Eggs happen to be one of those simple dishes that when made improperly can turn out oh so wrong. Case in point: A recent episode of MasterChef featured scrambled eggs as a challenge, and it stumped even the most skilled of contestants—we want to see them learn how to make an omelet next. But what exactly turns eggs into an omelet? The process entails beating the protein, cooking it in a pan with various toppings, and then folding it over.
Although the idea itself is simple, the dish has a rich history. Omelet comes from the French word omelette, so you would think it originated there, but it’s hard to pinpoint the true origin since all sorts of ancient peoples had dishes involving eggs cooked in a heated pan. Over the years, this egg dish has been perfected, and technique came into play (note—we’ve been told the “flip” is key). Want to learn how to make an omelet like the pros? Read on to see exactly how—plus we’re revealing a few of our favorite recipes along the way. Get cracking.
STEP 1: Prep, Prep, Prep
Eggs cook fast, so you want to make sure all of your fillings are handy and ready to go when they need to be thrown in. This means slicing peppers or mushrooms, or precooking items like sausage or bacon that require a little extra time in the frying pan.
STEP 2: Beat the Eggs
Generally, two to three eggs will be enough to fill your pan. Beat them, slowly adding some water so they end up super fluffy. Now’s the time to add a pinch of salt and pepper.
STEP 3: Preheat Your Pan
A nonstick skillet is going to be your best friend for this dish—don’t use any other type. Add a few teaspoons of butter, and turn the pan up to medium-high heat (be sure to grease every inch of the bottom).
STEP 4: Add the Eggs
When the butter stops sizzling, that’s your cue to pour in the eggs. Tilt the pan so that they take up the entire bottom and thus cook evenly.
STEP 5: Let it Cook
Make “waves” by using a spatula to push the cooked eggs from the perimeter into the middle, creating room for the uncooked portions to get more heat. The eggs should cook in about 1–2 minutes. They’re done when the edges are slightly browned and the bottom is set. (Note: The top may still be a little wet, but that’s okay since they’ll finish cooking out of the pan.)
STEP 6: Incorporate Your Filling
Your options are endless, so take your pick. Add any of your meats, veggies, and cheese directly in the center of the omelet.
STEP 7: Time to Fold
Using your spatula, gently fold one side first and then the other over the top, almost as if you were wrapping a gift.
STEP 8: Do the Flip
Position your pan so it’s at an angle over your plate. Using your spatula, push the omelet and do a mini flip so the folded-over edges are on the bottom of the plate. Now it’s time to eat.
As promised, below are three of our favorite omelet recipes. Prepare yourself for anything but basic.
Simple California-Style Omelet
When we saw the words “California style,” we knew avocado had to be involved in some way, shape, or form. And we were totally right. Slices of bacon, charred corn, and some arugula make the ultimate filling in this recipe… And it’s only made better with a halved ripe avocado and a homemade lemon-tahini dressing. Delish.
Pesto Egg-White Omelet
This pesto- and chicken-filled omelet from Food Faith Fitness is giving us major quesadilla vibes. When you add in some chewy, delicious sun-dried tomatoes and creamy goat cheese, it becomes simply divine. Since it’s packed with protein, it will fill you up nicely for brunch or dinner.
Simple Greek Quinoa Omelet
We’d never heard of putting quinoa in an omelet before—have you? This nontraditional omelet is basically made up of all of your favorite Greek foods, like feta cheese and kalamata olives and even some pine nuts. It’s also topped with a Tzatziki sauce to make sure it’s far from dry.