Traditional recipes

Classic patatas bravas recipe

Classic patatas bravas recipe

  • Recipes
  • Ingredients
  • Vegetable
  • Root vegetables
  • Potato

A classic, authentic Spanish patatas bravas recipe served with the traditional homemade tomato sauce that makes this tapas dish so delicious!

11 people made this

IngredientsServes: 4

  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 1 dried red chilli
  • 100ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 (200g) piece Serrano ham
  • 2 dessertspoons paprika
  • 2 dessertspoons plain flour
  • 5 tomatoes, peeled and cut into wedges
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons white wine
  • 4 large potatoes, peeled and cut into 2cm pieces
  • extra virgin olive oil for frying
  • salt to taste

MethodPrep:20min ›Cook:25min ›Ready in:45min

  1. In a large saucepan, heat 100ml olive oil. Add the onion, garlic, red chilli and piece of ham. Cook and stir constantly for 10 minutes. Add the paprika and flour. Stir and cook for a minute, ensuring the flour does not burn. Add the tomatoes, salt and sugar. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and cover, then simmer for 10 minutes.
  2. Remove the ham from the tomato mixture and set aside for another use. Add the wine to the tomato mixture. Using a hand-held blender, blend the tomato mixture till smooth (alternatively, puree in batches in a food processor or blender). Set tomato sauce aside until ready to serve.
  3. Heat extra virgin olive oil in a large saucepan or deep fryer until very hot but not smoking, about 180 degrees C. Add the potatoes and deep fry until golden brown. Remove from the oil and allow to drain on a plate lined with kitchen paper.
  4. Salt the potatoes to taste. Serve immediately with sauce drizzled over top. Enjoy!

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Classic patatas bravas

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Patatas Bravas Recipe- A classic Spanish tapa

Patatas bravas are well-known in Britain, but have you ever tried making them yourself? I find patatas bravas a bit hit and miss when eating out, as it is all too easy for restaurants to serve up soggy chips with a bland mayonnaise and ketchup sauce. This homemade patatas bravas recipe will convince you of the power of the potato, with a knock-out spicy smoky sauce that is unbelievably more-ish. We loved the sauce so much that we ended up wiping the leftovers out of the container with carrot sticks, as we couldn´t bear to throw any away!

In Spain, they usually add one drop of tabasco to patatas bravas and then complain that they are far too spicy, but as we were preparing this recipe for a British palatte, we´ve added a kick with fresh chilli. Feel free to play around with the heat to your own personal taste. You can also vary the type of paprika for a different feel – we love smoked paprika, but you could also use sweet or spicy (if you do use spicy, careful with adding extra chilli!)

Just add potatoes for the classic Spanish patatas bravas recipe.

Ingredients (serves 4)
4 medium potatoes
200 ml of chopped tinned tomatoes
3 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic
1 tsp paprika (spicy/smoked/sweet)
1/4 of a fresh chilli (more/less if you prefer)
1 tbsp mayonnaise

1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.
2. Peel the potatoes and cut into large chunks, around 3 cm square. Boil until soft in a large saucepan.
3. While the potatoes are boiling, place the tomatoes with 1 tbsp of olive oil in a saucepan. Cover and cook on a low heat for 10 minutes, until the tomatoes have reduced. Leave to cool.
4. When the potatoes are soft, remove from the heat and drain. Add 2 tbsp of olive oil to a large baking tray (or to cover the base) and add potatoes. Cook until the outsides are crispy and golden brown, approximately 20 minutes.
5. When the tomatoes are cool, blend with the garlic, paprika and chilli using a hand-held blender. When blended, add the mayonnaise and stir until mixed.
6. Place the potatoes on a plate and spoon the sauce over. We added some chopped chives as a garnish, but this is optional. Serve with small forks or toothpicks for easy eating!

Suitable for many special diets (vegetarian, gluten-free, vegan if you use vegan mayonnaise).

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Welcome to A Spoonful of Spain! We are Sevi and Izzi, a Spanish/English couple with a love for traditional Spanish recipes. Get inspired by our classic recipes for an authentic taste of Spain!


How to Make Patatas Bravas – Step by Step Instructions

To make this papas bravas recipe, you can check out the recipe card at the bottom of this post for exact measurements.

For those wanting to see a visual of the steps, you can find the recipe process photos in this section.

This way, if you have any questions you can follow along with how we made our Patatas bravas and can compare how you are doing!

First, pre-boil the potatoes with their skin on in a pot of hot water on the stove until almost tender but not quite done.

You should be able to pierce them with a fork but it shouldn’t slide through the potato with ease.

Remove the potatoes from the pot and set them aside to cool.

In the meantime, prepare the bravas sauce. First, peel the onion and finely chop it. Also, peel the garlic clove and chop it or press it through a garlic press.

In a medium-sized frying pan, heat 1/4 cup of olive oil.

When the oil is hot, add the onions and sauté them on medium-high heat for around 5-6 minutes until translucent.

Add the crushed garlic and sauté for a couple more minutes. Be sure not to burn the garlic or else it will become bitter.

Turn down the heat to low and add the smoked paprika as well as the hot paprika (or red pepper flakes) and mix well using a wooden spoon.

You can adjust the amount of hot paprika used according to your spice tolerance. Two tablespoons give it a kick, but it’s not intolerable.

After the paprika has been mixed in, add the flour and mix it in well so that there are no flour lumps.

Let everything sit in the hot pan for a minute (so the flour can lose its “flour taste”).

Then little by little add the broth while constantly stirring with your wooden spoon. Keep stirring until the sauce has a well-combined consistency.

Turn up the heat again slightly and bring the sauce to a simmer. Add salt to taste.

Let the sauce simmer for around 4-5 minutes until it has thickened nicely. Stir regularly.

Once the sauce has a thick, creamy consistency, remove the pan from heat and let it cool for a few minutes.

Then blend the sauce in a blender so it’s smooth.

Back to the potatoes. First peel them, then cut them into bite-sized cubes.

Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in a large frying pan.

When it is hot enough (test this by dipping a wooden spoon into the oil – if there are small bubbles forming around it, the oil is hot enough), add approximately half of the potato cubes.

Depending on the size of your pan you might be able to add more or less – just don’t overcrowd the pan.

Fry the potato cubes on medium heat until they are fully cooked and lightly golden brown on the outside.

Flip the potato pieces regularly. Don’t have the temperature too high – you don’t want the outsides to become very dark while the inside is not fully cooked.

Once the potatoes are done, remove them from the pan with a straining spoon and place them on a plate lined with paper towels to soak up excess oil.

Then fry the second batch of potatoes the same way.

Our Patatas bravas with a little chopped parsley and loads of sauce!

Add salt to taste, then serve the patatas bravas in a bowl and garnish with some of the bravas sauce as well as some chopped parsley.

If you want to cut the spice of the sauce a bit, you can also serve aioli (garlic mayo) in addition – or even instead – of the bravas sauce.


Simple Patatas Bravas

Ingredients

POTATOES

  • 1 1/2-2 pounds yukon or red skin potatoes (quartered into bite size pieces)
  • 1-2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 healthy pinch sea salt
  • 1 healthy pinch garlic powder

SAUCE

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 white or yellow onion (diced)
  • 3 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 pinch cayenne or red pepper flake
  • 1 tsp garlic powder (plus more for potatoes)
  • 1 6-ounce can tomato paste*
  • 2-3 tsp hot sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups water

FOR TOPPING (optional)

Instructions

Notes

Nutrition (1 of 4 servings)

Did You Make This Recipe?

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Patatas Bravas

1¾ hours 40 minutes active

Patatas bravas is a popular Spanish tapa, and for good reason. Potatoes fried until perfectly crisp and served piping hot with alioli (the Spanish version of aioli) and a smoked paprika sauce (called bravas sauce) have universal appeal. To avoid having to fry the potatoes&mdashthe classic preparation&mdashwe first parcook chunked russets in the microwave, then coat them with cornstarch and finish them on a well-oiled baking sheet in a hot oven. This technique delivers fluffy-creamy interiors and ultracrisp exteriors without the hassle and mess of deep-frying.


Healthier patatas bravas

As a Brit, 'football' to me is what Americans call soccer. While it was all around in the UK, I admit I didn't really like British football all that much - too many divas, faking injuries etc I was more of a rugby fan.

While living in Spain, though, I was a bit more appreciative - there were still many of the same issues in the game, but it all seemed to have a better pace to it. Plus, there were way better snacks: tapas are perfect as football snacks, whichever version of the word you are talking about.

One tapas dish that is pretty much central to any order is patatas bravas, and today I am sharing a healthier patatas bravas where the potatoes are roasted rather than fried and the sauce has no sugar or salt. Don't worry though, this sauce is SO good, you'll be adding loads and cooking up some more potatoes soon or finding any other excuse to use it again.

The first time I lived in Spain, I lived in Catalunya which in general supports Barcelona's football team (often known as Barça). However Barça is a team that seems to create enemies and so there were also a number of Real Madrid fans in the town I was in who in many cases supported them as they were seen as Barça's big rival.

Barça-Real match nights were always interesting but I remember one night when I was teaching during an important game and you could tell when every goal happened, and who it was, by what the shouts were from the bar next door and which direction the fireworks came from to celebrate (there were strong supporters' bars for each team in different directions).

Much as I loved my class, I would still have loved to have been taking in the atmosphere in the bar, sipping on a beer and eating some patatas bravas and other tapas. These days, and maybe then too, I am even happier making these healthier patatas bravas to enjoy at home, whether as a snack on their own or alongside other tapas like pinchos morunos and fried eggplant, as we had here.

What are patatas bravas?

Patatas bravas - 'brave potatoes' - are traditionally deep fried potatoes with a spicy tomato sauce. Exactly what is in the sauce varies a little from region to region - when I lived in Madrid, patatas bravas came with just a spicy tomato-based sauce and you had to get 'patatas mixtas' to get it with alioli (garlic mayo) as well.

In Catalunya, the sauce was always what seemed to be the two blended together already. Personally I like having a little of both but that you can mix yourself, and so that's what I have made for these healthier patatas bravas.

Making bravas sauce (salsa bravas)

The tomato sauce can be either cooked while the potatoes are roasting or you can make it ahead and keep it in the fridge - it's fine either warm or cold. It's easy to make, being simply some onion and garlic cooked up, spices added then wine and tomatoes, cooked down and blended.

I used some fantastic smoked paprika I got recently which helped give it great depth of flavor. It's also got a nice kick without being over the top. Any leftover sauce is great to use with other things too, just store it in the fridge.

These healthier patatas bravas may be more at home watching Spanish football than American football, but they are so good they certainly should fit in as any kind of game snack, which is why I'm sharing them for today's football-themed Sunday Supper. The sauce has so much flavor and is perfect, especially alongside some simple alioli (garlic mayo), to smother the roast potatoes. Easy but oh so good.


Classic Patatas Bravas with Aioli

Every time I leave Spain and return back, the first thing I look forward to is going to my neighborhood tapas bar and ordering some patatas bravas with a cold beer or glass or red wine.


It has been said (and proven) that a tapas bar is judged by the quality of their bravas, if they are excellent, the rest of the food will be as well, however, if they just aren’t up to par, the rest of their food will lack on flavor and quality.


Here is a classic recipe for you to make at home, and enjoy at anytime of the year. Watch our video below on how to easily make Classic Patatas Bravas. Salud!

Watch the Video Below on How to Make Classic Patatas Bravas with Aioli


PATATAS BRAVAS

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In January, I had the pleasure of dining in my first Latin Fusion restaurant. The food was phenomenal. Two of my favorite dishes, which I immediately came home to make, were the Tostones with Blackened Shrimp and Guacamole and Ropa Vieja. I had also been itching to prepare my favorite tapas, Patatas Bravas. To my surprise, while scrolling through Instagram one day, I saw a picture of them posted by America’s Test Kitchen. Imagine my excitement.

For the most part, I followed the recipe exactly, except for a few tweaks of my own. Definitely needed more sweet smoked paprika, and the addition of the garlic aioli sent this recipe to a whole new level!

I served the Patatas Bravas in these fancy crocks I found at Home Goods. Click here for ones similar. These crocks are also perfect for French Onion Soup.

HOW TOPREPARE PATATAS BRAVAS

There are a number of steps involved in this recipe. The garlic aioli can be prepared in advance and stored in the fridge. Prep the potatoes for frying before creating the bravas sauce.

FOR THE GARLIC AIOLI

Aioli is basically a Mediterranean mayo, and the perfect compliment to this dish. In a food processor, combine all of the ingredients for the garlic aioli, except for the oils. Start processing while slowly pouring the oil in from the top. Process until a nice thick sauce has formed. Just about a minute. Store in fridge.

FOR THE POTATOES

Cutting the potatoes, in my opinion, is going to be a matter of size preference. Diced small was my way, but feel free to create larger chunks. Boil a large pot of water with the baking soda and tablespoon of salt. Once at the boiling stage, add in the potatoes. Allow to come back to a boil, and boil for just a minute.

Drain. Place potatoes back in the pot. Set pot back on stove at a low heat. Allow any moisture to cook off. Do this for just under a minute. Remove from heat. Gently, using a spatula, stir in the remaining teaspoon of kosher salt. You will notice the potatoes have a starch-like consistency, but still hold their shape. This is exactly what you are looking for.

Grab a baking sheet, place potatoes in a single layer to cool.

Heat up enough canola oil in a deep pot or large dutch oven to just cover the potatoes. I used this Lodge cast iron pot. Temperature should be around 375 degrees. Add in the cooled potatoes and allow to fry until golden brown. Stir the pot often with a slotted spoon. Once potatoes are brown and crispy, remove from pot with a slotted spoon onto a paper towel lined cooling rack. Sprinkle with kosher salt.

FOR THE BRAVAS SAUCE

As the potatoes are frying, prepare the bravas sauce. On medium-low heat, heat up the olive oil. Toss in the garlic, paprika, salt and cayenne pepper. Cook for just under a minute. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for another 30 seconds. Whisk in the water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and allow to simmer until the sauce thickens. This will take about three to four minutes. Pour sauce into a bowl, stir in the vinegar, and allow to cool completely. Once cooled, whisk in the mayo.

TO SERVE THE PATATAS BRAVAS

You can the patatas bravas family-style, or in individual servings. Spoon a touch of the bravas sauce onto a plate or in a bowl. Place potatoes. Drizzle with more bravas sauce. Garnish with the garlic aioli and chopped parsley. Enjoy this fabulous tapas prepared in your very own home!

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I am more than just recipes. I love fashion and style too! Most importantly, I love my Family (my Hubby and my Fur Babies). My Husband (aka my “Kitchen Bitch”) means the world to me. He’s pretty damn cool too. Not only is he one of the nicest guys you will ever meet, he also has had a lengthy career in professional hockey. Not only winning two Stanley Cups with the Pittsburgh Penguins in the early ’90’s, but most recently winning the Calder Cup with the Charlotte Checkers, amongst many other accolades. If you live in Charlotte and play hockey, or have a family member who plays, be sure to contact him!

Our life has changed dramatically in the past few years with the passing of our two goldendoodles, Vegas and Viva. We were lucky enough to have Vegas for five years (totally wish it was longer). Most recently, losing our Viva to a brain tumor in July of 2020. We welcomed our mini goldendoodle 7, almost seven years ago. We just added the amazing Hazel! Of course, I am always posting tons and tons of photos! Be sure to check out my recipe for Pet Bone Broth! This broth is super rich in nutrients and will provide your pet with a multitude of health benefits!

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Tips on How to Host an Easy Tapas Party

Choose 3-5 small bites (out of the recipes below)

Having 3 to five options, along with a charcuterie board, will be more than enough variety and food. Don’t overwhelm yourself by trying to create ten different dishes. Instead, choose around 4 and make them really well. When it comes to the small plates, mix it up. Go for at least 1-2 proteins (marinated flank steak, garlic shrimp, pork meatballs). Then, choose a vegetarian option (like the vegan beans below). Also think about texture. I like to include at least one thing fried (patatas bravas, fried cauliflower, or fried seafood cakes) and some type of spiced nuts. Finally, include a salty bite such as bacon-wrapped dates and a dip such as beet hummus.

Place out a meat and cheese board

The best part, am I right?! How to host an easy tapas party? Throw together some meats and cheeses. It’s no-cook, no-fuss, and instantly makes everyone happy! Include Spanish meats such as Jamon Iberico, chorizo, and Serrano ham. Then, add a nice variety of some different soft and hard cheeses. I like to include Manchego, Spanish blue cheese, and Mahón. Then, some citrus-marinated olives and spiced Marcona almonds work beautifully. Finally, add in some crusty bread or crackers, and quince paste and honey as condiments.

Pick one cocktail

Choose one cocktail (either sangria or one of the cocktails featured below). For other options, include sparkling water and both Spanish red and white wine. Spanish wine such as Tempranillo and Garnacha are very affordable, readily available, and pair very well with food.


– The Secret to the Perfect Patatas Bravas –

Believe it or not the star of the dish are the potatoes, if they´re not cooked correctly, the dish just doesn´t taste the same. I like to broil my potatoes instead of frying them (which a lot of high-quality restaurants do in Spain). This gives the potatoes the perfect texture, soft in the inside with a little crisp on the outside.

Of course the brava sauce and aioli have to be spot-on as well to achieve the perfect patatas bravas. Watch the video below on how to make this Authentic Spanish Patatas Bravas Recipe or check out the recipe card below, which you can print. Salud!