Eggs in Purgatory - Italian Baked Eggs Recipe (2024)

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Eggs in Purgatory is a classic Italian dish that features baked eggs in a spicy tomato sauce. It’s a simple and flavorful recipe that can be enjoyed any time of day, and in this article, we’ll explore the history, variations, serving suggestions, and a step-by-step guide on how to make this delicious dish.

Eggs in Purgatory - Italian Baked Eggs Recipe (1)

If you’re a fan of Italian cuisine and enjoy incorporating eggs into your meals, you’re in for a treat with this delicious recipe for Eggs in Purgatory. As a food blogger who also happens to own a few chickens, I’m always on the lookout for ways to use up our fresh eggs in healthy and flavorful ways.

This classic Italian dish is not only high in protein, but it’s also versatile and perfect for any time of day, whether you’re looking for a hearty breakfast, quick lunch, or satisfying dinner.

What is Eggs in Purgatory?

Eggs in Purgatory is an Italian baked eggs recipe where eggs are cooked in a spicy tomato sauce until the whites are set and the yolks are still runny. This dish is commonly served for breakfast or brunch and can be easily customized with various vegetables and herbs. It’s a simple and satisfying meal that requires minimal prep time and uses easy-to-find ingredients. You may also like Eggs en Cocotte – a French baked egg recipe with milder flavors.

Eggs in Purgatory - Italian Baked Eggs Recipe (2)

What are the Origins of this Recipe?

Eggs in Purgatory, also known as Uova in Purgatorio in Italian, is a dish that has been enjoyed in Italy for centuries. The origins of the dish are unclear, but some food historians believe it may have been created by Italian monks in the Middle Ages as a way to use up leftover bread and eggs.

The name “Eggs in Purgatory” is thought to have religious connotations, as the spicy tomato sauce represents the flames of purgatory and the eggs represent souls. The dish is sometimes served on Good Friday as a meatless alternative to traditional Italian Easter dishes.

While the dish has been popular in Italy for centuries, it has gained popularity in recent years in the United States and other parts of the world as a trendy brunch dish. Chefs and home cooks have put their own spin on the classic recipe, adding ingredients like spinach, mushrooms, and cheese to make it even more delicious. This is a great recipe if you follow the Mediterranean Diet.

Serving Suggestions for Eggs in Purgatory

Eggs in Purgatory is a versatile dish that can be enjoyed any time of day. Here are some serving suggestions to make the most out of this delicious Italian recipe:

1. With Crusty Bread: Serve Eggs in Purgatory with a slice of crusty bread to soak up the flavorful tomato sauce. This is a classic way to enjoy the dish and makes for a satisfying meal.

2. Over Polenta or Grits: For a heartier version of Eggs in Purgatory, serve it over creamy polenta or grits. The combination of the soft eggs and the creamy texture of the polenta or grits is a match made in heaven.

3. With Avocado: Add some healthy fats to your meal by serving Eggs in Purgatory with slices of fresh avocado. The creamy texture of the avocado pairs well with the spicy tomato sauce and runny egg yolks.

4. With Sausage or Bacon: For a more substantial breakfast or brunch, serve Eggs in Purgatory with some cooked sausage or bacon on the side. The salty and savory flavors of the meat complement the spicy tomato sauce and eggs.

5. With a Salad: Add some freshness to your meal by serving Eggs in Purgatory with a simple side salad. A mix of greens, tomatoes, and cucumber dressed with a light vinaigrette is the perfect complement to the rich and spicy tomato sauce.

No matter how you choose to serve Eggs in Purgatory, it’s sure to be a hit at the table. This simple and satisfying Italian recipe is a must-try for anyone who loves a flavorful and easy-to-make meal.

Variations of Eggs in Purgatory

Eggs in Purgatory is a versatile dish that can be adapted in many ways to suit your tastes and preferences. Here are some variations of the classic recipe that you can try at home:

1. Vegetarian: The classic recipe for Eggs in Purgatory uses a tomato sauce with garlic, onion, and red pepper flakes. For a vegetarian version, skip the meat and add more vegetables to the sauce, such as sliced bell peppers, zucchini, or eggplant.

2. With Cheese: For a decadent twist on the classic recipe, sprinkle some grated cheese over the eggs before baking. Mozzarella, Parmesan, or goat cheese all work well in this dish.

3. Green Eggs in Purgatory: Add some extra greens to your dish by adding chopped spinach or kale to the tomato sauce. This will give your Eggs in Purgatory a vibrant green color and add some extra nutrients to your meal.

4. Spicy Eggs in Purgatory: If you love spicy food, add some extra heat to your Eggs in Purgatory by using more red pepper flakes or adding some chopped jalapeño peppers to the sauce.

5. Mediterranean Eggs in Purgatory: For a Mediterranean twist on the classic recipe, add some chopped olives, capers, and feta cheese to the tomato sauce. Serve with a side of toasted pita bread for a delicious and satisfying meal.

Eggs in Purgatory is a dish that is perfect for experimentation and adaptation. Don’t be afraid to get creative and try new flavor combinations to make this classic Italian recipe your own.

Eggs in Purgatory - Italian Baked Eggs Recipe (4)

Yield: Serves 6

Eggs in Purgatory - Italian Baked Eggs Recipe

Eggs in Purgatory is a simple yet delicious dish that is perfect for brunch, lunch, or dinner. With just a few ingredients and some simple steps, you can make this classic Italian recipe in no time.

Eggs in Purgatory - Italian Baked Eggs Recipe (5)


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 can (14 oz) crushed tomatoes
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 6 large eggs
  • Fresh parsley or basil, chopped (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
  1. In an oven-safe skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and cook until softened about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the minced garlic and red pepper flakes to the skillet and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes, until fragrant.
  3. Pour the can of crushed tomatoes into the skillet and stir to combine with the onion and garlic mixture. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Let the tomato sauce simmer for 10-15 minutes, until it has thickened slightly.
  5. Using a spoon, create small wells in the tomato sauce and crack an egg into each well.
  6. Season the eggs with a pinch of salt and pepper.
  7. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes, until the egg whites are set and the yolks are still runny.
  8. Remove the skillet from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes.
  9. Sprinkle chopped parsley or basil over the eggs, if desired, and serve hot.
Nutrition Information:

Yield: 6Serving Size: 1 Egg with Sauce
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 103Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 186mgSodium: 122mgCarbohydrates: 3gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 7g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated by Nutritionix. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee accuracy. If your health depends on nutrition information, please calculate again with your favorite calculator.

Eggs in Purgatory - Italian Baked Eggs Recipe (2024)
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