Eggs en Cocotte is an easy way to bake eggs for breakfast or brunch. Add some spinach and bacon, or whatever you have on hand.
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Eggs en cocotte is a simple, classic French recipe that's easy to make when you are feeling lazy, but also a beautiful dish that's fancy enough to serve to guests for brunch.
This recipe is easy to customize to whatever you have in the fridge - leftover veggies like mushrooms or peppers, most any kind of cheese, herbs, etc. I like the spinach here because I always have some around, and it adds nice green to the dish, no matter what time of year.
We'll bake our eggs en cocotte in a bain-marie (water bath) in the oven so they cook gently and evenly.
What are eggs en cocotte?
A cocotte means any kind of small, heat-proof dish that you can use to cook and serve individual portions. Eggs en cocotte are cooked in small dishes, usually with heavy cream, and other ingredients like veggies or a bit of bacon, etc. They are baked in the oven in a water bath, also known as a bain-marie, which helps the eggs to cook evenly and prevents overcooking.
Eggs en cocotte is the ultimate lazy brunch recipe!
- Use whatever add-ins you have in the fridge!
- Just throw everything into your cocotte and bake. No muss, no fuss.
- Cooks in about 15 minutes.
- It's gluten free!
Video: Watch me make this recipe!
Ingredients you'll need
The only two ingredients you truly need to make eggs en cocotte are eggs and cream. The rest is up to you! I tend to always have bacon and spinach around, so that's what I used.
- Heavy Cream
- Cooked spinach
- Cooked bacon
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Eggs en cocotte is an endlessly flexible recipe that you can riff on forever. Add vegetables, cheeses, meats, and herbs as you see fit. Use whatever ingredients you have on hand. Try these ideas!
- Mushrooms, Gruyère cheese, parsley
- Roasted red peppers, crispy prosciutto, basil
- Sausage, scallions, cheddar
- Goat cheese and caramelized onions
How to make eggs en cocotte
Step 1: Prep the cocottes and cook bacon
Preheat oven to 350. Grease ramekins/cooking dishes with butter or olive oil.
Cook bacon according to your desired method. I prefer the microwave for this dish. So easy. No mess.
Step 2: Cook the spinach
In a skillet over medium heat, melt butter or add olive oil and quickly wilt spinach. Distribute the spinach evenly among ramekins or serving dishes.
Step 3: Combine eggs, cream and spinach
Make a small indent in the spinach and nestle the eggs into them. Season with salt and pepper.
Step 4: Bake!
Put the serving dishes onto a sheet pan or into a casserole dish and place it in the oven. Carefully pour hot water into the sheet pan so each dish has water ⅓ to halfway up the sides of the dish. This ensures gentle cooking.
PRO TIP It's much easier to add water to the bain-marie once it's in the oven, not before. This way there's no sloshing water all over from trying to carry the pan all the way across the kitchen!
Cook for 10-15 minutes, or until eggs are just set, or longer if you prefer your egg yolks more done in the center. I like mine sunny and runny!
Crumble the bacon and distribute evenly over each dish. Serve immediately.
Eggs en cocotte tips
- Cooking time may vary, depending on how you like your eggs. I like mine just barely set on top. Cook longer if you want a hard-cooked yolk.
- You can make these in larger or smaller cocottes, with one egg in a smaller vessel or two eggs in a larger one depending on your appetite.
- Don't add the hot water to the bain-marie until it's in the oven. So much easier this way.
- Eggs en cocotte are traditionally served with strips of toasted bread to dip into the cream and yolks. Crusty French bread would also be delicious.
No, eggs en cocotte cannot be made ahead. If you tried to reheat them, the eggs would be over cooked and the cream will split. But you can prep your additional ingredients ahead of time, cook the bacon, sauté your veggies, grate the cheese, etc. Then all you have to do is bake the eggs.
Small ceramic ramekins, soup crocks, and cast iron dishes can all be used to make eggs en cocotte. Just be sure whatever you use is oven safe and won't be affected by sitting in the water bath (nothing metal that could rust, etc.)
A bain-marie is the French term for a water bath. That means cooking or baking something in a vessel that is inside or on another pan filled part way with hot water. The hot water surrounds the dish and helps it to cook evenly, without getting to brown on the sides and top before the center is done.
More breakfast and brunch recipes
- Buckwheat Crepes are another classic French recipe that can be made with with whatever ingredients you have on hand.
- My Piperade recipe offers a twist on the traditional, using spicy chorizo.
- Baked Eggs in Avocados with Chorizo and Queso Fresco will whisk you away to a seaside Mexican resort.
- Chilaquiles Verdes with Fried Eggs and Chorizo is my favorite Mexican breakfast of all time!
Eggs en Cocotte with Spinach and Bacon
- 8 eggs
- 6 oz baby spinach
- 1 tablespoon butter or olive oil
- 8 slices bacon
- 16 tablespoon heavy cream
- kosher salt
- cracked black pepper
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Grease the cooking dishes with butter or olive oil.
- Cook bacon as desired, set aside. I prefer the microwave for this. So easy. No mess.
- In a skillet over medium heat, melt butter or add olive oil. Sauté spinach until just wilted. Distribute evenly among cooking/serving dishes.
- Add 4 tablespoon heavy cream to each dish.
- Create a small well in the spinach, and crack two eggs into each container. Season with salt and pepper.
- Cook in a water bath: Place cooking/serving dishes on a baking pan and place it in the oven. Carefully add hot water to the pan so it goes ⅓ to ½ way up the sides of the cooking dishes.
- Bake for 10-15 minutes or until the eggs are done to your liking. Remove from oven, crumble bacon on top. Serve immediately.
- This recipe assumes that your cooking vessels will hold two eggs easily. Just cut ingredients in half if using a smaller container and only cooking one egg in each.
- Don't add the water to the water bath until the pan and your eggs are in the oven. This is so much easier than trying to carry a water-filled pan full of little bowls across the kitchen!
- I like to use my Lodge cast iron mini servers or my Lodge cast iron mini skillets for this recipe because the presentation is so cute!!