Denver Omelet

5 from 1 vote

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Peppers, onions, ham, and cheese (if you like) make up the filling of this perennially popular omelet.

Woman holding a plate with a Denver Omelet.

You may know this satisfying, colorful omelet as a Western omelet, and perhaps you’ve only enjoyed it at a diner. But it couldn’t be simpler to make, and so it’s time to bring the Denver omelet into your own kitchen! Serve this up with some crispy stovetop potatoes and maybe a fruit salad for a hearty breakfast that will lead to a great day.

Denver Omelet on a white plate.

Denver Omelet: Peppers, onions, ham and cheese (if you like) make up the filling of this perennially popular diner-style omelet.

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What Is in a Denver Omelet?

The classic Denver omelet usually has ham, peppers, and onions, often with the addition of some kind of cheese. Green bell pepper is the most typical color used, but any color of pepper is fine. Since you only need a little pepper, you’ll probably just pick a single color, but if you are making several omelets or need peppers for another reason, think about mixing two kinds of peppers. Pretty pretty, right?

You can use chopped leftover ham or just chop up some sliced ham from the deli.

How to Make a Denver Omelet

And feel free to refresh yourself on all of the ins and outs of making perfect omelets.

  1. Whisk the eggs with salt and pepper.
Woman whisking eggs in a glass bowl.
  1. Cook the filling: Cook the ham in a skillet with a bit of butter for about 2 minutes until it starts to brown on the edges. Add the onion and bell pepper and stir occasionally until the vegetables soften slightly. Transfer to a small bowl.
Sauteing filling ingredients for Denver omelet in pan.
  1. Add the beaten eggs to the pan: Melt the rest of the butter in the pan. Pour the eggs into the pan and quickly shake and swirl the pan so that the eggs cover the entire bottom of the pan.
Beaten egg mixture pouring into a skillet.
  1. Start cooking the eggs: Let the eggs firm up on the bottom, about 30 seconds, then use a rubber spatula to lift the edges of the omelet up so that any uncooked egg on the top runs underneath.
Eggs cooking in an omelet pan.
  1. Add the filling: Sprinkle half of the eggs with the sautéed vegetables and the shredded cheese, if using, and let it cook for another 30 seconds; the top should be moist but not quite runny (unless you like it runny).
Adding Denver omelet filling to eggs in pan as they cook.
  1. Finish and serve: Flip the untopped side of the eggs over the filling and slide it onto a plate. ​
Flipping and serving a Denver omelet.

A Denver Omelet in Denver

My favorite Denver omelet moment was the one when I ate a Denver omelet in Denver, Colorado. I was having breakfast by myself at the time, and I was so very sad that there was no one around to smile over the synergy of it all. I refrained from engaging the waitress in this observation as I was sure she had heard it before and also knew that the hotel restaurant had chosen to put it as one of their specialties for a tourist-friendly reason. Well played.

What to Serve With a Denver Omelet

Woman cutting a Denver Omelet with a knife.

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5 from 1 vote

Denver Omelet

Peppers, onions, ham, and cheese (if you like) make up the filling of this perennially popular omelet.
Prep Time: 8 minutes
Cook Time: 7 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 1 Person
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Ingredients 

  • 2 or 3 large eggs
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper (to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter (divided)
  • 3 tablespoons diced or chopped cooked ham
  • 2 tablespoons diced or chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons diced or chopped bell pepper (any color or mix of colors)
  • 2 tablespoons shredded cheddar cheese (optional)

Instructions 

  • Whisk the eggs with salt and pepper in a small bowl and set aside.
  • Melt half of the butter in an 8-inch omelet pan, or shallow skillet, preferably nonstick, over medium-high heat. Add the ham and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 2 minutes until it starts to brown on the edges. Add the onion and bell pepper and stir occasionally for another 3 minutes until the vegetables soften slightly. Transfer the ham and vegetables to a small bowl.
  • Return the pan to the heat and add the rest of the butter. Let it melt, and swirl the pan so that it coats the bottom evenly. Pour the eggs into the pan and quickly shake and swirl the pan so that the eggs cover the entire bottom of the pan. Let the eggs firm up on the bottom, about 30 seconds, then use a rubber spatula to lift the edges of the omelet up so that any uncooked egg on the top runs underneath.
  • Sprinkle half of the eggs with the sauteed vegetables and the cheese, if using, and let it cook for another 30 seconds; the top should be moist but not quite runny (unless you like it runny). Flip the untopped side of the eggs over the filling, and slide it onto a plate. ​

Video

Notes

Green bell pepper is the most typical color used, but any color of pepper is fine. Since you only need a little pepper, you’ll probably just pick a single color, but if you are making several omelets or need peppers for another reason, think about mixing two kinds of peppers. Pretty pretty, right?
You can use chopped leftover ham or just chop up some sliced ham from the deli.

Nutrition

Calories: 416kcal, Carbohydrates: 4g, Protein: 25g, Fat: 33g, Saturated Fat: 16g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 403mg, Sodium: 760mg, Potassium: 337mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 1578IU, Vitamin C: 25mg, Calcium: 184mg, Iron: 2mg
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About Katie Workman

Katie Workman is a cook, a writer, a mother of two, an activist in hunger issues, and an enthusiastic advocate for family meals, which is the inspiration behind her two beloved cookbooks, Dinner Solved! and The Mom 100 Cookbook.

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