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Cheese Souffle AKA Omelet i a souffle dish with a red handle spoon

Cheese Omelet AKA Cheese Souffle

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This Cheese Omelet was one of my mom’s go-to Lenten recipes. Not a typical Omelet, it’s absolutely delicious, and simply made from eggs, cheese and bread!

Though more like a Cheese Souffle than an omelet, the egg whites are whipped separately to give a delightful lightness to this easy recipe.

Cheese Souffle AKA Omelet in a casserole dish

Cheese Omelet AKA Cheese Souffle

Most of my recipes can be found in binders, all printed off the computer over the past 15 years or so.  But I have a few treasured note cards in my recipe box, in my mom’s handwriting. This Cheese Omelet is one of those. It comes out every Lent when a meatless meal is needed.  A mixture of cheese, eggs, and bread, it is simple and tasty.  Not quite and omelet, not quite a soufflé recipe, but quite delicious.

Bite of cheese souffle on a red handled fork on a plate

What’s the Difference Between a Souffle and an Omelet?

A French Souffle Recipe is an egg dish with whipped egg whites and egg yolks combined with other ingredients to make either a savory or sweet dish. This Cheese Omelet definitely fulfills the souffle definition.

On the other hand, an omelet is also an egg dish, but can be made in a couple different ways. An omelet, or omelette, is made of beaten eggs, sauteed in oil or butter, then folded over other ingredients like cheese, meats, herbs and/or vegetables. Unlike scrambled eggs, the mixture is not stirred while cooking. A French omelet is made by a special technique where eggs are stirred with a fork while cooking and the pan is also shaken. This results in a fluffier consistency, and is removed from the heat slightly underdone.

Upon further investigation, there are four categories of omelets: American, French, Frittata and Souffle. So it all makes sense now!

How to Make a Cheese Souffle

  • Slice your bread into 3/4 to 1-inch pieces, leaving crusts on. Use a hearty bread so it does not completely disintegrate when the milk is added. My mom used sandwich bread when making this cheese souffle recipe, so it is an alternative.
  • Make sure to butter the bread before slicing.
  • As with meringue, make sure your bowls and utensils are grease free before beating the whites. Even a speck of egg yolk contaminating the whites will prevent them from whipping properly.
  • Whip the whites until they’re white and fluffy, then use a rubber spatula to gently fold them into the bread, cheese and yolk mixture.
  • Sharp Cheddar cheese was my mom’s cheese of choice, but so many varieties would work well. Monterey Jack, Gruyere or even a Pepper Jack would be delicious.
  • If you want a crusty or brown topping, place the souffle under the broiler for a minute or two, watching carefully so it doesn’t burn.

A Staple Meatless Meal

Perfect for Lent, but also lovely when looking for a vegetarian entree to work into your menu. The cheese and eggs provide plenty of protein, and are fine to eat if you’re a lacto-ovo vegetarian. Here are some more meatless meals you’ll love:

Cheese Souffle AKA Omelet in a casserole dish

Cheese Omelet

Bread and Cheese Omelet that's more like a souffle!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Yield 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 4 slices of bread
  • 2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • A dash of freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup grated cheese, I used sharp cheddar
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 4 stiffly beaten egg whites

Instructions

  1. Butter casserole dish and preheat oven to 325º.
  2. Butter the bread and cut into 1-inch cubes. Put in large bowl and add milk. If bread is dry, more milk may be needed. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and cheese, and gently toss to combine.
  3. Beat egg yolks until light and stir into bread mixture. Fold in beaten egg whites. Put into casserole dish and bake for 30-35 minutes.

Notes

Recipe courtesy of my mom

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