Patatas Bravas

Transform your kitchen into a Spanish tapas bar with our easy, oven-roasted Patatas Bravas! Healthier than fried, these potatoes are irresistibly crispy, drenched in a sauce that’s a flavor fiesta.

Patatas Bravas in a white bowl.

What are Patatas Bravas?

Patatas Bravas is a celebrated Spanish tapas dish. It’s famous for its vibrant flavors and straightforward composition. The term “patatas” translates to “potatoes” in English, highlighting the central ingredient of the dish. “Bravas,” meaning “fierce” or “spicy,” refers to the character of the accompanying sauce. The sauce is usually spicy and a robust blend typically made from tomatoes, garlic, and Spanish paprika.

This dish, often served in tapas bars and restaurants, combines the comforting appeal of crispy, golden potatoes with the zest and heat of the bravas sauce. In Madrid, Spain, this sauce is also known as salsa brava – a mildly spicy sauce traditionally served with Patatas Bravas. This dish has a delightful balance between homey and zesty flavors.

Reasons to Love Patatas Bravas

  • The perfect texture contrast between the crispy exterior and soft interior of the potatoes is irresistible.
  • Patatas Bravas is a great option for vegetarians looking for a delicious and satisfying dish.
  • You can easily adjust the spice level or add additional toppings to suit your taste.
  • It’s a fulfilling dish that leaves diners content and satisfied.
  • The combination of spices and sauce creates a bold flavor.

Recipe Ingredients

Patatas Bravas on a black plate with a fork.
  • Potatoes: Baby/fingerling potatoes form the base of the dish.
  • Spanish Paprika: Hot Spanish paprika adds the characteristic spicy flavor. You can check local stores or Amazon for the availability of Spanish Paprika.
  • Diced Tomatoes: No-salt-added diced tomatoes are essential for the sauce.

See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.

Variations

  • Sweet Patatas Bravas: Substitute traditional potatoes with sweet potatoes for a delightful contrast between the sweet, earthy flavor of the sweet potatoes and the spicy bravas sauce.
  • Smoky Bravas: Use smoked paprika instead of hot Spanish paprika for a deeper, smokier flavor in the bravas sauce.
  • Herb-Infused Patatas Bravas: Toss boiled potatoes in a mixture of freshly chopped herbs like rosemary, thyme, or oregano before roasting for a fragrant and flavorful twist to your patatas bravas.
  • Cheesy Patatas Bravas: After roasting the potatoes, sprinkle them with a generous amount of grated Manchego or other Spanish cheese. Then, return them to the oven just long enough to melt the cheese.
  • Bravas with a Twist: Experiment with different types of aioli. For example, saffron-infused aioli or lemon-garlic aioli could add a new dimension to the dish.

How to Make Patatas Bravas

Step #1: Place the potatoes and white vinegar in a large pot along with two quarts of water. Bring the pot to a boil and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, until the potatoes are just barely tender. Drain and allow them to cool.

Boiling potatoes in a large pot.

Step #2: While the potatoes are cooling, prepare the garlic aioli. In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, three tablespoons of olive oil, and both pressed garlic cloves until well-combined. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Whisking together the garlic aioli ingredients in a clear bowl.

Step #3: Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit (about 232 degrees Celsius). Toss the cooled potatoes with canola oil, salt, pepper, and half a teaspoon of the hot paprika.

Potatoes in a bowl with spices.

Step #4: Arrange the potatoes in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Roast in the preheated oven until golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes, stirring the potatoes once or twice to ensure even cooking.

Baking potatoes in an oven.

Step #5: Meanwhile, prepare the easy Patatas Bravas sauce, heat two tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat in a large saucepan. Place the canned tomatoes, onions, garlic cloves, the remaining teaspoon of hot paprika, and sugar in a large food processor or blender bowl. Pulse until puréed.

Patatas Bravas sauce in a food processor.

Step #6: Carefully transfer the mixture to the saucepan (it may splatter a bit); cook, stirring frequently, until the sauce has darkened in color and the raw onion taste is gone, about 5 to 6 minutes. Taste and add salt and pepper as desired.

Step #7: Serve the roasted potatoes with generous portions of the garlic alioli drizzled on top. Then, drizzle with Patatas Bravas sauce. Garnish with chopped parsley. Serve hot.

Patatas Bravas on a black plate, drizzled with Bravas sauce.

Expert Tips

  • Boil with Vinegar: Add a splash of vinegar to the boiling water. This helps the potatoes maintain their structure and prevents them from falling apart during roasting.
  • Parchment Paper Usage: Lining your sheet pan with parchment paper prevents sticking and ensures the potatoes roast evenly without burning.
  • Stirring During Roasting: Halfway through roasting, stir the potatoes. This promotes even browning and prevents sticking to the pan.
Patatas Bravas in a bowl, served on a table.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I make this vegan?

Replace the mayonnaise with vegan mayonnaise.

Can I make this Patatas Bravas recipe in advance?

Yes, you can partially prepare Patatas Bravas in advance by boiling and seasoning the potatoes. You can also prepare the sauces ahead of time. However, for the best results, roast the potatoes and combine everything just before serving to maintain the crispy texture of the potatoes.

Can I use another kind of potatoes?

Yes, you can use other potatoes if you can’t find baby potatoes. Yukon golds or red potatoes would also work well in this recipe. Just remember to cut them into 1-inch pieces for similar cooking times.  I haven’t tried this recipe with russet potatoes, but if you decide to give that a try, I’d suggest peeling them before cubing them. Also, the cooking time might be different because russets cook differently.

Is there a way to make this recipe less spicy?

Yes, you can adjust the heat level by reducing the amount of hot Spanish paprika used in the recipe. You could also substitute it with sweet paprika, which isn’t spicy but will still provide a nice flavor.

Can I use a different oil for roasting the potatoes?

Yes, you can use a different oil. Just make sure it’s one that can withstand high heat. Avocado oil, peanut oil, or even vegetable oil could be used instead of canola oil.

Storage Info

You can store Patatas Bravas in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Freezing is an option, but it may alter the potatoes’ texture. To reheat, spread the potatoes on a baking sheet and warm them in an oven preheated to 350 degrees F (about 175°C) until they regain their crispiness, typically taking 10-15 minutes. Store the sauce separately and add it after reheating the potatoes to preserve optimal texture and flavor.

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Patatas Bravas in a bowl, drizzled with Brava sauce.

Patatas Bravas Recipe

Transform your kitchen into a Spanish tapas bar with our easy, oven-roasted Patatas Bravas! Healthier than fried, these potatoes are irresistibly crispy, drenched in a sauce that's a flavor fiesta.
4.5 from 184 votes
Pin Rate
Course: Side Dishes
Cuisine: Spanish
Diet: Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Vegetarian
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 4 servings as a tapa
Calories: 470kcal
Author: Linda
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Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds baby / fingerling potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil - divided
  • 2 cloves garlic - pressed
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons hot Spanish paprika - divided
  • 1 14.5 ounce can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, with juices
  • Half of one yellow onion - peeled
  • 2 cloves garlic - peeled
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Chopped fresh parsley leaves for garnish
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Instructions

  • Place the potatoes and white vinegar in a large pot along with two quarts of water. Bring the pot to a boil and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, until the potatoes are just barely tender. Drain and allow them to cool.
  • While the potatoes are cooling, prepare the garlic aioli. In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, three tablespoons of olive oil, and both pressed garlic cloves until well-combined. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit (about 232 degrees Celsius). Toss the cooled potatoes with canola oil, salt, pepper, and half a teaspoon of the hot paprika.
  • Arrange the potatoes in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Roast in the preheated oven until golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes, stirring the potatoes once or twice to ensure even cooking.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the easy Patatas Bravas sauce, heat two tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat in a large saucepan. Place the canned tomatoes, onions, garlic cloves, the remaining teaspoon of hot paprika, and sugar in a large food processor or blender bowl. Pulse until puréed.
  • Carefully transfer the mixture to the saucepan (it may splatter a bit); cook, stirring frequently, until the sauce has darkened in color and the raw onion taste is gone, about 5 to 6 minutes. Taste and add salt and pepper as desired.
  • Serve the roasted potatoes with generous portions of the garlic alioli drizzled on top. Then, drizzle with Patatas Bravas sauce. Garnish with chopped parsley. Serve hot.

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NOTES

You can boil the potatoes as directed in step one and keep them refrigerated until ready to use.
Place the “aioli” and patatas bravas sauce into diner-style squeeze bottles (or piping bags) to easily drizzle over the potatoes.
Storage Info:
You can store Patatas Bravas in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Freezing is an option, but it may alter the potatoes’ texture. To reheat, spread the potatoes on a baking sheet and warm them in an oven preheated to 350 degrees F (about 175°C) until they regain their crispiness, typically taking 10-15 minutes. Store the sauce separately and add it after reheating the potatoes to preserve optimal texture and flavor.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 470kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 10g | Monounsaturated Fat: 20g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 6mg | Sodium: 829mg | Potassium: 945mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 504IU | Vitamin C: 44mg | Calcium: 63mg | Iron: 3mg

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About the Author

Linda

Hi, I'm Linda! Welcome to The Wanderlust Kitchen, where I share recipes and travel adventures from all around the world. Here you'll find a world of recipes you can have confidence in. These recipes celebrate authentic food heritage as well as modern techniques and ingredients. Be adventurous and try a new recipe and travel somewhere you have never been before.  Bon Appétit! Bon Voyage!  

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Comments:

  1. Oh wow this is amazing! I never thought I could make potatas bravas but you have made it so easy. I used regular paprika and cayenne pepper as you suggested as an alternate to hot paprika. I served it with garlic prawns and some other sides. Heaven! Thank you.