How To Make a Frittata

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As long as you have a few vegetables and some eggs on hand, you can have a frittata on the table in about 20 minutes.

Serves4 to 6

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Frittatas have saved me on more hungry weeknights than I care to count. The Italian egg dish is similar to a crustless quiche but less custardy and rich — more similar is texture to an omelet. It’s made on the stove and finished in the oven.

As long as I have a few vegetables and maybe a little meat to throw in a skillet, I can have a frittata on the table in about 20 minutes. There is nothing better than diving into a plate of steaming veggie-filled eggs, like cheesy spinach frittata, when you’re home late and starving. Here’s how to make an easy frittata.

Quick Overview

Easy Formula For a Frittata

To make a great frittata, remember for every six eggs, use 1/4 cup heavy cream, 1 cup cheese, and 2 cups total of vegetables and/or meat. This ratio will get you a frittata with a hearty filling and a creamy egg custard texture.

Credit: Joe Lingeman

The Best Frittatas Are Simple

Frittatas were once my culinary nemesis. Everyone else seemed to think they were so easy-peasy, but mine always turned out dry or bland or unappetizing for one reason or another. Through trial and error, I learned some nifty tricks and gradually refined my technique. Almost without realizing it, frittatas have became one of my favorite egg dishes and a regular visitor to my weeknight meal rotation.

In retrospect, I think I was making frittatas out to be more complicated than they actually are. There’s not really a “right” way to make them. The method I describe here is what consistently works for me, but I have no doubt that you will make tweaks of your own once you head into the kitchen.

Credit: Joe Lingeman

The Frittata Ratio to Memorize

So how do you make a great frittata every time without always using a recipe? The answer is a ratio. For every six eggs, use 1/4 cup heavy cream, 1 cup cheese, and 2 cups total of vegetables and/or meat. This will get you a frittata with a hearty filling — especially if you’re using something like potatoes and bacon — and a creamy egg custard shot through with the tang of cheese.

We do recommend a cast iron or oven-safe nonstick skillet. Stainless steel pans will also work, but you’ll need extra oil to make sure the eggs don’t stick to the pan.

Credit: Joe Lingeman

What to Serve with a Frittata

One frittata makes plenty for four to six people with a side salad or other steamed vegetable, and more than enough for two. The leftovers are nearly as good as frittata straight from the oven. I like to eat a wedge on top of a piece of toast for an easy lunch. And while I mostly rely on frittatas as a quick-fix dinner, they are wonderful for a hearty breakfast any day of the week, too.

Tester’s Note

Frittatas are everything to love about a quiche without the fuss of a crust. A simple whisk of eggs and dairy poured over sautéed veggies (and/or meat) and you have a dish you can serve any time of day. Kitchn’s original frittata post was more a formula and less a recipe — like the choose-your-own adventure books we read as kids, there was a list of suggested fillings and a wide range of amounts offered for egg, dairy, and seasoning.

Although this approach has served readers well, in this update we share our favorite iteration of the dish (let’s just say there are potatoes, bacon, spinach, and cheese involved!). Use 6 eggs to 1/4 cup heavy cream for a tender, creamy custard. This streamlined recipe will make it easier to execute and experiment.


Patty Catalano, March 2018

Frittata Recipe

As long as you have a few vegetables and some eggs on hand, you can have a frittata on the table in about 20 minutes.

Serves4 to 6

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

For the eggs:

  • 4 slices

    thick-cut bacon (about 8 ounces, optional)

  • 2

    small Yukon gold potatoes

  • 2 cloves

    garlic

  • 1 small bunch

    fresh thyme

  • 4 ounces

    Gruyère, Fontina, or cheddar cheese (optional)

  • 6 to 8

    large eggs

  • 1/4 cup

    heavy cream

  • 1 teaspoon

    kosher salt, divided

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 cups

    baby spinach (2 ounces)

Equipment

Instructions

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  1. Prep the ingredients. Dice 4 slices thick-cut bacon if using. Peel and thinly slice 2 small Yukon gold potatoes. Mince 2 garlic cloves. Pick the leaves from 1 small bunch fresh thyme until you have 2 teaspoons. Grate 4 ounces Gruyère, Fontina, or cheddar cheese on the large holes of a box grater if using (about 1 cup).

  2. Heat the oven. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 400°F.

  3. Whisk the eggs and cream together. Place 6 to 8 large eggs (use 6 if using bacon and cheese), 1/4 cup heavy cream, and 1/2 teaspoon of the kosher salt in a medium or large bowl and whisk to combine.

  4. Cook the bacon. Place the bacon in a cold 10- to 12-inch nonstick ovensafe frying pan or cast iron skillet. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until browned and crisp, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined plate. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat. (If not using bacon, heat 2 tablespoons oil in the skillet, then proceed with adding the potatoes).

  5. Saute the potatoes in bacon fat. Return the pan to medium heat. Add the potatoes and season with 1/4 teaspoon black pepper and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and lightly browned, 4 to 6 minutes.

  6. Wilt the spinach with the garlic and thyme. Add the garlic, thyme, and 2 cups baby spinach. Cook, stirring often, until the spinach wilts, 30 to 60 seconds. Return the bacon to the pan and stir to evenly distribute.

  7. Add the cheese. Spread the vegetables into an even layer. Sprinkle the cheese evenly over the top. Let cook until just starting to melt.

  8. Pour the egg mixture into the skillet. Pour the egg mixture over the vegetables and cheese. Tilt the pan to make sure the eggs settle evenly over all the vegetables. Cook until the eggs at the edges of the pan are just beginning to set, 1 to 2 minutes.

  9. Bake the frittata for 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer the pan to the oven. Bake until the eggs are set, 8 to 10 minutes. To check, cut a small slit in the center of the frittata. If raw eggs run into the cut, bake for a few minutes more. For a browned, crispy top, turn on the broiler for a minute or two at the end of cooking.

  10. Cool and serve. Let the frittata cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Slice into wedges and serve.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days.