The yum of omelets, but with way less effort

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Eggs for dinner! Talk about serious comfort food. And one of my favorite weeknight ways to prepare them is as frittatas.

A frittata is an Italian omelet, but one in which all of the add-ins (cheese, veggies, meat, rice, what have you) are mixed directly into the eggs (rather than folded into the center). And that makes them so much easier and less fussy. The only real challenge about making frittatas is getting the top to cook. Some brave souls will try to flip them. I'd rather rely on the broiler (meaning I start the frittata on the stovetop to cook the bottom, then pop it under the broiler to finish the top).

Or sometimes I just turn to my trusty muffin pan. If you distribute the frittata mixture among the cups of a 12-cup muffin pan, you end up with 12 adorable little frittatas, individually-sized, portable, cute as buttons. Plus, they tend to cook more quickly and with even less effort than if you start them stovetop.

You can play with this concept endlessly. Add cubes of tender (cooked) potato, steamed broccoli florets, leftover rice, crumbled cooked sausage or bacon, whatever. Frittatas are a great way to stretch some random bits and pieces languishing in the refrigerator into another lovely meal. Breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner, I am happy to see a frittata at any point of the day.

I'm also happy to eat a frittata warm from the pan, at room temperature, or even cold the next day. Come, join me in the wide world of frittatas.

Southwestern mini frittatas

ingredients:

Start to finish: 30 minutes

Makes 12 mini frittatas

2 tablespoons butter, divided

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

1 red bell pepper, cored and diced

Kosher salt and ground black pepper

2 cups chopped button mushrooms

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

10 large eggs

1/2 cup crumbled queso fresco or feta cheese

Directions:

Heat the oven to 350 F. Mist a 12-cup muffin pan with cooking spray.

In a medium skillet over medium, heat 1 tablespoon of the butter until melted. Add the onion and red pepper, then season lightly with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are golden brown and tender, about 6 minutes. Transfer the vegetables to a plate, then return the skillet to the heat.

Add the remaining tablespoon of butter and add the mushrooms and oregano. Lightly season with salt and pepper, then increase the heat to medium-high. Saute for about 8 minutes, or until there is no liquid left in the pan and the mushrooms are beginning to brown.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, then season them with salt and pepper. Add the onion and pepper mixture along with the mushrooms, then stir to combine. Use a small ladle to fill each muffin cup with the egg and vegetable mixture almost to the top.

Sprinkle the cheese evenly over each frittata, then bake until they puffed and set, the cheese is melted and the tops are lightly golden, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let sit for 1 to 2 minutes, then use a butter knife to pop the frittatas out of the tins. Let sit for a few more minutes on a wire rack. Serve warm, at room temp or even cold.

Nutrition information per frittata: 100 calories; 60 calories from fat (60 percent of total calories); 7 g fat (3 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 190 mg cholesterol; 170 mg sodium; 3 g carbohydrate; 0 g fiber; 1 g sugar; 7 g protein.

Katie Workman has written two cookbooks focused on easy, family-friendly cooking, "Dinner Solved!" and "The Mom 100 Cookbook."


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