Discover how to cook the perfect omelet using a surprisingly easy culinary school technique. It only takes 10 minutes, and always results in the most tender and tasty folded eggs.

An omelet on a gray plate with a side of fruit.

Years ago, home economics class taught us to make omelets by lifting the eggs at the edge of the pan towards the center, to allow the runny eggs to fill in the space. The only problem was that by the time the omelet was cooked, the outer surface was usually overcooked, tough, and pretty much inedible.

This basic omelet recipe, based on a French technique, is essentially foolproof. Here’s the secret: The faster the eggs cook, the silkier the omelet. Swishing the eggs around in the pan allows them cook quickly without browning.

Table of Contents
  1. Ingredients
  2. Ingredient notes
  3. Step-by-step instructions
  4. Recipe tips and variations
  5. How To Make An Omelet Recipe

Ingredients

Labeled ingredients for how to make an omelet.

Ingredient notes

  • Eggs: Plan on 3 eggs per person which yields a tender, easy-to-manage omelet.
  • Herbs: A scoop of chopped fresh chives, thyme, tarragon, or parsley is optional but worth it, especially if you’re not filling the egg omelet with anything else.
  • Fillings: Consider almost anything savory in your refrigerator fair game for omelet-making. We’ve listed some popular options down below, but even a simple cheese filling is delicious. Use up a leftover bit of Boursin, some Pico de Gallo, the last strip bacon from your weekend brunch, or a spoonful of pesto.

Step-by-step instructions

  1. Crack the eggs into a bowl and add a splash of water, then season with salt and pepper. Using a fork or a whisk, mix everything together to break the yolks and incorporate the whites with the yolks. If you’re using any herbs, add them now. Heat a nonstick pan over high heat and add the butter. Once the butter is melted, pour in the eggs and turn the heat down to medium.
An omelet in a skillet.
  1. Use a rubber spatula to gently move the eggs around in the bottom of the pan while the edges of the eggs set up. This allows the eggs to cook and get fluffy without the bottom layer browning. This step only takes a minute or so, but it’s important. Once the bottom of the eggs just begins to set up, add any ingredients you want onto one side of the eggs (if you’re stuffing the omelet). It’s okay if the eggs still look wet; they’re still cooking and will firm up in seconds.
An omelet in a skillet.
  1. Tilt the pan to one side and use that angle to fold one-half of the cooked eggs onto itself. You can do this in the pan; or once you get the hang of it, you can gently fold the omelet as you turn it out onto the plate. The eggs will continue to firm up once the omelet is folded. Serve immediately.
An omelet on a gray plate with a side of fruit.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: This recipe makes a 3-egg omelet which is enough to feed one person for a hearty breakfast or light dinner.
  • Storage: For the best flavor and texture, devour your omelets immediately.
  • Make ahead:  Since it only takes a few minutes to cook each omelet, feel free to work in advance in the stuffing prep. Store in separate containers per omelet, if desired, and feel free to crack and stir together the eggs early; refrigerate until you’re ready to cook.
  • Pick you pan: I use an 8-inch nonstick pan with sloped sides for easy flipping onto a plate. Nonstick pans tend to have a shorter lifespan, but if you treat them well (don’t overheat or scratch it) they will work well for about 5 years.
  • No milk: Just like with scrambled eggs, there’s no need to add any dairy to the beaten eggs. However, a tiny bit of water creates steam and helps fluff up.
  • Don’t overcook: Browned eggs mean they’ve been overcooked and will likely taste dry and rubbery. The ideal omelet is tender and soft. Use medium heat and watch the doneness of the eggs closely.
  • Denver omelet: Ham, cheese, peppers, and onions team up beautifully.
  • Meat lovers omelet: This savory omelet recipe idea is smart way to use up small amounts of cooked bacon, a link of sausage, or a slice of deli ham or turkey. Warm the meat up in another skillet, then add it to the omelet just before folding.
  • Greek omelet: Scatter crumbled feta and baby spinach greens over the eggs just before they’re folded up. The cheese melts and the spinach wilts into a velvety filling thanks to the warmth of the eggs.
  • Shrimp omelet: Sear up a few peeled, deveined shrimp with a sprinkle of Old Bay seasoning and thinly sliced scallions. Once the shrimp turn opaque, arrange them evenly over one side of the eggs, then fold and serve.
  • Bonus filling ideas: If you have any on-hand, consider cheese, meat, herbs, a dollop of salsa or sour cream, smoked salmon, even a little leftover herbed cream cheese.
  • Less is more: Whatever you choose, keep the ingredient quantity on the smaller side so it doesn’t overpower the eggs. Aim for ¼ cup of filling total per omelet.
An omelet on a gray plate with a side of fruit.

More delicious breakfast ideas

An omelet on a gray plate with a side of fruit.

How To Make An Omelet

Discover how to cook the perfect omelet using a surprisingly easy culinary school technique. It only takes 10 minutes, and always results in the most tender and tasty folded eggs.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Total Time 10 mins
Servings 1 serving
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Calories 315

Ingredients 

  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh herbs such as parsley, tarragon, or chives, optional
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon butter

Instructions 

  • In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, water, herbs if using, and salt and pepper to taste (I like ¼ teaspoon salt and ⅛ teaspoon pepper).
  • In a small non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, melt butter until foaming subsides and swirl to coat the entire inside surface of the pan. Pour in egg mixture and reduce heat to medium.
  • With a rubber spatula, stir eggs until the bottom begins to set, about a minute (if adding any filling ingredients, do it here). Tilt skillet and flip eggs over themselves, using the spatula to help the folding, and fold either in half or in thirds.
  • To remove the omelet, angle the skillet over a serving plate, then flip omelet onto the plate.

Notes

  1. Eggs: Plan on 3 eggs per person which yields a tender, easy-to-manage omelet.
  2. Herbs: A scoop of chopped fresh chives, thyme, tarragon, or parsley is optional but worth it, especially if you’re not filling the egg omelet with anything else.
  3. Fillings: Consider almost anything savory in your refrigerator fair game for omelet-making. We’ve listed some popular options down below, but even a simple cheese filling is delicious. Use up a leftover bit of Boursin, some Pico de Gallo, the last strip bacon from your weekend brunch, or a spoonful of pesto.
  4. Yield: This recipe makes a 3-egg omelet which is enough to feed one person for a hearty breakfast or light dinner.
  5. Storage: For the best flavor and texture, devour your omelets immediately.
  6. Make ahead:  Since it only takes a few minutes to cook each omelet, feel free to work in advance in the stuffing prep. Store in separate containers per omelet, if desired, and feel free to crack and stir together the eggs early; refrigerate until you’re ready to cook.
  7. Pick you pan: I use an 8-inch nonstick pan with sloped sides for easy flipping onto a plate. Nonstick pans tend to have a shorter lifespan, but if you treat them well (don’t overheat or scratch it) they will work well for about 5 years.
  8. No milk: Just like with scrambled eggs, there’s no need to add any dairy to the beaten eggs. However, a tiny bit of water creates steam and helps fluff up.
  9. Don’t overcook: Browned eggs mean they’ve been overcooked and will likely taste dry and rubbery. The ideal omelet is tender and soft. Use medium heat and watch the doneness of the eggs closely.
  10. Denver omelet: Ham, cheese, peppers, and onions team up beautifully.
  11. Meat lovers omelet: This savory omelet recipe idea is smart way to use up small amounts of cooked bacon, a link of sausage, or a slice of deli ham or turkey. Warm the meat up in another skillet, then add it to the omelet just before folding.
  12. Greek omelet: Scatter crumbled feta and baby spinach greens over the eggs just before they’re folded up. The cheese melts and the spinach wilts into a velvety filling thanks to the warmth of the eggs.
  13. Shrimp omelet: Sear up a few peeled, deveined shrimp with a sprinkle of Old Bay seasoning and thinly sliced scallions. Once the shrimp turn opaque, arrange them evenly over one side of the eggs, then fold and serve.
  14. Bonus filling ideas: If you have any on-hand, consider cheese, meat, herbs, a dollop of salsa or sour cream, smoked salmon, even a little leftover herbed cream cheese.
  15. Less is more: Whatever you choose, keep the ingredient quantity on the smaller side so it doesn’t overpower the eggs. Aim for ¼ cup of filling total per omelet.

Nutrition

Serving: 1omeletCalories: 315kcalCarbohydrates: 1gProtein: 19gFat: 26gSaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 588mgSodium: 314mgPotassium: 207mgSugar: 1gVitamin A: 1160IUCalcium: 84mgIron: 3mg
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Meggan Hill

I’m the Executive Chef and head of the Culinary Hill Test Kitchen. Every recipe is developed, tested, and approved just for you.

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