A Classic French Omelet Recipe

french omelet
Classic French Omelette. Guillermo Murcia - Getty Images
    10 mins

Call it an Omelet (US) or Omelette (truly French and British), the same is true, it is the thing which can make the most competent chef cry. Why is a mystery, as making an omelette is quite easy.

This basic French omelet recipe is the easy version of a cafe classic and by using a few simple tricks, you can master the technique of making a versatile French omelette then  customize it with the perfect filling for either breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

Truly popular is the traditional cheese and herbs filling, or get creative with chopped ham and roasted vegetables, and any number of other combinations  for a wholesome meal.

A perfect omelette must not be overcooked; the egg should be barely set so the omelette wobble slightly when shaken. However, it should not be so undercooked that it is slimy. It is this need to have the omelette just so which strikes fear into the most competent of cooks. 

Cook's note: As the great chef, Julia Child, once noted, read through the entire recipe before making your first omelette. Egg recipes move very quickly and there is no time to consult your recipe once you've begun the process.

What You'll Need

  • 2 tablespoons light olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon cold butter, finely chopped and then frozen
  • 3 large eggs
  • Salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons shredded Gruyere cheese
  • 2 teaspoons fresh, finely chopped chives

How to Make It

Add the olive oil to a skillet and heat it over medium-high heat - do not overheat the oil, if it is too hot the egg will set immediately after it hits the pan and then will be too hard.

Whisk the eggs until they are frothy - it is important to not add salt or pepper at this stage of the recipe. Stir half of the cold butter into the eggs. Add the remaining butter to the skillet and swirl it with the oil until it melts and becomes cloudy and bubbly.


Pour the eggs into the hot skillet and cook, moving a fork quickly through the eggs in small circles and zigzags until the eggs are approximately 80% cooked through. Smooth down the top surface of the eggs with the back of a large spoon or a small offset spatula.

Season the eggs with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle the shredded cheese and chopped herbs on the eggs and cover with a lid. Turn off the heat and allow the omelette to continue cooking for 2 to 3 minutes, depending on how firm you want your eggs.

Tilt the skillet to the side a bit and, using a rubber spatula, carefully ease the omelette out of the pan and onto a warmed serving plate. Gently roll the omelette into the traditional tube shape.

This basic French omelette recipe makes 1 serving.