Frittata is an egg-based Italian dish similar to an omelette or crustless quiche or scrambled eggs, enriched with additional ingredients such as meats, cheeses, or vegetables. The word frittata is Italian and roughly translates to "fried".

Place of originItaly
Main ingredientsFried beaten eggs
VariationsFritaja (Istria)


The Italian word frittata derives from friggere and roughly means "fried". This was originally a general term for cooking eggs in a skillet, anywhere on the spectrum from fried egg, through conventional omelette, to an Italian version of the Spanish omelette, made with fried potato. Outside Italy, frittata was seen as equivalent to "omelette" until at least the mid-1950s.[1]

Frittata has come to be a term for a distinct variation that Delia Smith describes as "Italy's version of an open-face omelette".[2] When used in this sense, there are four key differences from a conventional omelette:

  • While there may or may not be additional ingredients,[3] such as cubed potato,[4] such ingredients are combined with the beaten egg mixture while the eggs are still raw[5][6] rather than being laid over the mostly cooked egg mixture before it is folded, as in an omelette.[7]
  • Eggs may be beaten vigorously, to incorporate more air than traditional savory omelettes, to allow a deeper filling and a fluffier result.
  • The mixture is cooked over a very low heat, more slowly than an omelette, for at least five minutes,[6] typically 15, until the underside is set but the top is still runny.[2][8]
  • The partly cooked frittata is not folded to enclose its contents, like an omelette, but is instead either turned over in full,[5][8][9] or grilled briefly under an intense salamander to set the top layer,[2][6][8] or baked for around five minutes.[10]

See also

  • Eggah  Arab egg dish of eggs cooked in a pancake, with vegetable or meat and spices (a similar Arab egg dish)
  • Kuku  Food (a similar Persian egg dish)
  • List of brunch foods
  • List of egg dishes
  • Okonomiyaki  Japanese savory pancake
  • Spanish omelette  Traditional Spanish dish of egg and potato (a similar Spanish dish)
  • Tunisian tajine  Berber dish prepared in the earthenware pot of the same name (a similar Tunisian egg dish)
  • Zucchini slice, a frittata-like dish popular in Australia[11]


  1. Elizabeth David (1954). Italian Food. Barrie & Jenkins (published April 5, 1990). ISBN 978-0-7126-2000-0.
  2. Delia Smith (1998). Delia's How To Cook. Vol. Book One. BBC Worldwide. pp. 48–49. ISBN 0-563-38430-1. the Italian word here is lentamente—very slowly
  3. "Italian dictionary entry for "frittata"". Vocabolario treccani. Treccani. Retrieved 9 January 2022.
  4. Andrea Soranidis (2017). Classic Italian Potato Frittata recipe.
  5. Robert Carrier (1963). Great Dishes of the World. Sphere Books (published 1967). p. 121. ISBN 0-7221-2172-5.
  6. Sarah Brown (1984). Vegetarian Cookbook. HarperCollins. p. 127. ISBN 0-7225-2694-6.
  7. H L Cracknell and R J Kaufmann (1972). Practical Professional Cookery. Macmillan (published 1973). pp. 114–119. ISBN 0-333-11588-0.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  8. Nigel Slater (1992). Real Fast Food. Penguin Books (published 2006). pp. 39–40. ISBN 978-0-14-102950-4.
  9. Gillian Riley (1 November 2007). "Eggs". The Oxford Companion to Italian Food. Oxford University Press. p. 168.
  10. Jamie Oliver. "roasted chilli frittata". Jamie magazine issue 7. Archived from the original on 2011-02-20.
  11. Clark, Melissa (15 July 2022). "Make the Most of Too Much Summer Squash With the Zucchini Slice". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 25 August 2022.
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