If you’re just one of those people who can’t skip breakfast, you’re in the right place. Besides being a healthy and nutritious breakfast, you can make omelets for yourself or your family any time of the day. I mean for brunch, lunch or even dinner!
You might think that you already know how to cook an omelet – yet as with many things, there’s always more to learn. I’ve gathered a wide variety of simple omelet recipes from all around the world so that you can try new and delicious methods of preparing an omelet.
Here are the ultimate best omelets you can make:
- American omelet
- French omelet
- Vegetarian or low-carb omelet
- Omelet in a mug
- Japanese, Persian or Spanish omelets
A History of Omelettes
Throughout history, anyone could have thought to themselves, “Hey! Let’s beat some eggs and add spices, vegetables or meat to it!” So, we can’t be entirely sure about the exact history of the omelet or where and when the recipe was invented.
Some suggestions include the Orient, Persia or Japan. Yet the truth is that almost every country had its own version of the recipe in their ancient cookbooks.
However, the word “omelette” originated in France. The word “alemette”, itself coming from the Latin “lamella” (meaning thin plate), transformed into omelette. Some say it’s a combination of the words with “oeuf,” which means egg in French.
An interesting legend says an innkeeper made an omelet for Napoleon Bonaparte when he was marching through a small town in the south of France with his army. He liked the dish so much that he ordered the innkeeper to make an omelet for the whole army the next day. This is how the annual giant omelet festival started in some parts of France.
Types of Omelet
There are four main types of omelets, distinguished by their cooking methods. There are American-style, French-style, Frittata, and Soufflé omelets.
I’ve gathered step-by-step recipes for each of them, along with other variations. But now, let’s start by learning essential tips and tricks on improving your omelet-making skills.
A Guide to Making the Perfect Omelet
You can benefit from these tips on how to make an omelet, no matter what type of omelet you’re cooking:
- An essential factor in preparing an omelet is using the right pan. A non-stick pan is likely your best choice. If you want to use a stainless steel pan, be sure to season it first and use plenty of oil. You can use a 6–10 inch (15–25 cm) pan, depending on the number of eggs you’re using and how thick you want your omelet to be.
- If your eggs are in the refrigerator, it helps if you take them out 10–15 minutes before cooking them, so that they’re at room temperature. Cold eggs usually take longer to cook, and this might cause overcooking.
- It’s best if you preheat the pan and add a little oil or butter.
- Prepare your fillings before you start heating the pan. Cook any raw fillings first. Let any refrigerated fillings warm a little.
- Make ¼ to ½ cups of fillings for two to three eggs. This could vary depending on how full you like your omelets.
- Keep the pan on medium to low heat, as high heat can lead to overcooked and rubbery eggs.
- The trick to making an omelet fluffier is in beating the eggs. The more you whisk air into the eggs, the fluffier the omelet will be.
- Another tip I can give you is to add a little flour and baking powder to your eggs before adding them to your pan. One tablespoon of flour and a dash of baking powder is more than enough for two eggs. This method will also make your eggs expand; just remember to cover your pan for it to work.
- Adding milk or cream to your omelet can also result in it being softer and fluffier.
- Remember not to let the bottom of your omelet get brown. The eggs should keep their yellowish hue.
Quick Recipes for My Favorite Omelets
Basic American Omelet
Here are the ingredients you’ll need:
- Two eggs.
- Oil or butter.
- 1–2 tablespoons milk.
- Salt and ground black pepper.
- Fillings of your choice (you can use the ingredient list in the following sections).
Whisk your eggs in a bowl with a fork or egg beater until they’re combined. Add the milk, salt and pepper to the bowl and beat again. The more you whisk air into the eggs, the fluffier your omelet will be.
Heat your pan and add the oil or butter to it. Allow it to melt on a medium-low heat until it starts to sizzle. Add the mixture to your pan and let the eggs cook until the bottom begins to set.
With a wooden or rubber spatula, pull the edges of the omelet to the center and tilt your pan, so the runny parts of the eggs flow to the bottom of the pan. Do this with other edges until you’re looking at something resembling a pancake.
After a short period, you should be able to slide the omelet around by moving the pan.
Now you can flip your omelet and let the top cook for a little while. Or, add the fillings and carefully fold the omelet and then let them cook for a few more seconds.
Slide the omelet into a plate using the spatula and enjoy.
A classic French omelet just has the basic ingredients – no fillings. However, shredded cheese and freshly diced herbs like chives, sautéed mushrooms, bell peppers, tomatoes, and ham or bacon can be used as fillings to take this simple omelette recipe to the next level.
The main difference between a French omelet and an American one is the way you fold them. A French omelet should be folded twice, like a business letter, or you can roll it as well.
The ingredients and the recipe are similar until you pour the eggs into the pan. Right at that moment, you need to start stirring vigorously while shaking the pan. Keep doing this until 80 percent of the eggs are cooked; they should neither be runny nor look like scrambled eggs. Just soft enough that they can come together as one mass.
This is when you add the fillings if you want to, then tilt the pan to the side and roll the omelet with a spatula. Let it cook for a few more seconds and serve.
Frittata is an Italian word, which roughly means “fried.” Again, the ingredients are the same, but the way it’s cooked is what makes it different.
Mix the eggs, milk, salt, and pepper in a bowl and whisk. Then add the fillings you’ve prepared to the mixture, before adding to the pan. These can be sautéed vegetables or herbs, meat, or anything else you like. Next, pour the mixture into a hot oven-proof pan, and add cheese on top of your omelet if you want.
Finally, transfer the pan into a 150–200 °C (300–400℉) oven, and let it cook for 15–20 minutes or until the top and edges are golden.
Slice and enjoy!
The interesting part about making a soufflé omelet is that you have to separate the egg whites from the egg yolks. First, beat the egg whites in a bowl until thick and stiff peaks are made.
Then whisk the egg yolks with one-fourth of the beaten egg whites in a separate bowl, until fully combined and fluffy. Add salt and spices.
Now you need to mix the egg whites with the egg yolks again. You should have your pan ready and hot because that mixture won’t hold for long.
Pour the mixture in, and add cheese or herbs. After a few seconds, you can either put the lid on and continue cooking on the stove or transfer the pan to the oven and cook for a couple of minutes. Your soufflé should turn out really fluffy and slightly brown.
You can choose one of the mentioned omelet varieties and replace the fatty ingredients with some low-calorie substitutions.
One thing that can help is just to use the egg-whites or use one whole egg and one or two egg whites. This way, you can reduce the calories to half as much. (Egg yolks have around three times the calories of the egg whites.)
You can choose fat-free cheese.
You can use turkey, bacon or lean meat instead of sausages, or just fill your omelet with healthy vegetables and herbs.
Omelet in a Mug
If you’re too tired to make an omelet on the stove, you can do it in a mug. Of course, you should use a large and microwave-safe mug. Beat one or two eggs and add a little bit of milk, which will prevent your omelet from expanding and pouring out of the mug. Add salt and pepper and any spices you want.
Be sure to cook anything else you add to the mug beforehand, if needed. Then put your mug in the microwave for 2–5 minutes, depending on how watery you like your eggs.
If you’re looking for something fun to make, you can start with making the tortilla Española, which is a Spanish omelet made with sliced potatoes.
You can also try the Japanese omelet named “Omurice,” which is the combination of the words omelet and rice. It’s made with rice, chicken and ketchup!
What’s more, the Japanese also have another type of omelet, called Tamagoyaki.
There are also three different types of Persian omelets. They are named: Nargesi, Koko sabzi, and Khagineh—all delicious, vegetarian dishes. Yummy!
Popular Omelet Fillings
I’ve gathered some of the most popular ingredients and combinations of omelet fillings, so you get some ideas and have lots of options to cook your omelet with.
No matter which type of recipe you choose to cook, you can always ignore some ingredients and add ones you like. The sky’s the limit!
Here are the most popular fillings you can choose from:
- Diced onions and garlic
- Grated cheese
- Vegetables like bell peppers, potatoes, tomatoes, red peppers, spinach, avocados, and mushrooms
- Cooked and sliced bacon or chicken
- Diced ham, pork, and shrimp
- Chopped herbs like cilantro, basil, parsley, oregano, and chives
Here are some combinations you’ve got to try:
- Grated goat cheese with herbs
- Spinach and tomatoes with cilantro and oregano
- Cheese, bacon, and potatoes
- Avocado and cheddar cheese
- Leftover chili with cheese and chives or scallion
- Asparagus and cheese
- For a sweet omelet add sugar instead of pepper and fruits, nuts, berries, chocolate cream or syrup on top
- Tomatoes – see below
For a tomato omelet with the usual ingredients, plus tomatoes or tomato sauce. If you’re using tomatoes, dice them. Heat the pan, and add oil and diced onions to it. Then add the diced tomatoes or tomato sauce until cooked. Add salt, pepper, and turmeric powder. Beat the eggs, then add them to the mixture. Increase the heat a little until the eggs are cooked.
What Is the Difference Between Omelet and Omelette?
The difference between an omelet and an omelette is both in their names and how they’re made. Omelette is a dish that was first named in France. Then the word transformed into “omelet” in the English language.
Technically the main difference between these two dishes is that an omelet is folded in half, but an omelette should be double-folded or rolled.
Yet most people, myself included, don’t really distinguish between the two and use one or the other for all varieties of omelet.
What Can You Put in an Omelette?
Basically, you can put anything you want in an omelet. From all kinds of spices, herbs and vegetables to chicken, ham, turkey, bacon and sausages. You can even use the leftovers you have, like chili, ratatouille and stew.
Is an Omelet Healthy?
An omelet is a healthy dish with lots of nutrition. The egg has lots of vitamins, minerals, fiber and protein in it. And the good thing about an omelet is that you can fill it with all sorts of nutrient-rich food and make it even healthier. You can use herbs, vegetables and even meat that can keep you in good shape.
Where to go from here?
I love how versatile omelettes are. All you need is eggs plus whatever is lying around. They remind me of paella in this respect.
If you’re alone, if you have picky children to feed, if you don’t know what to do with last night’s leftovers, if you have fancy guests, if you want to kick-start the day with something nutritious, or even if you suddenly get hungry in the middle of the night, you can make one of these delicious omelets in just a few minutes and get your energy back!
If you are struggling to cook your favorite egg dish, then check out my egg pan guide. From Frittata to Tamagoyaki–I’ve got you covered.