The Denver omelet (also known as a Western omelet) is a classic breakfast full of flavor. Here I’ve turned it into a frittata pie with a crust made of artisan bread. It has all of the traditional Denver omelet ingredients, plus Swiss and Parmesan cheeses. It’s a great breakfast to celebrate the weekend or a special holiday. Or, whip it up for brunch or even dinner. It’s even good at room temperature.
You can imagine how easily this recipe can be modified to change it up. Substitute bacon, sausage, or even canned tuna or salmon for the ham. Vegetarians may skip the meat altogether. Broccoli may be used in place of the sweet bell peppers. Budget-minded cooks can swap thick sandwich or homemade bread for the artisan bread. Variations are only limited by your imagination.
Have all your ingredients prepped and ready. This goes together in a snap!
Denver Omelet Pie Recipe
1/2 loaf artisan bread, cut into 1-inch thick slices (see Notes)
3 Tablespoons (about) butter, melted
1 cup toasted croutons (see instructions or substitute store-bought)
8 large eggs
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard powder
1/4 teaspoon salt or to taste
1 cup fine-diced ham chunks
1/3 cup fine-diced sweet onions
1/3 cup fine-diced bell peppers (sweet capsicum), any color will do
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (not the shelf-stable stuff)
Chopped chives and fresh fruit for garnish
Preheat oven to 375 F.
Cut 3 sides of the crust from the bread slices, leaving the top crust intact. Reserve the crusts to make bread crumbs as instructed in the next step. Use a rolling pin to flatten the bread up to the top crust. Brush one side of each slice of bread with melted butter. Arrange the bread, buttered side down around the bottom of a 9-inch glass or ceramic deep-dish pie plate, with the unflattened crust slightly above the rim of the pie plate.
Place the reserved crusts into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Pulse into crumbs. Reserve 1/2 cup of the bread crumbs and freeze the rest for other uses.
Place a non-stick skillet over medium heat. When hot, coat with butter-flavored vegetable oil. Add the bread crumbs and stir constantly until golden and crispy. Set aside to cool.
Whisk together the eggs, sour cream, powdered mustard, and salt until no lumps remain. Set aside.
Evenly distribute the ham chunks, sweet onions, bell peppers, and Swiss cheese over the bottom crust in the pie plate. Slowly pour the egg mixture over the ham and vegetables, taking care not to dislodge the layers.
Top with the homemade bread crumbs and sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese.
Bake the pie for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the eggs are set in the center. Let rest for 5 minutes. Garnish with chopped chives and cut into wedges. Serve with an accompaniment of fresh fruit to round out the meal.
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
• For the artisan bread, I purchased a 10-inch round loaf of “mountain bread” from Publix and sliced it myself with a long, serrated bread knife. I used just short of half of it and froze the rest. Most grocery chains with a bakery will sell this style of bread. Obviously, the amount of bread you need will depend upon the size of loaf available to you. If you’re a bread-baker, homemade is even better!
• Unseasoned panko bread crumbs may be substituted for the homemade. However, you’re going to have crusts from trimming the bread, so you might as well use them. 🙂