A frittata - derived from the Italian word fritta, meaning to fry - is an extremely versatile dish. It’s fancy enough for fine-dining, hearty enough for breakfast and is the perfect way to use up leftovers from last night’s dinner. Combine that with the fact that you can make one for a whole family in about 10 minutes, it’s pretty clear the frittata is a must for any chef, amateur or otherwise.
The frittata is very similar to an omelette, the basic difference is the filling is mixed in with the egg instead of folded. Mostly cooked in the skillet, frittatas are finished in the oven, resulting in a puffy, slightly browned top.
Things You'll Need
- An oven-safe pan such as a cast iron skillet
- A bit of cream
- 4-5 eggs
- Any other ingredients you’d like in your fritatta
- An oven
Step 1Preheat your oven to “broil.” Whisk together the eggs and cream until smooth. Be careful not to over-beat the eggs, as it can cause the albumen to toughen. At the same time, make sure that your filling ingredients are cooked, warm and any liquid is drained.
Mix together all of your ingredients with the eggs, saving any cheese until the end.
Step 3Grease your pan with butter or cooking spray. Pour the mixture into a pan over low heat, and begin moving the cooked egg away from the edges, creating large curds, much like you would with an omelette.
When the bottom is cooked, the centre will still be slightly runny. At this point, sprinkle the cheese on top and place under the broiler for 2-3 minutes or until the top is set.
Using a rubber spatula, loosen the frittata from the edges. Place a cutting board over top of the pan and invert to turn out the frittata. Let it sit for 2-3 minutes, then cut into slices and serve warm.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a frittata?
A frittata is an Italian-style egg dish that is similar to an omelette or a quiche without the crust. It is usually cooked in a skillet on the stovetop or in the oven and is flavoured by a variety of different ingredients.
What are some common fillings for a frittata?
A frittata can include a variety of ingredients. Consider roasted or pan-fried vegetables such as bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, or tomatoes; cheeses like feta, mozzarella, cheddar; or add meat or seafood like bacon, sausage, ham, shrimp or crab. You can also add herbs, spices or other seasonings to add extra flavour to your base. If you're looking for inspiration, check out our Frittata ideas page.
Can a frittata be served cold?
A frittata can be served hot out of the oven, at room temperature or cold out of the fridge for a quick breakfast on the go. It's a perfect main dish for breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner, and can be enjoyed on its own or with a side of fruit, a salad, or some bread. You can also cut a frittata into small squares and serve it as a party appetizer.
How is a frittata different from an omelette?
A frittata is different from an omelette in several ways. Unlike an omelette, a frittata is typically made by cooking the eggs and fillings together in a skillet, rather than folding the eggs over the filling as in an omelette or baking them in a crust as in a quiche. This gives the frittata a more rustic, open-faced appearance.
How do you know when a frittata is done?
When the frittata is ready, the eggs should be set and have a nice golden-brown hue on the bottom. To check if the frittata is done, use a knife or spatula to gently lift up the edges and peek underneath. The eggs should be cooked through, not runny and a knife should come out clean when inserted into the centre. You can also give the skillet a gentle shake to determine if it is done; a runny frittata will jiggle when you shake the skillet.
Can a frittata be made ahead of time?
Frittatas are perfect for meal prepping since they can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator. Just cook the eggs and ingredients according to the recipe, then let the frittata cool completely. Once it’s cooled, place it in a sealed, reusable container and store it in the fridge for up to 2 days. To serve, gently heat it in a skillet over medium heat until it’s warmed up, or pop it in the microwave for about 30 seconds, or simply serve it at room temperature.
Can a frittata be frozen?
A frittata can also be frozen in a pinch, although the texture of the eggs may change slightly after being frozen and thawed.
To freeze a frittata, allow it to cool completely after cooking, then place it on a cookie sheet in the freezer until frozen through. Then, place it in an airtight container and return to the freezer for up to 3 months.
To thaw out the frittata, pop the slices onto a baking tray and cook them in an oven heated to 275°F (135°C) for 20 minutes. If you have some extra time, let it defrost in the fridge for the night and cook it on the stovetop in a pan over medium heat until it's warmed through.
What are some common flavour combinations for a frittata?
A frittata is an incredibly versatile dish that allows for endless flavour combinations. Have fun experimenting and discovering the tastes you like best. Some common combinations include:
- Spinach, feta, and tomato
- Mushroom, bacon, and cheddar
- Asparagus, goat cheese, and red onion
- Zucchini, basil, and Parmesan
- Broccoli, bacon, and Swiss cheese
If you need some creative meal ideas, take a look at our Frittata Recipe section.