Over the years, I’ve noticed that I don’t find favorite recipes, but they evolve. The frittata is a perfect example. I can’t remember what inspired me to start making them; it may have even been an omelet gone wrong…or right, because these are game-changers.
When people pass by the kitchen and see my vast conglomeration of vegetables (potatoes, mushrooms, spinach, onion, tomatoes, bell pepper…), cheese, eggs, herbs, bacon, and sometimes crab, they ask:
“What are you making?”
And the best I can usually come up with is, “like an omelet,” which completely understates its greatness. Hopefully this post will show how the frittata is way more than just “like an omelet:” It’s like a thick, fluffy baked omelet full of contrasting textures, smoky and savory flavors, melty cheese, and that can be made once for everyone. One reason omelets are rare weeknight meals for us is that each one has to be made separately. With the frittata, you can toss everything into one pan, shove it in the oven for 10 minutes, and bam! Your meal is served, light on calories but complete with vegetables, a good balance of protein, carbohydrates, and fats, and deliciousness, of course. I usually serve mine with whole grain rolls and a vegetable on the side for a little something extra.
Because it is so easy, nutritious, and filling (this WHOLE PAN is for two!), frittata shows up on my dinner plate about once a week, but of course it also makes a gorgeous brunch (even Christmas-worthy), or breakfast or lunch.
Finally, the beauty of the frittata is its versatility: use what you have and get creative. This recipe is my time-tested “favorite,” and I still list several options for different ingredients. I’ll have it once a week for a month, and it’s never exactly the same.
- 2 whole eggs and 4 egg whites (OR 4 whole eggs, or another combination)
- generous pinch salt and pepper
- generous sprinkle dried herbs de provence OR Italian seasoning*
- 1 oz shredded cheese of choice** (smoked gouda, sharp cheddar, or Sargento’s Bruschetta Jack are my favorites)
- sliced green onion or chives
- ~148g (1 serving) baby golden potatoes
- 1 tsp EVOO, as needed
- ~3 oz sliced cremini mushrooms
- handful sliced red and/or green bell pepper
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 1 cup baby spinach
- ~10 sliced grape tomatoes (sliced width-wise) OR handful sliced sun-dried tomatoes
- extra protein of choice: 2 slices turkey bacon OR 3 oz (jumbo) lump crabmeat
*If using an Italian cheese like mozzarella, fontina, or Bruschetta Jack (<—this one!), go with Italian seasoning (or a mixture of dried basil, parsley, and oregano). Cheddar and smoked gouda are especially good with herbs de provence.
**For best quality, shred the cheese from a block rather than buying pre-shredded.
Preheat oven to 400º. Chop your potatoes into bite-sized pieces and steam about 12-15 minutes, until just tender. (If you don’t have a steamer tray, you can also boil them whole until tender, then chop.)
While the potatoes are cooking, prep your other veggies. Also, in a large bowl, whisk the eggs/egg whites, then stir in salt, pepper, herbs, cheese, green onion/chives, and crab (if using); set aside.
- If using turkey bacon: Cook 2 slices in a 10-inch non-stick skillet over medium heat on both sides until crisp; remove and tear into small pieces. Deglaze the pan with a splash broth or water as needed, then add mushrooms and bell pepper.
- If not using bacon: Heat EVOO in a 10-in nonstick skillet, then add mushrooms and bell pepper.
Sauté mushrooms and bell pepper a couple minutes, then add garlic, cooked potatoes, sun-dried tomatoes (if using), and spinach; stir until spinach is slightly wilted. (You can cover the pan for 1-2 minutes to help it wilt.) Also, if using, add in the bacon pieces. Evenly pour egg/cheese/(and possibly crab) mixture over the vegetables, then top with sliced tomatoes. Transfer the the whole pan to the oven and bake about 12 minutes, until egg is set.*** Use a potholder to remove pan from oven (the handle is HOT!), and cool a couple minutes before dividing with a spatula. Top with extra cheese right out of the oven if desired.
***Cooking times will depend on the thickness of your frittata. Especially if you used a smaller pan or doubled the recipe, it may need to cook longer.