The Real Difference Between A Frittata And A Quiche

Like champagne and prosecco or smoked salmon and lox, the terms quiche and frittata are often used interchangeably. Both of them are egg-based, extremely popular for brunch, and can even share similar ingredients such as cheese, mushrooms, ham, and peppers — but there is a difference between the two and there are a few key distinctions which set them apart from one another. 

The biggest difference between a quiche and a frittata is that a quiche has a crust and a frittata does not (via Chowhound). Quiches are cooked in savory pie crusts (via My Recipes) and can be thought of as a sort of savory breakfast custard pie. Frittatas, on the other hand, don't have any sort of crust keeping them contained and have been likened to an "open-face omelet" by British chef Delia Cook. Frittatas have their origins in Italy, whereas quiches can trace their beginnings to France.

What sets a quiche apart from a fritatta?

The two items are also cooked in different types of pans. While a frittata is traditionally cooked in an oven-safe skillet (think something heavy and cast-iron), quiches are generally prepared in a pie pan (via The Kitchn). 

Quiches contain more dairy ingredients than a frittata as well. Though you might use a little bit of crème fraîche or sour cream in preparing a frittata, the dairy-to-egg ratio in a quiche is much higher, and two parts egg to one part dairy is fairly standard. Part of the reason that the quiche contains more dairy is because the pie crust is better able to contain a liquid filling. As a result, the flavor of a frittata is often more egg-forward, while a quiche will often have a creamier flavor as a result of the dairy added. 

While neither dish is too labor-intensive, making a quiche may take a bit longer compared to a frittata because of the additional time needed to prepare the crust.