Spend a little time mastering this super versatile egg dish and you'll whip it up for countless breakfasts, lunches, and dinners.

By Elizabeth Brownfield
March 06, 2020
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Credit: LauriPatterson / Getty Images

When it comes to dishes that are worth mastering, the humble frittata is at the top. After all, was there ever a more adaptable, crowd-pleasing recipe? Frittatas can be whipped up quickly and cheaply, be eaten hot or at room temperature, and allow you to use up practically any ingredient you happen to have on hand.

People sometimes feel intimidated by the idea of cooking this dish, but there's really no need. It's simply eggs and mix-ins, combined on the stovetop and finished in the oven. The only tricky bit is the cooking time, which gets easier to gauge once you've made a few. Follow our how-to steps, learn common cooking mistakes, and get our favorite recipes to make the perfect frittata every time.

Frittata Ingredients

Eggs and milk are the only essentials. So as long as you've got those two, you can get creative with whatever vegetables, herbs, meats, or cheeses you've got hanging out in your kitchen. Frittatas are also a brilliant way to use up those last, lingering bits of leftovers, like the two sausage links or strips of bacon that didn't get gobbled up at yesterday's breakfast. Cooking a frittata is also an ideal way to make use of produce that's just slightly past its prime, like wilting parsley and spinach.

How to Make Frittata Step-by-Step

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees first so it's up to temperature when you're ready to transfer your skillet from the stovetop.
  2.  Use a skillet with an oven-safe base and handles. Some people prefer the consistent heat of cast iron, while others like the cooking and cleanup ease of nonstick. A 10- or 12-inch skillet is the right size for a 6- to 8-egg frittata.
  3. Pre-cook ingredients first. You want to sauté most of your frittata add-ins (with a few exceptions like fresh herbs and tender greens such as spinach) before the eggs are added. Raw vegetables like onions and zucchini (which are mostly water) will leach liquid into the mixture, and meats like sausage and bacon are always better browned. Fully cook ingredients like potatoes.
  4. Add dairy to you egg base. For custardy, rich frittatas, whisk "pourable" dairy like whole milk, cream, sour cream, or even unflavored yogurt into your eggs.
  5. Add the egg mixture to the skillet once the add-ins are cooked. Use a spatula to combine everything, cook the mixture for a couple minutes, and then transfer it to the hot oven.
  6. Keep an eye on your frittata while it's cooking. Cooking times can vary widely depending on how many add-ins you've got, how hot they are going into the oven, and what kind of skillet you're using. In a 350-degree oven, an 6-egg frittata will take somewhere between 8-20 minutes, so keep an eye out and remove the frittata when it's just set. (When you get it just right, make note of how full to the top the skillet was and how many minutes it cooked so you have a better sense of the timing for the next time.)

 Frittata Mistakes You Might Be Making

  • You forget to season the whisked eggs and other add-ins. Each ingredient needs to be seasoned to-taste with salt and pepper, that way you avoid having a bland dish. Already salty ingredients, such as bacon, don't require this step.
  • You forget to use the golden ratio when you're making a frittata on the fly. An easy recipe to remember is 6 large eggs, ¼ cup of dairy, and 1-2 cups of add-ins like vegetables, meat, cheese, and herbs.
  • You over-bake. This is probably the most common mistake. A finished frittata should be custardy, fluffy, just set, and still pale in color — not browned and spongy.
  • You throw out the leftovers. Use a wedge to top toast or add to a side salad for an easy, repurposed meal.

Recipes to Try

The magic of frittatas is that they're so versatile. They can be made in a skillet, baked in muffin tins, or even cooked in an air fryer. You can make them vegetarian like our Spinach and Potato Frittata, go meat heavy with a Bacon Cheese Frittata, or even celebrate seafood by baking a Smoked Salmon Frittata. This dish is also great for exploring different cuisines, such as the Italian Frittata or Tortilla Espanola. And even if you're on a restricted diet, we've got you covered with the Paleo Cauliflower Rice Frittata and Keto Breakfast Frittata

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