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29 July 2020

This patatas bravas recipe is the ultimate Spanish tapa, potato wedges that are crispy on the outside, creamy on the inside, served with spicy bravas sauce. I love these!

We’re heading back to Spain, my friends, this time to bring you a wonderful tapas dish that is hugely popular in the country, particularly Barcelona. It’s called Patatas Bravas, and it is fantastic.

Patatas Bravas are crispy potatoes that are served with a savory and slightly spicy salsa brava, or brava sauce. You’ll find different versions of patatas bravas all around the country, varying from restaurant to restaurant, cook to cook, and different tapas bars. The best patatas bravas are creamy soft on the inside and crispy-crunchy on the outside, smothered in the spicy bravas sauce that is huge on flavor.

It is usually served as an appetizer, but would make a great side dish for anything off the grill. You’ll often see it served with garlic aioli, though this is controversial and dependent on where you’ve ordered them, with some regions insisting on the addition and some forbidding it.

I will leave that choice up to you, my friends! Personally, I think the garlic aioli addition is quite tasty.

So, let’s talk about how we make Spanish patatas bravas, shall we?

Patatas Bravas, ready to serve, on a plate

Patatas Bravas Ingredients

  • FOR THE PATATAS (POTATOES)
  • Potatoes. Russet potatoes are ideal for this recipe, as the potatoes have a higher starch content, allowing them to get nice and crispy from frying.
  • Cornstarch (Optional). Use 3-4 tablespoons cornstarch for crispier potatoes. You can skip this step if desired.
  • Frying Oil. Vegetable oil for frying, or use your favorite. You’ll need 1.5-2 inches to fill a tall pan or pot.
  • Seasoning. I use a bit of salt to taste, but you can use other seasonings to your preference.
  • FOR THE BRAVAS SAUCE
  • Oil. Use 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Chili Pepper. Use 1 red pepper of choice, chopped.  Use a bell pepper or Spanish piquillo pepper for milder, Fresno peppers or similar for medium heat and cayenne peppers or equivalent for hotter. There are many options.
  • Onion and Garlic. Use 1 small onion and 3 cloves garlic, though you can easily adjust. I love more garlic.
  • Paprika. Use 1 tablespoon smoked paprika and 1/2 teaspoon hot paprika (or more to taste – cayenne pepper is a good substitute). I often use quite a bit more hot paprika for my own personal taste. I love it spicy!
  • Tomatoes. Use 14 ounce diced tomatoes (1 can, or use fresh).
  • Vinegar. I use 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar, though you can use sherry or red wine vinegar.
  • Salt and Pepper. To taste. I usually just use salt.
  • Sweetness. If you prefer a touch of sweetness, use 1 teaspoon sugar or honey. Skip it if you’d prefer.
  • FOR SERVING
  • Garlic aioli or garlic mayo (if desired), fresh chopped parsley, spicy chili flakes, extra hot sauce

Patatas Bravas on a plate

How to Make Patatas Bravas – the Recipe Method

FOR THE PATATAS (POTATOES)

Potato Wedges are Best. Cut the potatoes into large sized wedges (should take 2-3 bites to finish one). 

Soften the Potatoes. Cover the potato wedges in a pot with lightly salted water and boil for 6-8 minutes to soften. Drain and cool. You can also microwave the potatoes to soften them, which can be a time saver.

Fry the Potatoes Until Crispy. While potatoes are softening, heat the oil in a large pan or pot to 300 degrees F. Dredge the potato wedges in cornstarch, if desired, and fry them in batches, 4-5 minutes each, or until they become nice and crispy. Remove and drain on paper towels.

Optional Double Fry. If you’d like even crispier fried potatoes, cool them down at least a few minutes or up to 30 minutes (refrigerate them to speed up cooling), then fry them again for 3-4 minutes until golden brown, to your preference. Or, you can set them onto a baking sheet and bake them in a preheated oven to crisp up even more.

Steps for making Patatas Bravas

Ready for the Sauce. Set the fried potatoes onto a serving platter and make the bravas sauce.

FOR THE BRAVAS SAUCE (SALSA BRAVAS)

Cook Down the Veg. Heat the oil in a pot or saucepan to medium heat. Add the onions and peppers and cook them down for 5 minutes to soften. Add the garlic and cook another minute, until the garlic becomes fragrant.

Seasoning and Tomatoes. Add the smoked paprika, hot paprika (or cayenne), diced tomatoes, vinegar, salt and sugar if using. Stir.

Simmer the Sauce. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes to let the flavors develop.

Process Until Smooth. Transfer the bravas sauce to a food processor or blender and process until smooth.

Bravas Sauce Recipe

Sauce It Up! Spoon the bravas sauce over the fried potatoes along with garlic aioli (if desired). 

Garnish and Serve. Garnish with chopped parsley and red pepper flakes. Enjoy!

Boom! Done! Patatas Bravas are ready to go! Making a famous Spanish tapa isn’t so hard, is it? Bring something fancy to your next function. People will love you! I really love this recipe. So good. Super tasty.

Patatas Bravas on a fork

Recipe Tips & Notes

  • Garlic Aioli. Again, serve with or without garlic aioli. Some places in Spain forbid the addition, while others require it, so the choice is yours. Just don’t blame me if you make a native Spaniard angry!
  • Skip the Oil. If you prefer foods that are not fried, you can set the softened potatoes onto a lightly oiled baking sheet and bake them at 400 degrees F for about 15 minutes or longer until they crisp up to your liking.

That’s it, my friends. I hope you enjoy this patatas bravas recipe. Super unique, isn’t it? Let me know if you make the dish. I’d love to hear!

Try Some of My Other Popular Recipes

Patatas Bravas on a fork, covered with spicy bravas sauce

Got any questions? Ask away! I’m happy to help. If you enjoy this recipe, I hope you’ll leave a comment with some STARS. Also, please share it on social media. Don’t forget to tag us at #ChiliPepperMadness. I’ll be sure to share! Thanks! — Mike H.

Patatas Bravas Recipe
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5 from 1 vote

Patatas Bravas Recipe

This patatas bravas recipe is the ultimate Spanish tapa, potato wedges that are crispy on the outside, creamy on the inside, served with spicy bravas sauce.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American, Mediterranean
Keyword: potatoes, spicy
Servings: 8
Calories: 139kcal

Ingredients

FOR THE PATATAS (POTATOES)

  • 2 pounds russet potatoes cleaned and scrubbed
  • 3-4 tablespoons cornstarch for crispier potatoes
  • Vegetable oil for frying need 1.5-2 inches filled in a tall pan
  • Salt to taste

FOR THE BRAVAS SAUCE

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 red chili pepper chopped (mild or hot - see recipe notes)
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot paprika or more to taste - cayenne pepper is a good substitute
  • 14 ounce diced tomatoes 1 can, or use fresh
  • 3 tablespoons vinegar use white wine, sherry, or red wine vinegar
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 teaspoon sugar or honey optional, for sweetness

FOR SERVING

  • Garlic aioli or garlic mayo if desired, fresh chopped parsley, spicy chili flakes

Instructions

FOR THE PATATAS (POTATOES)

  • Cut the potatoes into large sized wedges (should take 2-3 bites to finish one).
  • Cover the potato wedges in a pot with lightly salted water and boil for 6-8 minutes to soften. Drain and cool. You can also microwave the potatoes to soften them, which can be a time saver.
  • While potatoes are softening, heat the oil in a tall pan or pot to 300 degrees F. Dredge the potato wedges in cornstarch, if desired, and fry them in batches, 4-5 minutes each, or until they become nice and crispy. Remove and drain on paper towels.
  • OPTIONAL: Cool the potatoes a few minutes, then fry them again for 3-4 minutes until golden brown for additional crispiness.
  • Set the fried potatoes onto a serving platter and make the bravas sauce.

FOR THE BRAVAS SAUCE (SALSA BRAVAS)

  • Heat the oil in a pot or saucepan to medium heat. Add the onions and peppers and cook them down for 5 minutes to soften.
  • Add the garlic and cook another minute, until the garlic becomes fragrant.
  • Add the smoked paprika, hot paprika (or cayenne), diced tomatoes, vinegar, salt and sugar if using. Stir.
  • Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes to let the flavors develop.
  • Transfer the bravas sauce to a food processor or blender and process until smooth.
  • Spoon the bravas sauce over the fried potatoes along with garlic aioli (if desired).
  • Garnish with chopped parsley and red pepper flakes. Enjoy!

Nutrition

Calories: 139kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 13mg | Potassium: 611mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 551IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 37mg | Iron: 2mg
Patatas Bravas
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