The star of our special breakfasts: easy 20-minute frittata

easy 20-minute frittata--one of our go-to staple meals

my kids love this easy 20-minute frittata, even though it's packed with protein and veggies. You've got to have this method in your repertoire!

When I first moved out on my own, I taught myself to cook using Pam Anderson’s How to Cook Without a Book, an excellent cookbook, if ever there was one, and an exceptionally good use of $20. (I still highly recommend it, even though it contains exactly zero pictures, which is saying a lot.)

In How to Cook Without a Book, Anderson (not that Pam Anderson) teaches you methods, not recipes.

One of those basic-with-variations methods is for a frittata. I didn’t even know what a frittata was until I read the recipe in How to Cook, and it quickly became a staple in our newlywed household. Fresh, homemade dinner for two, in twenty minutes, and for just a few bucks? YES.

I’ve been making frittatas regularly for a decade, but I really picked up the pace when I started doing Special Breakfasts early last year. My kids think frittatas are special, even though they’re easy and incredibly healthy–packed full of protein and veggies.

Frittatas are good for a crowd (and I think our regular six eaters totally counts). The technique is easy: no individual portions required, just slice and serve, and it looks pretty on a plate. They’re good for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

I try to make my frittatas huge because I want the leftovers: extra slices can be wrapped in plastic wrap and make a terrific on-the-go breakfast for busy mornings. (If you’re not at the huge stage of life, halve the recipe and cook in a 10-inch skillet.)

My kids love this easy 20-minute frittata, which I love because it's packed with protein and veggies! You've got to have this method in your repertoire.

This recipe is for a broccoli and sausage frittata, but the options are endless: we do spinach and asparagus, tomatoes and feta, smoked salmon and goat cheese, even a “pizza” frittata with slivered pepperoni and green bell peppers. (Hint: if your ingredients would make a good quiche, they’ll make a good frittata.) The recipe is flexible, limited only by your imagination and what you have on hand.

1/2 clove garlic sounds fussy, I know, but we found any more than that to be overwhelming–especially at breakfast.

Broccoli and sausage frittata

adapted from How to Cook Without a Book

  • 2 tablespoon olive oil or bacon fat
  • half an onion, thinly sliced. (I especially like this with red onion)
  • 1/2 clove garlic
  • 1 cup cooked sausage or ground beef, crumbled
  • 1 cup cooked broccoli, chopped
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 15 large eggs, beaten
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • a few shakes of red pepper flakes

My kids love this easy 20-minute frittata, which I love because it's packed with protein and veggies! You've got to have this method in your repertoire.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Heat 2 tablespoons fat in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook, stirring periodically, for about 5 minutes, until onions just begin to brown.

Meanwhile, combine eggs with salt and pepper, oregano, and red pepper flakes.

Add garlic and cook for about 30 seconds, stirring.

Add sausage, broccoli, and red bell pepper, and mix until warmed.

Pour in eggs, and tilt skillet to distribute evenly in pan. Cook until edges begin to set (1-2 minutes). Use a rubber spatula to gently lift set eggs up at the edge of the frittata, and tilt skillet to allow unset eggs to pour underneath the spatula. (See photo.)

Continue this process for 2-3 minutes around frittata’s perimeter, distributing filling ingredients as desired, until frittata appears to be about halfway cooked through.

Transfer the pan to the oven and bake until the eggs begin to puff and appear set, about 7-10 minutes.

Slide or invert onto plat or cutting board to serve.

My kids love this easy 20-minute frittata, which I love because it's packed with protein and veggies! You've got to have this method in your repertoire.


The frittata is excellent the next day, warmed or at room temperature.

Frozen veggies work wonderfully well for this recipe.

In lieu of sausage, ground beef or turkey + Alton Brown’s breakfast sausage seasoning is delicious.

Consider adding fresh herbs, pickled chiles, cheeses of all kinds, link sausage, smoked salmon, sundried tomatoes, orwhatever you have on hand.

There you have it: our special breakfast starring dish. I’ll devote a post to its companion, paleo pancakes, very soon.

What are your go-to dishes for special breakfasts?

This post contains my affiliate links. Thanks for supporting MMD.

Sharing this at Thrifty Thursday because it’s a frugal way to serve a crowd.


Leave A Comment
  1. Carrie says:

    I love frittatas! I call them the omelet’s Italian, less-fussy cousin. 😉
    I used to make them all the time but we have two kids with egg allergies. Ugh.

    • Anne says:

      Ugh is right. We went through a stage with two kids with egg allergies. We seem to have outgrown it, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed just.

  2. Jen says:

    Have you seen her newer version, How to Cook Without a Book: Meatless Meals? It’s great, with lots of lovely pictures! It really works for the way I like to cook, I hate following recipes exactly!
    For special breakfasts we usually do pancakes, cinnamon rolls, scrambled eggs and hashbrowns (there is a great hashbrown “recipe” in that book!) or bagel, egg and cheese sandwiches.

  3. Jessica says:

    I’m always looking for easy breakfasts but have never made a frittata. 🙂 I will try this….probably with bell pepper and sausage and maybe some basil!

  4. This looks fabulous and I’m sure I can easily convert it into my Whole30 (I just won’t be using the cheese that’s in the picture!) I actually made a frittata this morning… a little boring with just a bit of bacon, green peppers and shallots… but still tasty!

  5. Erin says:

    I just started making frittatas in the last month. They are so easy and delicious. I don’t really enjoy them the next day, though. I think they get to monotonous for me. I think I might try to make a smaller one instead and see how it goes.

    • Donna says:

      APPLE PIE!!! I would have never thought of it for breakfast, but what a Great Idea!! And compared to the cinnamon rolls/ pancakes/ waffles/ french toast that we usually have for a special breakfast, it’s probably not any worse nutritionally.

  6. Ginger says:

    Perfect timing. I have some bits of sausage, broccoli, peppers — and, most importantly, a husband wondering what’s for dinner. You’re brilliant!

  7. SoCalLynn says:

    I make a delicious zucchini frittata from a recipe that came out of Family Fun magazine years ago. It includes diced tomatoes, basil and parmesan cheese. It’s a family favorite, and delicious the next day cold for breakfast, if there are any leftovers!

  8. Betsy says:

    My go-to breakfast is microwave oatmeal with craisins: 1/3 cup whole oats, 2/3 cup milk, handful of craisins, cinnamon and nutmeg.

    But this frittata totally looks like a recipe my family needs. I can’t wait to try it.

  9. Jennifer H says:

    I like to do frittatas (meat-free of course) for dinner because they make such great leftovers for our family member who works nights. Usually special breakfasts in my house consist of only two of us. Son loves pancakes and I don’t like to cook breakfast on school mornings (too much trying to get both of us ready, and usually at least one lunch) so pancakes are “special”. I usually sprinkle chocolate chips on his and blueberries on mine, or sometimes I mash up overripe bananas and mix those in. Now that I just wrote those words together, I think next time, I am making banana chocolate chip pancakes – YUM!

  10. LoriM says:

    Enjoying your blog which was shared with my by my college-aged niece, for your book selections (haven’t even reached those, yet!). We have a lake house and lots of company there so I’m always looking for ‘special but easy’ breakfasts. We like baked oatmeal (“breakfast cake’, i call it) and also a crustless quiche with cott cheese, feta, eggs, and swiss. Oh and chopped spinach. easy and yummy and low carb.

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