How to Cook the Perfect Omelette
The omelette is one of the easiest and most inexpensive meals, and it works beautifully for breakfast, lunch or dinner. There are dozens of regional variations over the world, and it is close cousin to the Frittata.
The version that most of us are familiar with is an omelette that's slightly browned on the outside, creamy on the inside and filled with anything from simple herbs to meat or vegetables.
Things You'll Need
- 2-3 eggs
- A good non-stick pan
- 1 tsp water or milk
- Butter, vegetable oil or cooking spray
- Desired fillings (e.g. cheese, mushrooms, green peppers)
- A spatula
The first step in making an omelette is deciding on and properly preparing the filling. It's important that whatever you're filling your omelette with is already cooked if necessary, as it will not have time to cook in the pan. It's also important to make sure that your ingredients are not going to give off a lot of water when warmed - wet ingredients like tomatoes can create a watery, unpleasant filling.
Whisk the eggs with a teaspoon of milk, season with salt and pepper. Be sure to incorporate the yolk and the white together well.
Step 3Coat a pan with butter or cooking spray and heat over medium heat. Once the pan is hot, pour in the mixture and use your spatula to gently move cooked egg in from the edge of the pan to the centre, creating "curds." Tilt and rotate pan to make sure that any uncooked egg fills in any empty spaces.
Step 4When the surface of the egg is looks moist, but does not jiggle when the pan is shaken, it's ready for filing. Add your filling sparingly - a little goes a long way. Fold the omelette in half with a spatula and let the bottom brown slightly.
Use your spatula to flip the remainder out onto the plate, and if you have any left over filling, pour the rest on top of the omelette.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the best ingredients to add to an omelette?
The best ingredients to add to an omelette vary depending on personal preference, but common fillings include cheese, herbs, vegetables, cooked meat, and mushrooms. There is no shortage of flavour combinations from the western omelette to the classic three-cheese omelette, but one of the best things about making omelettes is that it’s a perfect foil for your tastes, whether you prefer a classic combo or something more adventurous.
For more delicious ideas, check out our omelette section.
What different kinds of omelette styles are there?
The word “omelette” can barely contain all the different types of egg dishes it signifies. The classic diner omelette is the most common in Canada, where a variety of ingredients fill a folded over cooked egg. A French omelette is cooked slower and rolled into an elongated football shape so that the outside is soft and delicate, while the inside is just loosely set. A Spanish Omelette, or “tortilla” in Spanish, is similar to a frittata made with cooked potato. Chipsi Mayai, made with French fries, is a popular street food in Tanzania, and is very similar to a Spanish Omelette.
Combine that with all of the different ingredients you can use to make each style your own, and there’s a nearly infinite variety of dishes you can make.
What is the best way to cook an omelette?
The best way to cook an omelette is in a non-stick pan, over medium heat. Add a small amount of butter or oil to the pan, and then pour in the egg mixture. Use a spatula to gently lift the edges of the omelette and allow the uncooked eggs to flow underneath, until the omelette is mostly set but still a little runny on top. Then add your desired fillings and fold the omelette in half or roll it up.
For more details, check out our Classic Omelette recipe.
Can I make an omelette in the oven?
You can make many styles of omelette in the oven. This method is great for making a large, crowd-pleasing omelette for a brunch or other gathering. The key to this method is choosing the right type of omelette to make. Because of the high heat of the oven, heartier applications like our Puffy Omelette, a Spanish Omelette, or a Frittata stand up best. For things like a French Omelette, or anything more delicate, you’re better off with the stovetop.
What temperature should I cook an omelette at?
Omelettes should be cooked in the medium-low range on the stovetop. The temperature you cook an omelette on will depend on the heat of your stove and the type of pan you are using, but a medium heat is usually appropriate. The goal is to cook the omelette slowly, so that it sets properly and becomes fluffy.
How do I fold an omelette?
Folding an omelette is a simple process. To fold an omelette, first add your desired fillings to one half of the omelette. Then, use a spatula to gently fold the other half of the omelette over the fillings, forming a half-moon shape. Alternatively, you can roll up the omelette from one end to the other. With a good non-stick pan and a little practice, you should have no trouble.
Can I make an omelette without using a pan?
Yes, you can make an omelette without using a pan. One method is to use a microwave-safe dish to cook the eggs in the microwave. Another option is to make a frittata, which is similar to an omelette but baked in the oven. By definition, frittatas involve the eggs being mixed in with the other ingredients (veggies, cheese, meat), rather than folded in the centre like an omelette.
What is the difference between a French omelette and a classic omelette?
A French omelette is a simple omelette made with eggs, salt, and sometimes herbs or soft cheese. The eggs are beaten and then cooked in a pan until just set with no browning, and a filling added, if desired. The omelette is then rolled to create a delicate, soft, and creamy texture. A classic omelette is similar, but often slightly browned and filled with ingredients like cheese, herbs, and vegetables, and may be folded or rolled up.