This fluffy pancetta omelette (omelet) is easy to make – no need to separate eggs! Spend your time prepping great filling ingredients instead. Looking for more breakfast and brunch ideas? Head over to this shakshuka post!
How to make a fluffy pancetta omelet for Father’s Day or any day!
This pancetta omelette recipe first appeared in June 2010 because of Father’s Day. Despite my repeated chiding to my kids that “he’s not my father”, I ended up preparing breakfast for my husband with just some minimal sous chef assistance from his offspring.
Kind of my fault — I suggested omelettes instead of the usual pancakes or waffles, which the kids could have cooked all by themselves. Oh well – the pancetta omelet turned out so yummy that hubby wanted a second helping.
Verdict from the guy that’s not my father? Best omelette he’s ever had and he’s actually the expert omelette maker in our house.
Secret ingredient in the omelet: pancetta
The trick was my secret ingredient – pancetta. Pancetta is cured, but not smoked, pork belly. Bacon, on the other hand, is cured and smoked. I had Trader Joe’s chopped pancetta, rather than typical slab bacon. So I sautéed it until it was crispy and brown. Then I used the rendered pancetta fat to sauté up some of the other filling ingredients.
Omelet station style
Ever notice that many of the ingredients at an omelette station are pre-cooked such as onions, peppers, bacon. Sometimes I try to cut corners and not pre-cook the filling ingredients. But don’t be like me. If you really want your omelette to come together in the best way once the eggs are poured into the pan, prep all of your filling ingredients first.
How to make a fluffy pancetta omelette
- First saute your pancetta until it it brown and renders a bit of fat.
- Then saute your shallot in the rendered pancetta fat.
- If that uses up your rendered fat, add a touch of butter or olive oil to your pan and quickly saute your baby spinach (or arugula) with a bit of salt and pepper. If the spinach releases any juices, drain the excess moisture so the omelette isn’t watery.
- Cut some grape tomatoes in half and saute them briefly with a little salt and pepper just to soften them a bit. (my daughter helped by cutting the tomatoes)
- For the eggs, I added a little milk and salt and pepper. My husband swears by using half and half or heavy cream. Others use just water. I used an 8-inch non-stick pan on medium, pouring the three eggs into it.
- Let the eggs cook for about a minute and then start pushing the sides in to let the uncooked egg float to the outside.
- When the top has just a little bit of moisture left start layering in the filling – first the shallot, then pancetta, then spinach and tomatoes, and finally some shredded cheddar cheese. Then fold it over, either in the pan or if you are talented like my husband, you can artfully fold it right onto a plate.
What’s the difference between a French-style and American-style omelet?
If you have ever watched Jacques Pepin make an omelette, you’ll notice this omelet looks nothing like his. His are lemon yellow, not brown on the outside. They are not puffy and not filled with other ingredients, generally. His omelettes are the classic French style omelette. My recipe is definitely an American style omelette.
To cook a French style omelettes, you use high heat and constantly stir the eggs and continually move the pan. For this omelet, the eggs are whipped to a frenzy before you pour them in a pan, set on medium heat. Using a spatula, push in the sides of the eggs to allow the uncooked liquid to fall to the sides. This process also helps to make the eggs fluffy.
What to serve with an omelette
Well a good slice of toast is a must so consider baking some homemade bread since this omelette is so easy to make!
- Toasted challah (egg bread) is always a winner. Try this no-rise version or a traditional 2-rise loaf.
- This potato bread makes the best sandwiches and toast!
- Need a gluten-free option? These gluten free bagels are amazing.
- And for a little fun – try topping the toast or bagels with fresh fruit. This is a great job for the kids in the house.
So next time you get the urge for an omelette – good for breakfast, lunch, or dinner – change up one of the ingredients a little and see what happens. You might end up with something that’s OMG! Yummy.
Fluffy Pancetta Omelette (Omelet)
- 3 eggs
- 1 tablespoon milk can also use cream or water
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 1 oz diced pancetta I used the pre-chopped variety from Trader Joe’s
- 1 small shallot diced or ¼ cup diced onion
- ½ ounce fresh spinach leaves about a handful (or use arugula)
- 5 cherry or grape tomatoes sliced in half or quarters
- ¼ cup shredded cheddar cheese about 1 ounce
- ½ avocado, sliced optional
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter or enough to coat the 6 or 8-inch omelette pan
- Saute the pancetta in the pan you will use for the omelette – 8 inch saute pan works great. Once crispy and tinged with brown on the edges, remove it from the pan and add in the shallot or onion to saute until translucent.
- Then, if you want, you can quickly saute up the spinach (or arugula) to remove a bit of the water from it so it doesn’t make your omelette soggy. If there isn’t much fat left in the pan, add olive oil or butter.
- For the tomatoes, use them uncooked or give them a quick sear – they will taste great either way.
- Mix the eggs well with the milk and salt and pepper. Beat them with a whisk until they are bubbly and lighter yellow in color.
- Add a bit of butter to the pan on medium heat. When it is bubbling, add the eggs.
- Let them cook for about a minute and then start pushing the sides in to let the uncooked egg float to the outside.
- When the top has just a little bit of moisture left, start layering in the fillings – the pancetta, spinach, tomatoes and finally some shredded cheddar cheese if desired.
- Then either fold it in half in the pan or if you are as talented as my husband (aka Dormant Chef), slide the omelette right out of the pan onto a plate. Serve with toast and fresh fruit.