This Fall Frittata with Pancetta, Apples, Greens and Goat Cheese is loaded with warming, autumn flavors and some unique, unexpected twists. Wait till you try this one. This frittata is grain and gluten-free, as well as low-carb / keto-friendly, leave out the cheese for paleo, Whole30 and dairy-free. Read on below for many variations and options with this recipe, so many ways to make this one.
There was a time I would feel personally violated when someone would put fruit into my savory foods. I always thought ‘keep your dang fruits out of my salads, thank you.’ Then I discovered the beauty of blueberries or pears in a salad, cranberries with a baked squash and yes, even apples in my eggs.
This fall frittata brings layers and levels of flavors, sweet and savory, warming and cozy. It’s a pretty fuss-free recipe that is perfect for entertaining. A big WOW without much trouble at all. I made this recently when my friend Daniele came to visit. I prepped all the components ahead, when she got here I assembled it all and placed it on my Traeger Grill. We popped a bottle of prosecco and had the time to start getting caught up while the frittata baked.
I really like this frittata on our Traeger Grill. The smokey, wood fired flavor is a really nice addition to everything going on and I love that I avoid standing over the stove and heating up the house – it is still warm here in Southern California, been in the 90s here all week. You can also just easily pop it into the oven.
Options for Your Fall Frittata
- Swap the pancetta for bacon, ham or prosciutto. If you want to make a vegetarian frittata, leave it out altogether.
- Leave out the mushrooms if that’s not your thing. I used brown beech mushrooms but cremini, shiitake, button or baby portobello would be nice, too.
- I really love the goat milk Humboldt Fog cheese in this frittata, traditional goat cheese would work, chunks of Brie is also really nice, a sharp cheddar, manchego or maybe even fontina all would pair well – honestly there are many options that would be great. For dairy-free, simply leave out the cheese and use a non-dairy milk with the eggs.
- For greens, I have loved using dandelion greens in this recipe, dandelion greens are a bitter green that has a nice sharp flavor, but I especially love that they are packed with nutrients, specifically they are an incredible source of vitamin K and vitamin A. Bitter greens are also amazing for the liver and supporting it’s detoxification pathways along with gallbladder health as eating bitter food activates taste buds that simultaneously stimulate enzyme production and bile flow, which promotes better digestion. Spinach, arugula, kale or any other green that you like would also work.
Other Flavor Options:
I find the flavor from the Chinese five spice blend to be the perfect and unique pairing with these flavors, it’s unexpected but so pleasant. If you can’t find it, you can opt for just adding a little ground cinnamon or simply make your own five-spice blend with cinnamon, star anise, ground fennel, Sichuan peppercorns and cloves. If those flavors don’t interest you, just a teaspoon or two of fresh thyme pairs amazingly well with these flavors, too!
Swap the onion for fennel, shallots or red onion. You can also caramelize the onions or fennel ahead of the other ingredients for a deeper, richer flavor.
Feel free to peel the apples. I don’t find it necessary at all, the skin of the apples softens and it’s easy to eat. Apple peels also contain fiber and more specifically pectin, which can be great for digestion. I am also pretty lazy in the kitchen and with prep work, so there’s that.
What Type of Pan is Best for your Fall Frittata:
I recommend a well-seasoned cast iron skillet, the size of the skillet will affect the time it takes to cook and obviously the thickness of the frittata. I love using a larger skillet that results in a thinner frittata, because it cooks a bit quicker with this many eggs. I use an 11-inch Staub Cast Iron skillet. For a smaller skillet, you can take it down to more like 6 or 8 eggs if you don’t want it too thick, you may have to cook it for longer.
You can certainly start this frittata on the stove top if you want to cut down the bake time, using this method, but I find on a Sunday morning, a nice slow bake gives time for coffee, chilling and dancing around the kitchen.
Fall Frittata with Pancetta, Apples, Greens and Goat Cheese
- 1 tablespoon olive oil or ghee
- 4 oz pancetta, diced
- 1 small onion, thinly sliced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 4 oz mushrooms - I used brown beech, you can also use sliced button, cremini, baby bella, etc*
- 10 pasture-raised eggs￼, see notes about using less eggs for smaller pans
- ¼ cup milk, dairy or non-dairy
- 1 teaspoon Chinese Five Spice, see notes above for other options
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- black pepper, to taste
- 1 apple, thinly sliced 1/8-inch or so (honey crisp, granny smith, gala, etc)
- 4 oz Humboldt fog cheese, roughly crumbled and divided (goat cheese or other cheese, see above)
- 2 cups fresh greens roughly torn, dandelion greens, spinach, baby kale, see above
- Preheat the Traeger Grillor your oven to 350ºF, be sure the skillet you are baking the frittata in is well seasoned. Grease with additional ghee or olive oil if necessary.
- In another skillet on the stovetop over medium-high heat, add the pancetta, cook for a few minutes, stirring frequently, then reduce the heat to medium and add the onions and mushrooms. Sauté another 8-10 minutes until the onions are translucent and tender. Add the garlic and season with a little salt and pepper. Stir well, give it another minute or two. Remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool. (You don't want to add hot veggies to the eggs)
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl, add the eggs, milk, Chinese five spice (or roughly chopped thyme - see notes above), salt and pepper. Whisk until well combined.
- Add the thinly sliced apples, add all the cheese minus 1/4 cup or so, and the greens. Using a spatula or wooden spoon, stir until well mixed.
- Once the pancetta, onion, mushroom mixture is not longer hot and the grill (or oven) is up to temperature - add the cooked veggies to the egg mixture and stir well to combine.
- Pour the egg mixture into the seasoned/prepared skillet.
- Crumble the remaining cheese evenly over top.
- Bake the frittata at 350ºF for 20-30 minutes until golden and totally set. I recommend you begin checking it at 15 minutes and continue checking every 5 minutes or so. Depending on the thickness of the frittata, it could take more or less time.
- Let cool about 5 minutes before cutting.
- Serve with fresh herbs or greens on top or a mixed greens salad on the side.