How to Make A Frittata

$5.11 recipe / $0.85 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
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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.

A slice of frittata being lifted out of a cast iron skillet.

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:

  1. Whisk together eggs, milk, salt, and pepper.
  2. Sauté meat and vegetables in a skillet.
  3. Top with cheese then pour in the egg mixture.
  4. Cook on the stovetop until the edges are set.
  5. Transfer to the oven to finish cooking. Slice and serve!
A slice of frittata on a plate with a side salad.

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:

Side view of a slice of frittata

How to Make a Frittata

Frittatas are an easy and inexpensive way to use up leftovers in your fridge, and they're great for breakfast, lunch, or dinner! 
Overhead view of a spinach and tomato frittata
Servings 6 slices
Prep 10 mins
Cook 30 mins
Total 40 mins

Ingredients

  • 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)

Instructions 

  • 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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Nutrition

Serving: 1sliceCalories: 159kcalCarbohydrates: 6gProtein: 9gFat: 11gSodium: 352mgFiber: 2g
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How to Make Frittatas – Step by Step Photos

Eggs milk salt and pepper in a bowl with a whisk.

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.

Sautéed onions in a skillet.

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.

Chopped spinach on a cutting board.

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).

Spinach and tomatoes combined with onions in the skillet.

Add the chopped spinach and tomatoes to the skillet with the onions and stir briefly to combine.

Eggs being poured into the skillet.

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.

Frittata topped with cheese and edges set.

Continue to cook the frittata over medium heat just until the eggs begin setting around the edges (this only takes a few minutes).

Baked frittata in the skillet.

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.

Sliced frittata in the skillet, one slice being lifted.

Remove the frittata from the oven and let rest for five minutes before slicing into six pieces and serving!

A slice of frittata on a plate with a simple side salad.

Check out these other great egg dishes:

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  1. Just wondering if this could be done in a air fryer on the bake setting? Has anyone tried?

    1. That sounds like an interesting kitchen experiment! An air-fryer is really just a convection oven, so theoretically, it should work. Though you should keep in mind that items bake faster in a convection oven than they do in a regular oven. So I would reduce the amount of cooking time. XOXO -Monti

  2. If you didn’t want to use the oven, would you be able to put a lid on the skillet and let it steam for 5 minutes?

    1. I haven’t tested the recipe that way, and the steam from the lid will pool at the top of the frittata, so I don’t recommend it. If you leave the lid off and leave it on mid-low, it should cook. Again, I haven’t tested it. XOXO -Monti

    2. I would recommend doing a Spanish-type omelette if you can’t use an oven. It’s halfway between an omelette and a frittata and it’s fully cooked on a stovetop. The key is that it’s flipped so the top can cook

  3. This is great! By chance I didn’t have time to make my regular frittata recipe today (which cooks it very low and slow); when this was posted, I decided to try it out. The proportions and temp are just right for a light and delicious frittata! For those wondering, I almost always use nondairy milk (oat milk), and it works beautifully. 

  4. Hi Beth, I love the guidelines of eggs:milk:cheese. Was wondering if there is a ratio/substitution for not using cheese for us dairy free folk? Maybe oil instead? Or 1.5 milk (like instead of 1/4c it would be 1/4c + 2 TB?) Thanks!

    1. I’d try a vegan cheese or omit it all together and use a sprinkle of nutritional yeast. Don’t add oil. XOXO -Monti

  5. I am just began a GF and DF journey. Can non-dairy milk be used instead? Can the cheese just be left out? Or would it completely change the dish? 

    1. Hi Emily! Just use vegan cheese or omit it. And you can use non-dairy milk as well. XOXO -Monti