We love flexible recipes around here and Frittatas definitely fit that bill. You can add whatever meat, vegetables, or cheese that you happen to have in your fridge, which not only makes them flexible, but the perfect vehicle for reducing food waste and keeping that grocery bill in check! So here’s a quick tutorial on how to make a simple frittata, so you can whip one up whenever you need a quick, inexpensive, and delicious meal.
What is a Frittata?
Frittatas are an Italian dish consisting of cooked eggs with other ingredients added in like meat, vegetables, or cheese. Unlike omelets and scrambled eggs, frittatas are not moved or folded over as they’re cooked. The frittata is cooked whole, without disturbing, in one large piece.
There are different methods for cooking frittatas, some being cooked entirely on the stovetop over low heat and others being finished in the oven. The method we use here starts on the stovetop to cook the add-ins, then finishes in the oven with gentle even heat.
The Frittata Formula
Frittatas are incredibly simple. For every six large eggs, you’ll want to mix in ¼ cup of milk or cream, ¼ cup of cheese, and about 3 cups of meat or vegetables. The small amount of milk and cheese keeps the eggs soft and creamy and the meat and vegetables give you endless options. You’ll also want to add a little salt and pepper just to make sure everything is well seasoned!
Frittatas in Five Simple Steps
This frittata method is so simple that it’s one of those recipes you’ll memorize in no time. Here are the five simple steps to making a frittata:
- Whisk together eggs, milk, salt, and pepper.
- Sauté meat and vegetables in a skillet.
- Top with cheese then pour in the egg mixture.
- Cook on the stovetop until the edges are set.
- Transfer to the oven to finish cooking. Slice and serve!
Avoid Overcooking Your Frittata
One of the biggest mistakes people make when making frittatas is overcooking the eggs. Eggs are delicate souls and when overcooked they become rubbery and they weep with sadness. And no, that wasn’t figurative, they literally excrete water.
To avoid overcooking the frittata, make sure you don’t bake it too long. Keep an eye on your frittata and only leave it in the oven until the center is just barely set. It’s okay if it jiggles just a bit in the center, carryover cooking will finish the job in the first few minutes after the frittata is removed from the oven.
How to Serve Frittatas
Frittatas aren’t just for breakfast or brunch. Because they’re so easy to prepare, frittatas are one of my favorite quick lunch or dinner items. Just check your fridge for whatever needs to be used up, toss them into the frittata, then whip up a simple side salad as it bakes! Dinner is DONE!
Frittatas can be served either warm or cold, which makes them even more flexible. Bake one up on Sunday, then pack up the leftover slices for tomorrow’s lunch!
Other Frittata Flavor Ideas
We kept our frittata simple below with just some onion, spinach, tomatoes, and feta, but the flavor possibilities are endless! Here are some other flavor combination ideas:
- Broccoli, cheddar, bacon
- Ham, Swiss, and bell pepper
- Sausage and sun-dried tomato
- Portobello mushroom and goat cheese
- Ham and potato
- Zucchini and corn
- Kale and chorizo
- Roasted red pepper and feta
How to Make a Frittata
- 6 large eggs ($1.16)
- 1/4 cup milk ($0.06)
- 1/2 tsp salt ($0.03)
- 1/4 tsp pepper ($0.02)
- 2 Tbsp cooking oil ($0.08)
- 1 yellow onion ($0.36)
- 2 cups fresh spinach (about 4 oz.) ($0.99)
- 1 pint grape tomatoes ($2.00)
- 1/4 cup crumbled feta ($0.41)
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, salt, and pepper. Set the eggs aside.
- Dice on yellow onion. Heat a 10-inch oven-safe skillet over medium, then add the cooking oil and onion and sauté until the onions are soft and translucent.
- Meanwhile, roughly chop the spinach and slice the tomatoes in half.
- Add the spinach and tomatoes to the skillet and stir to combine with the onions.
- Before the spinach has a chance to cook or wilt, pour in the egg mixture (it's okay if the eggs don't fully cover the vegetables). Top with the crumbled feta.
- Let the frittata continue to cook over medium just until the eggs are set around the edges (about 3 minutes).
- Transfer the frittata to the oven and bake for about 15 minutes, or just until the eggs are set in the center (total bake time will vary). Remove the frittata from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.
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How to Make Frittatas – Step by Step Photos
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. In a large bowl, whisk together six large eggs, ¼ cup milk, ½ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp pepper. Set the eggs aside.
Sauté your meat or vegetables in a 10-inch oven-safe skillet over medium heat. Because the frittata cooks quickly, you can leave some vegetables fresh instead of sautéing, if desired. For this frittata, we sautéed one yellow onion in 2 Tbsp cooking oil and added the rest of the vegetables fresh.
When using fresh spinach, it’s best to roughly chop it into smaller, bite-sized pieces to avoid large, stringy pieces of spinach in your frittata. We used 2 cups of packed spinach (about 4 oz.) for this frittata and one pint of grape tomatoes (sliced in half).
Add the chopped spinach and tomatoes to the skillet with the onions and stir briefly to combine.
Before the spinach has a chance to cook or wilt, pour in the egg mixture. It’s okay if the eggs don’t fully cover the vegetables. Top with the crumbled feta or cheese of choice.
Continue to cook the frittata over medium heat just until the eggs begin setting around the edges (this only takes a few minutes).
Transfer the frittata to the oven and bake for about 15 minutes, or just until the center is set. The total cooking time will vary slightly depending on the type of skillet used and how much the eggs had set while on the stovetop. It’s okay if the eggs still jiggle a little in the center; they will continue to cook through residual heat for a few minutes after it is removed from the oven. Avoid overcooking the frittata.
Remove the frittata from the oven and let rest for five minutes before slicing into six pieces and serving!