This easy Patatas Bravas recipe is a classic Spanish tapas food. Crispy, delicious, and perfect for breakfast or even as a potato side dish.
I love patatas bravas. They’re honestly one of my favorite items at tapas restaurants, as well as side dishes to order at brunch. What’s great is that several restaurants have some sort of patatas bravas as a breakfast side dish (though not all are great – I remember a particular meh version which was just boiled potatoes with tomato sauce, not kidding) so I’m never too far away from these yummy Spanish fried potatoes.
But it’s always nicer to make them at home. So, let’s do that.
What are patatas bravas
Patatas bravas is Spanish for “spicy potatoes”. They’re sometimes also referred to as patatas a la bravas or Madrid patatas bravas. Why? Because patatas bravas is a crispy, fried potato recipe originating from Madrid in Spain. The fried potatoes are mixed in a bravas sauce. They are very commonly seen at tapas bars, and Spanish restaurants as an appetizer, or side dish. Here in Toronto, they are often served as a breakfast side as well.
As with most regional favorites, there are variations from region to region and home to home. This is a very simple, authentic patatas bravas recipe (but don’t worry, if you’re feeling adventurous, I’ll have a number of variation suggestions for you below).
What is bravas sauce
Bravas sauce (or salsa brava) is a mildly spicy Spanish sauce. It’s typically made with a mix of olive oil, flour, spices (usually, sweet Spanish paprika or and hot paprika), and chicken broth (vegetable broth works too, chicken broth just has more flavor). The patatas bravas salsa can vary from chef to chef with some infusing garlic, and others using tomatoes to create more of a spicy tomato sauce.
- Russet potatoes, cut into 1-inch chunks or cubes
- Extra virgin olive oil
- All-purpose flour
- Sweet paprika
- Hot paprika
- Chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
- Fresh parsley
- Canola, vegetable or olive oil, for frying
How to make patatas bravas
Making patatas bravas is actually quite easy to do. Begin by adding the olive oil and flour to a large frying pan over medium heat or medium-high heat. Cook for 3-5 minutes to thicken the mixture slightly. Mix in the sweet paprika and the hot paprika, followed by the broth. Continue cooking until the mixture thickens to your preferred consistency, about 10 minutes.
In a large pot, add oil and fry the 1-inch potato chunks over a high-heat. The oil should be around 356 degrees F. Be sure to allow the potatoes to cook through while allowing the outsides are golden brown and slightly crispy. Remove the cut potatoes from the oil, and drain any excess oil on a paper towel.
Finally, in a serving bowl, coat the fried potatoes with the bravas sauce. You can mix it up if you want to, or leave as is. Garnish with a sprinkle of fresh parsley. Enjoy!
PS. Don’t forget to season your potatoes with salt and pepper to your tastes.
While this patatas bravas recipe is actually very simple and comes together with relatively few ingredients, there are a few things to keep in mind.
What kind of potatoes to use
For this recipe, I’ve used russet potatoes. However, Yukon gold potatoes will work well too. Essentially, you should be opting for potatoes that have a higher starch content, which will help them to crisp up nicely on the outside while remaining soft and fluffy on the inside.
Using boiled potatoes
While some variations of spicy Spanish potatoes involve parboiled potatoes, this recipe calls for frying the potatoes directly (no need to boil them first). This ensures a crispy and golden exterior while maintaining the fluffy texture of the inner potato.
However, if you’re short on time, or want to use less oil when frying the potatoes, you can parboil instead.
Sweet vs hot vs smoked paprika
It’s always a little confusing when you see the same ingredient with a different adjective in front of it. Paprika is paprika, right? Well, not quite. Sweet, hot, and smoked paprika are all different varieties with distinct flavor profiles.
- Sweet paprika is also sometimes called mild paprika, and it has little to no heat. People quite often use it as a coloring.
- Hot paprika is made from dried hot chilli peppers, and can add a noticeable amount of heat to a dish.
- Smoked paprika is sometimes called Spanish paprika. It has a smoky flavor and is often seen in Spanishrecipes (though we’re using a mix of sweet and hot paprika this time around. If you’d like a little smokiness, feel free to add a small amount to the recipe along with the other paprikas).
Store-bought patatas bravas sauce
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Can I buy patatas bravas sauce? Yes, some specialty grocery stores offer a pre-made bravas sauce that you can purchase and use. It’s a convenient option if you’re looking to save a bit of time, just make sure to check the ingredients to ensure you’re getting a sauce that has the flavors you enjoy.
What to serve with patatas bravas
Spicy fried potatoes are a fantastically versatile side dish. They work well alongside a variety of meals. Here are a couple of ideas to get you started.
Potato Frittata with Goat’s Cheese & Thyme already has some potatoes in it, but this carb-lovers combo still works great.
Lebanese Toum. If you’re looking to add another flavor element to your patatas bravas, try serving it alongside toum. This Lebanese dip is a garlic sauce, and pairs well with the flavors of the bravas sauce. (This is why you often see it paired with garlic aioli too.)
Lobster Benedict. Eggs benny and fried potatoes are a brunch staple!
There are plenty of different ways to make patatas bravas. The easiest variation is to mix up the spices.
Mmm…Garlic. We spoke earlier about adding smoked paprika, but how’s about adding a little garlic to the mix?
I like spice. Add a little cayenne pepper to the brava salsa to up the heat profile.
Less oil. If you’re looking to save on oil, you can opt to roast your potatoes instead. Simply toss the cut potatoes into the oven and let it do its thing. Coat with spicy sauce once done.
Load it up. This is a more classic patatas bravas recipe, but if you’re looking to add to it, prepare the potatoes with some finely chopped onions, and minced meat and drizzle over some kosher salt or sea salt (to be a little extra fancy). I’d suggest chopping smaller potato cubes for this one.
This patatas bravas recipe can be refrigerated, in an airtight container, for up to four days. Once you’re ready to enjoy them again, simply reheat them on the stove or in the oven. Just be aware that the texture of the potatoes may not be as crispy as when they were freshly cooked (this will be even more the case if you opt to reheat with a microwave).
And that’s it for today, bestie! If you enjoyed this recipe for Spanish breakfast potatoes, let me know in the comments below.Print