How to make a Spanish omelette with chef Joe Howley

Expert tips on how to make the perfect Spanish omelette for all the family to enjoy, using just three simple ingredients.

How to cook a Spanish omelette
(Image credit: Getty)

Learn how to make Spanish omelette with Joe Howley, the head chef of The Salt Yard restaurant in London.

Spanish omelette is a classic omelette but with a Catalonian twist and is a wholesome and tasty meal that all the family can enjoy. It is one of the most popular omelette recipes and is a great way to use up leftover veg too. 

The key, Joe Howley says, is to get your potatoes nice and crispy before adding them to the egg mixture. He explains this works well because it helps dry out the potatoes a little bit, allowing them to soak up more of the lovely egg mixture, giving it the perfect texture. The only other ingredient, besides the egg and potatoes, is an onion – slowly fried for a deliciously sweet flavour. 

Although this recipe uses oil, as it is the lighter option and the Spanish traditionally use oil, you can use butter too. By using butter, your Spanish omelette will have a richer texture and more decadent flavour.

It is delicious served hot or cold – so you can whip it up for dinner or even a packed lunch. Joe’s recipe serves four, so just make sure to scale up or down depending on how many people you want to feed.

Preparation: Before cooking, it is essential that you make sure you have the right frying pan. Omelettes have to be cooked to perfection, especially a thick Spanish omelette, as all the eggs in the mixture must be cooked thoroughly. 

Use a 6-12 inch frying pan, either aluminum, enameled cast iron, or stainless steel with a non-stick finish. It also should have a long handle and a flat bottom, so that you can easily remove your omelette. 

We'd also recommend using fresh free-range eggs, as this will help to make your Spanish omelette super fluffy and light. Use the egg float test method to choose your freshest eggs. By far one of the best Spanish recipes.

Watch Joe Howley cook a classic Spanish omelette


  • 500g potatoes
  • 10g Maldon sea salt
  • 150ml cooking oil
  • 10 eggs
  • 1 large onion
  • Black pepper to taste

How to cook Spanish omelette

Step 1

How to make Spanish omelette

Peel and thinly slice the potatoes and onions.

Step 2

How to cook Spanish Omelette

Start cooking the onions in a pan with some oil. Cook on a moderate heat with salt.

Step 3

How to make Spanish omelette

Deep fry the potatoes until crisp and drain.

Step 4

How to make Spanish omelette

Once cool, crush the potato chips with your hands and add the eggs.

Cool the onions once they are dark brown in colour. Once cool add to the egg mix. Check the seasoning.

Step 5

How to make Spanish omelette

Warm up the tortilla pan, and add the mix into the pan cook gently. Once golden brown, flip onto the other side. Continue to cook gently until almost cooked through. The idea is to have a slightly runny centre.

Step 6

How to make Spanish omelette

Rub with oil before serving.

FAQs about cooking a Spanish omelette

How to cook an omelette in the air fryer

Cooking an omelette in an air fryer is easy - and a great option when you've got other things to be cracking on with. Simply follow Joe's Spanish omelette step-by-step recipe above and then simply follow our air fryer instructions below to cook omelette to perfection in an air fryer.

Omelettes are already rich in protein and omega-3 fatty acids, but cooking them in an air fryer just cuts down the fat count too as you won't need to use any butter or oil, only a light cooking spray to ensure the omelette doesn't stick when cooking.

  1. Grease a 7" round cake pan with cooking spray.
  2. Heat your air fryer to 180°C.
  3. Pour your omelette mix into your cake pan.
  4. Pop into air fryer and cook for 6-10 minutes.
  5. If you find there is still too much runny egg at the bottom, pop it back into the air fryer for a couple of minutes.
  6. Remove from the air fryer carefully and garnish it with a drizzle of oil.

How to cook an omelette in the oven

This may be deemed as an unusual way to make an omelette, but this is the perfect solution for all those who love to set and forget.

We suggest using a large round oven dish when making an omelette in the oven. Choose a non-stick and drizzle the pan with oil or spread with a thin layer of butter before adding the egg mixture.

Simply follow Joe's Spanish omelette recipe step-by-step above and then instead of adding the mixture to the frying pan to cook, add it to an ovenproof dish:

  1. Set your oven to 180C.
  2. Grease your baking dish with cooking spray, oil or butter.
  3. Pour your mixture in and cook for 25-30 minutes. Until golden on top.

Can you keep leftover cooked omelette?

Surprisingly you can keep leftover cooked omelette, you can even freeze it if needed.    Best kept for up to 2 days in the fridge, omelette needs to be reheated thoroughly before serving again. 

The best ways to reheat omelettes are by microwaving them for up to 3 seconds or putting them in the oven for 5 minutes at 180°C. Perfect for a mid-week lunch.

When it comes to freezing, use an air-tight container or sealed bag which is freezer safe. Let the Spanish omelette cool completely before popping leftovers in the fridge or freezer.

Our best Spanish omelette recipes

Ham and Cheese Omelette

(Image credit: Future)

1. Cheese and ham omelette

There is nothing like an easy cheese and ham omelette for lunch or dinner. It is a perfect dish for all the family to enjoy and satisfy all those hunger cravings.

Get the recipe: Cheese and ham omelette

Omelette muffins

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2. Omelette muffins

These are the best go-to breakfast or lunch-time snacks that all the family will love. The fillings can be whatever your heart desires. 

Get the recipe: Omelette muffins

Baked vegetable omelette

(Image credit: Alamy)

3. Baked vegetable omelette

This meal is the ultimate family dish that will make sure you all have your five-a-day. Simply use up any vegetables you have left in the fridge or customise with everyone's favourites.

Get the recipe: Baked vegetable omelette

Herby sausage omelette

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4. Herby sausage omelette

This omelette is the perfect low calorie but high in protein meal. You can use your choice of sausages in this recipe- including veggie ones. Top with a handful of grated melting cheese for extra flavour and a gooey texture.

Get the recipe: Herby sausage omelette

Spanish-style tortilla

(Image credit: Slimming World)

5. Slimming World Spanish omelette

A deliciously light Spanish tortiall packed with potatoes, onion, and garlic and made with six eggs. This recipe serves four and takes just 15 minutes to prepare. 

Get the recipe: Slimming World Spanish omelette

Spanish tortilla with artichokes

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6. Spanish tortilla

Ready in under 30 minutes, this flavoursome Spanish tortilla is just 127 calories per serving. Great as a light lunch served with a freshly prepared salad.

Get the recipe: Spanish tortilla

Passionate about Spanish and Italian foods
Chef Joe Rowley
Passionate about Spanish and Italian foods
Joe Howley

Joe Howley is a passionate chef, who’s always looking for ideas to improve a dish. Currently head chef at Italian eatery Passo Restaurant at Shoreditch, East London, he began his career at The Three Crowns gastro pub, serving high-quality British food. During his time at Angelus Restaurant, he worked his way up to head chef and was awarded 2 Rosette restaurant awards. He’s since taken the lead as head chef at Canary Wharf’s Rum & Sugar and the Salt Yard group, which specialises in Spanish and Italian small plates and tapas.  

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Christina Geggus
Junior Food Writer

Christina Geggus is Junior Food Writer at and enjoys writing about lifestyle, food, and recipes. After completing her Master’s in Magazine Journalism at Nottingham Trent University and her undergraduate degree in Communication & Society and Global Studies alongside receiving an NCTJ diploma, Christina has always set her sights on a career in journalism.

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