quiche vs frittata: what is the difference?

What is the difference between quiche and frittata? 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, but both are incredibly adaptable (and delicious).


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 (or heavy cream), cheese, vegetables, and/or meat. The crust can be homemade or store-bought, but since quiche filling is so wet, it should definitely be prebaked before you pour in the custard and cook it. Often made in tart pans with removable bottoms for easy slicing and serving, quiches can also be made in regular pie pans (even in a store-bought frozen pie crust, right in the aluminum tin). A frittata is like a crustless quiche or an unfolded omelet. It’s a favorite of those who can’t—or don’t want to—make a crust (or use store-bought), or for low-carb, paleo people. It’s faster too.

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While we crave the buttery, flaky wonder that is a well-made crust, we also adore simplicity. The frittata delivers on that front. With quiche, there’s the time it takes to make a 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 pan, sauté pan, or skillet. Let it solidify as it cooks, usually for fewer than six or seven minutes, and you’re ready to dig in.

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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. For quiches try laying thinly sliced tomatoes on top before baking them too; it adds to both the presentation and the taste. Varying either dish is a great way to use up any leftover meat or veg in the fridge, and/or for showcasing seasonal produce. And it’s so easy, soon you won’t even need a recipe, and riffing will come naturally.

But you can start with these eight recipes, all perfect for breakfast, lunch, or dinner (just add a green salad on the side in the evening). Feel free to make substitutions and swaps. That flexibility is yet another reason these eggy dishes have such staying power.

1. Asparagus Quiche

spring asparagus quiche with ricotta


The spring-green stalks of elegance luxuriate in clouds of whole-milk ricotta in this quiche that can complete a classy brunch to impress. A sure bet for Easter brunch, especially. Get our Asparagus Quiche recipe.

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. 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 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

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.

9. Asparagus Frittata with Horseradish Sour Cream

Asparagus Frittata with Horseradish Sour Cream


The sweetness of asparagus plus the punch of horseradish sour cream makes for a great flavor combo, and the fact that it’s a crustless quiche (aka a frittata) means it’s a cinch to put together. Get our Asparagus Frittata with Horseradish Sour Cream recipe.

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