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How to Make an Omelette

Updated January 28, 2020
We’re breaking down the basics to making an egg-cellent omelette (it’s easier than you think!).
An omelette is the ultimate customizable breakfast. You can pick out your favorite fillings and tuck them into a cozy blanket of eggs for a delicious meal in a matter of minutes. But sometimes that egg blanket just ends up looking like plain old scrambled eggs, right? We’ll let you in on a little secret: It’s actually really easy to make this classic breakfast dish—once you learn the right technique and a few kitchen tricks. To learn how to make the perfect omelette, read on.
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What Is an Omelette?

An omelette is a dish made up of beaten eggs that are cooked in a frying pan until slightly firm. Although they can be eaten plain, they are most often served folded or filled with a combination of vegetables, cheese, proteins, starches and more—the sky’s the limit!

Types of Omelettes

A truly versatile dish, omelettes are eaten across the globe in one form or another. Sampling the various types is a delicious way to travel the world, no passport required.

American Omelettes

There’s no omelette emoji (yet!) but if there were, it would probably look like an American omelette. Once an American omelette is cooked, it’s topped with fillings and folded in half before serving—sort of like a taco that uses eggs instead of tortillas.

French Omelettes

French omelettes are similar to American omelettes in that the egg is cooked before fillings are added. But instead of being folded in half, they’re delicately rolled and folded to completely enclose any fillings (or served plain). If an American omelette is like a taco in shape, a French omelette is more like a burrito.

Spanish Omelettes

Tortillas de patatas—not to be confused with corn or flour tortillas used in many Mexican foods—are Spanish omelettes made with eggs and potatoes, and sometimes onions. Rather than cooking the eggs separately, the eggs and fillings are combined before cooking for a final dish that resembles a very hearty crustless quiche. While they share similarities with frittatas, Spanish omelettes are prepared entirely on the stovetop (as opposed to baking in an oven), and flipped once during cooking. They are served warm (not hot) or at room temperature.

Japanese Omelettes

There are two common types of Japanese omelettes. The first, Omurice (omelette with fried rice). First, fried rice is formed into rounded mounds on a plate, then a thin cooked omelette is placed on top. The edges of the omelette are tucked underneath the rice, and the dish is usually finished with a zigzag of ketchup (or more elaborate design, like a cute animal face) before serving. Want to try it yourself? Our friends at Tablespoon have a great Omurice recipe!

The second common type of Japanese omelette, tamagoyaki, is made by stacking thin layers of cooked eggs on top of each other and rolling tightly. The egg mixture often includes sugar, too, for a slightly sweet taste. Unlike American, French and Spanish omelettes that are prepared in round skillets, Japanese tamagoyaki are often prepared in rectangular omelette pans designed specifically for this dish.

Omelette Filling Ideas

What can you put in an omelette? Anything you want! The best omelette usually includes a mixture of veggies, cheese and protein, although they can be eaten plain with salt and pepper. And because they’re so versatile, omelettes are a great “no-recipe” meal for using up whatever ingredients you have in the fridge.

Common Ingredients

  • Meat: Ham, bacon, Canadian bacon, breakfast sausage, chicken, turkey, chorizo
  • Cheese: Cheddar, Swiss, Colby Jack, Pepper Jack, American, mozzarella, brie, Mexican blend, Italian blend
  • Vegetables: Spinach, mushrooms, onions, tomatoes, bell pepper, potatoes, zucchini, broccoli, asparagus
  • Toppings: Diced tomatoes, fresh herbs, avocado, Hollandaise sauce, cheese sauce

Winning Combinations

  • Ham and cheese
  • Bacon, cheddar and tomato
  • Swiss cheese, spinach, mushrooms and onions
  • Broccoli, tomatoes, zucchini, bell pepper, onions and mozzarella •
  • Sausage, bacon, ham, onions and cheddar
  • Bacon, ham, onions, peppers and cheddar (Denver-style)
  • Ham, American cheese, onions, green peppers and hash browns (country-style)
  • Canadian bacon, topped with hollandaise sauce and chopped chives (Benedict-style)

How to Make an Omelette

Grab your eggs and let’s get crackin’! If you’re on a mission to learn how to make the perfect omelette, our kitchen-tested basic omelette recipe makes no-fail, delicious omelettes every time.

Basic Omelette

What You’ll Need

Ingredients

  • 2 large eggs 
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt 
  • 1 tablespoon butter 
  • Black pepper, for serving

Equipment

  • Small bowl 
  • Fork or whisk 
  • 8-inch nonstick skillet 
  • Spatula

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1: In a small bowl, combine eggs and salt. Using a fork or whisk, beat until well mixed. This step is important! Show no mercy—the eggs should be a pale yellow color with no dark yellow or white strands.

Whisk eggs in a small bowl

Step 2: In a small (8-inch) nonstick skillet, heat butter over medium-high heat until hot and sizzling; tilt skillet to coat bottom with butter.

Melt butter in a pan on the stove

Step 3: Add egg mixture to skillet and quickly begin stirring eggs continuously with a heat-resistant spatula. As eggs begin to thicken, stop stirring and cook for an additional 30 to 60 seconds, until eggs are set.

With spatula, lift edge of omelette

Step 4: With spatula, lift edge of omelette and fold in half; sprinkle with pepper. Serve immediately.

Fold omelette in half

Serve your omelette plain, or top with some freshly sliced avocado and extra black pepper, if you’d like.

How to Store Leftover Omelettes

If you have any leftover omelettes, or you like to prep your meals ahead of time, it is possible to cook omelettes in advance. Simply prepare your omelette using our foolproof method above and store covered in the refrigerator for up to three days. To reheat, just pop it in the microwave for one minute prior to eating. You can also store omelettes in the freezer for up to six weeks in a tightly-sealed container.

Omelette Recipes

Frequently Asked Questions

Omelet or Omelette?

Good question! Omelette is the French spelling, so most places in the United States use omelet instead. Both spellings are technically correct, but doesn’t omelette just look prettier? Ooh, la la!

What is the difference between an omelette and a frittata?

While they’re both generally a dish made from whisked eggs and your choice of fillings, omelettes and frittatas have a couple key differences.

  • Omelettes are made start-to-finish on the stovetop in a simple nonstick pan (no need for one of those fancy omelette pans), while frittatas are usually started on the stove and finished in the oven, typically in a cast-iron skillet.
  • Omelette fillings are folded into the almost-finished product—sort of like a taco, where the tortilla is made of egg. Frittata fillings are more like mix-ins—they’re scattered throughout the dish, and the finished product is cut into slices and served like pie.

Are omelettes good for you?

If you’re looking for a meal you can tailor to your family’s dietary needs or preferences, omelettes are a great choice. Eggs are an affordable, widely available protein source that’s compatible with a variety of diets, including vegetarian. If you want to omit the yolks to reduce cholesterol or for other reasons, you can easily separate them out and make an egg white omelette instead. Load up your omelette with tons of veggies to boost the flavor and deliver additional nutrients and fiber. And while omelettes are traditionally cooked in butter, you can experiment with using cooking spray or your favorite cooking oil instead.