A tasty fate for leftover veggies
What’s the best thing about big holiday meals (like Thanksgiving, for instance)? Leftovers, I’d say.
One of the best ways to use leftover veggies is to mix them into a frittata. If you don’t know frittatas, you should—they’re a baked egg mixture that you start on the stovetop (in a heatproof skillet), then finish in the oven. They resemble omelets, but are much easier to make for most people. They’re also exceptionally versatile—tasty when eaten hot, cold, or in between.
If you serve Brussels sprouts for Thanksgiving, chances are you’ll have some left over—because who loads up on veggies when the table is groaning with turkey and dressing? You probably wouldn’t think of eating those little cabbagettes for breakfast. But bake them into a frittata, and you could. Or just wait until lunch or dinner, because frittatas are perfect anytime.
In fact, this dish is so good, you may find yourself cooking Brussels sprouts more often. Just so you’ll have some on hand for your next frittata.
Recipe: Frittata with Brussels Sprouts
Way back when I was a baby blogger, two of my first posts were on frittatas: Red Pepper and Onion Frittata and Ham, Bacon, and Cheddar Frittata. The info in those posts still is pretty good—but man, have my pictures and recipe writing come a long way! Take a peek if you want a good laugh.
The frittata I’m making today uses leftover Hashed Brussels Sprouts. But don't worry, you can use Brussels sprouts that have been prepared in other ways too (see Notes). I find it easiest to make this dish in a nonstick skillet, but any ovenproof skillet will work.
Prep time for this recipe is 10 to 15 minutes, with cooking time of about 20 minutes (the frittata takes 10–12 minutes to cook, but you need to sauté onions first). So you can have this dish on the table within half an hour or so.
This recipe serves 4 to 6. Leftovers keep in the refrigerator for a few days if well wrapped.
- 1 medium yellow onion (a cup or a bit less when sliced; may substitute red or white onion)
- 2 - 3 cloves of garlic (or to taste)
- 1 - 2 tablespoons olive oil (I use “pure” olive oil—the cheap stuff; can substitute butter or a neutral oil, like canola)
- ~¾ teaspoon Kosher salt (about half that if using regular table salt; or to taste)
- ~¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 8 large eggs (consider using pasteurized; see Notes)
- ¼ cup milk or cream (optional)
- 2 - 3 squirts of sriracha sauce (or to taste; or substitute ¼ teaspoon of another hot sauce)
- ~½ ounce grated Parmesan cheese (about ½ cup tightly packed; exact quantity not critical, so suit your own taste)
- 4 ounces grated cheddar cheese (the sharper the better, IMO)
- additional pinches of salt and black pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme (or 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme)
- ~3 cups leftover hashed Brussels sprouts (may use Brussels sprouts prepared another way; see Notes)
- garnish of chopped parsley or a squirt of sriracha sauce (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Peel the onion and slice it in half through the poles; then cut it into thin slices.
- Peel the garlic, then mince it finely or cut it into thin slices.
- Place a 10-inch ovenproof skillet (preferably nonstick) on the stovetop, and turn the burner to medium. When the skillet is heated, add the oil. Once the oil is hot (about 10 to 15 seconds—it’ll shimmer), add the onion and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Reduce the heat and cook until the onions are soft and translucent (about 8 minutes).
- Meanwhile, crack the eggs into a medium mixing bowl. Beat the eggs, then add the milk or cream (if using). Add squirts of sriracha sauce. Grate the Parmesan and the cheddar cheese (see Notes). Add the Parmesan (but not the cheddar—see Notes) to the egg mixture, along with a few pinches of salt and black pepper; beat to combine.
- By this time, the onion should be getting translucent. Bump the stovetop heat back up to medium. Add the thyme and the leftover Brussels sprouts to the onion. Heat for a minute to warm the Brussels sprouts. Spread the cheddar cheese over the Brussels sprouts in the skillet (see Notes), then pour on the egg mixture. If necessary, shake the pan to distribute the egg mixture evenly, then cook for about a minute (until the edges just start to set). It’s OK if a few bits of cheddar cheese poke above the surface of the egg mixture—they’ll melt and brown as they cook.
- Turn off the stovetop and move the skillet to the oven. Set a timer for 9 minutes.
- Bake the frittata until the egg mixture is set and puffy. (This usually takes 10 to 12 minutes, but I always start checking at 9 minutes to be safe.) If you want to brown the top of the frittata, run it under the broiler for a minute or two. Be aware that most manufacturers of nonstick cookware advise against this because intense broiler heat can damage nonstick surfaces. I do it anyway, although I realize I’m probably shortening the life of my skillets.
- Remove the frittata from the oven. To serve, cut the frittata into wedges and remove from the skillet. Add a sprinkle of freshly chopped parsley for garnish, if you like. Better yet, squirt on some sriracha sauce for extra color and flavor.
- We list milk/cream as optional ingredients because adding them to the eggs isn’t strictly necessary. But it does add some body to the frittata.
- Eggs carry a slight (but real) risk of salmonella. So we suggest using pasteurized eggs when making any type of dish that you might taste raw. Although it’s unlikely the eggs you buy will be infected, why take the risk? Especially since you may want to taste the frittata batter to test the seasoning level.
- You can often identify pasteurized eggs by the red “P” that’s stamped on them.
- I like cheesy frittatas, so I often add more Parmesan than what’s specified in the ingredient list. Parmesan adds a nice sharp note that I find appealing.
- I usually spread the cheddar cheese on top of the skillet mixture because it’s easier to distribute evenly over the entire frittata this way. But if you want, you can mix it with the eggs in Step 5 at the same time you add the Parmesan cheese.
- I always buy Parmesan in chunks and grate it myself. Recently, however, I’ve been buying packaged cheddar cheese that’s pre-grated. For a dish like this one, I usually buy the supermarket brand. I’ve taste-tested our local store’s packaged brand against chunk cheddar that I’ve grated myself—and I can’t tell the difference. Plus, the already-grated cheddar is slightly cheaper than the chunk cheese, at least in the market where I shop. Weird.
- I like thyme in frittatas, but feel free to substitute another herb. Or leave this ingredient out entirely.
- You can use any type of cooked Brussels sprouts in this dish—though the frittata will of course pick up any flavoring that’s present in the original preparation. Roast Brussels Sprouts would be great in this dish, as would steamed ones. Just give them a rough chop before adding them to the skillet in Step 6.
- I have cooked frittatas in both nonstick and iron skillets. I think the iron ones cook a little more evenly. But it’s a easier to get the frittata out of a nonstick skillet, so that's what I usually use.
- Want to move the whole frittata to a serving plate before cutting it? Just invert your plate over the top of the skillet, then flip it to unmold the frittata. Too fancy for me, but it does look pretty.
- Frittatas are great hot from the oven, but they’re also good at room temperature. They reheat nicely in the microwave.
- Brussels sprouts can turn nasty if they’re overcooked. The ones you’re using in this recipe are already cooked, so you don't want to leave them in the heat any longer than necessary. Be sure to take this frittata out of the oven as soon as it looks done.
“Thanksgiving will be in the rearview mirror soon,” said Mrs Kitchen Riffs.
“Yes,” I said. “Time to think about the next big holiday.”
“Shall we do cookies and cocktails again for the month of December?”
“Absolutely!” I said. “We had a blast doing that last year. From now through Christmas, we can post a holiday-appropriate cookie and cocktail recipe each week.”
“Works for me,” said Mrs K R. “This time of year is prime baking season.”
“And liquor stores do their briskest business between now and January 1,” I said.
“Lots of partying in December.”
“Which means plenty of eating and drinking,” I added.
“That’s our kind of month,” said Mrs K R.
December, here we come!
You may also enjoy reading about:
Hashed Brussels Sprouts
Roast Brussels Sprouts
Frittata with Red Pepper and Onion
Frittat with Ham, Bacon, and Cheddar
Or check out the index for more recipes