If your busy family is like mine, you are always looking for nutritious foods to eat on the go. Sometimes you find a winner, but then your kids decide abruptly that they don’t like that old standby any more, and then what?! And then your spouse changes their work and workout routine and all of a sudden is eating a ridiculous amount of protein. The co-workers don’t enjoy the sensory experience that comes with a person eating a large quantity of hard boiled eggs every day.
Behold…egg cups. I was hunting around for something that would do triple duty for the kids’ lunches, my spouse’s need for a second breakfast on-the-go after a workout, and a quick protein snack for me. I couldn’t find quite what I was after, so I invented it. The tricky part for me is making one thing that everyone likes. Even if I find that, it has to be simple, because I don’t do fussy cooking. But egg cups? Nailed it.
Egg cups can be really plain, or easily fancied up. The way I make them means that in one pan you can do more than one variety, sort of like when you order a pizza with pineapple only on half.
Egg cups can also be a good way to use up leftover veggies if you choose to incorporate them into this recipe. Win-win all around!
Egg Cup Ingredients (the base ingredients):
Makes one dozen regular muffin-sized egg cups.
- 9 large eggs
- ¾ cup milk (skim or homogenized, doesn’t matter)
- ¾ tsp onion powder
- ¼ tsp ground black pepper
- ¼ tsp salt (optional: whatever you add into the egg mixture will affect the saltiness, so be careful with this measurement, it may be too much in some instances).
- 1 cup (~100g) shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 cup (~100g) finely diced ham
Egg Cup Options:
- Swap out the cheese for something else. Feta maybe?
- Swap out the ham for another meat. I’ve been loving shredded Instant Pot pork in omelettes lately, with a nice dose of Sambal Oelek chili sauce. Just make sure to dice it quite small. Salad shrimp may work too.
- Go meatless and add some black beans instead.
- Add some veggies. I’d stick to already cooked ones though. The Egg Cups aren’t in the oven long enough to cook most veggies through, and some will release a lot of excess water into the egg mixture, so it may not set nicely.
- Leftover sautéed onions and mushrooms from the weekend’s steak supper? Chop that up and throw it in.
- Leftover cooked broccoli? That sounds delicious.
- Cooked greens? Yum. Make sure to drain them.
- A very thin slice of tomato worked for me recently, although the kids turned their noses up at it. It looked nice, if that matters, and it cooked well because it was floating on top of the egg mixture.
- Additional seasonings such as cayenne pepper or dried basil to your taste.
Egg Cup Method
Preheat oven to 425°F. If you cook with stoneware (as I do) preheat your pan at the same time.
Combine eggs with milk in a medium bowl, ideally with a spout so that you can pour directly from the bowl into your muffin pan. Add onion powder, salt, and pepper, and mix well.
Cooked egg sticks like the worst thing on earth. Take steps to avoid much cursing while doing the dishes. Use a non-stick pan and brush the pans with a tiny bit of oil just prior to cooking, or a cooking spray if you prefer. In the case of stoneware I brush them with butter right before I fill them up (works well for corn muffins too). I have heard that silicone works nicely but don’t have regular sized silicone pans, only mini-muffin ones.
Pour the egg mixture into the muffin pans. Aim for about ⅔ full, and distribute any excess between cups when you get to the end.
Evenly distribute any filling you’re including. If you find it difficult to portion easily then halve your pile of shredded cheese, and then halve it again until you can eyeball how much to put into each cup. Repeat for ham and any veggies. It’s not rocket science and it’s okay if some have more than others.
Bake at 425°F for approximately 12 minutes, or until the egg in the middle of each cup is set. If it appears wet and liquidy still then it needs more time.
Remove and cool on a rack. Once completely cool remove egg cups and store in a sealed container in the fridge. Delicious cold, or quickly reheated in the microwave.