This simple Zucchini Frittata is a versatile dish that makes a great breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Incredibly delicious and creamy in texture, this Zucchini Frittata is undeniably the best.
Every year we have an abundance of zucchini and I’m grateful because I don’t run out of options on how to use them. Sometimes we pick them small and sometimes we pick them big. There have been times where a few zucchini aren’t easily visible until the end of harvest. At that point they are quite large. However, the larger ones need to have the seeds scraped out as they are large and tough. This is easily done by simply slicing the zucchini in half lengthwise and scooping out the seeds with a spoon.
Many recipes cook frittatas on the stovetop and finish under a broiler. I have made frittatas this way for many years. It wasn’t until I replaced my stove with a commercial grade that I found this way of cooking a frittata isn’t optimal. The pan got too hot and the bottom too brown which resulted in a less than perfect Zucchini Frittata. I’m so glad that happened because it prompted me to try a different and far better method – baking in the oven and finishing with a quick broil.
Don’t get me wrong, the stovetop method works, but I’ve found the frittata puffs and settles better baking in the oven. The trick is to place a rack on the upper third position of the oven. The first position is too close to the broiler, but the second is perfect. This doesn’t brown the bottom too much and is the perfect height for a quick minute (or less) broil to finish the dish. I don’t like pale egg dishes. I know some chefs think that no color on omelets, eggs, or frittatas is optimal, but maybe they haven’t tried this.
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Using the right pan is crucial. Because I use a dozen eggs, a large 12” cast iron skillet works best. I have a beautifully seasoned pan which is naturally nonstick. Of course, you could use a heavy nonstick oven proof skillet as well.
I really should have titled this the Ultimate Zucchini Frittata. What makes it so good?
- Thinly slicing the zucchini rather than grating does 3 things –
- The zucchini doesn’t turn into mush allowing to sauté rather than just add in raw with the eggs.
- By sautéing, you’re creating flavor as the zucchini mixes and browns slightly with the onions.
- When slicing and biting into the slice of frittata you know what you’re eating. Even when your eyes are closed because it’s so damn good, you’ll taste the soft yet flavorful texture of the zucchini.
- Using half olive oil and half butter adds flavor.
- I use a dozen large eggs – go big or go home. This serves 6 or can be made ahead for breakfasts and lunches. It will not go to waste!
- Mozzarella cheese, although mild, melts beautifully.
- Using grated Parmesan adds a touch of saltiness that enhances the flavor of the other ingredients.
- Using heavy cream is a must for delivering a beautiful creamy rather than spongy texture.
- Sautéing the onions with the zucchini for about 10 minutes softens and releases flavor. It also evaporates most of the water from the zucchini eliminating the step of squeezing water out prior to cooking. I’ve never done that by the way.
- Adding fresh minced garlic blends nicely with the zucchini and onions adding delicious flavor.
- Baking the frittata in the oven rather than stovetop produces a perfectly cooked and set result.
- Sprinkling with additional mozzarella and finishing with a quick broil just makes it better.
This meals prepares quickly. It takes about 10 minutes to soften and cook the zucchini and onions and about 20 minutes to bake. Add an additional minute for a quick broil and it’s done. The optimal temperature to serve is after it’s allowed to cool for at least 10 minutes or so rather than straight from the oven. You won’t taste anything when it’s too hot right out of the oven. Therefore, this can be served this warm, or made ahead and eaten at room temperature.
After making and tasting this frittata, I texted my husband using the voice option and told him…
“I just made the most incredibly delicious freaking awesome Zucchini Frittata!”
With autocorrect it sent as…
“I just made the most incredibly delicious freaking awesome Sue Keeney free tattas!”
You can imagine his response.
Make this for your family and I’m telling you it will be a hit. Perfect for brunches, parties, and gatherings. It can be made ahead and served at room temp.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
- 2 pounds zucchini, sliced thin*
- 1 dozen large eggs
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided (or to taste)
- ½ teaspoon pepper, (or to taste)
- 1 ½ cups shredded mozzarella, divided
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan
- Preheat oven 350 degrees.
- Place a rack in upper third of oven. Do not place the rack closest to the broiler but one below.
- In a large bowl, add eggs and start to break them up with a whisk. Add 1 teaspoon of the salt, pepper, cream, and 1 cup of cheese. Beat until combined. Set aside.
- Heat oil and butter in a large 12” cast iron skillet or heavy nonstick oven proof skillet over medium high heat. A large nonstick saute pan also works.
- Add the onions and zucchini and cook, stirring occasionally until zucchini is softened and moisture in pan has mostly evaporated- about 8 - 10 minutes. You may have to lower heat a bit if getting too brown. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant - about 1 minute.
- Pour the egg mixture into pan. Remove from heat.
- Bake for 20 - 25 minutes.
- Heat the broiler.
- Sprinkle remaining cheese over top and place pan in oven.
- Place skillet underneath broiler to finish cooking for about 1 minute. The top should be lightly golden and the frittata puffed slightly.
- Remove from broiler and shake pan to loosen. Set on rack or top of cool stovetop to cool and set.
- IMPORTANT: Place an oven mitt or kitchen towel over skillet handle after removing it from oven. I’m telling you from experience, it’s easy to forget the handle is hot and burn your hand.
- Serve straight from pan. Cut into wedges and serve warm, room temperature, or cold.
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