Posts Tagged With: frittata

Frittatas, Stratas, and Quiche, Oh My

Frittatas, stratas, and quiche are all egg dishes typically served for breakfast or brunch, although you could also serve them for dinner. They are very similar and often get confused with one another. They all include eggs and usually cheese. They may also include meat, seafood, and/or vegetables. They are all savory dishes; however, a strata could go sweet. They are great for feeding groups, large or small.


You could describe a frittata as a crustless quiche. You could also describe it as a baked omelet. Either way, it is easy to make at home and in camp. Because it has no crust, a frittata is naturally gluten free. If you leave out the cheese or substitute a non dairy cheese then it becomes dairy free. If you leave out meat, now it’s vegetarian. Frittatas are very versatile.

To make at home, you’ll need a cast iron skillet or an oven safe skillet. In camp, you’ll need a Dutch oven. Start by browning the meat and sautéing the vegetables. If you want your vegetables to be crisp, you could skip that step. Whisk together the eggs, cheese and any seasonings, and pour over the top of the meats and vegetables. And then you bake it. If you wanted, you could sprinkle a little more cheese on top during the last 5 minutes of baking. Serve warm. It makes a great breakfast any time of year. Here are a couple of our favorite frittatas.

Denver Frittata

Zucchini and Onion Frittata

Ham and Cheese and Broccoli Frittata


Literally meaning layers, a strata is a layered breakfast casserole made from a mixture of bread, eggs, milk, and cheese. A savory version may also include meat or vegetables. A sweet version may include fruit. The usual preparation requires the bread to be layered with the filling; however, depending on the recipe, you could also toss everything together like a salad before pouring the egg mixture over the top. The dish requires a rest of anywhere between one hour and overnight before it is baked. This allows the bread to soak up the egg mixture. A strata could also be described as a French toast casserole or a bread pudding. Stratas can be prepped the night before and then placed in the refrigerator to rest. In the morning, you just pull it out and pop it into the oven.

To make at home, you’ll need a casserole dish. In camp, you’ll need a Dutch oven or you could make it in a casserole dish and bake it in a box oven. Meats will need to be browned and vegetables could be sautéed to soften them. Bread will need to be cubed or torn into chunks. To increase the bread’s ability to absorb the egg mixture, some recipes recommend using stale or dried bread. Serve warm. Here are a couple of our favorite stratas.

Sausage Croissant Strata

Fruity French Toast Casserole

Blueberry French Toast Cobbler


Quiche has an open-faced pastry crust and a filling of eggs and milk or cream which, when baked, becomes a custard. It can be made with cheese, vegetables, meat and seafood. A quiche is a frittata in a pie crust. You wouldn’t think the pie crust would add much in the way of flavor, but it actually brings a lot to the party and really gives the dish its signature flavor. Quiche can be served hot or cold although I prefer mine served hot. In the late ‘70s, quiche became extremely popular and they were featured everywhere, including television and movies. By the early ‘80s, the fad seemed to fade; however, quiche has remained steady brunch and party food since.

At home, you’ll need a pie or tart pan. In camp, I would also use a pie or tart pan and bake it in a box oven. You can use a store-bought crust or make your own. Just like the others, meats would need to be browned first and vegetables could be sautéed to soften them. I haven’t actually made a quiche in camp yet, but I might have to now.

Again, these are all great dishes for serving to groups, large and small. They are simple to throw together and, for camping, a lot of prep work could be done ahead of time at home. You can serve them with potato dishes, breads, fruits, or just about anything.

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Denver Frittata

On the average West Coast diner breakfast menu, the Denver Omelet, also known as the Western Omelet, is a common item. It’s made with red and green bell peppers, onion, ham, and cheddar cheese, and has been one of my favorites for as long as I can remember. So, how to make one in camp or for a crowd? Convert it to a frittata.

Frittatas are simply baked omelets and perform extremely well in a Dutch oven in camp or in a cast iron skillet at home. Like most frittatas, this one starts on the camp stove by sautéing the vegetables. Once the vegetables are soft, the ham is mixed in and the cheese sprinkled on top. The egg mixture is poured over everything and the whole thing is baked until the eggs are puffy and set. The last 5 minutes of baking, you could even sprinkle on a bit more cheese to melt on top before serving. How easy is that?

The Denver is popular and has endured over the decades because of it’s bold flavors. Between the onion and peppers, sharp cheddar cheese, and smokey, salty ham, it is a great breakfast any time of year. Serve with biscuits, hashbrowns, and fruit. It’s sure to be a winner!

10-inch Dutch oven or 7×9 or 9×9 baking dish, bowl, whisk.

1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced small
1/2 cup green bell pepper, diced small
1/3 cup yellow onion, diced small
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup (heaping) ham, cooked and diced small
8 large eggs
1/3 cup milk
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Salt and black pepper

The ham and vegetables can be diced at home and loaded into containers or resealable bags for the ride to camp in the cooler.

In camp, assemble your materials (mise en place) and start 25 coals in a chimney.

On medium-high heat on a propane stove, heat oil in the Dutch oven. Add the bell peppers and onion and sauté until softened, about 4 minutes. While the vegetables are cooking, in a mixing bowl, whisk together eggs and milk until well blended. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside. Remove the Dutch oven from the heat and add the ham and toss together. Sprinkle evenly with cheese. Pour the egg mixture over the ham and vegetables. Bake in a 400°F oven, using 17 coals on the lid and 8 underneath, for about 25 minutes or until egg is puffy and set. Serves 6.

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Broccoli, Ham and Cheese Frittata

Broccoli-Ham-Cheese_Frittata-IMG_1209-690pxIt was late October and it was cold. We were teaching outdoor cooking to a group of scouting adults and youth at Camp River Ranch. The Dutch ovens were immensely successful. The sticks and pie irons, not so much, but we were cooking gluten free and pie irons just beg for some kind of dough whether its pizza dough, pie dough, or bread dough. Besides, we’d decided we need more practice with sticks and pie irons.

For lunch on Saturday, we were feeding 20 and we made 2 batches of the Taco Cobbler in 2 12-inch Dutch ovens. In the 10-inch Dutch oven, we made a half batch that was vegetarian, gluten free and dairy free and it actually turned out really well.

For dinner Saturday night, we were feeding 16 and we made 2 broccoli, cheddar, and ham frittatas in 2 12-inch Dutch ovens and they were amazing.

A frittata is simply a quiche with no crust or an omelet that you bake. It makes a great main dish for breakfast or dinner. It was hot. The eggs were fluffy. The broccoli, ham, and cheese were yummy.

This is a fast and easy dish to make in camp because a lot of the prep can be done at home. All the dicing, shredding and mincing can be done at home, and then, in camp, it’s only some assembly required.


12-inch Dutch oven, mixing bowl, whisk, cutting board, knife.

2 tablespoons butter, melted
½ cup green onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 head broccoli (fresh or frozen), diced
2 cups ham, diced
1 ½ cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
8 large eggs
2 tablespoons milk
salt and pepper to taste

At home or in camp, mince the garlic; dice the green onion, broccoli, and ham; and shred the cheese.

In camp, line a 12-inch Dutch oven with foil and apply a light coating of non-stick spray or oil. Start 25 coals in your chimney.

In the Dutch oven, melt the butter and add the ham, broccoli, garlic, and green onion.

In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs until well mixed. Add the milk, and cheese and stir once more. Season with salt and pepper. Pour the egg mixture into the ham mixture and lightly stir to make sure that the egg mixture is evenly distributed.

Bake at 350°F, using 17 coals on the lid and 8 underneath, for 30-35 minutes or until the egg is cooked and the top is golden brown.

Makes about 8 servings


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Dutch Oven Zucchini and Onion Frittata


Sitting in a cook shelter by a warm fire watching snow falling is magical. It was getting late and we needed to finish unpacking and getting set up. Some of our students would start arriving soon; the rest would arrive early in the morning. We needed to be ready, but all we could do was sit by the fire, sip our hot tea, and talk in hushed tones as we watched the snow fall.

It was early April in 2008. Donna and Chris and I were teaching outdoor skills to Girl Scout adult volunteers at Camp River Ranch. We had arrived Friday night to set up because class started first thing Saturday morning. As we were setting up, waiting for our students to arrive, it started to snow! It was a light snow, just dusting the ground, but it was snowing! In April! Undaunted, we added a couple more pieces of wood to the fire and sat in the cook shelter and watched it snow, utterly distracted by it all. At some point, we did finish setting up and then we silently trudged through the snow to our open-air cabin and crawled into our warm toasty sleeping bags.

It snowed off and on all weekend. Sunday morning, we made this frittata for breakfast. Donna had actually made it at home in a cast iron skillet and loved it. She was confidant we could adapt it to the Dutch oven. I had never made a frittata. I didn’t even know what a frittata was! Chris is Italian so she actually knew what a frittata was but I don’t think she had actually ever made one. But, between the two of us, we adapted it to the Dutch oven and it was amazing!

I discovered that a frittata is an egg-based Italian dish similar to an omelet or crustless quiche. You sauté your meats and/or vegetables in a cast iron skillet, add your beaten egg mixture and cheese and then you move it into the oven to bake.

So, Sunday morning, we walked our students through it (we made a double batch in 2 Dutch ovens). They sautéed the onions and zucchini in my 12-inch Dutch ovens, added the remaining ingredients, and then we put the lids on and moved them to coals. The zucchini were perfectly al dente. The eggs poofed like a soufflé! It was warm, flavorful and so yummy on a cold, snowy Sunday morning! I was sold and I have loved this recipe ever since.

We made it again just a couple weeks ago while teaching outdoor cooking skills to more Girl Scout adult volunteer leaders. This time we were at Camp Robbinswold and the weather was beautiful! Once again, it performed to perfection! It was definitely a hit!



12-inch Dutch oven (in camp) or cast iron skillet (at home), knife and cutting board, mixing bowl, wisk, measuring cups and spoons.



4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 sweet yellow onion, quartered and thinly sliced

2 teaspoons dried Italian herb seasoning

9 small zucchini (2 pounds), washed, dried, halved lengthwise, and cut into ¼-inch-thick slices

1 teaspoon salt

Black pepper

¼ cup bread crumbs

1 ½ cups finely grated Parmesan cheese, divided

9 eggs, beaten



Slice the onions and zucchini. Over medium heat, either over coals or on a stove, warm olive oil in the skillet or Dutch oven. Add the onions, stirring to coat with the oil. Sprinkle the Italian seasoning over the onions and cook for 5 minutes. Add the zucchini and stir gently to mix with the onions. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the zucchini softens, about 8 minutes.

Remove from the heat and drain off any liquid from the pan. Spread the onions and zucchini evenly in the bottom. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with the bread crumbs and 1 cup of the Parmesan cheese.

In a medium bowl, whisk eggs until well blended. Pour over zucchini mixture, cover and bake in a 325°F oven, using 16 coals on the lid and 7 coals underneath, for 45 minutes. Sprinkle on remaining Parmesan cheese and bake another 5 minutes.

Serves 8


This post has been shared at Homestead Bloggers Network and Homestead Blog Hop. If you like this blog and don’t want to miss a single post, subscribe to Chuck Wagoneer by clicking on the Follow Us button in the upper right corner and follow us on Facebook and Pinterest for the latest updates and more stuff!

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