Patatas Bravas

by on November 9, 2006
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Patatas Bravas (Crisp Spanish Potatoes with Spicy Tomato Sauce)

I was looking through a copy of one of those photo-filled, generic cookbooks that’s put out by magazines like Family Circle, and a recipe for Patatas Bravas caught my eye because it sounded good and I had all the ingredients at hand. All I had to do was swap the fried potatoes with baked ones–eliminating a lot of olive oil and fat grams–and tweak the sauce a little, and I had a delicious but healthy tapas or side dish.

The “Bravas” of the title translates to “fierce,” meaning fiery or hot, but if you expect to be breathing fire after eating this version, I’m afraid you’ll be disappointed. The cayenne gives it a little bite, but the predominant flavor is delivered by the smoky paprika. If you want to give it a little more fire, you’ll need to add more cayenne to taste. Whether you make them tame or fierce, you’ll be hearing a lot of “bravas” when you serve these scrumptious potatoes. (Sorry, I just couldn’t resist!)
Patatas Bravas (Crisp Spanish Potatoes with Spicy Tomato Sauce)

Patatas Bravas (Baked Spanish Potatoes with Spicy Tomato Sauce)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 6
  • 3 pounds red potatoes, scrubbed well and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (I didn’t peel mine)
  • a few drops of oil (optional, to oil pan if parchment/silicone isn’t used)
  • 1/2 medium red onion, minced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon smoked Spanish paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 4 -6 green olives, halved
  • chopped parsley, for garnish
  1. Start a large pot of water on to boil while you preheat the oven to 375 F. When the water comes to a boil, add the diced potatoes. Boil for 5 minutes—no longer or they will start to fall apart. Pour them gently into a colander and allow all the water to drain off.
  2. Place the potatoes on a baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Bake for 15 minutes and then stir with a spatula, making sure they aren’t sticking to the pan. Bake for about 20-30 more minutes, stirring again halfway through. The potatoes should become crispy but not hard and overdone.
  3. While the potatoes are cooking, make the sauce. Sauté the onion in a non-stick pot for about 3 minutes. Add the garlic, paprika, and cayenne and cook one minute more. Add the remaining ingredients (except parsley) and simmer for about 20 minutes, until thickened. Remove the bay leaf and puree the sauce in a blender or food processor. Return it to the pan and keep warm until ready to serve.
  4. Once the potatoes are cooked, place them in a serving bowl and pour the sauce over the top. Sprinkle with parsley and serve as a side dish or appetizer.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1/6th of recipe Calories: 221 Fat: 1 Carbohydrates: 46 Sodium: 146 Fiber: 5 Protein: 6


There's no oil in these crispy baked potatoes, topped with a spicy vegan tomato sauce.

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Sarah November 11, 2010 at 7:10 pm

Dinner tonight — the only change I made is the addition of some soy chorizo. Pure heaven!


2 Jackie McDowell November 11, 2010 at 10:55 pm

I absolutely love your site! I am contemplating the path towards becoming vegan but not quite there yet. I am a real veggie lover but find your recipes really inspiring and helpful to someday get me in the vegan direction.

Keep posting great recipes, I will continue to make them!!


3 Becky Pohle December 29, 2011 at 11:38 am

Do you have suggestions for non fat non milk spreads for bread? Not sweet too.


4 conz January 7, 2012 at 3:35 pm

Just made this, and its a winner, deffo making it again.


5 Meredith September 25, 2012 at 2:06 pm

You should addend this recipe with a fat-free aioli sauce for dipping. That’s how it’s served in Catalunya.


6 Regina November 10, 2013 at 6:31 pm

Why are the potatoes boiled first? Can we just bake them?


7 Susan Voisin November 10, 2013 at 7:31 pm

Parboiling the potatoes shortens the baking time and makes sure that they get done without getting dried out.


8 Shellie November 17, 2013 at 6:28 pm

We had this last night. Outstanding. I didn’t use oil. After boiling I spread the potatoes out on a cookie pan covered with non-stick foil. I cannot wait to have this again. :)


9 Carry November 14, 2014 at 12:52 pm

The ingredients list calls for a few drops of oil, but I don’t see where the instructions call for it. Any thoughts?


10 Susan Voisin November 14, 2014 at 1:28 pm

I think originally I had written that you could oil the pan instead of using parchment paper if you wanted.


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