Great for keto breakfast or lunch – and even dinner! – this tuna frittata is creamy and custardy, filled with ricotta cheese and packed full of flavor with arugula and capers.
Frittata is a practical and easy high protein keto on the go meal: it’s delicious even served cold. And believe it or not, this canned tuna recipe actually tastes rather sophisticated thanks to the balanced combination of flavorful ingredients!
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Which type of canned tuna to use
Frittata is so versatile: as a clean the fridge type of dish, you can add anything to it. Meat leftovers are awesome for frittata, but when you don’t have them (I never do haha) a can of tuna fits the bill perfectly.
Tuna in olive oil is the best for frittata! Tuna in water would make the frittata wet, and the cheap sunflower oil often used to pack tuna is not really the best option nutrition (or taste) wise.
You gotta love how practical canned tuna is! It’s a great keto friendly way to add protein to salads, sandwiches, pizza… Or just eat it straight from the can like I do. Specially when it’s a “top shelf tuna”, packed in olive oil!
What’s the difference between quiche and frittata?
Essentially, the only difference between a quiche and a frittata is the crust. That’s why a frittata is also called a crustless quiche.
Is it better? I don’t know, but it’s surely easier to make!
Tips for a perfect frittata
It might be tempting to bake the frittata until the top is golden, but by then it will be too late: the frittata will be overcooked and everyone will be sad.
Frittata is supposed to de delicious, but not pretty: it has to leave the oven when the top looks just set, which, I know, it’s a bit too pale for anyone’s liking.
You can dress up the frittata by adding some cheese on top before transferring into the oven, and/or garnish with chopped herbs just before serving.
Attention to pan size
Pan size choice is directly related to baking time, and as frittata is so temperamental when it comes to overcooking you need to pay attention to your choice of pan.
I made this 8 egg frittata in a skillet that’s 12″ at the rim, 9″ at the bottom. My frittata looks thin, but it cooked really quickly and evenly. A smaller pan will give you a taller frittata, but the oven time will need to increase by a few more minutes.
Season eggs early
I usually season my eggs after they are already plated, and that works fine for fried, scrambled and boiled eggs. Not for frittata! Just sprinkling salt and pepper on top is not enough.
Season the eggs as you whisk them in the bowl. This ensures that every bite of frittata tastes equally delicious!
Make frittata creamy
Frittata is not just about eggs and leftovers. Always use some full-fat dairy to make the frittata creamy. A proportion of about 1/2 cup per dozen eggs is universally accepted. Full-fat milk is often used in regular, non-keto recipes.
To make this frittata recipe keto, I chose heavy cream. But you can substitute it for sour cream or plain natural or Greek yogurt. A lighter cream (35% fat or less) will work as well.
Just don’t add low-carb milk which is also low-fat, such as almond. It will make the frittata watery!
Canned tuna: packed in olive oil, it’s the healthiest and best tasting canned tuna you can get.
Arugula or spinach: Use your favorite! If you choose spinach, try to get the adult one. As in, not baby 🙂 it has a more pronounced flavor and much better texture when cooked.
Ricotta: use full-fat Italian ricotta for the creamiest frittata filling
Capers: their intense, sophisticated taste elevates this simple canned tuna and egg bake into an upscale brunch dish!
Garnish: Add a touch of color and flavor with some fresh chopped cilantro or parsley.
How to make
Preheat the oven to 200 °C (400 °F). Drain off the cans of tuna from a bit of the excess liquid, and chop the onion into small pieces.
Beat the eggs in a bowl together with the heavy whipping cream, salt and pepper.
Heat up some olive oil in a 10″to 12″ oven safe skillet, and add the chopped onions and capers.
Sauté the onions until they are translucent. While you toss them around, try to smash the capers against the bottom of the pan so that they will release more flavor. It’s easier to do this using a wooden spoon.
Add all of the drained tuna, straight from the can, and fry it together with the onions and capers until most of the liquid evaporates.
Mix in the arugula or spinach, and sauté until the leaves are just wilted.
Remove from heat from a moment. Arrange the tuna mixture to cover the the whole bottom of the pan (leave no holes behind), then spoon the Italian ricotta on top and spread it evenly.
Pour the egg mixture on top of the keto frittata base, and gently tilt the pan around to make an uniform egg layer.
Place the pan back on the stovetop until you can see that the edges of the eggs are beginning to set. It takes about 3 minutes.
Bring the frittata into the preheated oven, place it on the middle rack and bake it for about 7 minutes, or until the middle is set , but still somewhat jiggly.
Remove from the oven and let the frittata cool slightly before cutting into it – the eggs will continue cooking in the residual heat for a couple of minutes.
Important tip: We normally don’t use any protection to hold the handle of pans, so it’s easy to forget do do it. I managed to burn myself twice while making this recipe, even though I reminded myself that the handle would be hot out of the oven. Keep a kitchen towel or silicone handle cover nearby and remember to use it!
Storage and freezing
This keto frittata is perfect to make ahead, and it’s delicious served cold. Refrigerate the slices on a single layer or with pieces of parchment paper in between them. Keep it refrigerated in an air tight container for up to 3 days.
If you plan on freezing this tuna frittata, you may want to skip on the arugula/spinach because leafy greens don’t freeze so well and might lose some flavor and texture.
Portion out the frittata, wrap each slice individually in plastic wrap or parchment paper and put all the wrapped portions inside a freezer bag or another air tight container. You can freeze them for 3 months.
How to reheat frittata
Although it can be enjoyed cold, you might prefer to warm the tuna and ricotta frittata before serving. You must be careful when reheating the frittata not to cook the eggs further, which can make it dry and spongy.
Microwave: Use medium power (50%) to help prevent the eggs from turning rubbery. Reheat each slice for one minute, and check if it’s warmed enough. Add time if needed.
Air fryer: Place the keto frittata slices in the basket leaving gaps between them for the air to circulate. Set the air fryer for 150°C (300 °F) for 4 minutes. See if they are hot, add 1 or 2 minutes more if necessary.
Oven: preheat the oven to 180°C (350 °F). Wrap the frittata in foil to prevent it from drying out, and place the bundle of joy in a oven safe dish/sheet pan. Take into the oven for about ten minutes (if the frittata is cold from the fridge). Check if heated through, add a few more minutes if needed.
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