Who invented the omelette?


Ok, so it’s not a question that may keep you up at night but it’s always fun to explore the origins of our favourite foods. Where did they come from, and who’s bright idea was it? Well, we love omelettes here at Egg Recipes so we thought we would see if we can find out who invented the omelette, and why. Was it an accident or was it inspiration?

So let’s start with the name itself – maybe there’s a clue there. Omelette is a French word, and was first officially used in a French cooking publication, Cuisine Bourgeoisie in the late 17th century although the word ‘alumete’ was used as early as the 14th century. Of course, this is just a name, so odds are that the dish had already been around for a while before finding itself in French cookbooks.



Was it a global discovery?

It seems that omelettes have surfaced at some point in every culture in the world. The Romans were known to use eggs and dairy to create dishes, the Persians had their own omelette variation, and so did the ancient Japanese. It seems that different people at different points all discovered that pouring eggs into a heated pan, along with other ingredients was a great way to eat!


Napoleon’s legend

Perhaps the omelette’s most famous historic moment (or at least myth) was that Napoleon Bonaparte and his army were travelling through a small town, where a local innkeeper served him an omelette. Napoleon was so impressed that he ordered that all the eggs in the town to be gathered to create one huge omelette for his army the next day. Whether or not this actually happened, it did mark the beginning of an annual festival in the town of Bessieres, France where every year a giant omelette is made for all the townspeople to enjoy.


Unclaimed credit!

Tracing back the origins of food is never an easy task, especially with something as universal as omelettes. Evidence of its variations can be found in all kinds of ancient cooking books, and every country has their own variations. It seems that no one actually knows where the omelette was first invented, or by whom. It could have been a master chef, soldier or housewife; whoever it was certainly had no idea how popular it would turn out to be!


So, there’s a bit of background for you. Feeling hungry for an omelette? Well, lucky for you we have a whole bunch of amazing omelette recipes for you to try. Get out there and make history!

Recipe Highlight – Dean Edward’s Chilli Cheese and Jalapeno Omelette

The best thing about omelettes is how many different things you can do with them. With so many combinations of ingredients, you will never be short of meal ideas when there’s eggs and a pan involved. If you’re looking for an omelette recipe that has a bit of extra kick, why not give this Chilli Cheese and Jalapeno Omelette a go.

As demonstrated by TV Chef Dean Edwards, this recipe is deceptively simple and is a real taste sensation once ready. For starters, make yourself a fresh salsa using cherry tomatoes, red onion and a touch of chilli to give it the heat. Rustle up your omelette with some spicy Mexican chilli cheese (using a non-stick pan!) and once ready, fold it up and you’re ready to plate up. Serve the omelette up with your fresh salsa and a dollop of sour cream, and you’re ready to eat! We think this one’s a real winner, so give it a go and let us know how you get on.

Check out our Videos section for more great recipes from Dean Edwards and other TV chefs.

How to make the perfect Omelette

Omelettes are one of the most popular ways to prepare eggs, and even though they’re easy to make, they are a little more challenging to master! For some of us, attempts at creating a flawlessly shaped, fluffy omelette just ends up turning into a scramble. So how can you make the perfect omelette? Read on….


  • Eggs (2 or 3 depending on your appetite)
  • Salt
  • Butter


  1. Crack the eggs into a bowl – this is better than putting them directly on the pan as you will be pressed for time (approx. 20 seconds) to make sure they’re mixed properly
  2. Add a pinch of salt
  3. Whisk thoroughly with a fork – until the white and yolk are completely blended!
  4. Heat the frying pan
  5. Add enough butter to coat the surface of the pan
  6. When the butter is bubbling add the egg mixture
  7. Spread the egg out evenly (do this by tilting the pan gently to all sides)
  8. Once the egg begins to firm but still soft on top this is when you can add your special ingredients (look below for delicious ideas)
  9. Here is the crucial moment – The Folding! Wait until your omelette is golden brown and use a spatula to draw in the sides to the centre to heat up any remaining running egg. When everything seems solid, simply use your spatula (together with a spoon if need be) and fold over!
  10. Cook for a few more moments, and serve!

A great tasting meal in less than 10 minutes

The great thing about omelettes is that, once you’ve aced the method; you have the choice of a vast variety of ingredients to make it suitable for any time of day and for anybody’s taste! Here are some tasty omelette-filling ideas:

  • Pre-cooked meats
  • Cheese
  • Vegetables, for example:
    • Mushrooms
    • Onions
    • Peppers
    • Tomato
    • Fresh herbs
    • Jalapeños – if you can handle it!

Try a combination of these, but be careful not to over-stuff!  Have a look at out our awesome omelette recipes for more ideas. Want a visual guide? Check out a video of TV chef Paul Merrett as he brings his technique to the table.

Now you’re ready to finally create your own perfect omelette – Ready, steady, cook…!

Quick, low calorie smoked salmon and asparagus soufflé omelettes

Quick, low calorie smoked salmon and asparagus soufflé omelettes

I’m loving soufflé omelettes at the moment as they taste decadently indulgent and can be low calorie and low fat.  My other half loved the goats cheese and spinach soufflé omelette that I made a few weeks ago so much that he has been asking me to make it again.  I came up with this recipe for a smoked salmon and asparagus soufflé omelette for an easy lunch and it went down a storm.  This is so gorgeous and packed with flavour from the smoked salmon and parmesan so that you feel like you are having a real treat!  This did three of use for lunch (served with salad and crusty bread), but would be equally good as an evening meal.


100g smoked salmon – sliced

4 large British Lion eggs

4-6 spears of asparagus (4 if thick/6 if thin)

1 tablespoon grated parmesan

salt and freshly ground black pepper

Olive oil


  1. Wash the asparagus and cut into thin slices (diagonally). Fry in a little olive oil to soften, season with salt and pepper and put to one side.
  2. Separate the eggs, and in a large mixing bowl whisk the whites until they form soft peaks.
  3. In a seperate dish whisk the yolks, add the parmesan and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Gently fold the yolks, smoked salmon and asparagus into the egg whites.
  5. Heat a little olive oil in a frying pan and when hot gently add the egg mixture, shaking the pan to distribute it evenly.  When the underside of the omelette has cooked nicely (about 2 minutes should do it), put the pan under a hot grill to cook the top (another 2 minutes).
  6. To serve fold the omelette over and slide it onto a plate, or cut it into slices and serve from the frying pan.  Eat immediately.


Low calorie soufflé omelette

Low calorie soufflé omelette

This low calorie easy egg recipe for soufflé omelette makes a light lunch that is packed with flavour. I love souffle omelettes as they are so light and fluffy and surprisingly easy to make.  This one tastes really rich and feels decadent – adding a little low calorie luxury to your lunchtime :).  It was inspired by Delia’s recipe, but I have substituted some ingredients to make it lower in fat.  Also, to make it simpler I have combined  the spinach with the egg mixture rather than making a separate filling.  Although goats cheese is  a little lower in fat than cows milk cheese it  oozes out deliciously when you fold the omelette – so you don’t need anything else.

Ingredients (serves one)

2 large British Lion eggs

2oz (50g) frozen spinach

50g goats cheese

salt and black pepper

Olive oil/cooking oil spray



  1. Defrost the spinach by warming in a small pan and squeeze out the excess moisture.
  2. Separate the eggs, and in a large mixing bowl whisk the whites until they form soft peaks.
  3. In a seperate dish whisk the yolks, add the spinach and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Gently fold the yolks and spinach into the egg whites.
  5. Heat a little olive oil in a frying pan and when hot gently add the egg mixture, shaking the pan to distribute it evenly.  After about 1 minute add the slices of goats cheese.  When the underside of the omelette has cooked nicely put the pan under a hot grill to cook the top.
  6. To serve fold the omelette over and slide it onto a plate.  Eat it immediately – served with a baby leaf salad drizzled with balsamic dressing. Yum.



Emergency Omelette

Emergency Omelette

We have a bread thief in the house!  It’s my fault really as I keep leaving the bread out, and what else could you expect from a greedy schnauzer?  Breakfast has to be quick as the boys need to be out for the bus by 8 o’clock.  Mornings seem to be getting more and more rushed with them walking around the house eating their toast.  The positive side about our bread thief is that I have been reminded how quickly you can make omelettes, and we are having a healthy breakfast instead.  Another plus is that the boys are actually sitting down to eat it.

It is so quick: two British Lion eggs, a dash of milk, salt and pepper, quick mix with a fork, and cook on high heat with butter or oil – done in a couple of minutes.  The great thing is that a two egg omelette seems to keep me going much longer than a couple of slices of toast.  So thank you Scooby!

Ingredients (serves 1)

2 British Lion eggs

dash of milk

salt and pepper

oil or butter for frying


1. Beat the eggs together – but not too much!  A quick whizz with a fork will do it.  Season with salt and pepper and add a drop of milk (or water)

2.  Heat your frying pan over a high heat and add a drop of oil (or butter).  When the oil has heated (or the butter is frothy) add your egg mixture and coat the bottom of the frying pan.

3.  As the edges cook draw them into the middle with a spatula and tilt the pan to run the egg mixture into the space you have made.  Continue to do this until the mixture stops ‘running’.

4. If you are adding toppings do it now, and cook for another minute until the egg mixture has almost set.

5. Fold your omelette, slide onto a plate to serve.