Make this classic tapas dish in just 30 minutes! Golden, crispy potatoes covered in a rich, smoky tomato sauce and topped with fresh parsley – what’s not to love about that?!
The first time I tried Patatas Bravas was at a small tapas bar on the outskirts of Seville. It’s a perfect example of simple ingredients that have been brought together to create a dish that is satisfying and full of flavour. Needless to say, I feel in love with Patatas Bravas and as soon as I returned to London I got to work on creating my version of the dish. It has since become a staple that I make at least once a week. This tapa is one of the easiest Spanish dishes to make, and if you want to save yourself some time, you could even prepare the tomato sauce in advance.
What is Patatas Bravas?
Patatas Bravas is one of Spain’s most popular tapas. Patatas Bravas, meaning "spicy potatoes", typically consists of cubed white potatoes that have been fried or baked until golden and crisp, and then covered in a spicy tomato sauce. Many people also like add some alioli on top of the patatas bravas, a garlicky mayonnaise that provides a nice creamy contrast to the spicy tomato sauce.
Why make Patatas Bravas?
You’ll need just a few simple ingredients, most of which you’ll probably already have in your store cupboards
The potatoes are baked in the oven rather than fried, so you’ll be using less oil
Makes a delicious, flavour-packed side dish that goes with almost any meal
The sauce can be adjusted to suit your personal taste, so if you’re not a fan of spice, you can add less chili
It’s great for serving at parties
Ingredients for Patatas Bravas
This recipe is made with just a few basic ingredients, most of which you’ll probably already have in your store cupboards. Here’s what you’ll need:
Potatoes: You’ll need about 6 medium white potatoes.
Oil: You’ll need a bit of olive to sauté the onions are garlic to make the sauce. You’ll also need oil to coat the potatoes before baking. I’ve used olive oil, but sunflower or vegetable oil can also be used.
Onion & Garlic: the onion and garlic add a delicious depth of flavour to the tomato sauce and help to enhance its savouriness.
Tomatoes: I've used a combination of canned chopped tomatoes and tomato puree to give an intense tomato flavour. Tomato passata can also be used.
Chilli Flakes: Patatas Bravas wouldn’t be complete without of bit of heat, so I’d suggest you start with about ¼ tsp chilli flakes, and then add more if you’d be the sauce to be hotter.
Paprika: I’ve used smoked paprika, but if you’re not a fan of smoky flavours, sweet paprika can be used instead.
Sugar: A bit of sugar will help to balance out the acidy in the tomatoes.
Salt & Pepper: You’ll need some salt and pepper to season the sauce.
For Garnish: I'd recommend adding some fresh chopped parsley to add a pop of colour and to add some herby freshness.
How to make Patatas Bravas
Preheat the oven to 200C. Peel and wash the potatoes, then pat them dry with some kitchen towel. Cut the potatoes into 1 inch bite-size chunks, then tip into a roasting tray and toss in 3 tbsp olive oil and a sprinkling of salt. Roast for around 25-30 minutes, or until crisp and golden.
In the meantime, heat the remaining oil in a pan and sauté the onion for about 5 minutes until softened. Add the chopped garlic and sauté for 2 more minutes. Add the tomato purée, chopped tomatoes, smoked paprika, sugar, chilli flakes, and a pinch of salt, then let it simmer for around 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Use a hand blender to blend the tomato sauce until almost smooth (I like to keep a few chunks of tomato for added texture). Have a taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
Once the potatoes are cooked, tip them into a serving dish and spoon over the tomato sauce. If you'd like, drizzle some alioli on top and sprinkle with some fresh parsley to serve.
What to Serve with Patatas Bravas
This tapas is usually served as a snack alongside alcoholic beverages, but if you'd like to serve it as a side dish, here are a few suggestions:
It’s great serve alongside vegan meat alternatives
Makes a great sandwich filling!
Serve with rice, quinoa, couscous bulgur
It's delicious served with salads
Garlic bread or fresh crusty bread
How to store Patatas Bravas
Patatas bravas is best severed fresh while the potatoes are still crisp, but if you have any leftovers, you can store them in an airtight container for up to 2 days.
Tips for making Patatas Bravas
Make sure to coat each piece of potato in oil to get them nice and crispy once baked.
Dry the potatoes after washing them. Any excess water will cause the potatoes to scream rather than roast.
Cut the potatoes into roughly 1 inch cubes. If they're too big, they'll take longer to bake.
If you prefer a chunky sauce, serve without blending.
Make sure to serve right away as the potatoes will soften the longer they're left to wait.
The spicy tomato sauce can be made 2-3 days in advance and stored in the fridge.
If you're not a fan of parsley, you can use fresh chives instead.
The potatoes can be fried in an air fryer if you'd like to cook them with less oil