Baked eggs

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Baked eggs are one of the simplest, most satisfying meals to make for one or an entire party. 

They're versatile, creamy, filling and delightfully cheap. You can add just about any topping you can think of that might be nice with an omelet - though you'll want to make sure to use cooked or cured meat. It's a great way to use up extra veggies, both raw and roasted.

I also feel like baked eggs are a reliable dish to entertain a larger group for breakfast or brunch. Outside of baking the eggs all at once, picking up bagels or fresh bread or whipping up some potatoes are the only other thing you'll need to do to round out the meal. You can even let each guest personalize their own individual egg if you're feeling accommodating. And it won't set you back very much time or money.

The recipe below makes four servings, but you'll very quickly see that you can make one egg just as easily as you could make 10. The limitation really just comes down to how many ramekins you have. All-in, preparing and baking this dish should take you about 15 minutes – so, add this to your work-night recipe repertoire.

What to know

Ramekins are an excellent addition to your kitchen. Aside from being able to use them as a basic bowl, they can be used to cook individual items like these eggs, these chicken pot pies or even sweet fruit pies. I like the 3.5-inch, 5.5-oz ramekins best - and, for the bold, it's what you'd use to cook a sweet custard like creme brûlée. It's also really nice to have some ramekins around for a spinach and artichoke or crab dip.

What you need

  • 4 eggs
  • Cooking spray (I use Bak-klene) 
  • Salt, to taste
  • Freshly cracked black or white pepper, to taste

Topping ideas

  • Parmesan: Sprinkle about 2 teaspoons of parmesan per egg
  • Asparagus: Very thinly slice (about 1/4 cm) one asparagus frond per egg
  • Ham and gruyere: 2 tablespoons of diced ham and 1 tablespoon of gruyere cheese per egg
  • Cherry tomatoes and pesto: Half a few cherry tomatoes and add a teaspoon of pesto per egg

How to do it

Preheat your oven to 350-degrees F. If adding any toppings that require preparation or chopping, now's the time to do it.

While the oven heats, spray 4 3.5-inch ramekins (or other small, thick-bottomed, oven-safe dishes) with cooking spray of choice and place on a baking sheet.

Crack one egg into each ramekin. Add desired toppings over the egg, then season with a pinch of salt and a crack or two of pepper.

Move the ramekins on the baking sheet into the oven. Bake the eggs for 5-7 minutes, or until whites are solid and set and the yolk is still runny.

Remove eggs from the oven and serve immediately, handling the piping hot ramekins carefully. 

Leftovers? Tough luck. These are not the best leftovers. But, good news, you should really just make as many as you need because it's as easy as that.