Ahh, the humble egg. Few foods out there are as versatile as this inexpensive protein source. These little orbs are filled with nutrients, including lutein and zeaxanthin (essential for healthy eyes!) and omega-3 fatty acids (an important part of keeping hearts healthy) A 12-wk egg inervention increases serum zeaxanthin and macular pigment optical density in women. Wenzel, A.J., Gerweck, C., Barbado, D., et al. Psychology Department, University of New Hampshire, Durham, New Hampshire. The Journal of Nutrition, 2006 Oct; 136(10):2568-73. Health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids. Ruxton, C. Nursing Standard, 2004 Aug 11-17;18(48):38-42.. And while the cholesterol content of egg yolks has caused some controversy, eating as many as four egg yolks per week shouldn't be a problem for most egg-lovers out there. With just 70 calories and 6 grams of protein per egg, incorporating eggs into any meal is an easy way to stay full for hours while also staying healthy.
From baked goods to omelets, pancakes to souflée, the possibilities are truly endless. And then there's one of the most beautiful ways to use an egg: Anything that allows the yolks to run free. Here are 27 recipes starring one of our favorite superfoods (and the best all-natural yellow sauce—the egg yolk)!
GO AHEAD, PUT AN EGG...
1. In a crepe.
Thin, buttery crepes make the perfect container for crumbled sausage and bright-yolked eggs in this simple weekend brunch recipe. Forego the sausage in favor of sautéed kale for a meat-free, iron- and calcium-packed version.
2. In multiples, on top of a sandwich.
OK, so not everyone has quail eggs on hand. But if you did, why not top a chicken-egg sandwich with a dozen or so sunny side-up quail eggs, as in this "WTF Quail Egg Sandwich"? The best part? Runny yolk with every bite!
3. In a roll, baked.
You've likely seen "eggs in a hole" before, but this bready, eggy recipe brings it to another level. Scoop out the inside of a dinner roll, then fill it with an egg. Bake to perfection. Go with a whole-grain roll for added fiber, and serve alongside a bed of healthier salad greens for an easy and healthy brunch.
4. In a cheesy spinach sandwich.
Here’s an easy way to make a batch of sandwiches without too much hassle. A mixture of eggs, spinach, and cheese gets baked all together and scooped onto rolls when cooked through. Voila! Simple sandwiches. Plus, the spinach-heavy filling is rich with superfood benefits, including a healthy dose of calcium and vitamin K. Make it even healthier by skipping the roll and enjoying the eggs atop fresh greens or on their own.
5. In a baguette for breakfast.
Sure, you’ve probably had eggs on top of baguette slices, but this recipe takes it one step further by placing the egg inside the bread. Opt for a whole-grain baguette for an extra serving of protein and fiber, and enjoy alongside some fresh fruit or a small salad.
6. Baked into an avocado.
Once the pit is removed, the remaining depression in an avocado half is the perfect place to crack an egg. Add some crumbled feta and fresh herbs and serve alongside some whole-grain toast for a healthy, simple, and filling meal.
7. Fried up, on top of some potato and herb hash.
Sure, it’s commonplace to make breakfast potatoes in a cast iron skillet, but the eggs are usually cooked separately and served on top or beside. Not in this simple one-pan dish! After the potatoes are cooked, crack the eggs right in there with the spuds, and sprinkle with a healthy dose of fresh herbs. (Try dill for a Scandanavian twist, oregano and parsley if you’re feeling Italian, or rosemary and thyme for some French flavor.) Aside from fresh flavors, herbs provide health benefits ranging from treating insomnia to providing a healthy dose of antioxidants.
8. In a cup made from bacon.
No frying pan needed here. Make eggs n’ bacon cups by lining a muffin tin with (wait for it) slices of bacon, and cracking an egg in each meat-lined cup. Bake until whites are set and yolks are shining bright, and still a bit liquid in the center. Serve alongside a slice of whole-grain toast or on top of sautéed veggies or greens.
9. Scrambled, in a boat (err… baguette).
Think of this as the quick way of making a scrambled egg sub sandwich. Hollow out sub rolls, fill them with eggs, cheese, and sausage, and bake. You can easily healthify this recipe by choosing a whole-grain roll, cutting back on the egg yolks, and adding some chopped veggies (like onions, peppers, and mushrooms) instead of sausage.
10. On a pizza (for breakfast, lunch, or dinner).
The best part about pizza is that, when it comes to toppings, pretty much anything goes. This one gets smothered in tomato sauce, bacon, thinly-sliced potatoes, ham, and whole eggs. If you’re not a fan of the double-meat topping, opt for sliced onions and bell peppers instead (You’ll get an extra dose of vitamin C , too!).
11. On top of Huevos Rancheros breakfast pizza.
Topped with beans, cheese, avocado, and eggs, this pizza is nothing to mess with. The eggs and beans provide a healthy dose of protein, while avocado lends some vitamin E, which is essential for keeping our cells healthy and functioning properly.
12. In quail form, on top of a roasted red pepper crostini.
This recipe can’t get any easier. Toast some baguette slices. Top with roasted red peppers (from a jar, or homemade), and top that with a fried quail egg.
13. Poached, atop a quinoa salad.
Packed with protein and fiber, quinoa (one of our favorite superfoods) makes a great base for just about anything—especially in this salad. Toss it with some baby greens, sautéed mushrooms, and goat cheese, and top it with a poached egg or two, and you have a healthy, meat-free, and super-filling meal perfect for lunch or dinner. The runny yolk makes the quinoa mixture even more delicious.
14. In a baked potato.
This author has endless ideas regarding where to stick eggs. In fact, she wrote an entire cookbook devoted to it! (Check it out here!) The sunny-side-up-topped baked potato makes a great breakfast, or breakfast-for-dinner. Garnish with chopped bacon, plain Greek yogurt, and green onions, or go full veggie-mode and whip up a mixture of greens or other seasonal veggies (Brussels sprouts would be great!) to stick beneath the egg.
15. Smushed on a juicy burger.
No recipe needed for this one. The best burger topping (probably ever)? An over-easy egg, of course. Press the second half of the bun on top, and watch the yolk run down the sides. Keep in mind that this works equally well for beef, turkey, veggie, and basically any other type of burger. The health benefit? This one’s more about happiness, people.
16. On top of rainbow chard, potato, and pesto hash.
It might not get healthier than this take on the classic breakfast hash. Instead of greasy meat, the base of this hash is a few potatoes and heaps of rainbow chard, all flavored with a fresh chard and cashew pesto. (Can you say yum?) Both the hash and pesto use the Swiss chard stems, which studies show contain glutamine, an amino acid that helps boost the immune system Determination of free amino compounds in betalainic fruits and vegetables by gas chromatography with flame ionization and mass spectrometric detection. Kugler, F., Graneis, S., Schreiter, P.P., et al. Institute of Food Technology, Section Plant Foodstuff Technology, Hohenheim Univesrity, Stuttgart, Germany. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 2006. Jun 14;54(12):4311-8..
17. Atop a pile of asparagus.
Here’s a super simple springtime brunch that will impress any houseguest. Roast some asparagus, poach a few eggs, arrange everything on a nice plate, and top with shaved parmesan.
18. On top of lentils and sautéed greens.
Lentils are an underrated superfood. They’re packed with protein, not to mention folate, iron, and potassium. Plus, they’re endlessly versatile, especially as a protein source for vegans and vegetarians. Here, cooked green lentils get tossed with sautéed veggies and greens, then topped with runny-yolked eggs. This recipe is perfect as a late weekend brunch or light dinner.
19. On avocado toast, to bring it to the next level.
Give us a piece of whole-grain bread with smashed avocado and a bit of salt and pepper, and we’re happy campers. Top that with an over-easy egg, and we’re in heaven.
20. As a topping for polenta and braised kale with pancetta.
First big tip: Use whole-grain cornmeal for the polenta! Second tip: Breaking the yolk and enjoying the first bite of this hearty, rich dish is well worth the time it takes to make it. Creamy polenta is topped with a pancetta and kale sautée, and all of that is topped with poached eggs. Whole grains from the polenta, iron from the kale, and protein from the eggs make this a fortifying dinner.
21. In a nest of shaved Brussels sprouts.
Here at Greatist, we love Brussels sprouts. And we're all for trying any recipe that makes prepping them super simple. Shredded and cooked with onions and simple seasonings, the little green orbs make a perfect base for lightly cooked eggs in this easy recipe.
22. With Asian flavorings on top of greens.
By now, spinach or kale and sunny eggs are a pretty standard combo. But this recipe puts a different spin on the greens-n’-eggs combo by choosing Asian greens (such as bok choy) and flavoring them with tamari and sesame oil.
23. With sweet potato and Brussels sprout hash.
Diced sweet potatoes and sliced Brussels sprouts make a flavorful, filling base for poached eggs when they’re cooked in coconut oil and flavored with red onion, garlic, and pepper. Add the homemade thyme hollandaise on top, and this dish is pure heaven. Plus, sweet potatoes are loaded with fiber, beta-carotene, vitamins A and C, and other antioxidants.
24. On top of a crispy kale BLT croque madame with smoked gouda and avocado.
Now, a regular croque madame is already pretty amazing. But when you add crispy kale, grape tomatoes, gouda, bacon, and avocado into the mix, things get a little crazy (and almost too delicious for words). If this recipe looks a little too decadent (or difficult to make), forego the béchamel sauce and leave out the bacon.
25. In some egg yolk ravioli.
Yes, this is a thing. Yes, making ravioli can be quite a process. But yes, it’s also worth it to have a fresh, delicate ravioli that oozes egg yolk when cut open. Serve alongside sautéed vegetables or atop garlic bread for a real treat. (Sorry, folks. No good way to make this one any healthier than served with a healthy dose of veg.)
26. On top of Caprese-style eggs benedict.
Try this lighter version of classic eggs benedict by subbing in sliced tomato and fresh mozzarella for the traditional ham or bacon. If the homemade hollandaise seems like too much work, feel free to skip it—the runny yolk from the poached eggs will serve the same purpose (to dip, obviously!).
27. On top of risotto.
This risotto is filled with mushrooms, onion, garlic, carrots, asparagus, and peas. (Is it possible to shove any more veggies into this dish? We don’t think so.) The creaminess of the Arborio rice makes enjoying this recipe feel decadent, even though you’re getting a whole bunch of antioxidants in each bite. Add an egg on top, and you have a healthy meal complete with carbohydrates, veggies, and protein.