This recipe is for a basic French omelet with three eggs: enough for a hearty breakfast or brunch, or a light supper for one. The key to mastering this recipe is controlling the heat so the eggs do not brown, and whisking the eggs in the skillet so they set on the exterior but remain fluffy inside. A good nonstick or well-seasoned carbon-steel skillet is central to cooking the ideal omelet, which should be tender and slightly runny. Once you’ve got the technique down, you can play around with your seasonings, adding minced herbs, grated cheese, diced ham or sautéed vegetables. This recipe is part of The New Essentials of French Cooking, a guide to definitive dishes every modern cook should master.
  • Total:
  • Serves: 1 person



  1. Step 1

    Crack eggs into a medium bowl. Add 1 tablespoon water, and salt and pepper. Whisk with a fork until egg whites are incorporated into yolks. Mix in herbs, if using.
  2. Step 2

    Place a 8- to 9-inch skillet (preferably nonstick or seasoned carbon steel) over high heat. Melt butter until bubbling subsides.
  3. Step 3

    Pour in egg mixture and reduce heat to medium. With the back of a fork or a heatproof rubber spatula, whisk eggs around skillet until the bottom begins to set. This takes only a few seconds. Add any fillings, if using.
  4. Step 4

    Tilt skillet and either bang or flip egg over itself. Use fork or spatula if necessary to complete folding in half or thirds. Angle the skillet and a serving plate together, and flip omelet onto plate.