Where do I start? There are so many things that make easy frittatas freakin’ AWESOME. In accordance with the mission of Flipped-Out Food, they can be done in under 10 minutes. They are also a great way to use up leftovers. Got leftover pasta? Stick it in a frittata. Leftover veggies? Great in easy frittatas. Leftover meat? FRITTATA. You get the idea.
Aside from being quick and versatile, easy frittatas are a lifesaver if you’re at the end of your rope and about to pick up some take-out for dinner. Yes, they’re hearty enough even for that. The best part of the easy frittatas-for-dinner strategy is that if you have leftover easy frittatas, they make a darned fine sandwich for an on-the-go breakfast the next morning!
Easy Frittatas are packed with protein, by virtue of the eggs and whatever meat or cheese products you choose to add. “But wait!” you say. “Eggs are high in cholesterol!” Keep in mind that despite all the “CHOLESTEROL BAD” hooplah you’ve no doubt heard, you do actually NEED it. You know how your body is made up of cells and stuff? Cholesterol is an important building block. It is a component of cell walls, hormones, and fat-soluble vitamins (e.g., D and A), among many other things.
If you’re concerned about your cholesterol intake, leave out the yolks. Or up your exercise routine: being active is a great way to offset cholesterol intake. Or do both. As with ANYTHING that you put in your body, use moderation! (I am NOT a medical doctor, so check with YOUR doctor about the healthy diet that’s right for you.)
Easy Frittatas: notes on cooking technique
I am not a flashy frittata flipper (see what I did there?). I use the broiler to firm up the top of the easy frittatas.
In this rare instance, I disagree with Cooking Channel/Food Network and food styling in general: it seems as though nearly every time I see a frittata prepared on a cooking show or featured in an article, it’s a dark golden-brown color. (Go ahead: search “frittata” under Google images and scroll around to get an idea of what I mean. I’ll wait.) An egg substance of that particular color is no longer edible, IMHO. It has a nasty, rubbery texture, a distinctively evil smell, and even worse flavor. Said substance hits the back of my throat like a superball and stays there until I spit it out. It WILL not go down.
For both of the reasons mentioned above, my preferred frittata preparation technique is to bring my (non-stick) skillet up to heat over medium-low while I whisk up my egg mixture, and then I add my eggs to the skillet. I sit on my hands for a few minutes while the eggs slowly start to set up around the edges. Then I run a rubber spatula around the edges and tilt the pan all the way around so that some of the uncooked egg on top can run to the edges and get some heat. Then I finish the frittata under the broiler: this takes a watchful eye, because you don’t want any “snotty,” undercooked egg left, but you ALSO don’t want that infamous brown to develop AT ALL.
It took me a couple of tries to get easy frittatas down perfectly and the same will be true for you: you have to learn all the little intricacies of your particular stove top, pan, and broiler, after all. But the process will quickly become like clockwork. My favorite thing now is a one-egg frittata: with a few ingredients like those below, it’s a 5-minute fix in my little 6″ skillet. The great part is that once you figure out the egg-to-filling ratio and technique, you really don’t need a recipe. Mine are sometimes as simple as egg, cream, and an herb-and-spice mix (my new favorite is shallot pepper from Penzey’s Spices).
Some of my favorite easy frittatas to date
Leftover pasta, parsley, and parmesan cheese
Arugula or parsley and gruyere (pictured above)
Ham, cheddar, arugula, and onion (pictured at right)
Chorizo, leftover fajita veggies, quesadilla cheese, and cilantro (pictured below)
Bacon and anything
Other ideas I’m planning to try in the near future
Sausage and kale
Asparagus, ham, and gruyere
Potato and bacon
An important final tip before I leave you to making your easy frittatas: with the exception of herbs, your fillings need to be cooked before they go into your creation. Raw ingredients will likely not cook through properly and, especially in the case of vegetables, may add moisture that will make your mixture too loose. If you have raw ingredients, simply add a sauté step to cook meats through and evaporate any excess moisture from the veggies. Also, if you are using leftover pasta, add that to the pan first to heat it through and crisp up. Then pour the egg mixture over the top.
So there you go. Easy Frittatas: God’s gift to breakfast. Below is my basic recipe: the starring ingredients are all you!
For other great ways to eat up your leftover food, pop over to Using up Leftovers!
- 3 eggs
- 1/8 cup sour cream - you could also use cream or milk
- 1/4 cup cheese - (more for topping; See Recipe Note #1)
- 1 tbsp olive oil or butter - (or enough cooking spray to coat your pan)
- 1/4 tsp coarse salt
- 1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- Additional fillings - see suggestions in the Recipe Notes
- Set an oven rack in the upper-middle part of your oven and turn your broiler on high.
- Heat an oven-safe, 10" non-stick skillet over medium-low heat with the fat of your choice or cooking spray.
- Crack the eggs into a medium bowl with the salt and pepper, cheese, and sour cream (or cream/milk). Pierce the yolks (if using) with a fork, then whisk until well combined. Stir in any additional pre-cooked fillings you choose.
- Pour the egg mixture into the skillet; tilt skillet all the way around to spread the mixture evenly across the pan. Quickly use a rubber spatula to evenly distribute the ingredients. Do not stir again! Watch for the egg mixture to begin setting up on the bottom and edges: this may take as little as 3 minutes and as much as 5, depending on your skillet and heat setting. Run the rubber spatula around the edge of the skillet and gently tilt all the way around to allow some of the loose egg mixture to run into the empty space.
- Turn off the flame. If you are topping with additional cheese, add it now. Place the skillet under the broiler, leaving the oven door cracked. Watch carefully for the eggs to set up and the cheese to melt. If you think the eggs are done, gently shake the skillet to check: the mixture shouldn't be loose and jiggly. Don't allow the eggs to brown!
- Remove the skillet from the oven. Loosen the edges with a rubber spatula and shake the skillet gently until you can slide the frittata onto a plate or a cutting board. Enjoy!
- If you're using a salty cheese like Pecorino Romano, feta, or Parmesan, reduce the amount of cheese you add to 2 tbsp.
- Here are some of my favorite additions for Easy Frittatas (keep in mind that any vegetables should be cooked before adding to the eggs):
- Leftover pasta, parsley, and parmesan cheese
- Arugula or parsley and gruyere (pictured above)
- Ham, cheddar, arugula, and onion (pictured at right)
- Chorizo, leftover fajita veggies, quesadilla cheese, and cilantro
- Bacon and anything