June 23


Monika’s Molecular Meals: 5-Ingredient Easy & Delicious Whole30 Frittata (Vegetarian, Gluten-Free & Packed With Healthy Protein!)

By Monika Knapp

June 23, 2021

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This Whole30 Frittata Is Simple To Make… Yet Rich & Delicious

Monika's Molecular Meals: 5-Ingredient Easy & Delicious Whole30 Frittata (Vegetarian, Gluten-Free & Packed With Healthy Protein!)

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A frittata, in the absolute classical sense, shouldn’t require a recipe.

The frittata was originally invented to use up whatever was leftover in the fridge from dinner the night before (in true Italian spirit).

Leftover veg? Throw it in. Milk, cream… or even both?? Yup. Toss in some tomatoes, a few herbs from the backyard, some cheese, and of course, eggs… and you’ve got yourself breakfast.

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE this version of an Italian frittata.

It makes it super easy to use up anything you have left in your fridge… plus, it means you never eat the exact same frittata twice!

But for today’s purposes, we’re taking a little… detour.

The “frittata” I’m about to show you is still European, though contains no butter, milk, or cheese. It’s Whole30-compliant without making a single adjustment to the OG recipe.

(Curious yet?)

Of course, I’m talking about none other than the Spanish tortilla española.

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Containing only five ingredients (potatoes, onions, eggs, olive oil, and salt), it’s a frittata-like dish that sounds so humble, and is actually SO EASY to make… yet is deep, rich, and utterly satisfying in flavor.

I will admit the high amount of olive oil required for this recipe might seem off-putting at first. If you think “Maybe I’ll only use half”… hey, I wouldn’t blame you. I thought the same thing at first.

But you’d be wrong to skimp(!!), because the leftover oil is absolutely packed with flavor, and can be used in just about any other dish that normally calls for olive oil. It’s liquid gold.

(Believe me, you will not regret it AT ALL! In fact, you will probably thank me!)

Honestly, at the end of the day, I still love a cheesy, creamy, veggie-packed Italian-style frittata. There’s a time and a place for it.

Sometimes, though, you just want something a little bit… sexier.

Whip this up for your next weekend brunch, and your guests will be surprised, delighted, and practically licking their plates by the time the meal is over (speaking from experience):

Monika's Molecular Meals: 5-Ingredient Easy & Delicious Whole30 Frittata (Vegetarian, Gluten-Free & Packed With Healthy Protein!)

FTH’s Whole30 Easy & Delicious Tortilla Española (AKA A Spanish “Frittata”)

Equipment Needed: Mandoline (optional but preferable); whisk; 10-inch nonstick skillet

Recipe Time: 45 minutes

Serves: 4-6


  • 2 cups olive oil
  • 2 large yellow onions, peeled, halved, and thinly sliced
  • 1.5 lbs potatoes (about 3-4 medium), preferably 50% Yukon Gold and 50% sweet potato, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 8 large eggs 
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • Smoked paprika (optionalsee Recipe Notes)
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1) Whisk your eggs and let sit.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs until frothy and set aside.

2) Saute the onions and potatoes in oil.

Add the olive oil to a pan, then throw in the potatoes and onions (no need to wait for the oil to shimmer this actually increases the risk of burning for this recipe).

Add a couple large pinches of Kosher salt, some smoked paprika if desired, and stir to combine.

Saute this mixture over low heat until everything is soft, the smell makes you drool, and the potatoes and onions seem to melt together (about 20-25 minutes).

3) Drain the veg, add to the eggs, and whisk.

Take the onion, potato, and oil mixture off the heat, let cool for a minute or two, and then drain. (Save the reserved oil.)

Add a large pinch of salt and some optional smoked paprika to the eggs, then beat to refroth. Next, add the drained potatoes and onions, and stir to combine.

Let this sit for about 5 minutes.

4) (Carefully) Cook your “tortilla”!

Wipe out any residue from your skillet, then add 3 Tbsp of the reserved oil to the skillet.

Turn the heat to medium-low, then carefully pour in the egg mixture. Let this cook, shaking and stirring often, until it begins to set, 3-5 minutes. 

(Pro Tip: Use a spatula to press the sides of the tortilla in so it forms into a more cohesive shape.)

Now here’s the messy part you’ve gotta flip this sucker. When it looks like the entire thing is mostly set and flippable, move the skillet over a garbage can or a sink, and, using a plate or large flat surface, turn the tortilla over onto it.

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Add 1 Tbsp of the reserved oil back into the skillet, set it over the heat again, and slide the tortilla back in. Cook for 5-10 more minutes over medium-low heat until both sides look crispy, brown, and finished.

(You can optionally flip the tortilla a few more times over this period for an extra-firm center.)

Slide the tortilla onto a plate and let rest for 5 minutes before slicing into wedges or cubes. Serve warm or at room temp it’s truly delicious either way!

Recipe Notes

  • Smoked paprika is used very commonly in many Spanish dishes, and it adds an earthy kick of spice to this recipe. It also pairs beautifully with sweet potatoes.
  • Some recipes recommend pre-seasoning your eggs before you let them sit, though I’ve found this can make them appear grey when cooked. I always prefer to season my eggs right before I cook them.
  • You’ll have a good amount of reserved potato-onion-infused oil left over, which is great! Use it to saute more veg, crisp up your protein of choice, add it to rice, or even use it in salad dressings.
Monika's Molecular Meals: 5-Ingredient Easy & Delicious Whole30 Frittata (Vegetarian, Gluten-Free & Packed With Healthy Protein!)

3 Easy Side Dish Ideas For A Fancy-Pants Brunch Party (Without The Hassle)

A tortilla espanola is, in my personal opinion, the perfect brunch dish because a) it’s NOT a boring frittata… and b) it’s so dang easy, yet impressive.

(Take my word for it: your guests will be seriously impressed when you bring this dish out for them!)

And while you could serve it naked, without anything to dress it up… if you want to feel really fancy, or if you’re having people over, then it helps to have some other things for your guests to nibble on.

Fortunately, I have a few sides that go perfectly with this impressive “frittata”… that are the perfect companions.

Here are 3 of my personal favorite sides to serve with this dish:

1) Allioli.

An allioli is the traditional pairing with this dish, and it’s really easy to make. (It’s basically homemade mayo with some garlic and olive oil.)

Here’s what you do:

If using a hand or immersion blender:

Add one egg yolk, 4 minced cloves of garlic, and 1 Tbsp each of water and lemon juice to the bottom of a jar that fits your immersion blender. Pour 1/2 cup of vegetable or canola oil, along with 1/2 cup of the potato & onion-infused olive oil on top. Let this settle for about 15 seconds.

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Place your blender near the bottom of the jar and turn it on. As you notice the mixture emulsify, tilt the jar so all of the oil combines with the rest of the ingredients. 

Transfer your allioli to a bowl, taste it, and add salt as needed.

If using a food processor:

Add one egg yolk, 4 minced cloves of garlic, and 1 Tbsp each of water and lemon juice to the bowl of your food processor. Turn it on low, and slowly drizzle in 1/2 cup of vegetable or canola oil. When fully emulsified, turn the blender off, drizzle 1/2 cup of the potato & onion-infused olive oil on top, and pulse until fully emulsified. 

Transfer your allioli to a bowl, taste it, and add salt and pepper as needed.

2) A light (but flavorful!) cabbage salad.

OK, so I’m kind of biased here because cabbage is having a real *moment* in my life. I can’t stop making sauerkraut, kimchi, vinegar-based slaws, cabbage salads… yeah, I’m a little obsessed.

So believe me when I tell you this cabbage salad is both easy and addicting even for the non-cabbage lovers. (My boyfriend can vouch for this!)

To make it, you’ll need just one small head of red cabbage, 3 pieces of crispy bacon crumbled up into bits, some lemon juice, mustard, apple cider vinegar, s&p, and the potato & onion-infused olive oil you already have on hand from making the tortilla. 

(Note: If you can’t find any Whole30-compliant bacon and that’s a deal-breaker for you, feel free to leave it out or substitute something else crunchy and smoky, such as charred corn.)

Cut the core out of your cabbage and shred, either by using a mandoline, food processor, or sharp knife. Throw the cabbage into a nonreactive bowl, top with 3 very generous pinches of salt, and squeeze the cabbage to release some of the water. Let this sit for 20-30 minutes, then drain.

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While your cabbage sits, make the vinaigrette using the lemon juice, mustard, apple cider vinegar, salt, pepper, and oil, follow the process outlined in my Low-Carb Dressing right here.

When the cabbage is ready, drizzle on about ¼ cup of vinaigrette, along with the crumbled bacon. Toss it all together, taste it, and adjust as needed. Garnish with freshly chopped parsley, scallions, or cilantro, and you’ve got yourself a colorful, gorgeous & most importantly light brunch side!

whole30 frittata

3) These Light & Yummy Lemon Bars

I live for brunch.

It’s a magical time filled with delicious foods, sparkling day-drinking beverages, and friends. 

I love trying out new recipes for brunch… and I get very excited when I find a real winner.

Of all the brunch sides I make, these lemon bars always disappear the quickest.

They taste like liquid sunshine, and they pair GREAT with a mimosa. 😉

And the best part is… they’re also secretly healthy!

I know a big part of Whole30 is about not recreating your favorite “junk foods” with approved ingredients… but the thing is, these lemon bars are not “junk.”

They’re lightly sweetened with applesauce, call for fresh lemon juice (for a nice zing!), and have just a touch of coconut flavor for a tropical twist.

So you aren’t eating “junk” at all… and you’re definitely eating something very delicious!

Excuse me, I just drooled on my keyboard thinking about them… YUM!

Click here to get the recipe (plus 6 more easy, delicious, guilt-free dessert recipes that will add a sweet ending to any brunch)!

Monika Knapp

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