Cooking a frittata is so very simple, I think every busy cook should learn how to do it. They are a satisfying, protein packed dinner and I love how the fillings can change with the season. I make them as a weekly standby meal. I even love to eat the left-overs cold.

I guess I should back-up.  If you don’t know what one is, it is basically an open-faced omelet.  In Spain they are called Tortilla and often include potato.  There, they are served cold in wedges in tapas bars.  In Italy a Frittata is cooked with a ton of olive oil and often include spring yummies like artichoke or asparagus.

chives with blossoms and sissors

For this recipe I snipped some fresh chives from my garden. I’m actually more of a perennial flower gardener than a vegetable gardener, so chives are one of the only plants I grow that can be eaten.

chives in my garden with little gem spruce and barberry

I also used shredded zucchini; A whole pound in fact!

ingredients for zucchini chive frittata

A frittata is thicker than an omelet, so they are hard to cook all the way through. Also unlike an omelet they are typically made in a large skillet, so flipping them in the air is not advisable. So to cook the runny egg on top a cook has to finish it in the oven, or flip it onto a plate and then slide it back into the pan. There are actually probably a million different ways to make one.

The way I make it is definitely non-traditional. First of all, unlike the traditional Italian Nona with her iron skillet and generous hand with the olive oil, I like to use a non-stick skillet and a mere teaspoon of oil per person.  The non-stick skillet means that a broiler is out for setting up the top. [If you’re in the market for a non-stick pan, I love my Earth Pan, which I rave about in the post for amazing portabello and swiss burgers and also used for this halibut with rhubarb sauce.]


Back to my technique. What I do is I cook the egg ‘till it is set on the bottom, but still runny on top, then I layer on the fillings. Using a silicone spatula, I lift up the edge of the egg and drizzle a tablespoon of water between the edge of the egg and the skillet. The water instantly starts to bubble and steam and I quickly cover the skillet. Under the lid, the top of the frittata will get blasted in a steam bath which sets the egg and melts the cheese.

A few things to keep in mind, keep the heat lower than you think you should.  A nice medium-low heat works well because you can really control the eggs without over-browning the bottom of the frittata.

Most importantly, no matter the method, before you begin: Read the recipe all the way through before you begin! A frittata comes together so quickly, you won’t have time to stop and read the recipe during certain steps.

zucchini frittata with chives

Lastly, practice makes perfect!  Have fun experimenting with different fillings and once you get the hang of it, it can become a weekly standby for dinner for your family too.


zucchini frittata with chives

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x



  • 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

  • 1 pound zucchini (about 2 medium), shredded (makes about 4 cups)
¼ teaspoon salt

  • 6 large eggs
Freshly ground pepper
Pinch nutmeg, preferably freshly grated

  • ½ cup chopped chives
¾ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

  • 1 tablespoon water


  1. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add zucchini and salt and cook, stirring occasionally until bright green, just starting to brown and the liquid has evaporated, 7 to 8 minutes. Transfer the zucchini to a plate.
  2. Beat the eggs in a medium bowl with the pepper and nutmeg. Return the skillet to medium-low heat and add the remaining 2 teaspoons oil and swirl the pan to coat with oil. Gently pour in the eggs and let cook, gently scraping the egg with a silicone spatula. Fold the cooked part of the egg back and allow runny egg to flow onto the surface of the hot skillet just until the egg starts to set up into a solid mass, 1 to 2 minutes. [The egg will still be runny on top, but continuing to stir would cause it to break into pieces at this point.] 
  3. Spread the zucchini mixture over the eggs. Layer on chives and cheddar and continue cooking until the sides of the egg can be pulled back from the skillet with the spatula, 1 to 2 minutes. Lift an edge of the egg back and drizzle 1 tablespoon water between the egg and skillet, cover the skillet and cook until the egg is set up on top and the cheese is melted, 4 to 5 minutes.


0 g Added Sugars, 332 mg Cholesterol


  • Calories: 240
  • Sugar: 5.7 g
  • Sodium: 195 mg
  • Fat: 17 g
  • Saturated Fat: 6 g
  • Carbohydrates: 9.5 g
  • Fiber: 3 g
  • Protein: 15 g


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