The One Way to Prep Eggs That Nobody Talks About

This is the easiest hands-off way to cook eggs, even in large batches.

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shirred eggs on table with spoons
Photo: larik_malasha (Shutterstock)

There are countless ways to cook eggs. Poached, hard boiled, soft boiled, scrambled, friedif there’s a source of heat, you can cook your egg that way. But there’s one method that most people tend to overlook, and it’s an approach that’s easier than most of the rest: shirred eggs. Get on board with them.

What are shirred eggs?

If you’ve never heard the term, “shirred eggs” is just a fancy way of saying that they’re baked. The French variation is called oeufs in cocotte, which are slightly different because the eggs are baked in a water bath.

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Seriously, when’s the last time you baked an egg? This method calls for cracking an egg into a ramekin (or cracking multiple eggs into a flat-bottomed baking dish) and baking off the eggs until the whites are set and the yolks are starting to firm up. You can top them off with cheese, butter, oil, and/or any seasoning you like before you pop them into the oven. Feel free to add an extra protein, too; I’ve had great success with ham. Once they’re baked, you can garnish your shirred eggs with practically anything you have on hand, like fresh herbs or a nice olive oil.

The result is a spoonable egg dish that you can eat as-is, but I like to pair mine with a piece of buttered toast. If you’re entertaining, it’s kind of fancy to be able to serve an individual portion of something without the hassle of slicing or ladling; there’s something about receiving your own little ramekin of eggs that changes how you see them, and the ramekins can be plated with sides and garnishes.

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How to make baked eggs

If you’re a fan of meal prep, you can either bake a batch of shirred eggs in individual ramekins, or you can simply crack a dozen eggs into one larger baking dish—throw in some sliced bell peppers, mushrooms, and/or cheese if you’re feeling it. Then you can dole out servings to enjoy all week long.

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One added benefit of shirred eggs is that the cooking is hands-off. No hovering by the stove. Once those eggs are in their container, baking away, you’re free to get your coffee started. Our sister site Lifehacker has an easy recipe that only takes about 10 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and you can bake the eggs in a toaster oven if you prefer. I see a lazy weekend breakfast of shirred eggs in your future.