This Baked Denver Omelet is perfect for busy mornings! It's hearty, delicious, and can be ready on the table in no time. Just like the traditional Denver omelet, it’s chock full of ham, green peppers, onions, and cheese, only baked casserole style making it a simple no-fuss breakfast for any occasion.
Denver Omelet Casserole
Whether you are making breakfast for a large group or a small family, this is the absolute best egg casserole, or “egg bake.” It’s made with all of the same ingredients that you would find in an omelet - eggs, milk, cheese, filling and seasoning - only it’s baked in a baking dish. No need to spend the morning flipping individual omelets over a hot stove!
Once you’ve tried this recipe, feel free to swap out or add additional fillings, cheese and seasoning and see what you can come up with. Serve your Baked Denver Omelet with hash browns, a green salad or fresh fruit, then sit back and enjoy.
Why is it Called a Denver Omelet?
There is a lot of speculation here and really just best guesses. Some people think that the Denver omelet (or the “Western Omelet”) came from a sandwich called the Denver Sandwich which was filled with the same ingredients - green bell peppers, ham, onions and cheese.
Other historians believe it originated from a dish made by Chinese immigrants who were working on the railroads out West. The thought is that a version of egg foo young was possibly eaten between two slices of bread so that it could be taken on the go.
Baked Denver Omelet Ingredients
- Butter - you can use either salted or unsalted butter for this recipe. If you use salted, you may need to reduce the added salt slightly, depending on your taste.
- Onion - we recommend using white or yellow onions.
- Green Pepper - this is traditional, but you could use orange, yellow or red instead.
- Eggs - any type of large egg will work.
- Milk - we recommend using either whole or 2% milk, or even heavy cream.
- Salt and Pepper
- Ham - any type of cooked ham will work. Leftover ham from the holidays works great for this recipe and deli ham works great too.
- Shredded Cheese - cheddar is traditionally found in a Denver omelet, but the next best thing would be Pepper Jack or mozzarella. A little goat cheese or feta would also taste amazing!
How to Make a Baked Denver Omelet
- Saute veggies. It's best to saute vegetables before adding them to the egg mixture so they're soft and cooked all the way through.
- Make the egg mixture. You can mix these by hand, in a blender, or a hand mixer before adding the diced ham and shredded cheese.
- Pour into baking dish. Spray the baking dish with non-stick cooking spray to make clean up a little easier, then add the sautéed onions and peppers evenly over the bottom. Pour the egg mixture over the onion mixture and gently stir to combine.
- Bake. Bake in a preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown and the eggs in the middle of the baking dish are set. You can give the pan a little jiggle and the casserole doesn't wiggle.
- Serve. Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes before slicing. Serve with a dollop of sour cream, diced tomatoes and avocados if desired. Enjoy!
Can You Make a Baked Denver Omelet Ahead of Time?
Yup - there are even multiple ways to do this! If you want to do some of the prep beforehand and still want to serve it freshly baked, you can cook the peppers and onions ahead of time and store in an airtight container. The next day, remove from the fridge and prep the rest of the recipe as directed.
Otherwise, here are a couple more options:
- Refrigerate: you can cover with plastic or aluminum foil and store in the fridge for up to 3 days. If there is only a small portion left, transfer to an airtight container.
- Freeze: we don’t recommend freezing this omelet, but it is possible. Make sure you wrap it tightly with plastic wrap, then a layer of aluminum foil and store for up to 1 month.
- Reheating: if you need to thaw, simply transfer to the fridge overnight. You can either reheat in the microwave for 30 seconds at a time, or warm in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 10-15 minutes, or until warmed through.
Breakfast Casserole Variations
As with any type of egg casserole, this Baked Denver Omelet is simple to customize. Here are a few ideas for simple ingredient substitutions, toppings and more:
- Ingredient Substitutions: trying using shredded mozzarella or Pepper Jack instead of cheddar, bacon instead of ham and/or heavy cream in place of milk.
- Toppings: chives, green onions, guacamole, salsa, pico de gallo, or even sausage gravy.
- Extra Seasoning: try with a pinch of cayenne, paprika, cumin or red pepper flakes.
- Vegetarian: mix the ham and fill with sautéed mushrooms and spinach instead.
Baked Denver Omelet Recipe
- 2 Tablespoons Butter
- ½ cup Onion diced, white or yellow
- ½ cup Green Pepper diced
- 8 large Eggs Raw Eggs
- ¼ cup Water
- ⅛ teaspoon Salt
- 1 pinch Pepper
- 1 cup Ham cut into ½" pieces
- ½ cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- In a medium-sized saute pan over medium-high heat, melt the butter then add the diced onions and bell peppers. Saute until translucent, or about 5 minutes, then remove from the heat and set aside.
- In a large bowl, add the eggs, water, salt and pepper and beat with a whisk or fork to break up the eggs and combine. Add in the diced ham and shredded cheese and stir to combine.
- Spray a 9" x 13" baking dish with non-stick cooking spray, then add the sautéed onions and peppers evenly over the bottom. Pour the egg mixture over the onion mixture and gently stir to combine.
- Bake in a preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown and the eggs in the middle of the baking dish are set.
- Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes before slicing. Serve with a dollop of sour cream, diced tomatoes and avocados if desired. Enjoy!
Here are some more baked egg breakfast recipes that we love!
- Sausage Egg Biscuit Casserole
- Bacon and Asparagus Quiche
- Tater Tot Breakfast Casserole
- 3 Cheese and Pesto Quiche
- Potato Crust Quiche with Ham and Bacons
- More Egg Recipes
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It is believed this breakfast classic was created by cooks from the American West or the Chinese railroad. It was originally served on bread as a sandwich but at some point, a breadless version was developed and it became known as the Denver or Western Omelet.
Denver omelet and Wester omelet are interchangeable. Most restaurants have their own spin on the classic but are generally made up of the same main ingredients, eggs, ham, onions, and green peppers.
It’s best to use water in omelets instead of milk. Milk makes your omelet watery since it will not blend with the eggs. Water blends and helps to keep the omelet high.
No need to spend the morning flipping individual omelets over a hot stove with this Baked Denver Omelet. It's hearty, delicious, filled with ham, green peppers, onions, and cheese, and can be ready on the table in no time.