I love frittata. I love how simple it is to make, how it warms the whole kitchen, how flavorful and unique it is each time it’s made. But that’s the challenging part, too: how do you recreate the perfect frittata each time?
Italian frittata vs. Spanish tortilla
Growing up, I hated eggs. The spongy texture made my throat clog, and the smell of a hard-fried egg right below my nose made my stomach turn, no matter how much ground pepper I put on top of it.
It wasn’t until my twin sister came home from her ten months in Spain that I began to eat (and enjoy) eggs. The Spanish tortilla was the first meal she made for us after her time abroad, and since then, I’ve always trusted her to discover and share the most delicious, unique foods from her travels… even when that was a deep-fried scorpion.
The tortilla espanola, or tortilla de patatas, is a traditional dish made by pan frying eggs, potatoes, onion or chives, and garlic – typically served cold as an appetizer. For an anti-egg eater like 17-year-old me, this was the perfect introduction to eating eggs. The thinly-sliced potatoes and fried vegetables mask much of the egg flavor and texture, but the cooking method can be a bit tricky.
A little further down the Mediterranean and you have the Italian frittata. While similar in ingredients and taste, the cooking method is far less technical and allows for more creativity with ingredient choices. For those reasons, my go-to egg dish is the Italian frittata.
A simple template for all your frittata variations
The best time to make a frittata is when you need to polish off the remnants of your refrigerator before they turn. This way, you’re reducing food waste, creating a delicious dish, and making a healthy choice for yourself (so long as the ingredients you bought are fresh produce and naturally sourced).
Here’s a simple template you can follow when building your own frittata variation:
- 2 Tbs. oil for pan frying
- 2-3 potatoes (roughly 2 1/2 cups sliced thin)
- 2 cups sliced vegetables
- 8-10 eggs
- 2-3 Tbs. spice mix
- deep-rimmed, oven-safe saucepan, OR
- deep-rimmed saucepan + oven-safe baking dish
With this easy guide, you can make your own frittata variation based on the ingredients you have available to you. For the recipe below, I’ve listed the ingredients for my original frittata recipe, which uses minimal, common ingredients.
Here are more variations you can try:
- Spinach, Sun-Dried Tomato, & Feta: replace the cherry tomatoes, cheddar, and 1 Tbs. paprika with sun-dried tomatoes, 1/2 cup crumbled feta, and 1 tsp each parlsey and red pepper flakes.
- Shiitake, Kale, & Pesto: replace the spinach, cherry tomatoes, 1/2 spice mixture, and cheddar with 3 cups kale, 2 ribs celery, 1 cup sliced shiitake mushrooms, 2 Tbs. pesto, and shaved parmesan romano.
- Mediterranean version: replace the cherry tomatoes, spinach, and cheddar with sun-dried tomatoes, 1/2 cup artichoke hearts, 1/4 cup olives, and feta.
- Zack’s favorite: replace the cherry tomatoes and cheddar with 1/4 lb. cooked chicken sausage and asiago cheese, and add 1 tsp. each dried rosemary, basil, and parsley.
You can make this super-easy, original version, or make it your own by swapping the ingredients for your favorite frittata variation.
- 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 2 large Russet potatoes (washed and thinly sliced)
- 1/2 large sweet onion, thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tsp. paprika
- 2 tsp. dried oregano
- 1 tsp. dried thyme
- salt and pepper to taste
- 5 cups fresh spinach
- 2/3 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- Prep the vegetables as directed, remembering to thinly slice the potatoes and onions. At this time, combine all the spices in a bow together and set aside. Preheat the oven to 400 F.
- Over medium-high heat, add the olive oil, potatoes, and onion to a deep-rimmed, oven-safe saucepan. Stir for 1 min and then add the garlic and 2/3 of the spice mixture. Cover and let cook for 6-8 min., stirring occassionally, or until the potatoes are cooked through and browning. Add the spinach and tomatoes and combine until the spinach has wilted.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs and remaining spice mixture. Turn the heat to medium-low and pour the eggs over the vegetables in the pan. Add the cheese on top and allow the frittata to cook until the eggs start to firm at the sides then transfer to the oven. (If you are using a different pan to bake the frittata, move the vegetables to that pan first, pour the egg mixture on top, add the cheese, and then place in the oven.
- Bake the frittata for 12-15 min. or until the eggs are completely cooked through. Let cool for 5-6 min. before slicing and serving.
- Serving Size: 8
- Calories: 199
- Sugar: 2.4
- Sodium: 121
- Fat: 10.4
- Saturated Fat: 3.1
- Trans Fat: 0
- Carbohydrates: 18
- Fiber: 3.4
- Protein: 10
- Cholesterol: 191