Frittatas are one of those beautiful food hybrids that are acceptable to eat any time of day. On the culinary spectrum between omelets and quiches, frittatas are fluffy, eggy, and can be filled with whatever you choose. Many reserve frittatas for breakfast and brunch, but they’re perfectly delicious at lunch and dinner, especially with savory recipes like our Tomato-Herb Frittata. Whatever time of day and ingredients you choose, however, there is one mistake you must never make when cooking them.
Because they’re one-dish wonders, frittatas seem like a nice place for new cooks to start, but there are plenty of easy ways to ruin them. The most dangerous of those ways is not using the correct pan. Frittatas start cooking on the stovetop and finish in the oven. Although this may seem like common sense, you absolutely must use an oven-safe pan to cook frittatas. Your non-stick skillet that’s not oven-safe might be the best tool for omelets, but not so with frittatas. The ideal cooking vessel, unsurprisingly, is a well-seasoned cast-iron skillet. (If you don’t know how to season a cast-iron skillet watch our step-by-step video.) Cast-iron skillets are a good idea for cooking just about anything, but if you don’t have one, you can still make a frittata with any oven-safe skillet. If you use a stainless steel, oven-safe skillet, you’ll need to add extra oil or butter to grease your pan to prevent sticking.
Now that we know you won’t burn down the house trying to cook a frittata, here are a few helpful tips for the process.
When cooking a frittata, it’s always a good idea to add dairy, specifically whole milk. Dairy isn’t absolutely required to make a frittata, but if you want an ideal creamy consistency, you should add it. If milk isn’t your style, you can even add yogurt to your frittata recipe to thicken it.
Whether you add sausage, spinach, tomato, potatoes, zucchini, bacon, or any other random meats, veggies, or starches to your frittata, be sure they’re fully cooked before they go in the recipe. Frittatas are a great way to use up leftover veggies, which would already be cooked before going in the frittata. If you’re starting fresh, though, sauté vegetables and fully cook meats first. Raw vegetables will water down your frittata, and raw meats will make you sick—both very undesirable outcomes.
Like many egg-filled dishes, frittatas can easily be overcooked. Although a golden top is a good sign for a just-right cake in the oven, if your frittata has browned, it’s already overcooked. As a rule of thumb, check on the frittata a few minutes before you think it’s supposed to be done. The center shouldn’t be jiggly, and a knife should come out clean. Remember, the frittata will continue to cook in the pan for a few minutes once it comes out of the oven.
Now that you’re a pro in the art of the crust-less beauty that is a frittata, get to cooking! We’ve got plenty of incredible frittata recipes for you to start with.