To start, a quiche and a frittata have similarities, however, they are not the same thing. Although they are both egg-based, there are a few subtle things that make a frittata different from quiche and it's not just that one has a crust and the other doesn't.
What is a Quiche?
A quiche is a creamy rich combination of eggs, cream, sometimes cheese and can have added ingredients like vegetables or meats like bacon or ham. A Quiche is also baked in a pastry shell, either a puff pastry which is my favorite, or more traditionally in a pie crust.
Quiches are usually baked in quiche or tart pans with a removable bottom, or pie pans.
When I think of Quiche I think of french dish like Quiche Lorraine.
What is a Frittata?
A Frittata is also made using eggs, cream, and various meats, vegetables, and cheeses. A frittata is typically cooked in a skillet and has more of an omelet texture.
The definition of a frittata is: Italian omelet with diced vegetables and meats; cooked until bottom is set then inverted into another pan to cook the top. Or, an unfolded omelet often containing chopped vegetables or meats.
I never invert my frittata but instead cover the pan and cook until set then lightly brown under the broiler.
This vegetable frittata is my go to recipe for quiche light summer meal.
The difference between a quiche and a frittata
The three main differences are crust, egg to dairy ratio and the cooking method.
A quiche is an egg custard baked slowly in a pie crust or puff pastry while a frittata is made without a crust. Because a quiche has a crust it can handle more cream or milk resulting in a creamier filling with a custard like consistency.
The Egg-to-Dairy Ratio
Quiches are usually are made with more dairy than frittatas. Most quiche recipes call for about ½ cup dairy to every large egg that is used. A quiche is an egg custard.
Frittatas on the other hand are made with less dairy, usually less than half of that in a quiche. Sometimes yogurt or sour cream is used and this results in a denser texture.
The Cooking Method
A frittata is cooked on the stove top, traditionally in a skillet. You whisk the ingredients and pour it into a skillet. Let it set as it cooks and viola breakfast is served. Frittata's are usually served at or near room temperature.
A quiche is cooked in an oven usually in a pan with a removable bottom or a pie pan.
Both quiche and frittata are easy to make, with quiche have one extra step in preparing the crust.
What to serve with quiche or frittata?
- Salad - a simple green salad with a lemon vinaigrette is a classic side dish served with quiche.
- Soup - tomato soup compliments quiche especially when served as an afternoon or evening meal.
- Fresh bread - go minimalist and serve a hunk of fresh bread with butter.
- Fruit bowl - go healthy and serve fresh in season fruit.
- Potatoes - I like roasted red potatoes in with garlic glaze or for an old fashioned flair go with fried potatoes.