Potato & Red Onion Vegan Tortilla

Images of a picnic in Portnahaven, Isle of Islay, Scotland

When I think that I still miss eggs, it’s not actually about the eating an actual egg, it’s about what eggs bring to a dish. It’s that savoury something that binds ingredients into a form that you slice, dice, wedge or cube. This naturally gluten-free batter is the perfect egg-free alternative, inexpensive and easy to make. Binding together caramelised red onions and diced potato to make a Spanish inspired potato & red onion vegan tortilla. Perfect for a summer picnic, tapas or a part of a packed lunch.

This versatile batter lets me create plant-based versions of foods I used to love, those gluten-free vegetarian options, the frittata, Spanish tortilla or Kuku. Not a recent invention as chickpea flour has traditionally used in dishes such as farinata, socca, or panisse throughout the centuries, appearing in North Africa, the Mediterranean, and South America.

Potato & Red Onion Vegan Tortilla

Serves 4-6

This mixture fits a 23cm frying pan


  • 200g chickpea flour- also known as gram flour, besan or garbanzo flour.
  • 400ml cold water
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • sunflower oil
  • 400g waxy potato – peeled, diced and cooked
  • 1 medium red onion – thinly sliced and sautéed to caramelise in oil or stock
  • 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar


In a mixing bowl combine chickpea flour, onion powder, nutritional yeast, sea salt and water. Blend with a stick blender until smooth and set aside for at least 30 minutes.

Peel and cube the potato. Cook by bringing a pot of cold salted water to the boil, when the potato cubes are just cooked, but still firm, remove from heat and drain.

To caramelise onions, heat enough sunflower oil to your pan to coat the base over a medium heat. Add the onion and a pinch of salt to help them release water. Stir frequently so they don’t stick or burn, add white balsamic vinegar and cook until the onions are soft and lightly coloured. Season to taste.

Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC.

Add enough sunflower oil to a heavy-based frypan to coat it, make sure you coat the sides too.  You need your pan hot so the batter forms a crust immediately, the oil should be beginning to shimmer. Pour in about 1/3 of your mixture, spread half of the red onion and potatoes over the batter before pouring in more battered the remaining onion and potato, add the last of the batter

Turn down the heat and cook for 10-15 minutes, when the tortilla is browned and set around the edges, put into the oven until it is cooked through. Let the tortilla cool in the pan before removing it.

Cook’s Tips 

For a no-oil tortilla, I recommend baking the tortilla in a silicone cake mold or a baking paper-lined 23cm cake tin. For a no-oil option saute the red onions in stock – learn how-to here 

I prefer to make my batter the night before because I like the flavour the slight fermentation adds. You can make a large mixture and keep a mixture in the fridge for up to 3 days, only add baking powder when you are about to cook.

White balsamic vinegar will enhance the colour of the red onions without discolouring as a traditonal balsamic vinegar would. Any other varietyof vinegar will work too but you might need to sweeten them.


Tasty sides and accompaniments could be:

Cucumber, spinach & herb salad Green Tomato Chutney, Tofu Aioli or an Aquafaba Mayo

View of harbour entrance in Portnahaven, Isle of Islay, Scotland
Portnahaven, Isle of Islay, Scotland

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