A Glug of Oil

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How to make Patatas Bravas

Patatas bravas is actually really easy, and I have the perfect recipe that I just know you'll want to make again and again.

patatas bravas and tapas on an olive wood board
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How to Make Patatas Bravas

Of course, you can buy patatas bravas in supermarkets such as Tesco, Sainsbury's, but it is never going to be as delicious, and as satisfying, than making it yourself.

I will admit I am totally in LOVE with smoked paprika. The sweet and smoky flavour it adds to so many dishes you'll wonder how you ever lived without it!

Patatas Bravas Recipe

Good ingredients for better results.

Many top chefs such as Jamie Oliver, Rick Stein and Gordon Ramsay use this brand and from the day I first tried it many years ago, this is the brand (La Chinata) I've used ever since.

Available in Sainsbury's, Waitrose or Ocado although I've never seen it in Tesco or Asda. At the time of writing, they are £2.00 a tin.

I have seen people trying to sell it on Amazon at ridiculously high prices so please be aware of that one; cheeky bad, naughty people!

La Chinata sweet paprika

I know I go on about good quality tinned tomatoes but they are the base of the sauce so it really is worth buying good ones.

My personal choice is Cirio and I only tend to buy them when they are on offer at half price in Tesco or Waitrose as they are a bit on the expensive side but so worth it. Otherwise, the Napolina brand is good.

Cirio tinned tomatoes

Chargrilled peppers in a jar are beautifully soft and sweet. Be sure to buy peppers in OIL and NOT vinegar or brine. ALDI sells them for the bargain price of 99p and they are always in my store cupboard.

What are Patatas Bravas?

Patatas bravas (spicy potatoes) are originally from Madrid and are fried in a lot of olive oil.

But you can make a healthier version of patatas bravas. My recipe doesn't use a lot of oil and if you prefer you could toss them in a little oil and bake them in the oven; both ways are a healthier option using far less oil.

Usually served as a tapas (a starter course of 4 or 5 mini dishes) that you share.

The sauce at this stage, before blending is actually perfect for Baked Cod in Tomato Sauce.

Salsa Brava (literally translates to brave sauce) is packed full of flavour and of course, the amount of spiciness you add when making it is entirely up to you.

Patatas Bravas Sauce

Sauce for patatas bravas before blending

Once you've cooked the sauce tip it into a blender or you can use a stick blender.

Sauce for patatas bravas in a blender

Blend for a few seconds for a thick salsa Brava.

Sauce for patatas bravas once blended

Once that's done you can cook the potatoes

Potatoes, soft and fluffy inside and perfectly crispy on the outside using very little oil.

A good heavy-based frying pan is just the thing for this. I used my Samuel Groves Carbon Chef's Skillet and, as you can see I hardly needed any oil to achieve crispy potatoes; it's such a great pan.

You can cook these in the oven if you prefer, check out the details in the recipe card below.

crispy potato cubes

Transport yourself to a Tapas bar in Seville Spain

Serve the Patatas Bravas in tapas dishes, put the potatoes in the dish or dishes and spoon over the deliciously fiery sauce.

You might like to serve with another favourite tapas recipes, Gambas Pil Pil or Pil Pil Prawns.

Patatas Bravas tapas dish
Yield: N/A
Author: Jan Bennett
Patatas Bravas

Patatas Bravas

You'll probably end up with more sauce than you want but you can freeze it for another time. Or you can add it to your next homemade pasta sauce or even use it as a pasta sauce!
Prep time: 15 MinCook time: 50 MinTotal time: 1 H & 4 M


For the sauce
  • Olive oil
  • 1 medium onion - diced
  • 1 medium heat green chilli - deseeded and finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves - finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon tomato puree (paste if you're in the US)
  • 2 teaspoons Pimentón de la Vera - Picante (hot)
  • 1 tablespoon Pimentón de la Vera - Dulce (sweet)
  • 1 x 400g tin of tomatoes
  • pinch of salt and black pepper
  • 170g jar (drained weight) of chargrilled peppers - drained from the oil
  • 1 and a half tablespoons Sherry vinegar (or red wine vinegar)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Optional - a pinch of dried red chilli flakes
Prepare the potatoes
  • Floury potatoes such as Maris Piper or King Edward potatoes.
  • Peel and cut into 2cm cubes.  Allow 2 medium potatoes per tapas dish.
  • Put the prepared potatoes into a large saucepan of cold salted water.
  • Bring to the boil and then turn to simmer.
  • Cook for about 5 - 7 minutes.
  • Drain well and leave the potatoes in the pan (without a lid) and allow them to cool.
  • This will dry them out a little bit which will make them crisp up nicely when you cook them; if you don't let them cool they are more likely to break up when frying.


To make the sauce
  1. Heat up a little olive oil in a frying pan and add the diced onion.
  2. Cook over a low heat allowing the onions to soften but not colour. It will take about 15 minutes but you will need to stir them from time to time.
  3. Add in the chilli and garlic and cook for a couple of minutes more before adding the tomato puree. 
  4. Cook for a minute otherwise tomato puree will taste bitter.
  5. Now add the hot and the sweet paprika along with a pinch of salt and pepper. 
  6. Add the tin of tomatoes including their juice.
  7. Take most of or all of the chargrilled peppers (drained from their oil.  You can keep a few aside as another tapas dish. 
  8. Add the sherry or red wine vinegar along with the sugar and stir well.
  9. Have a taste and add adjust the seasoning - does it need more sugar, paprika or vinegar etc?  If so now's the time to add it.
  10. You can also add a pinch of dried red chilli flakes if you like things as spicy-hot.
  11. Blend the sauce in a blender or use a stick blender taking care not to splash yourself with the hot sauce.
To cook the potatoes
  1. Heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy-based frying pan and add the part cooked and cooled potatoes.
  2. Cook over medium heat and gently turn them now and again so they are evenly coloured adding more oil if you think you need to.
  3. If you prefer you could cook these in the oven. You should still part cook them in salted water and let them cool first though.
Preheat your oven to 200c/400f or Gas 6
  1. Put the prepared potatoes into a bowl and drizzle with a little olive oil and gently mix to coat.
  2. Spread the potatoes out onto a non-stick baking tray and pop onto the middle shelf of your oven and cook for about 10 minutes and then turn them.
  3. Cook for a further 10 minutes before turning again.
  4. Now pop them back in for about 5 to 10 more minutes by which time they should be nice and crispy and golden.
Did you make this recipe?
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