Aug 21, 2016

Eggs en Cocotte: Baked Eggs in Ramekins with Spinach & Pancetta

Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 40 mins
Eggs en cocotte or baked eggs are made with sautéed shallots, pancetta, spinach and more in this flexible breakfast recipe.

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Baked in individual ramekins and served with grilled bread on the side for dipping, this classic French breakfast dish is also referred to “oefs en cocotte” or shirred eggs.  It is a dish that may look super fancy, but is very simple to make. The eggs are baked in a water bath until the whites are just set and the yolk is a gooey consistency.

The fillings are made as you would for an omelette or scramble, but instead of having to work for the final product, you crack a few eggs and pop them in the oven. You can add any fillings you like; I choose to add shallots, pancetta, spinach and Parmesan with some chives for garnish. Season the fillings under the eggs so that the eggs do not have specks in them.

Eggs en Cocotte: Baked Eggs in Ramekins with Spinach & Pancetta

diced pancetta with shallots, cream, spinach and eggs ingredients

Key Ingredients in This Recipe

  • Pancetta – Pancetta comes from the belly of the pig. Its salted, seasoned, cured and aged for an extended period of time. Pancetta is similar to bacon in flavor though not as smokey. It can be substituted for bacon, speck or guanciale in this recipe.
  • Shallots – Shallots have a mild, slightly sweet flavor. If needed swap in yellow or red onion in this recipe. The general rule of thumb is 3 medium shallots equal 1 medium onion.
  • Chives – Chives have a fresh, subtle onion-y taste and are added to this recipe as a garnish just before serving. You can use any combination of chopped fresh herbs for garnishing.

How to Make Baked Eggs en Cocotte

sautéed pancetta
Step 1: Cook pancetta.

Preheat oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Heat a medium sauté pan over medium heat. Add the pancetta and cook, stirring occasionally, until crispy, about 6 minutes.

sautéed shallots and pancetta
Step 2: Cook the shallots.

Add the butter and allow to melt. Add the shallots and sauté until soft and translucent, about 4 minutes.

sautéed spinach with onion and pancetta
Step 3: Add the spinach

Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, for about 10 seconds before adding the spinach. Cook the spinach until wilted, about 4 minutes. 

Eggs en Cocotte filling
Step 4: Set filling aside.

Season the spinach with salt and pepper then remove from pan and set aside the filling aside in a small bowl.

buttered cocottes
Step 5: Prep the ramekins or cocottes

Rub the inside of the ramekins with butter then divide the spinach and pancetta filling among the ramekins.

Eggs en Cocotte ready for oven
Step 6: Fill ramekins

Crack two eggs into each ramekin then add a tablespoon of cream to each. Top with a tablespoon of Parmesan.

water bath
Step 7: Add to water bath

Add the ramekins to a baking pan and fill the pan with boiling water so it reaches about half way up the ramekins.

Eggs en Cocotte: Baked Eggs in Ramekins with Spinach & Pancetta
Step 8: Bake the eggs and serve.

Bake uncovered until the egg whites are just set and the yolks are soft and runny, about 10 to 15 minutes depending on the thickness of the ramekins. Remove from the oven and garnish with the shaved Parmesan and chives. Serve immediately with a side of toast.

Eggs en Cocotte: Baked Eggs in Ramekins with Spinach & Pancetta with grilled bread

Tips and Tricks for This Recipe

  • Garnish with cracked pepper to the top for garnish just before serving.
  • If you are using smaller ramekins you can make this dish with only one egg. I wanted to make it a full breakfast and less of a first course and I used larger ramekins and two eggs.
  • Thicker ramekins like these Staub ones may take longer cooking time then porcelain ramekins.
  • This is a flexible recipe, use this method of making baked eggs and swap out the fillings for other meats and vegetables.
easy Eggs en Cocotte recipe

Other Recipes to Try

If you enjoy this eggs en cocotte recipe, I recommend checking out some of these:

Eggs en Cocotte: Baked Eggs in Ramekins with Spinach & Pancetta

Print Pin
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Serves 4

Equipment:

  • 4 (12-ounce) ramekins (cocottes)

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup diced pancetta
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, plus additional for the ramekins
  • 1/3 cup chopped shallots
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 5 ounces baby spinach
  • Kosher salt, as needed
  • Freshly ground black pepper, as needed
  • 8 large eggs
  • ¼ cup heavy whipping cream
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Freshly shaved Parmesan cheese for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives for garnish
  • Grilled bread, for serving

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 350ºF (180ºC).
  • Heat a medium sauté pan over medium heat. Add the pancetta and cook, stirring occasionally, until crispy, about 6 minutes.
  • Add the butter and allow to melt. Add the shallots and sauté until soft and translucent, about 4 minutes.
  • Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, for about 10 seconds before adding the spinach. Cook the spinach until wilted, about 4 minutes. 
  • Season the spinach with salt and pepper then remove from pan and set aside the filling aside in a small bowl.
  • Rub the inside of the ramekins with butter then divide the spinach and pancetta filling among the ramekins.
  • Crack two eggs into each ramekin then add a tablespoon of cream to each. Top with a tablespoon of Parmesan.
  • Add the ramekins to a baking pan and fill the pan with boiling water so it reaches about half way up the ramekins.
  • Bake uncovered until the egg whites are just set and the yolks are soft and runny, about 10 to 15 minutes depending on the thickness of the ramekins.
  • Remove from the oven and garnish with the shaved Parmesan and chives. Serve immediately with a side of toast.

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    • I’ve never tried it but the proportions will most likely be off – because the pan is so much bigger you will need much more cream/ sauce to egg ration than the ramekins. I will have to give it a try and get back to you!