The Foodie Physician: Dining with the Doc: Baked Eggs in Tomato Sauce

Dining with the Doc: Baked Eggs in Tomato Sauce

Everyone has their favorite way to prepare eggs- perhaps you’re a traditionalist and enjoy them scrambled or fried.  Or maybe you prefer a delicately poached egg or a fluffy omelet or frittata.  If you’re looking for something different, why not try to bake your eggs next time?  Baked eggs, also called eggs en cocotte, are delicious and easy to prepare. They’re also very versatile as you can incorporate your favorite ingredients to make lots of different varieties. Baked eggs are also a nice option for dinner, especially if you’re pressed for time and need to get a meal on the table with ingredients you already have on hand.  Simply prep your ingredients, pop them in the oven and dinner is ready 20 minutes later. 

While traditional eggs en cocotte are baked in a water bath, this method skips the water bath and bakes the eggs in a dry oven, which makes things a lot simpler.  Here’s an easy guide to baking eggs:

- Prepare your base ingredients. My recipe uses a homemade spicy tomato sauce but you can also make a base by sautéing fresh vegetables. Try using veggies like spinach, mushrooms, onions or leeks.  Be creative!  If you’re pressed for time, you can use store-bought tomato sauce.

- Transfer your base ingredients to a vessel.  Baked eggs are traditionally cooked in small ramekins.  If you don’t have ramekins, you can use any small dish like a small gratin dish (I used a Spanish clay dish called a cazuela).  You can even use an edible dish- I’ve had good results baking eggs in an avocado cut in half lengthwise.  If you don’t want to use individual dishes, you can cook all of the eggs together in a large oven-safe skillet. 

- Add your eggs.  Crack your eggs into the center of each ramekin. If you’re confident about your egg cracking abilities, crack them directly into the ramekins.  Otherwise, crack your eggs into another bowl and then gently pour them into the ramekins. 

- Add your toppings.  Top the eggs with grated cheese or other toppings.  You can also add a small amount of cream or milk, if desired.   

- Transfer ramekins to a baking sheet and bake in a 400 degree oven for 15-20 minutes until the whites are just set.  Remove from the oven and garnish with fresh herbs.  Serve with plenty of crusty bread for dipping.

Baked Eggs in Tomato Sauce

Makes 4 servings

2 teaspoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ teaspoon chili flakes
1 can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes
½ teaspoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon sugar
Salt and pepper
2 cups baby spinach
4 large eggs
8 teaspoons grated parmesan or reduced fat mozzarella cheese
1 tablespoon chopped parsley

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and add the garlic and chili flakes. Cook 1 minute until fragrant.  Stir in the tomatoes, oregano, sugar, ¼ teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.  Simmer 5 minutes and then stir in the spinach.  Cook another few minutes until spinach is wilted. 

Divide the sauce between 4 ramekins or individual gratin dishes and make an indentation in the center of each one with the back of a large spoon.  Crack an egg into the center of each ramekin being careful to keep the yolk intact (I prefer to crack the eggs into a separate bowl and then pour the eggs into the ramekins).  Sprinkle 2 teaspoons cheese on top of each one.  Place the ramekins on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until the egg whites are just set.  Remove from oven and garnish with parsley.  Serve warm. 

Alternatively, you can cook the eggs together in an oven-safe skillet instead of dividing them into individual dishes. 

One serving: Calories 179; Fat 8.1g (Sat 2.7g); Protein 11.7g; Carb 16.6g; Fiber 4.3g


  1. Such a simple and easy variety of an egg preparation. I am definitely going to try it.

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