How to Make a Low-Carb Frittata

Frittatas are easy to make, protein-packed, and naturally low-carb

Pan of egg and vegetable quiche
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A frittata is a protein-packed, filling, nutritious Italian egg dish and it's naturally low-carb. But perhaps the best thing about frittatas is how easy they are to whip up. Frittata filling ingredients can be cooked in a skillet right before you add beaten eggs, making it a one-pan meal with a quick clean-up. And with less than one gram of carbohydrate per egg and most filling ingredients consisting of meat and veggies, which are also low-carb, frittatas make a great breakfast, make-ahead lunch, or easy weeknight dinner option that won't wreck your diet.

 

What makes frittatas different than other egg dishes, such as omelets, is that they are cooked on the stovetop in an oven-safe skillet until the outer edges are set, and then finished in the oven. However, they're generally easier to make than omelets because the fillings are mixed right in rather than folded in. Not as much skill is required! They're very similar to quiches but without the crust. Frittatas are served in wedges and are easily transportable; in fact, in Italy it's common to take a wedge to work for lunch! Make a large frittata in a 12-inch skillet so you have enough for a few meals. 

To make a frittata, you'll need:  

  • A non-stick oven-proof skillet, preferably 12". 
  • 12 eggs for a thick frittata in a 12" skillet, or fewer eggs for a thinner frittata or in a smaller skillet.
  • Your choice of protein fillings such as ham, bacon, chicken, or turkey. You could also use vegetarian protein sources such as beans or quinoa, however, that will raise the carb count. 
  • Vegetables such as spinach, avocado, mushrooms, tomatoes, peppers, asparagus, and any others you like. 
  • Optional low-carb additions such as goat, mozzarella, or another kind of cheese, and herbs.

But truly, when it comes to the ingredients you choose, the only limitation is your imagination. You'll also need a heat-resistant spatula, such as silicone, and a broiler—but if you don't have one, you can just put it in the oven at high heat.

 

Steps to a Fluffy, Nutritious Frittata Baked to Perfection

  1. Adjust the top oven rack—with an ovenproof skillet on it, you want the top of the skillet to be 4-6 inches from the broiler. Turn on the broiler.
  2. Put the skillet (preferably 12" nonstick) on the stove and add about a tablespoon of oil. Add any raw vegetables or meat you want in your frittata and sauté them until done, adding any herbs, spices, and salt you desire.
  3. Add any cooked ingredients and heat them through.
  4. Whisk eggs with salt, pepper, herbs, and 3 tablespoons of either water, milk or non-dairy milk, half and half, or cream. (Half and half is said to produce the best results.) If using cheese, add about half to the eggs (or you can save all of it for the top). Add the egg mixture to skillet.
  5. On medium heat, cook the eggs for about 2 minutes, scraping the sides and bottom with your heat-resistant spatula. When the eggs are mostly cooked but still very wet, stop stirring. You want to see cooked egg scattered throughout, but wet egg in between.
  6. Continue cooking on the stove for another minute so the underside sets.
  7. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese on the top. Put the skillet under the broiler. Monitor carefully while the top browns. This will take 2-4 minutes, but it tends to happen suddenly once it begins.
  1. Remove the skillet from oven; be sure to use an oven mitt or pot holder when removing the skillet from the oven. Just because the handle is cool when using it on the stove doesn't mean it will stay cool in the oven. 
  2. Let it sit for about 5 minutes to finish cooking in the center. Cut in wedges and serve.

Frittata wedges freeze well. Cool completely before wrapping and freezing.

More Help with Cooking Eggs

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