How to Make a Low-Carb Frittata

Pan of egg and vegetable quiche
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A frittata is a protein-packed, filling, and nutritious Italian egg dish that is naturally low-carb. Frittatas are so easy to whip up and are versatile; you can use whatever vegetables you have handy. And they're a one-pan meal with a quick clean-up

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, and there's no crust. 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.

Frittata Ingredients

Start by cooking your frittata fillings in a skillet right before you add beaten eggs. 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.

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.

Gather the following ingredients:

  • 12 eggs for a thick frittata in a 12-inch skillet. Use fewer eggs for a thinner frittata or if you're using a smaller skillet.
  • Vegetables such as spinach, avocado, mushrooms, tomatoes, peppers, asparagus, and any others you like.
  • Protein fillings such as ham, bacon, chicken, or turkey. You could also use vegetarian protein sources such as beans or quinoa (that will raise the carb count), 

You might also want to add 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.

Step-by-Step Instructions

A frittata is similar to a quiche but without the crust. If you make a large frittata in a 12-inch skillet, you can have enough for a few meals. Follow these steps to make your delicious frittata.

  1. Start by preheating your oven to 400 degrees. Place a rack in the middle of the oven.
  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 (ideal), or cream. 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.
  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.
  6. Continue cooking on the stove for another minute so the underside sets.
  7. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top. Put the skillet in the oven. Monitor it carefully while it sets. This will take 8 to 10 minutes. If you'd like to brown the frittata, place it under the broiler for about a minute, but watch it closely to make sure it doesn't burn.
  8. 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. 
  9. 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

Frittatas are served in wedges and are easily transportable. In Italy, it's common to take a wedge to work for lunch. 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 delicious and satisfying meals on your busiest nights.

By Laura Dolson
Laura Dolson is a health and food writer who develops low-carb and gluten-free recipes for home cooks.