Baked frittata is an awesomely easy alternative to the traditional fried frittata. There’s no need for any tricky flipping of pans or worrying if your eggs are getting burnt on the bottom while they’re still runny in the middle. The oven’s even, multidirectional heat avoids those pitfalls. You can bake your frittata in a pie plate for a classic round frittata, but to my mind the best approach is to use a deep baking sheet (sometimes called a ‘sheet pan’) or other square or rectangular baker, so you can cut your baked frittata into little bite-sized squares for serving as finger food or as part of an antipasto spread.
This recipe calls for zucchini, but of course you could mix and match any filling you might use for a regular fried frittata.
Serves 4-6 as part of a buffet
- 4-6 medium zucchini, trimmed and sliced into rounds
- 1-2 cloves of garlic, peeled and slightly crushed
- 6-8 eggs
- 100g (3-1/2 oz) grated Parmesan cheese, or more to taste
- A few fresh basil leaves, torn
- Salt and pepper
- Olive oil
In a skillet large enough to contain all the zucchini rounds in one layer, lightly brown the garlic cloves in olive oil. Discard the garlic and add the zucchini.
Fry the zucchini until lightly golden brown on both sides. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels or a cooling rack and allow the excess oil to drain off.
In a large mixing bowl, lightly beat the eggs and grated cheese together. Add the fried zucchini rounds and basil leaves then season with salt and pepper to taste.
Take a non-stick pie plate or baking sheet with edges at least 2.5cm/1 inch tall, grease the bottom with a bit of olive oil, then add all of the egg mixture, making sure that the zucchini rounds are evenly distributed.
Gingerly transfer the baking dish to a hot oven (200C/400F), taking care not to spill the egg and zucchini mixture, and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the eggs are cooked through and lightly browned on top. If the eggs are cooked but the top is not brown enough to your liking, you can run them under a broiler for a minute or two.
Let your baked frittata cool, then cut it into serving pieces. For serving as part of a buffet or antipasto, let the frittata reach room temperature, then cut into bite-sized squares as pictured.
As mentioned, this basic technique can be used with just about any filling you might want to use for a regular fried frittata. The only difference is that for a fried frittata you typically add your beaten eggs to whatever ingredient might already be sautéing in your skillet, while when baking a frittata, you add the sautéed ingredient to the beaten egg and in a mixing bowl, then transfer the whole mixture to your baking dish. (Some people do the same when making a fried frittata as well.)
It may go without saying, but a non-stick baking dish, pan, sheet or whatever makes life much easier all round, especially since when making baked frittata the egg will not hit a hot surface to start with and coagulate on impact, as it would when frying. But I would still take the precaution of greasing the bottom with a drizzle of olive oil. Beside the extra insurance it provides, the oil lends more flavor, too, to your baked frittata.