16 Fabulous and Easy Omelet Recipes
Eggs are inexpensive and they stay fresh a long time. Learn how to make more than a dozen different meals with them.
Personally, I’m getting a little tired of pantry cooking. It’s been two weeks since my family started hunkering down for the coronavirus, and I’m up to my eyeballs in beans and whole grains. But one thing has been saving me: For lunch every day, I’m having an omelet. Packed with protein and other nutrients, eggs are an inexpensive, nutritional powerhouse—and they’ll stay fresh in your fridge for three to five weeks. The most recent science says it's healthy to eat up to seven whole eggs a week, so I’m abiding by that guideline by mixing one whole egg with two whites.
I whisk it all together for about 30 seconds, until the eggs stream off the fork—no clumps of white. Then I pour the egg mixture into a nonstick skillet over medium-low heat and cook it gently, lifting the edges as they set to allow uncooked egg to slide underneath. When the mixture is no longer runny, I flip the whole thing over with a spatula (optional, but I prefer my eggs cooked through) and add whatever bits of leftovers lurk in the fridge. Fold it over, and I’ve got lunch. (Or brunch. Or dinner!)
For several days, I feasted on a combo of roasted potatoes, chopped scallion, and sautéed broccoli rabe. When I had a few cooked mushrooms, those went in, too. Another day it was Chickpeas and Kale in Spicy Pomodoro Sauce. Oh man, that one rocked. That’s the beauty of omelets: They work with what you’ve got. And all that protein keeps me satisfied for hours.
But you might not be comfortable just throwing things into your skillet. If that’s the case, proven recipes will help you get the hang of it. I’ve gathered up 16 options that demonstrate the possibilities.
Know your omelets
But before we start cooking, first things first. People eat omelets all over the world (no wonder, given how easy and flexible they are), and preferences vary from country to country. Let’s talk about the two most common types of omelets you’re likely to see in the United States.
I can pretty much guarantee you’re familiar with the American omelet. It’s the kind you get at diners. Craggy and browned on the outside, folded in half over a generous filling, it’s what you probably picture when you hear the word “omelet.”
The French omelet is a more refined version, in which the eggs are stirred while cooking to form small, creamy curds. It gets rolled over on itself on the way out of the pan before the eggs are fully cooked, forming a smooth, almost-oval, pale-yellow cylinder with custardy insides. Typically, French omelets are unfilled, though they may have some finely chopped herbs mixed in.
Classic omelet recipes
It’s always a good idea to start with the basics before you get playful. Each of these omelets has stood the test of time, with flavors and techniques that simply work. I wouldn’t be surprised if you’ve eaten all five of them before.
Jacques Pépin’s Iconic French Omelette
You really can’t get much more French than this. Jacques’ classic version (with the French spelling) includes finely chopped chives, tarragon, and parsley. Bonus: There are step-by-step photos (and gifs!) to make it foolproof. If you’re a fan of creamy, custardy foods, this one is for you. If you don't have the herbs, leave them out.
Diner-Style Ham and Cheese Omelette for Two
Just as Jacques Pépin gave us a demo for the perfect French omelet, food writer (and scientist) Kenji Lopez-Alt provides one for the ultimate American version. His pro tip: Add salt to the eggs and let them sit for a few minutes, which breaks down the proteins in the eggs and keeps everything moist. While that’s happening, cook up some chopped ham until it starts to get lovely, crispy edges. Combine that with shredded cheese, and your filling is ready.
Western Omelette / Denver Omelette
Sometimes known as a Western Omelet, the enduring Denver combo of diced ham, bell pepper, and onion is on virtually every diner menu in the United States. This version adds cheddar cheese for good measure.
Who would think that just three ingredients (plus salt and pepper) could result in something so sublime? In this French-style recipe, perfectly cooked eggs envelop a creamy center filled with nutty, melty Gruyere cheese.
The idea of a farmer’s omelet is to use whatever’s fresh and in season, just like they would on the farm, along with some type of meat and cheese. This recipe combines zucchini, tomatoes, onions, bacon, and sausage with cheddar, pepper jack, or Swiss.
All the veggies
I can’t think of a veg that wouldn’t work tucked inside a wrapping of perfectly cooked eggs, can you? If you like, you can always add meat and cheese (like in the Farmer’s Omelet), but I’m pretty happy with a rainbow of crisp-tender vegetables.
Tomato, Onion, and Herb Omelet
Nothing but cherry tomatoes, thinly-sliced red onion, and basil season this simple omelet. The vegetables get warmed but not fully cooked inside the eggs, which adds a lovely bit of textural contrast.
When they say “stuffed,” they mean stuffed. This omelet is bursting with sautéed vegetables: mushrooms, spinach, and an entire zucchini. Serving it with salsa and mashed avocado is pretty genius too, I’d say.
Greek Breakfast Omelet
Think of this recipe as taking a trip to a sunny Greek isle without leaving home. It offers all the flavors you’d get in a taverna: spinach, kalamata olives, roasted red peppers, and other vegetables, along with oregano and salty crumbled feta.
Pesto + Roasted Tomato Omelet
The ingredient list couldn’t be simpler: oil, tomatoes, eggs, pesto, plus salt and pepper. But the technique has one extra step that makes a big difference: pan-roasting those tomatoes. It condenses the flavor and caramelizes them a little, which adds so many layers of flavor, you’ll want to pan-roast all your omelet fillings. And then there’s the herby, creamy pesto…
Mushroom and Spinach Omelet with Goat Cheese
Lush, tangy goat cheese pairs beautifully with earthy tomatoes and tender baby spinach. Fold them all inside an omelet, top it with ripe avocado and a sprinkling of fresh herbs, and dig in.
Omelets with a twist
If you haven’t already guessed, flexibility is one of my favorite things about omelets. You can fill them with almost anything. These fun recipes will upgrade your egg game, and inspire you to come up with your own inventive combos.
Potato & Chorizo Omelette With a Kinda Parsley Salad
You can count on Jamie Oliver to create a recipe that nods to classic flavors but adds a whole new dimension. This omelet takes eggs to Spain with chorizo and potatoes, but cooks them by way of Italy by finishing the omelet in the oven, like a frittata. For a little extra oomph, it’s all topped with a bright shallot and parsley salad.
Best Ever Vegan Omelet
Even people who don’t eat animal products can enjoy omelets. This recipe shows you how to recreate them with chickpea flour and aquafaba (the thick liquid inside cans of chickpeas). Whipping the aquafaba leads to a light, fluffy, savory pancake that gives you the same options as a version with eggs. Once you learn the basic vegan omelet recipe, the choice of filling is up to you.
Potato Chip Omelet with Chives
Crunchy, munchy chips inside an omelet? Oui. This recipe takes its inspiration from the menu at Lazare, a restaurant in Paris, which surprised me because it sounds like exactly the kind of thing my picky eater would love. Those broken chips at the bottom of the bag have found a new home. You’re already firing up the skillet, aren’t you?
Asparagus, Brie, and Smoked Salmon Omelet
This is one elegant omelet, thanks to the splash of heavy cream that’s mixed into the eggs for extra richness and the refined filling combination. Can you imagine anything more indulgent than soft brie, luxurious smoked salmon, and delicate asparagus? I can’t decide if I’d rather share this with someone I love, or keep it all to myself.
Keto Philly Cheesesteak Omelet
Omelets are ideal fodder for people following a keto diet, but even if you’re an omnivore, you’re going to want to try this. Imagine a cheesesteak—thinly shaved ribeye, bell peppers, and onions, topped with melted cheese—but replace the heavy hero roll with a cloak of eggs. You can eat it with a knife and fork, or pick it up with your hands and chow down. Sure, that’s messy, but so is a cheesesteak sandwich.
How about a dessert omelet?
One last thing. I’ve got an omelet that’s so simple you don’t even need a recipe—my own childhood favorite, the jam omelet. That’s right, all you do is spread some of your favorite jam over half the omelet, then fold it over. The heat makes the jam all gooey and melty, and the sweetness works beautifully with the savory eggs. It's the only omelet my super-picky son will even consider. What do you know? I’ve just convinced myself to make jam omelets for lunch today. But just in case you do want a recipe, here’s a fancy version that bakes in the oven.
Fluffy Jam Omelet
More recipes for quarantine cooking
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