A delicious vegetarian Southwestern Frittata made with black beans, red peppers and seasonings. Make a yummy one-pan Mexican-inspired egg recipe in the oven that's perfect for breakfast, lunch, or dinner!
A breakfast frittata that is vegetarian, flavorful, and made in one skillet. This is a great breakfast, lunch or dinner recipe.
Best Breakfast Frittata Recipe
Need some deliciousness for breakfast or brunch? A frittata hits the spot because it's easy, is made in one skillet, and can take on any flavor combo.
This recipe for a Southwest frittata is completely vegetarian and includes black beans, cheese, red bell peppers, onions and delicious spices. This makes the frittata very hearty and perfect for keeping a group, or your family full.
Start this breakfast frittata on the stove and finish it in the oven. Serve it in wedges with sausage, bacon, fruit, or a salad (if you're serving it for brunch).
What Is A Frittata?
A frittata is an Italian dish made by mixing beaten eggs with sautéed vegetables, cheeses, and sometimes meats, then baking the mixture in the oven.
This egg-bake is a hearty, open-faced omelet-style dish that's both versatile and delicious, offering a simple yet flavorful option for your meal plan.
The consistency of a frittata is similar to that of a custard, or a large, soft omelet.
The origin of frittatas can be traced back to Italian beginnings. It is thought that the Italian "frittata" was heavily influenced by the Spanish Tortilla. (It's a potato and egg dish cooked in a wide, shallow pan, like a skillet.)
Omelet vs. Frittata
The difference between an omelet and a frittata is in the way it's made! Omelets are made by cooking the eggs on the stovetop in a skillet, then folding the fillings into the middle of the omelet.
The fixings of a frittata are mixed in and cooked with the eggs, then finished in the oven. With an omelet, the toppings are folded in after the eggs have been cooked a bit in the skillet.
A frittata resembles a quiche (with no crust) more than a folded omelet.
Ingredients For Vegetarian Southwest Frittata
- Bell Pepper: Vibrant and crisp, the red bell pepper adds a burst of sweet and tangy flavor, along with a colorful kick.
- Red Onion: Pungent and slightly sweet, the red onion adds depth and savory notes to the frittata.
- Large Eggs: The backbone of your frittata, eggs offer a velvety texture and bind together the ingredients.
- Shredded Cheddar Cheese: Cheddar cheese imparts a creamy texture and a savory taste.
- Canned Black Beans: Black beans bring a hearty and earthy element to your frittata, adding substance and nutritional value.
- Cumin: Pungent and warm, cumin infuses the frittata with a smoky depth, elevating the overall flavor.
- Chili Powder: Aromatic chili powder adds mild heat and a touch of smokiness, enhancing the Southwest flavors.
- Cilantro: Adds a burst of brightness and a hint of citrus, balancing the richness of the frittata with its herbaceous notes.
- Salsa: A flavorful accompaniment, salsa serves as the perfect topping, adding a burst of tang.
How To Make A Southwest Frittata
- Heat the oven to 350ºF 25 minutes before you start cooking.
- Heat the olive oil in a 10-inch, oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat. Add bell pepper, and onion and saute about 3 minutes. Remove from heat.
- In a large bowl, beat the eggs and add black beans, shredded cheese, salt, cumin, and chili powder. Pour into the skillet with the onions and peppers and stir to combine.
- Once the eggs have slightly set around the edges, transfer the entire skillet to the oven and bake until set and just browning, 13 to 15 minutes. Serve cut into wedges with salsa and cilantro.
Expert Tips For Recipe Success
The most important part of cooking a frittata in the oven: your tools. Since a frittata is baked in the oven as well as cooked on the stovetop, use an oven-proof skillet.
Using an oven-proof skillet allows you to saute and soften veggies and ingredients on the stove, heating the eggs a bit, then bake everything right in the oven.
Here are some optional toppings or mix-ins to add if you want to take your Southwest Frittata up a notch:
- Avocado slices
- Tabasco sauce (if you like it hot!)
While an omelet is typically folded over a filling of ingredients, a frittata is an open-faced egg dish where the ingredients are mixed with beaten eggs and baked, creating a heartier and more substantial recipe.
Unlike a frittata, a quiche has a flaky pie or pastry crust and a creamier, custard-like filling. It is also baked in the oven, but not made on the stove top.
It's all in the whisking! A frittata achieves its fluffy texture through the incorporation of beaten eggs, which trap air during cooking, causing the dish to rise and become light and airy.
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Vegetarian Southwest Frittata with Black Beans
- 1 bell pepper sliced
- 1 small red onion sliced, end to end
- 8 large eggs beaten
- 1 cup canned black beans drained
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- Cilantro optional
- Salsa optional
- Heat oven to 350°F.
- Heat olive oil in a 10-inch, oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat. Add sliced bell pepper and onion and sauté until just soft, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat.
- In a large bowl beat eggs and add black beans, shredded cheese, salt, cumin, and chili powder. Pour into the skillet with the onions and peppers and stir to combine.
- Transfer entire skillet to the oven and bake until set and just browning, 13 to 15 minutes. Serve cut into wedges with salsa and cilantro if desired.
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Recipe by Tara Teaspoon. Photography Hallie Burton. Food Styling Jee Levin. Prop Styling Lynda White. LHJ 05/10. Updated January 2024.