If you don’t know, know you’ll know. The frittata is basically one of THE greatest foods. EVER. It’s so quick to make, easy, inexpensive, and it’s also the perfect vehicle for leftovers—not to mention that it’s equally delicious at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. My Leftovers Frittata is crazy versatile and highly customizable. With my formula and my tips and tricks, I can guarantee this will be a staple food in your house in no time. It’s as great for simple weekly meal prep as it is an impressive option when you host brunch.
Frittatas are omelette meets crustless quiche made from eggs and any other ingredients and seasonings that you want to add. With all the possibilities on this Leftovers Frittata recipe, you’ll never ever get bored and with my easy method and simple tips, you’ll become a leftovers frittata pro in no time.
The versatility of a leftovers frittata makes it a must for your weekly meal planning and meal prep. It can be eaten cold, room temperature or steamy warm and the possibilities for the add-ins are truly endless and you guys know how I feel about recipes that offer you tons of wiggle room to get creative and to make it work for you and your needs. I find when I make a weekend brunch frittata or even just the frittatas I make as meal prep for the week – they are always an amazing opportunity to do a little fridge clean-out and to use up some of those leftovers that have become stragglers.
Listen though, we need to have a little talk. A poorly-made frittata is just a straight-up tragedy. We’ve all had a less-than-stellar frittata. You know the ones; spongey, flavorless, bland and dry. I want to make sure you avoid this horrible fate, because no one should ever have to endure this – I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy.
Here are Some Tips and Common Frittata Mistakes to Avoid:
Just Beat It. Don’t Annihilate It. Over beaten eggs will go nice and big while cooking, then fall flat and be dense as it cools. Beat just enough to combine the egg whites and yolks.
Have Your Add-in Ingredients Cooked Before You Add Them to the Eggs. Since I am suggesting that the frittata is a really great use for leftovers, these will of course already be cooked, but it’s important to note, when starting from scratch and adding fresh ingredients to your frittata, you’ll want to cook them separately, as well, before adding to the eggs. If you are adding greens, zucchini, mushroom, tomatoes or other veggies that release moisture as they cook, drain off or squeeze out the excess moisture before adding to the eggs. Any ingredients you are adding to the eggs won’t cook too much more, since frittatas cook quickly, so be sure that ingredients like potatoes are already tender going in, that your meats are cooked through, etc. If your leftovers are straight from the fridge, ice cold, consider giving them just a quick minute or two in the pan to take the chill off, before adding the eggs.
For Even Distribution of Ingredients. Stir your already-cooked (but not hot) ingredients into the eggs before adding it all to the pan at once vs the method of pouring the eggs over the ingredients already in the pan. I personally find that this helps eliminate having ALL the ingredients sunk to the bottom of the frittata or lumped in one area. To have a nice pretty frittata top, leave a handful of your ingredients out from the eggs, mix the rest in and then top your frittata with a sprinkle of those remaining ingredients, just before cooking. If you don’t care or don’t wanna fuss with it. Go for it by heating/cooking your ingredients right in the pan and pouring the eggs over top.
Season Well and Early. Add a generous sprinkle of sea salt and black pepper to the eggs, as you beat them, before you pour in the pan. This ensures that it is well-distributed not just sitting on top.
Milk-it, If You Can. If you can tolerate dairy, a small amount of full fat, high quality milk, yogurt or sour cream will take your frittata to a whole ‘nother level. Extra custardy and rich. But don’t overdo it, too much dairy will make for a not well set frittata. For best results, I suggest approximately 1/4 cup of dairy to 6 eggs, 1/2 cup to 12 eggs, (1/3 cup for 8-10 – you get the idea). Can’t do dairy? Go with a creamy, unsweetened full fat coconut milk, if you’d like or just leave it out. (More watery non-dairy milks like almond won’t give you the luscious creamy results and it’ll just water down the eggs, so best to just skip those)
Cast Iron Skillets Do it Best. As far as I am concerned, a well-seasoned cast iron skillet makes THE best frittata. Because it conducts and holds heat well, you’ll get an evenly cooked frittata with nicely golden brown edges without that dry crusty edge that other pans can produce. Frittatas also tend to stick to stainless steel pans that aren’t properly oiled and it’s just not the same. I suggest a 10-inch cast iron skillet for 8-12 egg frittatas. Less eggs? Use a smaller pan or note that it will result in a thinner frittata and it’ll cook a bit quicker. While many folks suggest non-stick skillets for easy results, most contain toxic chemicals that will leech into our food, so I prefer to avoid and instead reach for my well-season cast iron.
Be Mindful to not Overcook your Frittata. An overcooked frittata is dry, spongey and just plain sub-par. Keep a keen eye on your frittata. Pull it out of the oven when it’s just barely set. The cast iron retains heat and will continue to cook the frittata. Best to play it safe and check your frittata about 5 minutes prior to when it “should be done”.
The Combo Stove Top and Oven Method is Best. I recommend a quick cook on the stove top, cooking until the edges begin to pull away from the pan (3-5 minutes) then finishing in the oven until just set. This provides the best results and helps to avoid an overcooked frittata. You can cook it entirely on the stove top or in the oven, but I find frittatas to cook best and most evenly with this method. I recommend a 350ºF oven for most frittatas, if it’s on the thicker side, you may want to go for 375º – 400ºF.
Cheese if you want. Or not. Mix in your favorite grated or crumble cheese, same as the ingredients, mix into the egg mixture and for a golden top, sprinkle a little on top, too.
Just Some of the Ingredients You Can Add to Your Leftovers Frittata – The Options and Combos are Limitless:
leftover cooked proteins: bacon, sausage, shredded or diced chicken, pork or beef, smoked salmon, ham, lamb, tofu, etc.
cooked veggies: greens like spinach, kale or chard, onion, zucchini, tomatoes, mushrooms, bell peppers or roasted peppers, scallions, potatoes, squash, brussels sprouts, fennel, leeks, asparagus, peas, broccoli, etc.
other add-ins: fresh herbs like basil, oregano, tarragon, sliced olives, cooked beans like chickpeas or lentils, kimchi, try leftover cooked pasta, rice or quinoa, toasted bread, etc.
cheeses: parmesan, goat cheese, feta, mozzarella, cheddar, ricotta, gruyere, etc.
What’s Your Favorite Frittata Flavor Combo?
- 2 tablespoons butter, ghee or olive oil
- 8-10* large pasture-raised eggs
- ⅓ cup full fat milk or coconut milk (optional, see above)
- 1 - 1½ cups cooked protein of your choice - bacon, sausage, shredded meat, smoked salmon, etc
- cooked veggies of your choice - spinach, roasted red peppers, kale, zucchini, potatoes, etc
- cheese, of your choice, optional
- any other leftovers you might want to add
- herbs and spices, to taste
- sea salt and black pepper, to taste
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Adjust your rack to the middle of the oven.
- In a large bowl, beat together eggs and milk (if using). Don't over beat. Stir in any cooked (but not hot) ingredients that you want to add-in, veggies, meat, herbs, seasonings, etc. Mix in cheese if using and season well with sea salt and black pepper. Stir in to combine.
- To a well-seasoned cast iron skillet, over medium-high heat add your butter (or other fat) and melt. Evenly coat the bottom of the pan. Pour the eggs into the pan, shaking the pan to evenly distribute the mixture. Add any remaining ingredients on top.
- Cook the frittata, without stirring, until its edges begin to set, about 3-5 minutes. As it cooks, I recommend using a rubber spatula to very gently lift up the set portions of your frittata around the edge and let any egg mixture that is not set to run into the space you've created.
- Place the frittata in the preheated oven and cook 8-10 minutes until barely set. (check after 5, to avoid overcooking). Time to cook can vary on the size (and type) of the pan, amount of eggs, how thick it is, etc. So just watch it.
- To check, cut a small slit in the center of the frittata. If raw egg runs into the cut you made, bake for another few minutes. Once set remove from the oven, remember it will continue to cook in the hot pan. (if you are looking for a brown top or want to add cheese and melt, give it a minute under the broiler, but be REALLY careful to not overcook and dry out your frittata)
- Allow it to cool for at least 5 minutes. Loosen the edges with a wooden or plastic spatula. Carefully slide from the pan onto a large round platter or serve right from the pan. Cut into wedges. Serve hot, warm, at room temperature, or cold.
Please see the post above for an in-depth list of tips and tricks and other notes
This post was *exactly* what I was looking for! So helpful! This is yet another reason why I come to your site first when seeking cooking “advice”. Thank you!
YAY I am so glad you enjoyed it and this comment just made my whole night. Thanks.
I have never made a frittata before and found this recipe very helpful! I grilled vegetable kabobs last night (zucchini, yellow squash, red bell pepper and onion) for dinner. I sautéed some mushrooms in the pan I had laying around and when those were nice and brown threw in my leftover grilled veggies. I thought salting and peppering the eggs before they went in the pan was smart, I will do that again in the future. Sprinkled some parmesan cheese on top before I put it in the oven and I was very happy with how it turned out, and my kitchen smelled amazing. Great way to use leftovers. I will definitely try to make more frittatas soon.