Patatas Bravas – Spanish Vegetarian Tapas

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Last Updated on December 17, 2020 by Chef Mireille

Patatas Bravas – Spanish Vegetarian Tapas topped with a freshly made aioli and tomato sauce.

Patatas Bravas - Spanish Vegetarian Tapas

In Spain, tapas are very popular. In restaurants and bars, people often will eat a variety of small plates instead of a full meal. The Moors ruled Spain for a long time and this tradition most likely came from the Arabic idea of meze. In fact, in some Spanish recipes, the Arabic effect is still seen. Their use of spices like cumin, coriander and paprika and their tradition of shish kebab, called pinchos. That’s a recipe I will have to show you at a later date.

Smoked Paprika

Smoked Paprika is integral to Spanish cuisine. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you will just substitute sweet paprika. The intense smoky flavor makes a huge difference in taste. If you have searched your city far and wide and can’t find smoked paprika, then the best alternative would be to add a little cumin to paprika. It still won’t be the same, but it is the best substitute.

Traditionally, Patatas Bravas is often made with fried potatoes. I made this version a little healthier by making roasted potatoes. The umami which is achieved from the combination of the spiced tomato sauce and fresh aioli is so delicious you won’t care if the potatoes are fried or roasted or even boiled, I would venture to guess!
Bravas LR 6

There are three parts to this simple dish:

  • Roasted Potatoes
  • Spiced Tomato Sauce
  • Fresh Garlic Aioli

Bravas LR
They are then served all together in a bowl.
Bravas LR 1

However, an additional squeeze of fresh lemon juice on the top makes all the difference and brings this already delicious dish to the next level!
Bravas LR 2

This makes a great addition to your holiday table. You can serve it as a starter or as a side dish. Now doesn’t this bite scream UMAMI – a little spicy, a little sour, a little smoky…
Bravas LR 5

It also can make the foundation for a fabulous #glutenfree meal. I had some with a piece of grilled salmon for lunch and it worked great together!

Don’t forget to check out the other Spanish dishes I’ve whipped up in the past!

Spanish Recipes

Patatas Bravas โ€“ Spanish Vegetarian Tapas
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Patatas Bravas โ€“ Spanish Vegetarian Tapas

Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Spanish
Servings: 2


  • Potato Ingredients:
  • 1 lb. potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Tomato Sauce Ingredients:
  • 3 large plum tomatoes about 10 oz.
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 finely chopped garlic clove
  • 1 finely chopped red jalapeno
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Garlic Aoili Ingredients:
  • 1 finely chopped garlic clove
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • salt to taste
  • Garnish Ingredients:
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
  • fresh lemon juice


  • Preheat oven to 400 F.
  • Peel potatoes and cut into large pieces.
  • Toss potatoes with olive oil, salt and pepper.
  • Place on a single layer on a baking tray.
  • Roast for 20-25 minutes, until fork tender.
  • Meanwhile, let’s make the sauce and aioli
  • To make the sauce, puree the tomatoes in a food processor.
  • In a skillet, heat oil.
  • Add garlic and jalapeno.
  • Once softened, add pureed tomatoes, smoked paprika, salt and pepper.
  • Simmer for 5 minutes on medium heat, until the sauce thickens.
  • To make the aioli, make sure the garlic is chopped very fine.
  • Sprinkle a little salt on top and with the back of a knife press down to form a garlic paste. (this can also be done using a mortar and pestle)
  • In a bowl, combine garlic, lemon juice and egg yolk.
  • Using an electric mixer, beat well until the egg yolk becomes light in color.
  • VERY SLOWLY, add olive oil a little at a time, beating well after each addition until well incorporated.
  • Keep on beating and it will thicken into a mayonnaise consistency.
  • Add salt and mix to combine.
  • To serve, place potatoes in a bowl.
  • Top with tomato sauce and then aioli.
  • Garnish with parsley and another good squeeze of a lemon.


Make sure egg yolk is cold.
It is important to add smoked paprika at beginning. If you add after the sauce is cooked, the flavor will be too strong.
Did you try this recipe? Leave a comment below.Please follow me on Instagram @chefmireille or tag me #chefmireille with your pics! I’d love to share them!

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Reader Interactions


  1. I love garlic aioli! This looks like a delicious recipe – you can’t go wrong with potatoes and a good aioli!

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