Frittatas are something I make very often, especially as part of a lunch with other mixed dishes and salads—rather like a grand antipasto. They are easily prepared and look really appetizing. You can use your imagination and experiment with different ingredients—you can use all sorts of vegetables to make a frittata, such as asparagus, spinach, or zucchini, but always lightly cook them first. I also find that the frittata tastes better when served cold.–Manuela Darling-Gansser

An Italian frittata garnished with a squash blossom on a white plate with a fork resting beside it.

Italian Frittata

5 / 3 votes
This Italian frittata, made from eggs, potatoes, and Parmesan, is a simple Italian omelet that's a quick weeknight dinner.
David Leite
Servings6 servings
Calories322 kcal
Prep Time25 minutes
Cook Time5 minutes
Total Time30 minutes


  • 12 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon cold water
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 heaping tablespoons grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 2 large potatoes, peeled, boiled, and cut into 1/2- to 1-inch chunks
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small red onion or 2 leeks, chopped


  • Lightly beat the eggs with a fork and add the water, salt, pepper, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and chopped potatoes.
  • In a large ovenproof cast-iron or nonstick skillet (preferably 12-inch) over medium heat, melt the butter with the oil. Add the onion or leeks and sauté until transparent, 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Pour in the egg mixture and cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the broiler to medium. Broil until the frittata is golden brown, about 5 minutes. Let cool to warm or room temperature or chill in the fridge. Cut into wedges and serve.


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Serving: 1 portionCalories: 322 kcalCarbohydrates: 24 gProtein: 16 gFat: 18 gSaturated Fat: 6 gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3 gMonounsaturated Fat: 8 gTrans Fat: 0.2 gCholesterol: 382 mgSodium: 162 mgPotassium: 684 mgFiber: 3 gSugar: 2 gVitamin A: 665 IUVitamin C: 26 mgCalcium: 84 mgIron: 3 mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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Recipe © 2012 Manuela Darling-Gansser. Photo © 2012 Simon Griffiths. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

This is a really good, simple, quick recipe to have in your weeknight arsenal for when the fridge is nearly empty. I used Yukon Gold potatoes. I don’t really peel them, I just square them off so they’re easier to cut. My tasters wished that there would have been fewer potatoes and that I had cut them smaller than I did. (I think slightly smaller than 1/2-inch cubes would have been good). I didn’t mind the potato ratio at all, but I definitely agree on the size issue. Smaller is better. I used a 12-inch pan and it was perfect. The amount of oil and butter used to sauté the onions is quite a lot. My onions were swimming. I added the potato cubes to the onions and fat, then poured the egg mixture over it all. The bottom of the frittata was set after about 5 minutes. Then I put it under the broiler for about 7 minutes on high, about 4 inches from the element, until the top was set. Flipped it onto a platter and dinner was served! There are even leftovers for lunch. Couldn’t be easier-peasier.

Since whole potatoes take a long time to cook through, I would suggest cutting them before steaming or boiling. I decided to slice my potatoes instead of chopping them. I cut the potato into 0.5-cm slices, which when placed in boiling water cooked in 5 to 10 minutes. As the frittata cooked under the broiler, I loosened it away from the edge of the pan occasionally by running a palate knife underneath it. When the frittata was done, I let it cool for a few minutes before attempting to turn it out onto a plate. The turned-out frittata had a good shape and came away cleanly from the pan. The red onion gave a strong visual effect as it stayed on the bottom, so when the finished frittata was turned out of the pan the red onion was visible on the top. The egg mixture could also be poured into a parchment-lined deep tray, and could then be cut into squares when cold. I served the frittata with fried mushrooms, but it could also be served with a green leafy salad. I would cook this dish again.

This made a great brunch on a lazy Sunday morning. I divided the recipe in half, using only 6 eggs. I used Yukon Gold potatoes, which I peeled before cutting into 1/2- inch cubes. This recipe can be tailored to suit anyone’s taste. I used leeks instead of red onion. We do not have a nonstick skillet that can go into the oven, so I used a very well-seasoned 9-inch cast-iron skillet, which worked perfectly. I added 4 ounces roasted hatch chilis to the egg mixture, as well as a 1/2 pound cooked sausage meat. After the initial 5 minutes on the stove top, I put the pan into the oven with the broiler on. The recipe instructs you to cook the frittata under the broiler set on a medium setting. Our broiler only has one setting. If left there for 5 minutes, the top of the frittata would have been burnt. After 3 minutes under the broiler, the frittata had gotten very brown, and the top seemed to be quite set. I pulled the pan and let it sit on the stove for a couple of minutes. When I went to cut the frittata, it was still eggy in the center. I put the frittata into a 350° oven for another 4 to 5 minutes, which did the trick. The Parmigiano was not at all noticeable in the frittata. I will use some Dubliner cheese next time. Cubes of ham would work wonderfully in this, as would a whole host of vegetables. It is also a budget friendly recipe. I was surprised to find that the frittata was still very good cold.

Everyone needs a good frittata technique in their repertoire, just like a little black dress. This one gets the job done. A frittata is a great way to use up the little bits of meat, cheese, and leftover vegetables in the fridge. I added formage blanc, asparagus, a little lemon zest, and a sprinkle of fresh herbs on top to finish. I served the large frittata on a wooden board cut into wedges. A crisp Romaine salad, dressed in a garlic vinaigrette made an excellent side.

I hate wasting leftovers and so do the Italians. So they came up with this little beauty. Well, maybe it was the Spaniards…oh well, it’s a terrific place to start. The eggs were fluffy, light, and slipped from the pan. I must caution you here, make sure the nonstick skillet you use is one that can take high temperatures as you must put this under the broiler to finish. A lot of nonstick pans can not do this but it will make all the difference when you have to remove the frittata from the pan at the finish. The great thing with this recipe is it is the perfect starter recipe. Potatoes, eggs, onions…then add anything else you like. Roasted vegetables, leftover chicken, lamb, fresh asparagus, you can even top it after it is cooked with a little pile of peppery arugula if you like. I know it is good cold, but I must confess I do prefer it hot. There really is nothing difficult about this. So many uses—brunch, lunch, dinner. You really must try this one!

This frittata was a beautiful weeknight presentation. The frittata was fast to assemble and delicious. I used Yukon Gold potatoes and diced them into 1/2 inch chunks. I diced the red onion into smaller pieces. The cooking time was perfect and the ovenproof nonstick skillet was a must. Delicious and simple—a blank canvas to try the variations next time!

Here is an omelette that has become very stylish and posh and the designer is you. Whatever your heart or mood fancies can be incorporated into the design of this dish and it will come out stunning every time. I followed this recipe exactly, except I halved it. I used a potato chopped to a 1/4-inch dice, and blanched it to cook it lightly. Followed the recipe exactly, and when I put the pan under the broiler it was at least 10 inches away from the heat as eggs do better with a gentler heat. In about 6 minutes, I had a beautiful golden brown frittata. This recipe worked well for me, however, I am still a big fan of separating the whites and yellow and whisking them separately to make a very fluffy, airy frittata.

About David Leite

David Leite has received three James Beard Awards for his writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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