Start your day with a hearty and delicious Western Omelet, a breakfast that's easy enough to make on both weekends and weekday mornings. Packed with savory ham, green bell pepper, onion, and cheddar cheese, this omelet is sure to become a breakfast favorite in your house!
I believe that the art of omelet making is a skill everyone should have in life. Because there's nothing quite like being able to whip up the perfect omelet on a whim.
I have such happy memories of staying at hotels as a child and visiting the omelet station during the buffet brunches, where I'd watch the chef build an omelet with whatever ingredients I requested.
The chef always made omelet making look so easy. And really, that's because it is. And now I love that I can also whip up the perfect omelet for myself and others.
Today I'm sharing the recipe for a classic, the Western omelet. This is one variety that I make over and over again.
🫑 What is a Western omelet?
For me, nothing is more classic than a Western omelet, which you may also know as a Denver omelette. You'll find this omelet in American diners and breakfast spots across the country.
This variety of omelet typically consists of diced ham, green bell peppers, onions, and cheddar cheese.
Western omelets are known for their savory taste and combination of ingredients that provide a satisfying start to the day.
It's not totally clear why they're referred to as Western omelets, but it's likely that they originated in the American West, specifically in Colorado.
❤️ Why you'll love this recipe
You'll love this recipe because the combination of ingredients really do come together to make a really fabulous omelet. With eggs, a little bit of meat, plenty of vegetables, and as much cheese as you want, this is a totally satisfying breakfast.
I'll also show you just how easy it is to make the perfect omelet. So, not only can you make this breakfast whenever you choose, but you can also easily share it with friends.
This recipe is also perfect if you have leftover ham from a holiday dinner and want to use it in a classic omelet.
For this recipe, I made a classic Western omelet, but, of course, you can swap any ingredients in and out that you want. I even offer some recipe variations below.
Here's everything I used in my omelet (be sure to check out the recipe card at the bottom of this post for ingredient amounts and full recipe instructions):
- Large eggs
- Salt & pepper
- Unsalted butter
- Diced ham
- Diced green pepper
- Diced onion
- Shredded cheddar cheese: I like to use sharp cheddar
I recommend using a nonstick 7-inch skillet, though an 8-inch works, too.
👩🍳 How to make a Western omelet
This omelet couldn't be easier to make... You'll likely even find yourself making it on weekday mornings!
To start, whisk together eggs, ⅛ tsp salt, and ⅛ tsp pepper in a medium bowl. Set aside.
Add ½ tablespoon butter to a nonstick 7- or 8-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat.
And add diced ham, green pepper, onion, ⅛ tsp salt, and ⅛ tsp pepper to the skillet. Cook until veggies are softened and ham is just starting to brown, about 3-5 minutes.
Remove ham and veggies to a small bowl and set aside.
Some omelet makers will add the beaten eggs right to the pan with the ham and veggies, but I like to cook my eggs first and then add everything back in. You can do it any way you prefer!
With skillet still over medium heat, add remaining ½ Tbsp butter and let coat bottom of pan.
Pour the beaten eggs into the skillet and let them cook undisturbed for a couple minutes until they start to set around the edges.
Using a rubber spatula or silicone spatula, gently push the cooked edges toward the center, tilting the pan to let the uncooked egg flow to the edges to cook. Continue until there’s no liquid egg left, but the top is still slightly runny.
This is the key to getting the omelet to fully cook, instead of staying super liquidy in the middle. It definitely takes some practice to get an omelet that's not totally deformed, but you will get the hang of it!
You can flip the omelet here if you want, but I don't usually.
Now, add the cooked veggies and ham to one side of the omelet.
And sprinkle cheese over them.
Carefully fold the omelet in half, covering the filling and let cook for another minute to melt cheese.
Serve and enjoy!
This Western omelet is fully loaded with all the good stuff. My ingredient amounts instruct you to use quite a bit of ham and vegetable filling, but you can adjust to your tastes.
I even sprinkled some more on before serving.
The omelet needs nothing else, but it's also pretty delicious when served with salsa.
🍳 Tips for making the perfect omelet
Making omelets is super easy, but they do sometimes require a bit of practice. The more you make them, the easier they get!
Here are some tips:
- Use a nonstick pan: this will help prevent sticking (and let you flip the omelet if you choose to)
- Don't rush the cooking process: use medium-low heat to cook the eggs gently to help ensure a tender and fluffy omelet.
- Avoid constantly stirring or flipping the eggs: let them set and cook for before adding filling.
- Practice your flipping technique: if you choose (and are comfortable!), you can flip the omelet in the pan for even cooking before you add the filling. But it's not necessary to do this.
- Feel free to keep the ham and veggies in the pan after cooking them. You can add the beaten eggs into the pan and cook the fillings in the eggs.
- Experiment with different fillings and seasonings to find the variety of omelet that you like best.
- You can add a little milk to cream to your beaten eggs if you want, but I don't find this necessary at all.
- To save time and make this Western omelette even easier to make, you can meal prep: cook the ham, pepper, and onion in advance and keep in an air-tight container in the fridge. When you're ready to enjoy, make your omelete as instructed and add the already cooked filling in.
These Starbucks Egg Bites are another great make-ahead breakfast.
🎉 Variations on recipe
I love this traditional Western omelet recipe, but you can feel free to make it with whatever ingredients you want! Here are some ideas:
- Use red bell pepper instead of green. Or red onion instead of yellow.
- Add more veggies: I sometimes add spinach, mushrooms, tomatoes, corn, broccoli, or avocado.
- Switch up the cheese: if you don't like cheddar cheese, use Monterey Jack, Swiss, feta, mozzarella, pepper jack, or the type of cheese you like best.
- Use different meat: Instead of ham, try bacon or ground sausage. If you don't eat pork, you could use chicken sausage or turkey bacon.
- Make it vegetarian: leave out the ham or use a meat substitute in your omelet. Feel free to add additional vegetables.
- Add some spice: use jalapeños, chile peppers, red pepper flakes, or a hot sauce drizzle or salsa dollop to make this Western omelet appeal to fans of spicy food.
Really, you can add absolutely anything you want to this breakfast egg dish!
🥚 Can I make with egg whites?
Sure! If you're looking to make a Western omelet with a little less fat and cholesterol, you can use egg whites instead of whole eggs.
I do recommend whisking the egg whites really well; they should be quite frothy and starting to form soft peaks. This will help incorporate air into the egg whites to give the omelet a lighter and fluffier texture.
Be sure to use a low heat setting when cooking an egg white omelet as they are more prone to stick to the pan and more likely to get rubbery if cooked over a higher temp.
Since egg whites don't have quite as much flavor as when the yolks are included, you may also need to add more seasonings to your omelet.
🥞 More easy breakfast recipes
I'm always on the hunt for breakfasts that are easy to make and that can be enjoyed on busy weekday mornings or on leisurely weekends. Here are some of my favorite easy breakfasts:
I'm also super excited to make this loaded Mediterranean omelet!
This Western omelet is a hearty breakfast perfect for busy mornings.
I hope you incorporate the recipe into your morning routine and that your entire family loves it!
- 3 large eggs
- ¼ tsp salt, divided
- ¼ tsp pepper, divided
- 1 Tbsp unsalted butter, divided
- ⅓ cup diced ham
- ⅓ cup diced green pepper
- ¼ cup diced onion
- ⅓ cup shredded cheddar cheese
- In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, ⅛ tsp salt, and ⅛ tsp pepper. Set aside.
- Add ½ Tbsp butter to a nonstick 7- or 8-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat.
- Add ham, green pepper, onion, ⅛ tsp salt, and ⅛ tsp pepper to the skillet and cook until veggies are softened and ham is just starting to brown, about 3-5 minutes. Remove to a bowl and set aside.
- With skillet still over medium heat, add remaining ½ Tbsp butter and let coat bottom of pan.
- Pour the beaten eggs into the skillet and let them cook undisturbed for a couple minutes until they start to set around the edges.
- Using a spatula, gently push the cooked edges toward the center, tilting the pan to let the uncooked eggs flow to the edges to cook. Continue until there’s no liquid egg left, but the top is still slightly runny. You can gently flip the omelet at this point, but you don't have to.
- Add cooked veggies and ham to one side of the omelet and sprinkle with shredded cheese.
- Carefully fold the omelet in half, covering the filling and let cook for another minute to melt cheese.