One word: crust. Quiches have it, and frittatas don’t. Because of the crust disparity, you have to cook these eggy breakfast-brunch dishes differently. And that requires more words.
A quiche is an unsweetened custard pie with savory fillings such as as spinach, mushrooms, or ham. It has to have eggs, and it usually has milk, cheese, vegetables, and/or meat. A frittata is like a crust-less quiche or an unfolded omelet. It’s a favorite of those who can’t — or don’t want to — make a crust, or for low-carb, Paleo people. It’s faster too.
While we crave the buttery, flaky wonder that is a well-made crust, we also adore simplicity. The frittata delivers on that front. There’s the time it takes to make a quiche crust (unless you cave and buy store-bought), and then the baking time, which can take between 25 and 45 minutes. With a frittata, you only whisk the ingredients and pour it into a frying or sauté pan. Let it solidify as it cooks, usually for fewer than six or seven minutes.
Of course, with both quiches and frittatas, you usually want to soften the onions, sauté the vegetables, and cook through any raw meat before combining it with your whisked eggs, cheese, spices, and cream or milk. It’s so easy, soon you won’t even need a recipe, and riffing will come naturally. You can start with these eight recipes. Feel free to make substitutions and swaps. That flexibility is yet another reason these eggy dishes have such staying power.
1. Broccoli, Mushroom and Gouda Quiche
Meaty portobellos mingle with two cups of diced broccoli florets and let us not forget the best part: gouda! It’s a combination to please. Get our Broccoli, Mushroom, and Gouda Quiche.
2. Sweet Potato and Turkey Frittata
You don’t see this kind of frittata every day, that’s for sure. It’s kinda like Thanksgiving, for breakfast, any time of year. It’s also a great way to use up leftover sweet potatoes and deli turkey meat. The combo is surprisingly good. Get our Sweet Potato and Turkey Frittata recipe.
3. Asparagus Quiche
The spring-green stalks of elegance luxuriate in clouds of whole-milk ricotta in this quiche that can complete a classy brunch to impress. Get our Asparagus Quiche recipe.
4. Egg-White Frittata with Shrimp, Tomato, and Spinach
Several of our frittatas have a dozen eggs in them, but this low-cal version has two cups of egg whites, which could take 16 eggs (or a carton of store-bought egg whites). It’s also an interesting way to eat shrimp. The spinach and tomato splash the whole thing with color and nutrients. Get our Egg-White Frittata with Shrimp, Tomato, and Spinach recipe.
5. Bell Pepper and Potato Frittata
A frittata may come across as lighter than a quiche, less filling, but this is not so in this particular case. A whole potato, two cups of cheddar, a whole onion, two whole red bell peppers create a hearty 12-egg frittata. Get our Bell Pepper and Potato Frittata recipe.
6. Bacon Cheddar Mini-Quiches
Seriously, these will disappear if you present them at your party, brunch, or picnic. We mean, really, this pie’s packed with crispy, salty bacon, softened leeks, and sharp cheddar. Get our Bacon Cheddar Mini-Quiches recipe.
7. Frittata Lorraine
It’s like a traditional quiche Lorraine, but 25 minutes faster, and low carb. You still have your Canadian bacon or ham, shallots, gruyere, and all those ingredients that make this such a classic, just simpler to throw together. No baking required. Get our Frittata Lorraine recipe.
8. Kale and Roasted Red Pepper Frittata
Looking for another way to eat your kale? Here you go. If you’re in the “kale is sooo over” camp, you can use chard, baby Asian greens, or arugula. Whatever green you choose, Pepper Jack cheese and blistered strips of red pepper will spice it up. Get our Kale and Roasted Red Pepper Frittata recipe.
Head Image: Pillsbury.com/Chowhound.com.