Our Spanish omelette recipe with chorizo makes Spain’s traditional potato omelette known as tortilla española or tortilla de patatas, only with a little spicy Spanish chorizo added to the classic Spanish potato omelette recipe of eggs, potatoes and onions, so it’s a tortilla de patatas con chorizo. It’s so delicious and so perfect for holiday entertaining.
Our Spanish omelette recipe with chorizo will make you a traditional Spanish omelette with potatoes or tortilla de patatas that is so quintessentially Spanish it’s called tortilla española or Spanish potato omelette.
Because in Spain, a tortilla is a potato omelette, unlike Mexico where a tortilla is a thin unleavened flatbread made from corn or wheat flour. An egg omelette without potato in Spain is tortilla francesa or French omelette.
Terence has added spicy chorizo sausage to this classic Spanish omelette recipe so what you have is a tortilla española con chorizo or tortilla de patatas con chorizo, or you could simply call it a chorizo tortilla.
Language lesson out of the way, now you know how to order one when you’re next in Spain, let’s tell you how to make this Spanish omelette recipe with chorizo, as it’s a fantastic dish for Christmas breakfast or Christmas brunch or lunch or any casual meals you’re making over the holidays.
If you didn’t browse our home page before landing here, we’ve been publishing Christmas recipe collections over the last week, including our best Christmas cocktail recipes, best dip recipes for crackers and crudités for festive parties, best Christmas starters, best Christmas salads, and best desserts for Christmas. We’ll add more recipes and recipe compilations between now and Christmas.
This Spanish omelette recipe with chorizo is this week’s edition of our Weekend Eggs recipe series of breakfast dishes from around the world, which we launched with Grantourismo way back in 2010 and re-booted this year. We usually publish Weekend Eggs dishes on a Friday, but as that’s Christmas Eve we thought we’d share it earlier.
If you’re a regular reader and enjoy the series, you might also be interested in our round-up of the top 21 Weekend Eggs recipes of 2021, which are the breakfast eggs dishes from the series that our readers searched for, visited and hopefully cooked this year.
If you haven’t dropped by in a while, Weekend Eggs recipes we’ve published in our revived breakfast eggs series include a Javanese egg curry, Padang style eggs from Sumatra, the Chinese-American egg foo young with gravy, the original Cantonese-style egg foo young from southern China, a breakfast burritoa classic Mexican huevos rancheros, a Mexican migas recipe with a twist for a ‘Migas tortilla’, fried eggs breakfast taco with chorizo, crunchy potatoes and spicy chorizo oil, and scrambled eggs breakfast taco recipe with avocado and chorizo.
We’ve also posted eggs recipes for Basque fried eggs with chorizo and potatoes, Mexico City-inspired chorizo eggs, a Thai fried egg salad, pesto scrambled eggs, a Japanese rolled omelette, scrambled eggs with sauteed mushrooms, soft scrambled eggs with Chinese pork, Indian egg bhurji, Chinese marbled tea eggs, corn fritter breakfast burgers, Russian devilled eggs, Turkish çılbır poached eggs and menemen scrambled eggs, Calabria’s take on ‘eggs in purgatory’ with ’nduja, Thai son-in-law eggs, Thai omelette kai jiaw, Cambodian steamed eggs, and Malaysia and Singapore’s half-boiled eggs with kaya jam and toast.
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Spanish Omelette Recipe with Chorizo for Tortilla de Patatas con Chorizo
While Terence is a master at flipping tortillas and a perfectionist when it comes to laying potato slices, we’ve both been making the classic Spanish potato omelette recipe in one form or another for well over 30 years, since we first fell in love with the potato tortilla at the Spanish restaurants and tapas bars in the Spanish quarter in Sydney.
The Spanish quarter developed in the late 1950s and 1960s in the block around Liverpool Street, Sydney, after a handful of immigrant families from Galicia in Spain opened specialist delis selling Spanish products such as tinned fish, stuffed olives, chorizo sausage, Manchego cheese, and Spanish olive oil.
After the Spanish Club opened in the Sixties, the quarter became a lively hub for the Spanish speaking community, not only from Spain, but from Latin America. Old-timers met to discuss politics over authentic traditional food and the younger generation came for Spanish language lessons and salsa and flamenco dance classes.
Delis evolved into restaurants, one of the most beloved was Capitan Torres, owned by Manuel Villarino and Ramon Requeiro. Ramon ran the wood-panelled deli, the source of Sydney’s finest Spanish products, while Manuel could be found at the bar in the restaurant, dishing out plates of jamon and baskets of crusty bread and pouring glasses of sherry and sangria.
In the late 1980s and 1990s Terence and I developed an occasional Thursday night ritual of seeing a movie around the corner at one of the George Street cinemas, then going to graze on plates of tapas at Capitain Torres or our other favourite, Casa Asturiana.
Casa Asturiana was the most atmospheric of all the restaurants, with an interior typical of old-school restaurants in Spain: heavy rustic furniture, decorative wagon wheels, chandeliers, and surrealist art on the white stucco walls. And the food was all fantastic: the boquerones, the tortilla, chorizo en vino, sizzling gambas in garlic infused olive oil, ensalada rusa, and paella, and the patatas bravas and albondigas in a rich spicy tomato sauce as good as the best in Spain.
After we started studying Spanish, we’d go for tapas after class, and our Spanish class would go for group meals at the end of our course. On Friday or Saturday nights we’d return with friends for boisterous meals at Don Quixote or and head down the road to a dimly-lit bar famous for its late-night flamenco performances, which were as passionate and as exuberant as any we would see in Madrid or Jerez years later.
Sadly, Casa Asturiana is the sole survivor and the Spanish quarter is no more, subsumed by Chinese developments and an ever-encroaching Chinatown. The atmospheric restaurants, tapas bars and flamenco clubs that were a little bit of old Spain in the heart of Sydney have been replaced with soulless neon-lit eateries and shops.
Fortunately, we still have treasured memories of the vibrant community that sparked our love for Spain and Spanish food and culture, and we can step back in time when we cook dishes such as this Spanish potato omelette recipe with chorizo, which Terence will tell you all about now.
Tips to Making this Spanish Potato Omelette Recipe with Chorizo for Tortilla de Patatas con Chorizo
I have a few important tips to making this Spanish omelette recipe with chorizo. One of the key elements of this Spanish tortilla is the chorizo oil. The fatty oil that comes out of the chorizo when you cook it, flavours the onions, the potatoes and the eggs.
Do not substitute cured chorizo which is more like a firm salami as it won’t release the same amount of fat and the pieces go very firm when cooked. This kind of chorizo is not meant to be cooked.
The 23cm (9-inch) skillet is another key element to making our Spanish omelette recipe with chorizo. It’s wide enough to cook your ingredients in – in batches – but it’s also the perfect size to get a thick tortilla when you’re finished.
I’ve had quite a few tortillas stick to the pan when flipping so I’ve ended up just using non-stick pans when making tortillas – and most egg dishes.
These only get used for eggs and only ever see a silicone spatula so they won’t get scratched. I take my eggs seriously!
Now the silicone spatula I use for this isn’t my go-to industrial large red handled and white tipped one used by professional chefs. I purchased a smaller, more flexible one specifically for getting under dishes setting in a pan, such as tortillas and frittatas.
The spatula is flexible enough so that I can almost get to the centre of the tortilla and run it around to check if there’s any sticking. This is very important when you reach that daunting stage when you have to flip the tortilla over onto a plate.
After making a couple of tortillas you will get the confidence of a line cook when doing this. Firstly, make sure the tortilla is not stuck anywhere in the pan using the spatula. Have a plate that ideally is slightly larger than the skillet, preferably with a ridge or a lip that lets you secure the plate firmly onto the skillet.
Give the skillet a couple of taps on a cutting board for good luck then flip it onto the plate confidently over the cutting board. Confidence is important as I’m pretty sure tortillas can smell fear.
If you’re not brave enough to flip the tortilla, don’t panic, you can finish the top off under a grill element, but now you’ve cheated and should feel a little ashamed. It will still taste delicious but remember that tens of thousands of tortillas are flipped every day across Spain.
Spanish Omelette Recipe with Chorizo for Tortilla de Patatas con Chorizo
- 1 cup olive oil
- 100 g Fresh chorizo - skin removed and sliced thinly
- 500 g potatoes - peeled and cut into slices about 2mm thick and dried on kitchen towels
- 250 g brown onions - sliced into thin half-moons
- 8 eggs - large
- salt and pepper to taste
- Pour a little dash of the olive oil into your 23cm (9-inch) skillet over low-medium heat. Add the chorizo prices and cook until the oil starts to pool out of the pieces.
- Strain the chorizo and put the oil back in the pan. Add a little more oil and add half of the onion pieces. Cook them until they are translucent. Remove and cook the next batch.
- When this is done, pour the rest of the olive oil into the skillet, heat to medium, and place some potato slices in the pan, but do not let them overlap as they’ll stick together and not cook evenly. You’ll probably need to do these in two or three batches.
- The potatoes are ready when they start to break apart a little when handled. Take them out of the pan and put them onto absorbent kitchen paper.
- Break the eggs into a large bowl and beat lightly, then place the potatoes and onion into the mix, covering them with the egg mixture. Leave for 15 minutes.
- Place the mix in the skillet over low heat, making sure all the pieces of onion and potato are covered as much as possible.
- After 15-20 minutes check the bottom of the tortilla for doneness. If it’s done, it should be a golden colour and the top of the tortilla should be reasonably firm but still ‘wobble’ a little.
- Place a plate that fits the skillet over the top of the skillet and invert. The tortilla can now be carefully slid back into the skillet to cook the other side for around 5 minutes.
- You’re done! Rest it a little as tortilla is usually served warm, not hot.
Please do let us know in the comments below if you make our Spanish omelette recipe with chorizo as we’d love to know how it turns out for you.