A basic frittata recipe is a meal you can fall back on again and again. A frittata works for breakfast, lunch, or dinner and is a great way to use up leftover ingredients you have on hand.
Add this basic frittata recipe to your meal planning repertoire
Fast and flavorful dinners that multi-task at any meal are key to surviving busy schedules and using up leftover cooked or raw ingredients. But somehow, I frequently forget about frittatas – the kissing cousin to a quiche.
What is a frittata?
Frittatas are the Italian version of an omelet. You prepare a mixture of eggs with vegetables, cream, and cheese, pour it in an ovenproof skillet and bake it. Couldn’t be any easier. The end result is similar to the egg part of a quiche, but less creamy and a bit more eggy. What you add for flavor is flexible – it’s a great dish to make when you need to clean out your veggie or cheese drawer.
How to serve a baked egg dish
I started cooking frittatas when I purchased the ‘wichcraft cookbook by Tom Colicchio who owns a restaurant chain of the same name that sells fantastic sandwiches. One recipe that caught my eye was an onion frittata with roasted tomato and cheddar. They list it under breakfast sandwiches but I’ve made it for lunch and dinner as well.
- Or serve this for breakfast or lunch with a fruit salad and potatoes or toast.
- For dinner, add a green salad and roasted potatoes.
- Serve this on a brunch or lunch buffet for a shower or Easter gathering or any breakfast event. You can cut the round frittata in pie-shaped slices. You can also bake them in individual cupcake tins. Your bake time will be less – so start checking for doneness at about 15 minutes.
- This is also a Passover friendly dish (without the pancetta) – a great option if you aren’t sick of eggs but are watching your carbs!
Be creative with this dish – it is hard to go wrong!
Ingredient options for this basic frittata recipe
There are many ways you can modify this recipe to use up what you have on hand or adjust the flavors to your taste buds.
- Use regular onion in place of the green onion and shallot.
- Have an herb garden? Use fresh chives for color and flavor instead of OR in addition to the green onion and/or shallots.
- Add fresh spinach to the egg mixture or sauté for a couple of minutes to wilt with the onion mixture.
- Instead of fresh tomatoes, use sun-dried tomatoes.
- Need to use up some cherry tomatoes? Roast them and add to the frittata or eat them on the side.
- Have a jar of roasted roasted red peppers or some fresh peppers to use up – they would be a great addition.
- Have leftover roasted vegetables – chop and add them in.
- Vegetarian? Leave out the pancetta. Be sure to sub in some olive oil where I suggested using a bit of the rendered pancetta fat.
- Use bacon instead of pancetta. Or sausage of any kind. Even leftover beef or pork or chicken from a previous dinner.
- Half and half or even milk can sub in for the heavy cream.
- Cheeses – almost anything you love or hand on hand will work.
And that’s why I call this a basic recipe for a flavorful and flexible frittata!
How to make a frittata
Be sure you have an ovenproof skillet.
In the oven proof skillet, sauté the base flavors such as the pancetta or bacon and then the onions, herbs, and tomatoes.
While those items are sautéing, prepare the egg mixture in a medium bowl.
Once the sautéed items have cooled just a bit, add them to the egg mixture and then put it all back in the skillet.
And then put the skillet in the oven to bake.
Supplies for Making a Frittata
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Basic Frittata Recipe with Flexible Flavor Options
This basic frittata recipe is an easy, flexible egg dish, similar to quiche but without the crust. It is an Italian version of an omelet, baked in the oven.
- 3/4 cup diced pancetta
- 1 medium shallot
- 3 green onions
- 1/2 tablespoon fresh thyme
- 1 tablespoon fresh oregano
- 1/2 cup sliced cherry tomatoes regular tomatoes, or roasted tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon Herbes de Provence optional
- 8 large eggs
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup shredded cheddar
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees regular or convection
Saute the pancetta in the 10 inch ovenproof skillet on medium heat. When the fat is rendered and they are crispy and brown, remove from pan, put on a paper towel to drain, and wipe most of the pancetta fat out of the pan.
- While the pancetta is browning, chop the shallot, green onion, thyme, oregano, and tomato.
- Once the pancetta is removed from the skillet, add the diced green onion and shallot to the pan and sauté for a minute or two, still on medium heat.
- Add the diced tomatoes, chopped thyme, oregano, and Herbes de Provence (if using) and sauté until the tomatoes soften - another 2 minutes or so. Take off the heat.
- In a medium bowl, mix the eggs, cream, parmesan and cheddar cheese, and salt and pepper. Add the diced pancetta and onion mixture from the pan. Mix together and add back to the skillet.
- If you are not using a non-stick skillet, a little butter or olive oil in the bottom of the skillet before the eggs are added back in might be wise.
- Bake at 300 degrees regular for about 30 minutes or 300 degrees convection for 20 minutes.
- Once it is cooled slightly, remove from the pan onto a surface that you can cut on and slice as desired into pie shapes or square if making a sandwich.
- There are many ways to speed up or modify this recipe. Regular onion can be used in place of the green onion and shallot. Fresh chives can be added for color and flavor instead of or in addition to the green onion and or shallots.
- Spinach can be added fresh to the egg mixture or sauteed for a couple of minutes to wilt with the onion mixture.
- Instead of fresh tomatoes, sundried tomatoes right out of a jar would work great as would already made roasted tomatoes or roasted red peppers (or both).
- Have leftover roasted vegetables - chop and add them in.
- Vegetarian? Leave out the pancetta. Be sure to sub in some olive oil where I suggested using a bit of the rendered pancetta fat. Bacon would also work well instead of pancetta.
- I also think that half and half or even milk can sub in for the heavy cream and certainly you can play around with the cheeses that you use. That's why I called it a flavorful and flexible frittata!!!