If you love stinging nettle greens and fresh eggs as much as we do, you’ll love this stinging nettle frittata recipe!
New seasonal stinging nettle recipes…
We recently had our last big stinging nettle leaf harvest of spring and are finalizing some recipes we hope you’ll love as much as we do. Stinging nettles are at the top of the list of our favorite greens, both due to their flavor and nutritional profile.
(*If you aren’t familiar with this plant, be sure to check out our article about how to grow, harvest, and use stinging nettle leaves.)
Spring is peak stinging nettle season. We also have an abundance of duck eggs to use in the kitchen. How can you combine eggs and stinging nettle into one delicious dish?
We’ve previously shared:
Both of these recipes put lots of eggs and stinging nettle leaves to good use. Now it’s time to add another to the list: stinging nettle frittata!
What is a frittata?
A frittata is an Italian dish similar to quiche and omelettes. However, it’s crustless (unlike quiche) and isn’t folded (unlike omelettes).
There isn’t any single way to make a frittata. They can have as many ingredients and variations as you can dream up – meats, cheeses, veggies, grains, potatoes, herbs…
In addition to using LOTS of stinging nettle leaves and duck eggs (or chicken eggs if that’s what you have), this stinging nettle frittata recipe uses:
- pasture-raised bacon
- organic sharp cheddar cheese (we used a white cheddar).
Recipe tips and notes:
A few notes to help you get this recipe right:
1. You’ll start on the stovetop in one pan, then bake everything to perfection in the same pan.
If you precisely follow this recipe, you’ll be using the same pan from start (on the stovetop) to finish (in the oven).
We used a well-seasoned cast iron pan, size: 10.5″ wide x 1″ deep. If you don’t have a cast iron pan or a pan exactly this size, no worries. Go with what you have or use multiple pans if that’s easier for you.
However, we’ll discuss how your pan size impacts baking times below.
2. Cook bacon (cut into small bits) and onions first — plus preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).
You’re going to start by cooking your diced onions and bacon (also cut into small 1″ pieces) in your pan over medium-low heat for about 15 minutes until both the onions and the bacon get some nice browning.
Then you’ll add diced garlic and cook for another minute or so until the garlic browns (garlic cooks way faster than onions, hence why it’s not added from the start.)
While your onions and bacon are cooking, go ahead and preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
3. Wilt the stinging nettle.
This recipe uses 6 densely packed cups of stinging nettle leaves removed from the stems. Yes, that’s a LOT of stinging nettles, but like any green, stinging nettle wilts down to a fraction of its raw size.
Put your raw stinging nettles right in the pan with your cooked onion-bacon mixture. Turn all the ingredients with a large spatula and continue turning every 30 seconds or so until the stinging nettle leaves have cooked down – about 5 minutes.
4. Add the beaten eggs while shaking pan.
Remove your pan from the heat. Use your spatula to even out the nettles/bacon on the bottom of the pan.
Now you’re going to pour your beaten eggs (that also contains 3/4 cup or 3 ounces of grated sharp cheddar cheese, salt, and pepper) over the top of the cooked nettles while shaking the pan. Shaking (not too hard, not to gently) ensures that the eggs penetrate down into the cooked nettles.
Sprinkle another 3/4 cup of sharp cheddar on top of the raw frittata and stick your pan in the oven.
Note that the nettle-bacon-onion mixture will condense down into a flourless crust of sorts. If you’d rather have these ingredients evenly distributed throughout the eggs, you can let them cool and stir them into the beaten eggs, then pour the whole mixture back into the pan to bake.
We like it with the nettles more on the bottom and the eggs more on the top. This method is also faster (no waiting for the nettles to cool).
5. Bake to finish – time will vary depending on your pan size.
In our 10.5″ wide x 1″ deep cast iron pan, it took about 15 minutes for our frittata to bake. If your pan size or type is different, it may take more or less time for your frittata to bake.
You’ll know it’s done when it’s not jiggly in the middle and the cheese on top has browned up.
Recipe: Stinging nettle frittata with duck eggs (or large chicken eggs)
Stinging nettle frittata
Stinging nettle frittata is the perfect savory dish to use up lots of fresh eggs and stinging nettle leaves!
- 6 cups packed stinging nettle leaves
- 11 duck eggs or LARGE chicken eggs
- 8 ounces thick cut pasture-raised bacon, cut into small pieces
- 3/4 cup organic sharp cheddar cheese (mixed into beaten eggs) - weight about 3 ounces
- 3/4 cup organic sharp cheddar cheese (sprinkled on top of raw frittata before baking)
- 1 medium white or yellow onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- pinch of salt added to beaten eggs - optional
- fresh-ground pepper added to beaten eggs - optional
Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).
In bowl, beat eggs. Mix in grated cheese. Mix in salt and pepper if desired. Set bowl aside.
Cook diced onions and bacon (cut into small 1″ pieces) in pan over medium-low heat, stirring regularly with a spatula, for about 15 minutes until both the onions and the bacon begin to brown. Add minced garlic and cook for another minute until garlic browns.
Put raw stinging nettles into pan with cooked onion-bacon mixture. Turn all the ingredients with a large spatula and continue turning every 30 seconds or so until the stinging nettle leaves have cooked down – about 5 minutes. Remove pan from heat, and use your spatula to spread out the nettle/bacon mixture on the bottom of the pan so it's evenly distributed.
Pour beaten egg-cheese mixture over the cooked nettles while shaking the pan to ensure eggs penetrate into the cooked nettles. Sprinkle another 3/4 cup of sharp cheddar on top of the raw frittata and put your pan in oven on middle rack. Bake until no longer jiggly in the middle and cheese/surface is lightly browned.
Note: In our 10.5″ wide x 1″ deep cast iron pan, it took about 15 minutes for the frittata to bake. If your pan size or type is different, it may take more or less time.
Another nice thing about this frittata recipe is its versatility. You can eat it for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
We paired our frittata with fresh kumquats from our potted citrus and a slice of homemade 5-minute no-knead bread — perfection!
Related articles you’ll want to nibble on:
- How to grow, harvest, and use stinging nettle
- Recipe: stinging nettle quiche
- Recipe: stinging nettle duck egg pasta with white whole wheat flour.
- Recipe: stinging nettle green garlic pesto
- Recipe: raw stinging nettle soup (yes, seriously!)
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