This Southwestern Frittata is loaded with eggs, black beans, cheddar cheese, and vegetables for an easy, flavorful, and satisfying breakfast the whole family will love. With just 10 simple ingredients, you can have this make-ahead friendly breakfast recipe on the table in just 40 minutes.
Fluffy, flavorful, and fabulous - frittata is one of the best breakfast foods around.
As an egg-centric dish, frittata is often served for brunch or breakfast, but it can be enjoyed any time of the day. It's a great make-ahead breakfast option for busy weekday mornings.
This southwestern frittata is a vegetarian frittata recipe that's full of savory vegetables, fiber-rich black beans, and creamy cheddar cheese. It can be enjoyed on its own or paired with your favorite breakfast side dishes for a satisfying meal.
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What is Frittata?
Frittata is an Italian egg dish that is similar to an omelette or crustless quiche.
It is typically made by whisking eggs together with a variety of filling ingredients, such as cheese, vegetables, meats, and herbs. The mixture is cooked on the stovetop until it is set and slightly browned on the bottom, then finished in the oven.
Frittatas are often served in wedges, either warm or at room temperature, and can be accompanied by a variety of sides. They are a great way to use up leftover vegetables or meats, which helps reduce food waste.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- Ready in 40 Minutes- From start to finish, this homemade frittata is ready in under an hour.
- Make-Ahead Friendly- This southwestern frittata can be prepared up to 3 days ahead of time, then reheated or enjoyed chilled. Perfect for meal prep!
- Flavorful- Loaded with flavorful veggies, cheddar cheese, and black beans, this easy frittata recipe doesn't skimp on flavor.
- Healthy- This black bean frittata is full of protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. It's a nutritious and satisfying breakfast that will keep you full until lunch.
Here are some notes on the key ingredients. For the full list of ingredients, check out the recipe card below.
- Eggs- For egg-based recipes, I like to use the freshest eggs possible. Whether they're from your own chickens, your neighbor's chickens, or the farmers' market, I recommend splurging on farm fresh eggs if you can.
- Black Beans- Opt for low-sodium canned black beans or cook your own from scratch. Then, drain and rinse the beans before adding them to the frittata.
- Cheddar Cheese- Shredding your own cheese from a block takes a few extra minutes but is totally worth it. The cheese melts better, tastes fresher, and is typically less expensive than pre-shredded cheese.
- Bell Pepper- I used green bell pepper in this recipe, but you can use red bell pepper or any other type of bell peppers you prefer.
- Red Onion- Red onion is more mild tasting than yellow onion and white onion.
- Garlic- Adds a bold garlic flavor, which pairs well with the rest of the ingredients.
- Half & Half- Gives the eggs a fluffy texture and adds a little extra moisture and creaminess to the dish.
- Seasonings- Just a little kosher salt and black pepper.
Substitutions and Variations
Here are a few ways you can try customizing this southwestern frittata recipe to fit your diet and taste preferences.
- Eggs- Swap fresh whole eggs for egg whites, liquid eggs, or a plant-based alternative.
- Black Beans- Pinto beans, kidney beans, cannellini beans, or chickpeas make great substitutes for black beans.
- Cheddar Cheese- Try gruyere, aged gouda, swiss cheese, or colby jack cheese in place of cheddar cheese.
- Bell Pepper- Replace bell pepper with poblano pepper, jalapeño pepper, or Cubanelle pepper.
- Red Onion- Swap red onion for ½ tablespoon of onion powder. Or use yellow onion, white onion, shallot, scallions, or leeks instead.
- Garlic- Substitute fresh garlic cloves with ½ teaspoon of garlic powder.
- Half & Half- Use heavy cream, whole milk, or reduced-fat milk in place of half and half if preferred.
- Seasonings- Add cumin, chili powder, cayenne pepper, or smoked paprika for more flavor.
The Frittata Ratio: When customizing your frittata, keep this ratio in mind. For every 6 eggs, you'll need ¼ cup of milk or cream, 1 cup of shredded or crumbled cheese, and 2 cups of additional fillings (vegetables, beans, meat, etc.).
- Dairy-Free- Swap the half and half for your favorite dairy-free alternative.
- Bacon or Sausage- Add crumbled bacon or ground sausage for an extra hearty southwestern-style frittata.
- Potatoes- Roasted potatoes, home fries, or hash browns make frittata even more satisfying and delicious.
- Spicy- Add minced jalapeño or red pepper flakes to give the frittata a little heat.
Here are some notes on any special equipment I used to make this recipe.
- Cast Iron Skillet- A cast iron skillet is often used to make a frittata because it can go straight from the stove to the oven, which is key for getting the frittata cooked through just right. But, if you don't have a cast iron skillet, an oven-safe non-stick skillet, a pie plate, or a casserole dish can be used instead.
Step by Step Instructions
Here is how to make this southwestern frittata recipe.
Step 1: Whisk together the eggs. Preheat the oven to 425°F. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs together with half and half, kosher salt, and black pepper. Set aside.
Step 2: Cook the vegetables. Heat olive oil in a 10-inch cast iron skillet over medium heat. Sauté the bell pepper, onion, and garlic with an additional ½ teaspoon of kosher salt until softened and beginning to brown, about 5-7 minutes. Reduce heat to low and stir in the black beans.
Step 3: Add the eggs and cheddar cheese. Pour egg mixture over the cooked vegetables in the skillet. Sprinkle the shredded cheddar cheese over the top of the eggs. Stir gently to evenly distribute the vegetables and cheese.
Step 4: Bake the frittata. Allow the egg mixture to cook until the edges just begin to set, then transfer the skillet to the oven. Bake the frittata for 15-20 minutes or until the center is fully set. Cool for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
Tips for Success
- Beat the eggs well. Ensuring that you blend the yolks well with the egg white guarantees a fluffy and evenly cooked frittata.
- Choose the right skillet. A 10-inch skillet is perfect for 6 large eggs plus the filling. If the skillet is too large, the frittata will be too thin, while a pan that is too small may cause the frittata to spill over.
- Let the frittata rest. It's important to cool the frittata for a few minutes after baking so that it can set and hold its shape more easily.
How to Make a Frittata Without a Cast Iron Skillet
Don't own a cast iron skillet? I highly recommend investing in one!
But, in the meantime - how do you make frittata without a cast iron skillet?
It's easy. If you have another oven-safe non-stick skillet, that would be my first choice. Otherwise, transfer the sautéed vegetables to a baking dish or pie plate. Then, pour the egg mixture and cheese over the top and bake.
If using a baking dish or pie plate, the eggs may take a few minutes longer to fully cook through.
What To Serve With Southwestern Frittata
This southwestern frittata, like all frittatas, is perfect for breakfast and pairs well with a wide variety of other breakfast foods. Bacon and chicken sausage are two of my favorite breakfast meats to serve with a frittata.
Storage and Reheating
How to Store
- Refrigerator- Store leftovers in an airtight container or wrapped tightly in plastic wrap in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
- Freezer- Leftover frittata can be frozen, although its texture may change slightly once defrosted. To freeze, allow the frittata to cool completely. Then, wrap individual pieces tightly in plastic wrap before placing them inside a freezer-safe storage bag. Freeze frittata for up to 3 months.
Food Safety Tip: If you are serving frittata as part of a brunch spread, remember that you should not leave eggs at room temperature for more than 2 hours.
How to Reheat
- Oven- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place the leftover frittata on a rimmed baking sheet and cover it tightly with aluminum foil. Heat for 10 minutes or until fully warmed through.
- Stovetop- Melt a little butter or olive oil in a cast iron skillet over medium-low heat. Place leftover frittata, along with a tablespoon of water, in the skillet and cover with a lid. Heat for 5 minutes or until fully warmed through.
- Microwave- Place a slice of frittata on a microwave-safe dish and cover it with a damp paper towel. Heat on HIGH for 30 seconds. Continue heating in 15-second intervals until hot.
- Air Fryer- Preheat the air fryer to 350°F. Place leftover slices of frittata in the air fryer basket and heat for 3-5 minutes or until fully warmed through.
This southwest frittata recipe is a great make-ahead dish and can be prepared up to 3 days in advance. In fact, many people prefer to make frittatas ahead of time, as the flavors often improve with time and it makes for an easy breakfast, lunch, or dinner option.
Reheat the frittata before serving or enjoyed chilled.
Frequently Asked Questions
Milk or cream is added to a frittata to give the eggs a creamier, richer, and fluffier texture.
No. A fully cooked frittata should not be jiggly in the center. When in doubt, stick a knife into the center of the frittata. It should come out clean.
If your frittata turned out soggy or watery, you may not have cooked the vegetable filling long enough to remove excess water.
In general, frittata is a healthier option when compared to quiche because frittata doesn't have a crust.
More Egg Recipes
For the Egg Mixture
- 6 large eggs
- ¼ cup half and half
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
For the Frittata
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 green bell pepper diced
- ½ red onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup black beans drained and rinsed
- 1 cup cheddar cheese shredded
- Preheat the oven to 425°F. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs together with half and half, kosher salt, and black pepper. Set aside.6 large eggs, ¼ cup half and half, ½ teaspoon kosher salt, ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Heat olive oil in a 10-inch cast iron skillet over medium heat. Sauté the bell pepper, onion, and garlic with an additional ½ teaspoon of kosher salt until softened and beginning to brown, about 5-7 minutes. Reduce heat to low and stir in the black beans.1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 green bell pepper, ½ red onion, 2 cloves garlic, ½ teaspoon kosher salt, ½ cup black beans
- Pour the egg mixture over the cooked vegetables in the skillet. Sprinkle the shredded cheddar cheese over the top of the eggs. Stir gently to evenly distribute the vegetables and cheese.1 cup cheddar cheese
- Allow the egg mixture to cook until the edges just begin to set, then transfer the skillet to the oven. Bake the frittata for 15-20 minutes or until the center is fully set. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
- No Oven-Proof Skillet? Transfer the cooked vegetables to a casserole dish before stirring in the eggs and cheddar cheese. Note that cook time may be slightly longer with this method.
- Storage: Store leftover frittata in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 3 months.