My easy and delicious frittata with ham and cheese recipe is quick to make and a real treat that everyone will enjoy.
Making excellent use of leftover ham, this ham and cheese frittata will be your new go-to recipe for any time of day - breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, or even a midnight snack!
Why you will love this recipe!
A really good frittata recipe is, in my opinion, a staple dish in any home cook’s wheelhouse. It's quick and easy to prepare, uses basic ingredients, is delicious, and nutritious, plus has the advantage of being flexible.
In my childhood, frittata was one of our usual meals along with minestrone and tagliatelle. On a Friday night, being Catholic, mum made a vegetarian frittata with just vegetables from the garden. Then on Monday, the leftover pasta from Sunday lunch became the basis for a delicious frittata.
You can whip up a frittata with ham and cheese - or a variation of it (see below) - in about 20 minutes. So even on the longest or most exhausting of days it’s possible to make a home cooked meal out of ingredients that you probably already have in your refrigerator. Knowing how to make “something out of nothing” is a skill that can be learned, and this recipe is it. Moreover, knowing you can make a healthy and tasty meal in 20 minutes and with basic ingredients is a real money saver, too - no more “can’t be bothered cooking” takeaways!
I’m a big believer in cutting down on waste. This ham and cheese frittata recipe is very versatile, allowing you to use up some leftover ingredients from the refrigerator and using basic pantry items. Have a look at some of the variations for some inspiration, and let me know in the comments how you go - I’d love to hear what you used, what you loved, and what worked well for your family.
For complete ingredient quantities and full instructions, please scroll to the printable recipe card bottom of the page.
Table of Contents
- Extra virgin olive oil - I like to use extra virgin olive oil in this recipe rather than virgin olive oil because of the taste and the slightly lower levels of free acidity. However, the best olive oil to use is the one you like and can access easily!
- Ham - If you have leftover ham from Christmas, Easter, or any other event, my ham and cheese frittata is a fabulous way to use it up. (You can freeze ham off the bone for up to 3 months - just wrap it in plastic wrap, then in aluminum foil, and pop it in a freezer bag with all the air squeezed out.) Alternatively, you can buy sliced ham from the delicatessen or smallgoods section of your supermarket. Some delicatessens will sell already diced ham, which is great when you’re looking to save time.
- Green onions - Green onions are also sometimes known as scallions or spring onions. Make sure to rinse them and remove any damaged, browned, or dead leaves before slicing. Save a few chopped green onions to sprinkle over the top as a pop of green garnish before serving (see my photos).
- Eggs - You know I always try to use free range eggs - I prefer the taste - but you should use whichever eggs you have easy access to.
- Parmesan cheese - Parmesan is an Italian hard, flavorsome cheese that has been aged for at least 12 months. I find that Parmesan gives our frittatas a zingy little bite that I personally love, but if you prefer another type of cheese, feel free to use it.
- Cheddar cheese - Cheddar is an English hard cheese, and you can find it at your local cheesemonger or dairy section of the supermarket in strong, tasty, or mild varieties. Choose the variety that best suits your tastebuds.
- Salt and ground black pepper - My frittata recipe calls for a quarter of a teaspoon each of salt and ground black pepper. If you prefer a little more spice, you can increase the pepper. I know that we need to be mindful of the amount of salt in our diet, but salt is a wonderful flavor enhancer and does a particularly good job of bringing out the flavor in egg-based dishes. The only time I would recommend reducing the quantity of salt in this recipe is if you were making a cheese frittata and using Pecorino Romano because it has a higher salt content than Parmesan or cheddar cheeses.
- If you don’t have any green onions, you can use brown or yellow onion instead. Just make sure to saute them until softened.
- Traditionally, an Italian frittata recipe does not contain any milk or cream, but If you prefer your frittata a little more delicate, you can add ¼ cup milk to the mixture. Just be aware that the extra liquid in the mixture will have an impact on how the frittata slices and serves after it's cooked - it might be slightly jiggly rather than firm.
- I like the combination of Parmesan and cheddar cheeses in my ham and cheese frittata, but feel free to use your own favorite cheese combination. Gruyere cheese melts beautifully (which is why it's often used in fondues) and suits use in a cheese frittata perfectly. You could also try Pecorino Romano, but remember that it’s saltier than Parmesan so you might need to adjust the quantity of salt that you add.
- Add herbs to your taste - perhaps some chives, thyme, oregano, or parsley. Don’t cook the herbs in with your ham and green onions (or soft vegetables, see below) - add them in with the eggs so that they will keep their lovely fresh green color.
- You can also add soft vegetables like baby spinach, arugula (aka rucola or rocket), sliced zucchini, peppers, or mushrooms. Different colored peppers make for a beautiful presentation of your frittata! Remember that if you’re going to add vegetables, saute them a little first so that the water content from the vegetables doesn’t make your frittata soggy.
- Additionally, you can substitute various different meats and cheeses according to your and your guests’ tastes. Leftover lamb with a little rosemary is delicious!
The instructions below correspond to the numbered photograph.
Preheat your oven to 350ºF/180ºC and heat oil in your oven proof and non-stick or cast iron skillet.
- In a large bowl, add the grated Parmesan to the eggs.
- Whisk the eggs and the grated Parmesan together. Set aside momentarily.
- When the oil in your pan is hot (but not smoking), add in the diced ham and stir over a medium heat for a couple of minutes until the ham begins to brown slightly.
- Add the chopped green onions in with the diced ham. Stir until the green onions have started to collapse just a little.
- Add the salt and ground black pepper to the egg mixture and whisk again for a few seconds. It is at this point that IF you are wanting to add ¼ cup milk into the egg mixture, you can do so here. Whisk for a few seconds. Make sure the ham and onions are spread evenly over the bottom of the skillet, then pour the egg mixture on top of the ham and onions.
- Cook gently for a couple of minutes, then sprinkle the grated cheddar cheese over the top. Shake the skillet a little to encourage the cheese to settle into the egg.
Cook over a medium heat for about 5 minutes, gently lifting the edge of the frittata occasionally to make sure it’s not burning or sticking.
Lift the whole skillet off the stove top and place it into the preheated oven. Leave it to cook for 5 - 8 minutes until the frittata is golden brown and set firm around the edges, but the center is still slightly jiggly.
Remove the skillet from the oven and rest it on the (cooled) stove top for a few minutes to allow your delicious frittata to settle and cool slightly.
You can serve it hot with a salad (see my serving suggestions below), or allow it to cool and serve later at room temperature. You can garnish the top with a sprinkle of chopped green onions and a few halved cherry tomatoes to add a beautiful pop of color.
Tips for success and FAQ’s
When making frittata with ham and cheese it is best to use a non-stick pan. Mine measures 11 inches/27.5cm across.
If you don't have an ovenproof, non stick frypan, use a well-seasoned pan of similar dimensions. Or transfer the cooked ham and green onion mixture from Step 4 to an buttered, ovenproof baking dish then pour over egg mixture and bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes. A good size would be 9 inch x 13 inch (23cm x 33cm).
While the two dishes are similar, a frittata is cooked at a lower heat over a longer period of time, and an omelet is cooked over a high heat quickly. Also, frittatas are usually served at room temperature, making them excellent for preparation ahead of time, whereas omelets are usually served hot and immediately.
There are a couple of reasons your fritta might be watery: Firstly, if you include vegetables with a high water content (eg, mushrooms, zucchini, peppers, or spinach), make sure to saute them a little before adding to your cast iron skillet to get rid of the excess water. Secondly, if you have combined the eggs with the salt and then left the egg mixture to sit for a while, your frittata could end up a little soggy.
Ideally, use a well seasoned cast iron skillet. Alternatively you can use an ovenproof non-stick skillet or frying pan. The advantage of a skillet is that it has a thick, heavy base which helps to cook the frittata slowly and evenly. Whichever pan you use, it will start on the stove top and then move into the oven, so no plastic handles!
Yes, frittata can be frozen for up to 3 months, but be aware that if you have added vegetables, the water content in them will affect how your frittata thaws. To freeze, first allow your frittata to cool to room temperature, cut into slices, wrap each slice in plastic wrap and aluminum foil then seal in an airtight container. To reheat, place your unwrapped frittata slice on a cookie sheet and bake in a preheated oven at 275ºF/135ºC for 15-20 minutes.
One of the (many!) fabulous things about my ham and cheese frittata is that you can enjoy it served straight from the oven and hot, or you can prepare it in advance and enjoy it at room temperature. Either way, it pairs wonderfully with a fresh salad drizzled with a dash of dressing, like my quick and easy Mediterranean Cucumber Salad. Or in cooler weather, frittata with ham and cheese goes very nicely with Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Carrots or Green Bean Salad With Creamy Tomatoes And Feta. Enjoy!
More recipes like this
Made this recipe?
Let me know if you liked it by leaving a ★★★★★ star rating and a review below. Please share a photo of your creation by tagging me on Instagram @marcellina.in.cucina!
Ham and Cheese Frittata Recipe
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cups (250 grams/8 ounces) diced ham or diced ham steaks
- 6 small green onions finely sliced
- ⅔ cup (50 grams/2 ounces) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 8 eggs
- ¼ teaspoons salt or to taste
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 cup (125 grams/4 ounces)diced or shredded cheddar cheese
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF/180ºC.
- In a medium bowl, beat the eggs well with the Parmesan cheese. Set aside
- Heat the olive oil in an oven proof, non-stick or cast iron skillet.
- Add the diced ham and fry over medium heat until lightly browned.
- Add the sliced green onions, cook, stirring regularly until the green onions have collapsed just a little.
- While the ham and green onions are cooking, add the salt and ground black pepper to the eggs. At this point, an option ¼ cup of milk can be added to make the frittata more delicate.
- Spread the ham and onion mixture evenly over the base of the skillet then pour the egg mixture over.
- Cook gently for just a minute or two then scatter the cheddar cheese over the uncooked egg mixture. Shake the skillet to encourage the cheese to settle into the egg.
- Continue to cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes, lifting the edges of the frittata occasionally to check that it’s not burning.
- Place the skillet into the preheated oven. Cook for 5-8 minutes until the frittata is golden brown and set around the edges but the center is slightly jiggly.
- Remove from the oven and allow it to sit for just a few minutes to cool a little. Serve hot with a salad.
- Garnish with a sprinkle of chopped green onions and a few halved cherry tomatoes to add a pop of color.
- When making frittata with ham and cheese it is best to use a non-stick pan. Mine measures 11 inches/27.5cm across.
- If you don't have an ovenproof, non stick frypan, use a well-seasoned pan of similar dimensions. Or transfer the cooked ham and green onion mixture from Step 4 to an buttered, ovenproof baking dish then pour over egg mixture and bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes. A good size would be 9 inch x 13 inch (23cm x 33cm).
Nutritional Information Per Serving
Nutritional information is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. For accurate results, it is recommended that the nutritional information be calculated based on the ingredients and brands you use.