Olivia Piepmeier


Categories: pantry main breakfast
A watercolor illustration looking overhead into a black frying pan with a frittata inside - it's yellow with some green bits, brown bits, and empty white spaces.

inspired by desperation and looking at multiple recipes


  • Eggs, depending on how big your pan is and how many you have (ex. 10” pan, you need at least 6 eggs for a thin one, 9 would be very reasonable)
  • Milk/cream, optional, usually a small amount.
  • Fat of choice - butter or olive oil or the fat from a meat being used are my go-tos
  • Salt & pepper
  • A cheese of some sort (it could technically work without it but let’s not go there)
  • Veggies and/or meat, chopped or whatever in an amount that’s not so much that the pan is covered, but…I guess that’s just my opinion. Do whatever, do what you want! These can also already be cooked to save time.


  1. Preheat the oven to 400F.
  2. I like to start by dealing with the eggs - perhaps because mine are fresh out the hen and I gotta wash them, so I do that and go on and crack them in a bowl.
  3. Unless the veggies and/or meat are freshly cooked some other way, they need a warm up at least. Melt the fat in the pan and either warm up or cook whatever you’re putting in this. If it’s greens of some sort, I would wait till the end of the cooking process.
  4. While the above is happening, I usually go on and mix the eggs (and milk/cream if using), cheese, and salt and pepper.
  5. When whatever add-ins are done, pour in the egg mixture.
  6. Tilt the pan to get everything distributed nicely.
  7. Make sure the burner isn’t hotter than medium and put a lid on (or something to trap some heat).
  8. Let this cook for at least 5 minutes, maybe less if you have a thin one, more if it’s thicker. The goal is to get at least the sides looking solid.
  9. Remove the lid and put the pan in the oven.
  10. Timing depends on thickness! Hell, maybe your frittata is so thin it doesn’t even need to go in the oven. The goal is it for to be totally cooked through. 


Going into the second year of Vermont-life/year 7 of New England-life, I’m once again struck by how “behind” we are to the rest of the country’s spring produce boom. I’ve had two people (from other regions) ask me recently “what’s in season?” (usually a great question to get me talking). At the moment I only responded with a heavy sigh and “nothing but what’s in greenhouses and storage,” though I regret not saying say eggs - the glorious butt-fruit of our sassy yard birds that all but disappeared in winter! While I’m ready for pea shoots and rhubarb and asparagus, I try to be present with this in-between time. The greening landscape and budding flowers help. So here I am, still in pantry cooking mode.

One of the many beautiful things about a frittata is that it’s exceedingly flexible - an easy pantry meal for the off-season, but still a lovely way to use some of your bountiful produce. It’s such a no-recipie recipe, I think I’ve distilled it down as good as I can. Just don’t undercook or overcook and it will probably be good.

Some of my favorite things to throw in are greens of any kind, onions, leftover roasted veggies, about 1/4 pound or so of sausage (just enough to be there but not be dominant), mushrooms, kimchi (especially with cheddar!), any cheese (probably wouldn’t do it with something especially funky…).