Potato Chip Tortilla Española From Ferran Adrià

March 16, 2021
18 Ratings
Photo by Rocky Luten. Prop Stylist: Brooke Deonarine. Food Stylist: Yossy Arefi. 
  • Prep time 5 minutes
  • Cook time 10 minutes
  • Serves 6 to 8
Author Notes

Since first being published in 2003, Ferran Adrià's iconic Spanish tortilla recipe has had a life of its own across the internet (and many cookbooks), and has seen many additions and tweaks (flipping vs. not, crushing the chips vs. not, kettle vs. thin chips). Trust us when we say that, whatever rendition you go with, this tortilla española is here for you in a pinch (and fast). It skips the traditional steps of a making a tortilla—no slicing and slow-frying potatoes and onions here. Instead, grab your favorite thin and crispy potato chips and a few eggs. Near-instantly, you'll have lunch, dinner, or a snack when you need it most. And yes indeed, your simplest Lay's or other thin, classic potato chips are recommended instead of a thicker, kettle-style potato chip—they'll meld into the tortilla better.

Perhaps you have a little more energy to put into your tortilla? Then spend a little time rummaging through your refrigerator to pull together leftover cured meats, pickled peppers, and herbs to add color and flavor. To turn it into an instant party snack, cut it into small squares, tapas-style, and dress it up with a little garlicky mayo.

Recipe adapted from Saveur Magazine and The Family Meal (Phaidon Press October, 2011). —Genius Recipes

What You'll Need
Watch This Recipe
Potato Chip Tortilla Española From Ferran Adrià
  • 4 ounces (about 2 1/4 cups) potato chips (we recommend thin ones, like Lay’s, over kettle-style ones)
  • 2 ounces thinly sliced serrano ham or prosciutto (optional)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped canned piquillo peppers or pimentos (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon thyme leaves (optional)
  • 8 eggs, lightly beaten
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  1. Heat the broiler to high. Combine the potato chips, ham, peppers, thyme, eggs, and salt and black pepper in a bowl and let sit to allow the chips to soften in the eggs, about 5 minutes.
  2. Heat the oil in a 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat; add the egg mixture and cook, without stirring, until the bottom begins to brown, about 3 minutes. Transfer to the broiler, and broil until the top is set but still slightly jiggly (not sloshy) on top, about 3 minutes. Cut into wedges or small squares to serve warm or at room temperature.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Catherine Oliver
    Catherine Oliver
  • kscooks
  • Rachel Klausner Bearne
    Rachel Klausner Bearne
  • ifjuly
  • Andrew Morgan
    Andrew Morgan
Genius Recipes

Recipe by: Genius Recipes

28 Reviews

Liz S. June 3, 2023
I’ve been making a traditional tortilla from Penelope Casas Tapas cookbook for years. It is delicious. This recipe doesn’t come close in flavor or texture. If I was that pressed for time I would rather fry an egg. It is easy, but lacking in the flavor and texture that might make it genius.
Catherine O. June 23, 2021
If this hadn't been 'done' by Ferran Adria, I'd have never fixed it. We ate at their Tickets Bar in Barcelona a few years ago and were blown away. So I fixed it last night and it was terrific. Really. Highly recommend. Thanks for sharing.
Anseli March 25, 2021
I get an article about this innovative fancy omelette in my feed way too often. As much as I admire Adriá, sometimes the hype goes too far. This quick fix dinner for busy parents (mostly mothers) who didn't make it to the supermarket on time, has been around for, at least, 50 years in the Spanish homes. As a child, I stoically accepted that dinner would not be at its best that day. And I confess having made it myself for my own children, who would alternatively look at me and at the omelette in disbelief. It is genius, I agree. Both the omelette and the appropriation of the "invention".
May February 17, 2021
I agree with Andrew - raid the fridge for leftovers, and get the potato chips good and oily first! Salt & pepper potato chips are better than plain, or, if you're being fancy, the purple potato chips with rosemary are extra good. I also stir in a dollop of sticky Thai sauce, just to amp things up a bit. Definitely a family winner recipe!
kscooks February 2, 2021
I love a tortilla and thought this would make a fun, quick option. Unfortunately, no. I should have read the comments first. I thought this was disappointing, like many others commenting. Bland and dry. Such a bummer because a tortilla is so simple and delicious, one of those great recipes where the simple ingredients make something that tastes like so much more. Luckily I bought a big bag of potato chips so my family could drown our sorrows in crispy Lays after choking down a few bites of dry tortilla.
Rachel K. August 8, 2020
so good and so easy!! Yes, a bit drier than the traditional type with potatoes (not chips) but took me literally 10 minutes and tasted great. Added onions to the mix recommended
Janet M. October 28, 2021
I was wondering about onion--I sauteed half a medium one thinly sliced in the olive oil, threw in some garlic, too, then poured on the egg and potato chip mixture. I used prosciutto and plenty of diced roasted peppers. I didn't worry about which potato chips to use--had some thicker ridged ones, so let them soak in the eggs a while--as I sliced and sauteed the onion and garlic. It made our tastebuds happy!
Rachel K. August 8, 2020
so good and so easy!! Yes, a bit drier than the traditional type with potatoes (not chips) but took me literally 10 minutes and tasted great. Added onions to the mix recommended .
[email protected] July 15, 2020
Definitely an overwhelming recipe. I've been making Tortilla Espanola since I lived in Spain during college. This tortilla is dry, less flavored, uninspired. I would not grant it Genius Recipe status.
ifjuly February 9, 2020
Man Food 52 is really knocking it outta the park for me this month! Finally got around to trying this and it's ingenious and clever and it makes so much sense it comes from Adria (I used to make Spanish tortilla, but the fuss of dealing with slicing and parcooking potato combined with it generally not fitting our diet most of the time meant I hadn't considered it in many this insta-hack for that once a year or whatever you feel like it but not really making it, ha). I cheaped out and used plain ol' inelegant diced ham so added a pinch of smoked paprika, and I doubled everything and cooked it separately in 2 batches using 2 pans so I could enjoy leftovers for breakfast the next few days. Paired with a simple salad of greens and tomato and some crisp vinho verde, it was the ideal lazy-content Sunday night at home dinner!
Andrew M. January 7, 2020
So I only had sea salt kettle chips on hand, but that 11pm HUNGER hit, where if you don’t eat something you just know you’re gonna die, right?

Soak the chips in the olive oil for 5-10 minutes, then drain (use that for the pan and add any extra you need). Then let them soak in the egg for another 5 or so until pretty soft. I figured its closer to the oily amazingness of the poached potatoes.

I also added a little smoked paprika to the oil in the pan to get it red and savory, and the last sad leaves from some limp celery to the egg mix because crisper guilt is real.

Not an unctuous, perfect tortilla espanola, but it’s also not the worst one I’ve ever had (which had still raw potatoes and rubbery eggs). It’s solid and quick, and it’s a great “my pantry is dead but I need lunch” or the Elevensies or such.
Kristen M. January 7, 2020
Love everything about this, Andrew.
lsm January 5, 2020
I have made this several times. I don’t cook with a non stick pan. I used my cast iron, well oiled. Not much luck at getting the tortilla to slide out. So I just leave in the pan and cut wedges using a plastic heat resistant spatula. I like the idea of going from oven to table. Of course a cool down time. I have used different flavored potato chips, my fav is just plain slaty thin ones. One question, in your video, you show a food website that you visit, can you please tell me which one it is. I have watched your video several times just so I could get the name of the website, but I am a day late and a dollar short. If you could give the name of the website I would appreciate it very much.
Kristen M. January 6, 2020
Hi lsm, I might be missing something but I don't think we show a website in the tortilla video, but there may have been a video that popped up after it. For example, in the Cream-Caramelized Eggs video, I look at the geniuses' website Ideas in Food: Let me know if that's not it!
lsm January 6, 2020
Thank you so very much. You are correct, it was the very next video that you showed the web site. Again thank you. I just love finding new web sites. All of you at 52 are great. I have actually found more inspiration since I have been in this group of people. So thank you again
Kristen M. January 7, 2020
I'm so happy to hear that—welcome!
Dawn C. January 1, 2020
Was great, but the most difficult thing about the recipe was finding regular, thin, non-flavored potato chips! Everything - including Lays is either flavored (sour cream and onion, barbeque, maui onion, guacamole, etc. etc.) or thick cut these days. Had to go to 3 separate stores before finding regular, thin chips (and they were Lays!) Although, should have checked comments first and just tried out sour cream and onion.
T D. February 2, 2020
You know who always seems to have the thin chips? The dollar store. At least here in Los Angeles.
Sharon H. October 4, 2020
Hi Dawn C. I live in Vancouver (British Columbia). We get Boulder Canyon chips which are from Boulder in Colorado here! They make a plain "olive oil" type - not too salty, and thin. They are fantastic. They also have red wine vinegar and a couple of other types. Maybe you could find them where you live Maybe this will help
Darian December 30, 2019
SO good! I love the potato chip trick. It worked even better than I expected. I included the ham, peppers and thyme identified as optional. This was a quick and easy but very flavorful weeknight meal. I served with the Requeijao Stuffed Peppers (also on Food52).
Jennifer December 30, 2019
This was so delicious. What I made should have been an adequate meal for four, but my husband and I devoured the whole thing!
svs December 23, 2019
I didn't care for this. I don't think it was the recipe, it just didn't trip my (or any of my family) trigger. Seemed bland but I should have checked the comments - sour cream and onion may be the ticket. Sorry.
FrugalCat December 2, 2019
Try this with flavored potato chips. I can attest that sour cream and onion is a winner in this recipe, barbeque was not, and salt and vinegar divided the votes.
Joan K. November 30, 2019
I I made this for a happy hour yesterday exactly as written. It was fantastic! The only drawback was there was not enough! It was gobbled up so fast that latecomers missed out!!
liliana November 30, 2019
This is insipid with no hint of Spanish Tortilla.
An insult to the real omelet. Will trash ASAP.
Kristene R. November 28, 2019
This was both dry and bland. Was not expecting that, especially since I added sauteed onion, garlic, and topped with a bit of Manchego. Will not make again.
Solveig M. January 19, 2020
I had the same experience. Mine just got dry. So dry. Though of course moist from the egg and all that, just felt and tasted dry.
Paulien B. November 28, 2019
Best hack ever! Added some sauteed shallots and garlic, parsley and chives, little truffle salt at the end. Served with a light, green salad... delicious and dinner on the table in less than half an hour!