Poor Man’s Potatoes

One of my favorite Spanish recipes is also one of the simplest. In fact, poor man’s potatoes, or patatas a lo pobre as it is called in Spain, is the ultimate starving college student meal.

Poor Man's Potatoes with a fried egg and chives following a traditional Andalusian Spanish recipe

Because of the nature of this dish, there are near infinite ways to spruce it up. From adding various meats, to cheese, eggs, and more, you can argue this is one of the easiest dishes to customize. It is a great way to use up leftover veggies in your fridge that are about to turn as well.

My recipe for patatas a lo pobre is going to be the most general, or authentic Andalusian one, but feel free to upgrade it if you want. For example I ALWAYS add a fried egg to mine (or two or three) for extra richness. To keep the recipe completely vegan then you can just make it the traditional way!

How To Make Spanish Poor Man’s Potatoes

poor man's potatoes ingredients on a countertop

The name poor man’s potatoes is meant to show how cheap this dish is to make. And it’s true! In Spain all of the ingredients are very affordable making this dish perfect for feeding large groups of people (or students on a budget).

Ingredients

500 grams Potatoes – you can use any potatoes you like, but I recommend smaller, waxy ones with skin you do not have to peel.

2 Bell Peppers – You can use any color peppers you want, but green are most commonly used in Spain. However feel free to use red, orange, or yellow, for some extra color.

4 cloves Garlic – peeled and smashed. Feel free to add more garlic if you like, or leave it out entirely.

1 large Yellow Onion – halved and sliced

1 tsp Dry Parsley

250 ml Olive Oil – you don’t need to use a very high quality olive oil in this dish as it is being heated, but olive oil, and a lot of it, is traditionally used in poor man’s potatoes recipes.

1 tsp Salt – plus more at the end if you want.

Chives – for garnish

Optional Ingredients

Fried Eggs

Chopped Chorizo

Various Other Vegetables

Shredded Chicken

Jamon

Hot Sauce – seriously, I put some of my Carolina reaper hot sauce on this and it elevated the egg and potatoes to an entirely new level!

…and more!

mise en place for patatas a lo pobre before cooking

Start by setting the mise en place for all your ingredients. This dish is kind of a set and forget meal so prepping all the ingredients in the beginning makes this a whole lot easier. I like to slice the potatoes into half centimeter rounds, the peppers into strips, the onion into half ring slices, and the garlic peeled and smashed.

all the ingredients for poor man's potatoes in a pot with a wooden spatula

Add all of the ingredients except the chives (and optional ingredients) to a pot. Turn the heat on low and mix everything up. Place the lid on and let cook for about 30 minutes. The potatoes and vegetables essentially fry-steam.

cooked poor man's potatoes in a pot

After the half hour the potatoes and vegetables should be fully cooked. Next I like to take the lid off and turn the heat up to just crisp up the potato edges a bit, but this is entirely optional. You can plate right here and add your extras if you wish.

spanish poor man's potatoes recipe with fried egg and chive

As much as poor man’s potatoes looks like something you would have for breakfast, it is actually eaten all day long in Spain. The first time I ever had this dish I was in Banos de la Encina, and having just come back from looking for lynxes in Andujar natural park at 10 pm I decided to order this for dinner.

spanish poor man's potatoes recipe with fried egg and chive

Poor Man’s Potatoes (Patatas a lo Pobre)

These easy to make tasty Spanish potatoes are a great way to eat on the cheap. Or you can spruce it up by using eggs or ham for a more delicious full meal
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Course: Lunch, Main Course, Main Dish, Side Dish
Cuisine: Andalusian, Spanish
Keyword: Potatoes, Spanish Food, Vegan, Vegetarian
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 2 people
Calories: 690kcal
Cost: $5

Equipment

  • 1 Pot

Ingredients

  • 500 grams Potatoes you can use any potatoes you like but I recommend smaller, waxy ones with skin you do not have to peel.
  • 2 Bell Peppers You can use any color peppers you want but green are most commonly used in Spain. However feel free to use red, orange, or yellow, for some extra color.
  • 4 cloves Garlic peeled and smashed. Feel free to add more garlic if you like or leave it out entirely.
  • 1 large Yellow Onion halved and sliced
  • 1 tsp Dry Parsley
  • 250 ml Olive Oil you don't need to use a very high quality olive oil in this dish as it is being heated but olive oil, and a lot of it, is traditionally used in poor man's potatoes recipes.
  • 1 tsp Salt plus more at the end if you want.
  • Chives for garnish

Optional Ingredients

  • Fried Egg
  • Chopped Chorizo
  • Jamon
  • Extra Vegetables
  • Creme Fraiche or other sour cream
  • Chili Flakes or other spicy sauces

Instructions

  • Prep all the ingredients before starting as this is a one pot dish.
  • Slice the potatoes into 1/2 cm rounds, the pepper into strips, the onion into half rings and peel and smash the garlic.
  • Add all ingredients except for the chives and your add-on optional ingredients to a pot. Put on low heat and place the lid on. Cook for about 30 minutes or until the potatoes are soft. This cooking method will sort of steam-fry the ingredients.
  • Remove the lid and test a potato. You can serve it right from the pot, but I like to turn the heat up and just crisp up the potato edges before serving, so quick fry for another few minutes.
  • Plate and add in your add-ons if you are using any.

Nutrition

Calories: 690kcal
Did you make this?Mention @CookingToEntertain or tag #cookingtoentertain and let me know how it was!

Poor Man’s Potatoes (Patatas A Lo Pobre)

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