Patatas Bravas – Classic Spanish Tapas (Vegan Option)

Patatas Bravas - Classic Spanish Tapas (Vegan Option)

It’s almost impossible to find a restaurant in Spain that doesn’t serve some version of Patatas Bravas. Not that I blame them. Easy to make, packing a punch of flavor, these classic Spanish tapas are freaking delicious. And I’ve made them healthier and easier to make by roasting the potatoes into of frying them.

It’s the sauce that makes Patatas Bravas so special. Loaded with smoked paprika (if you’re looking at a recipe for this sauce and it doesn’t have a lot of smoked paprika, it’s the wrong sauce). Chili peppers for a bit of heat. And tangy tomatoes, usually with a bit of mayo (that does vary) keeps you coming back to dip and dip again.

Now I don’t know if my recipe is ‘authentic’ or not. I made it based on the flavors I could taste in the ones we tried while there. It tastes exactly like the one we tried at one of the tapas restaurants we tried in Seville, Spain. And been friend and family approved tested at my tapas parties.

Patatas Bravas - Classic Spanish Tapas (Vegan Option)

Spanish Tapas in Spain

I have to admit when going to Spain, I thought everywhere we ordered a glass of wine, we would get a tapa free. That’s a big NO. In most of the country you’re going to pay for them. BUT they are inexpensive (unlike in the US) small plates of yummy goodness.

Tapa means lid in Spanish. And the history behind tapas comes from the bartenders in the Andalucia region of Spain. They would serve the wine or beer with a small plate with a slice of ham, cheese, and/or bread on top of the glass to keep the flies out. The tradition stuck around and evolved into all sorts of small dishes. Today, the Spanish eat dinner so late, it’s common to go out for drinks and tapas with friends around 5 to 6 pm in the evening. It’s also rare to visit just one tapas bar. Instead, the Spanish meander down through their favorites, chatting, drinking, and eating.

The hubby and I loved doing tapas for dinner because it allowed us to try so many flavors at once. Instead of ordering one large plate each, we could order five or six little plates to try. Including wine, rarely did we spend more than $30 for dinner and went home full. Tapa sizes in Spain are nothing like the couple of bites on a plate for $10 like they are in the States.

Patatas Bravas - Classic Spanish Tapas (Vegan Option)

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Vegan Option

It’s so freaking easy to make Patata Bravas vegan. Simply switch out the mayo for a vegan one. My favorites are Just Mayo (I do miss not having this one in Portugal) or Chosen Foods. I’m not a fan of Vegenaise but know plenty of peeps who are. I recommend adding half of the vegan mayo of your choice and tasting for flavor, before adding the full amount.

Putting a Fork in the Patatas Bravas

Want to plan your own tapas party? Patatas Bravas are a must, and you don’t want to miss out on Spanish Tortilla or (Tortilla Espanola), and Goat-Cheese Stuffed Peppadew Peppers. What else would you add?

Let me know in the comments if you’ve had Patatas Bravas in Spain (if so, where was your favorite place) or if you’ve given this recipe a try. And don’t forget, if you have questions, leave those there as well.

Patatas Bravas

Patatas Bravas

Smokey paprika and tangy tomatoes with a hint of chili pepper make up the sauce for this easy to make classic Spanish tapas Patatas Bravas, made healthier by roasting the potatoes instead of frying them as is traditional.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Course Snack
Cuisine Spanish
Servings 4 cups of potatoes


Patatas Bravas Sauce

  • 1 14 oz (400 grams) can tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 medium-size onion finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 3 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/3 cup mayo regular or vegan
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • 4 large potatoes good for roasting
  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste


Patatas Bravas Sauce

  • Heat olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and cook until soft.
  • Add garlic, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, and tomato paste, cooking until fragrant.
  • Pour in canned tomatoes, season with salt and pepper and then cook until thickened, 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat and puree using a stick blender or food processor. Once smooth, stir in mayo until smooth. Check seasoning again and then serve with prepared potatoes.


  • Preheat oven to 425 F or 280C while sauce is simmering.
  • Dice potatoes into 1/2" to 1" cubes, then place into a large mixing bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and season with dried oregano, salt and pepper.
  • Spread evenly onto a baking sheet and place in oven to roast until golden brown and crispy, approximately 20 minutes.
  • Serve with patatas bravas sauce.
Keyword Potatoes, Smoked Paprika, Spanish Tapas