Frittata. Sounds fancy, doesn’t it?
If you have no idea what a frittata is, you are not alone. For many years, we thought it was a complicated, fancy and time-consuming dish that you only order at a restaurant.
WOW! Were we wrong!
And, if you are looking for a great-tasting, super-easy meal for a “no worry” breakfast, lunch or dinner...keep reading!
What is it?
A frittata is an Italian-inspired dish made with eggs and vegetables, similar to an omelet or crustless quiche. While it is similar to an omelet, there are some important differences.
One significant difference is the way it’s cooked -- no flipping or folding required! The frittata ingredients – such as veggies or meat – are mixed throughout rather than folded in the center like you would do for an omelet. And, while omelets are typically made to serve one or maybe two people, frittatas are made to serve at least 4 people, which is why they work great to serve guests!
A frittata is started on the stovetop and finished in the oven, so a cast-iron or oven-safe skillet is ideal. Hopefully, you use your cast-iron skillet all the time, but if not, this is the perfect opportunity to put it to good use!
Starting on the stovetop is an important step because it slightly cooks the vegetables, adding that "sauteed" flavor before adding the eggs and transferring it to the oven. Also, because many veggies (like mushrooms and tomatoes) contain water, cooking them on the stove first will cook off most of this moisture so you don’t end up with a soggy mess.
How do you make it?
In our experience, this basic formula works really well. We prefer a high “veggie to egg” ratio, but you can adjust the ingredients based on your personal preference.
For example, if you like more eggs, you can easily increase the eggs to 8 and add another tablespoon of milk. This should help get you started, and then you can mix it up to find the right proportion of eggs, veggies and other ingredients.
1 Tbsp OIL + 3 cups of CHOICE OF FILLING (onions, mushrooms, kale, sweet potato, tomatoes, meat, whole grains, or whatever you are craving!) + 6 EGGS + 1/4 cup MILK (or yogurt or cream) + 1/4 tsp SALT + 1/4 tsp PEPPER + 2 Tbsp or more of CHEESE (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Add oil to an oven safe skillet, such as cast iron.
- Add your filling ingredients to the skillet and cook 5-8 minutes, over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Add vegetables that may require longer cooking time first (such as sweet potato), and then add softer vegetables such as tomatoes, kale or zucchini in the last few minutes of cooking time.
- While your filling ingredients are cooking, add eggs, milk (or yogurt or cream), salt and pepper to a bowl and whisk until lightly beaten.
- When vegetables are tender, add cheese, stir, and then pour egg mixture on top of the vegetables in the skillet. Use a spoon to spread the egg mixture evenly among the filling. Let it cook a couple minutes on the stove (until the edges are set), and then transfer to the oven and bake 10-12 minutes or until eggs are set and the edges are golden-brown. Be careful not to overcook your frittata; otherwise, you can end up with a rubbery or spongy texture instead of that creamy and fluffy texture you are looking for.
- Remove from the oven, let it rest for a few minutes, and then slice, serve and enjoy -- it is as easy as that!
- Add protein: Meat such as sausage, bacon, pork, or chicken can be a part of your filling ingredients. You can either add the meat already cooked to the skillet with the vegetables or cook the meat first before adding the vegetables.
- Cheese is optional: Cheese can be added just before the eggs or can be sprinkled on top before baking -- or left out altogether, your choice! Saltier cheeses tend to provide more flavor - feta, goat, parmesan and blue cheese are great options.
- Flavor up with herbs: Feel free to also add your favorite combination of dried herbs or seasonings (such as garlic, oregano, basil or dill) with the egg mixture for even more flavor! You can also top your frittata with your favorite fresh herbs or microgreens. (Fresh herbs can be added before or after cooking, or both...your choice.) Drizzling an herb-based vinaigrette on top after cooking also helps bring out the delicious flavors.
- Grains: You can add leftover cooked whole grains such as quinoa, rice, farro, pasta or others.
- Impress your guests: Frittatas are ideal to serve guests. They are obviously delicious straight out of the oven, and also taste great at room temperature.
- No skillet? No problem! If you don’t have a skillet that can go into the oven, you are not out of luck! You can add your filling ingredients to the bowl with the eggs. Then, pour the mixture into a greased baking dish (9” x 13”), top with cheese if desired and bake for 15-20 minutes or until eggs are set and top is lightly browned. This may take a little longer than using an oven-safe skillet because the baking dish is not already hot.
- Morning rush? Make your frittatas a convenient grab-and-go breakfast! Instead of transferring your frittata into the oven in the skillet, you can add the cooked veggies and filling ingredients to a bowl with the egg mixture and then pour into muffin pans and bake for 10-12 minutes for muffin size frittatas. Ideal to warm-and-go on busy mornings!
- Any meal of the day! Frittatas are NOT just for breakfast...they make perfect quick and easy lunches and dinners too.
Get creative with flavor!
Frittatas are also an excellent way to take advantage of fresh in-season farmers' market ingredients, clean out the veggie drawer in the frig, or let your imagination run wild! Some delicious ideas include:
- Greek style: add asparagus, green onions, Greek olives, sun-dried tomatoes and feta cheese
- Italian: sausage, roasted red peppers, and spinach
- Sweet Potato: red onion, sweet potato, mushrooms, kale and cherry tomatoes
- Ham and Leek: ham, mushrooms, and leeks or green onions
- Apple and Sausage: chicken sausage, apple and kale
- Cuban: mustard, swiss cheese, pork, and topped with pickles
Try your favorite flavor combination and see what you think! It's so easy…you will feel like a chef!