Italian Sausage Frittata is a simple, but flavorful breakfast everyone will enjoy. It’s a filling and tasty baked egg dish that will satisfy even the heartiest appetites.
Onion, peppers and garlic, mingled with the seasonings from Italian sausage provide a delicious balance of savory flavors. A layer of crispy, caramelized fried potatoes adds even more satisfying flavor and texture to the tender eggs.
This frittata is perfect served with Homemade Biscuits, pancakes or waffles. Add a green salad and some fruit and you’ll have a balanced and over-the-top delicious breakfast, brunch or breakfast-for-dinner menu.
It would also be the perfect accompaniment to Christmas morning cinnamon rolls!
I did struggle with what to name this recipe. As I researched exactly where the names of various egg dishes came from, I decided to call it a frittata. You can decide for yourself, when you read my explanation, below.
Is it a Frittata, a Quiche or just an Egg Casserole?
Frittata is an Italian word that translates to “fried”. It refers to an egg dish, very similar to a Spanish tortilla (omelette). The Spanish tortilla/omelette consists mainly of eggs and potatoes.
A frittata was probably based on the Spanish tortilla, but adds meat, cheese, vegetables (and sometimes even pasta). It’s a fantastic way to use up leftovers.
Both the Frittata and the Spanish omelette are made without a crust. And both are cooked in a cast iron skillet. Spanish omelettes cook completely on the stove top. A frittata is finished in the oven.
Quiche, on the other hand, is basically a French custard pie. It is baked in a crust and filled with savory custard made of eggs and cream, with cheese, meat or seafood and vegetables added in.
So, what’s an egg casserole? I guess we could say it’s a combination of elements of all of the above.
From a melting-pot American perspective, we’ve been blessed with heirloom recipes that people carried with them from all corners of the globe. The heart and tradition of those dishes was the same, but often, they had to adapt them to utilize the ingredients available in the areas they were settling. New versions of old traditional recipes were created.
For me, that is egg casserole in a nutshell. It seems to be based on the Spanish omelette or Italian Frittata. We may have more ingredient possibilities available, today, but, the heart of these dishes is the the same — eggs, vegetables, sometimes meat and cheese. And more times than not, an egg casserole is baked in a sheet pan or casserole dish, rather than a cast iron skillet.
They’re all delicious. I hope you’ll give my Italian Sausage Frittata version a try!
Eggs: I always cook with large eggs.
Milk: My preference is whole milk. Use the type you have on hand or substitute a non-dairy variety.
Italian Sausage: I use ground Italian sausage. Mild or spicy both work, so choose the one that best suits your family.
The Veggies: Red Onion, Bell Pepper, and Potato. These are what we like and had in the cupboard. The onion and bell pepper are for creating flavor and the potato is fried to add texture. The beauty of a frittata is that you use up what you have on hand. Your Italian Sausage Frittata doesn’t need to be exactly like mine.
I would always stick with the onion and bell pepper as a good flavor base, but any leftover roasted vegetables would be fabulous. I also love it with kale or spinach, but didn’t have any on hand. Mushrooms, asparagus or any of your favorite vegetables may be added. Go crazy! Be creative and make it your own.
Garlic: I prefer fresh, minced. If you substitute garlic powder, halve the amount.
Cheese: We like Cheddar or Colby Jack, but mix it up. Use what you like or what’s already in the fridge.
How to Make Italian Sausage Frittata
Preheat your oven to 350°.
Brown the sausage with minced onions, peppers and garlic over medium heat. Break the sausage into small crumbles as it cooks. My sausage had enough fat so that I didn’t need any extra oil for browning. You could add a couple teaspoons if you feel you need it.
When the sausage has browned, move it and the cooked veggies to a bowl, leaving any rendered fat in the bottom of your skillet. That fat is full of flavor.
Add butter to the fat in the skillet and melt it over medium high heat.
Arrange grated potato in a thin even layer over the butter. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook over medium high heat until the potatoes are crisp and brown on the bottom.
Use a turner and flip the potatoes over, in sections. Spread them out in the skillet, again, so you have an even layer. Continue cooking on medium high heat for two minutes.
Arrange the sausage and veggies in an even layer over the potatoes.
Whisk the eggs and milk, adding a little salt and pepper. Pour the egg mixture over the sausage and potatoes.
Sprinkle with the cheese and bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until eggs are set.
Cut into 12 wedges and serve. I like to make sour cream, chopped tomatoes and green onion slices available for garnish. Choose what your family likes best.
Italian Sausage Egg Casserole is simple, but extraordinarily flavorful and cheesy. The simple trio of aromatics, onion, peppers and garlic, mingled with the seasonings from the sausage provide a delicious balance of savoriness. The fried potatoes on the bottom add wonderful texture to the fluffy, tender eggs.
- 12 eggs
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 lb. mild Italian sausage
- 1 small red onion, minced
- 1/2 red bell pepper, minced
- 1 Tablespoon garlic, minced
- 1 large baking potato (or 2 medium), peeled and grated
- 4 Tablespoons butter
- 8 oz. Colby Jack or sharp Cheddar cheese, grated (about 2 cups)
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Brown sausage with onions, peppers and garlic over medium heat. Break into small crumbles as it cooks.
- When sausage is done, move it and the cooked veggies to a bowl, leaving any rendered fat in the bottom of your skillet. That fat is full of flavor.
- Add ¼ cup (half a stick) of butter to the fat in the skillet and melt it over medium high heat.
- Add the grated potato to the skillet, spreading it in a thin even layer. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Continue cooking over medium high heat until the potatoes are crisp and brown on the bottom.
- Use a turner and flip the potatoes over, in sections. Spread them out in the skillet, again, so you have an even layer. Continue cooking on medium high heat for two minutes.
- Add the sausage and veggies back to the skillet in an even layer.
- Whisk the eggs and milk and add a little salt and pepper. Pour the egg mixture over the sausage and potatoes.
- Sprinkle with the cheese and bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until eggs are set.
- Cut into 12 wedges and serve.
I love a dollop of sour cream with some chopped tomatoes and green onion with my frittata. It’s also perfect served with Homemade Biscuits, pancakes or waffles. Add a green salad and some fruit and you’ll have a balanced and over-the-top delicious breakfast, brunch or breakfast-for-dinner menu.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Category: Breakfast, Casserole
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
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