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Today’s post begins GradHacker’s Good Eats Recipe and Photo Contest. Submit your recipe for a good meal under $10 to win GradHacker swag. Visit the GradHacker Good Eats contest to get inspired and submit your own recipe!

Liz Homan is a doctoral candidate in the Joint Program in English and Education at The University of Michigan. You can find her on Twitter at @lizhoman or on her blog, Gone Digital.

It’s the end of the day on a Friday, and you just got home from a long day of meeting with students and professors, teaching a class, and conducting participant interviews/working in a lab/attending seminars/other. You open your fridge. The only thing staring back at you is half a carton of eggs, some milk that you’re not too sure is still good (you sniff test it, and it seems ok), and a few wilted veggies from last Saturday’s trip to the farmers’ market and/or grocery store. And maybe some leftover lunchmeat.

Fret not! You can still make dinner (without needing to go to the store). Here’s one of my and my partner’s absolute favorite recipes for under $10: The Fridge Frittata.

One frittata, in our experience, will serve two adults with some leftovers, or two adults and a kiddo (or maybe two kiddos, depending on how big they are and how much they love to eat!). The more eggs you add, the more people you feed!


6-12 eggs ($3-4 if you buy farm fresh, or closer to $2 from your local supermarket)
1/4 cup milk or unsweetened, unflavored soy milk
whatever is in your fridge, chopped up.

For the sake of example, though, here are a few ideas of combinations you can try:

Spinach and Turkey Frittata
fresh or frozen spinach (if fresh, sautee first): ~$2
a couple slices of leftover turkey lunchmeat~$2
Total, with eggs and milk: $6-8

Veggie Variety Frittata
1 lb asparagus, chopped into 1-inch pieces: ~$1.50 (in season)
1 lb tomatoes, diced: ~$1-2 (depending on season)
1 bell pepper, diced: ~$1-2 (depending on season)
Total, with eggs and milk: $6-10

Meaty Madness Pizza Frittata
1/2 lb bulk fresh sausage, cooked: ~$2
pepperoni: ~$2 if you can find it on sale!
1 lb tomatoes, diced: ~$1-2 (depending on season)
1 TBSP pizza sauce mixed into eggs and milk, if you have some in your pantry
Total, with eggs and milk: $7-10

All of these can take cheese, too, if you have any in your fridge, and the milk can be substituted with water if yours has, indeed, gone sour.

Now that you’ve assembled your ingredients, the rest is easy. Preheat the oven to 375. In the meantime, whisk your eggs with your milk (or water). In a (preferably non-stick) oven-safe pan (most are oven-safe these days!), give any veggies or meats a quick cook in a bit of butter or vegetable oil (we never use more than a teaspoon). If it’s raw meat, make sure it’s cooked through.

Then, with the burner on med-high, add the egg and milk mixture on top of the veggies/meat. Let it cook until you see bubbles (about a minute), but don’t stir it! Then stick the whole pan in the oven for about 30 minutes. When it’s done, the top will be golden-brown and set (it won’t jiggle too much if you shake the pan). It will also likely be a little puffy, depending on how many goodies you added (less goodies = more space for the eggs to puff).

You can either cut it while it’s in the pan, or if you’re feeling brave, you can shove a spatula under that sucker and try to wiggle it out of the pan in once piece. Another option is to put a plate over the pan, then invert the pan to flip the frittata onto the plate. I eat mine with hot sauce!

Be sure to share your favorite $10 recipes in our recipe contest!

[Image by Wikimedia Commons user Edward, used under creative commons licensing.]


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