This Caramelized Kale and Onion Frittata is perfect for brunch or an easy weeknight meal!
I don’t know why I don’t make frittatas more often. They are really the ideal busy weeknight meal. They are also a “I need to go grocery shopping meal” and a “I’m feeling reeeaaaalllly lazy” meal. All of those things speak to me. You can use almost anything that you have laying around. As long as you have eggs, the possibilities are endless. They can be meatless or not, packed with veggies or…not. This frittata has my favorite ever combo of caramelized kale + onions and then goat cheese because goat cheese makes everything better.
This caramelized kale and onion method is adapted from Suzanne Goin via Alexandra’s Kitchen. It is so good, although I made a few changes to the method to make it more frittata friendly. The thing is that the kale is cooked on low heat for a long time, and it wilts down and becomes almost black and crispy – which might not sound as good as it tastes, but trust me on this.
Lacinato kale (dinosaur kale) works best here. Just remove the stem and tear if into pieces. They don’t need to be super small pieces, because they are going to wilt down and get much smaller.
Start by heating a non stick, oven proof skillet over medium heat. I like to use my well-seasoned cast iron skillet here. Add 2 tablespoons of oil. Add the onion, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes and cook for 5-7 minutes, until the onions are softening and starting to turn golden. Add the kale with 2 more tablespoons of oil and a little more seasoning. Carefully stir to mix everything together and coat in the oil. Reduce heat to medium low. At first it will seem like too much kale, but don’t worry, soon it will shrink down. After a few minutes you’ll be like “yeah….”
But no, it isn’t done yet. You want the onions to caramelize and the kale to get crispy. It takes about 40 minutes, but soon you will have this.
During that forty minutes you had to do something, so hopefully you whisked your eggs and broke your goat cheese into pieces.
Before you pour the eggs in, be sure that there is enough oil in the pan, and take a brush and brush some of the oil onto the sides of the pan. This will keep the eggs from sticking and make it really easy to take the frittata out when it is done. Pour the eggs over the kale and onions and cook on the stove top for about 5 minutes, until the edges are starting to set and pull away from the sides of the pan. Dot the top with the goat cheese pieces and then put in the oven to finish. The cooking time is going to depend on your skillet. I used a 12 inch skillet. If you have a 10 inch skillet that will also work. A smaller skillet will lead to a thicker frittata, which will require a longer baking time. A larger skillet will give you a thinner frittata, which will cook faster. So for me, eight eggs in a 12 inch skillet took about 20 minutes. You really don’t want to overcook this, especially since eggs are notorious for over cooking and continuing to cook after being removed from the heat. Keep a close eye on it, and remove from the oven when it looks just set, or even a little underdone. Since cast iron skillets retain heat, remove from the skillet right away.
Let it sit for a few minutes, then it can be cut and served.
I like to serve this for dinner with a light salad, but it would also be great at brunch.
Caramelized Kale and Onion Frittata
- 8 eggs
- 1 large sweet onion thinly sliced
- 4 garlic cloves finely minced
- 1 large bunch of lacinato kale stem removed and torn into pieces (about 6 cups)
- 1/4 cup half and half optional
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 ounces soft goat cheese herbed goat cheese is really nice here
- kosher salt
- fresh cracked pepper
- red pepper flakes
- Preheat oven to 350°F
- Heat an oven proof skillet over medium heat.
- When hot, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
- Add the onion, season with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes.
- Saute until soft and golden, about seven minutes.
- Add garlic and cook for about 1 minute.
- Add the kale to the skillet with 2 more tablespoons of olive oil, season with a little more salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Stir to mix everything together and fully coat with the oil. Reduce heat to medium low.
- Continue to cook mixture, stirring often, until onions are caramelized and kale is crispy and very dark, almost black, about 40 minutes.
- While kale and onions are cooking, whisk together the eggs with half and half, salt and pepper, and break the goat cheese onto small pieces.
- When kale and onion mixture is done, raise heat to medium high, brush some of the oil on the sides of the pan, then pour in the eggs. Allow the eggs to cook on the stovetop until the edges start to set and pull away from the pan, about 5 minutes.
- sprinkle the goat cheese evenly on the top and put in the oven.
- Keep a close eye on the frittata, bake until just set, about 20-30 minutes.
- Remove from oven and transfer frittata to a cutting board, allow to sit for a few minutes. Cut and serve.
Kale method adapted from Alexanda’s Kitchen
What is your favorite lazy weeknight meal?