50 Ways to Make a Frittata

A few months ago, I was visiting Cleveland and took a cooking class with friends at The Western Reserve School of Cooking. One of the dishes we made with owner and chef, Catherine St. John, was an oven-baked version of the classic Italian frittata, traditionally cooked on the stovetop. This baked version is an easier method to use when feeding a crowd for breakfast or dinner. It’s perfect for the holidays.

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Frittatas are very similar to omelets; they’re just not folded over. They are also firmer in texture and when cut into squares and served at room temperature,  are quite portable for serving at lunch, or as an appetizer. They provide a great way to use up fresh vegetables and leftovers from the refrigerator, too.

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I learned from Chef Catherine to first sauté vegetables in a non-stick skillet, then pour them into a 9 by 13-inch baking dish, add egg and cheese mixture, and bake for 20 minutes in the oven. Since learning to make frittatas in this way, I’ve been making them about once a week.

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Preparing frittatas makes me feel very in touch with my Sicilian roots where egg dishes were the norm and roast chicken was not; in the olden days, people didn’t typically eat the chickens that laid their eggs! We relate to that philosophy at our house; we eat lots of egg dishes thanks to our backyard flock of free-range pasture-fed chickens.

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I’ve developed a fool-proof egg mixture that is easy to remember for my frittatas: 12 large eggs, 1/2 cup whole milk or cream or ricotta, 1 heaping cup of shredded cheese, and 1/4 cup of Parmesan — added to any variety of cooked vegetables that will loosely fill your lasagna pan to about the one inch mark. The vegetables need to be pre-cooked so they do not water down your frittata while baking.

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Here’s a recipe to get you started. You’ll be improvising in no time.

Ingredients:

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The Egg and Cheese Mixture:
12 large eggs
½ cup ricotta, whole milk, or cream
1 tsp salt
½ teaspoon pepper
¼ cup grated Parmesan
1 heaping cup any cheese, shredded

The Veggie Mixture:
4 cups of potatoes (about 4 medium or 1½ pounds), diced or shredded
1½ cups green onions with tops, about 5, sliced
½ red bell pepper, about ½ cup, seeded and diced
1 heaping tablespoon minced garlic (from the jar is fine)
2 cups any cooked leftover vegetable such as zucchini, summer squash, broccoli, or cauliflower, OR any uncooked greens such as spinach, chard or kale
⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 350º

Chop all the fresh veggies. Here, I’ve used fresh, thin-skinned, buttery Yukon potatoes and red potatoes, red bell pepper, green onions with their stalks, and minced garlic (shown here in a tablespoon).

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Sauté garlic, onion, pepper, and potatoes in olive oil, on medium heat, in a 12-inch non-stick skillet for about 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender, but still firm.

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Stir in drained leftover cooked veggies and heat until warm.  In this frittata, I used roasted zucchini and summer squash with green onions and garlic that I had in the fridge.

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Spread your vegetable medley evenly into a lasagna pan.DSC_0747

Mix together eggs, ricotta, Parmesan, salt and pepper and add mixture to the lasagna pan. I use ricotta for this dish because we keep reduced-fat milk in our fridge and it’s not substantial enough for this recipe.  I do, however, always have ricotta in the fridge, and it’s a tasty substitute. If I had cream, I would use it. Remember, I like to use what I have on hand to make this recipe, and as such, I improvise quite a bit to not have to run to the grocery store for an ingredient. It’s a dumb game I play — using up what’s in the fridge; I hate throwing away food!

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Add shredded cheese and mix it into the vegetables and eggs. Be sure to use a spatula to spread the egg mixture into all the crevices.DSC_0748

Put in oven and bake for 30 minutes. Insert knife point into the center to test for doneness. If it comes out clean, remove from oven. If not, cook for another 5 minutes and check again. Repeat until done.

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Another frittata version: potatoes, kale, green onion, zucchini, and a lone radish

This was one day’s pickings from the backyard. I decided, as a trial, to throw all of it into a frittata along with the dairy ingredients to see if it would work. Instead of using leftover vegetables, I tried fresh kale. It was delicious.

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Here it is, all prepped.

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Here is how I prepped the vegetables:

Green onions
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A lone watermelon radish
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My first zucchini of the season!
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Shredded potatoes
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I trimmed the stem off of each large kale leaf because it was thick and would take longer to cook.

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Then, I tore the leaves into 3-inch pieces. I added the kale leaves to the vegetable sauté last, and only cooked them for one minute until wilted. Chard, collards, or spinach would also work well here. Be sure to remove the thick stems from the collards or chard.

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Notice how when the frittata first comes out of the oven, it is like a soufflé, all puffed up and fluffy. It will fall after about 5-10 minutes. I think the frittata is tastiest when it is still light and fluffy like this, but as I have said, it is still excellent later in the day at room temperature, or cold from the fridge.

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Once, I had a bunch of different cheeses leftover from a cookout and used all of them for the cheese portion of the recipe. This worked just fine.
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Another frittata version: leftover ditalini pasta and roasted zucchini, summer squash, and leeks, with fresh, chopped mint

I increased the amount of cheese for this version:
12 eggs, 1/2 cup ricotta, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, 1 cup Parmesan, 2 cups mozzarella
4 cups cooked pasta, 4 cups roasted zucchini with leeks, 1/2 cup chopped mint

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Prepping the mint

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Prepping the mozzarella

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The four stages of combining and baking the frittata:DSC_0998 DSC_0999    DSC_0006 DSC_0012  

Melty goodness!

Other delicious foods to serve at breakfast
Fruit and Nut Bread
The Biscuit King
Very Berry Clafoutis
Quiche Lorraine with Bacon and Kale
Sorghum, Seeds, and Grains Granola
How to Make Grape Jelly (and grow the grapes)

LET’S STAY CONNECTED!

Follow my photos of vegetables growing, backyard chickens hanging out, and dinner preparations on Instagram at JudysChickens.

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© 2014-2017 Judy Wright. All rights reserved. Photos and text may only be used with written consent.

26 thoughts on “50 Ways to Make a Frittata

    1. I have been making frittatas for a while, but once again am intrigued with your methods and recipes. Mine are always too dry as I didn’t think about milk, cream or ricotta. Love the ricotta idea, and will try that next time. Also–I am lazy, and have not pre-cooked the veggies. I will mend my ways! Finally, I pour the mixture into a cast iron skillet which is pre-heated on the stove, then place in the oven. Maybe this contributes to the dryness? Looking forward to trying your version! (I love the prep photos–so helpful!)

      1. Liz, thanks for writing. About the dryness, I only bake the frittata about 20 minutes and take it out as soon as the knife test comes out clean. Like you, I have never had success with baking a frittata in a cast-iron skillet. It usually ends up dry and crumbly. I used cream yesterday, and I have to admit, it was the moistest of any frittata variation I have tried! Cooking the vegetables ahead of time — a must. If you use greens, stir them in after you take the other sautéed vegetables off the heat. They will cook in the oven. BTW, I love that the potatoes still had some firmness to them after being sautéed. We all agreed that texture-wise, diced potatoes give the frittata some umph. I might also add, if there are only two of us eating breakfast, Kelly will usually make an omelette — similar ingredients, super moist and quicker. Let me know when you give it a try, I’d love to hear how it goes for you. Thanks! Judy

  1. Lovely and creative variations with your wonderful veggies and eggs! Also, really enjoyed your post on TNFP…read it while we we out of town. Thanks for the inspiration, Judy!

    1. Aww, thanks, Laura! The only way we can deal with all of that produce is by blanching and freezing some of it and storing it in TNFP’s new walk-in freezer donated by Christ Church Cathedral parishioners. Such a great gift, especially now that we Delvin Farms lets us glean every Monday. Thanks for writing, Laura.

  2. I found your blog on Leigh’s FB page and thought I would follow. This receipe looks yummy and I love seeing the pictures of your gardens. Send me your email and I’ll send you pics of my husband’s tomatoes. You will,love it!

  3. Made a version of this 2 days ago – big hit with Jim. We’ve eaten for dinner and then for lunch and today I ate for breakfast! Just passed recipe to Grace and Chris who are off to the grocery store for ingredients and who now subscribe to your blog! Your easy instructions and clear pictures are perfect for those new to cooking. Just had to let you know…

    1. Thanks you, Mary! I love to hear that since I write these recipes with my boys and their wives, or girlfriends, in mind as the reader. Last week, we had a some friends over for the weekend and on Sunday, I took a lot of the leftovers and made a frittata for brunch. It’s a delicious way to use up food in the fridge!
      I love that Grace is a subscriber now. I’m so happy for her and Chris — a truly sweet couple. Thanks for writing!
      Try the Croatian spread. I made it for Jesse’s friends this weekend and they ate it all in one day!
      Best to Jim. xoJudy

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