Chef John's Patatas Bravas


Patatas bravas are fried potatoes that are fiercely textured, fiercely flavored, fiercely presented, and fiercely enjoyed. How fierce is really up to you and your inner Spaniard. There are as many patatas bravas recipes as homes in Spain, and this is nothing more than my latest rendition.

Prep Time:
25 mins
Cook Time:
20 mins
Additional Time:
45 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 30 mins


Dipping Sauce:

  • 1 clove garlic, minced, or more to taste

  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika

  • 1 pinch salt

  • 1 cup mayonnaise

  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar, or more to taste

  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste

  • ¼ teaspoon ground chipotle peppers

  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper, or more to taste

Spice Blend:

  • 1 tablespoon salt

  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper

  • ½ teaspoon paprika

  • ½ teaspoon ground chipotle peppers


  • 2 quarts cold water

  • 1 tablespoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes

  • 2 cups vegetable oil for frying


  1. Make dipping sauce: Combine garlic, smoked paprika, and salt in a mortar and pestle or food processor; process until smooth. Mix in mayonnaise, sherry vinegar, tomato paste, chipotle chile powder, and cayenne pepper until combined. Cover and refrigerate sauce.

  2. Make spice blend: Mix together salt, black pepper, paprika, and chipotle chile powder in a small bowl. Set aside.

  3. Make potatoes: Pour water into a large saucepan. Stir salt, smoked paprika, cumin, and bay leaves into water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and cover; simmer for 10 minutes.

  4. Stir potatoes into seasoned water, bring to a boil, and simmer until potatoes are tender but not fully cooked, 4 to 5 minutes. The tip of a paring knife should easily insert into the center of a potato cube. Drain potatoes and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely, about 45 minutes.

  5. Heat vegetable oil in a large cast iron skillet or Dutch oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

  6. Add cooled potato cubes and cook, stirring frequently, until golden brown, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer potatoes to a baking sheet lined with paper towels to cool slightly. Toss in a bowl with spice blend and serve with dipping sauce.

    close up on a bowl of patatas bravas with the dipping sauce drizzled over top
    Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

Editor's Note:

The nutrition data for this recipe includes the full amount of the salt used in the cooking liquid and spice mix. The actual amount of the salt consumed will vary.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

678 Calories
55g Fat
43g Carbs
6g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Calories 678
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 55g 71%
Saturated Fat 8g 40%
Cholesterol 21mg 7%
Sodium 3885mg 169%
Total Carbohydrate 43g 16%
Dietary Fiber 6g 21%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 6g
Vitamin C 47mg 233%
Calcium 60mg 5%
Iron 3mg 16%
Potassium 1039mg 22%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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