Portuguese Sausage Frittata | Tortilha de Chouriço

Vovó Costa used to serve this frittata (tortilha in Portuguese or tortilla in Spanish) to my cousins Barry and Wayne and me right from her big cast-iron skillet for lunch or, if we were lucky, for a late supper on Sunday evenings, if we were allowed to stay up and watch the Ed Sullivan Show. It’s terrific served warm as a main course, at room temperature as a starter, or chilled and sliced into thin wedges as an hors d’oeuvre.–David Leite

Portuguese Sausage Frittata Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 15 M
  • 40 M
  • Serves 4 as a main


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 pound Portuguese chouriço, cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1/2 pound waxy potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/8-inch slices
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup diced roasted red peppers
  • 7 large eggs
  • Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, for garnish


  • 1. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a 10-inch ovenproof skillet, preferably nonstick, over medium heat until it shimmers. Add the chouriço and cook until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer to a large bowl. Turn the heat to medium-low and drop the onions and potatoes into the skillet. Season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring often, until the onions are translucent and the potatoes are fork-tender, 20 to 25 minutes.
  • 2. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Transfer the onions and potatoes and garlic, along with the peppers, to the bowl with the chouriço. Set the skillet aside off the heat.
  • 3. Heat the broiler. Beat the eggs in a medium bowl until fluffy and season with 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Pour the eggs over the chouriço-potato mixture in the bowl and gently combine.
  • 4. Wipe out the skillet, add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil, and warm it over medium heat. Pour in the egg mixture. Using a rubber spatula, quickly stir to cook the eggs briefly, then jiggle the skillet to settle its contents. Run the spatula around the sides of the skillet to prevent the tortilha from sticking. Crank up the heat to medium-high and cook until the edges are set, 3 to 4 minutes. Slide the skillet under the broiler and cook until the top is nicely browned and no puddles remain, 1 to 2 minutes. Slide the tortilha onto a large platter and sprinkle with the parsley, or slice it and serve it right from the pan, just as my grandmother did.
Hungry for more? Chow down on these:

  1. Cherie Hamilton says:

    The recipe is delicious. I was just wondering why it is called Sausage Tortilla in your book since “tortilla” is Spanish.

    • David Leite says:

      Thanks, Cherie. Coming from you that means a lot. If you look in the book, you’ll see the Portuguese title is tortilha de chouriço. The closest English translation would be tortilla. We could have used frittata but that would have skewed it too Italian. So my copy editor in Lisbon, as well as my copy editor in New York, felt tortilla would be the best English word.

  2. Sarah says:

    Hi! I’m a long time follower and lover of your blog. I have been tasked with making an eggy dish for a post wedding brunch soon and I’m looking for something that I can make ahead of time and reheat. It would need to be easier to cut and serve to many people. Would this reheat well? Thanks! Cheers!

    • David Leite says:

      Hi Sarah, yes, you can reheat this in a low oven. But I beg you: For something as important as a wedding brunch, cook up a trial tortilha, refrigerate it, and reheat. Just to there’s no surprises! And best wishes to the happy couple.

  3. Maria says:

    Indeed this dish is delish…my husband who isn’t Portuguese made it, and we have loved it ever since. The chourico makes it taste great.

    • David Leite says:

      Maravilhoso, Maria. That’s great to hear. It’s a dish I simply can’t resist when I make it. I feel bad for anyone else who might want a slice….

Have something to say?

Then tell us. Have a picture you'd like to add to your comment? Send it along. Covet one of those spiffy pictures of yourself to go along with your comment? Get a free Gravatar. And as always, please take a gander at our comment policy before posting.


Daily Subscription

Enter your email address and get all of our updates sent to your inbox the moment they're posted. Be the first on your block to be in the know.

Preview daily e-mail

Weekly Subscription

Hate tons of emails? Do you prefer info delivered in a neat, easy-to-digest (pun intended) form? Then enter your email address for our weekly newsletter.

Preview weekly e-mail