Eggs in A Basket: Baked Eggs in Toast Cups with Melty Cheese

Update:  This recipe was submitted as an entry in the NYC Eggland’s Best Recipe contest…

Yesterday, Bacon Toffee.  Today?  Eggs in a Basket.  Bacon and eggs.  See?  I’m practical…

And this dish?  It hits all the right buttons. It is flavorful, cheap, easy to prepare, simple to customize, cheap, and kid friendly.  And did I mention it’s easy on the wallet?  Seriously.  Can you think of a less expensive complete protein than eggs? We’re talking about bread, eggs, and cheese in the dish’s simplest form.  It is a classic combination that doesn’t need much tinkering.  You can, of course, add anything else you want to the mix; crispy bacon, diced ham, a spoonful of lentil soup or beef stew, sauteed or caramelized onions… Let your tastebuds be your guide.  And you can vary the overall flavor by playing with the type of bread you use; rye, whole wheat, white sandwich, cinnamon raisin… The sky is the limit.

I would be remiss if I didn’t emphasize just how easy this dish is to customize for various members of the household.  Around here we have three who like their yolks runny and four who like the yolks firm.  Since I cook these in ramekins, I put the runny-yolk lovers’ ramekins in the oven several minutes after I start baking the ones intended for the firm-yolk camp.  No ramekins?  No problem.  Use a muffin tin.  When the runny-yolk E-I-Bs are done, pull out the muffin tin and carefully remove the requisite number of toast cups.  Return the tin to the oven and finish cooking the other eggs to the desired doneness.

Tangent Alert: This is a great recipe to get your kids cooking in the kitchen.  I prepared this with the group of nine to twelve year old kids to whom I teach cooking.  Combined with Purple Cows and Ranch Topped Iceberg Wedges, it created a meal these kids could prepare almost entirely by themselves for their families.

This is the go-to dish on super busy activity laden nights.  No one gets tired of it and with the aforementioned salad and smoothies you’ve made a complete and nutritionally well-rounded meal.  How about that?  You saved your family money while preparing a delicious, well-rounded, meal that was quick to prepare.  Buy yourself a dark chocolate bar.  You deserve it.

For a printer-friendly, photo-free version of this recipe, click here…

Eggs in a Basket

Scale this recipe up as needed.  Around these parts, that means I prepare nearly 20 eggs per meal.  My chickens work hard.

Prep and Cooking Time: Between 15-25 minutes

Ingredients per person:

And missing from this picture?  Eggs.  Kind of crucial...

And missing from this picture? Eggs. Kind of crucial...

  • 2 eggs
  • 2 slices fresh bread (We used homemade whole wheat sourdough.  Mmmmm… Sourdough…)
  • butter
  • shredded cheese (You can use Cheddar, Swiss, Munster, Smoked Gouda, etc…  Whatever flicks your Bic.)
  • Chopped ham or crispy bacon, optional
  • thinly sliced green onions, optional

Preheat oven to 375F.

Butter each slice of bread.

I didn't actually use the whole stick of butter.  But I thought about it...

I didn't actually use the whole stick of butter. But I thought about it...

Squeeze into the ramekin or muffin tin, buttered side down. Press bread against sides of dish to push crust above the rim and make enough room for the egg.

Look at the freaky duck hands squeeze bread into ramekins.  Quack, quack!

Watch the freaky duck hands squeeze bread into ramekins. Quack, quack!

Because the bread doesn’t always go where you want it to without tearing, you may find yourself with some pretty big holes.

Mind the gap.  Patch that hole...

Mind the gap. Patch that hole...

Don’t sweat it.  Just patch it with a buttered piece torn from another piece of bread.

... with a small piece of buttered bread...

... with a small piece of buttered bread...

That's better!

That's better!

Sprinkle about 1 Tablespoon of shredded cheese into each bread lined dish.

Be generous with the cheese!

Be generous with the cheese!

Top with 1-2 Tablespoons chopped ham or bacon, if using.

Break one egg into each ramekin and grind fresh pepper over the eggs.

...And don't skimp on the black pepper!  You will regret it!

...And don't skimp on the black pepper! You will regret it!

Almost there...

Almost there...

Sprinkle evenly with about 1 additional Tablespoon shredded cheese and any other desired seasonings.

Doesn't looking at cheese make you wicked hungry?  It makes me hungry, anyway.

Doesn't looking at cheese make you insanely hungry? I could gnaw someone's leg off just looking at this.

Bake 15 to 25 minutes, till cheese is browned and eggs are cooked to desired consistency.

So cute.  Melted cheese, toasty bread, perfectly cooked yolk...

So cute. Melted cheese, toasty bread, perfectly cooked yolk...

If you prefer runny yolks, pull the eggs from the oven closer to 15 minutes.

Come to Mama!

Come to Mama!

If you prefer medium yolks remove at about 20 minutes.

This one is for Liam.  "Straight up with green onions, please, Mom."

This one is for Liam. "Straight up with green onions, please, Mom."

If you like yolks that are firm all the way through, cook closer to the 25 minute mark.

...And this one is NOT for Leif.  Note the 'green stuff'.

...And this one is NOT for Leif. Note the 'green stuff'.

Remove toast cups from the dishes and serve. (These can also be served in the ramekins if they were cooked in them, but can pose a burning hazard for small hands.  Use your discretion.)

This was temporarily abandoned by Ty so he could investigate why the dogs were barking outside.  I might have eaten it.  If that makes me a bad Mom so be it.  I cannot resist the hot sauce.

This was temporarily abandoned by Ty (note the firm yolk) so he could investigate why the dogs were barking outside. I might have eaten it. If that makes me a bad Mom so be it. I cannot resist the hot sauce.

Serve hot, warm, or room temperature.

Comments

  1. Rebecca and/or Val says

    Megan- I fixed the link. The link fairies have been back at it again…
    Sara- Thank you! The crowd around here appreciates it. Getting everyone to agree on any food is no small feat.
    Cathy- Thank ye, Ma’am! I’m glad you liked it.

  2. says

    Hmm.. i love hard boiled eggs, but they’re a pain in the a** to get on bread, I always burn my fingers on the shell and it breaks when I try to slice it and so on.. Maybe this is the solution??

    Cheese and eggs… not something I’ve ate very much, but cheese does make everything better..

  3. Rebecca says

    Veronica- This will definitely save your fingerprints! And yes, cheese DOES make everything better. Everything.

  4. Kat says

    It seems I am late to the party, but I wanted to say, I just made this for breakfast with fresh local eggs, multi-grain local bread, gruyere, and herbes de provence and let me tell you, this recipe is simple, easy, and turns out fantastic! It certainly made me look like an expert in the kitchen. Thanks so much for sharing it!

  5. Sara says

    I am making these for our big family Christmas Brunch…got about 20 people coming and getting that many eggs ready at the same time can be challenging, for sure – but I can get these ready in the morning and just pop them in when everyone gets here. Awesome. Cannot wait to try them.

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