What is a frittata?
The frittata is the Italian cousin to quiche - basically a big, veggie-packed omelet. The traditional cooking approach often involves stirring, broiling or (eek!) flipping the eggs to make sure it's fully cooked and golden brown. This easy spinach frittata recipe skips the tricky bits: Instead, the eggs cook all the way through in the oven.
What veggies can go into a frittata?
The frittata is a very flexible dish: Making one from whatever veggies are in the fridge is a common approach. Asparagus, red bell pepper, green onions, and fresh spinach are all delicious. In this recipe, sun-dried tomatoes infuse flavor into the eggs and baby spinach rounds out the flavors. It’s a flavorful spin on the classic spinach frittata.
Don't forget at least a pinch of salt and a few good grinds of black pepper. Frozen spinach works perfectly as long as you thaw it and squeeze out the extra water before adding it in. For good looks and a punch of bright flavor, you can “float” a few grape tomatoes on top of the egg mixture right before it goes into the oven.
Heavens no. Meat, cheese, and milk are all welcome additions. Parmesan cheese is the classic flavor booster, but anything you’d put in an omelet works: sausage, cheddar cheese, swiss cheese, ham, up to a 1/4 cup of cream or whole milk.
If you add bacon, you can skip the salt. If you leave out meat and cheese entirely, you may need up to one teaspoon salt. Be sure to cook any meat ahead of time: A few minutes in a frying pan on medium heat will do it for bacon. Whatever your final mix, ground black pepper is a must-have.
How to cook a frittata
Remember to preheat the oven just as soon as you get into the kitchen - part of the secret to the gloriously quick cooking time (total time of 15 to 20 minutes) is high oven heat (425º F). You’ll need all of your sundried-tomato-cutting / egg-whisking time for the oven to preheat.
Pan size is somewhat flexible: A 10- or 12-inch cast-iron skillet or non-stick frying pan is perfect for this. However, if you don’t have either, improvise: A pie pan, well coated with nonstick spray (or olive oil or butter), will also work.
An easy make-ahead dish
There are several different ways to create a make-ahead frittata. The simplest: Cook it the night before and serve it cold straight from the fridge. Frittata is one of those rare dishes that tastes good warm, cold, or at room temperature.
Another make-ahead option is to combine the ingredients in a large bowl the day before. Store it sealed in the fridge, preheat oven in the morning and pour egg mixture straight into your pan to cook. If grating Parmesan before you’ve had your first (or fourth) cup of coffee is not for you, having everything prepped the night before can be a lifesaver.
Is a frittata healthy?
That depends on what “healthy” means to you - it’s gluten-free, high in protein and low carb. It’s perfect for a keto diet - and see below for a paleo frittata variation, if that’s your style.
Frittata is also vegetarian (assuming you don’t add meat) and an easy way to get your veggies (if you fill it with veggies). It’s also high-fat, because it’s chock-full of eggs. But you knew that, right? A frittata can be made with egg whites (or some egg whites and some whole eggs) to reduce the fat content.
Side dishes to serve with frittata
What goes well with a frittata? Something bright and crunchy (like a salad), salty (like ham), or carby (toast or biscuits) are all good choices. Serve a frittata with bacon and crispy potatoes for a breakfast feast, or with a green salad for a classy weekend brunch.
Another option is to reflect the veggies in the frittata: A Tex-Mex green chile and jack cheese frittata pairs well with sour cream, salsa, and sliced avocado. A feta frittata is perfect with a greek salad full of red onion and olives dressed with lemon and extra virgin olive oil.
- 12 eggs
- 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes
- 2 cups baby spinach
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
- 1 spray olive oil cooking spray
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 pinch pepper
- Preheat the oven at 425F.
- Finely slice the sundried tomatoes, and shred the baby spinach.
- Crack 12 eggs into a large mixing bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
- Whisk the eggs until combined. Be careful not to overbeat.
- Add the sundried tomatoes, baby spinach, dried basil and parmesan to the mixing bowl. Stir to combine the ingredients.
- Spray a non-stick, ovenproof pan with cooking spray.
- Pour the egg mixture into the pan. Insert the pan into the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes until the eggs are tender.
|Calories170Calories from Fat100|
|% DAILY VALUE|
|Calories from Fat100|
|% DAILY VALUE|
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.