Protein at breakfast is a must for me.
Spinach Feta Egg White Cups have been at the top of the list for fulfilling that need ever since I was pregnant. I used to eat a bowl of cereal with skim milk for breakfast almost every day, month after month, year after year, until one day, I just got sick of it.
I was hungry by mid morning, so I’d have some fruit to carry me over until lunch. When I was pregnant, that carb centric breakfast just wasn’t going to cut it anymore.
So, for years and years now, I’ve made egg white cups. They are on a serious breakfast rotation in our house, probably every two to three weeks. They have lots of protein, tons of flavor, and are so easy to make.
When I first started making them, I would make all different kinds depending upon what we had leftover from dinner before. You can pretty much create any flavor profile from Italian to Greek to Mexican…really the options are limitless.
For today, I’ve made Spinach Feta Egg White Cups and my “go to” basic with just feta cheese.
For the basic, you only need two ingredients, crumbled feta cheese and a carton of egg whites. All egg whites are not created equal; I use Abbotsford Farms Cage Free Liquid Egg Whites .
I’ve tried many and these have worked the best. They bake up fluffier and creamier than any other brands. I usually find them at Whole Foods, although Target did carry them for a while. If you can’t find them, no worries, just use your favorite carton of egg whites.
Then, just spoon whatever filling you want into each cup. I use a 1/2 Tablespoon of crumbled feta in mine.
If I want some diversity, I’ll chop up some fresh spinach or other vegetable and put a spoonful into each cup. It adds some nice color and puts a bit a veggie into breakfast, always a good thing.
Divide the egg whites equally among the cups, filling them to about 1/4″ from the top. (Any cups that you are not using should be partially filled with water, see details in recipe.)
The cups go into a cold oven. That means no preheating. Just pop them in the oven and set the temperature to 325 degrees F. I think the gradual heating makes for a more tender egg cup. They’ll be done somewhere between 15-25 minutes, depending on your oven.
Always check at 15, then be aware that eggs can cook fast once the oven heats up. I’d check them every two minutes until you have gauged how long it takes. Then, next time, you’ll know and you won’t have to baby sit them.
I like to take them out when they’re just staring to get puffy, but they still have just a bit of jiggling in the center. First, they’re going to continue to cook in the pan once you take them out. (They will deflate a little as they cool. That’s normal.)
Second, if you make a big batch like I do, I like to leave some cooking time for reheating. Overcooked eggs are rubbery and that’s not what we’re looking for here. If you like them a bit more done, you can always cook them longer in the microwave.
If you’re going to eat them all right away, let them cook fully. I always err on the side of underdone, because I can fix that.
Each 16 ounce carton makes 8 egg cups, or 4 servings. I always triple the recipe, which means I can fill up two whole muffin pans and get a head start on breakfast for three days. Yep, three days.
These babies get stored in the refrigerator and in the morning, get a quick reheat in the microwave while I’m toasting some whole grain English muffins or other accompaniment.
Two egg cups with feta is about 80 calories; spinach or other vegetables barely add any more. Toast an English muffin that’s full of fiber and you’ve got a great breakfast for about 200 calories, with plenty of room to add other fruits, beverages or meat protein if that’s part of your breakfast plan.
I round out breakfast a bit more for the kids, but for me, the egg cups and the English muffin work just fine. The eggs bake up tender and creamy with just enough saltiness from the feta, and they keep me satisfied until lunch.
I like to feed my family a hot breakfast each day and this is one of the ways I do it without spending a lot of time in the morning.
Even though they’re quick to make, I’ve started making them the night before so I don’t have to wait for them to cook the next day. Makes life easy.
And easy is good.
Spinach Feta Egg White Cups
- 16 ounce carton of liquid egg whites
- 4 Tablespoons crumbled feta cheese
- 3/4 cup chopped fresh spinach
Spray 8 muffin cups with cooking spray. If you're using a 12 cup muffin tin, you will end up with 4 empty cups. Fill any cups you aren't using halfway with water. This is to keep even heating in your pan. If I can't fill all of the cups in any recipe, I always fill them with some water.
Place a 1/2 Tablespoon of feta crumbles into each of the 8 empty cups.
Top with a spoonful of chopped fresh spinach, if desired.
Shake your carton of egg whites, then fill each of your cups, dividing the egg whites evenly amongst them. I leave about 1/4 inch of room at the top.
Place in a cold oven and set heat to 325 degrees F. Bake for 15-25 minutes until eggs are just beginning to puff up, but still have a slight jiggle in the center.
Remove from oven and let sit for 5-10 minutes. I use a small rubber spatula to go around the edges of the cup and then just scoop the eggs out. It's easier to remove the eggs when they are still warm.
Serve immediately or allow to cool and store tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
* If you prefer starting your eggs in a preheated oven, check them at 10 minutes and then judge the balance of your time since the cook time will be faster.
*I always make a triple batch of these and completely fill two muffin pans. It takes the same amount of time and I have breakfast ready to go for 3 days.
*I don't recommend freezing these as it does affect the quality and texture of the eggs. I've done it in a pinch, but they are so easy to make, I've found that the short term storage in the refrigerator works perfectly for me and does not compromise the texture or quality.
The Merchant Baker © 2015