This post has been updated for recipe, content and photography since its original publication in 2016.
Breakfast frittatas are one of the easiest ways get creative for breakfast and this Cajun-style sausage frittata is truly exceptional. This andouille sausage recipe is equally good using the traditional pork sausage or a lighter, healthier chicken andouille sausage (used here). This baked egg breakfast is filled with onions, sweet potatoes and Cajun seasoning topped with a bit of melty cheese for good measure. I used sweet potato ribbons from Trader Joe’s, but you can also cut them yourself with a mandoline or spiralizer. This sweet potato frittata is perfect for two, but can be doubled to feed a bigger group.
What is a frittata?
Eggs are the main component of frittatas. They are usually whisked and mixed with other ingredients, then poured into a hot cast iron skillet or other heavy pan to cook until the bottom is set. (Note, you don’t stir the contents of the pan, you simply let them heat until the edges start to set. The remainder of the cooking happens in a hot oven, baking the center of the eggs until the entire dish has set. In this sweet potato and sausage frittata, we also add a little cheese to the top and broil for the last minute or so to add color and melt the cheese.
Ingredients for andouille sausage sweet potato frittata
- Andouille Sausage (Pork or Chicken Sausages)
- Sweet Potato Ribbons (can use spiralized or thinly sliced)
- Cajun Seasoning
- Green Onion
- Monterey Jack Cheese
- Hot Sauce
What’s the difference between a frittata and an omelette?
- An omelette is cooked exclusively on the stovetop pouring the eggs in a thin layer on the bottom of a pan, cooking the eggs until they set, then filling the center with other ingredients and folding one side over the other.
- Frittatas are eggs mixed with the fillings (in this case, andouille sausage, onions and sweet potato) and cooked together in the cast iron skillet, starting on the stovetop and finished in the oven.
Why use a cast iron skillet?
I love cast iron for its constant, even cooking ability, versatility going from the stovetop to the oven, and natural non-stick properties from a well-seasoned pan. Cast iron is also one of the least expensive pieces of cookware you can buy and the longest lasting. I have several sizes ranging from this 6-inch cast iron skillet (which is the perfect size for this sweet potato and andouille sausage recipe), up to a 12-inch behemoth that probably weighs about 8 pounds. If you don’t have one, use a heavy bottomed skillet for making the sausage and sweet potato frittata, then buy a cast iron skillet for next time. Incidentally, if you have a smaller household a 6-inch or 8-inch skillet is great when you’re cooking for one or two people.
What goes in a frittata?
A frittata always starts with eggs, however, after that… just about anything goes, from vegetables, to herbs, meats to cheeses. You’re only limited by the contents of your refrigerator and your imagination. Here’s a few tips on choosing your ingredients.
This might seem like a no-brainer, but most vegetables should be cooked before adding them to a frittata — to enhance the flavor or simply to make them palatable (no one wants to bite into a crunchy raw carrot in the midst of a plate of eggs). Cooking can mean anything from a quick sauté in the same skillet you’re cooking the eggs in (like we’ve done with this sweet potato frittata) or using leftover cooked veg from the previous nights dinner (i.e. steamed or roasted asparagus, roasted potatoes, sautéed bell peppers and/or onions, mushrooms, zucchini, squash, etc.) The exceptions would be vegetables like fresh tomatoes, which can simply be seeded and diced or spinach, which is delicate enough to wilt under the heat of the cooking eggs.
You’ll definitely want to cook any meats before adding them to the frittata. For this sweet potato and sausage frittata, we’ve sliced the sausage and pan fried it in the same skillet as the rest of the recipe. Other delicious variations would be cooked diced ham, chicken, bacon, shredded cooked pork or beef, even seafood like shrimp or crab.
Fresh herbs like thyme, basil, parsley, mint and cilantro are naturals to be mixed into the egg mixture as well as garnishing the finished dish. Small amounts of fresh rosemary or oregano are fine too, but don’t overdo it as they are quite powerful. Dried herbs and herb blends are best mixed into the eggs before cooking.
Spices or spice blends can add a whole new dimension to a frittata. In the case of this sweet potato Andouille sausage recipe, I’ve added a teaspoon of Cajun seasoning to amplify the flavors in the sausage. If you were using Italian sausage, fresh tomatoes and spinach you might want to include a bit of Italian seasoning blend with the eggs. If you were adding smoked chicken, a bit of BBQ seasoning would be appropriate.
Just about any cheese works in this dish and can be mixed throughout the egg mixture or simply sprinkled on top for an oozy, cheesy finish. Soft cheeses like feta and goat cheese work best when crumbled and mixed into the eggs, while melting cheeses like Mozzarella, Cheddar and Monterey Jack are great for topping an egg frittata.
Cooking Sweet Potato and Sausage Frittata
When the vegetables and meats have been cooked/sauteed, it’s time to add the egg mixture. Though I’m showing adding the eggs off the heat — that’s really just for the pictures (my kitchen not being as photogenic as my pantry – LOL). To cook the frittata:
- Sauté the sausages until browned and cooked through.
- Transfer andouille to a separate plate.
- Sauté the onions and sweet potato ribbons until tender and lightly browned.
- Add the sausage back to the skillet.
- Pour in the eggs, while still on the heat,
- Cook until the eggs on the bottom and sides have set.
- Pop the cast iron skillet into the oven to finish cooking.
How Do You Know A Frittata Is Done?
Frittatas are cooked when the eggs are set. You can generally tell, by shaking the pan a little. If the center jiggles like Jell-O, the eggs may need a few more minutes. I like to bake my eggs to just barely done and then turn on the broiler to brown the top lightly and melt any cheese that’s been added. It generally takes less than 6-7 minutes total to finish the eggs in the oven.
When the sweet potato frittata is pulled from the oven, it will be puffed and golden, however, as it rests, the eggs will sink down a bit into the pan and lose their volume as the steam escapes from the pan.
What Does Frittata Taste Like?
Frittatas are light and fluffy, taking on the flavors of whatever meats, cheeses and vegetables you use. In the case of our andouille and sweet potato frittata, the sausage is spicy and meaty, while the sweet potato provides a sweet, mild counterbalance. Cajun seasoning echoes the Louisiana flavors and green onions, fresh cilantro and a few hits of hot sauce, make this Cajun breakfast really sing.
What Goes With Frittata?
It really depends on what time of day you’re serving this delicious egg dish. Here are a few side dishes that go great with this simple egg and andouille sausage recipe.
Sides For Breakfast Frittata:
- Homemade Ham with Brown Sugar Mustard Glaze
- Maple Walnut Breakfast Muffins
- Rum Spiked Tropical Fruit Salad
- 2-Bite Cherry Vanilla Scones
- Cinnamon Raisin Oatmeal Bread
- Bloody Marys
- Passion Fruit Bellini
Sides For Dinner Frittata:
- Crunchy Cabbage and Kale Salad
- 3-Ingredient Drop Biscuits
- Simple Citrus Almond Salad
- Roasted Duck Fat Potatoes
- Cheddar Chive Popovers
- Spring Pesto Roasted Tomatoes
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Andouille Sweet Potato Frittata
- small (6") cast iron skillet or other small heavy skillet
- 2 teaspoons olive oil divided
- 4 ounces andouille sausage cut into 1/2" rounds (this was about 1 1/2 links for me)
- 1/2 onion peeled and thinly sliced root to stem
- 1 cup sweet potato ribbons (or 1 cup of spiralized sweet potato)
- pinch salt
- 4 eggs
- 3/4 teaspoon cajun seasoning
- 1 tablespoons green onion thinly sliced (plus extra for garnish)
- 2 teaspoons butter
- 1/3 cup Monterey Jack or part skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cilantro chopped for garnish
- favorite hot sauce we like Crystals
- Preheat the oven to 375°.
- In a large skillet heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add the sausage and cook to render the fat and to brown and crisp the andouille on either side, turning occasionally, about 3-4 minutes. Transfer the sausage to a small plate and set aside.
- Heat the remaining olive oil in the same pan and add the onion and sweet potato ribbons. Add a pinch of salt and saute until the onions and potatoes are slightly softened and starting to brown. Remove from the heat and transfer the sweet potato mixture to the dish with the sausage.
- Break eggs into a bowl and add the green onions and Cajun seasoning. Whisk to combine.
- Add the butter to the cast iron skillet and heat over medium to medium high heat.
- Transfer the sweet potato and sausage mixture to the skillet and spread evenly in the bottom. Pour the egg mixture over the potatoes and cook until the bottom of the frittata is set, but the top is still liquidy and loose.
- Sprinkle the top of the frittata with the cheese and place into the hot oven for 5-6 minutes or until the eggs are set.
- Turn the oven to broil and cook for 1-2 minutes until the top just starts to brown and puff. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with extra green onions, chopped cilantro and a few drops of your favorite hot sauce if desired.
- Cut into wedges and serve.
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