Thursday, June 1, 2023


Spanish Tortilla make-ahead recipe, easy and delicious for RVers

Welcome to this week’s RV Recipe Improv challenge, where I take three random ingredients suggested by an reader and turn them into a delicious small-space-friendly recipe. This week we are going to make a Spanish Tortilla.

Thanks go to reader Janet L. for this week’s ingredient suggestion. Janet challenged me to come up with a recipe using these three ingredients:

  • Leftover ham
  • Red bell pepper
  • Cheddar cheese

A tortilla in Spain is something entirely different than the Mexican flatbread we are all used to. A Spanish tortilla is actually a kind of potato omelet. When I heard these three ingredients, it was the dish that came immediately to mind.

Like last week’s Chicken and Mango Rice Salad, this is another meal that is terrific for travel days. That’s because, while you can serve this hot from the oven, Spanish tortillas are traditionally served cold.

Your baked Spanish Tortilla will keep for three days or more in the fridge, making a quick meal to grab and eat anytime!

Spanish Tortilla options and substitutions

There are no real substitutes for the eggs and the potatoes in this recipe, but everything else is fair game. Traditional Spanish Tortillas are usually nothing but potatoes and eggs and sometimes onions, so I have taken a lot of liberties with the traditional recipe, but in the case of a Spanish tortilla, my motto is “more is better!”

For best results, slice the potatoes into thin rounds about 1/8-inch thick. I used Russet potatoes. Yukon Golds could also work well for this recipe and probably red potatoes, too (although I have never tested the recipe with red, so if you do, let me know how it came out).

Ham: Substitute cooked bacon or sausage, or leave the meat out entirely.

Red pepper: Substitute green bell peppers or even mild green chile peppers.

Cheese: My assignment specified cheddar cheese, so that is what I used. Cheese really is an unconventional ingredient in a Spanish tortilla recipe, so feel free to leave it out. Of course, you could also use other varieties.

Onion: Onion is pretty essential to this recipe—use white, yellow or even red onions.

Other additions: Feel free to toss in some other veggies while sautéing the onion and pepper. Mushrooms, diced zucchini or yellow squash, diced tomatoes, etc. All work well.

Spanish Tortilla with Ham, Cheese and Red Pepper recipe


Serves 6Spanish tortilla

  • 1 /4 cup plus 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 4 small potatoes (I used russet), peeled and sliced into thin rounds
  • 3/4 cup diced ham
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 6 large eggs
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to a cast iron skillet or other oven-proof skillet. Heat over medium-high, add diced onions and peppers and sauté until softened and onions are starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 more minute. Remove the sautéed veggies to a large bowl and set aside.

onions and peppers for Spanish Tortilla

Add 1/4 cup olive oil to the pan and cook the potatoes, turning once while cooking, until just starting to brown, about 10 minutes. Remove the potatoes to the bowl with the veggies, add the ham to the bowl, and stir gently to mix.

potatoes for Spanish tortilla

Beat eggs together. Pour beaten eggs over the mixture in the bowl and mix gently.

Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet over medium-high heat. When oil is hot, pour half the mixture in the bowl into the pan. Sprinkle with the grated cheddar cheese over the surface. Top with the remaining potatoes mixture. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake until set and starting to brown, about 25 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes before placing a serving plate over the skillet and carefully inverting it so that the tortilla comes out of the pan. Serve hot, warm, or chilled.

Spanish tortilla right out of the oven

Previously in Cheri’s improv RV recipe challenge:


Cheri Sicard
Cheri Sicard
Cheri Sicard is the author 8 published books on topics as diverse as US Citizenship to Cannabis Cooking. Cheri grew up in a circus family and has been RVing on and off her entire life.


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Wayne Caldwell
1 month ago

I was stationed at Torrejon Air Base, Madrid, Spain from ’75 – ’80 and my ex is from Madrid. She taught me how to make the Spanish Tortilla with potatoes, onions, and eggs. About 6 or so years ago, my bride of 35 years and I went vegan. We still enjoy this Tortilla but use JustEgg instead of regular eggs. Can’t tell the difference in flavor or texture.

Cheri Sicard
1 month ago
Reply to  Wayne Caldwell

Good to know. I stand corrected, I guess there is a substitution for the eggs! Thank you for sharing.

Last edited 1 month ago by Cheri Sicard
Cookie P
1 month ago

I was shocked when i was in Spain decades ago and ordered a Tortilla. That was before the Internet. What I got we referred to later as the best potato casserole ever. Thanks for bringing back the memories and adding a great recipe to my dinner options.

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