These baked eggs with polenta and mushrooms are easy to make, boast a European flair, and are exceptionally comforting to the palate as well as the pocketbook. And they just as satisfying any time of day.
Baked Eggs with Polenta and Mushrooms
- Quick Glance
- 35 M
- 50 M
- Serves 4
Special Equipment: 4 large (about 1½ cups capacity) ovenproof coffee mugs, ramekins, or glass cups
- For the mushrooms
- For the polenta
- For the baked eggs
Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C).
In a large nonstick or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat, warm the oil. Add the pancetta and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 4 minutes.
Stir in the mushrooms, garlic, thyme, and mint, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms release their liquid and begin to brown, 5 to 8 minutes.
Remove the skillet from the heat and discard the garlic and herbs.
In a medium saucepan over high heat, bring the water, butter, and salt to a boil.
Reduce the heat to low and very gradually sprinkle in the polenta, stirring constantly to avoid dry lumps. Cook the polenta just until it begins to thicken, about 1 minute.
Remove the polenta from the heat. It should only be lightly thickened; it will firm up during baking.
Stir in the pecorino, if using.
Lightly oil 4 ovenproof coffee mugs or ramekins.
Spoon half the mushroom mixture into the mugs, dividing it evenly. Top each with equal amounts of the polenta followed by the remaining mushrooms.
Use a spoon to make a slight indentation in the top layer of mushrooms. Carefully break an egg into each mug and lightly season with salt and pepper.
Sprinkle the pecorino evenly over the eggs, dividing it evenly among the mugs.
Place the mugs on a large rimmed baking sheet. Top the mugs with a second baking sheet or a sheet of aluminum foil.
Bake until the egg whites are set and the yolks are still runny, 10 to 14 minutes.
Remove the mugs from the oven. Let stand for a few minutes and serve hot.
Recipe Testers' Reviews
This is an awesome go-to weeknight dinner or quick weekend brunch. Everything is probably in the pantry already and it comes together very, very quickly. I even made the polenta and mushrooms ahead of time, separately, and was able to put assemble the cups right before mealtime and it worked beautifully.
I cannot wait to make this on a larger scale and serve to guests since it feels so indulgent and fancy...who wouldn't love warm polenta with the rich flavors of the mushrooms and runny egg that you can dig into with a spoon on a cold fall day?
One change I might make would be to add more cheese, both to the polenta and on top of the whole thing, but that's probably more a matter of personal preference.
This polenta is the perfect brunch dish. But it’s also a great breakfast/lunch/dinner dish, rich and flavorful, with creamy polenta and the earthy taste of mushrooms, completed by the great texture of egg and cheese on top. Great comfort food!
I used 3 portobello mushrooms and 3 tbsp grated Pecorino instead of 2.