This bright-green pea recipe, found so often in Portuguese homes, especially in spring and Easter, is a cinch to make. By the time you have the bacon cooked, the eggs are poached and all you have to do is assemble. Well, if the Portuguese were skilled enough to discover much of the world, forge trade routes, and make salt cod a national treasure, they can certainly make a quick and easy side dish.–Frank Alexandre


For a smokier, earthy flavor, reduce the amount of bacon to 3 ounces and add 3 ounces of diced chouriço, Portugal’s famous and ubiquitous sausage.

Portuguese Peas and Eggs in a white scalloped bowl with a silver serving spoon.

Portuguese Peas and Eggs ~ Ervilhas com Ovos

4.75 / 4 votes
Portuguese peas and eggs, ervilhas com ovos in Portuguese, is a quick yet stunning side dish that combines earthy green peas with salty bacon and just-runny-enough poached eggs. Delicate and rustic at the same time.
Frank Alexandre
Servings4 servings
Calories347 kcal
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time20 minutes


  • 6 ounces thick-cut slab bacon, sliced crosswise into 1/4-inch pieces (see LC Note)
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 4 to 6 large eggs
  • 3 cups (about 1 pound) frozen baby peas, thawed
  • 1 medium tomato, seeded and diced
  • Coarse salt
  • Ground white pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced parsley, for garnish


  • In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté the bacon until crispy-chewy, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels. Reduce heat to low and add the onion to skillet. Sauté in bacon fat until golden brown and slick, about 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, fill a deep skillet with 3 inches water and add the vinegar. Place the skillet over medium heat and bring to a bare simmer. Break an egg into a 1/3-cup measuring cup and gently tip it into water. Repeat with the remaining eggs. Poach the eggs to taste, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove them with a slotted spoon, transfer to a plate, and trim any straggly ends. Cover and keep warm.
  • Add the peas to skillet with onions and toss them until warmed. Add the tomato and bacon bits, and season with salt and pepper.
  • To serve, transfer the pea mixture to a warmed serving bowl. Make an indentation in the peas for each egg, nestle in the eggs, and sprinkle with parsley. Instruct your guests to scoop peas onto their plates and crown with an egg.


Serving: 1 servingCalories: 347 kcalCarbohydrates: 19 gProtein: 18 gFat: 22 gSaturated Fat: 7 gMonounsaturated Fat: 9 gTrans Fat: 1 gCholesterol: 214 mgSodium: 360 mgFiber: 7 gSugar: 7 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2009 Frank Alexandre. Photo © 2009 Christian Hansen. All rights reserved.

About Frank Alexandre

Frank Alexandre is the owner of a local auto repair and towing company in Newark, NJ, and more importantly, an accomplished Portuguese home cook. He’s won several contests at Casa de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, a social club (named after the desolate region in northeast Portugal) in the Ironbound section of the city, for his folar, a traditional Easter bread that is stuffed with cured meat. You can read more about him in David’s story about Newark’s Portuguese Easter traditions

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  1. 4 stars
    Another option is to fashion small indents into the bed of peas as they are cooking crack the eggs directly into the peas set to simmer and cover until the eggs are cooked to your liking. This is how my Portuguese mom used to do it. Less to clean up too. P.S. always use Portuguese chouriço and add 1 to 2 bay leaves while cooking the onion and peas. Adds a ton of flavor.

  2. 5 stars
    Made this for dinner tonight, and boy, was it excellent! On the first truly mild and beautiful spring day after a freak spring snow storm, this dish was so very reminiscent of spring. As David describes, it is traditional for spring and Easter, and I can see why. Along with my zillion Polish traditions, I am most definitely tempted to include this somehow or some way.

    I drained off about 2/3 the bacon grease before I sauteed the onions. This is just by dietary choice. I don’t think it hurt the dish at all and it did not impact the cooking.

    I used two medium Roma tomatoes instead of any other kind, because that is what I had. Sweet tomatoes in season would kill this. I kept imagining sweet heirlooms, although that tomato may be traditional for this dish, the sweetness would definitely elevate it more. Also, i am a sucker for sweet heirlooms. 🙂

    The creaminess of the eggs was simply just perfect. And, if you keep a pot of steaming water on the stove while you warm and assemble the peas, you can dip the eggs for a minute or so in the steaming water before laying them on the bed of peas, bacon, onion, and tomato goodness. I poached my eggs instead of basting them. It’s easier for me but because the yolk is covered by white in the poaching process, you do miss the beautiful yellow of the yolk against vibrant green of the peas.

    This is a great light lunch or brunch item. Really superbly delicious.