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This Denver omelet delivers a protein-packed breakfast! You can make the diner classic at home in only a few minutes.
I love having a warm breakfast in the morning, and eggs are at the top of the list for easy dishes. When I have a bit of extra time and ingredients, I make breakfast hash or omelets.
Now, surely you’ve heard of the Denver omelet. It’s one of those classic dishes that seems to be on basically every restaurant breakfast menu.
Made with ham, peppers, and onions, this dish is simple but packed with flavor.
When I go out for breakfast, I always love the idea of ordering an omelet, but most restaurants in the United States are still hooked on that “portion size = value” thing, and the omelets come out with a chicken’s weekly output, half a pig, and a pound of cheese.
Happily, omelets are very easy to make at home. Even if you have trouble folding your omelet and it breaks, it’s still going to be completely delicious and satisfying.
Ingredients for Denver omelet
Once you know what’s in a Denver omelet, it’s really easy to whip one up any time. You’ll need:
Eggs – Use 2-3 eggs depending on how hungry you are.
Olive oil – Oil is needed to sauté the filling as well as cook the egg. Make sure to not add too much. You don’t want an oily omelet!
In place of olive oil, you can use butter, margarine, or avocado oil.
Onion – White, yellow, or red onions are all appropriate for this recipe. Don’t use Vidalia or Walla Walla, which are too sweet.
Bell pepper – Use whatever color of bell pepper you prefer. For a sweeter taste, go for red or orange. Green bell peppers are not as sweet and are the classic option.
Diced cooked ham – This recipe only requires 1/4 cup of cooked diced ham, so it’s a great way to use any leftovers you might have from a holiday dinner.
Milk – I add just a touch of milk to the eggs to help make them fluffier.
Seasoning – I actually don’t add a lot of seasoning to my Denver omelets, because I like using hot sauce.
Keep in mind that ham (or any other meat you substitute) will add salt. Use a pinch of salt and pepper with the eggs and season to taste after cooking.
How to make a Denver omelet
Heat a small amount of olive oil (or butter) in a nonstick frying pan over medium high.
Because the pan size makes a difference in the thickness of your omelet, choose a pan on the smaller side. A 6- or 8-inch pan works well. Use one with a cover!
Once the oil is hot, add the diced onion and bell pepper. Cook for about 2 minutes, then add the ham and cook 2-3 minutes more, until the vegetables are softened and ham is lightly browned.
Transfer the vegetables and ham to a bowl and cover to keep warm. Reduce pan to medium-low and add a small amount of oil if necessary.
In a small bowl, whisk together eggs and milk until lightly frothy. Add a pinch of salt and pepper.
Pour the eggs into the pan, swirling the pan if needed to get the eggs all the way to the edges. Reduce the heat if the eggs are cooking too quickly.
Once the eggs are partially set (just a minute or two), add the cooked ham and vegetables to half of the omelet.
Place the lid on the frying pan and cook for 1-2 minutes more until the top of the eggs are set.
Remove from heat and slide a thin spatula around the edges of the omelet to loosen. Carefully slide the spatula under the egg-only half and gently fold it over.
Slide the omelet onto a plate and enjoy!
Use your favorite variety of bell pepper and onion, or whatever you have on hand. In the summertime, I use whatever peppers I have growing in the garden!
Want to make this omelet spicier? Use jalapeños in place of the bell pepper. Chopped roasted Hatch peppers are also an excellent option.
If you like, add shredded cheese to the omelet. Put a small amount both below and above the filling. As it melts it will help the filling stick to the egg, making it easier to cut forkfuls.
Cheddar, mozzarella, and Swiss cheese are all great options.
You can also turn this into a Western omelet with the addition of cooked sausage. You can use sliced sausage, or crumbled cooked sausage.
Top with hot sauce or fresh chopped herbs.
How to serve a Denver omelet
Omelets are great just with a slice of toast or a bowl of fresh fruit.
This Denver omelet recipe can also be adapted for an on-the-go breakfast sandwich: just cook as directed, then cut into 2-4 sections and put between an English muffin. You’ll be ready power through any task ahead.
Love this recipe? Please leave a 5-star review below! It means so much when you enjoy my recipes, so let me know how it goes and leave a comment if you have any questions.
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1/4 cup diced white onion
- 1/4 cup bell peppers, diced
- 1/4 cup diced ham, cooked
- 2 to 3 eggs
- 1 tablespoon milk
- Salt and pepper
- Hot sauce, optional
- Pour olive oil into a nonstick skillet and heat over medium-high.
- Once the oil is warm, add onion and peppers and sauté about 2 minutes. Add the ham and cook for 2-3 more minutes.
- Transfer to a bowl and set aside. Reduce heat to medium-low and add more oil if needed.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, and a pinch of salt and pepper until frothy, then pour into the skillet. Tilt the pan if needed to make the eggs reach the sides.
- Cook about 2 minutes, until edges are set but top is not yet set. If cooking too quickly, reduce heat.
- Add the ham, onion, and pepper onto one half and place a lid on the pan. Cook for 1-2 minutes, until the top of the eggs are set.
- Remove from heat and slide a thin spatula around the edges to loosen, then slide under the egg-only half and carefully fold over. Slide onto a plate and serve with hot sauce if desired.
Nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate based on online calculators. Any nutritional information found on Stetted should be used as a general guideline only.
I focus on fresh ingredients and easy methods, with spins that keep meals interesting. Dinnertime shouldn’t be stressful or complicated, and I’m here to help you enjoy the time spent in the kitchen. Read more…