Patatas Bravas is a traditional Spanish side dish or "tapas" that consists of crispy roasted potatoes topped with a smokey tomato sauce. Baked instead of fried, this is so simple to make, but totally delicious too. It's also really cheap to make.
We love Spanish food for its simplicity, but intense flavours. And that is exactly what you get from this potato dish. Roasted cubes of potato in an incredible smoky, and slightly spicy tomato sauce that it made from ingredients you probably already have in your cupboard.
What is Patatas Bravas?
Patatas bravas, sometimes known as patatas a la brava or papas bravas, is a traditional Spanish dish, usually served as a tapa in bars. It typically consists of potatoes that have been cut into cubes of about two centimetres, then fried in oil or baked and then served warm with a tomato based sauce.
Why should you try it?
- A must at any tapas dinner party
- A really tasty side dish
- Easy to adapt sauce
- A new way to cook potatoes
- Potatoes - Floury potatoes like Maris Piper, King Edward or Desiree work best for this recipe, but you can use any potatoes.
- Oil - Try to use a really good quality olive oil.
- Onion - We used a brown onion, however you could swap it for shallots to give it a sweeter flavour.
- Garlic - Fresh garlic is always best, however you could use chopped garlic in a jar to save some time.
- Chopped tomatoes - We used a can of chopped tomatoes and the key to this recipe being the best it possibly can, is using the best quality tomatoes you can. You really will taste the difference, as cheap tinned tomatoes tend to be really watery and that gives a watery sauce.
- Tomato puree (paste) - This helps to thicken up the sauce and give it a more intense tomato flavour.
- Chilli powder - This gives the potatoes a kick of spice. You can leave it out if you would prefer.
- Paprika - This gives the potatoes the smokiness that they are known for.
A full ingredients list with measurements is in the recipe card below.
How to make patatas bravas - Step by step
One: Put the potatoes in a saucepan of boiling water and simmer for 7 minutes and drain.
Two: Add the drained potatoes to a large baking tray with the olive oil, paprika and some salt and pepper and mix well. Roast in the oven at 190°C/350°F/Gas 5 for 35-40 minutes until the potatoes are cooked and crispy.
Three: Heat a little oil in a pan and add the onion and garlic and gently cook for 4 minutes.
Four: Add the rest of the ingredients to the pan and stir and simmer for 10 minutes.
Five: Put the potatoes into a bowl.
Six: Top with the tomato mixture and garnish with parsley.
Baked or fried potatoes?
You could save yourself some time and fry these potatoes in a pan. However, whenever we can make the swap for baked instead of fried, we do. You will find in Spain that they usually fry the potatoes, however you can still get them just as crispy in the oven, and use less oil.
Whilst the crispy potatoes are the base of this dish, it really is all about the sauce. It's amazing, but that doesn't mean it is complicated.
Patatas Bravas sauce is actually really simple and made of store cupboard staples. Sautéed onions and garlic is mixed with a can of tomatoes, some tomato puree and then a generous amount of smoked paprika - that's the "secret" ingredient that gives it all the flavour.
You can make the sauce a little bit richer by adding a glug of red wine.
What to serve these with
Patatas Bravas are a must at a tapas themed meal, so we always serve them with our Spanish Rice, Tortilla, Gambas Pil Pil or Chicken Skewers. They also go well with a simple grilled chicken or salmon dish.
Whilst many tapas bars will give you the option of topping this with some chorizo, fried fish or chicken, we kept it simple and just let the tomato sauce be the star of the show. But, for those meat eaters out there I would say a little bit of chorizo goes a long way in this.
You can also finish it off with a drizzle of alioli.
You want to use a floury potato for this recipe, as they crisp up nicely in the oven. Something like a Maris Piper, King Edward or Desiree.
You can store the sauce and potatoes separately or together in air tight containers. They will keep in the fridge for up to three days and in the freezer for up to 3 months. To reheat, defrost fully in the fridge and then reheat in the microwave until piping hot throughout.
• Add a little chopped chorizo to the sauce for some extra smokiness.
• Use a floury potato so the edges get nice and crispy.
• You don't have to par-boil them, just add extra cook time for them in the oven.
• You can add a glug of red wine to give a richer, more indulgent sauce.
• Finish this dish off with a drizzle of alioli.
• You could fry the potatoes to make this recipe quicker.
More potato recipes
- 500 g Potato - cut in to chunks
- 2 tablespoon Olive oil
- 1 Onion - small; diced
- 2 Garlic clove - crushed
- 400 g Chopped tomatoes - canned
- 2 tablespoon Tomato puree
- 0.5 teaspoon Chilli powder
- 1 teaspoon Smoked paprika
- 1 pinch Sea salt and black pepper
- Fresh parsley - to garnish
- Put the potatoes in a saucepan of boiling water and simmer for 7 minutes and drain.
- Add the drained potatoes to a large baking tray with the olive oil, paprika and some salt and pepper and mix well. Roast in the oven at 190°C/350°F/Gas 5 for 35-40 minutes until the potatoes are cooked and crispy.
- Heat a little oil in a pan and add the onion and garlic and gently cook for 4 minutes.
- Add the rest of the ingredients to the pan and stir and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Put the potatoes in a bowl.
- Top with the tomato mixture and garnish with parsley.
- Add a little chopped chorizo to the sauce for some extra smokiness
- Use a floury potato so the edges get nice and crispy.
- You don't have to par-boil them, just add extra cook time for them in the oven.
- You can add a glug of red wine to give a richer, more indulgent sauce.
- Finish this dish off with a drizzle of alioli.
- You could fry the potatoes to make this recipe quicker.