Soufflé Omelette With Cheese Recipe (2024)

Why It Works

  • Beating the whites fills them with tiny air bubbles; when cooked, those bubbles swell for a puffy result.
  • Covering the omelette helps set the top, so you don't end up with soupy raw egg foam at the end of it.

Answering the age-old question of whether the chicken or egg came first is easy—evolutionary biology tells us it was the egg. But trying to figure out the order of appearance of the soufflé omelette versus themore classic souffléis a bit harder.

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Soufflé History

According toDavid Lebovitz, the Norman restaurantLa Mère Poulardclaims the soufflé omelette was invented by its original proprietor, Annette Poulard, in 1888. Or, at least, it claims she invented the specific soufflé omelette recipe served there, which, if that's the case, isn't much of a claim at all. That would put it about a century afterAntoine Beauvilliers, who is sometimes called the "inventor of soufflé," was alive and about 50 years after the life of Antonin Carême, one of the founding fathers of classic French cuisine, who made dozens upon dozens of soufflé recipes of his own.

Meanwhile, inOn Food and Cooking, Harold McGee republished Vincent La Chapelle's even-earlier "omelette soufflé" recipe from 1742, which calls for veal kidneys and sugar. It's all a bit muddled (as are kidneys and sugar—what the hell were they thinking?).

Common sense is almost definitely in favor of the soufflé omelette coming first, simply because it's the simplest explanation. While the soufflé we know today involves incorporating eggs into a base like béchamel or pastry cream, the soufflé omelette is, at its most basic, just eggs.

Instead of beating them whole and pouring them into a hot pan, as one does for atraditional French omelette, the eggs in a soufflé omelette are separated first. The yolks are beaten in one bowl and the whites in another, the latter until enough air has been incorporated to reach stiff peaks. Then they're folded back together to make a foamy mixture that cooks in a pan until browned on the bottom and just barely set on top.

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The soufflé omelette is the easiest way to practice making any kind of soufflé, given the low barrier to entry. If you have some eggs and a few extra minutes to beat the whites, you can do it. No need to prep a soufflé dish or preheat an oven, and no need to make abéchamelor pastry cream base, nor bake it until puffed and browned.

Even better, once you've successfully made a soufflé omelette—which you will do on the first try, because it is easy—you will then be free of any lingering doubt you might have had about whether you are capable ofmaking a classic soufflé, since the challenge of one is the challenge of the other, and it isn't much of a challenge at all.

But while the soufflé omelette can be a confidence-booster for making classic soufflés, it's also a valid dish all on its own, delicious as a light breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

How to Whip up the Omelette Base

The steps are as follows: First, beat the yolks with a generous pinch of salt. Adding the salt early is important because you don't want to deflate the mixture later while trying to evenly distribute it into the beaten whites. You want to add a little more salt than it might seem like the yolks need, since you'll want enough to also season the whites.

Next, beat the whites to stiff peaks, which means they won't slump over when lifted with awhisk. Just as with the classic soufflé, I'm a proponent of putting in a little elbow grease to beat the whites by hand. It gives you more control and makes it easy to spot the right moment when the eggs hit that perfect stage of firmness: In the left image above, you can see that soft peaks will gently bend. Stiff peaks, pictured on the right, will stick straight up. It's not nearly as strenuous as some people make it out to be. That said, you're free to use a hand mixer or astand mixer, if you prefer.

Fold half the whites into the yolks to loosen them. Don't worry too much about deflating this first addition of whites; it's more important to get a well-mixed, loose base.

Suggested Additions

This is the point where I'd mix in any flavorings, like herbs or cheese, which I strongly recommend—a plain-egg soufflé omelette is not nearly as tasty as one might imagine. It's as if the incorporated air brings out a kind of raw-egg aroma. (This is something that often bothers me about meringues, too.) Cheese manages to cover that flavor up.

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After that, you can gently fold in the remaining whites until they're just incorporated.

The Best Method for Cooking

I've seen recipes for soufflé omelettes that either do or don't call for covering the pan. I've tried both methods and had terrible results with the uncovered version, which left too much of the top layer soupy and raw (and I'm a guy who likes a runny omelette). I had much better results when I covered the pan just long enough for the eggs to barely set the top and for any extra cheese you may have scattered on top (why wouldn't you add extra?) to melt.

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Then slide it out of the pan onto a plate, folding the fluffy behemoth over itself. It's an impressive sight and even more fun to eat, so tender and light.

Regardless of which type of soufflé was first invented, this is the one that'll be first on your list of soufflés to make with any frequency, because it's so darned easy.

February 2019

Recipe Details

Soufflé Omelette With Cheese Recipe

Prep10 mins

Cook10 mins

Active10 mins

Total20 mins

Serves1 serving


  • 3 large eggs, separated

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 ounces (55g) grated Gruyère or cheddar cheese, divided

  • Minced fresh chives (optional)

  • 1 tablespoon (15g) unsalted butter


  1. In a medium bowl, beat egg yolks with a generous pinch of salt and some freshly ground black pepper until well mixed.

  2. In a separate large mixing bowl, using a whisk, electric hand blender, or stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites until firm, glossy peaks form.

  3. Add half of the beaten egg whites to yolks and stir well until whites are thoroughly combined and soufflé base has a looser consistency. Mix in half the cheese as well as the chives, if using. Add remaining beaten whites, and, using a silicone spatula, gently fold them into the soufflé base just until well combined.

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  4. In a 9- or 10-inch nonstick skillet, melt butter over medium heat until foaming. Scrape soufflé base into pan. Using spatula, spread soufflé base into even circle and smooth out the surface. Cover and cook until bottom of omelette is browned and top is just barely set (or even a little loose still, if you prefer). Scatter remaining cheese on top; cover once more and cook until cheese starts to melt, about 1 minute longer.

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  5. Carefully slide the omelette out of the pan and onto a warm serving plate, folding it over itself. Serve right away.

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Special Equipment

Whisk, 9- or 10-inch nonstick skillet

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Soufflé Omelette With Cheese Recipe (2024)


What is the difference between an omelette and a soufflé? ›

While the soufflé we know today involves incorporating eggs into a base like béchamel or pastry cream, the soufflé omelette is, at its most basic, just eggs. Instead of beating them whole and pouring them into a hot pan, as one does for a traditional French omelette, the eggs in a soufflé omelette are separated first.

What is the secret to a good soufflé? ›

According to La Varenne Practique (a timeless masterwork you should consider owning if learning more about classic French cooking appeals), there are only a few critical points to perfecting a souffle: a base of the right consistency, stiff egg whites, and the careful folding of the base and the beaten whites.

How do you eat a cheese soufflé? ›

There's nothing better with the light, airy texture and rich flavor of a cheese soufflé than the crunch and acidity of a salad. Keep it simple with romaine hearts (grilled if it's the season; you can do it while the soufflé is in the oven), or mixed baby greens—especially something peppery like arugula.

Should you use fresh or old eggs for soufflé? ›

Fresh eggs are essential when used to give lift to cakes or to whip up into meringue to make pavlovas, soufflés or light-as-air Chocolate Mousse. This is because old eggs don't whip up as well. Fresh eggs are also better for poaching because they have tighter whites so they poach neatly.

What is a soufflé Why is it so difficult to make? ›

Traditional souffle bases are made by combining a thickened sauce with egg yolks. The tricky part is adding the yolks to the hot sauce--there's always the danger a yolk will cook before it's worked into the sauce.

Why does my soufflé taste eggy? ›

If your Soufflé Cake tastes eggy, it's either undercooked or overcooked. Make sure that you don't increase the temperature, this will also make the eggs rubbery and taste eggy. Stick to a low temperature.

What ingredient makes a soufflé rise? ›

A soufflé is made up of a base (usually white sauce or creme patissiere enriched with egg yolks), a flavor (added to the base) and whipped egg whites gently folded in and baked in the oven. While it's cooking, the air trapped in the egg whites expands, causing it to rise.

How do restaurants make omelets so fluffy? ›

It's an old diner trick. The mixer whips air into the egg mix and when poured, immediately, into a hot pan, the eggs will soufflé, or become fluffy. You can easily replicate this at home with a blender. Just whip your eggs in a blender while your omelette pan is heating.

What is the hardest omelette to make? ›

The Japanese soft egg omelette (called 'omurice' in Japan) is one of the hardest egg dishes to make, but it isn't impossible! 🍳 We show you how it's done. Have you tried to make it? 🤷🏽‍♂️ #fyp #foryou #egg #eggs #omelette #omurice.

How do restaurants get their eggs so fluffy? ›

Scrambled eggs are cooked over lower heat and stirred slowly. This lower heat, slower process keeps the eggs fluffy and soft. Beat in a bit of water or milk (1 Tablespoon liquid per egg), pour the egg into a heated pan, let it SIT for a minute or two and then gently fold it over as it cooks.

What goes well with a cheese soufflé? ›

Savory Pair-ups: 7 BEST Side Dishes to for Cheese Soufflé
  • Meat. • 1 Mashed potatoes with bacon.
  • Produce. • 1 Buttered green beans. • 1 Green salad with vegetables. • 1 Scalloped potatoes.
  • Condiments. • 1 Biscuits and gravy.
  • Pasta & Grains. • 1 Angel hair pasta.
  • Bread & Baked Goods. • 1 Bread rolls.

What meat to serve with cheese soufflé? ›

A successful cheese soufflé is light, airy, and delicately savory. The whipped, folded-in egg whites give the soufflé its unique, fluffy texture. Serve cheese soufflé with roasted meat like beef, ham, or lamb, and a crisp green salad or vegetable on the side.

Is a soufflé difficult? ›

Crispy on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside, a soufflé can be filled with many of your favourite ingredients. Making a soufflé is actually a simple process, despite its reputation for being difficult to make. Try adding cheese, crab, vegetables and more for a decadent dinner.

What makes a soufflé a soufflé? ›

A souffle has two main components, a flavorful base and glossy beaten egg whites, and they are gently folded together just before baking. The word itself comes from “souffler,” meaning “to breathe” or “to puff,” which is what the whites do to the base once they hit the oven's heat.

What constitutes a soufflé? ›

souf·​flé sü-ˈflā ˈsü-ˌflā : a dish that is made from a sauce, egg yolks, beaten egg whites, and a flavoring or purée (as of seafood, fruit, or vegetables) and baked until puffed up.

What is another name for a soufflé dish? ›

So, you may call them sauce cups, cheese pipkins, oyster cups, monkey dishes, or souffle cups. All of these items are often collectively referred to as “ramekins.”

Why is a soufflé called a soufflé? ›

A soufflé is a baked egg dish originating in France in the early 18th century. Combined with various other ingredients, it can be served as a savoury main dish or sweetened as a dessert. The word soufflé is the past participle of the French verb souffler, which means to blow, breathe, inflate or puff.

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