This healthy vegetable frittata with smoked salmon is loaded with flavor! Zucchini, asparagus, and spinach bring loads of vitamins, while eggs and smoked salmon bring protein and satiating fats. This is a low carb recipe with low glycemic index ingredients and can be easily made dairy-free too. Make this delicious frittata for a lunch or light dinner. This reheats with a quick zap in the microwave too, making a great recipe for meal prep.
This vegetable frittata can be filed in the New-Year-New-You section of your recipe files. At the time of this writing, I am 3 days into my own New-Year-New-Me with this being the second week of January and because who starts resolutions in the first week anyway.
My intention was a delightfully tasty but HEALTHY recipe for lunch, brunch, or breakfast using lots of veggies and using the smoked salmon I had on hand anyway. And it had to be filling because we all know one challenge with trying to eat super healthy is that we get hungrayyy and we need to deal with that.
This recipe for a frittata with smoked salmon works so well because I used zucchini. This means I can 1) omit potatoes (which I would otherwise have included) and 2) I can omit most of the cheese because zucchini gets silky creamy once cooked. Then the asparagus brings a ton of flavor, as do the garlic, dill, and of course smoked salmon. And with the fiber and protein, eat a serving of this and you will be full and happy.
About the ingredients
About the veggies
- Zucchini. One small one, about half a pound, does the trick. I left the skin on for added nutrients.
- Onion. I used yellow onion, but white onion works just as well.
- Garlic. One little clove is enough.
- Fresh spinach leaves. So Many Vitamins.
- Fresh dill. Dried dill can also be used, but use half as much.
About the rest of the ingredients
- Oil. When wanting to eat better, I cook with avocado oil or olive oil. Vegetable and canola oils work for this recipe too, if either are your thing. Butter is not recommend because we are cooking the veggies over high heat and butter will smoke and burn.
- Cold smoked salmon. Any smoked salmon will work for this recipe honestly. Even leftover baked salmon will work too.
- Whole large eggs + egg whites. By using whole eggs from organic, free-range, happy chickens, my yolks were a lovely deep yellow-orange color, which made the whole frittata come out looking convincingly like I had used all whole eggs.
- Milk (whole, 1%-, or 2%-fat) or unsweetened almond milk. I used almond milk.
- Whole grain mustard.
- Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper.
- Parmesan cheese. The cheese is optional if a dairy-free frittata is desired, but I did include a bit on top. Good, fresh parmesan (aka Parmigiano-Reggiano) cheese packs more flavor per ounce, so we can get away with using so much less.
How to prepare a vegetable frittata
There are 3 phases to this recipe: cooking the veggies; adding the egg and cooking stovetop; finishing in the oven.
First we steam the asparagus just a bit. You can also blanch instead. But the key is we want to take the raw edge off. If using little baby spears, skip this step.
Using a 9- or 10-inch (medium) nonstick skillet, we next cook the zucchini in half the avocado oil (or whatever oil you are using). Be patient and use high heat to get the zucchini nicely (and quickly) browned to seal in moisture and bring great flavor. Then we remove the zucchini from the pan and set aside.
To that same skillet, now we cook the onion in the rest of the oil. Then we add the asparagus and garlic and cook just enough to take the raw edge off the garlic (remember – everything will cook more in the oven). Add the dill and zucchini and take the pan off the heat for our final assembly.
Next we take the smoked salmon and tear off bits to tuck around into the zucchini-asparagus mixture in the pan. Don’t over think this, just stick stick it in all around.
In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, whites, mustard, milk, salt, and pepper. Carefully pour this mixture over the veggies and salmon in the pan. Top with the parmesan and set back on the burner – now on medium heat.
Cook on the stovetop until we see the egg around the sides of the pan cook and firm up. Then put the pan in the oven and bake until the center is set (meaning, no longer jiggly), frittata is slightly puffed, and the top is nice and golden.
Take the pan out of the oven and let it sit a couple minutes before using a rubber spatula to gently slide it out of the pan onto a serving plate. Garnish with additional dill (or parsley), slice into quarters, and serve.
Yes this is a great buffet or even holiday recipe because it can be served warm or at room temperature. If making this as part of a larger spread of foods, cut the final frittata into eighths instead of quarters for the serving size. Then people can take 1 or 2 as desired.
Like any recipe with veggies (especially veggies with a lot of water like zucchini), there is moisture to contend with. So, I recommend storing this frittata either whole or in portions on a couple layers of paper towel to absorb excess moisture that will release from the veggies over time.
A great alternative for the zucchini would be broccoli or cauliflower. On the one hand, I feel milder cauliflower flavor would compliment the rest of the ingredients better, but on the other hand I know broccoli and asparagus go great together too. Regardless, stick in this range of veggies so as not to overpower the delicate smoked salmon (for example, roasted red bell pepper would be too strong a flavor for this recipe).
Vegetable Frittata with Smoked Salmon
- ½ lb asparagus spears, woody ends removed chopped into 1-inch pieces
- 2 Tbsp avocado oil or extra virgin olive oil divided
- ½ lb zucchini (~1 small) 1/2-inch dice
- ½ cup diced yellow onion
- 1 clove clove garlic minced
- ¼ cup chopped fresh baby spinach leaves
- 4 oz cold smoked salmon
- 4 whole large eggs
- 4 large egg whites
- ¼ cup unsweetened almond milk see Notes
- 1 tsp whole grain mustard
- 1 tsp chopped fresh dill plus additional for garnish
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- 2 pinches fresh cracked pepper to taste
- 1 ½ oz freshly shaved parmesan cheese optional
- Heat oven to 400°F.
- Steam the asparagus 1-2 minutes to take the raw edge off. Remove from heat and set aside. (*see Notes*)
- To a 9- or 10-inch (medium) nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over high heat until the oil glistens and is very hot. Add the zucchini and sauté, tossing regularly, until browned. Transfer the zucchini to a plate and set aside.
- To the same skillet, add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil over high heat. Add the onion and sauté, tossing regularly, until golden and fragrant. Add the garlic and asparagus, and cook until garlic is fragrant (this will take less than a minute). Add the spinach and dill and toss into the mixture. Remove from the heat.
- Off the heat, add the zucchini to the asparagus mixture in the pan. Take the smoked salmon and tear off bite-sized pieces – tuck these pieces into the zucchini-asparagus mixture all around in the pan.
- In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg whites, mustard, milk, salt, and pepper. Carefully pour egg mixture over the veggies and salmon in the pan. Top with the cheese.
- Place pan back on the burner over medium heat. Cook until the egg around the sides of the pan start to firm and turn opaque. Put the pan in the oven and bake for 15 minutes or until set in the center and golden on top. Remove from the oven. Let frittata sit 4-5 minutes before using a rubber spatula to gently coax out of the pan onto a serving plate (if desired).
Calorie count is purely an estimate calculated using an online application to serve as a guide and not to be taken as accurate nutritional information. Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.