Easy Patatas Bravas

An easy Patatas Bravas recipe you can make at home any night of the week. This tapas restaurant favorite works great as an appetizer or even brunch.

Hello, friends! Apologies for the delay in posts, but it’s been quite the busy summer over here in Seattle. We’ve got family visiting right now and we’re showing them all the wonderful sights of the Emerald City and beyond.

I’ll be posting pics of some of our adventures SOON.

I actually made and photographed these Easy Patatas Bravas with every intention of posting the recipe before our visitors arrived, but sometimes, you just run out of time. And that’s perfectly okay. Because we are here now. In the moment. And the moment is tasty.

Patatas bravas satisfy two of our regular weekly cravings: tapas and {everything!} potatoes. I love tapas (“small plates”) because then I get to try a whole bunch of dishes when we’re out to eat, and, well Nick just loves potatoes. Simple as that. I made these at home on a lazy Saturday morning, in lieu of going out to brunch. It was a great idea. These guys are delicious with a fried egg nestled right over the top, but perfectly yummy straight up too! The key is perfectly cooked potatoes that are salty and crunchy on the outside, yet soft and buttery on the inside. That, and the fiery tomato Brava sauce over the top.

What are Patatas Bravas?

Good question! Patatas Bravas are a dish native to Spain consisting of white potatoes cut into bite-sized pieces and fried in oil. They’re served with a spicy, tomato-based sauce that usually consists of vinegar, sugar, and red pepper. Patatas = potatoes. Bravas = strong / spicy. We’re going with spicy here.

An easy Patatas Bravas recipe you can make at home any night of the week. This tapas restaurant favorite works great as an appetizer or even brunch.

Best Way to Cook Potatoes in a Cast Iron Skillet

I’ve made a special discovery over the last couple months, and I cook potatoes like this almost once a week. They come out perfect every single time and here’s how you do it:

  1. Use Enough Fat: Don’t be shy with the amount of butter or olive oil you use here. It’s key. It should coat the bottom layer of the skillet, up to 1/8″.
  2. Don’t Peek: To get a lovely golden crust, you’ve got to let them sit in a medium-hot skillet without being touched for at least 10 minutes. Don’t even think about peeking before that!
  3. Give ’em Space: Also super important? Making sure your potatoes are laid out on the pan evenly so they get a good crust.
  4. Use Steam: Use a skillet with a top to steam them for the second part of the cooking process. (I don’t have a top to my cast iron skillet, so I use a glass top from another pot that fits pretty well. It doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to cover them enough so the steam cooks them through over low heat.)

An easy Patatas Bravas recipe you can make at home any night of the week. This tapas restaurant favorite works great as an appetizer or even brunch.

Mix Things Up with Brava Sauce

I seriously can’t get enough of the stewed tomatoes I’ve been making at home lately. I use them in everything – from curries to pasta sauce to pizza sauce to soups etc. etc. You get the picture. So you can imagine how easy it was to whip up a batch of brava sauce when our tapas craving struck. However, regular canned tomatoes will work just fine here. Heck, you could even use fresh it’d just take a bit longer for everything to come together. The point is, you need to be making brava sauce right now. Just… trust me on this one.

The tangy salty spicy sweet sauce just goes so well with rich, golden pan-fried potatoes…

An easy Patatas Bravas recipe you can make at home any night of the week. This tapas restaurant favorite works great as an appetizer or even brunch.

Restaurant Remakes = Fun!

We love love love the patatas bravas at our nearby tapas restaurant, Ocho. The place is “we don’t have a website and we don’t care” good. They deliver a heaping plate of piping hot potatoes fresh from the fryer to our table, and for a hot second, we think it’s going to be impossible to finish. But then we finish them. Every single time.

I really enjoy the challenge of taking a much-loved restaurant dish and recreating it in my own kitchen. I call it a “restaurant remake” because I’m cool like that. But no really: it’s truly satisfying to make a dish that we love just as much and hey! we’re still in our PJs. Or something. I don’t work from home and stay in my pajamas all day, no that’s not me at all.

I hope ya’ll enjoy these Easy Patatas Bravas as much as we do!

Until next time…

Easy Patatas Bravas

Easy Patatas Bravas

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 2-3 servings

Easy Patatas Bravas

Perfectly cooked skillet potatoes tossed in a spicy tomato sauce. This dish is great served as an appetizer or as brunch with an egg on top. Enjoy!


    For the Brava Sauce:
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne (more to taste, we used 1/2 tsp for medium-hot)
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 3/4 tsp paprika + a pinch more to toss the potatoes in
  • 3/4 tsp sugar
  • 5-6 dashes sherry vinegar
  • 5-6 dashes of your favorite hot sauce (more to taste)
  • 1 small leek (light green and white parts only OR 1/4 white onion), chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups stewed tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • For the Potatoes:
  • 3-4 medium Yukon gold potatoes scrubbed clean and sliced into 8 pieces each
  • 2 tbsp olive oil (or a combo of butter and olive oil)
  • salt
  • fresh cilantro for topping


  1. Patatas: Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat (minimum 10.5" skillet). Sprinkle a healthy amount of kosher salt evenly over the bottom of the pan. Place potatoes into the skillet cut-side down, keeping the pieces together as much as possible. (*See photo) Cook over medium heat for 10-12 minutes. Carefully check potatoes after 10 minutes to see if they've browned on the bottom. Once they've browned, turn the heat down to the lowest setting, cover, and cook for 20 more minutes, or until tender when pierced with a fork. *Potatoes will keep warm in the skillet for about 30 minutes. Just before serving, remove potatoes from skillet and toss with a couple healthy pinches of paprika.
  2. Brava Sauce: Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Once hot, add leek and a pinch of salt. Stir, and cook for a few minutes. Once leeks have softened, stir in garlic, cayenne, red pepper flakes and paprika and cook until fragrant (about 1 minute). Add tomatoes and sugar, stir to combine and bring to a simmer. Turn the heat down to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally until the sauce has cooked down and the flavors have melded. Season with salt to taste. Off the heat, stir in sherry vinegar and hot sauce adding equal amounts to taste. The sauce will be chunky and you can serve it as is. (Optional: For a smoother sauce, pour into a pint jar and blend with an immersion blender until desired consistency.) Makes about 1 cup Brava Sauce.
  3. Serve: Toss potatoes with paprika and pour onto serving dish (or portion out on individual dishes). Top with a healthy amount of Brava Sauce and cilantro, and serve the extra sauce on the side.


Makes 2-3 servings of potatoes (you will have extra sauce).


Easy Patatas Bravas