Spanish omelette characteristics and properties

Benefits and recipe of omelette with onions and potatoes


What is a Spanish omelette and what are its benefits?

A Spanish omelette (= omelet) or “tortilla” is a traditional recipe that consists of a potato base, sometimes also an onion, which is curdled with beaten eggs. It is cooked with virgin olive oil, salt is added and sometimes spices and aromatic herbs.

It is a very healthy preparation, because all the ingredients it contains have a good nutritional value. Few dishes are so universal, simple, nutritious and as rich as a potato omelette.

See below what nutrients it contributes, if it has really many calories, how it is better to cook it and what are its health benefits.

Spanish omelette or potato omelet …

Spanish omelette with potatoes and onion

Spanish omelette with potatoes and onion

As a curiosity, in many countries tortillas are a kind of round cakes that are prepared with flour. On the other hand, what is called tortilla in Spain is called omelette in other Spanish-speaking countries.

Does the Spanish omelette have a lot of calories?

In this recipe, the nutritional value varies enormously depending on the cook, especially since some fry the potatoes, and others cook them on a slower fire and with less oil.

The most advisable thing would be to avoid making the tortilla by frying the potatoes, without bathing them in oil, which takes a little longer, but it is much better in many aspects. The tortilla made with a lot of oil is usually quite indigestible. Instead, cooked more smoothly, with less oil and aromatic herbs, it is equally rich and is more digestive and nutritious. Healthy is not incompatible with tasty!

Whom is a Spanish omelette suitable for?

After the study of various types of diet therapy, it is found that this simple recipe is actually one of the best tolerated for everyone, for example in protocols for autoimmune diets, people who can not eat gluten, etc.

It is also suitable for children, adults and the elderly, in vegetarian diet, …, it is a good option to take a picnic in nature, etc.


Many studies have proven how people who eat eggs every day do not have their cholesterol levels elevated. It is a myth that the egg is bad for cardiovascular health.

Nutritional value of Spanish omelette

In general, a potato omelet is a very complete recipe because it provides:

  • Energy of good quality, from healthy foods, such as carbohydrates (starches) from potatoes, and healthy fats from the oil.
  • Proteins, so they are those proteins the egg contributes. At this point it is always worth mentioning that the belief that the egg is bad for people with cholesterol is false.
  • Fiber: The potato starch is very good for the intestinal flora, due to its high fermentative capacity (powerful prebiotic effect), especially if it is cooled and consumed the next day (more information of how to make potatoes more prebiotic).
  • Vitamins: We must highlight its content in group B vitamins (including B12) and that it contains a lot of choline (the egg is the richest food) and a lot of vitamin A.
  • Minerals: It contributes a lot of sodium (mainly because sometimes too much salt is added), but at the same time it is slightly compensated by the high potassium content of potatoes (therefore it has a good sodium-potassium balance). It also contains a lot of magnesium, mainly from potatoes, and a little iron, from the egg (Did you know that eggs have more iron than chicken? (See tables).

Better with onions, or without onions?

Onion adds more creaminess and sweetness to the tortilla, but adding it or not depends, above all, on individual tastes. At the level of nutrients, onion has virtually no calories and provides a large amount of quercetin, which is a powerful antioxidant.

In addition, cooking the onion with oil is a culinary method of perfect extraction, since the quercetin is impregnated in the oil and thus it is possible to increase its absorption. This is also one of the reasons why stir-frying or “sofrito” is so healthy. ( See sofrito properties and benefits)


Onion, in addition to being aromatic, provides a large amount of quercetin, an antioxidant component. This component is interesting to keep the heart and blood vessels in good health

Tips for cooking a good omelette

It is a recipe that demands attention and a bit of liveliness, so that to attain an optimal cooking, not to burn it , as well as having the skill to turn it at the correct moment and in the correct way:

  • Use a non-stick pan suitable for the size of the tortilla: You can use a Teflon non-stick pan, or a cast iron pan properly lubricated with oil. The recommended diameter depends on how much is made and how thick the tortilla is desired.
  • Use a wooden spoon to avoid damaging the pan: Scratching the pan causes Teflon to come off, which is a hormone disruptor and accumulates in the body. Wood does not scratch Teflon.
  • Have all the ingredients prepared: Avoid heating the oil without having the ingredients ready, as this damages the pan and makes the oil too hot, forming harmful substances (acrolein, acrylamide, free radicals, etc.).
  • Use an oil suitable for cooking: Virgin olive oil is the best and most recommended.
  • Think about if you want to make more to save for the next day: It keeps well in refrigeration.

Properties of Spanish omelette and their nutritional value

Properties of Spanish omelette and their nutritional value

Easy recipe of potato omelet

Ingredients for 3-4 people approx:

Step by step preparation of a potato omelet

  • The onions are peeled thinly.
  • The potatoes are washed thoroughly and diced or sliced ​​up to approximately 1 cm thick. If they are very thick pieces they will cost more to cook.
  • Put a pan with oil over medium-high heat. The amount of oil must be generous. If you do not fry the food, the better. Therefore we will add a good jet of oil, but without bathing the ingredients.
  • Be attentive to the fire. It is important that the oil never get to smoke, which is indicative that it has become too hot. You have to add the food before.
  • When the oil is hot, add the potato, the onion, a couple of bay leaves and salt. To avoid burning food, it is better to cook with a lid. You can also add a little water if necessary (it is usually necessary when there is a lot of potato or a lot of thickness).


We encourage you to add laurel in any onion sauce, as it gives a much richer flavor.

  • While the onion and the potato are cooked, the eggs are beaten.
  • Mix the beaten eggs with the fried onion and potatoes.
  • Remove the bay leaf and add a pinch of pepper, rosemary, turmeric or aromatic herbs as desired.
  • Put the tortilla in the pan and cook. First stir a bit to coagulate the egg, then you have to stop stirring to form the homogeneous omelet.
  • When the omelet is golden on the one hand, it is turned over and cooked on the other side.

How to serve a Spanish omelette?

It is placed in a dish and divided according to the number of diners. It is eaten hot.

If there is any left over, it can be stored in refrigeration to eat later in cold or reheat.

Variations of the recipe

rice omelette

Imitation of false potato omelette: instead of potato it is prepared with brown rice. being very good.

The potato omelette is a clear example of that saying that ” There’s more than one way to skin a cat” . Some people add other aromatic ingredients, such as pepper. Others add spinach to give it a touch of green. We have also seen preparing it with cheese …

A variation of the recipe that is also delicious is to prepare the onion sauce and add cooked brown rice (previously boiled and drained) instead of potatoes. The result is also spectacular, very rich, and using very little oil.

What can we accompany the recipe with?

The best companion of any meal is always vegetables. We can prepare a complete meal by adding a salad or a cream of vegetables, or some piece of fruit.



punto rojoMore information on onions recipes, their nutritional values and medicinal properties.

This article was endorsed by Elisenda Carballido - Dietitian nutritionist. Postgraduate in Phytotherapy and master in Nutrition and Metabolism.
Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

22 April, 2019

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