Filipino Torta Recipe: Healthy 15-Minute Family Meal

Surely you've had those dayswhen time is short and whipping up a 45-minute Chicken Marsala is not a dinner option. We have some of those days at home so, to ensure we don't "fall apart" on those jam-packed days, we have default 15-minute family meals that we can fix on a whim. One of our favorite quick meals is the Filipino torta, a hardier version of an omelette because it is packed with a few extra ingredients. Torta is easy to fix (even a clumsy kitchen rookie like me could do it!) This dish is filled with vegetables and ground meat, but the best part is that you can use any vegetable you want. Traditionally, the dish comes with onions, tomatoes, potatoes and garlic, but we love to experiment with our dishes by throwing in other vegetables like mushrooms, carrots and, occasionally, string beans. Bonus nachos? It is versatile enough for breakfast, but also sensible enough for either lunch or dinner. Plus, as a mom of a picky eater, it's also a great way to introduce vegetables to the little munchkin because veggies are somewhat hidden inside the torta, so you are not having an in-your-face-eat-your-vegetable dinner conversation at the table.  

Photography by Brian Johnson

Photography by Brian Johnson


1 pound of lean ground beef

1 small onion, finely diced

1 potato, peeled and cut into cubes 

3 cloves garlic, finely diced

1 diced tomato (optional)

1 small carrot, peeled and sliced thin (optional)

4 portabella mushrooms, sliced thin (optional)

2 eggs

1 tsp soy sauce

1 tbsp corn starch

1 tbsp of olive oil

1 cup of water

salt and black pepper, to taste


1. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat.

2. Sauté garlic and onion for about 2 minutes.

3. Stir in ground beef and cook for about 5 minutes. While cooking, break the beef into smaller crumbles and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. 

4. Add potatoes, carrots and water. Stir until tender. Mix in tomatoes and mushrooms. Set aside the meat and vegetable mixture.

5. Add beaten eggs and cornstarch blend. Pour the meat and vegetable mixture and form about 4 patties. 

6. Cook for about 3 to 5 minutes, then flip the torta to cook the other side. Drain excess oil using paper towels.

7. Best when served with freshly cooked Jasmine rice. For extra flavor, dip in ketchup or soy sauce. Or, if you want a bit of spice, pair it with sweet chili sauce.