There’s quite possibly no basic food more difficult to nail than the omelet. Turn away from the stove for too long, and you could come back to a tough, rubbery, brown mess. We’ll admit from experience that it takes practice to master, but once you’ve perfected the craft—barely-set eggs, devoid of any brown color, folded symmetrically into a fluffy roll—you’ll realize it was worth the dedication.
Thankfully, we’ve got an easy-to-replicate method for mastering French-style omelets that’s free of measurements or elaborate techniques. Feel free to store it in your memory and pull it out of your back pocket for a satisfying (not to mention impressive) meal anytime you’d like.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- A bowl
- A spoon
- A fork
- A large nonstick frying pan
- A rubber spatula
- A plate
- Three eggs
- Unsalted butter
- Grated cheese of your choice
Here’s what to do:
- Crack the eggs into a bowl. Add a few spoonfuls of milk, a generous pinch of salt, and some freshly ground pepper. Combine the ingredients with a fork until incorporated and smooth.
- Over medium heat, melt a generous pat of butter in a frying pan and swirl it around to evenly coat the sides and bottom. Pour in the egg mixture.
- As the eggs start to set, use a rubber spatula to gently push aside a small patch of cooked egg, then tilt the pan so that the uncooked egg fills in the gap. Repeat, working your way around the pan until the eggs have reached the consistency you like.
- Sprinkle grated cheese evenly over the cooked eggs. At this point, you can also add any other fillings you might want, such as fresh herbs, avocado, smoked salmon, cooked ham, sun-dried tomatoes, or roasted bell peppers. Turn off the burner.
- Using the rubber spatula, lift up one edge of the omelet and roll it over itself about one-third of the way. Hold the pan over a plate and let the omelet start to slide onto it, flipping the pan at the last minute so the omelet folds over itself again.
Follow these steps, and you’ll wind up with a perfectly fluffy, delicate, sunny yellow omelet every single time. Hoping to perfect that flick of the wrist? Here are a few other variations that are sure to get you there.
1. Basic Omelet
You can’t go wrong by starting with the most basic omelet: the French-style, or rolled, omelet. Get our Basic Omelet recipe.
2. Herb Omelets
For an omelet with a fresh, verdant quality, beat in finely chopped fresh herbs, like dill, parsley, and tarragon. Play around the herb mix until you find one that suits your taste. Get our Herb Omelets recipe.
3. Crab Salad Omelet
Nothing screams luxury like a simple, humble omelet filled with generous lumps of crabmeat. Whether you opt for Maryland blue, West Coast Dungeness, or Alaskan king hardly matters, as long as your crab’s incredibly fresh. Get our Crab Salad Omelet recipe.
4. Basic Egg White Omelet
For those days when you need to kick your eating habits back into gear, opt for an egg-white-only version. Unlike others, this recipe’s not even a little bland or watery; that’s thanks to a bit of grated Parmesan (just a little!). Get our Basic Egg White Omelet recipe.
5. Almost Egg White Omelet
If you’re not ready to give up whole eggs cold turkey but you need to curb the cholesterol, this is the omelet for you. Even adding a single yolk to an egg white omelet gives the dish more creaminess and body. Get our Almost Egg White Omelet recipe.
6. Mushroom and Fontina Omelet
Sautéed mushrooms, chopped shallots, gooey fontina cheese, and a splash of dry sherry make this rendition the ultimate umami bomb. Serve it alongside bacon or crisped pancetta if you want to really gild the lily. Get our Mushroom and Fontina Omelet recipe.
7. Goat Cheese and Fresh Herb Omelet
It’s possible to bring a bit of the French countryside to the even the busiest of urban mornings. Mix the cheese-and-herb combination ahead of time (or feel free to buy goat cheese with herbs already mixed into it), and all you have to do is make the omelet—something that comes together in mere seconds. Get our Goat Cheese and Fresh Herb Omelet recipe.
8. Bacon, Apple, and Blue Cheese Omelet
So it’s not the most conventional, but don’t know our bacon, apple (yes, apple!), and blue cheese omelet until you’ve tried it. The fruit brings a touch of sweetness and juiciness to an otherwise savory breakfast. Get our Bacon, Apple, and Blue Cheese Omelet recipe.