You’re planning the brunch menu for your mother-in-law’s visit next weekend and want to put on a wow-worthy spread (preferably one that you can prepare in advance). A quiche would be perfect. Or perhaps a frittata. Wait, aren’t they pretty much the same thing? We settle the frittata vs. quiche kerfuffle once and for all. Read on so you can pick the dish that best suits your morning mood and delivers the farm-fresh fix of your dreams. (Don’t worry, both are so darn delicious that your MIL will gobble up either option.)
Frittata vs. Quiche: 4 Key Differences
Both frittata and quiche are essentially savory custards that have been prepared by whipping up eggs and dairy, so you might be wondering if this is just a case of tomayto, tomato. But nope, there’s more than custard to this equation. In fact, these brunch time staples are quite distinct—here’s how.
1. Quiche has a crust, while frittata does not
Both frittata and quiche filling can accommodate a variety of add-ins (bacon, cheese and asparagus are some of our favorites), but what you do with that all that deliciousness will depend on what type of egg bake you’re making. Quiche filling will always be encased in a pie crust, whereas frittata has no pastry dough component. For this reason, a frittata can be cooked in a regular skillet on the stove, while a quiche requires a pie dish and an oven. (Note: For best results, frittatas are mostly cooked on the stovetop and then finished off in the oven or under the broiler.)
2. One is a workhorse, the other a bit more work
Quiche is typically fussier and more time-consuming to pull together than its eggy cousin, thanks to the crust component (although opting for a store-bought crust will cut your work in half). Meanwhile, a frittata can be whipped up with ease since all you really need to do is beat a couple of eggs with a little bit of dairy, add your mix-ins and cook in a skillet until fluffy. So if your goal is to clean out your fridge, it just makes more sense to skip the pastry and stick with a frittata instead for the sake of efficiency.
3. Frittatas contain less dairy than quiches
You may have heard that frittatas are just quiche filling without the crust, but that’s not actually true. While the crust (or lack thereof) is a key difference between the two, you should not attempt to make a frittata using a quiche recipe and vice versa. The pastry in a quiche provides a solid structure that absorbs fat and, as such, can withstand the addition of extra dairy-based liquid. That’s why quiche recipes call for a higher dairy-to-egg ratio. In other words, don’t try to sub one recipe for the other, unless you want to end up with a greasy, sloppy mess.
4. The two egg dishes have totally different textures
A buttery crust gives quiche a tender snap, and the higher dairy content results in a rich and silky filling. A frittata, on the other hand, is light and fluffy all the way through. For this reason (not to mention the extra legwork involved), quiches are often considered to be more of a special occasion item.
Bottom line? You can’t go wrong with either dish, as long as you know what you’re getting into before you tuck in.