Here’s a recipe for a spectacular, seriously fluffy Egg White Omelette. It’s like a savoury soufflé, standing tall at over 4 cm / 1.7″ high, stuffed with asparagus and prosciutto. Finally, a healthy breakfast omelette that’s also equally delicious!
This recipe is a handy way to use up leftover egg whites if you’ve made a recipe using just the egg yolks.
A really great fluffy Egg White Omelette
More often than not, an egg white omelette is a miserable, bland and rubbery excuse for a breakfast. Usually it’s an afterthought to avoid wasting egg whites leftover from using the yolks for a specific recipe. Other times, it’s a self-imposed torture. Specifically, the dreaded “d” word – DIET.
But guess what?
You can make a truly great egg white omelette. One that’s fluffy and cloud-like. One that looks properly appetising. And most importantly, one that’s incredibly delicious.
Think of it almost as a quick, savoury soufflé.
I’ll happily have this for breakfast, any day!
And just quickly, when I say fluffy, I mean it. THIS fluffy! ↓↓↓
What you need for this Fluffy Egg White Omelette
To make an Egg White Omelette that’s genuinely delicious, you need to add flavour because egg whites themselves are fairly bland.
Here’s what I chose to deliver maximum flavour with minimum calories, without compromising the delicate fluffiness of the omelette:
Three egg whites – The fresher the better, because they fluff up better;
Asparagus – I like using asparagus so that we’ll be in keeping with the healthy spirit of egg white omelettes since you need very little fat to sauté them. It only takes a teaspoon of olive oil, compared to say mushrooms where you need lots (like, lots!) more oil;
Prosciutto – There’s a ton of flavour and seasoning packed into these paper-thin slices of cured pork! Just 20g / 0.6 ounces (about 2 paper-thin slices) is all you need;
Pecorino cheese – Another flavour booster, but just 10 grams / 1/3 ounce! Pecorino is a hard, very savoury cheese like parmesan, so you get big bang for your calorie buck. It’s a small amount of fat for a lot of flavour.
Parmesan and romano make great substitutes, or any other firm cheese that can be finely grated. (This includes leftover Greek kefalotyri cheese from the Spanakopita and Pastitsio you made the other week. Wait, what do you mean you haven’t tried them yet??! ) ;
Chives – The fresh herbs of choice here. Parsley or chervil would make a lovely alternative; and
Butter – Just 10 grams / 2 teaspoons. Don’t skip this and don’t reduce the amount. If you do your omelette risks sticking to the pan. If it does, don’t complain!
Oh, I also forgot to include 1 teaspoon of olive oil in the above photo, for sautéing the asparagus and prosciutto.
Side note on other filling options: You can really stuff this with anything you want, but just bear in mind that the heavier the filling is, the more it inhibits the fluffiness. The same goes for watery filling, like cherry tomatoes.
How to make a really great Egg White Omelette
I’m going to be honest with you: you might not nail this the first time. It might look a little messier than mine, or it might crack when you fold it.
And that’s totally ok. Having tested these egg white omelettes more times than I’ll ever admit to you, what I can tell you for sure is this: Even if it doesn’t look as neat, it will still be beautifully soufflé-like inside and delicious!
1. Separate egg whites
First, separate the eggs. Do this first while the eggs are fridge-cold because it’s easier to separate whites from yolks. If you have the time to leave the egg whites for 20 minutes or so to de-chill, they will fluff up better, and faster. But it’s not vital for this particular recipe (as opposed to say with a Pavlova where it’s essential).
I find it easiest to pass the yolk back and forth between the shell, allowing the whites slip out. If you’re not comfortable doing this, just hold the yolks gently in your fingers and let the whites slip through them.
2. Cook Asparagus and Prosciutto
You will need a 20cm/8″ non-stick oven-proof skillet for this recipe. We use just one skillet to cook the asparagus and prosciutto, followed by the omelette, before finishing it in the oven.
Sauté the asparagus in 1 teaspoon of olive oil to soften and get the faintest blush of golden colour. Add the prosciutto and stir for 30 seconds, mostly to warm it through as opposed to cooking to make it crisp. We don’t want crispy prosciutto bits poking out everywhere in our delicate omelette!
Once done, transfer into a small bowl and set aside. Wipe out the pan.
3. Melt butter and pre-heat pan
Next, add the butter for cooking the omelette into the same skillet and set the skillet on a low heat. To gauge when the pan is at the right temperature, look for when the butter has gone from foamy to having little bubbles gently sizzling in the skillet. In a perfect world this will happen at the exact moment you are ready to pour the egg whites in!
If the butter stops the gentle bubbling and starts to smoke, it is too hot. Just move the pan off the heat briefly to cool it slightly, then return it to the stove just before you finish the omelette mixture.
4. Whisk egg whites
It takes me bang-on 90 seconds by hand, or 30 seconds with an electric beater on Speed 4. I prefer doing it by hand because you don’t incorporate too much air, meaning the bubbles are smaller and tighter. This gives you a neater finish on the surface of the omelette.
Plus, well, you know. Free workout!
How much to whip the egg whites
Your goal is to whip the egg whites sufficiently so it’s thick enough for a mound to sit on the surface, yet is still pourable, as pictured below. I sometimes call this, “no peaks” – meaning it’s whipped enough to hold a shape (like a figure eight, pictured below) but will not hold soft nor stiff peaks. You definitely do NOT want to whip it so much that you have stiff peaks → ie. an “elf hat” (as pictured below).
Overwhipping = meringue/pavlova = omelette will crack when folded.
5. Add chives and salt
Moving quickly, whisk the chives, salt and pepper in. Literally whisk it just 2 to 3 times to disperse. Any more than this and the egg whites can go from perfect to over-whipped and too stiff.
6. Briefly cook (move fast!)
At this stage, you will need to move quickly so don’t even think about checking your Instagram updates! Here’s what you need to do, and do without skipping a beat:
Hot butter: Make sure the skillet is hot and you can see little bubbles sizzling in the butter (see earlier notes and photo in step 3);
Pour eggs in: Immediately pour the whipped whites into the skillet. If you whipped it to the right consistency, it should pour as opposed to having to dollop in;
Stir 10 seconds: Stir using a rubber spatula for 10 to 12 seconds to start cooking the omelette, just like you would a regular omelette;
Remove from stove: Once you see that the egg whites are starting to set on the base of the pan (it literally takes 10 seconds), remove it from the stove; and
Tap 5 times: Then tap the pan lightly on a heat mat or stove grates 5 times to burst air bubbles on the base (so you don’t end up with craters on the surface of the omelette).
Next, we’re going to stuff it and finish cooking the omelette in the oven during which time it will rise a bit more.
Once you get to this stage, the omelette is half-cooked and set, and we will finish it off in the oven to fully cook through.
Smooth the surface of the omelette with a rubber spatula. Then sprinkle the asparagus and prosciutto filling across half the omelette. Top with pecorino.
You should spread the filling over the half of the omelette directly opposite the handle (as pictured above) so it’s easy to turn out on to a plate once the omelette is cooked (see below).
8. Finish in oven
Transfer omelette to a 200°C/390°F pre-heated oven for 2 minutes, just to finish cooking it through. It’s quite a fluffy omelette (about 4 cm / 1.7″ tall) so if you only use the stove, the outside of the omelette ends up overcooked before the inside cooks through.
It also rises even more – I told you, we’re making a soufflé-ish omelette here!!
9. Fold omelette
Remove the omelette from the oven. Run the spatula around the edges and under of the side of the omelette without topping (to ensure it’s not stuck). Now while tilting the pan slightly towards the topping side (gravity helps us with the folding), gently fold the omelette in half over the filling side.
This is the part you will have problems with if the whites are whipped until stiff because the omelette will crack when you go to fold it. If that happens, don’t fret! Just patch it up as best you can, then turn the omelette over in the pan to hide / seal the “messy” side.
10. Set omelette side – 30 seconds
With the skillet tilted, gently press the rounded edge of the omelette against the edge of the skillet. Do this for 30 seconds to seal the fold and neaten up the seam of the omelette;
11 & 12. Turn out onto plate
Hold a plate at a 45 degree angle against the skillet. Then turn the omelette out by flipping the skillet over the plate so the omelette flips out and ends up on the plate upside down (ie. pan-contact side now facing up). Move swiftly and with confidence here – you’ve got this! And don’t worry, the soufflé-omelette is sturdier than you think. It’s fully cooked at this stage and will hold its shape for a while, until it starts cooling. You aren’t going to destroy it in this step!
Garnish with chives if desired. And why not? Your hard work deserves a pretty finishing touch. Also, egg white omelettes are always quite pale and colourless; they are supposed to be. So a splash of colour is a good thing!
And there you have it. A spectacular Egg White Omelette that is worthy of a place at the finest of bistros and hotel restaurants. Puffed and proud, inside it’s delicately soufflé-like: beautifully moist, delicate and mousse-y. It’s the absolute polar opposite of the rubbery egg white omelettes we all know and dread.
And heck, it’s just damn tasty. With the added bonus that it’s also nutritious and healthy! – Nagi x
Watch how to make it
Egg White Omelette
It’s a very worthy way to use up leftover egg whites after making something using egg yolks.
I’m not going to lie, you might not quite nail it first go. It might not be as fluffy, or it might not look as neat. But it doesn’t matter. You are going to enjoy every bite of this souffle-like omelette, with a flavour-loaded filling.
And next time, you will nail it! : )
- 3 egg whites (Note 1)
- 10g/ 1/3 oz pecorino , finely shredded (sub parmesan, Note 2)
- 1/2 tsp chives , finely chopped + extra for garnish
- 10g/ 2 tsp unsalted butter
- 1/8 tsp sea salt
- 1 small pinch white pepper
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1/2 cup asparagus , finely sliced on an angle (~2 spears, 25g/1 oz)
- 2 paper-thin slices prosciutto (20g/ 2/3oz)
Pre-heat oven to 200°C/390°F (180°C fan).
First, separate eggs and place whites in a bowl. Reserve yolks for another use.
Cook asparagus and prosciutto: Heat olive oil in a 20cm/8″ oven-proof, non-stick pan over medium heat. Add asparagus and cook until tender. When almost done, add prosciutto and stir for 30 seconds – just enough to warm through but not crisp. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
Melt butter: Add butter into the same skillet and place over low heat. The butter should melt and be bubbling gently (ie. hot, but not smoking) when the egg whites are ready to pour in. (Note 2)
Whisk whites until it’s just opaque, fluffy and creamy. Do not take it to “stiff peaks”. It should be a consistency so you can draw a figure 8 on the surface and it stays there without sinking. You do not want to be able to do “elf hats” (see in post for photo), that’s too stiff. (Whisking time for me: 90 seconds by hand, 30 seconds on Speed 4 electric beater).
Add chives, salt and pepper. Whisk a few times just to mix through.
Immediately pour egg whites into hot skillet, spread with a spatula to cover surface. Stir for 10 to 12 seconds until the whites start to set on the base.
Remove from stove, then lightly tap the pan 5 times on the stove grates or a heat mat to remove bubbles from the base.
Sprinkle asparagus, prosciutto and pecorino on half the omelette (the half opposite the handle).
Transfer to oven for 2 minutes.
Remove from oven. Run rubber spatula around edges and then under the side without the filling, carefully fold omelette in half to cover the filling.
Press the omelette’s rounded edge against the side of the pan for 30 seconds to seal the edge.
Turn out onto plate: Hold a plate at a 45 degree angle. Then flip the omelette out onto the plate so it lands upside down, ie. pan-contact face up (see video for demo).
Garnish with chives. Serve immediately!
2. Hot skillet timing – If the butter / skillet stops bubbling and starts to smoke, it’s too hot. Remove pan from the heat while you’re whisking the whites, then return it to heat as you get close to completing the whisked egg whites.
Timing is key here because you don’t want the whipped whites to sit around in the bowl any longer than necessary as they will start to turn back into liquid whites (you have about 30 seconds, tops). However the butter also needs to be sufficiently hot otherwise the omelette may stick to the pan or it may begin to deflate because it’s cooking too slowly.
3. Make ahead – This dish can’t be made ahead! The omelette will deflate as it cools.
4. Nutrition per omelette.
Life of Dozer
“If I close my eyes, maybe all those dirty dishes will clean themselves…” I’m thinking.
“If I close my eyes, maybe I can pretend I didn’t see all that food….” he’s thinking.