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These patatas bravas are crispy even though they are baked not fried!  Topped with a delicious smoky salsa brava and garlic aioli, they are totally addictive!
These patatas bravas are crispy even though they are baked not fried! Topped with a delicious smoky salsa brava and garlic aioli, they are totally addictive!

These patatas bravas are crispy even though they are baked not fried! Topped with a delicious smoky salsa brava and garlic aioli, they are totally addictive!

Patatas Bravas

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Happy Friday!  If you read this blog, you know that around here Friday = drinks and appetizers, and in Spain we call that TAPAS.  I already promised you more tapas recipes last week when I shared my ham croquettes.  As I told you then, starting to think about making ONE Spanish recipe merged into several.  I just couldn’t stop myself, I wanted, NO, I NEEDED to make all the Spanish food.  Actually as soon as I finish writing this I am off to the kitchen to work on another Spanish recipe that I can’t wait to share with you.

These patatas bravas are crispy even though they are baked not fried! Topped with a delicious smoky salsa brava and garlic aioli, they are totally addictive!
As I mentioned before, I spent a summer in Spain on a study abroad trip.  To be honest, I don’t remember ever eating patatas bravas there, not even once.  How is this possible?  Well, two things.  It was a few (…ahem, we don’t need to talk about exactly how many) years ago, so there is a chance I forgot.  Also the food in Spain is very regional, so a dish that is very popular in one area might not be in another.  Either way, I don’t remember ever trying patatas bravas until they became popular in the United States in the last few years.  There are several hot Portland restaurants that serve versions of patatas bravas and they are always delicious.

Patatas Bravas are crispy, golden potatoes topped with a bold, spicy red sauce and a creamy garlic aioli.

These patatas bravas are crispy even though they are baked not fried! Topped with a delicious smoky salsa brava and garlic aioli, they are totally addictive!

Patatas Bravas in the Oven

When I decided to make them at home, I wanted to do it without frying them.  Of course, you could fry them, but I try to avoid it when possible (except with the croquettes, there is just no way around that one).  I used a trick to make these potatoes really crispy even though they are baked – are you ready for it?  Baking soda!  It does amazing things.  First you give the potatoes a quick par boil in water with baking soda, then you bake them.  The baking soda breaks down the cells of the potato which creates a ton of surface area, so they almost make their own coating that gets super crispy in the oven.  Thank you America’s Test Kitchen for that little gem.

These patatas bravas are crispy even though they are baked not fried! Topped with a delicious smoky salsa brava and garlic aioli, they are totally addictive!

What is Brava Sauce?

The Brava Sauce (salsa brava) is a spicy tomato sauce so easy to make, very similar to my easy 20 minute marinara, except that is has a star ingredient – smoked spanish paprika!  Oh you guys, I am IN LOVE with smoked paprika right now, I want to put it in everything.  I even used it in a cocktail recently (bear with me, that one is coming soon probably).  That plus some heat from cayenne pepper and hot sauce make this a salsa BRAVA.

These patatas bravas are crispy even though they are baked not fried! Topped with a delicious smoky salsa brava and garlic aioli, they are totally addictive!

Of course the last, and crucial component is the garlic aioli.  Some recipes actually just call for mayonnaise, but I really like the extra punch of flavor from the garlic.  I tried and tried to make a homemade aioli that I was happy with, and although I made some that were OK, I wasn’t totally happy with them.  I’m still working on the perfect aioli, so I ended up just taking a slight shortcut and mixing some garlic and lemon juice into some good quality mayonnaise.  It was really the best solution, it tasted great and was really simple to make.

These patatas bravas are crispy even though they are baked not fried! Topped with a delicious smoky salsa brava and garlic aioli, they are totally addictive!

Put it all together and you have crispy potatoes, bold salsa brava and creamy garlic aioli all together in a bowl that will disappear before your eyes.  Serve this with a few other small plates and some wine and you have yourself a tapas party.  Or just make the patatas bravas and throw an egg on top, and you have breakfast.  You can’t go wrong, really.

These patatas bravas are crispy even though they are baked not fried! Topped with a delicious smoky salsa brava and garlic aioli, they are totally addictive!

More recipes for your tapas party…

Ham Croquettes (Croquetas de Jamon) are a classic Spanish tapas dish. Crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside, these little flavor bombs will knock your socks off.
Ham Croquettes (Croquetas de Jamon)

Garlic Shrimp (Gambas al Ajillo) are a classic Spanish tapas dish. Succulent shrimp in a spicy garlicky sauce that you will need to dip your bread into!
Garlic Shrimp (Gambas al Ajillo)

These Spanish Gin Tonics are the perfect refreshing sipper for a hot summer day! Ice cold, filled with aromatics, gin and high quality tonic, they are sure to cool you down!
Spanish Gin Tonics

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Patatas Bravas

5 from 22 votes
Prep 15 minutes
Cook 45 minutes
Total 1 hour
Servings 4 Servings
These patatas bravas are crispy even though they are baked not fried! Topped with a delicious smoky salsa brava and garlic aioli, they are totally addictive!

Ingredients 

For The Potatoes:

  • 2 and 1/2 pounds yukon gold potatoes cut into a 3/4 inch dice
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper
  • chopped parsley for garnish, optional

For The Salsa Brava:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 sweet or yellow onion diced
  • 2 teaspoons spanish smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper or to taste
  • 2 to 3 dashes hot sauce to taste
  • salt

For The Garlic Aioli:

  • 1/4 cup good quality mayonnaise
  • 1 garlic clove grated or pressed
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

Instructions 

For The Potatoes:

  • Place a large baking sheet in cold oven and preheat oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.*
  • Add baking soda and salt to a pot of water and bring to a boil. When boiling, add potatoes, cover, and bring back to boil. As soon as water is boiling, set a timer for 1 minute. After potatoes have been boiling for one minute, drain in a colander.
  • Return potatoes to pot and stir for 30 seconds, then add 1/4 cup olive oil, salt and pepper, stir to make sure potatoes are fully coated.
  • Carefully remove hot baking sheet from oven and pour potatoes onto the hot baking sheet, arranging them in a single layer.
  • Return to oven and bake for 15 minutes.
  • Remove sheet from oven and use a spatula to flip the potatoes, then return to the oven for another 15-25 minutes, or until potatoes are golden and crispy.

For The Salsa Brava:

  • Heat olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat.
  • Add onion and sauté until soft and golden, about 8 minutes. Add garlic and stir for 30 seconds, until fragrant. Add tomatoes, salt, paprika, cayenne pepper and hot sauce, stir to combine and bring to a simmer.
  • Reduce heat and allow to simmer on low for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.
  • If you want, you can leave the sauce chunky, or if you would like it smooth as I did, transfer to a food processor to puree. Allow sauce to cool a bit before pulsing in food processor.

For The Garlic Aioli:

  • Add mayonnaise, lemon juice and garlic to a bowl and stir to combine. Add salt and pepper if desired.

To Serve:

  • You can keep the sauces on the side or drizzle salsa brava and garlic aioli over potatoes and serve with more of each sauce on the side for dipping. Top with fresh chopped parsley for garnish if desired.

Video

Notes

*cooking times may vary depending on your oven and equipment. If you use a darker baking sheet, the cooking time will be shorter. Use your best judgment and keep an eye on them to avoid burning.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 492kcal | Carbohydrates: 99.2g | Protein: 13.6g | Fat: 26.2g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Appetizers, Beverages, Breakfast, Brunch, Gluten Free, Sides, Snacks
Cuisine: Spanish
Did you like this recipe?Please comment, rate and share! And don’t forget to tag me on Instagram @foxandbriar AND #foxandbriar so I can see what you made!

These patatas bravas are crispy even though they are baked not fried! Topped with a delicious smoky salsa brava and garlic aioli, they are totally addictive!

 

Hello! I’m Meghan.

I am so glad that you are here! I am the recipe developer, photographer, and writer here at my blog Fox and Briar. I am a passionate, self-taught home cook and believe that most things are better homemade and that good food doesn’t need to be complicated.

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75 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    The baking soda trick, along with heating the pan up in the oven, worked perfectly. The par boil with baking soda step is 100% worth it. My struggles making crispy potatoes are officially over!

  2. 5 stars
    I made the Patatas Bravas this weekend and they were perfect! I am actually going to use the baking soda trick for my roast potatoes too! Absolutely brilliant. Thank you Meghan

  3. My whole family loves this dish! We make it all the time. And the baking soda tip is a total game changer. Thank you!

    1. 5 stars
      I love this recipe! Par-boiling with baking soda, and preheating the pan are the answer. The sauce is delicious on it’s own too.

  4. Using baking soda and baking the potatoes were great tips! They were crispy and saved me the hassle of cleaning my stove top! Made it for dinner tonight and I loved it! Thanks Meghan!

  5. Hi great recipe looking forward to knocking this up during the week – quick question hot sauce – which do you use? Recommendations please there are so many out there and as such a key component to the flavour, can you steer me in the right direction please Thank You

  6. 5 stars
    This is a fantastic recipe. I followed it to the letter and the only change I would make when cooking again is to make the potato chunks slightly bigger , or to cook it on baking parchment. The baking soda addition to the boiling process is a game changer!!!!
    I also added a little sugar to the sauce for personal taste as it was a little bitter. Thank you very much!!

  7. 5 stars
    So delicious, crispy tasty potatoes and the sauce is rich and hearty, complimenting the spuds perfectly. Will definitely make again, and again!

    1. Hi Cate – I haven’t tried it so I can’t be sure. You may be able to boil them the day before and then bake tomorrow. You can definitely make the sauces ahead of time. If you bake them tonight they may be soggy tomorrow.

  8. 5 stars
    this was wonderful! We just got back from Barcelona, and enjoyed these at tapas bars, so I was looking for a recipe to try at home – family consensus was these were even better!

  9. Hi there!
    Just wondering if the 4 servings this recipe produces are of main size? Wanting to serve as a side dish?
    Thanks!

    1. Hi Renee – I think it is a good amount for a side. I had a tapas, or small plate portion in mind when I wrote the recipe. Generally 1/2 lb or raw potatoes is considered enough per person as a side, and I use 2 and 1/2 lbs here. There is usually extra sauce, so you could even make more potatoes if you wanted!

  10. 5 stars
    These patatas bravas are the bomb! I love that they are baked, not fried. They are just like the real deal from Spain but healthier!

  11. 5 stars
    my daughter and I just returned from Barcelona and were craving this dish. your method of cooking the potatoes was amazing, they were crispy and not at all greasy. I didn’t make your sauce because I bought a sauce mix there, but the simple garlic aioli really made a good dish awesome. It was so good my biggest regret was that I only made 3 potatoes

    1. Hi Elsy – Yay! I’m so happy to hear that. I love Barcelona, it is one of my favorite cities. So glad you enjoyed the Patatas Bravas and hope you get to make them again soon!

  12. 5 stars
    There is a lot of recipes out there for patatas bravas…and most just don´t cut it, you got it right…beautiful images too!

  13. 5 stars
    THat baking soda tip is such a great one! There’s a very good chance I wouldn’t be able to stop eating these.