By Carl Hanson
March 29, 2016

Here's how to make an omelet that's creamy, fluffy, almost custard-like inside. And stay-tuned, we feature some funky variations below.

Baby Spinach Omelet
Baby Spinach Omelet | Photo by France C

How to Make an Omelet in a Pan

Start with a stainless steel pan over medium heat. Use a couple tablespoons of olive oil or butter -- clarified butter works best if you're really cranking the heat. The key, though, is to cook the eggs quickly but gently. If the omelet gets too browned, it can taste a little bitter.

How many eggs are in an omelet? Typically, you'll use 2 or 3 eggs for an omelet made in a pan on the stovetop. (See below for variations on this theme -- including a slow cooker omelet that calls for a dozen eggs!)

Add the beaten eggs to the pan. They will bubble and start to solidify. We're using all egg-whites in this demonstration, but the method works just the same with the yolks included.

Pour beaten egg winto hot pan and allow to set
Photo by Meredith

OK, here's the key. Tilt the pan, and with a spatula, lift up the omelet at the edge, allowing the raw egg to run underneath. This technique serves two purposes: One, the omelet cooks faster (without too much browning) when you run the raw egg off the top; two, it creates subtle layers of creamy fluffiness.

lifting side of omelet
Photo by Meredith

When the raw egg has run off the top, turn off the heat. The omelet will finish cooking in the hot pan as you add your filling ingredients. If you're adding shredded or grated cheese, add it now to make it melty. Or sprinkle it over the top when you're done. Or both!

Some classic fillings:

  • Sautéed onions, bell peppers, ham
  • Avocado, tomatoes, red onions, feta
  • Sliced mushrooms, garlic, spinach, cream cheese
  • Bacon, chopped tomatoes, Swiss cheese
  • Smoked salmon, cream cheese
  • Pesto, mozzarella, sun-dried tomatoes
  • Jalapeños, Cheddar cheese, salsa
adding ingredients to one side of omelet
Photo by Meredith

Fold the omelet like a taco. Or into thirds if you prefer. You don't need to flip the omelet. Just slide it out onto a plate and dig in!

folded over filled omelet
Photo by Meredith

VIDEO: How to Make a French Omelet

Now let's see how the pros make a classic French omelette. In this video, Chef John shows you how to cook a light, tender three-egg omelette that's soft and tender. You'll also get tips for how to make omelets fluffy.

Some Top-Rated Omelet Recipes

"This omelet is light, fluffy, and delicious," says jodi. "Perfect with tomatoes and chives fresh from the garden."

"So easy and nutritious, with protein and a handful of veggies," says Rosa. "This one keeps it simple but still tasty with hearty mushrooms and onions."

With this recipe, you'll beat the egg yolks with milk. And in a separate bowl, beat the egg whites. Then you'll fold them together. "The extra treatment of the eggs is worth the effort," says David. "Very fluffy."

Another great veggie omelet. "A carb-cutter's perfect start for the day," says HOLLYJUNE. "Tender baby spinach, Parmesan cheese, and a little nutmeg are cooked with eggs."

Want more? Here's our collection of Omelet Recipes

VIDEO: How to Make a Denver Omelet

What makes a Denver omelet a Denver omelet? Three ingredients: diced ham, onions, and green bell peppers. A Denver omelet also differs from the French omelet featured above in that the Denver omelet features a firmer texture and is caramelized. See how it's done:

Variations on a Theme

Hungry folks have, of course, hacked the classic omelet-making method, coming up with all sorts of creative variations. For example,

Combine all the ingredients in a coffee mug and blast in the microwave. This is the one for people who really, really dislike doing the dishes.

This recipe takes pizza for breakfast to its most logical conclusion.

It's omelet in cupcake form. The perfect grab-and-go breakfast for busy weekdays.

This ingenious roll-up baked omelet method let's you make six omelets at once.

Add everything to the slow cooker before you go to bed, and wake up to a wonderful omelet with ham and hashbrowns.

Mix eggs and toppings directly in a resealable freezer bag and cook in boiling water until set.

How do you make an egg white omelet? Spoiler alert: Just like a regular omelet. No yolkin' around.

Omelet in a Bag
Omelet in a Bag | Photo by The Gruntled Gourmet

Omelets by Another Name

People all over the world have devised dishes involving whisked eggs poured into a hot pan. Here are just a few.

This traditional Japanese omelet includes mirin and soy sauce. "The omelet is sweet, has a light texture," says Pokerman11. "Serve over sushi rice with soy and wasabi sauce for dipping."

An Italian take on the omelet. "Make sure all your vegetables are tender, hot, and well seasoned before adding your eggs, and not a lot can go wrong," Chef John assures us.

The Spanish version is essentially a thick, open-face omelet with slices of potato and onion...and maybe some serrano ham.

Tortilla Espanola
Photo by Alli Shircliff

Check out our collection of Breakfast and Brunch Recipes.