepper Salad


Spanish omelettes are traditionally made with only potatoes, slow-cooked onions, and eggs. These are three ingredients which most people have just lying around the kitchen, so it’s a great recipe to make when it feels like you have no ingredients in the house. You need to be patient and adjust the heat as necessary during the cooking process, but it’s all worth it in the end. Spanish omelettes make a delicious and surprisingly filling lunch or dinner.


Spanish omelettes go well with almost any type of side salad. I made a tomato and green pepper salad because those vegetables seem to come up in Spanish cooking fairly often. The dressing has garlic, paprika (another Spanish staple ingredient), chilli and olive oil. Simple but satisfying.





(Serves 4)





Salad Ingredients:

3-4 tomatoes (or 16-20 cherry tomatoes), cut into 1-inch pieces (or quartered, if using cherry tomatoes)

1 green pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces

2 Tbsp fresh parsley, roughly chopped



Dressing Ingredients:

1 garlic clove, minced/grated/finely chopped

4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Generous pinch of salt

1/4 tsp paprika powder

1/8 tsp cayenne or chilli powder




  1. Make the dressing by combining all the ingredients together and stirring well. Set the dressing aside while you make the salad.
  2. Combine all the salad ingredients together.
  3. Add the dressing, toss well, and keep refrigerated until ready to eat.






1 large or 2 medium onions (about 250g), thinly sliced into rings

450g waxy potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced into rounds

6-8 eggs (depending on their size)

Salt and pepper, to taste

Olive oil for cooking (I use a less expensive olive oil for cooking and save the more expensive extra virgin olive oil for salad dressings)




  1. Preheat your oven to its Grill/Broil setting and place your oven rack in the top-third of the oven (nearest to the heat source). This is for cooking the top of your omelette at the end of the recipe.
  2. Heat about 2 Tbsp of olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan (roughly 12in/30cm) on medium heat.
  3. When it is hot, add the onions and bring the heat down to low. Sautee for 10 minutes until the onions are soft and translucent.
  4.  Add the thinly sliced potatoes to the onions in the frying pan. Bring the heat up to medium and add a bit more olive oil if necessary so that the potatoes don’t stick to the pan.
  5. Add a generous pinch of salt and some ground black pepper to the onion-potato mixture as it cooks.
  6. Sautee the onion-potato mix for 10-15 minutes, until the potatoes are cooked. It is important to be aware that you may need to adjust the heat as you cook so that the potatoes cook through properly but the onions don’t burn. (Tip: Some people fry the onions and potatoes separately but I don’t think it’s necessary as long as you adjust the heat accordingly as you cook).
  7. While the onion-potato mixture is cooking, break 6-8 eggs in a large bowl, add a pinch of salt, and beat until evenly yellow.
  8. Once the potatoes are cooked and slightly brown, it is almost time to add the eggs.
  9. At this point, you need to decide which size frying pan you want to make your omelette in. You can either add the eggs straight into the large frying pan (12in/30cm) or (as I prefer) you can transfer the onion-potato mixture to a smaller frying pan (10in/25cm). This will make a thicker omelette, which I prefer. A smaller frying pan also makes flipping the egg onto a plate easier once its finished.
  10. Before adding the eggs, add a little more olive oil so that the eggs won’t stick. Increase the heat to medium-high.
  11. As soon as the pan seems hot, add the eggs into the frying pan with the onion-potato mixture. Quickly and evenly coat the potatoes and onions in the beaten eggs and then leave to set. We want the omelette to set quite firmly at the bottom.
  12. Once the omelette is firmly set and won’t break, try lifting it up in little sections to make sure thet your omelette will not stick to the pan. If it seems a bit stuck, pour a tiny bit of olive oil just on the edge of the omelette so that it can slide underneath to help unstick the eggs.
  13. After a few minutes, reduce the heat to mediun-low (so that the bottom doesn’t burn) and allow the omelette to cook through almost to the top.
  14. Once the omelette seems cooked about 3/4 of the way, place your frying pan in the oven to cook the top of your omelette. This takes roughly 3-4 minutes, but you need to watch it carefully so that the top doesn’t burn.
  15. Once the top is cooked of your omelette is cooked, put your oven gloves on. Take a plate and place it upside down over the top of the frying pan. Carefully flip it over so that the frying pan is now on the top and the plate is on the bottom. Your Spanish Omelette should easily come out of the frying pan onto the plate if you have used a non-stick pan and/or enough oilve oil.
  16. Cut your Spanish Omelette into 4-8 wedges and serve warm or cold.


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  2 Responses to “Recipe: Spanish Omelette with Tomato and Green Bell Pepper Salad”

  1. Erum, it is a petty I never invite you to a Spanish dinner when we studied in London. There are many ways to cook a Spanish omelette and I am the option you are suggesting is great but here are some tips from a Spaniard that has cooked a lot of them.
    – It is a little bit messier but if you cook the onion and the potatoes separated it will taste better as the onions will maintain their flavor.
    – If you have time, left the beaten eggs with the cooked potatoes and onions for 5-10 minutes before cooking the omelette. It will allow the potatoes to suck a little of the eggs.
    – Finishing a Spanish omelette in the oven is an sort of foreign option for Spaniards. The funny thing is actually turning around the Spanish omelette with the help of a large plate or a “vuelta tortillas” (either of wood or ceramic). Turning around the omelette is such a cultural spanish thing that there is even an Spanish expression “Darle la vuelta a la tortilla” which is very commonly use when a situation is turn upside down.
    – A final personal tip for those who hate having to much olive oil in the potatoes and the kitchen all messy because of the frying. You can also cook the potatoes in the microwave with just one or two tablespoons of olive oil. Just mix the slide potatoes with the olive oil and place in the microwave. Every five minutes stop the microwave and move the potatoes until the potatoes are cooked.
    Finally, if you add other vegetables such as red or green peppers, green beens, etc, you turn a Spanish Omelette into a “Tortilla Campera” (Country side omelette).

    • Wow Jose, thanks for all those great tips! How lucky to get some advice from a Spaniard on this one :-) I will definitely take all of your suggestions into account next time I make a Spanish Omelette, which will be very soon. It’s got me thinking that maybe it’s time for me to re-visit this blog post and amend it to make it more authentic. Big thanks for taking the time to write all that information!