How to Make a Frittata + The Best Frittata Recipes

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A great frittata works equally well as a quick dinner to use up what’s in the fridge, or as a make-ahead brunch dish to please a crowd. Here are a few of our favorite frittata recipes, along with easy, detailed instructions for how to make a frittata without a recipe. This is a great place to riff and develop your culinary skills, and also to return again and again when you need a flexible, reliable meal idea. 

Collage of four frittatas

What is a frittata?

So many cultures have a crowd-sized egg dish that starts with whisking up a whole bunch of eggs, often with a bit of liquid, adding a little bit of this and a little bit of that, and cooking it all up together to make a delicious meal.

Frittata — which derives from the Italian verb “friggere,” meaning “to fry” — is the Italian version of that dish. It’s started on the stovetop and then transferred to the oven to finish cooking, and it’s one of the most useful meals I know.

A good frittata is incredibly delicious, incredibly good at using up what you’ve got in the fridge and pantry, and totally party-worthy while also being much less fussy than an omelet or a quiche. Frittatas keep well and travel well, too, so you can make one into a picnic dinner, a week’s worth of school lunches or not-sad desk lunches, or a quick sandwich for a midnight snack.

What’s in a frittata?

You can get very inventive with what you put in a frittata (whether or not necessity is the mother of invention on the day in question). But the basics are always about the same. Here’s what you’ll need for a frittata that feeds a family of four for a generous dinner.

See the section below for specific ideas and quantities for meats, vegetables, and cheeses. Feel free to scale up as needed.

Collage of how to make a frittata
  • 8 eggs
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream, half and half, whole milk, sour cream, or a combination (if you don’t have one of these, it’s okay to leave it out entirely)
  • A tablespoon of butter or olive oil for the pan
  • A few ounces of meat, if you like
  • Lots of vegetables, including something aromatic if possible (onion, shallot, leek, garlic)
  • 3 to 4 ounces shredded, grated, or crumbled cheese
  • About 1/4 teaspoon salt, depending on the saltiness of your ingredients
  • Freshly ground black pepper

How to make a frittata

Here’s what you’ll do to create a frittata without a recipe. It’s easy, promise.

  • Grab a 12-inch frying pan.
  • Preheat your oven to 375°F with a rack in the center.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, beat the eggs together with the liquid (if using) and a little bit of salt and pepper until smooth.
  • Chop meat, if using, into bite-sized pieces. The meat should be cooked by the time it goes into the frittata, so if it’s raw when you’re starting, cook it in the frying pan now. If it leaves more than about a tablespoon of fat in the pan, drain the fat before proceeding. At this point you can leave the meat in the pan or remove it and add it back later.
  • Chop vegetables into bite-sized pieces. Just like the meat, most vegetables should be cooked by the time they go into a frittata. If they aren’t yet cooked, give them a sauté in the frying pan at this point.
  • With the cooked meats and vegetables in the pan and the pan set over medium heat on the stove, pour in the beaten egg mixture and sprinkle with cheese. Let the frittata cook undisturbed until the bottom is set, about a minute.
  • Transfer the pan to the oven and bake until eggs are just set, about 10 minutes.
  • That’s it! Cut your frittata into wedges, and it’s ready to eat warm or at room temperature. Leftovers keep well, tightly wrapped in a cold fridge, for a week.
Collage of how to make a frittata

Frittata equipment

You don’t need much equipment to make a frittata, and that’s kinda the point. You’ll need a frying pan, a mixing bowl, and a spatula. Here are our favorites.

Collage of how to make a frittata

Some favorite frittata ingredient combinations

  • Bacon + onion + extra-sharp cheddar
  • Chopped frozen broccoli + onion + parmesan or pecorino
  • Italian sausage + onion + bell peppers + fresh mozzarella
  • Chopped frozen spinach + leeks + garlic + feta or chevre
  • Onion + garlic + cherry tomatoes + fresh mozzarella + pecorino or parmesan
  • Black beans + frozen corn + onion + extra-sharp cheddar
  • Shallot + shiitake mushrooms + spinach + pecorino

Our Best Frittata Recipes

A frittata makes one of the very best quick weeknight dinners. (And also fantastic brunch fare, just sayin.) Cram it with veggies or whatever tasty leftovers you have in the fridge. Frittatas are super-flexible and amenable to the ingredients you have on hand, but if you'd like to work from a recipe, here are a few of our very favorite frittata recipes to get you started.

P.S. Once upon a time in the crisper

I wrote this for Serious Eats a loooong time ago. More good frittata philosophy and ideas over there.

P.P.S. Feeling fancy? How about a quiche?

If you’re down to crust, try our favorite classic quiche recipes:

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How to Make a Frittata

Here's the basic formula for making a frittata. It's a blank canvas for the additions of your choice. You can find our favorite recipes and flavor combinations in this post, or create your own.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 8 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup of one of the following or a combination: heavy cream, half and half, whole milk, or sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon butter or olive oil
  • 4 to 8 ounces cooked meat, depending on type
  • 2 to 4 cups cooked vegetables, including onion, shallot, or leek, if possible

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F with a rack in the center. Grab a 12-inch frying pan.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, beat the eggs together with the liquid (if using) and a little bit of salt and pepper until smooth.
  3. Chop meat, if using, into bite-sized pieces. The meat should be cooked by the time it goes into the frittata, so if it's raw when you're starting, cook it in the frying pan now. If it leaves more than about a tablespoon of fat in the pan drain the fat before proceeding. At this point you can leave the meat in the pan or remove it and add it back later.
  4. Chop vegetables into bite-sized pieces. Just like the meat, most vegetables should be cooked by the time they go into a frittata. If they aren't yet cooked, give them a sauté in the frying pan at this point.
  5. With the cooked meats and vegetables in the pan and the pan set over medium heat on the stove, pour in the beaten egg mixture and sprinkle with cheese. Let the frittata cook undisturbed until the bottom is set, about a minute.
  6. Transfer the pan to the oven and bake until eggs are just set, about 10 minutes.
  7. That's it! Cut your frittata into wedges, and it's ready to eat warm or at room temperature. Leftovers keep well, tightly wrapped in a cold fridge, for a week.

Nutrition Information

Amount Per Serving:

Calories:: 400

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