Travel · Vegetarian Recipes

Patatas Bravas

An easy recipe for patatas bravas. This traditional Spanish tapa consists of crispy cubes of potato with spicy tomato sauce. You will love the simplicity of this dish! 

For my last recipe of the year, I thought I would share a savoury recipe I make all the time. Patatas bravas always makes an appearance whenever we’re serving tapas for dinner. This recipe would make a fantastic party food for New Years Eve which is in just a couple of days time.

My family are massive fans of Spanish food and it’s one of my favourite cuisines to both cook and eat. A few of my most loved Spanish dishes have been inspired by past holidays and trips to Spain. The taste testers really love all kinds of Spanish recipes. Anything from paella, to churros to delicious and easy to make tapas just like the one I’m sharing with you today.

If you’ve never made or eaten these, patatas bravas are simply chunks of roasted potato (although traditionally they’re fried) served with a rich and slightly spicy tomato sauce. It’s mandatory (in my opinion) to serve the dish with an aioli dipping sauce which is a basic garlic mayonnaise and the most popular accompaniment to patatas bravas. This recipe has amazing flavour and certainly transforms the humble potato into a delicious and cost effective meal the whole family will enjoy.

You will start by preparing a simple spicy tomato sauce, in Spain it’s known as “salsa brava”. This sauce is based on my marinara sauce, but I’ve swapped the Italian herbs for smoked paprika and pinch of both cayenne and chilli to add some authentic Spanish flavour.

Once the sauce is simmering away, it’s time to prepare the potatoes for roasting. Peel and cut the potatoes into roughly 1-2 cm chunks – you want the potatoes to be irregular shapes as this helps the sauce “cling” onto the potatoes. Toss the chunks of potato in olive oil and then roast until golden and crispy! I prefer this method to frying because it’s better for you and you don’t need any specialist equipment.

(Serves 4)


Spicy Tomato Sauce:

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 small white onion, diced

2 cloves of garlic, minced

2 teaspoons smoked paprika (pimentón)

Pinch of ground cayenne or chilli flakes (add more or less to taste)

1 tablespoon tomato purée

1 x 400g can (14 ounces) chopped tomatoes

Small pinch of sugar


900g waxy potatoes (such as King Edward, Maris Piper or Yukon Gold)

2 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and black pepper


  1. To make the sauce: Heat the oil, gently sauté the onion and garlic on a medium heat for 5 minutes until soft. Now add the paprika, cayenne and chilli and continue to cook for a further minute until fragrant.
  2. Add the purée along with the chopped tomatoes, the sugar and a splash of water. Season with salt and pepper. Allow the sauce to boil then simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. To prepare the potatoes: Preheat oven to 200°C / 180°C Fan / 400°F / Gas Mark 6. Peel and cut the potatoes into 1-2 cm cubes. Pat the potato cubes with kitchen paper towel to absorb any moisture. Then toss in a bowl with olive oil and salt and pepper. Spread out evenly onto 1-2 large baking trays. Roast for 30-40 minutes or until soft and golden and crisp on the outside.
  4. To serve: Scatter the crispy baked potatoes into a tapas bowl/dish. Spoon over the warm sauce. Garnish with chopped parsley, if desired and serve immediately.

Recipe Notes:

  • The tomato sauce can be made in advance. Store in an airtight container and keep in the fridge for up to one week.
  • You can blend the tomato sauce if you prefer a smoother texture.
  • The dish is best served warm, but it’s also delicious cold the next day.
  • Recipe is vegetarian, omit the aioli to make it suitable for vegans.
  • Adjust the level of spice to your taste, add more or less to your preference.
  • This recipe can easily be doubled to cater for more people.

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