When you’ve had a busy day, and there’s no time to cook an elaborate meal, a frittata or quiche should be your go-to option. Their silky texture and exciting mix of flavors mean they’re usually popular with the fussiest of eaters. They also allow you to clear out your leftover scraps from the vegetable crisper: bell pepper, zucchini, leek, onion, corn; practically anything is suitable. But before you dive into the recipes below, let’s discover what’s the difference between frittata and quiche. They’re both egg bake dishes that have a few subtle differences. Let’s dive in and find out more.

The Difference Between a Frittata and Quiche

Frittata vs quiche comparison

Frittata

The frittata originated in Italy and is an egg-based dish that is commonly made by sautéing vegetables and meat before adding a mixture of whisked egg and dairy such as cream or milk. After cooking for a few minutes, the frittata is then transferred to the oven, still in its pan, and baked until firm.

The flavor of a frittata will vary depending on the ingredients chosen; however, it will usually have a custard-like undertone with a fluffy texture, like an unfolded omelet.

Quiche

The quiche originally came from France and is also a baked dish that is made up of vegetables, meat, and an egg base to hold everything together. However, a quiche is cooked in a shallow tin; initially, line the tin with the pastry and blind bake before pouring the egg mixture and other ingredients into a tin. Bake in the oven until firm.

Often, a quiche will use a higher ratio of dairy, which results in a silky textured egg bake with a slight wobble to it – the increased dairy results in a creamier flavor and a smoother texture.

 FrittataQuiche
OriginItalyFrance
How to eatEat slices hot or coldEat slices hot or cold
CourseBreakfast, brunch, lunch or dinnerBreakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner
Dairy usedHeavy cream, crème fraiche, sour cream, whole milk.Heavy cream, half and half, whole milk.
Pastry crust used?NoYes
Egg:dairy ratio6 eggs: ¼ cup dairy1 egg: ½ cup dairy
Commonly used cookwareFrying panQuiche tin
Cooking methodSaute the add-ins then pour over egg mixture. Fry then bake.Blind bake the pastry then pour in egg mixture before baking.
Cooking levelNoviceNovice-Intermediate

Quiche Lorraine Recipe

Quiche slices on a board
Quiche has a characteristic pastry crust.

Ingredients

  • 2 sheets shortcrust pastry, partially thawed
  • 3 eggs
  • 300ml cream
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large diced onion
  • 6 rashers rindless bacon, diced
  • 1 cup spinach leaves
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, grated

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 390°F and grease a 9” quiche tin.
  2. Gently lay the pastry onto the tin and press into the base and sides. Cut off any excess pastry.
  3. Line the pastry with a sheet of parchment paper and weight it down with baking beans or dried rice. Bake in the oven for 8 minutes then remove the paper and weights. Continue baking until the pastry is nicely browned, about 10 minutes then remove from oven and reduce temperature to 350°
  4. F.
  5. Whisk the eggs, cream, and milk lightly until combined. Set aside.
  6. Heat oil in a large skillet then sauté the onion and bacon until for 5 minutes. Add spinach and cook for 1 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool before spooning onto the pastry.
  7. Sprinkle over cheese and egg mixture then bake for 30 minutes. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Quick Tip: A quiche will continue to cook after taking it out of the oven. To avoid overcooking, remove it when the texture is still slightly wobbly.

Frittata (aka crustless quiche) Recipe

Frittata in a pan on the bench
A frittata is usually fried before baking.

Ingredients

  • 8 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 red chili, diced
  • ½ bell pepper, chopped
  • ½ cup Kalamata olives (pitted)
  • 1 cup spinach leaves
  • ½ cup feta cheese

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Lightly whisk eggs and milk in a medium bowl until combined. Add cheese and stir in. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
  3. On medium heat, saute onion, garlic, and chili for 2 minutes. Add bell pepper and cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Toss in the spinach and stir, then pour in the egg mixture and add olives. Gently stir to mix all the ingredients then allow to cook until the egg starts to pull away from the side of the pan. Transfer pan to oven and bake for 10 minutes or until the egg doesn’t wobble when it is lightly shaken.
  5. Remove from oven and toss over crumbled feta. Cut into slices and serve immediately.

FAQs

What are some ingredients to add to a frittata or quiche?

Some of the tastiest add-ins are bacon, asparagus, bell pepper, spinach leaves, cheese, mushrooms, tomatoes, ham, and onions.

What is a strata?

A strata is a casserole that puffs up when cooked and is made from eggs, cheese, and bread. The ratio of dairy and eggs is the same as what you’d use in a quiche.

What is a soufflé?

A soufflé is a cake which is cooked in a ramekin and is made from whipped egg whites, egg yolks, and a combination of other ingredients. It can be a savory dish or a dessert. 

Final words

What will you cook tonight: quiche or frittata? The difference isn’t huge between these two egg bakes. If you enjoy pastry, then a quiche will probably be the best option. You could argue it’s a more impressive looking dish for dazzling everyone at the next office potluck or picnic. If you’re looking for a quick, mid-week meal, then the frittata is an excellent choice. It is simple to make and fool-proof, but delicious. If you’re short on ingredients and don’t know what to cook, the chances are you can make a frittata. A few eggs and some leftover vegetables, and you have a meal fit for a king.  

Quiche vs. frittata – what’s your preference? Let us know in the comments below.