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, and nutritious Italian egg dish and it's naturally low-carb. Perhaps the best things about frittatas is how easy they are to whip up and that they're so versatile.

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. Each egg has less than one gram of carbohydrate and most filling ingredients consist of meat and veggies, which are also low-carb.

All of this makes the frittata a great breakfast, a tasty make-ahead lunch, or an easy weeknight dinner option that won't wreck your diet.

Constructing Your Frittata

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. The dish is then finished in the oven. Also, frittatas don't require the skill and practice you need to get an omelet just right because the fillings are mixed right in rather than folded inside the eggs.

A frittata is actually similar to a quiche but without the crust. Frittatas are served in wedges and are easily transportable. In Italy, it's common to take a wedge to work for lunch. If you make a large frittata in a 12-inch skillet, you can have enough for a few meals. 

To make a frittata, you'll need:  

  • A non-stick oven-proof skillet, preferably 12 inches. Cast iron skillets work really well for frittatas. You'll also need a heat-resistant spatula, such as silicone, and a broiler. If you don't have a broiler option, you can just put it in the oven at high heat.
  • Twelve eggs work best for a thick frittata in a 12-inch skillet. Use fewer eggs for a thinner frittata or if you're using 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 and what's in your kitchen. It's the perfect way to use leftover meats and an excellent meal to use up your veggies.

While breakfast-style frittatas are common, think of other toppings as well. For instance, this pizza frittata recipe includes everything that's great about a real pizza and is perfect for dinner.

How to Cook a Fluffy Frittata

  1. Adjust the top oven rack—with an ovenproof skillet on it, you want the top of the skillet to be 4 to 6 inches from the broiler. Turn on the broiler.
  2. Put the skillet on the stove and add about 1 tablespoon of oil. Add any diced raw vegetables or meat you want in your frittata and sauté them until done. Add any herbs, spices, and salt you desire.
  3. Add any diced pre-cooked ingredients and heat them through.
  4. In a large bowl, 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 you're using cheese, add about half to the eggs (or you can save all of it for the top). Add the egg mixture to the skillet with your toppings.
  1. 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 the wet egg in between.
  2. Continue cooking on the stove for another minute so the underside sets.
  3. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese on the top. Put the skillet under the broiler. Monitor it carefully while the top browns. This will take 2 to 4 minutes, but it tends to happen suddenly once it begins.
  4. Remove the skillet from the oven; be sure to use an oven mitt or pot holder. Just because the handle was cool when using it on the stove doesn't mean it will stay cool in the oven. 
  1. Let the frittata sit for about 5 minutes to finish cooking in the center. Cut it into wedges and serve.

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

A Word From Verywell

Once you realize how simple frittatas are to cook, this dish can easily become a staple in your low-carb diet. Have fun creating your own custom recipes and enjoy guilt-free and delicious meals on your busiest nights.

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