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Denver Omelet Recipe: Fluffy 15-Minute Breakfast Dish Perfect for Mother’s Day

Find out the chef's secret to the fluffiest omelet you've ever made!

Omelets are the breakfast of champions, especially for Mother’s Day, because you can fill them with any combination of ingredients with guaranteed delicious results. Plus, cleanup is a breeze since it all comes together in just one pan. If you’re looking for an option that has it all — a variety of fillings and tons of flavor — you can’t beat the Denver omelet. It’s gooey, smoky and slightly sweet thanks to its meat, vegetable and cheese filling. And it’s easy to make at home, especially using a genius trick that guarantees fluffy omelets every time. Keep reading to learn how to whip up a delectable Denver omelet as a morning treat to yourself!

What is a Denver omelet?

A Denver omelet (sometimes called a Western omelet) contains eggs, diced ham, bell peppers, cheese and onions. Think of it as a more colorful and vibrant spin on the classic French omelet, which primarily consists of just eggs and butter.

How the Denver omelet came about

There are several theories on how the Denver omelet came to be. Food historian Adrian Miller says it likely originated in the 19th century as a sandwich. During this time, it’s believed that Chinese immigrant railroad workers in Western cities including Denver modified Egg Foo Young (an Asian-style omelet containing vegetables and meat) so it was portable enough to enjoy on bread. As this dish grew in popularity over the decades, it became common to see it served as a standalone omelet rather than a sandwich. Today, the Denver omelet is staple on diner and breakfast restaurant menus across the country.

Chef’s secret to the fluffiest Denver omelet

When making an omelet, Denver-style or any other kind, getting the eggs super fluffy is the goal — otherwise, it can end up dense and rubbery. The easy how-to? Recipe creator Natalia Thompson, CEO of The Flavorful Home, says it’s whisking the egg whites before mixing them with the yolks. “My trick to ensure the eggs are fluffy is to separate the whites from the yolks. Beat the whites first until they’re frothy,” she explains. “Then, add back the yolks and gently beat some more.” This method incorporates air into the mixture to give that fluffy texture. Just be sure to mix the whites on their own for only about a minute. Anything longer than that will cause soft peaks to form — and then you’ll be in meringue territory before you know it.

How to make a Denver omelet

Making a Denver omelet requires a little bit of prep with dicing the veggies and ham, but it’s completely worth it. Below, Cristy Stewart-Harfmann, founder of the Happy Family Blog, shares her yummy recipe for this omelet to satisfy your morning appetite! (Also, check out our stories on cooking eggs in bacon grease and preparing a poached egg in the microwave.)

Denver Omelet

A Denver omelet served on a plate with a side of extra ham


  • 4 large eggs 
  • ¼ cup milk 
  • Salt and pepper, to taste 
  • 1 Tbs. butter 
  • ¼ cup diced onions 
  • ¼ cup diced green bell peppers 
  • ¼ cup diced cooked ham 
  • ¼ cup shredded cheddar cheese 


  • Active: 11 mins
  • Total time: 15 mins
  • Yield: 1 serving
  1. In bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, salt and pepper until well combined. (Note: If desired, separate egg whites and yolks. Whisk whites before adding yolks and remaining ingredients.)
  2. In nonstick pan over medium heat, melt butter. Add diced onions and green bell peppers to pan and sauté until softened, around 5 minutes. 
  3. Pour egg mixture over sautéed vegetables in pan. Sprinkle diced cooked ham and shredded cheddar cheese on one half of omelet. 
  4. Cook until edges of omelet start to set, and cheese begins to melt, about 4 to 5 minutes. Gently fold omelet in half to cover fillings. 
  5. Cook additional 1 minute or until cheese is fully melted. Slide omelet onto plate and serve hot. 

5 ways to customize a Denver omelet

For an omelet that’s suited for your taste buds, try these five suggestions below.

1. Use egg whites instead.

For a lightened up Denver omelet, substitute egg whites for whole eggs. The whites will create an omelet that’s just as fluffy with fewer calories and plenty of feel-good protein.

2. Mix herbs or seasonings into the egg base.

You can infuse more flavor into the omelet by stirring in your favorite chopped herbs or seasonings into the beaten eggs. This can range from fresh dill for an earthy kick or red pepper flakes to add hints of spice.

3. Experiment with different cheeses.

Swap cheddar cheese for other soft cheeses like Swiss, mozzarella or Monterey Jack. Alternatively, you combine two or three different cheeses for a more complex and sharp-flavored omelet. (Here’s how to make a cheese omelette with a crunchy outer shell.)

4. Fill the omelet with additional ingredients.

Ham, onions and bell peppers don’t have to be the only fillings for your omelet. Try adding cooked spinach, chopped breakfast sausage or sliced mushrooms as well to enjoy a filling breakfast dish.

5. Don’t forget the toppings.

A sprinkle of chopped chives or parsley on top of the omelet gives it a subtle herby kick. Dolloping fresh salsa, guacamole or sour cream over the omelet also provides the omelet extra freshness and creaminess. Yum!

Keep reading for more recipes to complete your breakfast spread!

Croque Madame Casserole: Delicious Brunch-Worthy Recipe Bakes in 30 Minutes

These Mini Muffins Bake Up Golden + Delicious in 10 Minutes — Easy Shortcut Recipe

Bacon Pancakes Combine Two Breakfast Faves in One Tasty Bite — Easy 30-Minute Recipe

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