Healthy frittatas are very easy to make. They’re just fancy looking open-faced Italian omelettes.
Here are their advantages:
- They’re delicious, elegant, and easy
- They can hold lots of vegetables and still taste great
- They’re versatile and a great way to use up vegetables and leftovers
- You can serve them for breakfast, lunch, or dinner
- They keep well in the fridge and can be eaten as leftovers. This makes them ideal for a quick breakfast or lunch.
- They can be large or small – serving 1 or 8 people.
- They are an excellent solution to dinner when all you have is eggs, cheese, and a few veggies and don’t feel like going shopping.
- As soon as you start to make one, everyone in the house asks you if you could make a little extra for them.
The type of frittata is limited only by your imagination. Frittatas are completely customizable to your taste and diet. No dairy – no problem. They can be paleo, vegetarian, low carb, or a meat eater’s delight.
I am aware that most frittata recipes call for cooking the eggs on the stovetop with varying degrees of fuss, and then finishing them in the oven. I’ve tried those recipes and they work fine. But I’ve actually found that those steps are completely unnecessary and I’ve created a much simpler version that works every time. The result is light and delicious. The only equipment required is a non-stick pan with a metal handle so that the pan can go in the oven (usually rubber pan handles are removable). The other option is a large, well-buttered baking dish.
I’ve given you a list of ingredients that work well. I usually choose a few vegetables, a meat, and a cheese. Roasted cherry tomatoes sprinkled on top before cooking are always a great addition. Feel free to mix it up and use the recipe as a loose guide that can be changed according to whatever you’ve got in the refrigerator or feel like eating. My frittatas never taste the same way twice.
- Use 2 eggs per person
- For 6 eggs or less, choose a 9-10″ diameter pan.
- For 8 to 16 eggs, use a 12″ diameter pan.
- Cooking time will vary depending on the number of eggs and the amount of stuff you put in the frittata. So keep checking while it’s in the oven. You want the egg in the center to be just set, but not so done that it gets rubbery.
Vegetables: all veggies should be chopped into small, bite-size pieces
- asparagus – steamed or cut into pieces and sautéed
- bell peppers (any color) – sautéed or roasted
- broccoli – steamed or roasted
- Brussels sprouts – roasted
- cauliflower – steamed or roasted
- cherry tomatoes – roasted or uncooked and sprinkles on top of the finished frittata
- kale (any type) – steamed or sautéed
- leeks – sautéed
- onions – sautéed
- potatoes – sautéed or roasted
- shallots – sautéed
- spinach – steamed or sautéed
- Swiss chard – steamed or sautéed
- zucchini and/or yellow squash – sautéed
Cheese: most types works well, my favorites are:
- gouda, smoked or regular
Meat: all raw meat should be cooked before adding
The recipe below is a little more involved because of the roasted cherry tomatoes and cooked sausage. You can keep it quick and simple by using leftover cooked vegetables and a meat that needs no cooking.
- 2 pounds cherry tomatoes, washed, stemmed, and left whole
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 pound kale (any type), washed and stemmed (see photos below)
- 1 pound sausage: I use 5 Aidell's Chicken Apple sausage which are fully cooked. You can also use your favorite uncooked sausage in casings or bulk.
- 3 tablespoons butter, salted or unsalted, divided; plus additional if buttering a baking dish
- 12 eggs
- 6 ounces grated sharp cheddar cheese
- You will need a 12" diameter nonstick pan with a metal handle for this recipe. This is a must. Otherwise the frittata will stick to the pan and the handle will melt in the oven. The other option is a baking dish (Pyrex type) or ceramic oven-proof au gratin dish.
- Here's the game plan: Start roasting the tomatoes. While they're roasting, prepare the kale and fry the sausage. Combine everything and bake the frittata. While the frittata is baking for about 20 minutes unattended, you have a chance to do something else.
- Roast Cherry Tomatoes:
- Put oven rack in upper third of oven. Preheat oven to 400° Put cherry tomatoes on a rimmed baking sheet large enough to hold all the tomatoes in a single layer. I use an 11"x16" baking sheet. Add oil and toss to coat with your hands. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until very little liquid is left in baking pan, tomatoes have shrunk, and there are a few burnt spots on some of the tomatoes. Tomato size, wateriness, and oven temperatures vary so cooking times will also vary. Check tomatoes after 20 minutes and continue checking often, more so towards the end of the cooking time. They go from not done to done pretty quickly. Salt lightly and set aside. Note: as tomatoes cook they burst and release their liquid. For awhile it looks pretty ugly, with burst tomatoes sitting in a swimming pool of tomato juice. Don't worry. This will work.
- Steam kale:
- Bring a few inches of water to boil in steamer pot and put stemmed kale in steamer basket. Steam until leaves are just tender, about 10-15 minutes. Cooking time will vary depending on type and age of kale. Break off a little piece to taste and test. Check frequently for doneness. Remove from heat. When cool enough to handle, squeeze liquid from kale in batches, using your hands. Roughly chop and set aside. Turn oven heat down to 350°.
- Cook Sausage:
- For fully cooked sausage: cut into bite-size pieces. Add 1 tablespoon of butter and sausage to pan. Fry on medium high heat until sausage are lightly browned. Set aside.
- For uncooked sausage: If using sausage in casings, remove meat from casings. Put sausage meat in pan. There is usually enough fat in the sausage that no butter is needed. Fry sausage on medium heat, breaking up lumps, until fully cooked and no pink is visible. Set aside.
- Assemble and Bake:
- Put oven rack in center of heated 350° oven. Crack eggs into large bowl and beat with fork or whisk until fully mixed. Salt lightly. Add chopped kale and sausage and stir.
- Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in 12 inch wide, nonstick pan with metal handle (absolutely necessary). Add egg mixture. Top with roasted cherry tomatoes. Bake until eggs are fully set in the center, 10-15 minutes. Test by inserting a knife into the center and breaking the top layer to see if egg in the middle is fully set.
- Remove from the oven. Sprinkle cheese evenly on top and return to the oven for a minute or so until cheese is melted.
- Cut into 6 wedges and serve immediately.
- Leftover frittata may be covered and refrigerated for 4 days and still tastes great. Serve at room temperature or lightly reheated in the oven.