This southwestern frittata is loaded with potato, beef, rice, cheese, veggies, and more for a hearty breakfast, brunch, or anytime meal.
There’s an Italian phrase that goes fare una frittata, which literally means ‘to make an omelette’, but figuratively translates to ‘to make a mess’. Ever since I first learned of this phrase in high school (or was it college? One of the six years I took Italian…) I thought it described my cooking style to a T. Despite my best efforts, I have a knack for using a ton of dishes and utensils and leaving an assortment of food crumbs, drips, and spills in my wake.
But! Thankfully all that clean up is usually worth it when we get to dig into whatever it is I destroyed the kitchen to make. Today though I’ve made a frittata in the literal and figurative sense, filled with a ton of satisfying goodies that will fill you up no matter what time of the day.
I’m a big fan of all kinds of breakfast bakes (both sweet and savory included) but frittatas are up there on the list because a) there’s no crust to mess around with, and b) they’re an excellent way for using up leftover odds and ends. You can truly get creative with your fillings, but I wanted to keep with a loose theme and deemed this a southwestern frittata. Ground beef, diced potato, and cooked rice add a lot of heft, with pepper jack cheese, spices, tomatoes, corn, jalapeno, and cilantro rounding things out. After enjoying this southwestern frittata for breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner – not on the same day – it truly fits in as a satisfying option for any mealtime.
There’s a ton of wiggle room here for customization, so feel free to deviate from the recipe below as you see fit. I had leftover cooked ground beef (not seasoned), cooked brown rice, half a can of diced tomatoes, and a half-cup of corn kernels hanging out in the fridge, which all made their way in to this southwestern frittata recipe. You can use a different variety of meat, more or less of the veggies, a different variety of cheese or none at all, etc.
Eight eggs sounds like a lot, but they were needed to cover the mountain of fillings included here. If you’re omitting an ingredient or two or adding smaller quantities of what’s listed below, you may not need that many. In that case I suggest starting with six eggs (with one or two more handy) and seeing if more is needed.
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- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp ground oregano
- 1/8 tsp ground cumin
- 8 eggs
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium russet potato, diced small
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 3/4 lb cooked ground beef
- 1 cup cooked rice
- Half of a 14-5 oz oz can of petite diced tomatoes
- 1/2 cup corn kernels
- 4 oz shredded pepper jack or cheddar cheese
- Half of 1 jalapeno pepper, seeds removed, diced
- Cilantro for serving
Preheat oven to 400°F. Stir together salt, pepper, chili powder, paprika, oregano, and cumin in a small bowl and set aside.
Add eggs to a bowl and beat until light and creamy. Set aside.
Heat a cast iron or oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat and add olive oil. Once heated, add diced potato and onion and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally, and then add the garlic. Continue to cook until the onion and potato are golden-brown, stirring occasionally so that all sides of the potato/onion cook evenly.
Add beef, rice, tomatoes, and corn to the skillet and stir, heating everything for a minute or two.
Evenly scatter spice mix over top of the ingredients in the skillet and stir.
Scatter shredded cheese and diced jalapeno over the ingredients, and then pour eggs into the skillet, lightly stirring so that the eggs are evenly dispersed throughout the filling. Let the frittata cook on the stove top for a few minutes so that the edges set.
Transfer skillet to the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the eggs have set. Let the frittata rest for a few minutes before slicing. Sprinkle chopped cilantro over top for serving.