How to Make Any Frittata

How to Make Any Frittata
With a frittata, turn yesterday’s leftovers into today’s sensational and (easy!) brunch, lunch, or light dinner. (Jennifer Segal)
9/18/2023
Updated:
9/25/2023
0:00
I think of frittatas as the lazy cook’s omelet, perfect for those nights when eggs and a few odds and ends are all you’ve got in the fridge. They’re so simple to whip up without the precise technique that omelets require. (By the way, did you know many chefs use omelet-making as a test for potential kitchen hires?)

But just because they’re easy doesn’t mean you’re skimping on flavor. Like their omelet cousins, frittatas offer endless possibilities for fillings, making them ideal for using up those leftover veggies, meats, herbs, or cheese that you’re not sure what to do with. They can be served for brunch, lunch, or a light dinner, and you can even prepare them in advance. Plus, they’re delicious both warm and at room temperature, so extra slices make a great grab-and-go lunch or a no-fuss picnic option.

Below, I’ll share my technique and tips for making the best frittata, as well as some ideas for fillings. As long as you follow the basic formula, it’s all about using what you have and getting creative—have fun with it!

(Jennifer Segal)
(Jennifer Segal)

Frittata Filling Ideas

  • Veggies: bell peppers, broccoli, mushrooms, zucchini, onions, asparagus, potatoes, tomatoes, garlic, leeks, eggplant, and shallots
  • Leafy greens: arugula, spinach, kale, collard greens, Swiss chard, endive, and beet greens
  • Herbs: parsley, chives, dill, thyme, basil, or herbes de Provence
  • Cheese: Gruyère, cheddar, Swiss, or fontina
  • Meat/seafood: bacon, pancetta, sausage, salami, ham, chicken, turkey, smoked salmon, and crab meat
(Jennifer Segal)
(Jennifer Segal)

Tips for Making the Best Frittata

Opt for Full-Fat Dairy

For a creamy, custardy texture, use heavy cream and full-fat cheese. While alternatives such as half and half or whole milk work, they may result in a less rich and slightly watery frittata.

Use a Suitable Skillet

Ensure your skillet is nonstick and oven-safe. A cast-iron skillet works well, too. If you don’t have either, a 9 x 9-inch baking dish or a 9-inch deep dish pie plate will do.

Dice Add-Ins Into Small Pieces

If your ingredients such as veggies or bacon require dicing, chop them into small pieces. This ensures even distribution throughout the frittata and helps it hold together. Large pieces may create gaps in the egg, making it prone to breaking when sliced.

Season and Sauté Veggies

If you’re starting with uncooked veggies, prior to adding them to the egg mixture, season and sauté them. If using precooked vegetables, drain off any excess liquid if necessary.

Mix Up the Cheese

Feel free to mix two or more different cheeses. And opt for melty cheeses such as Gruyère, cheddar, Swiss, or fontina, or use part melty cheese and part Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Distribute Fillings Evenly

Before placing the frittata in the oven, eyeball it to ensure the vegetables are evenly spread throughout the pan. The goal is to have a balance of veggies in every bite.

Cook at 325 F

Most frittata recipes call for an oven temperature of 350 degrees F, but this is too hot. Like quiche, frittatas should be cooked slowly so that the eggs maintain a custardy texture.

Avoid Overcooking

Remove the frittata from the oven when it’s just set. Overcooking can result in a dry and rubbery texture.

Mind the Hot Panhandle

Immediately cover the handle with an oven mitt after removing the frittata. (Take it from me, it’s all too easy to forget and burn yourself!)

Add a Finishing Touch
If you’d like to add an extra layer of flavor, finish your frittata with snipped fresh herbs, a dollop of pesto, a drizzle of hot sauce, or warm salsa. Or top your frittata with a lightly dressed arugula salad.

What You’ll Need to Make a Frittata

(Jennifer Segal)
(Jennifer Segal)

Step-by-Step Instructions

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F, and set an oven rack in the middle position.

Heat the oil in a 10-inch cast-iron or ovenproof nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots.

(Jennifer Segal)
(Jennifer Segal)

Cook the shallots, stirring frequently, until softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Do not brown.

(Jennifer Segal)
(Jennifer Segal)

Add the cooked vegetables and stir to combine.

(Jennifer Segal)
(Jennifer Segal)

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, add the eggs, heavy cream, salt, and pepper.

(Jennifer Segal)
(Jennifer Segal)

Whisk to combine.

(Jennifer Segal)
(Jennifer Segal)

Add the cooked vegetable mixture and cheese to the egg mixture.

( Jennifer Segal)
( Jennifer Segal)

Stir to combine.

(Jennifer Segal)
(Jennifer Segal)

Pour the mixture back into the pan (no need to wash it).

(Jennifer Segal)
(Jennifer Segal)

Next, place the frittata in the oven and bake until set, 20 to 23 minutes.

(Jennifer Segal)
(Jennifer Segal)
Immediately place an oven mitt over the panhandle to remind yourself that it’s hot (it’s easy to forget and burn your hand, and the handle stays hot for a long time). Serve the frittata directly from the pan, or use a rubber spatula to loosen the edges and slide the frittata onto a serving platter.

Base Frittata Recipe

With a frittata, turn yesterday’s leftovers into today’s sensational and (easy!) brunch, lunch, or light dinner.

Servings: 4 Prep Time: 15 Minutes Cook Time: 20 Minutes Total Time: 35 Minutes

Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 cup thinly sliced shallots, from 2 to 3 shallots
  • 2 cups seasoned, cooked vegetables or greens
  • 8 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/4 cup shredded cheese, such as cheddar or Gruyère
Instructions

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F, and set an oven rack in the middle position.

Heat the oil in a 10-inch cast-iron or ovenproof nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Do not brown. Add the cooked vegetables and stir to combine.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, heavy cream, salt, and pepper.

Add the cooked vegetable mixture and cheese to the egg mixture and stir to combine. Pour the mixture back into the pan (no need to wash it), then place it in the oven and bake until set, 20 to 23 minutes. Immediately place an oven mitt over the panhandle to remind yourself that it is hot (it’s easy to forget and burn your hand, and the handle stays hot for a long time). Serve the frittata directly from the pan, or use a rubber spatula to loosen the edges and slide the frittata onto a serving platter.

Freezer-Friendly Instructions: The cooked frittata can be frozen for up to 3 months. Remove the frittata from the freezer about 24 hours prior to serving and reheat it in the microwave or, covered with foil, in a 300-degree F oven until hot in the center.

Note: If you'd like to add savory additions to your frittata: 1 to 1½ cups of shredded chicken or crumbled sausage is ideal. A touch of crumbled cooked bacon or smoked salmon requires around ½ cup.

Per serving (4 servings)

Calories: 491; Fat: 37 g; Saturated fat: 16 g; Carbohydrates: 14 g; Sugar: 4 g; Fiber: 3 g; Protein: 25 g; Sodium: 566 mg; Cholesterol: 435 mg

Nutritional Data Disclaimer Gluten-Free Adaptable Note

To the best of my knowledge, all of the ingredients used in this recipe are gluten-free or widely available in gluten-free versions. There is hidden gluten in many foods; if you’re following a gluten-free diet or cooking for someone with gluten allergies, always read the labels of your ingredients to verify that they’re gluten-free.

This article was originally published on OnceUponaChef.comFollow on Instagram.
Jennifer is a classically trained chef, Cookbook author, and busy mom. She became interested in cooking in college while studying abroad in France and living with a French family. She is a graduate of L’Academie de Cuisine. Visit OnceUponaChef.com.
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