Caramelised onion frittata

Caramelized Onion Frittata



The frittata recipe that only mother-in-laws know

This recipe is a favourite of my mother-in-law, who learnt it from her mother-in-law. Who knows….maybe it’s a secret recipe passed down only by mother-in-laws.  In which case, I shouldn’t be sharing it with you and will probably be struck by lightening as soon as I publish this.  I’ll keep you posted on that outcome.  Maybe I should start dragging a kite with a metal key attached to it behind me…..just in case!.  Luckily I have two kids so maybe when they grow up, if they get married I can be a mother-in-law and teach my acquired “children” how to make onion frittata too.



Where does the original onion frittata come from

I did a little research to see where in Italy this dish originated and found out that many regions claim it as their own.  Given that onions are a fairly ubiquitous and easily grown vegetable, I award the honour to any Italian region that wants it as a piatto tipico.  I have to say though, much to my chagrin, that I have never been able to grow onions in my garden……my only consolation was that out of everything I’ve planted, the only plants that seem to grow well here are olive trees, lavender, rosemary, thyme and oregano. …..well, that was until I went for a hike in the hills behind the town we live in and discovered that these things grow wild everywhere… an instant I was sucked back into the vortex of being ashamed of my gardening prowess.



Making frittata is easier than you think

Now, I have a super-exciting revelation for you that makes it ever so much easier to make frittata than I ever dreamed possible!  You know how I was droning on in the post on making spinach frittata about how to flip these guys in the least destructive way possible? Well, do I have news for you?!  After all these years, I learned that if you cook the frittata over a low heat with a tight-fitting lid (wait for it….!) you don’t have to flip it! And, when I whoopingly told my Italian husband this, he said, “Yes, I know. That’s how my mother taught me to make it.”  Come on, man….does 16 years of being together mean nothing to you?! All those broken frittatas that got eaten and nobody ever said anything?



Tips for making onion frittata

So, now my sage advice to you is not to flip the frittata at end, just slide it out of the pan gently using a fish slice, and we’ll all be able to breathe a sigh of relief and sleep better at night.  This dish does take time to make well, but it’s honestly worth it.  You can cook the onions before-hand and keep them for 1-2 days in the fridge before finishing the dish.



For Eight Tips To Make the Perfect Frittata click here!


By Lisa Watson


Caramelized onion frittata

An easy recipe to make Caramelized Onion Frittata. Delicious as a main with green salad on the side, or as a first course.  Or, stick it between two pieces of bread for a wonderful sandwich!
Prep Time1 hour 10 minutes
Cook Time1 hour
Total Time2 hours 10 minutes
Course: Breakfast, buffet, entree, Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 4 people


  • 500 g Onions 3 large
  • 6 Eggs
  • 1 Tbsp Milk
  • Salt to taste
  • 30-40 g Parmesan cheese 2-3 Tbsp


To cook the onions:

  • Halve the onions then slice them (not too thick and not too thin!)
  • Saute the onions in olive oil for 5 minutes on a medium-high heat, stirring often.  Do not let them brown. Sprinkle them with some salt.
  • When the onions are becoming translucent, add water to just cover them.  Turn the heat down to medium-low.
  • Simmer the onions for approximately 30 minutes, stirring very gently every so often.
  • Turn the heat up to medium-high and let the water boil off.  This will take about 10 minutes.  Be very vigilant that they don’t burn!
  • Leave the onions to cool.

To make the frittata:

  • Beat the remaining ingredients together.
  • Add the onion and mix in. Meanwhile heat olive oil in a frying pan.
  • Pour the egg mixture into the pan and turn the setting to low heat.  Put a tight-fitting lid on the pan and let cook slowly until the frittata is completely set. (about 15 minutes)
  • Slide the frittata onto a plate and let cool.  It tastes best when it is tepid or at room temperature.