There are quite a few recipes in the archives of the site that have been staples in our home for as long as I can remember. I leave them up in all their probably not-so-well-written/photos-make-me-cringe glory because some of them have become the most popular recipes on the site. I guess (or assume) this is due to the fact that they are easy and nearly always (hopefully always) have a delicious outcome.
One of these recipes is a breakfast egg bake, circa early 2010. There are mornings that I still find myself tossing together a single serving (or double serving if M wants one) before hopping in the shower. Because there really is nothing better than coming downstairs to a hot, just out of the oven breakfast.
I’ve since written out some better instructions (see below) and today’s version is all about spring. I tossed in raw asparagus, spring onions, and some smoked mozzarella cheese. As the recipe states below, you can really add whatever you on hand in terms of vegetables, cheeses, grains, and herbs. This ‘recipe’ is really about the ease of cooking and how easy it is to use what you have on hand!
- 8 large eggs
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 1/2 to 2 ounces shredded cheese (cheddar, gouda, goat, smoked mozzarella)
- 2 cups diced vegetables (see note)
- 1 to 2 teaspoon fresh minced herbs (basil, rosemary, thyme or parsley)- optional
- 1 cup cooked grains (millet, quinoa, brown rice) - optional
- Preheat oven to 375˚ F and place four 8 ounce ramekins (or two 16 ounce ramekins) on a baking tray with a lip.
- In a bowl, whisk together eggs, whole milk, salt, and pepper until well mixed. Set aside.
- Prepare your vegetables. For vegetables that can be eaten raw or don't take too long to cook: dice into small pieces (1/2 inch at most as smaller is better) and distribute 1/2 cup of vegetables into each ramekin. If you would like to use vegetables that take a bit of time to cook (such as sweet potatoes or butternut squash), roast or steam ahead of time.
- Sprinkle the cheese over the vegetables, adding any herbs or grains as you would like (you might need to reduce the quantity of vegetables slightly for space). Pour the egg mixture over, covering most of the ingredients but leaving about 1/2 inch of space from the top edge of the ramekin as the eggs will puff up as they bake.
- Bake for 18 to 22 minutes for the 8 ounce ramekins or 22 to 25 for the 16 ounce ramekins. Eggs should be puffed, not look wet on top, and not jiggle when the tray is shaken. Cheese should also be slightly brown. Remove from oven and serve immediately as the egg mixture will begin to deflate as it cools.
While the ingredients are listed for 4 people, it can easily be adapted for one (or two). For 1 person: use 2 eggs, 2 tablespoon milk and 1/2 cup diced vegetables.
Stock up: get the pantry ingredients you will need: millet, quinoa, or brown rice
Plan ahead: find this recipe in the Naturally Ella Real Plans upgrade.
Vegetable Egg Bake
This recipe is one big opportunity to try out endless variations. Below are a few of my favorite variations based on season:
Summer: I love to use all the summer vegetables in this variation. Zucchini, sweet corn, tomatoes, peppers (both sweet and hot), and kale. Then add in a sprinkle of feta. This version is so hearty, I don’t think it needs grains.
Fall/Winter: During the cooler months, I’ll roast squash or sweet potatoes with a bit of chili paste. Then add the roasted vegetables to the egg bake along with cooked millet or quinoa. In this version, I usually use a more mild cheese, like mozzarella.
Spring: Asparagus might be my favorite spring vegetable and it’s perfect in this egg bake along with a hearty cheese. And, I love to pair it with bulgur.
As mentioned above, eggs are a go-to, favorite dinner of mine. This is because they are quick, feed quite a few people, and are quite versatile. While my favorite egg dishes are usually a hearty vegetable skillet, egg bakes or even fried egg sandwiches often appear on the dinner table. A few of my favorite egg recipes for dinner include: