Spanish-style ham, egg and chips (Huevos estrellados)

Easy traditional Spanish tapas recipe

a close up of a plate of heuvos estrellados

Heuvos estrellados is a classic Spanish recipe that uses just 5 ingredients: Eggs, potatoes, olive oil, salt, and ham. In the culinary capital of Spain, Madrid, you’ll find this super easy-to-make recipe served as a tapas day or night. Come the winter months, this is the perfect recipe to cook up for comfort food and best of all can be easily made in under 30 minutes!

Serving:

Tapas for 4 people

Ready in:

30 minutes

Skill level:

Easy

Serve with:

Good on its own!

ingredients used for making huevos estrellados are laid out on a white marble counter

How to Make Madrid-Style Fried Eggs and Potatoes 

Great news! Huevos Estrellados is prized for simplicity of ingredients used and ease of cooking. Here’s what you’ll need to make this easy traditional Spanish tapas recipe

Ingredients

  • 4 eggs (free range eggs at room temperature is best)
  • 2 large potatoes
  • 100g/3.5oz. of good quality ham (Jamon Iberico or serrano hamare both good options)
  • 150ml of extra virgin olive oil (enough to cover your potatoes)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Equipment needed

  • 1 large 12-inch (30cm) frying pan with deep sides of around 2-3 inches (5-8cm)

Method

Step 1 – Prepare the potatoes

First, peel and scallop your potatoes. Try to make the scallops around 1/8th of an inch thick (5mm).

Next, heat up the olive oil in the frying pan on medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot (but not smoking), carefully add the scalloped potatoes and make sure the potatoes are covered with oil so they cook evenly. Pan-fry for around 10-15 minutes on medium-high heat turning the potatoes occasionally (carefully fold so they don’t break up).

Once cooked, strain off the excess oil by adding them to a colander with a bowl below. Then, transfer the potatoes to your final serving plate or bowl. 

Step 2- Add ham and eggs

Next, with the same pan you used to cook the potatoes (there should be plenty of oil in there already), turn the heat to medium, and pan-fry the eggs for a few moments. Try to keep the yolk slightly runny. 

Add a layer of ham to your potatoes.

Once the eggs are cooked, transfer them on top of the ham and season with a bit of salt to taste. Serve immediately while still piping hot. 

Cooking tip: The secret ingredient for making the ultimate Huevos Estrellados. 

(Health-conscious people look away now!) 

OK, so there’s plenty of chatter online about what makes the perfect Huevos Estrellados, and in all honesty, it’s MSG or a similar flavoring. To crank the flavors up to the next level simply omit the salt and use a light sprinkling of MSG (Aromat or similar) and you’ll have many happy faces staring back at you with empty plates demanding a second serving!

Origin of Huevos Estrellados

Huevos Estrellados, translating to “crashed eggs” in English, is a beloved Spanish dish with a rich history rooted in the heart of Spain’s culinary traditions. Originating in Madrid, Huevos Estrellados is a delightfully simple recipe and is considered a testament to the ingenuity of Spanish cooking. 

Huevos Estrellados embodies the Spanish approach to ingredients: minimal yet high-quality. Traditionally, the dish consists of perfectly fried eggs over crispy potatoes, and often complemented with slices of jamón (Spanish cured ham). 

Huevos Estrellados Traditional Spanish Recipe

The dish’s creation is attributed to the casual diners of Madrid, where it quickly became a staple for its comforting flavors and easy preparation. Over time, it has spread across Spain and beyond, becoming a versatile dish that adapts to regional tastes and ingredients, while always maintaining its comforting essence.

Why huevos estrellados is so good!

The beauty of this classic tapas staple is in it’s simplicity. There’s no need for any fancy equipment, nor do you need to rummage around town trying to find ingredients. To make huevos estrellados, all you need is:

  • Eggs
  • Potatoes
  • Ham
  • Olive oil
  • Salt

With just a few simple ingredients, this easy-to-make tapas dish is the ultimate comfort food and can be served at any time of the day. In fact, heuvos estrellados is also great as a main meal, and the perfect lazy dinner, easy lunch, or even tasty breakfast that can be whipped up in under 30 minutes! 

What’s the difference between huevos rotos and huevos estrellados?

Both dishes are tapas dishes that use potatoes with ham eggs. The main difference between the two is how the potatoes and eggs are prepared. 

Huevos rotos is often prepared using scalloped potatoes that are pan-fried in the same manner as you would make a tortilla Española (in a frying pan with lots of olive oil). The eggs are also scrambled, rather than fried like they are in huevos estrellados.

Huevos estrellados is a classic Madrid tapas and is most commonly found served with french fries, although this does vary from one tapas restaurant to the next. Check out our Madrid foodie guide including 4 free tapas walking tours through Madrid.

Every household in Spain will have its own take on what is the best huevos estrellados recipe. For this recipe, we will use scalloped potatoes, however, you could easily substitute scalloped potatoes with pre-made frozen french fries and deep fry them yourself. 

a plate of golen pan-fried potato scallops

Vegetarian Variations of Huevos Estrellados 

Incorporating Plant-based Ingredients

For those seeking a vegetarian twist on the classic Huevos Estrellados, replacing traditional jamón with plant-based alternatives offers a delightful reinterpretation. Consider using sautéed mushrooms or eggplant for a meaty texture, while smoked paprika can mimic the smokiness of ham. These ingredients not only preserve the dish’s essence but also add a new dimension of flavors.

Exploring Dairy and Vegan Options

Adding cheese, such as Manchego or vegan cheese alternatives, can introduce a creamy texture and rich flavor, enhancing the dish’s overall taste profile. For a fully vegan version, opt for a well-seasoned tofu scramble in place of eggs, ensuring the dish remains a comforting and satisfying meal.

Creative Use of Vegetables

Incorporating a variety of vegetables like spinach, bell peppers, or asparagus into the potatoes can increase the nutritional value and add colorful visual appeal. Roasting or grilling these vegetables before adding them to the dish can also introduce an enticing charred flavor, making the meal even more irresistible.

Emphasizing Sustainable Eating

These vegetarian variations not only cater to dietary preferences but also align with sustainable eating practices. By opting for plant-based ingredients, the dish becomes more environmentally friendly, highlighting the importance of conscious eating habits within traditional cuisines.

By adapting Huevos Estrellados to include vegetarian options, this beloved Spanish dish becomes accessible to a wider audience, allowing more people to enjoy its comforting flavors while respecting dietary restrictions and sustainability concerns.

Serving Suggestions for Huevos Estrellados Tapas

Best Huevos Estrellados recipe for breakfast

For the best Huevos Estrellados recipe for breakfast, focus on quality ingredients like fresh eggs, high-grade olive oil, and hand-cut potatoes for a richer taste. Opt for a simple, yet effective technique by frying the potatoes until golden and crispy, then topping them with softly cooked, runny eggs. 

The key is in the timing – ensuring the eggs are just set but still wonderfully runny to mix with the crispy potatoes. Enhance with a sprinkle of sea salt and cracked black pepper for a satisfying start to the day. This combination brings a traditional Spanish breakfast to your table, perfect for a leisurely morning.

Pairing with Spanish Classics

To truly embrace the spirit of Spanish cuisine, serve Huevos Estrellados alongside other tapas favorites such as Patatas Bravas, Chorizo al Vino, and Pimientos de Padrón. This array ensures a diverse taste experience, blending the richness of eggs and potatoes with the spiciness and savory flavors of traditional tapas.

Complementing with Beverages

Pairing Huevos Estrellados with Spanish wines or a cold beer can enhance the dining experience. For a non-alcoholic option, consider a refreshing Sangria or a sparkling water with a twist of lemon, complementing the dish’s flavors and balancing its richness.

Adding a Bread Component

Offering a selection of fresh, crusty bread on the side allows guests to soak up the delicious egg yolk and olive oil mixture, ensuring no flavor is left behind. For a gluten-free option, consider serving with gluten-free bread or crackers.

Presentation Tips

Serve Huevos Estrellados on a warm plate to keep the dish inviting and ensure the potatoes remain crispy. Garnishing with fresh herbs, such as parsley or chives, not only adds a pop of color but also introduces a fresh flavor contrast to the warm and comforting tapa.

By considering these serving suggestions, Huevos Estrellados can be transformed from a simple dish into a centerpiece of a broader Spanish culinary experience, offering both versatility and tradition on the plate.

a plate of golden fried potatoes with some jamon iberico on top
a plate of Spanish-style ham, egg and chips

Huevos estrellados (Madrid-style eggs and potatoes)

Byron
Huevos estrellados is a classic Spanish recipe that uses just 5 ingredients: Eggs, potatoes, olive oil, salt, and ham. In the culinary capital of Spain, Madrid, you’ll find this super easy-to-make recipe served as a tapas day or night. Come the winter months, this is the perfect recipe to cookup for comfort food and best of all can be easily made in under 30 minutes!
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course appertizer, Breakfast, Side Dish, Snack, tapas
Cuisine American, Authentic Spanish recipe, Spain
Servings 4 Tapas
Calories 580 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 large 12-inch (30cm) frying pan with deep sides of around 2-3 inches (5-8cm)
  • 1 colander (to drain the oil from the potatoes)

Ingredients

  • 4 eggs free range eggs at room temperature is best
  • 2 large potatoes
  • 100 g/3.5oz. of good quality ham Jamon Iberico or serrano hamare both good options
  • 150 ml of extra virgin olive oil enough to cover your potatoes
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
 

Step 1 - Prepare the potatoes

  • First, peel and scallop your potatoes. Try to make the scallops around 1/8th of an inch thick (5mm).
    2 large potatoes
    scalloped potatoes- step 1
  • Next, heat up the olive oil in the frying pan on medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot (but not smoking), carefully add the scalloped potatoes and make sure the potatoes are covered with oil so they cook evenly. Pan-fry for around 10-15 minutes on medium-high heat turning the potatoes occasionally (carefully fold so they don’t break up).
    150 ml of extra virgin olive oil, 2 large potatoes
    scalloped potatoes fry in oil
  • Once cooked, strain off the excess oil by adding them to a colander with a bowl below. Then, transfer the potatoes to your final serving plate or bowl.
    a plate of golen pan-fried potato scallops

Step 2- Add ham and eggs

  • Next, with the same pan you used to cook the potatoes (there should be plenty of oil in there already), turn the heat to medium, and pan-fry the eggs for a few moments. Try to keep the yolk slightly runny.
    4 eggs
    an egg is fried in a pan
  • Add a layer of ham to your potatoes.
    100 g/3.5oz. of good quality ham
    a plate of golden fried potatoes with some jamon iberico on top
  • Once the eggs are cooked, transfer them on top of the ham and season with a bit of salt to taste. Serve immediately while still piping hot.
    Salt and pepper to taste
    a close up of a plate of heuvos estrellados

Video

Nutrition

Serving: 100gCalories: 580kcalCarbohydrates: 29.3gProtein: 16.7gFat: 46gSaturated Fat: 8.5gCholesterol: 199mgSodium: 561mgPotassium: 810mgFiber: 4.4gSugar: 2.5gCalcium: 40mgIron: 2mg
Keyword 30-minute-meal, Easy Dinner ideas, easy to make, Eggs, huevos estrellados, jamon Iberico, potato, Spanish tapas

Huevos Estrellados Cooking Tips and FAQs

Is huevos estrallados easy to make?

Yep, super easy! No special cooking skills are required and this recipe is perfect for beginners in the kitchen. Some care is required with pan-frying the potatoes and transferring the oil but that’s about as tricky as this recipe gets. 

How long do huevos estrellados take to make?

  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Cook time: 15-20 minutes
  • Total time: 25 minutes

Can huevos estrellados be made vegetarian?

Yes, simply omit the ham and replace it with some cooked mushrooms and you’ve got a quick and easy tapas or meal that’s suitable for vegetarians. 

What’s the difference between huevos estrellados and huevos rotos?

Both dishes are classic Spanish tapas recipes that use potatoes, eggs, and ham. The main difference is huevos estrellados typically has fried eggs but huevos rotos is more like scrambled eggs.

‘Huevos Rotos’ literally translates to broken eggs, and a more scrambled egg cooking method is used giving the dish its namesake. When serving huevos estrellados, you also pan-fry the eggs and keep the yolk runny so the yolk can be broken once served. 

Can leftover huevos estrallados be stored? 

You can store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for a maximum of 24 hours. Given the use of eggs in this recipe, any longer may be risky. The potatoes will go soggy though, so this dish is really best served fresh. 

Looking for some more tasty tapas recipes?

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