This broccoli goat cheese frittata is easy to make with a tasty mix of broccoli, soft goat cheese and sweet onion. It's perfect as part of brunch, paired with salad for a light lunch or pack it for a picnic.
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Frittatas, for me, are something I very much associate with spring/summer for some reason. I think it's mainly that I tend to add summery ingredients to them, though I do also enjoy a River Cottage recipe for one with roasted root vegetables.
This version, however, is one that would fit in pretty much any season. It would make a relatively comforting brunch on cooler days, but also great light lunch with some salad in warm weather. And being quick and easy is all the better.
What's the difference between a frittata, an omelette and a tortilla?
All three are egg dishes where the eggs are beaten, but there's a little more to it than that. To an extent, the names are partly a language difference, but the techniques vary, as do the end results.
Frittatas are Italian in origin and in general, they are made by cooking the bottom first on the stove then finishing off by cooking the top in the oven or under the broiler. The eggs are nearly always cooked through between the bottom and top cooking.
Frittatas are relatively thick and can have various additions mixed in with the eggs such as vegetables and herbs.
Tortillas are the Spanish name, not to be confused with the Mexican tortilla which is a bread. Tortillas are typically the thickest of the three and usually pretty dense with fillings. The most traditional is potato (a tortilla Espanola), but you'll also find zucchini and others.
While you can cook tortillas in a regular skillet, traditionally there's actually a special pan that covers the top to let you flip it over and cook on the other side. This way, both top and bottom look much the same. Since they are thick, the middle can sometimes be a little soft.
Omelettes are traditionally French, though the name is probably the first to be adopted in English for this kind of dish. Omelettes are traditionally only cooked on one side and then often folded over. The top (or what becomes the inside) can be slightly uncooked.
Omelettes are usually thinner and with less additions, too. Though I'm sure we may all be guilty of ordering one with just about everything possible at a hotel buffet at some point that may have looked otherwise.
In my mind at least, frittatas are far and away the easiest to make. There's no fiddling around flipping or folding them and you can be pretty flexible in the ingredients. This broccoli version is no exception.
All you do is boil or steam the broccoli, fry the onion a little then add these to the beaten eggs along with some chopped chives and crumbled goat's cheese. Pour the mixture back into the skillet you used for the onion and cook until you can see the sides are cooked. Then finish off the top under the broiler and serve.
The frittata in these photos is a little more 'grown up' with larger chunks of broccoli and larger chunks of goat cheese, which I for one really like (they are a lovely soft, smooth burst as you eat).
However for younger eaters, you might want to chop the broccoli smaller (you can mash after cooking) and break the cheese smaller. You can add extra or alternative vegetables, swap the cheese etc too, of course, but this is a combination we really enjoyed.
This broccoli goat cheese frittata makes a great quick, tasty and satisfying lunch, especially when served with some salad on the side. It would be great taken on a picnic or for a party, and perfect as part of brunch. With all that good veg in there, it's a dish you can feel pretty good about enjoying. And the tasty flavors help as well too. So give it a try, and enjoy!
Try these other egg-based lunches and brunches:
- Bacon lobster omelette
- Asparagus frittata
- Quiche Lorraine
- Huevos a la flamenca (flamenco eggs, with chorizo and peas)
- Plus get more lunch recipes in the archives.
Broccoli goat cheese frittata
- 3 oz broccoli florets only
- 1 tablespoon chives chopped, or a little more to taste
- ¼ onion large or ½ small
- 4 eggs
- 2 oz goats cheese
- 1 tablespoon olive oil (approx)
- Cut the broccoli into relatively small florets (larger/smaller to taste) and finely dice the onion.
- Boil or steam the broccoli florets for a couple minutes until tender to the knifepoint. Drain then rinse in cold water to stop them cooking further and set aside.
- Heat around half of the oil in a small skillet/frying pan that you can use under the broiler/grill over a medium heat-high and cook the onion for around 3 minutes until going translucent. Remove from heat.
- Beat the eggs until blended but not fluffy in a medium bowl. Add the chopped chives, cooked broccoli and onions. Don't clean out the skillet from the onions as you will use it again. Crumble the goats cheese into the egg mixture as well and stir carefully.
- Re-warm the skillet over a medium heat and add the remaining oil. Pour in the egg-broccoli mixture and cook without stirring. Preheat the broiler/grill while the frittata cooks - after around 5 minutes you should start to see it cooked around the sides and browning slightly on the bottom if you are able to ease it up. It should still be uncooked on the top.
- Transfer to under the broiler and cook for another couple of minutes until the top is cooked through and just starting to brown. I think it is best served warm but you can also enjoy at room temperature.
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This post was first shared in July 2016 and has been updated, primarily with new photos and video.