Here’s how to make an omelette! This French technique makes an omelette recipe just the way Julia Child would…and it cooks up in seconds.

Omelette

Here’s a classic egg technique every home cook should master: how to make an omelette! This here is one of the first things Alex and I learned to cook from Julia Child. We started watching her in black and white when we first learned to cook. Julia was the perfect teacher for two new cooks, encouraging us that anyone could cook an omelette if we had the “courage of our convictions.” And this recipe? It makes for the most delicious omelette you’ve ever had: classic French style, with a golden exterior, soft interior, and loads of savory flavor. Here’s our adaptation of Julia’s classic technique, and it really does make the best omelette recipe imaginable.

Omelette ingredients & equipment

Before you start, you’ll need a few specific ingredients and equipment. Here’s what you’ll need to make the best classic omelette:

  • 8- or 10-inch non-stick skillet: Non-stick is easiest for sliding out the eggs. These pan sizes make just the right size: don’t try any larger. (The best spatula for non-stick? Use a nylon spatula.)
  • Eggs: The recipe below is for one serving. It cooks in just 30 seconds, so you can make them to order.
  • Water: Water helps to give a lighter and more tender texture to the eggs.
  • Butter: We prefer cooking eggs in butter: it adds a nutty, savory flavor and turns it a lovely golden brown color.
  • Shredded cheese (optional): Cheese adds even more flavor: we like it with a mix of cheddar and Parmesan for the best nuance in flavor.
  • Other filling ingredients: There are lots more filling ideas! See below.
Omelette recipe

How to make an omelette: basic concept!

Let’s talk about the basic concept for how to make an omelette before you scroll down to the recipe below. Here are a few things to note:

  • The omelette cooks in 30 seconds! This recipe is so quick to cook, so you’ll want to make sure to do one thing first.
  • Read the ENTIRE recipe before starting. We admit: sometimes we get impatient and start cooking a recipe before reading the entire thing. With this technique, it’s very, very important to read the instructions first!
  • The basic concept is as follows: You’ll melt butter over medium high heat. Add the eggs and cook just until a skin forms, about 10 to 15 seconds. Add the fillings, then start to shake the pan to roll the eggs up and over the cheese. Cook another 10 to 15 seconds where the outside is pale golden and the interior is soft and creamy. Roll it out onto a plate and you’re done!

Maybe this is a little different from what you’re used to? Let’s talk about the two main types of omelettes…

French omelette vs American omelette

There are two main styles of omelette: French and American. We prefer French, because the eggs are a little softer and more flavorful. What are the differences?

  • French omelette: A French omelette is pale yellow on the outside, with a slightly runny center. The eggs are cooked a shorter amount of time by shaking the pan, and then the omelette is rolled up into a cylinder.
  • American omelette: An American omelette is golden brown and a little crispy on the outside, and the eggs are cooked longer than the French style. It’s served folded in half over the toppings that are on the inside.

Can you turn this French omelette recipe into an American one? Yes! Pour the eggs into the pan and let them for 1 to 1 ½ minutes without touching them. Then turn the heat to low, add cheese, and fold it in half over itself. The top should be golden brown.

How to make an omelette

Omelette filling ideas

This basic omelette recipe is pure perfection, in our minds. Take a bite and it’s instantly savory, with a creamy interior and the perfect salty zing of cheese. Really, we couldn’t stop eating it when we made this one. We promise: it will absolutely wow anyone you make it for! Want to step it up even more? There are so many different types of omelette fillings. Just make sure to cook the ingredients in advance. Here are some ideas to play with:

Make it a meal

The best part about an omelette? As Julia Child would say: you can serve it for any meal! That’s right: the omelette recipe works for breakfast, brunch, an elegant lunch, or a simple dinner. In fact, there’s a whole Julia Child episode about making them for a dinner party with different toppings for everyone! To round out the meal, here are some ideas for side dishes:

What else would you serve with it? Let us know your recipe ideas!

Omelette

More ways to cook eggs

Want to cook eggs all the ways? Here are a few more basic methods for how to cook eggs:

This omelette recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten-free.

Print
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Omelette

Classic Omelette


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 2 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 minute
  • Total Time: 3 minutes
  • Yield: 1 1x
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

Here’s how to make an omelette! This French technique makes an omelette recipe just the way Julia Child would…and it cooks up in seconds.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 eggs
  • ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 grinds fresh ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon water
  • ½ tablespoon butter
  • ¼ cup shredded cheese, ideally 2 tablespoons each shredded cheddar and Parmesan
  • Additional filling ingredients, if desired (see above)

Instructions

  1. *Read all instructions before you start! Whisk the eggs: In a small bowl, crack the eggs. With a fork, whisk vigorously together with the kosher salt, pepper and water.
  2. Melt the butter: Heat a small 8-inch or 10-inch nonstick skillet over just below high heat, with the pan handle facing towards you. Add the butter and swirl the pan to fully coat. Wait until the butter starts to become foamy with large bubbles but not yet browned, then pour in eggs.
  3. Cook the omelette (0 to 15 seconds): When a skin just starts to form after 10 to 15 seconds, add the cheese (and other filling ingredients) in a line from left to right. Working quickly, run a small spatula under the far edge of the omelette to release it from the pan. Start to pull the eggs up and shake and tilt the pan to spread out any uncooked egg and allow it to cook. Using the spatula, roll the eggs up and over the cheese; this will be intentionally messy!
  4. Cook the omelette (15 to 30 seconds): Cook another 10 to 15 seconds until just barely set; the outside should be a pale golden and the inside soft and creamy. For a harder cooked omelette, cook several seconds longer. Turn off the heat.
  5. Flip the omelette onto a plate: To remove the omelette, hold a plate in one hand. Then pick up the pan with your right hand, thumb up, and quickly turn the pan upside down over the plate so that the omelette rolls off onto the middle of the plate, folding over itself into a rolled shape. Serve immediately.

Notes

*The cooking process goes fast, so make sure to read everything before you start. 

  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: French

Keywords: Omelette, how to cook an omelette, omelette recipe

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you'll want to make again and again.

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4 Comments

  1. I love a light and fluffy omelette. Thanks for the tutorial. It would be great to see a video of the roll and slide part. I don’t seem to be able to ever get that right.

    1. Great suggestion! We were actually talking about doing a video as an add-on for this one. Consider it noted!

  2. Thank you for this recipe and tutorial! I do want to try the French method. I would serve it with a side of fruit and some Cream Scones with sides Lemon Curd and Clotted Cream!