Popeye’s Baked Eggs
Looking for an easy, tasty way to increase your veggie intake? An entire container of spinach melts into this cheesy, protein-rich casserole. I’ve made it many times over the years and it’s a great way to increase my family’s consumption of dark leafy greens. Sometimes I mix in kale, chard, or even frozen and drained spinach.
Those dark, leafy greens have a stellar reputation for good reason. Leafy greens are loaded with vitamins, minerals, and disease-fighting phytochemicals. Because greens are also rich in fiber, they help to control hunger by making you feel full longer.
The best part is you can make this dish in advance, refrigerate it, and quickly reheat individual servings in the microwave or oven for breakfast, lunch or dinner. The convenience is always welcome with our busy schedules.
Popeye’s Baked Eggs
- 1 (5-ounce) package fresh spinach, roughly chopped (about 4 cups lightly packed)
- 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded mozzarella, sharp cheddar or Italian blend cheese
- 2 thinly sliced green onions, white and green parts (I often substitute 2-3 tablespoons snipped fresh chives)
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 9 large eggs, beaten
- ¼ cup unflavored sparkling water or milk*
- ½ level teaspoon kosher salt and ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (use ¼ teaspoon if using fine grain or table salt)
- Optional for serving: a drizzle of your favorite hot sauce or green Tabasco; a sprinkle of chopped avocado
- Preheat the oven to 375℉. Grease a 9-inch square baking dish. (A 7×11 casserole dish or a 10-inch round pan will be a rough equivalent. For thicker pieces, use an 8-inch square pan. See next paragraph for a one-pan option.)
- Heat a large, lightly oiled pan over medium heat. Add the spinach** and stir until wilted and some of the moisture cooks off, about 2-3 minutes. Transfer the spinach to the prepared dish and spread it evenly over the bottom. (If you have an oven-proof skillet with a 9- or 10-inch diameter, you can use it to wilt the greens and cook the casserole. The heat of the pan may reduce the baking time by a few minutes; check a little early.)
- Evenly sprinkle the shredded cheese over the spinach, followed by the sliced green onions and Parmesan cheese.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs until blended. Stir in the sparkling water or milk and the salt and pepper. Pour the eggs over the spinach/cheese mixture. Using a fork, gently work the eggs under the spinach and cheese. (Make-ahead tip: At this point you may cover and refrigerate until ready to bake. Allow to sit at room temperature as the oven preheats.)
- Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until the mixture is just set in the middle and becoming lightly golden. The 8-inch square pan or 9-inch skillet option will likely require 4–5 extra minutes. Take care not to overcook as eggs tend to turn rubbery. The slightest bit of undercooked center is perfect as the eggs will continue to cook for a few minutes once removed from the oven.
- Let cool for 5 minutes before cutting. Leftovers may be gently reheated in the microwave or eaten at room temperature.
*Club soda or seltzer water (any flavorless sparkling water) instead of milk can add a little extra lightness to scrambled and baked eggs. If you don't have any, use milk. If you have neither, don't worry; I've made this recipe with no added liquid and it’s still quite good.
**To quickly wilt the spinach, I often cook it in the microwave for about a minute in a vented bowl. After microwaving, you will need to squeeze out the excess water. Tip: A microwave popcorn popper doubles beautifully as a vegetable steamer. It's just a big bowl with a vented lid—inexpensive and ideal for quickly steaming veggies in the microwave.
NUTRITION INFORMATION based on 6 servings:
Calories: 187 Fat: 11.9g Saturated fat: 5g Carbohydrates: 3.3g Fiber: 0.7g Protein: 17.4g
- A side of fruit rounds out the meal when served for breakfast. A simple salad, green vegetable or vine-ripened tomatoes provide a lovely accompaniment later in the day.
- The recipe is delightful as is but also a perfect blank slate on which to build. Enjoy plain or top with chopped avocado and a drizzle of hot sauce. You could also use a Mexican blend cheese and stir in some chopped red pepper and/or black olives and top with a spoonful of guacamole.
- The recipe is meat-free, but on occasion I layer half a cup of finely chopped deli ham over the spinach. You can also try adding cooked bacon or sausage instead.
Ann Fulton, is the creator of the popular blog Fountain Avenue Kitchen, where she shares quick and easy recipes designed for today’s busy lifestyles. Ann’s original recipes include simple, fresh ingredients that can be modified to meet a variety of dietary needs. LG Health is proud to be the exclusive health care partner of Ann Fulton and Fountain Avenue Kitchen. In collaboration with a registered dietitian from the LG Health Wellnes Department, Ann brings exciting recipes and healthy eating tips to our community as a featured contributor to the LG Health Hub.