Spanish Tortilla for a Crowd

June 23, 2016  •  Appetizers, Breakfast, Easy Entrees, Sauces

spanish-tortilla-3Anyone who has ever been to Spain knows how loved the classic dish called Spanish Tortilla is. Don’t be confused – this isn’t a tortilla at all, but rather a type of omelet with sliced potatoes in the center that are held together by the eggs. It’s served in every tapas bar in Spain, usually at room temperature, and you’ll find many recipes and variations for making it in a skillet if you search the internet. But what if you need 80 appetizer portions for a party? Well, my technique is perfect.spanish-tortilla-1You will need hotel pans to make this – they are large and deep – and you’ll want to line it with parchment paper that extends out the ends (you will use that extra paper to lift the entire tortilla out of the pan after it’s cooked. Lay the potatoes in the pan, sprinkle in some scallions…spanish-tortilla-2… and then pour the egg and cheese mixture over the top. It bakes in just 40 minutes or so and can be made the day before for a party. Serve 2-inch squares for tapas-sized portions, or slice into large portions if this is meant to be lunch or dinner. Although this is often served just as is with no sauce, you can opt to pair it with a Romesco Sauce or a simpler Sofrito Sauce (recipe below) if anyone has nut allergies.

Spanish Tortilla for a Crowd
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 20, or 80 appetizers portions
  • 4 pounds Yukon gold potatoes
  • 2 cups chopped scallions
  • 1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 36 large eggs
  • 3 cups sour cream
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 pound grated Cheddar (extra sharp will give more flavor), divided
  1. Prepare 2 hotel pans by laying a piece of parchment paper lengthwise in the pan so that the ends come up the sides. Spray the paper with cooking spray. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Clean and slice the potatoes about ¼ inch thick; place in a large pot of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for 5 minutes; drain and rinse under cold water. Divide between the two prepared hotel pans, spreading them into an even layer across the bottom. Sprinkle half of the scallions into each pan and sprinkle the potatoes with some salt and pepper.
  3. Whisk the eggs together in a large bowl and whisk in the sour cream, milk, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes until smooth. Stir in ¾ pound of the cheese, reserving the remaining cheese to sprinkle on top.
  4. Divide the mixture between the 2 hotel pans, and use your hands or a spatula to press the mixture evenly into place, ensuring that the eggs get under the potato slices. Sprinkle the remaining cheddar across the top of the two pans.
  5. Bake until puffy and set, about 45 minutes. Let cool in the pan before attempting to remove the tortilla. Gently lift the tortilla by grasping the ends of the parchment paper and lifting the entire tortilla out in one piece to a cutting board. Discard the parchment paper and cut the tortilla into desired sized pieces (2-inch shares for appetizers, larger portions for an entree). Serve at room temperature with Spanish Sofrito Sauce on the side.

Spanish Sofrita Sauce
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Sauces
Serves: 2 cups
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Anaheim pepper, diced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 large cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 28-ounce can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon sweet or smoked paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a saucepan over medium high heat and add the peppers and onions; cook until slightly soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and tomatoes and bring to a boil. Stir gently, cover, and cook for 15 minutes.
  2. Transfer the vegetables to a blender and add the paprika. Puree the mixture, adding about 2 tablespoons more oil as it becomes smooth. Pour into a container and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate for up to 5 days, or store in the freezer.



12 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. Ann O'Shea says:

    How large is a “hotel pan”?

  2. Lisa Mathews says:

    Michele – what size is the “hotel pan” you reference here? Would those large disposable aluminum pans one gets at the grocery store to take stuffing to a potluck work? Or just a regular 9 X 14 cake pan? What about a sheet pan – not deep, but larger than a cake pan?


    • Michele says:

      Lisa, sorry I didn’t see this comment when you posted it. Hotel pans are the standard in the foodservice industry, measuring approximately 20 3/4″ x 12 3/4″. They come in a variety of depths and are what are used in steam tables.

  3. Claudia cardona says:

    Can I add some meat to this tortilla? Like Chorizo?

    • Michele says:

      The way the eggs layer with the potatoes gives you a nice cohesive texture when you cut into the tortilla. If you don’t mind it being a little “looser” you can certainly add other things like Chorizo.

  4. Christine says:

    Can milk or something else be used instead of sour cream?

    • Michele says:

      You could of course sub out sour cream for cream or half and half. I’m hesitant to try to give you a specific amount, but you might start with say 2 cups of the liquid dairy instead of the sour cream. Let me know how it comes out!

  5. Christine says:

    The cream worked great! Thanks!

  6. Deborah Rubin says:

    I have never seen a Spanish tortilla recipe with sour cream and cheese. However, I am sure this is tasty.

    What size hotel pans? I am guessing half pans.

    For the Sofrito, what size can crushed tomato?

    Thanks so much.

    • Michele says:

      I have a cooking philosophy I like to call global improv – so while sour cream and cheese might not be traditional, they do add flavor! I made this in a full size hotel pan – 12″ x 20″. I’m not sure what you mean about the tomatoes for sofrito, but please check my website for a Puerto Rican sofrito recipe!

Add a Comment

Rate this recipe: