How to Make Any Frittata in 5 Steps

May 20, 2013

Here at Food52, we love recipes -- but do we always use them? Of course not. Because once you realize you don't always need a recipe, you'll make your favorite dishes a lot more often.

Today: One of the simplest Not Recipes to date is just a few minutes away from your next spring brunch. 


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If you've been following along, chances are good you've kept your cookbooks on the shelf for a weeknight dinner or two in the last few weeks. Maybe you've made meatballs, blended up soups, stirred risottos -- all without so much as a glance at a recipe. You're probably a regular pro at stir-fried noodles

We have more good news: out of all the recipe-less dishes you've made so far, this ranks among the simplest. Why? Because all you have to do is break a few eggs, sauté, and enlist a little help from your broiler.

How to Make Any Frittata in 5 Steps

1. Start by cooking your vegetables over medium heat in a little oil, maybe with a bit of chopped garlic or shallot. This is a great place to use up leftovers. Or, if you're like us, you'll play this step cool with market-fresh fiddleheads and foraged morels. You know, because we're casual.


2. Once everything is tender, add beaten, seasoned eggs. (Add anywhere from 6 to 10, depending on the size of your crowd and also of your pan.) Add cheese (kind: any -- we used ricotta) into your egg mixture before you add it to the pan, or sprinkle it on after if you forgot this step or you want to place it strategically. 

3. To make sure all of your foraged vegetables are evenly distributed, stir just a bit.

4. Employ the edge-lift technique: gently lift up the set portions of your frittata and let any egg mixture that is not set run into the space you've created. This will help everything to cook evenly, and will be a good piece of trivia to tell your friends at cocktail parties. 

5. As soon as the eggs begin to set over the stove (this should take about 10 minutes), slide the whole thing under the broiler briefly to finish cooking (remember, it will keep cooking in the hot pan after you pull it out). If you're a purist, pull your frittata the moment it starts to color. If you're not, cook it until it's as carmelized and toasty as your heart desires. When you're cooking without a recipe, you can do what you want, right? 

Now, you can serve it in the pan if you like the way it looks, or turn it out onto a nice platter (cover pan with platter, carefully invert, hold breath, remove pan -- if it's ugly, flip it back over). Serve warm, at room temp, or cold -- you've got options there, too. 

We're looking for contributors! Email [email protected] and tell us the dish you could make in your sleep, without a recipe.

Photos by James Ransom

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A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).

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Kenzi Wilbur

Written by: Kenzi Wilbur

I have a thing for most foods topped with a fried egg, a strange disdain for overly soupy tomato sauce, and I can never make it home without ripping off the end of a newly-bought baguette. I like spoons very much.


Accidentalchef May 29, 2022
My Sicilian grandmother made this with green beans and potatoes on Sunday night as the tomato gravy and meatballs from lunch became insufficient to feed me and my 12 first cousins. She called it froscia, her Sicilian word for frittata. When I was a hungry young man on the island of Ibiza, I was introduced to the Spanish interpretation they called tortilla. It was their food of the day. I then found it in every tapas bar I visited, Done with potatoes, onion and garlic. My grandmother, then my mother and then me always flipped it using the plate method but return it to the skillet to finish cooking the other side. Years later I was introduced to the oven finishing method dispute the number of times I burned my hand on the 350 degree handle. My favorite is fresh Romana tomatoes and asparagus with Romano and fresh basil.
Abby October 28, 2017
This was great and I laughed out loud while I read the instructions. We had just picked some wild oyster mushrooms off a tree by our house and after making a risotto featuring them last night, I decided to try and frittata today. I just googled 'how to make a frittata' and this was the first post a read. So yeah, we're super casual like that and also enjoyed ours with wild foraged mushrooms (and some other store-foraged veggies). Thanks so much!
robin L. August 3, 2017
Which of the pans from the Food52 store are you using here in these photos?
Candace June 2, 2015
It's wonderful served over quinoa for dinner.
glammie May 4, 2014
I did this earlier today. Sautéed pancetta and shallots; added fresh, chopped kale. Whisked 4 eggs, 4 egg whites, garlic powder and S/P and added that. Topped with all the leftover cheese in my fridge - lite feta, lite mozza and the end of a parmesan wedge - and stuck it under the broiler for one minute. Delicious with my morning coffee and a bright, sliced orange. nom-nom-nom!!!
I_Fortuna July 3, 2013
This looks delicious and I can never seem to successfully make a wonderful fritatta. It just occured to me that it takes a good seasoned cast iron skillet which is to heavy for me to lift anymore. I will try this with my stainless hoping it will clean up well. I wish we could get fiddleheads in our tiny town, but it looks like I will have to grown my own. Thanks for a great recipe and how to!
Basil G. May 20, 2013
I had forgotten all about making frittatas, used to do it all the time. Thank you! Did you guys turn off the heat when you threw the eggs in with the veggies and let the residual heat cook the eggs?
Kenzi W. May 21, 2013
Glad you liked it! We actually left the heat on while it set. How do you normally make them?
LauriL May 20, 2013
Good thing I wasnt leaning over my keyboard when I saw these Frittata pics!! Beautiful!