Simple Patatas Bravas

You may have that annoying friend who is always talking about their travels. Recently, I have been sharing a lot of travel-inspired recipes. I am afraid I may be becoming this person. But That’s not what I am trying to achieve! I can’t resist sharing the incredible food I had while I was away from the U.S.

You should be aware of the available, great food. One such dish being PATATAS BRAVAS. Oh, lordy. I would GO BACK TO SPAIN JUST for Patatas bravas. True story.

The origins of Patatas Bravas

The classic Spanish dish, Patatas Bravas, was invented in 1542. This was when the Spanish conquered the Inca Empire, and potatoes became more popular in Europe.

This dish is from Madrid, where it was popularized as fried potato served with a spicy sauce. Some classic versions come with aioli.

This dish is made special by the tomato sauce. There are many variations, and some include a garlic-aioli sauce as a secondary sauce. I chose to keep it simple. The sauce comes together in just 20 minutes, including preparation time. It only requires a few basic ingredients.

Salt or tomato paste or canned tomatoes

Garlic powder + cloves



Hot sauce


Stop here if you want this dish to be vegan. If you want to add another layer of flavor, then go ahead and add the Parmesan. It’s an easy alternative to aioli, which takes five additional ingredients.

You’re done. SIMPLE Patatas Bravas, with a little kick. This dish is:



One word: POTATOES

The perfect crowd-pleaser (tapas, anyone?




Super satisfied

Add a runny yolk to make this a full meal (it’s amazing). Serve as a Spanish tapa or traditional appetizer. We ate them EVERYWHERE in Spain. It’s so good! These are probably my favorite appetizers of all time. Sorry, chips and salsa. You were great for a while, but…you have been replaced.



  • Yukon or red skin potatoes, 1 1/2 to 2 pounds (quartered into bite-sized pieces).
  • 1-2 Tbsp olive oil
  • Sea salt is a healthy addition to any meal.
  • One healthy pinch Garlic Powder


  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • Half a white or yellow onion, diced
  • Three cloves of garlic (minced).
  • Half a teaspoon of sea salt
  • 1 tsp of paprika
  • Cayenne pepper or red pepper flake, one pinch
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder (plus more for potatoes).
  • One 6-ounce can of tomato paste
  • 2-3 tsp hot sauce
  • Half a cup of water

For Toppling ( optional

  • Vegan parmesan Cheese
  • Fresh cilantro/parsley


  • In a large bowl, add the potatoes and soak them in hot water for 10 to 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 450°F (232°C).
  • After the potatoes have been soaked, they should be dried thoroughly. Add 1-2 Tbsp of olive oil to a baking tray, along with sea salt and garlic. Toss the potatoes to coat.
  • Stir/toss once and bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Test the potato by spearing it with a toothpick. It should easily pierce through and be removed.
  • Prepare your spicy tomato sauce while the potatoes bake. In a large pan, heat 1 tbsp of olive oil over medium-low heat. Stir in the onion, garlic, and salt. Cook on low heat for 7-8 mins to “sweat” until mixture is translucent and fragrant. If the mixture begins to brown, reduce the heat and stir often.
  • Stir in paprika and cayenne. Add tomato paste, hot pepper sauce, and water. Stir. Cook for 10-12 mins or until flavors are blended and sauce is simmering. If it starts to bubble vigorously, reduce heat. Seasonings can be adjusted based on taste. I added more sea salt, garlic powder, and hot sauce.
  • Puree the sauce in a food processor or small blender until it is smooth (this is what I prefer). Set aside if you choose a smooth sauce.
  • Remove potatoes from the oven and sprinkle a little more salt to taste. Place potatoes in a dish and drizzle tomato sauce over them (as per the original recipe // adjust serving dishes when changing batch size). Additional toppings can include vegan Parmesan, hot sauce, and fresh herbs.

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