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Frittata vs. Omelet - What's your opinion?

I posted a thread on "scrambled eggs vs omelet" and proclaimed a severe dislike for omelets. However, now that they for some reason have grown on me and I rarely make scrambled eggs I've thoughout about branching out in egg world. Similar to my bold declaration, that I hate omelets which apparently turned out to be false as most bold declarations are wont to do, I don't think I've met a frittata that I enjoy. Do you have a preference for omelet or frittata or choose one or the other at a particular time for any particular reason? Could a frittata be considered an open faced omelet?

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  1. I'm a Bud man and a frittata fan. Prefer 'em to omelettes because I always get the doneness just right. With oms, the periphery is usually cooked through, but the center is often a bit raw. I don't truck wit raw agues.

    1 Reply
    1. I make overly packed frittatas when I am feeding a crowd and omelettes to order.

      1. Frittatas were company food in my family, very hearty and elegant at the same time, esp ones made with the prized asparagus around Easter time. For us, it was more of a thick, crustless quiche with the ingredients fully incorporated, so not so much an open faced omelet.

        Omelets are an "any time" food for me.

        1. I like them both equally. Sometimes I'm in the mood for one; sometimes the other.

          1. I like frittatas. I make them in muffin pans for single servings and eat them for breakfast throughout the week. They freeze ok.

            I like the almost "breadlike" texture that they have. I like that they can seem decadent while still being fairly healthy.

            While I think eggs are disgusting cold as a general rule, frittatas - like quiches - are excepted from this rule. But they can be so much healthier than your average quiche!

            3 Replies
            1. re: Heatherb

              I don't know much about egg dishes but this is because frittata doesn't have cream and/or milk like a quiche right? If you reheat the single serving frittatas, do you just pop them in the microwave?

              1. re: fldhkybnva

                I add half&half or cream to mine, although not anywhere near as much as a quiche. Just a dash.

                1. re: fldhkybnva

                  I sometimes add skim milk. And yeah, I pop them in the microwave when I reheat. just 1 minute.

              2. No significant preference...I would classify it as do I want a T-bone or Porterhouse steak? Both are fine cuts of meat, but it's just what am I in the mood for at that particular time. Additionally, one consideration for omelet/frittata is...what ingredients do I have to work with? When I make a frittata, usually start with a base of thin sliced potatoes and onions, get them set and browned, then pour in the herbed eggs and ensure adequate coverage. Then either flip it in the pan or under the broiler for final cooking.

                1. Strong preference for fritatti - especially with leftover pasta from the previous night. Although a potato and onion one is always welcome, too, especially with enough onion. If i'm cooking breakfast for more than just me, it's easier to control the time factor while toast/English muffins, bacon/sausage, etc. is all pulled together. And I do finish them under the broiler/grill, rather than cooking the bottoms to death.

                  1. Frittate have several advantages over omelets, and they are made with a somewhat different technique. The frittata can, even should, be made ahead and can be served at room temperature. It is usually made of 4 eggs, though it can be smaller or larger, and thus serves more than one, while omelets are usually individual (and served immediately). It can be sliced like a pie into portions or into cubes for hors d'oeuvres. You can put a slice between two slices of bread or toast and take it on plane or train as an unobtrusive, not messy picnic. If you are not much of an egg person, the frittata can be filled with vegetables (zucchini, asparagus, artichokes are the classics, onion too) with just enough egg to hold it together.
                    Two things about technique: Don't put it under the broiler; slide the frittata onto a plate after the eggs have set, invert the pan on top, and flip over the assembly to cook side B. The other is: If you use cheese, be sure to serve the frittata warm enough so the cheese is soft enough.

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: mbfant

                      Thanks for the description, it's very helpful as to me they seemed kind of the same thing but now I'm getting the difference. How would you compare the texture of a frittata to a quiche?

                      1. re: fldhkybnva

                        For me, a quiche should have a more silky, custardy texture, bordering on wobbliness. A frittata is a bit more, well, *rugged* and sturdy, if that makes any sense. Less custardy, more eggy.

                        For the original question: I love my omelets, but actual frequency puts my household seriously in the frittata camp, for many of the reasons mbfant described above. We make at least one a week. Great for fridge clean-out, leftovers are wonderful. A simple spinach frittata will get me every time.

                      2. re: mbfant

                        And why not put it under the broiler? Easier, less messy and hard to find a plate that large. Pray, elucidate. Not complaining, just asking.

                        1. re: lemons

                          "And why not put it under the broiler? Easier, less messy and hard to find a plate that large."

                          Global warming? Broiler seems like overkill. Also, I don't think it's easier to heat up the broiler than to stand right where I am at the stove. Instead of a plate (and a dinner plate is fine for a 4-egg frittata), you can use a lid -- very convenient with its little handle. And I think the handle of my pan would melt under the broiler. Altogether simpler to stay right where you are and turn the frittata.

                          1. re: lemons

                            "Why not put it under the broiler?" Me, because my husband's uncle taught him to make frittata before we met, and when the secrets were passed on to me, I was informed it MUST be flipped, after sliding onto an oversized plate. I have a plate that is mainly dedicated to that task. After the flip, it MUST be turned down and covered for a few minutes, they swear it makes it puff up. When he passed the duty on to me (shortly after we were married), those two steps were said to be written in stone. I always imagined everyone else in the world flipping it up in the air like a pizza, and thought I was doing it the wimpy way; but afraid to contemplate any deviation. This is the first I've heard that I am following a world wide tradition!

                            Haven't dropped one yet, although I've come close! I never saw the broil deal until I worked in professional kitchens; it's a good shortcut when you're making lots of them, but just not the same.

                            It also must be 5 eggs, according to family law. Always some kind of cheese and then, yes, all available leftovers. Around here, cubed hash brown potatoes, or sausage and pepper, are the most appreciated by the master of the house.When I have either of them leftover, my immediate thought is "Fritatta!"

                            An omelette, as everyone has mentioned, is only a couple of eggs, very thin and cooks up almost instantly, then usually I put in just a bit of cheese and quickly fold in three. The only thing I might add is a stalk or two of asparagus, if I wanted to get fancy. Husband doesn't go for that, so he gets cheese only. A big advantage of omelettes is that each can be made differently, for different tastes.

                        2. I'm an omelet girl. No good reason why, but I just am. I probably eat one every week.

                          1. The usual American sense of the word omelet has rather little relationship to the frittata, although what is commonly called a Spanish omelet is practically identical to a frittata in structure and presentation.

                            In my book, an omelet(te) refers basically to a French-style preparation--high heat and mostly egg, rolled, etc.

                            A frittata or Spanish omelet is much heavier, has a starch component like potato or pasta,and probably some aromatics and veggies, is cooked with minimal stirring to a custardy character, and it is either flipped just once, whole, or finished to brown the top under a broiler or salamadar.

                            A room temp French omelette would be too little, too late. A room temp frittata can be sublime. My two cents.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: Bada Bing

                              Yes, I think my usual omelet as it's quite large is actually technically a Spanish omelet although we don't include starch it's just "way too many eggs and stuffing" for a classic omelet which likely explains why I consider it similar to a frittata. Great, thanks for the information.

                              1. re: fldhkybnva

                                Sounds as if you make the highly stuffed kind of omelette which uses French procedure but piles on the filllings big time. Nothing wrong with that at all! It just isn't any kind of frittata or Spanish omelet (also called Spanish tortilla, but not meaning tortilla the way we Americans use the term). Lots of room for terminology confusion here. Look see:


                                1. re: Bada Bing

                                  Oh yea, it doesn't resemble a Spanish omelette either. It's what you described - like 6 eggs loaded with toppings which require cautious movements because I demand it be folded :) It's like a meal probably for 3/me.

                            2. I love both. I make a frittata when I have random leftovers to put in it. Last week it was lentils and cheddar. I almost always start with a soffrito and finish under the broiler. I love omelets and almost always make them without filling, sometimes served with strawberry jam.

                              1. Hey, it's all eggs … I enjoy making anything with the fruit of the Noble Hen, and do quite a lot. My frittatas are non-classic; I do use the broiler, or more precisely the oven set on Preheat, and try to keep them unscorched. I hate the taste of scorched egg, dating from my mom's "omelets," those big fluffy dry things seared brown and tasting of burnt hair. Seeing Julia throw a real one for Johnny Carson changed my life; I picked it up pretty fast and was soon doing one or a couple (depending on whether I was one or a couple) every weekend. Recently I saw an Eric Ripert video in which he demonstrated his own low-heat, gently cooked omelet, tender rather than leathery, and have been trying to emulate that. Those aren't stout enough for much more than some cheese inside, so I'll save the ham and avocado and tomato and stuff for frittatas.

                                1. I like omelette and I like fritatta (although we'd always call the latter tortillas)

                                  1. I prefer a Frittata because the toppings get crispy when grilled. Sort of like a pizza. I love pizza.
                                    I make my frittatas in a cast iron pan. I heat the pan on the stove top and get it nice and hot so that when I add the egg mixture it starts to cook from the bottom. That way I avoid mushy eggs.
                                    While the egg mix is cooking in the pan I add the toppings and then put it under the broiler.
                                    Amazing crispy cheese, onions, bacon, avocado, tomato etc..

                                    1. I don't like eggs of any kind browned so would have to go with a pale yellow French-style omelet with some Gruyere inside.

                                      1. For me a "frittata" is an omelet. I left the US before ever hearing the word "frittata". I remember being sort of mistified by it in the last few years, and looked up recipes and pictures. For me it is an omelet--just the kind that you don't flip over, and I add a little flour into the egg mix--what in Spanish I would call "tortilla."