Frittatas are an important stand-by recipe when adopting a Paleo template. They’re not only an affordable option, but travel well if you need often take your breakfast on-the-run (like me). Frittatas are also convenient for using up leftover meat and vegetables, something I’m sure we all have our fair share of after a few days of meal prepping.
A regular frittata might use heavy cream in the eggs, or cheese both throughout and sprinkled on top. But since a traditional Paleo practice excludes dairy, here’s the way I approach making them.
6 to 8 eggs
approx. 1 cup protein
approx. 1/2 cup vegetables
salt and pepper to taste
1 to 2 tbsp fat
First, heat the pan to medium-high and melt the selected fat. I definitely recommend a cast-iron skillet for this job.
Whisk the eggs until fully combined and a little frothy. Set aside.
Once the fat has come to temp, the selected protein and vegetables will be added. Here’s a caveat: if the protein is raw (such as ground sausage) it will need to cook longer than a leftover protein such as shredded chicken. You’ll need to determine cook time that’s appropriate for what you’re using. If it’s leftovers, let all of it warm together for about 3 to 4 minutes.
With the protein and vegetables warmed, pour in the whisked eggs and gently shift the ingredients around to evenly disperse. This is a good time to season with salt and pepper. Side note: the pan should be hot, such that the eggs sizzle a bit when added.
Once the ingredients are balanced in the pan, reduce the temperature to low, cover with a lid (doesn’t have to be a perfect fit in case you’re using a skillet), and cook until a light crust forms around the edge. This should happen in about 4 minutes.
When the frittata has begun to pull away from the pan a bit, it’s ready to finish under the broiler.
Transfer the frittata under a broiler set to low. In approximately 3 to 5 minutes, the center of the frittata should set and the top turn a golden brown. Remove the frittata from the oven and gently press the center with your finger or the back of a spoon. If the eggs have set (meaning there are no liquidy pools of scrambled egg), your frittata is done.
When it comes to making a clean exit in order to serve, here’s my trick: Let the frittata rest, COVERED, for a minute or two after removing from the oven. The condensation that’s created works a bit like deglazing a pan to lift the frittata away for a clean exit. This trick rocks!
After it rests, use a spatula to help guide the frittata out of the pan and onto a cutting board. Slice and serve.
Optional, but recommended: Because a key goal in the Paleo mission is to up the nutrient-density in our meals, I like to top my frittata with a handful of mixed baby greens. Drizzle with some olive oil to finish or just eat leave it untouched. It’s kinda like the pizza that gets finished with a bit of fresh arugula, cilantro, or a fancier micro-green salad. The fresh contrast is a nice touch to complete the dish.
Have the right fat?
The best fats for a frittata will be ones that compliment the other ingredients and don’t overpower. For example, bacon fat is a natural partner to eggs and a mix of vegetables. However, coconut oil and eggs are not a compelling flavor combination when considering the fats you can choose from.
Here’s a decent guide (from a flavor perspective) to help decide which is best for you:
Have the right pan?
Because the best way to finish a frittata is under the broiler, be sure you have a pan that can transfer from the stove top to the oven. With that method, I like to use a cast-iron skillet (I’m sharing a link to a good one below). However, there are some fancy pants pans that you can check out too. Instead of transferring to an oven to finish, these pans close tight so you can flip the frittata over to cook the other side on the stove top: