These fried eggs with crisp bread crumbs are a comforting one-skillet meal, perfect for any time of the day. See the variations below the recipe for a little bit of veggie inspiration.
As simple as it sounds, coordinating eggs with sides—even for a short-order cook like me—can be a challenge. I love this fried eggs with crisp bread crumbs recipe because it’s an all-in-one-skillet supper.–Bill Granger
LC Got Eggs? Then You’ve Got Supper Note
Got eggs and bread and a skillet? Then you’ve got supper. Take this recipe, if you can even call it that. It melds crisp and crunchy with soft and gooey—and it does so to terrific, thrifty, even lusty effect. It’s a handy little supper that chefs turn to surprisingly frequently at all hours of the day and night and can easily be adapted to all manner of crazy cravings and desperate pantry situations.
Fried Eggs with Crisp Bread Crumbs
- 4 tablespoons olive oil plus more as needed
- 4 slices ciabatta or sourdough bread torn into small pieces or crumbs
- Sea salt
- Pinch crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
- 8 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons balsamic, sherry, or red wine vinegar
- Pinch ground sumac, Aleppo pepper, or freshly cracked black pepper
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat until hot, then add the olive oil, bread, salt, and pepper flakes, if using. Reduce the heat to medium and stir occasionally until the bread is lightly toasted. Transfer to a plate.
- Return the skillet to medium heat. Carefully break the eggs into the skillet and cook them to your liking, adding more oil if needed. (The author prefers his eggs with a runny yolk, but if you like yours more like over easy, just cover the skillet toward the end of cooking or run the skillet beneath the broiler for a few seconds. If you’re using a skillet that’s smaller than 12 inches in diameter, you’ll probably need to fry the eggs in a couple batches.) Divvy the eggs among serving plates. Scatter the toasted bread crumbs over the eggs.
- Return the skillet to medium heat, add the vinegar, and swirl for just a few seconds to warm it. Dribble the vinegar over the eggs and then sprinkle with salt and sumac or pepper to taste. Serve at once.
Fried Eggs With Crisp Bread Crumbs VariationFried Eggs With Crisp Bread Crumbs And Wilted Radicchio After you remove the eggs and bread crumbs from the skillet, return it to medium heat and add an extra glug of oil to the skillet. Toss in 1/2 small radicchio, either torn into pieces or cut lengthwise into quarters, and cook, turning occasionally, until just barely wilted. Strew the limp leaves atop the eggs and bread crumbs, return the skillet to medium heat, and proceed with reducing the vinegar as instructed above and dribble before you toss the limp leaves atop the eggs and bread crumbs. Fried Eggs With Crisp Bread Crumbs And Salad After you transfer the eggs and bread crumbs from the skillet to the plates, strew them with torn raw radicchio leaves, frisée, mache, baby salad greens, or mixed leafy herbs. Proceed with reducing the vinegar as instructed above and dribble the warmed vinegar over everything. The greens will wilt ever so gently from the warmth of the eggs and vinegar. Perfect for any time of year.
If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We’d love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
I like this combination of eggs, radicchio, and bread crumbs—well, croutons, to be more accurate. Actually, I’d call it a fried egg salad. The radicchio adds great color while the eggs softened the croutons and fused them together to enhance the overall texture. Although nice the way it is, the radicchio may benefit from being warmed up, too. Or even seared a bit in some olive oil and kept warm while you’re preparing the eggs and bread. I found that the final result could still use a judicious measure of salt, tempered by each person’s appetite. I had sumac and Aleppo pepper, so I used a small pinch of each in the warming vinegar. My 9-inch skillet was large enough for half a recipe, but you could probably use a 12-inch pan for the whole shebang.
My torn bread pieces were about 1/2-inch in size, which worked quite well. 4 slices of ciabatta came to about 3 to 3 1/2 cups.
The radicchio heads were about 6 ounces each. 1 half, once torn, seemed to pile up rather quickly. I think that in the future, I would use 1 medium-large radicchio and quarter it, using 1 cored quarter per serving.
A pinch of sea salt—I used Chardonnay smoked salt—over the finished plate at the table seemed to bring out the best in this dish.
This is just a good idea, plain and simple. It took all of 10 minutes to throw together but made for a delicious and satisfying meal. The combination of slightly wilted and bitter radicchio, warm and crunchy croutons, rich and runny yolk, and the warm tangy bite of vinegar is wonderful. Also, it’s pretty close to a pantry dish—something you can always throw together in a pinch. I don’t usually have radicchio lying around but almost always have arugula and think that would make a fine substitute. I ended up tossing the radicchio with the warmed dressing in the pan just to wilt it a bit and throwing that on top of the croutons and egg. Also, I used white balsamic instead of red wine vinegar. At the end, I sprinkled everything with za’atar spice blend and black pepper.
I’m a big fan of quick and easy dinners, and this one fit the bill—runny eggs, crunchy bread, and warmed radicchio made for a very tasty meal. I would even consider this for a brunch with friends. A few notes: I tried half with raw radicchio and half with wilted. I preferred the wilted radicchio. I used red wine vinegar, but I think it would have been much better with balsamic. Finally, I did use the red pepper flakes, but they really didn’t add anything. Next time, I would skip the crushed red pepper.
I love that this is an all-in-one dish that’s quick to make. It’s good for any meal of the day, too, though we had it for dinner. The bread gets toasty and is a nice foil to the creamy yolks. The only issue I had was getting the tops of the eggs to fully cook, but a quick spin in a hot oven fixed that. I used Aleppo pepper as a final seasoning.
I loved this. It seems so simple (and it is), but the combination is great. It’s another take on the frisée-with-poached-egg type of salad. A few cubes of crisp bacon would take it over the top.
Originally published March 04, 2015
If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We'd love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
This recipe makes a meal or side for the flexitarians. I just love eggs, so I’m always looking for new ways to prepare them. I did have some trouble with the yolks breaking, so I’ll be careful next time to gently nest them between pieces of bread and not on top. I’d also use less radicchio or switch out the type of greens I use—frisée and arugula, anybody?