You like omelet and I like frittata…

omelet frittata

For those of you who don’t get the title, “You say omelet and I say frittata,” it comes from the Gershwin song, “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off,” from the film, “Shall We Dance.” The verses compare different ways of saying the same word, depending on your dialect. For example, “You like to-may-toes /təˈmeɪtoʊz/ and I like to-mah-toes /təˈmɑːtoʊz/.”

Although there’s no issue of pronunciation between omelet and frittata, there is often confusion around the difference, if any, between an omelet (or omelette) and a frittata. Some people think they’re interchangeable terms. But no, not true! If this questions has been keeping you up at night, let me explain it all so you can have peace of mind and get your z’s.

First of all, there’s debate about how one should spell the egg dish that starts with an O. Omelet is often the spelling of choice amongst English speakers, although it varies. Since the dish originated in France, the French spelling is more authentic: omelette. I used to use the latter, but I finally gave in to spell-check and use the more American version, omelet. Either one works. 

But, what makes an omelet different from a frittata, which, by the way is an Italian word (meaning fried)? 

1. An omelet is French and a frittata is Italian.

2. An omelet has the extra ingredients, usually vegetables, piled inside or on top after it has cooked. The added vegetables or meat in a frittata are mixed in with the eggs from the beginning.

3. An omelet is typically made for one person, while a frittata is larger and made to serve more. However, this is not always the case.

4. An omelet is folded in half or rolled up. It’s relatively thin.

5. A frittata is thick and fluffy, and usually cut in wedges.

6. Both can be made with no added vegetables, but the main difference still applies: omelets are cooked entirely on the stovetop, whereas frittatas are started on the stovetop and finished in the oven.

And that’s all there is to it! Now, you might be wondering how to make them. Let’s first discuss how to make a basic omelet. 

1. Break 2-3 eggs into a small to medium bowl. Add a few dashes of hot sauce and a little salt and pepper. Beat with a whisk for 15 seconds or just until well blended. (Don’t overdo it, or the eggs will be tough.) Stir in herbs, if desired.

2. Heat a small skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add about 1 teaspoon of butter or oil to heat briefly, until butter has melted or oil has become hot, about 5 seconds. 

3. Pour eggs into pan and cook about 1 minute, allowing egg to set a little. 


Take a fork and slowly begin pushing eggs from sides to the center, all the way around, allowing uncooked eggs to run to edges and underneath. 


Wait another minute and repeat.


4. Turn heat to low and cover the pan with a lid for 1-2 minutes, or until top is done to your preference. 


You can also sprinkle a little cheese on before you cover it and allow the cheese to melt at the same time.

5. To serve, use a pancake turner and fold over in half, then slide from pan. Or, place some cooked vegetables or fresh tender greens like spinach on one half and fold over.



See the full recipe here: Basic Individual Omelet

Now it’s time to talk about making a basic, cheesy frittata.

1. Preheat the oven to 375 °F. 

2. Grate or crumble cheese and set aside.


3. Using a whisk or fork, beat eggs in a medium bowl with optional cream, hot sauce, salt and pepper. 


Add grated cheese and stir.


4. Heat empty skillet over medium heat until a drop of water bounces on it but doesn’t explode (in which case, take off the heat for 30 seconds and turn it town to cool a bit). Once hot enough, add the butter or oil until butter has melted or oil has become hot, about 5 seconds. The butter will turn a light brown, but shouldn’t burn.

5. Pour egg mixture into skillet. Turn heat to medium-low, if browning too quickly.


Sprinkle some herbs on top if desired.


6Cook until eggs begin to firm up and are light brown on the bottom. Check by lifting up an edge. If they’re not firm enough to stay together when you lift the edge, continue cooking. Once you can lift up the edge, it should be brown but not too dark. This should take about 2-4 minutes, depending on how high the heat is.


7. Place skillet in preheated oven and finish cooking for 10-12 minutes (based on a 10-inch skillet—a little less if using a 12-inch skillet). The eggs should be somewhat firm in the center, depending on our preference. The top should be lightly browned.     

8. Let rest for 5-10 minutes (while you clean up). The eggs will continue to cook as they rest.


9. Cut in wedges to serve.


See the full recipe here: Basic Cheesy Frittata

© Bobbi Mullins 2011, All rights reserved. FOOD FITNESS FAITH™