Diner-Style Ham and Cheese Omelette for Two Recipe

A large, diner-style omelette sprinkled with chopped chives on a plate.
Fluffy, hearty diner-style omelettes. Photographs: J. Kenji López-Alt. Video: Serious Eats Video

Why It Works

  • Whisking the eggs with salt and letting them rest breaks down their protein structure, allowing the omelette to retain more moisture and stay tenderer as it cooks.
  • Combining the hot ham with the cheese gives it a head start on melting.
  • Finishing the omelette off-heat keeps it tender and moist.

Just as with scrambled eggs, the method by which the eggs are heated and stirred is the primary factor that determines what kind of omelette you end up with. This is my basic technique for diner-style omelettes with large, tender, browned curds and plenty of space for fillings.

1:14

How to Make an American Omelette

This recipe is excerpted from my book, The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science.

Recipe Facts

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Active: 15 mins
Total: 20 mins
Serves: 2 servings

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Ingredients

  • 4 or 5 large eggs

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • Small bunch chopped chives, tarragon, or parsley

  • 2 tablespoons (25g) unsalted butter, divided

  • 4 ounces (110g) ham steak, diced

  • 2 to 3 ounces (80g) grated cheddar cheese

Directions

  1. Combine eggs, salt, pepper, and herbs in a medium bowl and whisk until homogeneous and frothy, about 1 minute. Allow to rest at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes. The eggs should darken in color significantly.

  2. Meanwhile, melt 1 tablespoon butter in a 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat, swirling, until lightly browned. Add ham and cook, stirring frequently, until it has begun to brown on the edges, about 3 minutes. Transfer ham to a small bowl, add cheese, and toss to combine. Wipe out skillet with a paper towel and return it to medium heat.

  3. Add remaining 1 tablespoon butter to pan and cook until lightly browned. Re-whisk eggs until foamy, then add to skillet and cook, using a silicone spatula to push the edges in toward the center as they set and tilting the pan to spread the uncooked egg underneath. Continue pushing in the edges of the eggs and tilting the skillet, working all around the pan, until omelette is almost set, about 45 seconds.

  4. Sprinkle ham and cheese over half of omelette, remove from heat, cover, and let omelette sit until it reaches the desired consistency, about 1 minute.

  5. Using silicone spatula, loosen the edges of the omelette from skillet and shake skillet to ensure that it's not stuck. Carefully fold omelette in half, then slide it onto a serving plate and serve immediately.

Special equipment

10-inch nonstick skillet, silicone spatula

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Nutrition Facts (per serving)
462 Calories
35g Fat
2g Carbs
33g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2
Amount per serving
Calories 462
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 35g 45%
Saturated Fat 18g 89%
Cholesterol 463mg 154%
Sodium 1260mg 55%
Total Carbohydrate 2g 1%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 33g
Vitamin C 20mg 98%
Calcium 348mg 27%
Iron 2mg 13%
Potassium 359mg 8%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)