- Prep time 30 minutes
- Cook time 15 minutes
- Serves 2 to 4
On special occasions or holidays, my mom made shirred or baked eggs. She would make them in individual cups or small baking dishes, and it was one of my favorite breakfasts. This is my updated version of my mom's baked eggs. I added some spinach, bacon, and tomatoes and used a béchamel to make it creamy and decadent. Some grated Gruyère and a short trip to the broiler finishes this dish. —sdebrango
Test Kitchen Notes
This baked eggs recipe is a very luxurious way to begin your day. You'll love the combination of spinach, bacon, and tomatoes—plus a handful of Gruyère that really puts this dish over the top. A simple béchamel of butter, flour, and milk may seem like an extra step, but it's well worth the effort. Cooking the spinach and tomatoes in bacon fat—well, you can't go wrong with that either, can you? This recipe is versatile too, as you can use whatever vegetables you want, guanciale or pancetta instead of the bacon, and your favorite type of cheese if you're not feeling the Gruyère.
If that hasn't convinced you to make this, well, you're missing out on a contest winner. We put out a call for the dreamiest breakfast you can imagine, and this recipe was the winner! From smoothies to delicious oats, soufflés, and even breakfast pasta, we received a lot of submissions, but this was our favorite. The developer, sdebrango, says: "Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day—or, rather breakfast food at any time of day, really. This recipe is versatile and makes a great creamy breakfast, or equally delicious lunch or dinner. How can you not love anything made with a cream sauce? I've made this dish, or a variation of it, so many times. I've tried using different vegetables—Brussels sprouts, zucchini, fried potatoes—pancetta instead of bacon, cheese sauce rather than a basic béchamel... Sometimes using buttered toasted garlic breadcrumbs on top is nice, along with different cheeses—like Taleggio, for example." —The Editors
- Your All-Time Best Creamy Breakfast Contest Winner
unsalted butter, plus more for the pan(s)
1 1/2 cups
warmed whole milk
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
4 to 6
bacon slices, cut into bite-size pieces
baby spinach, cleaned
cherry tomatoes, halved
toasted breadcrumbs, to coat the pan(s)
- Heat the oven to 425°F. In a small heavy skillet over medium-low heat, melt the butter. Add the flour and cook, whisking constantly, for 1 to 2 minutes. Slowly add the milk, whisking constantly, and cook until thickened; season with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat, cover, and set aside.
- In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, cook the bacon, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned. Transfer the bacon to a plate, leaving the rendered fat in the pan (if the bacon didn't render enough fat, add a little olive oil). In the same skillet, cook the spinach, stirring occasionally, until wilted. Transfer the spinach to another plate or bowl. In the same skillet, cook the tomatoes, stirring occasionally, until they start to blister and soften.
- Butter the baking pans, cocottes, ramekins, or whatever you like to use. Sprinkle the bottom with the breadcrumbs. Arrange the spinach as the bottom layer, then add the bacon bits and tomatoes. Spoon 3 heaping tablespoons of the béchamel into each baking dish. Create a well in the center and gently nestle an egg in each well. Spoon some more béchamel around the eggs.
- Place the baking dishes on a baking sheet. Bake for about 10 minutes, until the eggs are barely set. If you don't like runny eggs, bake for 12 minutes instead of 10.
- Remove the baking sheet from the oven. Turn the broiler on with a rack placed close to the burner. Sprinkle the cheese on top and broil for about 1 minute, until the cheese is lightly browned.