Blog > food, Keto, Mediterranean

Frittata: The Complete Guide (With Tips & Recipes)

Frittata The Complete Guide

If you love omelets, you will love frittata, too. This egg dish is similar to an omelet, but can be made with numerous additional ingredients, allowing you to choose how filling you want it to be. There are vegetarian frittata recipes, as well as meat and fish varieties. Easy to make and delicious, it’s the ultimate quick, home-cooked meal.

If you’re curious about this popular Italian brunch dish, let’s take a look at how to make frittata, where it originated, and what makes it such a popular Mediterranean diet choice.

Key Takeaways

  • Frittata is an egg-based dish that can include cheese, vegetables, herbs, and meat of your choice.
  • While it’s similar to an omelet or a tortilla, frittata is cooked differently – neither folded like an omelet, nor necessarily cooked on the stovetop like a tortilla.
  • Frittata can be served warm, at room temperature, or eaten as a cold snack or home-made lunch.

What Is Frittata?

What Is Frittata

Frittata is an Italian dish and it means “fried” in Italian. It’s made using eggs, cheese, and vegetables and/or meat of your choice. And there’s an abundance of great frittata recipes you can try. Popular ingredients include potatoes, peppers, broccoli, bacon, prosciutto, salmon, and various cheeses like ricotta, parmesan, or mozzarella.

It’s an amazing dish, ideal for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You can choose how many ingredients you want to use, including any leftovers from a previous meal you’d like to utilize. Another thing that takes the stress out of cooking is that frittata is delicious both warm and cold.

History of Frittata

The frittata originates from the Mediterranean region, and a very similar dish with eggs, cheese, and vegetables was known in ancient Rome. All the efforts of tracing this dish to a particular Italian region defies attempts, as it is popular all over Italy. Since it’s a simple, home-made dish, it is not commonly served in restaurants, and there are thousands of recipes and variations.

Some sources suggest that it might have arrived in Italy from ancient Persia. That said, most Mediterranean countries have a similar omelet-like dish; in Spain, there’s tortilla, while in modern Persian cuisine there’s kuku, an egg-based dish with herbs.

What Is the Difference Between a Frittata and an Omelet?

While frittata is similar to an omelet and nearly the same ingredients can be used for both, there are some notable differences between the two. Most omelet recipes use eggs and milk, whisked together in a bowl. Any additional ingredients are added afterwards. Frittata, on the other hand, can be cooked without milk. Many recipes use a heavy cream to make the frittata puffier. The eggs and cream are whisked in a bowl until light and fluffy.

Another major difference is in the way the additional ingredients are added. When making an omelet, any extra ingredients are folded inside to ensure that they are thoroughly cooked. When you make a frittata, you add the additional vegetables and/or meat directly into the egg.

Related: How Many Eggs per Day Can You Eat on a Keto Diet?

How to Make Frittata

How to Make Frittata

To make frittata, start by preparing the vegetables you will be including in it. Many of the vegetables would need to be pre-cooked, as they take longer to prepare than eggs. Onions, broccoli, peppers, and zucchini may require pre-cooking, for example. Then, whisk together eggs, cream, and the seasoning (salt, pepper, and any spices you want to include) in a bowl. When fluffy, pour it out onto a pan or skillet. Add the chopped and pre-cooked vegetables and the cheese.

Some recipes, especially those using quickly melting cheese, may be cooked on the stovetop entirely. All you have to do is flip the frittata once it’s nearly ready on one side. Often, however, you would wait until the edges of the frittata are set, and then transfer the skillet into an oven for several minutes. When it is fully cooked, take it out, sprinkle with cheese or fresh herbs on top, and serve.

Basic Frittata Tips

There are several things to consider if you want to cook a delicious, mouth-watering frittata every time.

Egg-to-vegetable ratio is important when preparing frittata. If you’re using juicy tomatoes, make sure you use enough eggs. Otherwise, your frittata may become too thin and take longer to cook.

Great vegetables for frittata include: broccoli, mushrooms, onions, asparagus, zucchini, spinach, peppers, cauliflower, and green beans. Cherry tomatoes are also a good idea, because you can put them whole into the dish and spare yourself the trouble of chopping them. Don’t forget herbs, as well! It’s the perfect opportunity to use any leftover fresh basil or cilantro.

Mozzarella, parmesan, and ricotta can all be used as toppings. They will provide the perfect smooth taste to make your frittata even more enjoyable.

For an effortless and impeccable cooking experience, just follow the frittata tips we’ve gathered below to show how easy and diverse this dish can be.

What Makes a Frittata Rise?

Milk or cream is the essential ingredient that will make your frittata rise. Cooked without either milk or cream, the frittata will be flatter and less puffy. Add the milk or cream to the eggs and whisk them together until they are fluffy.

Related: How to Meal Prep a Salad: Dos & Don'ts (+ Recipes)

How Do You Know When to Flip a Frittata?

It’s important to wait until the frittata is nearly cooked on one side before you flip it on the other. You can try the edges with a cooking spade to see whether they are still liquid or starting to get cooked. If they’re more solid than liquid, it’s probably time to flip the frittata.

Does a Frittata Need to Rest?

When you remove your frittata from the oven, it’s usually a little custardy in the middle. Many cooks recommend that you let it rest for a few minutes before serving. This is to make sure that the egg gets cooked through residual heat. If you’re cooking it in a pan with a lid, you may want to keep the lid on for the same reason.

Want to taste some amazing dishes, crafted by award-winning chefs near you for a change? Then, take advantage of Cookunity’s meal delivery service anytime! From healthy Mediterranean dishes to fancy keto-friendly recipes, there’s a choice for everyone. Order now!

Related: The Paella Guide: How to Make Paella (Tips & Recipes)

Delicious Frittata Recipes

The huge number of variations is just another reason why you will love frittata. You can cook lighter vegetarian meals or more filling meat or fish variants – it all depends on what you feel like eating. Last but not least, you can even meal prep this tasty high-protein dish and enjoy it on the next day.

Tasty Frittata on the Stovetop

Tasty Frittata on the Stovetop

Image by Palate’s Desire

If you want to cook your frittata on the stovetop, without finishing it in the oven, here’s a delicious mushroom frittata recipe by Palate's Desire that you might want to try. Use a medium-sized pan, and prepare a bowl and spatula for the cooking process.


  • 6 eggs
  • ½ cup of milk or cream
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil or melted butter
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • ½ to 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • ½ cup of parmesan cheese (grated)
  • 1 cup sliced tomatoes (optional)
  • 2-3 cut green onions (leave some to sprinkle on top)
  • Several sprigs of cilantro (or other herbs of your choice)


  1. Heat a pan or skillet well. Add olive oil or melted butter.
  2. Add the sliced mushrooms. Then the green onions and the tomatoes (if you’re using them). Sprinkle with cilantro (you can choose other herbs if you want to). Switch to medium-low heat.
  3. Let the mushrooms cook for 2-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. If there’s too much liquid, raise the heat a little.
  4. In a bowl, mix the eggs and milk (or cream). Add the salt, pepper, and grated parmesan. Whisk together until slightly fluffy.
  5. Pour the mixture over the mushrooms and tomatoes. Cover with lid, and let it cook for 5-15 minutes. Make sure the heat isn’t too high so that the frittata doesn’t burn.
  6. Check the frittata; if the eggs are set on one side, flip it over and cook for several more minutes.
  7. Take it off the heat, and let it rest for 5 minutes before you serve it.

Alternatively, you can always order Cookunity's delicious Roasted Red Pepper Frittata and save time and effort!

Easy Oven-baked Frittata

Easy Oven-baked Frittata

Image by FoodNetwork

If you’re wondering how to make frittata in the oven, it’s even easier than cooking it on the stovetop. This smoked salmon frittata recipe by Food Network just proves that you don’t need too many ingredients for the frittata to work out amazingly!


  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 10-12 eggs
  • 1 cup of cream
  • 1 tbsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. black pepper
  • 1 diced or chopped onion
  • ½ to 1 cup crumbled goat’s cheese
  • 1 cup chopped smoked salmon
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 3 tbsp. chopped dill


  1. Preheat the oven to 180° Celsius (356° Fahrenheit). While it’s heating, put melted butter in a pan and add the onions. Let them cook until slightly golden.
  2. In a bowl, combine the eggs, cream, salt, and pepper and whisk until fluffy. Then add the other ingredients – the goat’s cheese, smoked salmon, green onions, and dill.
  3. Pour the mixture over the sautéed onions and transfer the pan into the oven.
  4. Bake for 40-50 minutes until fluffy. Check whether it’s ready by inserting a knife in the center. If it comes out sticky, you’ll need to cook it a little longer.
  5. When ready, take it out of the oven and serve.

Or why not give Cookunity's mouth-watering Broccoli-Cheddar Breakfast Frittata a chance and enjoy it for either breakfast or lunch?

Related: All You Need to Know About Chorizo - The Complete Guide

Frittata: The Complete Guide - FAQs

Q: Do you add milk to frittata?

A: Yes, you would normally add either milk or cream to the frittata. This is done so it would rise. Without the milk (or cream), the frittata will still be tasty, but it will lose its fluffiness.

Q: Are tortilla and frittata the same?

A: While similar, tortilla isn’t the same as frittata. Tortilla always contains potatoes, while a frittata recipe may or may not include potatoes. Also, tortilla is typically denser than the thinner frittata.

Q: What is a fun fact about frittata?

A: The Italian expression ‘ho fatto la frittata’ (literally “I made a frittata”) means “I made a mess”. It might reference the number of eggs you need to break in order to make this breakfast dish.

Q: What do you eat with frittata?

A: This largely depends on whether you’re eating frittata for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. For breakfast, you can combine it with some toast and bacon. Whereas if you’re cooking frittata for a light dinner, adding fresh green salad is a good combination.

Q: How do you keep frittata from collapsing?

A: After you take your frittata from the ovenor off the stovetop, it often collapses when it starts to cool. Most cooks agree that the secret to avoiding this is not to whisk the eggs for too long when preparing the egg and milk mixture. If you let too much air into the mixture, your frittata is much more likely to expand and then collapse as it cools.

Q: What is the best pan to make a frittata?

A: The best pan for making a frittata should be oven-safe and have a nonstick surface. A cast-iron skillet might be the overall best choice, since it can be used in an oven and distribute the heat evenly.

Related: Scallops: The Complete Guide - All You Need to Know


Frittata makes a wonderful meal, which is why it’s such a popular brunch dish. Originating in Italy, this simple and delicious home-made dish has become well-known and loved both in the US and in Europe. What's more, frittata is ideal if you're following a special dietary regimen, such as the keto diet.

Also, cooking frittata is a great way of using up all the vegetables you might have bought more of, right? Last but not least, you can always create your own frittata recipes and variations, using whatever you’ve got left in the fridge.