The Difference Between A Frittata And A Quiche

The lowdown on these two egg dishes.

At first glance, a frittata and a quiche seem very much alike. They're both egg-based dishes typically eaten for breakfast or brunch (although they make a good meal any time of day); you can flavor them with almost any type of cheese, meat, or vegetables; and they slice easily into wedges for serving. You can also eat a quiche or a frittata hot or at room temperature.

Although these two dishes have a lot in common, the similarities end there.

Frittata vs. Quiche: What's the Difference?

If you were to take a bite of each one, you would be able to tell the difference immediately.

What is a quiche?

When made properly, a quiche should have a soft, almost custard-like filling. This is due to the ratio of dairy and eggs in the filling—ideally it should be made with four large eggs to two cups of dairy (milk, half-and-half, and/or heavy cream). You'll know that the ratio is off if the quiche has a rubbery texture.

And there's the crust factor, of course. Unlike frittatas, most quiche recipes are made in a pie pan with buttery pastry dough or some sort of crust, like hash browns (pictured below). Of course there are always exceptions, like our incredible Bacon-and-Cheddar Grits Quiche, which is baked in a springform pan without a crust.

Bacon-Hash Brown Quiche
Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Missie Neville Crawford; Food Styling: Torie Cox

What is a frittata?

A frittata, on the other hand, doesn't have a crust and contains much less dairy and more eggs, which gives the filling a firmer texture. Unlike a quiche, a frittata is typically made in a skillet on the stovetop, similar to an omelet. You pour the egg mixture into a hot pan, let it cook and set around the edges, then transfer the pan to the oven to finish cooking.

For an even softer texture, try making a frittata in the slow cooker.

Ham and Asparagus Frittata
Randy Mayor

Is a Frittata or a Quiche Easier to Make?

Without the hassle of a crust, a frittata takes less time to assemble than a quiche. If you're planning to make a quiche with a traditional pastry crust, plan ahead and allow time to par-bake and cool the crust before adding the eggy mixture. Par-baking ensures that the crust will stay flaky and crispy when it come in contact with the liquid filling.

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