Patatas Bravas

Patatas Bravas

There’s a tiny little tapas place here in the West End of Vancouver that I have long adored. It’s called Espana and it’s on Denman Street. It’s a tiny little alley way bar, with just a few seats, but It’s become a fixture in the city because it’s cozy and both the food and the wine are great.

When I’m there, one of the things I love to order is Patas Bravas. It’s ostensibly a pretty humble dish, in that the base of it is potatoes (as is a Spanish Tortilla, if you’ve never had one, it’s like a frittata made with eggs and potatoes). But what makes this dish great is the spicy tomato sauce that the potatoes are tossed in before serving.


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I was inspired to take a crack at this dish myself recently, when my pals over at Grandpa J’s (Vancity Grind has become a staple on everything in this house) dropped a new spice mix: Bravas. So, yes, while this is a rub that’s probably primarily going to be used for meats, I don’t eat meat, so I always like to see how I can use it in vegetarian/vegan applications. Jenny says it’s great on Butternut Squash (which I will try later), but the first thing that came to mind for me was Patas Bravas.

There are two different schools of thought here, one is a tomato-based sauce, and the other is non tomato-based, and is thickened with a slurry. I opted for the tomato version, though it may be a touch more work.

Funny story: a guy once asked me out, and he asked where I wanted to go to eat. I said “I would love to go to a tapas bar” and he heard “I would love to go to a topless bar.” He was very excited about our date. We’re not still together.

Vegan Patatas bravas

Patatas Bravas

Rebecca Coleman
A Spanish tapas dish, consisting of roasted potatoes tossed in a spicy tomato sauce.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Course Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine spanish
Servings 2


  • 3 lbs good potatoes new or yukon gold
  • 3 tbsp Grandpa J's Bravas seasoning divided
  • 1/4 cup olive oil divided
  • 1 cup passata
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 3-4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tsp salt divided
  • 2 tbsp harissa paste
  • mayo for garnish vegan
  • green onions for garnish chopped


For the potatoes

  • Wash the potatoes well and cut them into bite-sized pieces, about 1-2" chunks.
  • Place the potatoes in a large pot and fill the pot with water till the potatoes are submerged. Salt the water liberally with about 1/2-1 tsp of salt. Bring the potatoes to a boil, and once they are boiling, cook for 7 minutes. Turn off the heat and drain the potatoes.
  • Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  • Return the potatoes to a large bowl and toss with 2 tbsp of olive oil, 1 tbsp of Grandpa J's and 1/2 tsp salt. Really get in there and toss it well, even beating up the potatoes a little.
  • Pour 1 tbsp of olive oil onto a baking sheet and then toss the potatoes onto it.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for about 45 minutes to an hour, tossing occasionally, until the edges of the potatoes are golden brown and crispy.

Make the sauce while the potatoes are baking

  • In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, place 1 tbsp of olive oil. Add the onions, and season them with a little salt. Cook the onions for about 3-5 minutes until they are softened. Add the garlic and cook till fragrant, about 1 minute.
  • Add 2 tbsp of the Bravas seasoning and toss well to coat the onions.
  • Add the passata, water and harissa paste, and stir well, reduce the heat to a simmer. Allow the sauce to simmer for the time while the potatoes are baking, stirring occasionally. It will eventually thicken.


  • Place the finished sauce on a large plate and spread it out.
  • Top the sauce with the roasted potatoes and dust them with a little additional Bravas seasoning.
  • Garnish with green onions and dollops of vegan mayo.
Keyword easy vegan, patatas bravas, tapas, vegetarian


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