Egg lovers, beware of reading this on an empty stomach! Whether you’re looking for an easy everyday breakfast to help you get your day started on the right foot or something a little more composed for a beautiful Sunday brunch, egg dishes surely have a place on your table. If you really want to step up your egg prep game, a quiche, frittata, or strata might just be the perfect thing. Are you getting hungry yet?
Quiche, egg frittata, and egg strata are all delicious dishes—but what’s the difference between frittata and quiche and strata? While they have much in common, the difference between these breakfast treats mostly comes down to the crust.
Quiche and frittata are both essentially egg custards baked with your choice of vegetables, meats, and other toppings. A quiche is baked in a flaky pie crust-style pastry shell. An egg custard prepared without this crust is also known as a frittata.
A strata, on the other hand, is an egg custard that’s baked with layers of bread inside. It’s typically made with the same ratio of eggs and dairy as a quiche or frittata—and can be prepared with the same fillings you might choose for either of those dishes—but the addition of the bread creates a different texture.
All three dishes are delicious and relatively simple to make. They’re also bound to be crowd-pleasers, whether you’re serving yourself, your immediate family, or a table full of loved ones for Christmas breakfast. Read on to learn more about quiche, frittata, and strata.
A frittata, also known as a crustless quiche, is a creamy, savory egg custard baked with any combination of fillings, usually vegetables and meat. Unlike quiche, it’s not prepared inside of a flaky pastry.
Here are a few simple frittata recipes to try:
- A basic frittata from Love & Lemons
- Asparagus, spinach, ham, and cheese frittata from Serious Eats
- Spring green frittata from EatingWell
- Vegetable bacon frittata from Scrambled Chefs
Once you’ve practiced the basic mechanics of preparing a frittata, experiment with your fillings of choice.
As you can probably guess from the word itself, the frittata is thought by many to have its origins in Italy and is sometimes referred to as the Italian version of the omelet. The Italian word “friggere” means “to fry.”
While some people assume that frittatas are Italian, its true origins are somewhat unknown. The dish has been traced to everywhere from Mesopotamia and Persia to Spain and Northern England.
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A quiche is an egg custard baked in a crust, much like a basic pie crust. Like a frittata, a quiche can be prepared with any mixture of meats and vegetables to suit your liking and dietary needs. It’s basically a savory breakfast pie.
Check out these quiche recipes for newbies:
- Classic French spinach quiche from Once Upon a Chef
- Mixed-cheese quiche from Serious Eats
- Spinach and bacon quiche from Tastes Better from Scratch
- Quiche Lorraine with prosciutto from The Café Sucre Farine
Learning to make a basic quiche is a quick and easy process, and once you have it down, you can create all kinds of takes on it to serve at breakfast and brunch.
Quiche is known as a classic French dish, but according to historical readers, it has its beginnings in the middle ages of Germany. It was first served in a medieval kingdom called Lothringen, which was later occupied by the French and renamed Lorraine. That’s where the “Lorraine” in quiche Lorraine comes from!
An egg strata is an egg casserole made with layers of bread to stabilize the eggs as they bake. They are usually much thicker than frittatas and can be given a twist with the same fillings that you know in love in a quiche, including bacon, sausage, spinach, and cheese.
Want to make a strata of your own? Here are a few to start with:
- Cheese sausage strata from Taste of Home
- Egg strata with bacon and caramelized onions from Garlic and Zest
- Spinach and bacon egg strata from Sally’s Baking Addiction
- White cheddar and chive egg strata from Jenny Steffens Home Essentials
In addition to trying out different fillings for your strata, you can also test out various types of bread for the filling. There are so many options!
Unlike quiche and frittata, strata originates from America. One of the earliest recipes for this dish was supposedly printed in a cookbook called The Handbook of Household Sciences, which was written by Juniata L. Shepperd and published in 1902.
While all three of these egg dishes are traditionally prepared for breakfast and brunch, they make for the perfect addition to any menu at any time of day. Thanks to their versatility, you can add your favorite lunch or dinner ingredients to any quiche, frittata, or strata and enjoy accordingly.
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