This easy Italian frittata recipe is a must-have for a deliciously simple breakfast or brunch. With an egg mixture that uses ingredients you most likely already have, this recipe can be ready to eat in 30 minutes.
The step-by-step instructions below show exactly how I make my own frittatas. If you follow along, you’ll do just fine. ☺️ I’ve also included some useful tips that you might find helpful if you’ve never made a frittata before.
Italian Frittata Recipe
An Italian frittata uses basic Italian ingredients mixed into the beaten egg mixture. It’s sometimes called an Italian omelet but I think this isn’t very accurate. Although it’s cooked like an omelet in a frying or saute pan, an omelet is usually thinner and folded over, instead of open face.
Frittatas originate from Italy and can be used as a general term that encompasses a variety of Italian-style frittatas, or it can be a specific Italian frittata recipe – different than the other variations.
For example I consider my spinach frittata and my potato frittata to be Itailan frittatas because for my recipes I use Italian ingredients, like olive oil instead of vegetable oi and Romano or Parmesan cheese instead of feta.
Is There a Traditional Italian Frittata?
So when I wanted to make an Italian frittata, I had to ask myself if there was a traditional Italian recipe or was it really just a general encompassing term?
I pulled out my old Italian cookbooks to see if I was right since I was sure there had to be a traditional recipe. Sure enough, yes, I’m completely legit in thinking there is a specific Italian egg dish, called Italian frittata, right alongside the Italian sausage frittata, Italian vegetable frittata, etc.
Most included similar ingredients, but there were certainly differences when it came to featured herbs and seasonings. Some of which I don’t like, such as sage.
Anyhow, I got the gist of the recipes, got inspired, and developed my own version by updating the ingredients, measurements, and adding my own personal preferences. I ended up with what I consider the best Italian frittata recipe out there that checked all my boxes for simple, easy and delicious!
Let’s get started!
Cooking Equipment Needed
The only cooking equipment you’ll need for making this frittata is a stove and a skillet/saute pan with a lid. You can also use a broiler, if your pan in ovensafe, at the end of cooking as noted below, however this is not required. I use this technique in my Spinach Frittata recipe.
- Medium saute pan, frying pan or skillet
- Medium mixing bowl
- Broiler (see notes below, this is only optional)
What type of saute pan?
If using a cast iron skillet, make sure it can be used on a glass stove top, if that’s the type of stovetop you have. You can also use a non-stick frying pan, but I avoid those due to the Teflon and the health hazards I believe they present.
If you do choose to use a non-stick pan, I’d recommend reducing the olive oil by half.
I personally use my 100% stainless steel saute pan or my saute pan with copper bottom. Both work great. The olive oil prevents the frittata from sticking to the pan. Too little olive oil and it will probably stick and slightly burn a little on the bottom – no different than cooking a pizza in a baking pan.
The following six ingredients are all that you need to make the frittata. Didn’t I say this would be simple? For specific measurements, use the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
Use extra virgin olive oil, first-pressed if you can.
We’ll be beating these for the egg mixture.
Chopped fresh parsley
You can use Italian parsley or curly. I like the curly parsley simply because I think it adds a sweetness or brightness to the recipe.
Chopped fresh basil
This recipe uses basil along with the parsley. You can omit it if you want; not everyone loves basil in their egg dishes. I find the combo with the parsley is really nice.
You can use either Romano or Parmesan. I prefer Romano personally, but honestly I’ve made it both ways and either is fine.
My recipe calls for a small clove of garlic. If it’s a large one, it will be overpowering if you’re not accustomed to using garlic with your eggs. I actually debated including garlic in the first place, and although I really like the frittata with the garlic – feel free to omit it if you’re not a garlic lover.
I use just a dash, and it’s optional. Notice I don’t use additional salt since the cheese already has quite a bit of sodium included. If you want to add a pinch of salt, feel free to do so.
How to Make an Italian Frittata
Here are the steps for how to make this version of Italian frittata.
The first step is to whisk the eggs in a medium mixing bowl using a whisk or fork.
Add the cheese, parsley, basil and black pepper and mix until well incorporated.
Next, heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat.
Chop the garlic into small pieces and add to the olive oil. Saute for 2-3 minutes until fragrant.
Pour egg mixture into the pan. You may notice the olive oil will come up the sides of the frittata in the pan, so just give it a stir so the extra olive oil is blended into the eggs.
Cook over medium-low heat for 20 minutes. When the edges are cooked and the center seems slightly runny on top still, cover with a lid and cook another 5 minutes or until it is fully cooked through in the center.
PRO TIP: If the inside center is runny, you can also place it 6 inches under a broiler for no more than 2 minutes. Only do this if your pan is oven-safe, meaning no non-stick. This will cook the inside. Just make sure that it doesn’t burn, which it will if you leave it in too long. Check it after the first minute and remove if done.
Didn’t I say this was an easy Italian frittata recipe?
Storage and Reheating
Don’t worry if you have leftovers, you can easily store your frittata in the fridge or freezer. They make delicious leftovers!
Frittatas can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days. Let it completely cool to room temperature; then store in an airtight container.
You can also store the frittata in the freezer for 3 to 6 months, although after 3 months the flavor may begin to change, the longer it stays in the freezer. Check out my post Can You Freeze Frittata for more details.
You can reheat the frittata, even after being frozen, by thawing it in the fridge and reheating in the oven, microwave or on the stove top. For specific instructions, read my post, How to Reheat Frittata.
Ways to Serve an Italian Frittata
Serve your Italian frittata warm alongside some fresh toast and jam. You can also serve it with some coffee cake or other types of breakfast muffins. Don’t forget the juice and coffee too!
Since this Italian dish is meant to be simple and not loaded with vegetables and meats, try including them on the side, like sausage links or roasted vegetables.
This recipe is very flexible and the options for how you can make it are endless. But remember, a real Italian frittata is meant to be simple, not complicated. Stray too far from the original and you’ve got yourself a different type of Italian frittata.
You can also serve your frittata by making a sandwich on some toasted Italian bread, which is now my favorite way to eat it. It also is a creative way to serve the leftovers for a light lunch or light meal.
Other Frittata Recipes
Here are some additional types of Italian frittatas you may also want to make.
Have some frozen spinach you’re trying to use up? Here’s a recipe for how to make a Spinach frittata Italian-style.
Potato frittata adds a little bulk to your frittata, making it a heartier dish. It’s easy and you’ll love it!
I hope you try my Italian frittata recipe and that it comes out perfectly for you. Let me know of any changes you made to the recipe to make it your own version. I love to hear from my readers like you!
- stove top pan for the frittata
- Medium mixing bowl
- 2 1/2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 7 eggs
- 1/2 cup Romano cheese grated or ground. Parmesan cheese can be used as well.
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley Italian or curly
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
- 1 small garlic clove optional if you don't like garlic with egg
- dash black pepper optional
- Whisk eggs in medium bowl.7 eggs
- Add the cheese, parsley, basil, and black pepper and mix thoroughly. Set aside.1/2 cup Romano cheese, 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil, dash black pepper
- In the saucepan over medium-low heat, add the olive oil.2 1/2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Add the chopped garlic and stir to coat the garlic. Let cook for 2-3 minutes until fragrant.1 small garlic clove
- Add in the frittata egg mixture and stir so everything is evenly spread out.
- Cook for 20 minutes at medium-low heat. At this point the edges should be cooked and the center still slightly runny.
- Cover with a lid and cook another 5 minutes or until the frittata is fully cooked on the inside in the center. Insert a toothpick to see if it's fully cooked.
- Remove from heat when done and serve warm.
- If you want a thicker frittata, then use a smaller pan.
- If you don’t want to cook the final 5 minutes using a lid, feel free to place the frittata 6 inches under a broiler and cook for 1 minute. Check and if not done do another 30 to 60 seconds and no more. The center should be firm and cooked.
- Top with some fresh herbs for presentation.
- Check out my serving ideas in the post, but toast with jam, sausage links, fresh fruit or a muffin go well.
- As with all my recipes, make adjustments as you see fit for your tastes. For example, if you’re unsure about the garlic don’t use it. We love garlic in our house so I’m not afraid to use it in many of my Italian recipes.