How to make Patatas Bravas

During a recent mesmerizing trip to Spain, a country renowned for its vibrant culture, stunning architecture, and, most importantly, its delectable cuisine, I stumbled upon a dish that captured my palate like no other: Patatas Bravas. This traditional Spanish tapa, found in bars and restaurants across the nation, consists mainly of crispy potatoes bathed in a spicy tomato sauce, embodying a perfect balance of textures and flavors. The main ingredients, potatoes and tomatoes, along with a blend of bold spices, create an explosion of taste that is both comforting and invigorating. Determined to recreate this delightful experience at home, I embarked on a culinary adventure to master the art of making Patatas Bravas. After several attempts, I finally perfected the recipe, capturing the essence of Spain in each bite. Thrilled with the outcome, I am now eager to share this recipe with you, allowing everyone to bring a taste of Spanish joy into their homes.

Patatas Bravas

Patatas Bravas is a traditional Spanish tapa celebrated for its combination of crispy potatoes and a spicy tomato sauce, offering a perfect harmony of textures and flavors. During a trip to Spain, the discovery of this dish highlighted the depth of Spanish cuisine, with its key ingredients being potatoes and tomatoes, enriched with bold spices. This experience inspired a journey to recreate the dish at home, leading to the successful mastery of the recipe. Now, the intention is to share this culinary delight, enabling others to enjoy a taste of Spanish culture and joy in their own homes.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Spanish
Servings 12 people
Calories 1325 kcal


  • 1 skillet
  • 1 oven


For the Sauce

  • Pinch sugar
  • Chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 teaspoons sweet paprika
  • Good pinch chili powder
  • 227 g can tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon tomato purée
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 3 tablespoon olive oil

For the Potatoes

  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 900 g potatoes


  • Add the oil to a skillet, cook the onion for approximately 5 minutes, or until cooked.
  • Bring to the boil, turning periodically, with the garlic, diced tomatoes, tomatoes purée, cayenne powder, chili flakes, sugar, and a sprinkle of salt.
  • Reduce to low heat and continue to cook, or until the mixture is pulpy.
  • Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
  • Roast for 40-50 minutes, or till golden brown.
  • To serve, garnish with chopped basil.
Keyword potatoes, tomatoes

Cooking tips about Patatas Bravas

Patatas Bravas

  • Choose the Right Potatoes: The key to achieving that ideal crispiness lies in selecting the right type of potatoes. Opt for starchy varieties like Russets or Yukon Golds, as they crisp up better than waxy varieties and have a fluffy interior once cooked.
  • Perfecting the Cut: Cutting your potatoes into even pieces ensures they cook uniformly. For traditional Patatas Bravas, aim for bite-sized chunks, which not only cook through more easily but also maximize surface area for that desirable crispy texture.
  • Rinse and Dry: After cutting, rinse the potatoes under cold water to remove excess starch, which helps in achieving crispier potatoes. Be sure to dry them thoroughly before frying or baking to avoid lowering the oil temperature or causing it to spatter.
  • The Art of Frying: If you choose to fry your potatoes, ensure the oil is hot enough (around 375°F or 190°C) before adding your potatoes. This prevents them from absorbing too much oil and becoming soggy. Fry in batches to keep the oil temperature steady.
  • Baking as an Alternative: For a lighter version, you can bake the potatoes instead. Toss them with olive oil, salt, and any preferred spices, then spread them out on a baking sheet in a single layer. Roast at a high temperature (425°F or 220°C) until they’re golden and crispy.
  • Spicy Tomato Sauce: The bravas sauce is what sets this dish apart. A blend of tomatoes, garlic, onions, and spicy peppers or chili powder creates the base. Don’t be afraid to experiment with the level of heat according to your taste by adjusting the amount of chili powder or adding fresh chilies.
  • Let it Simmer: Allow your sauce to simmer slowly, giving the flavors time to meld together. If it thickens too much, a splash of water can help achieve the desired consistency.
  • Season Well: Don’t forget to season your potatoes and sauce well. Salt, pepper, and maybe a hint of smoked paprika can make all the difference in bringing out the vibrant flavors of your Patatas Bravas.

Serving suggestions about Patatas Bravas

Patatas Bravas

  • As Tapas: True to its roots, serve Patatas Bravas as part of a tapas spread. Complement it with other Spanish favorites such as gambas al ajillo (garlic shrimp), jamón serrano (cured ham), and a selection of cheeses to immerse your guests in an authentic Spanish experience.
  • With Aioli: For a cooling contrast to the spicy bravas sauce, offer a side of creamy aioli. The garlic-infused mayonnaise pairs perfectly with the crispy potatoes, providing a deliciously smooth texture and rich flavor.
  • Alongside Protein: Elevate Patatas Bravas to a hearty meal by serving it alongside grilled meats or fish. The bold flavors of the bravas sauce complement savory proteins such as chorizo, grilled chicken, or seared tuna, making for a balanced and satisfying meal.
  • As Part of a Vegetarian Feast: Create a vibrant vegetarian meal by pairing Patatas Bravas with other plant-based dishes. Options like grilled vegetables, Spanish omelet (tortilla Española), and sautéed mushrooms make for a diverse and delightful menu that caters to all tastes.
  • With a Modern Twist: Experiment by incorporating modern cuisine elements into your serving. For instance, use sweet potatoes for a different twist on the traditional recipe, or top the dish with avocado slices and a squeeze of lime for a fusion of flavors.
  • Perfect Pairing with Drinks: Enhance your dining experience by selecting drinks that complement the bold flavors of Patatas Bravas. A crisp Spanish white wine, sangria, or a cold beer balances the spiciness and makes for a refreshing pairing.

Top 5 FAQs about Patatas Bravas

Patatas Bravas

  • What are Patatas Bravas? Patatas Bravas is a traditional Spanish tapa known for its delightful combination of crispy, roasted or fried potatoes and a spicy tomato-based sauce. This dish embodies a balance of textures and flavors—crunchy on the outside yet soft on the inside potatoes, paired with a sauce that offers a spicy kick.
  • What are the key ingredients in Patatas Bravas? The key components that define Patatas Bravas include potatoes, tomatoes, garlic, onions, and bold spices such as chili powder or smoked paprika. These ingredients work together to create a savory dish with a comforting yet invigorating taste profile.
  • How can one achieve the perfect crispiness for the potatoes? To ensure the potatoes are perfectly crispy, choose starchy varieties like Russets or Yukon Golds, cut them into even, bite-sized chunks, and rinse off excess starch before frying or baking. For frying, use oil heated to around 375°F (190°C) and fry in batches. Alternatively, for a lighter version, bake the potatoes tossed in olive oil and spices at a high temperature until golden and crispy.
  • What makes the bravas sauce stand out? The bravas sauce’s distinctiveness comes from its base of tomatoes, garlic, onions, enhanced by the heat from spicy peppers or chili powder, allowing for adjustments according to personal spice preference. The simmering process helps meld the flavors together, achieving a thick consistency that coats the potatoes beautifully.
  • Any suggestions for serving Patatas Bravas? Patatas Bravas can be served in various ways: as part of a tapas spread with other Spanish dishes; accompanied by aioli for a creamy contrast; alongside grilled meats or fish for a hearty meal; within a vegetarian feast; or with modern twists, such as using sweet potatoes. Pair with a crisp Spanish wine, sangria, or beer for a refreshing complement to the spicy dish.

In conclusion, Patatas Bravas stands as a quintessential representation of Spanish tapas culture, offering a delectable mix of textures and flavors that cater to a wide array of palates. From the crispy exterior and fluffy interior of the perfectly cooked potatoes to the spicy, richly flavored tomato sauce that accompanies them, this dish embodies the spirit of Spanish cuisine: simple ingredients coming together to create something extraordinary. Whether you’re aiming for an authentic Spanish meal, a delightful snack, or a versatile side dish, Patatas Bravas promises to deliver satisfaction. Our journey from discovering this dish during a trip to Spain, through the meticulous process of recreating it at home, and finally sharing it with the world, has been a testament to the joy and cultural enrichment that cooking can bring. By embracing these cooking tips, serving suggestions, and the spirit in which Patatas Bravas is often enjoyed, you too can experience a piece of Spanish culture right in your own kitchen.


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