I think of a frittata as my go-to instant meal. My favorite dinner frittata is based on Spanish chorizo, olives, and good canned tomatoes.
I like to prepare a frittata the same way I do an omelette, but instead of rolling the cooked eggs onto a plate, I serve the frittata open-face, as with the zucchini and mozzarella frittata here. One trick is to flash the pan into the oven for just a few minutes to heat the cheese. But the eggs shouldn’t be cooked any longer than with an omelette.
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- 3 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons canola oil
- 1/4 cup onion, diced
- 1/4 cup zucchini, diced
- 3 slices fresh mozzarella cheese, in pieces
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
How to Make the Perfect Frittata (Easy, Delicious, Healthy, Great in an Emergency)
NOTE: This article is for the person who needs to feed a family quickly and frugally, with easy, healthy ingredients. You’ll find directions to make a frittata with eggs and vegetables….perfect. Fast. Easy. Healthy.
I realized about an hour before I was to start fixing dinner that I forgot to take the meat out of the freezer that morning! Oh, No! What do you do when you have nothing to fix and a hungry husband on the way home at that very moment? Or starving kids begging for dinner? Has this ever happened to you?
Here's my solution: EGGS! Here's how to make an emergency frittata!
This is not the first time I've needed to make an emergency frittata. I'm going to share my tips with you so you'll be able to make the perfect frittata every time, in case you run into a snag like I did!
Now, you do need some eggs on hand for this meal, but most of us keep a dozen handy, right? At our place, we have lots of chickens, so we always have eggs. Sometimes we just have too many, and in that case, a frittata for dinner is the right thing to do.
My recipe is super adjustable. That means that you can add all kinds of things (or even very little), and it will still turn out great!
This frittata recipe will provide eight good size slices! My husband and I eat some, then we each have the leftovers for lunch the next day. Perfect! Or, it will feed four normal eaters just fine.
Need a healthy dinner fast? Don’t want to spend a lot of money? Aren’t the greatest cook? My directions for how to make the perfect frittata will help you eat cheaply and save money, be healthy, be flexible, and it’s SO easy. You’ll love this recipe, and I’m hungry looking at this! #frittata #directionstomake #howtomake #easymeal #cheapmeal #healthymeal #eatclean #healthyfood #eggdish #eggs #mealwitheggs #healingharvesthomestead
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Infinitely Adaptable Frittata
There is no limit to what you can add to a frittata. It's a versatile dish that can handle most things you throw at it.
Whether you're home late and hungry, putting together brunch (or lunch!) in a pinch, or trying to get creative with your leftovers, frittata's got your back. Follow this guide to ensure you nail a fluffy-centered, crispy-edged frittata each and every time.
Nail the ratio.
Ratios are important to frittatas so keep mix-ins to around 2 cups and 8 eggs + 1/3 cup milk/cream + 3/4 cup cheese. Whisk 'em together, season with salt, pepper, and a pinch of red pepper flakes, and you're ready to start building.
Cook your add-ins.
A frittata is the perfect vehicle for using up leftovers. Thanksgiving frittata, anyone?! If you're starting from scratch like we are here, though, it's important to cook your vegetables and/or meat first. Here, we've added a killer combo of shallots, garlic, mushrooms, and spinach. Sauté until soft, but more importantly, until the water has cooked out of the mushrooms and spinach. Veggies like bell peppers, leeks, green onions, kale, tomatoes, even potatoes go well in frittatas.
Play around with the flavor combinations.
You really don't need us to tell you what to put in your frittata, but if you're looking for some inspiration, give one of these a try:
- Potato Leek: Sautéed Yukon Gold potatoes + sautéed leeks + shredded Gruyère + thyme
- Broccoli Sausage: Sautéed broccoli + cooked Italian sausage + shredded Fontina + red onion
- Jalapeño Popper: Cooked bacon + shredded yellow cheddar + sliced jalapeños
- Pizza: Sautéed cherry tomatoes + pepperoni + grated Parmesan + basil
Cast-iron is king.
Who doesn't love a crispy edge?! Using a hot cast iron or any heavy, oven-proof skillet is really all you need to achieve it. Once you're done cooking the add-ins, pour your eggs into the still-hot skillet, transfer to the oven, and let it do its magic. Same goes if you're starting with leftovers&mdashjust get the pan nice and hot and add a little oil or butter to ensure nothing sticks.
Sure, frittatas don't technically need cheese, but how could you not? Here, we're using melty mozz in our base (sticking to the above ratio!), and adding fluffy ricotta (which doesn't count in the cheese ratio because it's only dolloped on top!) to finish.
Editor's Note: This recipe was updated slightly on February 25, 2020.
Zakarian’s Squash Blossom and Tomato Frittata recipe
To look like a fit chef, Zakarian eats like an Iron Chef as well, which means lots of protein. “Usually I’ll have a piece of tuna, depending on the time of day. But I eat a ton of eggs. Whole eggs, egg whites, eggs are great. They make a great meal.”
For that perfect post-workout protein high, Zakarian shares his famous Squash Blossom and Tomato Frittata recipe, which Zakarian of course recommends preparing in his new cookware. “The eggs won’t stick,” he says. “You can wipe it out with a wet rag.”
Squash Blossom & Tomato Frittata
Yields 1- 13-by-9-inch Pan (approx. 12 servings)
4 Medium Diced Yellow and Green Zucchini
3 tbsp shallot, diced
1 tbsp garlic, diced
8 pieces, squash blossoms
1 tbsp basil, roughly chopped
1 tbsp tarragon, roughly chopped
1-15 Confit cherry tomatoes
½ cup fresh Ricotta
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 oz Butter
¼ Cup crème fraiche
Salt and pepper, to taste
1. Heat oven to 400 degrees and turn on the broiler.
2. Melt the butter in the Cast Iron Pan until VERY lightly browned.
3. Add the zucchini and sauté until lightly colored.
4. Add the garlic and shallot and cook over medium heat until translucent. Season with salt and pepper.
5. Put the eggs, crème fraiche, salt and pepper into a large bowl and whip by hand for 3-4 minutes until the eggs are a lighter shade of yellow and a little foamy.
6. Pour the eggs in the skillet and stir very often with a rubber spatula.
7. When the eggs are half cooked, remove the pan from the fire and add the basil, tarragon and 4 of the squash blossoms that have been cut into large pieces.
8. Place the tomatoes and small spoonfuls of the ricotta around the top of the frittata.
9. Place in the oven for 10-12 minutes.
10. Remove when the eggs are almost fully set and add sprinkle the parmesan over the top.
11. Place under the broiler until the top is lightly browned.
12. Let the frittata rest for 10 minutes, cut in to squares and serve.
The macros (per serving)
A good old soak
When making any sort of frittata, I generally add the beaten eggs to the other ingredients in the pan, so I'm surprised to discover almost every Spanish omelette recipe adds the cooked onion and potato to the jug of eggs and then pours them all in together. This makes more sense from a textural point of view, as it helps to stop all the potato sinking to the bottom, but real onion devotees advocate letting them sit for hours first, to allow the flavours to mingle. I try this, but find that the onion becomes overpowering after about 20 minutes – 10, while the omelette pan is heating, gives a more subtle result.
The Perfect Breakfast Frittata
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This is simply the perfect meal to impress your friends. It looks super fancy and is filling and delicious, but it's pretty simple to make. It can also be a very cheap meal depending on what you add.
You can experiment with all kinds of different vegetables, meats, cheeses, herbs and spices. Eggs are a wonderful way to get healthy proteins and fats into your diet, but making them the same old ways can get boring. This frittata is sure to mix things up and make you LOVE eggs again.
Our favorite pan in the house is by far our small cast iron skillet. If you don't have one of these, do yourself a favor and invest in one (they don't run too expensive) and it will last you decades. This meal is great because you go from cooking on your stove, to baking in the oven, strait to the table, all in one pan. The cast iron distributes heat evenly and keeps your food warm while you're eating.
Be sure to enjoy this frittata recipe and don't be afraid to try different combinations. This dish is so wonderful because each time you make it, you can use different fillings and create completely different outcomes each time. It truly is the perfect breakfast, especially for a low-carb diet. Also, if you have leftover veggies & meat that you don't know what to do with, make a frittata!
Total Time: 25 minutes
The Perfect Frittata - Recipes
If you don’t know, know you’ll know. The frittata is basically one of THE greatest foods. EVER. It’s so quick to make, easy, inexpensive, and it’s also the perfect vehicle for leftovers—not to mention that it’s equally delicious at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. My Leftovers Frittata is crazy versatile and highly customizable. With my formula and my tips and tricks, I can guarantee this will be a staple food in your house in no time. It’s as great for simple weekly meal prep as it is an impressive option when you host brunch.
Frittatas are omelette meets crustless quiche made from eggs and any other ingredients and seasonings that you want to add. With all the possibilities on this Leftovers Frittata recipe, you’ll never ever get bored and with my easy method and simple tips, you’ll become a leftovers frittata pro in no time.
The versatility of a leftovers frittata makes it a must for your weekly meal planning and meal prep. It can be eaten cold, room temperature or steamy warm and the possibilities for the add-ins are truly endless and you guys know how I feel about recipes that offer you tons of wiggle room to get creative and to make it work for you and your needs. I find when I make a weekend brunch frittata or even just the frittatas I make as meal prep for the week – they are always an amazing opportunity to do a little fridge clean-out and to use up some of those leftovers that have become stragglers.
Listen though, we need to have a little talk. A poorly-made frittata is just a straight-up tragedy. We’ve all had a less-than-stellar frittata. You know the ones spongey, flavorless, bland and dry. I want to make sure you avoid this horrible fate, because no one should ever have to endure this – I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy.
Here are Some Tips and Common Frittata Mistakes to Avoid:
Just Beat It. Don’t Annihilate It. Over beaten eggs will go nice and big while cooking, then fall flat and be dense as it cools. Beat just enough to combine the egg whites and yolks.
Have Your Add-in Ingredients Cooked Before You Add Them to the Eggs. Since I am suggesting that the frittata is a really great use for leftovers, these will of course already be cooked, but it’s important to note, when starting from scratch and adding fresh ingredients to your frittata, you’ll want to cook them separately, as well, before adding to the eggs. If you are adding greens, zucchini, mushroom, tomatoes or other veggies that release moisture as they cook, drain off or squeeze out the excess moisture before adding to the eggs. Any ingredients you are adding to the eggs won’t cook too much more, since frittatas cook quickly, so be sure that ingredients like potatoes are already tender going in, that your meats are cooked through, etc. If your leftovers are straight from the fridge, ice cold, consider giving them just a quick minute or two in the pan to take the chill off, before adding the eggs.
For Even Distribution of Ingredients. Stir your already-cooked (but not hot) ingredients into the eggs before adding it all to the pan at once vs the method of pouring the eggs over the ingredients already in the pan. I personally find that this helps eliminate having ALL the ingredients sunk to the bottom of the frittata or lumped in one area. To have a nice pretty frittata top, leave a handful of your ingredients out from the eggs, mix the rest in and then top your frittata with a sprinkle of those remaining ingredients, just before cooking. If you don’t care or don’t wanna fuss with it. Go for it by heating/cooking your ingredients right in the pan and pouring the eggs over top.
Season Well and Early. Add a generous sprinkle of sea salt and black pepper to the eggs, as you beat them, before you pour in the pan. This ensures that it is well-distributed not just sitting on top.
Milk-it, If You Can. If you can tolerate dairy, a small amount of full fat, high quality milk, yogurt or sour cream will take your frittata to a whole ‘nother level. Extra custardy and rich. But don’t overdo it, too much dairy will make for a not well set frittata. For best results, I suggest approximately 1/4 cup of dairy to 6 eggs, 1/2 cup to 12 eggs, (1/3 cup for 8-10 – you get the idea). Can’t do dairy? Go with a creamy, unsweetened full fat coconut milk, if you’d like or just leave it out. (More watery non-dairy milks like almond won’t give you the luscious creamy results and it’ll just water down the eggs, so best to just skip those)
Cast Iron Skillets Do it Best. As far as I am concerned, a well-seasoned cast iron skillet makes THE best frittata. Because it conducts and holds heat well, you’ll get an evenly cooked frittata with nicely golden brown edges without that dry crusty edge that other pans can produce. Frittatas also tend to stick to stainless steel pans that aren’t properly oiled and it’s just not the same. I suggest a 10-inch cast iron skillet for 8-12 egg frittatas. Less eggs? Use a smaller pan or note that it will result in a thinner frittata and it’ll cook a bit quicker. While many folks suggest non-stick skillets for easy results, most contain toxic chemicals that will leech into our food, so I prefer to avoid and instead reach for my well-season cast iron.
Be Mindful to not Overcook your Frittata. An overcooked frittata is dry, spongey and just plain sub-par. Keep a keen eye on your frittata. Pull it out of the oven when it’s just barely set. The cast iron retains heat and will continue to cook the frittata. Best to play it safe and check your frittata about 5 minutes prior to when it “should be done”.
The Combo Stove Top and Oven Method is Best. I recommend a quick cook on the stove top, cooking until the edges begin to pull away from the pan (3-5 minutes) then finishing in the oven until just set. This provides the best results and helps to avoid an overcooked frittata. You can cook it entirely on the stove top or in the oven, but I find frittatas to cook best and most evenly with this method. I recommend a 350ºF oven for most frittatas, if it’s on the thicker side, you may want to go for 375º – 400ºF.
Cheese if you want. Or not. Mix in your favorite grated or crumble cheese, same as the ingredients, mix into the egg mixture and for a golden top, sprinkle a little on top, too.
Just Some of the Ingredients You Can Add to Your Leftovers Frittata – The Options and Combos are Limitless:
leftover cooked proteins: bacon, sausage, shredded or diced chicken, pork or beef, smoked salmon, ham, lamb, tofu, etc.
cooked veggies: greens like spinach, kale or chard, onion, zucchini, tomatoes, mushrooms, bell peppers or roasted peppers, scallions, potatoes, squash, brussels sprouts, fennel, leeks, asparagus, peas, broccoli, etc.
other add-ins: fresh herbs like basil, oregano, tarragon, sliced olives, cooked beans like chickpeas or lentils, kimchi, try leftover cooked pasta, rice or quinoa, toasted bread, etc.
cheeses: parmesan, goat cheese, feta, mozzarella, cheddar, ricotta, gruyere, etc.
What Is a Frittata?
A frittata sits somewhere between a quiche and an omelet. It doesn’t have a crust like a quiche, but it’s not folded like an omelet. The texture is a cross between the rich, creamy quiche and the airy, buoyant omelet.
Most frittatas are delicious at just about any temperature, from fresh-out-of-the-oven hot, to room temperature or even cold. For lunch or dinner, you complete the meal with a side of lightly dressed greens for breakfast, add fruit or a slice of bacon.
Use mastering your frittata method as a way to sharpen your time-honed kitchen skills. Before you know it, your version of the classic Italian meal will be adored for its always-consistent texture, flavor, and ability to surprise and delight. You can rely on a classic frittata recipe, like this Zucchini-and-Mozzarella Frittata, or once you’ve mastered the egg mixture rules below, you can wing your frittata with ingredients you have on hand.
Here, learn how to make a frittata perfectly each time, with four all-important secrets even the best home cooks may not yet know.
Basic Baked Frittata Recipe
- Author: Cookie and Kate
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 15 mins
- Total Time: 25 minutes
- Yield: 4 1 x
- Category: Main, Side
- Method: Baked
- Cuisine: Italian
Have you mastered the frittata yet? Baked frittatas make a great, easy meal any time of the day—even for a quick weeknight dinner.
- 6 eggs
- A handful of cheese
- A splash of milk
- Vegetables, spices, salt, pepper, and anything else you want to throw together
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Line a 9-inch springform pan OR 9-inch square baking dish with parchment paper (here’s a photo that demonstrates how to line the square dish).
- In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, cheese, milk, vegetables and seasonings.
- Pour the mixture into the springform pan or baking dish.
- Bake until the frittata is golden and puffy and the center feels firm and springy, about 25 minutes or more.
▸ Nutrition Information
For the frittata pictured above, I used shredded mozzarella cheese, feta cheese (the more cheese, the better!), roasted red peppers, grated zucchini, roasted red pepper flakes and salt and pepper. Boy oh boy, it was good! I can’t wait to try Jules’ suggestion to add chickpeas and rosemary.
If you’re looking for a tasty breakfast idea for the weekend, this is it!
By Kathryne Taylor
Vegetable enthusiast. Dog lover. I'm probably making a big mess in my Kansas City kitchen right now.
More about Cookie and Kate »
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- Prep Time: 40 mins
- Cook Time: 21 mins
- Total Time: 1 hr 1 min
- Servings: 8
Pre-heat oven to 350° F. Dice the onion and avocados into small pieces. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half. Set aside.
Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium heat. First, add in the spinach, then garlic. Sauté the spinach until wilted and set aside.
Heat the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet on medium heat. Cook onions in oil for about 5 minutes, or until lightly browned. Set aside.
In a large bowl, crack and mix the eggs.
Add almond milk, salt, and pepper into the eggs. Stir the mixture.
Add the sautéed spinach, cherry tomatoes, and avocado into the egg mixture. Stir to distribute the vegetables throughout the mixture evenly. Pour egg mixture back into skillet.
Cook egg mixture on medium heat for 5 minutes or until the edges start to pull from the side of the skillet.
Transfer hot skillet to oven. Let bake for 16 minutes, or until frittata is set.