Crispy Fat-Free Spanish Potatoes

by on January 25, 2017
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Vegan and oil-free, these fat-free Spanish Potatoes are pre-cooked and then air fried, making them crunchy and spicy on the outside, creamy on the inside.

Crispy Fat-Free Spanish Potatoes

Lately I find that much of my cooking inspiration comes from going out to restaurants with few vegan options and being forced by hunger to order something I wouldn’t ordinarily eat. Last Saturday, after a long day of marching and standing at the Women’s March on Jackson, I wound up with some friends at one of the few places in town that is open at 3pm on a Saturday. A glance at The Manship’s menu told me that they served no vegetarian entrees, much less vegan, but a very helpful waitress showed me the side dishes I could have as a vegetable plate. One of them was Spanish Potatoes, and it turned out to be one of the best potato dishes I’ve ever had. Crunchy and spicy on the outside, creamy and soft on the inside, each little morsel was a delight.

But. You knew there was a “but,” didn’t you? They were fried. Now, please don’t look at me like that. I’ve never claimed to be perfect, and sometimes, when I’m very hungry and there are no other options, I have tasted fried food. And in my defense, the waitress didn’t mention they were fried, and they weren’t very oily. But I could tell from the texture that these potatoes were fried, not baked.

Crispy Fat-Free Spanish Potatoes

Of course, I immediately started plotting how to get the same crunchy-outside/creamy-inside without using oil, and I realized right away that this is a job for my new toy, the air fryer. The air fryer works by surrounding the food with circulating hot air, and it allows food–especially potatoes–to get crunchy on all sides a little better than an oven will. I knew that the secret to the soft interior was to cook the potatoes first, coat them in seasonings, and then air fry them, so I popped them into my Instant Pot to cook. And it worked! My fat-free Spanish potatoes came out delicious, probably as close as possible to the original without oil. The only complaint my husband had was that they were not spicy enough, so be sure to add more hot pepper to the recipe below if you like spicy.

No Special Equipment Needed

Don’t worry if you don’t have an air fryer or an Instant Pot. I’ve included instructions for making the potatoes using a regular pot on the stove and a baking sheet in the oven. If you try it without “special equipment,” please leave me a comment to let me know how they came out.

Crispy Fat-Free Spanish Potatoes

Crispy Fat-Free Spanish Potatoes

You don't need special equipment to make these delicious crispy potatoes. See the alternate instructions for stovetop and oven preparation.
Course Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 3
Calories 171 kcal
Author Susan Voisin


  • 1 1/2 pounds small red potatoes
  • 1 teaspoon salt optional
  • 1 tablespoon aquafaba or water (liquid from cooked chickpeas)
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste
  • 1/2 tablespoon brown rice flour or flour of your choice
  • 1 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika
  • 1 teaspoon hot smoked paprika or 3/4 tsp. sweet smoked paprika plus 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  1. Wash the potatoes well. Cut the small ones in half, medium ones in quarters, and large ones into sixths. Potatoes should be about 1 1/2-inch at widest point.
  2. Boil the potatoes until just soft using one of the following methods. Using an Instant Pot or pressure cooker: Place the potatoes in the pot with 1 cup water. Add one teaspoon salt, if desired. Seal and set to cook on high pressure for 4 minutes (use manual setting on Instant Pot). Quick release the pressure after 4 minutes at high pressure. One the stove: Place potatoes and optional salt in a saucepan. Cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and cook until potatoes are just tender, about 10-20 minutes.
  3. Drain potatoes well and put them in a large bowl.
  4. Combine the aquafaba and tomato paste in a small bowl. In another small bowl, mix the flour with the remaining ingredients.
  5. Add the tomato paste mixture to the potatoes, using a silicone spatula or spoon to gently coat all the potatoes. Sprinkle the dry seasonings on the potatoes, stirring gently with the spatula until all are coated.
    Seasoning the potatoes

"Frying" the Potatoes

  1. In an air fryer: Set the air fryer to 360F and preheat for 3 minutes. Add the potatoes to the basket and set the timer for 12 minutes. Shake the basket every 6 minutes, using a spatula to loosen any potatoes that have stuck to the bottom. Potatoes are done when they are crispy but not rock-hard. Air-Fryers vary, so they may take from 12-20 minutes. Add additional time as necessary.
  2. In the oven: Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat. Spread the potatoes in a single layer on the prepared sheet. Bake for 10 minutes. Use a spatula to turn the potatoes and bake for another 10 minutes. Check for crispiness and add additional time as needed. Potatoes are done when they are crispy on the outside and tender inside.
Nutrition Facts
Crispy Fat-Free Spanish Potatoes
Amount Per Serving (1g)
Calories 171
% Daily Value*
Sodium 429mg 18%
Total Carbohydrates 39g 13%
Dietary Fiber 5g 20%
Sugars 3g
Protein 5g 10%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Vegan and oil-free, these fat-free Spanish Potatoes are pre-cooked and then air fried, making them crunchy and spicy on the outside, creamy on the inside.

I hope you enjoy!

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{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Susan Simon January 25, 2017 at 6:20 pm

These look wonderful. Here is my question. If you don’t buy canned beans, where do you get aquafaba from? And can you freeze it to use later. I skip so many recipes because I make my own beans from dry. Any thoughts? Thanks!


2 Susan Voisin January 25, 2017 at 6:47 pm

You can absolutely use the liquid from beans you cook from dry. I have heard that boiling until it’s slightly reduced makes better aquafaba, but that may just be important if you’re making a meringue from it. And I freeze mine in an ice cube tray and transfer to a freezer bag once it’s frozen. I actually used one cube (1 tablespoon) defrosted for this recipe.


3 cindy January 25, 2017 at 6:38 pm

Curious if you will be offering the air fryer in your kitchen store any time soon? Those potatoes look yummy!


4 Susan Voisin January 25, 2017 at 6:49 pm

I will probably add it to the store, since I have it and like it. But it’s pretty expensive compared to other air fryers, so I hate to imply that it works better than less expensive ones. I just got lucky and got a great deal on it. Otherwise, I would probably have a cheaper Go Wise right now. 😀


5 Kirsten January 25, 2017 at 6:40 pm

Thank you so much for this recipe. I too have ordered Spanish potatoes when there aren’t other options available. It’s great to be able to make them at home. I can’t wait to try this recipe!
Thanks 🙂


6 moonwatcher January 25, 2017 at 8:07 pm

Thanks Susan! These look fabulous! I especially appreciate the alternate directions, since I lack the more fancy gadgets. I have a couple of potatoes I will be trying this out on soon. 🙂 Lovely lovely photos too–they make me hungry! xoxo


7 Kayse January 25, 2017 at 11:36 pm

Oh this recipe sounds just delicious! I wouldn’t have thought of the aquafaba here!


8 Melissa January 26, 2017 at 9:58 am

I heard that when boiling the potatoes before you bake them to add a teaspoon of baking soda to the water. It apparently changes the structure of the outer layer of potato helping it get crispy in the baking process. Didn’t know if you had tried this process, but I will be trying it soon.


9 Bridget January 26, 2017 at 5:42 pm

Just made these tonight! Delicious!! Can you make more similar recipes with different seasonings?!? Please? ☺☺☺.


10 Leo Sigh January 29, 2017 at 2:28 pm

I’ve had these many times in Spain and they’re fabulous. Thanks for the recipe. Will definitely be trying them. Even if I DO have to fry them 🙂


11 subin January 29, 2017 at 11:30 pm

nice blog very helpful


12 Amy January 30, 2017 at 6:56 am

Dear Susan,

These are fantastic!!! Thank you so much for yet another go to recipe. You continue to impress.




13 Susan Voisin January 31, 2017 at 9:26 pm

I’m so glad you liked them!


14 Lena February 1, 2017 at 6:32 pm

Just made these tasty taters! My husband loved them!
I used BBQ sauce mixed with Aquafaba in place of the tomato paste.
Then I low broiled them at the end for a bit extra crisp.
Thanks, Susan, for another yummy way to eat potatoes. I can never have enough potato recipes!! 😉


15 Stephanie Dreyer February 1, 2017 at 11:38 pm

I just got an air fryer and can’t wait to try these in it!


16 Marie February 3, 2017 at 11:33 am

Will be making these just before game time Sun. I will enjoy with a good book. Thank you Susan for all your inspiration and nutritional facts which are very important to me.


17 Gabriele Hau February 3, 2017 at 4:02 pm

Looks like a great recipe but can you tell me the serving size for 171 calories. You mention 1 g as serving size but that can’t be it.



18 Susan Voisin February 3, 2017 at 10:17 pm

A serving size is 1/3 of the recipe. This recipe software only figures servings in grams, and I haven’t calculated it that way yet.


19 Laura Davison February 3, 2017 at 4:50 pm

Thanks for mentioning the March. I have always thought your blog exceptionally thoughtful as well as full of good recipes, but your decision to do so despite possible negativity catapults you to the head of the class for me. Thank you! Whole World is watching us.


20 Susan Voisin February 4, 2017 at 10:04 am

Thank you, Laura. I decided that if I can’t be me on my own blog, what’s the point of having one? I’m not planning to inject politics into my posts all the time, but when something like the March is part of the story, I’ll include it. If I lose some followers because of my opinions, so be it.


21 Lola February 3, 2017 at 5:29 pm

Could I use the water from canned garbanzo beans? Reason being I am on FODMAP for IBS-C and dry beans are not allowed. I know it sounds crazy but that’s the way it is.


22 Susan Voisin February 3, 2017 at 10:19 pm

Sure! That’s actually what I used. I don’t really understand the FODMAP rules, though, and how canned beers can be ok when dried beans aren’t. They should be the same thing. 😀


23 Jess February 4, 2017 at 1:48 pm

Did you peel the potatoes? The recipe doesn’t seem to mention that. I love patatas bravas; wondering if you’ve tried making the sauce at home, too?


24 Susan Voisin February 4, 2017 at 5:03 pm

Nope, I left the peel on. I do have a patatas bravas recipe at


25 Rosalie February 4, 2017 at 6:59 pm

My husband and I tried it a few weeks ago with eager anticipation. We thought 1 tablespoon aquafaba and 1 teaspoon tomato paste did not provide enough moisture or coating power. We had to double it. It didn’t look like your but it tasted ok. How can that small amount cover the potatoes??? I had correct amount of potatoes as I used a scale.


26 Susan Voisin February 4, 2017 at 11:03 pm

The aquafaba and tomato paste should just barely moisten the potatoes. If you use too much, it can be hard to get them to crisp up, so that’s why I use so little. It’s the paprika and other spices that you really want to make sure coat the potatoes completely.


27 Lori February 5, 2017 at 6:15 pm

Greetings. I just discovered you website. What a delight! Okay, as for these potatoes, I’ve actually been doing a version of these for quite some time already. I use whatever organic potatoes are on sale for the best price, wash them, cut them just as you direct in your recipe (with skins on, of course), but then I steam them with large chunks of white or sweet onion. While they steam: I preheat the oven to 400 degrees; mix tomato paste and black bean water in one bowl and oregano, grated lemon peal, whole wheat pastry flour (or whatever’s handy), red pepper flakes, and black pepper together in another. Once the potatoes are al dente, the potatoes and the onions are first covered with the tomato mixture then laid atop and rolled around in the floured spice mix until the top and bottom and all sides are coated. I put cookie racks (two fit in my baking sheet) atop a lined baking sheet and space the potatoes and onions out on the racks. I then place the sheets in the stove for approximately 10 minutes, checking after 7 to make certain they are crisping up well. After removing them from the oven, I turn it to broil, remove the potatoes and onions from the racks onto the lined sheet and place it under the broiler for another two to three minutes just to boost that last bit of crunch on top. Just before I serve these, I squeeze half a lemon over everything. You’d be surprised what an added zip it provides. So, there you have it. I suppose those cookie racks atop the baking sheet are my answer to the airfryer. What do you think? -PEACE-


28 Stefanie February 14, 2017 at 4:57 am

this looks simply amazing, can’t wait to try it! unfortuntely i have to stick to my gluten free diet but this is great, because brown rice flour is naturally gluten free, so i can enjoy it without having to rework the recipe.
thanks so much for sharing it! if you ever need more inspiration, i’d love you to stop by for some vegan awesomeness!
see you there 🙂 cheers, stäf |


29 Terri February 14, 2017 at 4:43 pm


These look great, and I can’t wait to try them. I just bought an air fryer. Because I am sometimes lazy and don’t like the cleanup, I might try precooking the potatoes in my microwave first. I’ll let you know how it goes. Thanks for the recipe!



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