A frittata is an Italian omelette that isn’t folded; the open faced omelette is either flipped or put under a broiler to set the top. I’ve made a few frittata and I’m not gonna lie – they stress me out. Either the bottom gets too brown or the top is a bit runny – there’s always an issue. This recipe is easy breezy; just throw it in the oven and forget about it!
An egg dish in the oven? Isn’t that a quiche? While quiche is delicious, it’s also a calorie bomb. Pie crust in and of itself is over 200 calories per slice; add eggs, heavy cream, breakfast meat and cheese? Yowsa. This frittata would be the high protein, “lighter” option for your brunch. It can even be sliced into cubes and put out with toothpicks for a dinner appetizer. I had this great idea for the next time I make it; cut it into cubes and string on a skewer with cherry tomatoes and fresh basil leaves! It’d be beautiful and fun to eat.
You can find precooked chicken sausage anywhere these days; Trader Joe’s Sweet Italian Style would work very well, though I used a roasted garlic version I found at Giant. It looked like this -
It’s just 140 calories per link and chock full of protein.
Now a word on Swiss Chard. It looks like this -
And this is how you remove the stems -
Swiss Chard is one of the most popular Mediterranean veggies and one of the very healthiest for you (second only to spinach). It’s full of antioxidants, phytonutrients, and vitamins and has only 35 calories per COOKED cup. It’s pretty mild in flavor, similar to spinach. Don’t be afraid to give it a try if you haven’t yet – it’s quite easy to work with.
As with any egg dish, this is very customizable. Sub spinach if it’s what you have, use a different cheese instead of feta (though it’s awesome with the feta), or even use a ground sausage of your choice. A wonderful dish for company or holidays, as you can prep it ahead and leave it covered in the fridge until an hour before your guests arrive, or even serve it cold! It can be a hot breakfast, lunch or dinner, or a chilled appetizer. Someone try that skewer deal and let me know how it works! If you have leftovers freeze the squares individually on a cookie sheet and then wrap each in foil – a great, and very healthy, breakfast on the run. To make it even lighter, sub egg whites at a rate of 2 per one egg. If you wanted to use egg beaters or a carton of whites, you would need two cups worth – an egg is about 1/4 c.
Fret-Free Frittata with Swiss Chard and Chicken Sausage
Serves 6 for a main, 10-12 for an appetizer
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 small to medium white or yellow onion, diced
1 bunch swiss chard, stems removed, chopped
8 oz. precooked chicken sausage, chopped
1/4 c. milk (preferably whole or 2%)
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
3/4 c. feta cheese
Fresh parsley, optional, as garnish
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Heat olive oil in skillet over medium high heat. Add onion and saute until softened, about 5-8 minutes.
2. Add swiss chard and saute until wilted and mixture is dry – about ten minutes. When the swiss chard wilts it releases a lot of liquid – let it cook down until the pan is almost dry before removing from heat.
3. Scrape swiss chard and onion mixture to a drainer or sieve and press out any remaining water.
4. Whisk eggs, milk, salt and pepper in a mixing bowl. Add swiss chard mixture, sausage, and cheese and mix to combine.
5. Spray an 8×8 baking pan with nonstick spray and pour in mixture.
6. Bake for about 1 hour or until set. “Set” in this case means that there won’t be any liquid pooled in the top center. Press down with a finger in the middle of the frittata and it will spring back.
7. Cool about fifteen minutes. Invert onto a plate and then set right side up onto another plate before cutting, or cut in pan. The frittata will release VERY easily from the pan, so don’t stress about trying to invert it. Place a plate on top of the pan and, holding both together, flip over. Then put a plate on it again and flip “back” so that it’s right side up.
8. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve.
I gave Tess the orange slice – she was grateful and smeared it all over her face.