Patatas Bravas is a popular Spanish tapas recipe of crispy oven-baked potatoes served with a tangy, spicy tomato sauce (salsa brava) and aioli or guacamole. Perfect as a simple appetizer, quick snack or side dish!
How to make perfect Patatas Bravas easily at home!
Today I’m introducing you to one of Spain’s most popular tapas recipes – a recipe for Patatas Bravas that you‘ll surely make more often in the future! It’s a super simple and budget-friendly dish, but it’s incredibly delicious! Plus, it’s way healthier than classic french fries, since the potatoes are baked in the oven and not deep fried in a lot of oil!
What are tapas?
Spanish tapas are small appetizers or starters that are served in tapas bars with beer and wine. Each tapas bar has an individual selection of different tapas, but most are not vegan. Some popular tapas (besides patatas bravas) are paella, potato tortilla, croquettes, calamari, ham, cheese, olives, pimientos, gazpacho, and nuts and other snacks. By the way, the word “tapa” means “cover” or “coaster” in Spanish.
What are Patatas Bravas? – Crispy Oven-Baked Potatoes!
Patatas Bravas, also called patatas a la brava or papas bravas, are oven-baked “spicy potatoes”, originated in Madrid, that are usually the first choice when it comes to tapas in Spain. Depending on the restaurant, bar, region and personal preferences, there are different ways to prepare patatas bravas. The shape of the potatoes as well as the consistency and flavor of the tomato sauce can be easily varied, so feel free to modify this recipe to your preferences!
The dish traditionally consists of two components: the roasted potatoes and the spicy tomato sauce or aioli.
- First, potato cubes are pre-cooked and then baked in olive oil, salt and pepper. To make the potatoes really crispy in the oven, add some baking powder to the cooking water.
- The tomato sauce, also called salsa brava, is bright red and slightly spicy, which explains its name: Brava means “spicy”. However, depending on your personal preference, you can make the tomato sauce hotter or milder by using more or less chili.
Why do you add baking powder to potatoes?
The baking powder breaks down the pectin in the potato, allowing the starch to release. This starch acts as a kind of “breading” and gives the potato that crispy crust!
Maybe you’ve already tried patatas bravas in Spain and want to make them at home? Or maybe you’ve never had the chance and finally want to try them? If so, this is the perfect chance to give them a try!
How to make Patatas Bravas – It’s that easy!
As always, I recommend checking out this step-by-step instruction first. Then you can find the full recipe with exact measurements in the recipe card below!
Step 1: Boil and roast the potatoes
First, cut the potatoes into bite-sized pieces and pre-cook them in a pot of salted water and baking powder for 5-7 minutes. Then drain the cooking water, making sure the potatoes are very dry. Add oil, salt and pepper and shake the pot with lid on it until everything is well combined. Spread the seasoned potatoes on a preheated baking tray and bake at 428 °F (220 °C) for 25-30 minutes.
Step 2: Prepare the tomato sauce
For the tomato sauce, first sauté the onions for 2-3 minutes. Then add garlic and chili and sauté for another minute. Now add paprika powder and sauté briefly before adding tomatoes, vinegar, agave syrup, salt and some pepper. Cover the pan and simmer for 5 minutes, then optionally purée until smooth using a blender.
Step 3: Roast Pimientos
Roast the Pimientos de Padrón in a pan with a little oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Patatas Bravas with Aioli
Many people prefer to serve patatas bravas not only with the salsa sauce, but also with aioli. To make plant-based aioli yourself, simply mix Vegan Mayonnaise or Cashew Mayo with garlic. This creamy dip provides a great contrast to the Salsa Brava and reduces the spiciness in the mouth.
Both sauces can be drizzled directly over the crispy baked potatoes or served in dipping bowls on the side. Alternatively, you could serve the patatas bravas with Guacamole or Hummus instead of mayonnaise. I find all dips totally delicious, so I usually can’t decide and simply make several! 😉
This Patatas Bravas recipe is:
- Quick and easy to make
- Soft and creamy on the inside
- Crispy on the outside
- Super tasty
- Perfect as an appetizer, snack or side dish for tapas, lunch or dinner
More Vegan Potato Recipes
Looking for more vegan potato recipes to serve for lunch or dinner? Here are a few suggestions:
- Crispy Hasselback Potatoes with Garlic and Rosemary
- Vegan Potato Bake
- Mexican Sweet Potato Skins
- Stuffed Baked Potatoes
- Crispy French Fries
- Vegan Potato Cakes
- Vegan Sweet Potato Gnocchi
- Classic Homemade Vegan Gnocchi
- Gnocchi Vegetable Stir-fry
- Shepherd’s Pie with Lentils
If you try this Patatas Bravas with tomato sauce recipe, feel free to leave me a comment and a star rating! And if you take a photo of your crispy oven-baked potatoes and share it on Instagram, please tag me @biancazapatka and use the hashtag #biancazapatka because I love seeing your remakes! Have fun trying! 🙂
Patatas Bravas (Spanish Tapas)Author:
*Note: Check out the recipe video + step-by-step photos above!
- Preheat the oven and a large baking tray to 428 °F (220 °C).
- Cut the potatoes into bite-sized pieces and put them in a pot. Pour in enough water to cover the potatoes and bring to a boil. Add salt and baking powder, cover the pot and cook over low heat for 5-7 minutes.
- Then drain the cooking water, but leave the potatoes in the pot and allow excess moisture to evaporate, uncovered. Once the potatoes are dry, add oil, salt and pepper and shake the pot, covered, until everything is well combined.
- Spread the seasoned potatoes on the preheated baking tray and bake for 25-30 minutes, until golden and crispy.
- Meanwhile, prepare the tomato sauce. First sauté the onions for 2-3 minutes. Then add garlic and chili and sauté for another minute. Now add paprika powder and sauté briefly, then add tomatoes, vinegar, agave syrup, salt and some pepper. Simmer, covered, for 5 minutes. Then optionally transfer to a blender and blend until smooth.
- Also, roast the pimientos in a pan with a little oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- For more information and helpful tips, read the blog post above!
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