Monday, 6 April 2015

Easy Baked Eggs with Spinach, Tomatoes and Ham

Perfect for breakfast, brunch or even supper, choose whether to ramp them up with a splash of cream and a light grating of parmesan cheese for an indulgent treat, or stick to the virtuous version...

Not only is this a delicious and healthy dish, it also only take a couple of minutes to put together, and you can quickly wilt the spinach by pouring hot water from the kettle over it in a colander!

Use your favourite ham as a base (or if you're vegetarian, substitute some sliced, lightly pan-fried mushrooms), and pile the other ingredients on top. For a bit of a change, substitute a slice of Italian mortadella sausage for the base, or even a slice of smoked salmon for a luxury treat! Delicious served with a slice of your favourite crusty bread, toasted - or enjoy on its own for a low carb treat.

Serves: As few or as many as you like, provided you have enough dishes! I make this for my family of four, but I've put the ingredients down for a two person serving, so it's easy to double or halve them, for four people or one person.

Calories: 179 calories per person for the 'regular' version with a thick slice of ham (or as low as 146 calories if using a slice of generic supermarket ham) - and add another 90 for the cream and parmesan 'luxury' upgrade! See the notes below for different calorie counts of hams etc. if you're counting. Want more protein? Throw in another egg for around 88 calories.

[Calories in square brackets]

  • 2 slices ham* (your favourite, cooked hams work best) [106 calories - see Notes below]
  • 100g baby spinach leaves [24]
  • 200g chopped tomatoes (e.g. half a 400g tin) [50]
  • 2 medium eggs (58g each) [175]
  • 2 pinches dried oregano [1]
  • Pinch dried chilli flakes (optional) [1]
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper [1]

Optional 'luxury' upgrade
(Omit if cooking dairy free)

  • 2 x 15ml tbsp double cream [140]
  • 10g finely grated parmesan (it's surprisingly light when grated with a microplane grater!) [39]

Pre-heat the oven to Gas Mark 6 / 200C / 180C Fan, and boil a kettle full of water. 

Take two small gratin dishes (or four, of course, if you're cooking for four etc., or tapas style dishes will be just about big enough) and line each with a slice of ham - if it's too big, just scrunch up a little to fit, or leave a little popping above the edges if you don't mind it going a little crispy (which is actually quite nice!).

Put the spinach leaves in a colander, and slowly pour the kettle full of hot water all over it, until it's wilted right down. Squeeze out any excess water, by pressing it against the side of the colander with a fork or spoon, then divide between the dishes, arranging on top of the ham.

Divide the chopped tomatoes between the dishes, make a little well in the centre with the back of a spoon for the eggs to sit in, and sprinkle a pinch of oregano on each, and (if using) a few dried chilli flakes, and a sprinkle of salt.

Crack an egg in the middle of each dish (or, if you're a bit clumsy like me, crack it into a ramekin first, so you can fish out any bits of broken shell! Tip - if you want a runny yolk, but firm whites, then try and pop the yolk right in the middle, and pour the whites around the edges, as it will cook from the outside inwards). 

 If using (i.e. being naughty!), top with a tablespoon of cream, and a grating of parmesan. You may have thought 10g sounded a bit mean, but it's actually plenty using a fine grater, with the strong taste of parmesan - and it was a case of weighing as I went to see how much it was! If not, skip to the next step, and feel virtuous.

Give a good grinding of black pepper on the top, and (depending on what size dishes you're using, and how hot / reliable your oven is) pop into the middle of the oven for around 15 to 20 minutes until the egg is cooked to your liking. Check after 12 minutes.

Serve with hot toast, if you're indulging in carbs, and enjoy! The toasted bread part is rather useful for mopping up the juices...

Ham for calorie counters - all ham is not created equal, of course - so your calories will go up or down depending on what you use. Here are a few examples (not recommendations!) of average calories, per slice / serving, plus mortadella and smoked salmon to give you an idea:-
  • Black Country Ham, 30g slice (Sainsbury's Taste the Difference) - 53 calories
  • Brunswick Ham, 20g slice (German cured and smoked, with fat) - 61 calories
  • Honey Roast Ham, Wiltshire Cure, 30g slice (Formed) - 41 calories
  • 'Generic Supermarket Ham' - Cured, Formed and Cooked, 17g slice (120g pack of 7 slices) - 20 calories
  • Wafer Thin Smoked Ham (Formed), 2 slices, 24g - 40 calories
  • Mortadella Italian Sausage, 14g slice - 42 calories
  • Smoked Salmon, 60g serving - 132 calories


  1. I made this dish last night and followed the recipe, which was very easy to follow. I used carved off the bone ham, mixed herbs as didn't have oregano and had a good scattering of Parmesan. I have to say that it was absolutely delicious..very very tasty and filling. Very easy to make and tasty..what more could you ask for?

    1. So glad you enjoyed it, and thank you for leaving me a comment (think I know who this is!). Andrea :)


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