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A light egg white frittata recipe loaded with spring green vegetables
Create a quick and easy brunch dish in minutes! Do you have a stockpile of frozen vegetables that you’re not sure what to do with? Well, throw those frozen peas, kale, spinach, and/or broccoli into this light and healthy vegetable frittata made with egg whites.
As for the asparagus, fresh is best because frozen asparagus gets a little mushy when defrosted. But if you use the frozen kind be prepared to see a major difference in texture. On the other hand, you can always just leave it out.
The shining star of this dish is definitely those vibrant and delicious vegetables. And although this recipe calls for cheese, you can easily leave it out as well if you have any dietary restrictions. This recipe is totally customizable.
What is a frittata?
A frittata is a fancy Italian term for an open-faced omelet or crustless quiche. The process of cooking it begins on the stovetop, similar to how you would prepare an omelet. However, a frittata is cooked low and slow and finished in the oven to cook it through and brown the surface.
What you’ll need to make this healthy vegetable frittata
Fresh eggs and vegetables are always preferred, but this frittata highlights frozen veggies because sometimes we need more resourceful cooking options. I had frozen veggies available at the time, so that’s what I used and it turned out great!
Here’s the lineup:
- EGGS: Fresh beaten egg whites (about 6-8 eggs; save the yolks) OR liquid egg whites (8 fl oz)
- VEGETABLES (Fresh or Frozen): Kale or spinach, peas, broccoli florets; (NOTE: Fresh asparagus is highly recommended)
- HERBS: Scallions (green and white parts divided) and thyme and/or basil
- SEASONINGS: An all-purpose seasoning of your choice (e.g., Ms. Dash, Adobo, Lawry’s, etc.) + salt and pepper
- WHITE CHEESE (use at least 2 types): Mozzarella, Monterey Jack, parmesan, gruyere, provolone, Muenster, etc.
- NON-STICK COOKING SPRAY (super important!)
- Large skillet
- Cutting board + sharp knife
- Rubber spatula
- Glass container with an airtight lid to store the egg yolks
How to make a vegetable frittata
1. Preheat the oven and prep the veggies
Start by preheating the oven to 400 degrees F.
Next, gather your veggies of choice, fresh or frozen ones. The idea is to cut the fresh veggies into similarly-sized pieces so that they all cook evenly in the frittata.
When prepping the asparagus, remove the tough ends. Then slice them about 1 inch long, up to the floret of the asparagus. Cut the floret lengthwise to create pretty pieces to place on top of the frittata right before baking.
2. Saute the veggies until tender but not mushy!
Since the vegetables will be cooked twice (on the stovetop and again in the oven), you only want to saute them in some oil on medium-high heat until the frozen veggies are defrosted and the fresh veggies are crisp-tender.
Start by sauteing the frozen veggies FIRST for about 2 minutes, then add the fresh veggies, herbs, and seasonings, and saute for another 2 minutes or so. We do not want mushy, watery vegetables because they will make for a soupy and poorly set frittata.
3. Pour in the egg whites & use a rubber spatula to create folds
Turn the heat down to low and lightly spray around the edges of the pan with cooking spray. Gently pour in the egg whites.
As the egg mixture cooks, use a rubber spatula to gently pull in the edges of the frittata toward the center, allowing the liquid to refill the area you just pulled in. Do this all the way around until most of the liquid has solidified.
4. Bake to let it set and brown beautifully!
Now sprinkle some cheese onto your almost-finished-frittata and nestle the sliced florets on top. Pop your masterpiece into the oven uncovered and bake for about 6-8 minutes or until all of the egg has set and the cheese has lightly browned on top.
Grate a little more cheese over the frittata right before serving for a bit more drama. Enjoy!
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What else can I put in my vegetable frittata?
If you wish to keep your frittata with the green veggie theme, try these options:
FROZEN VEGGIES: Spinach can be used, but defrost it in the microwave first and then drain any excess liquid before sauteing. Riced cauliflower would also work well in this recipe
FRESH VEGGIES: Chard, broccolini, arugula, watercress, leeks, and green bell pepper are delicious alternatives. Zucchini can be great too, just cut the pieces into halved slices and sear them at a high temperature so they can become crisp-tender quickly but not become too watery or mushy.
What else are egg yolks good for?
Store the yolks in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week to make other dishes. Use the yolks to:
- Make homemade mayonnaise
- Add to cake or pancake batter to make it rich and super moist
- Moisten up some meatballs
- Add to scrambled eggs, quiche, or an omelet
No food-wasting here, fam!
- 6 - 8 egg whites (beaten) or 8 fl oz liquid egg whites
- 2 scallions, sliced (separate white and green parts)
- 1/2 c kale or spinach, fresh or frozen
- 1/4 c peas, fresh or frozen
- 1 c broccoli florets, fresh or frozen
- 1 c fresh asparagus, sliced
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme (or 2 sprigs)
- 1 tsp all-purpose seasoning of your choice
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/8 ground black pepper
- 1/3 c mozzarella or Monterey Jack
- 1 TB grated parmesan
- cooking spray or oil
- Preheat and prep. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. When prepping the asparagus, remove the tough ends. Then slice them about 1 inch long, up to the floret of the asparagus. Cut the floret lengthwise to create pretty pieces to place on top of the frittata right before baking.
- Saute away! In a medium-sized (oven-safe) skillet on med-hi heat, add some oil or cooking spray and sauté the white parts of the scallion until lightly browned. Throw in any frozen veggies you’re using and cook until defrosted, stirring as you go. Next, add your fresh veggies and seasonings. Sauté until heated through, but do not overcook to avoid the vegetables from becoming mushy.
- Add the eggs. Turn the heat down to low and lightly spray around the edges of the pan with cooking spray. Pour in the egg whites. Using a rubber spatula, gently bring in the edges of the frittata, allowing the liquid to refill the area you just pulled in. Do this all the way around until most of the liquid has solidified.
- Bake it. Top the frittata with cheese and the sliced florets. Then, put it in the oven uncovered and bake for about 6-8 minutes or until all of the egg has set and the cheese has lightly browned on top.
- Grate a little more over the frittata before serving, if desired.
Frozen or Fresh Veggies
- The best frozen green veggies to use in this recipe would be ones with lower water content, such as peas, kale, and broccoli. Spinach can be used, but be sure to remove any excess liquid before adding the egg to the skillet. Riced cauliflower would also work well in this recipe.
- Fresh veggies are always welcomed as additions or alternatives to frozen ones. And fresh herbs provide the best flavor and presentation.
- Using an all-purpose seasoning saves you time. I used steak seasoning, but Adobo, Lawry’s, Ms. Dash, or another all-purpose seasoning with a 1/2 tsp of salt will work great as well.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 113Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 10mgSodium: 331mgCarbohydrates: 6gFiber: 3gSugar: 2gProtein: 12g
The nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used. I am not a doctor, nor a certified nutritionist and make no claims to the contrary. Each individual’s dietary needs and restrictions are unique to the individual. You are ultimately responsible for all decisions pertaining to your health. Please consult your personal physician with any questions you may have regarding your own health and diet.