Egg Based Dinner Recipes – Economical and Nutritious

egg recipes

Egg Based Dinner Recipes – Economical and Nutritious

We have three chickens and at one stage we were getting three eggs a day but now sadly we occasionally only get one so I am back to buying eggs. However, bought or home produced, eggs are still one of the most economical ways of providing a meal that is high in protein. In this post I have compiled more than ten tried and tested egg based recipes that can be cooked for dinners but can be eaten at any time of the day!

Eggs are not only a cheaper alternative to meat for dinner as they cost less per kilogram to buy, but they are also make for a nutritious meal as they are a high in protein, as well as a source of other essential minerals.

One large 50g chicken egg contains 6g of protein, as well as the following vitamins and minerals:

Vitamin A5%Choline0.25%
Calcium2%Iron3%
Vitamin D10%Vitamin B-65%
Cobalamin10%Magnesium1%
USDA

Click here to see the full list of nutrients in one chicken egg on the US Food Data Central website.

To read more about the health benefits of eating eggs visit this page on the Good House Keeping website.

Egg Recipes you can cook for Dinner

Here is a list of more than ten recipe ideas which are all centered around the humble egg, from simple to a little more advanced, there should be a dinner here to suit everyone.

1. Omelette

Omelettes are best served as individual portions as they are easier to handle and are delicious served straight out of the pan. A basic omelette has very simple ingredients but you can jazz it up with a range of ingredients. The most common additions would be grated cheese, sautéed onion or mushrooms, pieces of ham and herbs.

Ingredients for an Individual Omelette:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • salt and pepper

Method:

Place eggs and water in a mixing bowl and beat with a fork until the yolk and white are just mixed. Melt a knob of butter in a small heavy based frying pan until it starts to brown, tilt the pan so that the base is well coated in butter.

Pour the egg mix into the pan then leave to cook, occasionally lifting the edges with a spatula to allow uncooked egg to run underneath. When the surface is just about set, add your fillings and season, fold over and slide onto a warm plate.

omelette on a blue plate
Photo by Igor Mishe on StockSnap

2. Fritatta

The difference between a fritatta and an omelette is that a fritatta is cooked partly in the oven and often served at room temperature whereas an omelette is cooked quickly over a high heat, folded over and served hot. A fritatta is actually Italian and probably finds it’s origins in the Spanish potato tortilla! All very confusing.

Traditionally fritattas are started on the stove top, are filled with ready cooked veg and are finished in the oven. They are ideal for a dinner but leftovers also work really well served cold at a picnic. Check out this brilliant vegetable fritatta recipe.

3. Spanish Potato Tortilla

This is more like a fritatta than a Mexican flour tortilla as it is egg based and contains potatoes, this is the true Spanish omelette (although it’s not an omelette!) We have had a number of Spanish exchange students come and stay with us over the years and a couple of them have cooked this for us. It takes a lot longer to cook than a basic omelette and is a much more substantial dish. It can also be served in smaller portions as part of a tapas meal. Spanish Potato Tortilla (Tortilla Española) Recipe.

4. Egg Bake

I like recipes that you can just stick into the oven and forget about while you fold the laundry or help with the homework. This easy to make Ham, Egg, and Cheese Brunch Bake uses grated potato or hashbrowns as a base and doesn’t have to be reserved for only brunch time.

5. Soufflé

A soufflé is probably the trickiest of all the recipes listed here as it is all about the timing! It certainly yields spectacular results but is actually fairly simple to make if you stick to a few principles. Basically a soufflé consists of a thick white sauce enriched with egg yolks and aerated with beaten egg whites. If you stick to the following ratios you shouldn’t go wrong: 250ml white sauce to 4 egg yolks to 4-5 stiffly beaten egg whites to 100gm filling.

Using those quantities, here is the method for a Classic Cheese Soufflé: Stir eggs yolks into a slightly cooled cheese sauce and season. Generously butter a 20cm dia. x 10cm high soufflé dish and sprinkle the sides and bottom with finely grated parmesan cheese. Set the oven to 200°C. When you are ready to cook the soufflé, stir about 15ml of the stiffly beaten whites into the egg yolk mixture. Gently fold in the remainder of the egg whites trying your best not to break up the air bubbles too much. Once all is incorporated, turn the whole mixture into the prepared dish, it should be about three-quarters full. Run your thumb around the edge if you want to give it a ‘top hat’ effect. Put it into the centre of the oven straight away and bake for 30-40 mins turning down the oven to 190°C after the first 5 minutes. Make sure not to open the oven and to close the door very gently! Serve at once as it will begin to sink as soon as you remove it from the oven.

Once you have mastered the basic recipe, you can experiment with your own fillings and flavours.

6. Soup

Who would have thunkit, you can add eggs to soup! Actually this is more common in Asian dishes like Ramen and a brilliant way to make soups more filling and substantial. Here is a simple Egg Drop soup that even kids could make.

quartered hard boiled egg
Photo by Krzysztof Puszczynski on Negative Space

7. Pasta

Macaroni Cheese with Hard Boiled Egg and Tuna

Macaroni Cheese with egg and tuna is one of our family favourites, this is the recipe my mum makes and now my siblings make it for their families too and it is a hit with all of them. You could leave out the tuna if you wish, or substitute it for mushrooms.

Quantities depend on your family size but here is the process: Boil the macaroni pasta and drain once it is cooked. Place pasta in an oven proof dish and stir through a tin of shredded tuna if desired. Slice up a couple of hard boiled eggs and add to the pasta and tuna mix. Make a white sauce and add grated cheddar, stirring to melt. Add a dollop of English mustard if you have it to add an extra zest to the dish. Pour the sauce over the pasta and gently stir to combine all the ingredients. Sprinkle a generous layer of cheese over the top and bake in the oven for 20-30 mins at 180°C until the top is golden and bubbling. YUM!!

Spaghetti Carbonara

A traditional Spaghetti Carbonara uses just the egg yolks so you could save the whites and make meringues for dessert! There are so many variations on this recipe and many add cream but if you are looking for an authentic version, try Donal Skehan’s Spaghetti Carbonara.

8. Quiche

A quiche is a fantastic way to use up small amounts of veggies and you can fill them with a combination of just about anything! They are similar in content to the fritattas I mentioned above except they contain a pasty base. You could make your own pastry if you have the time which really does taste so much nicer, or buy ready made (which I usually do!). One of our favourites is butternut squash and feta cheese but here I have included a classic: Mary Berry’s Quiche Lorraine.

9. Pizza!

This may be unusual for some but an egg is a regular feature on top of a pizza in various parts of the world and even has a name: Eggs Florentine Pizza! Homemade pizza is an economical and simple dish to make, here is my recipe for the dough. Once you have that made you simply need to top the dough with your favourite tomato sauce, mozarella cheese and what ever ingredients you like. If you want to make an Eggs Florentine pizza, top with blanched spinach and crack over an egg or two. Here is the BBC GoodFood Eggs Florentine recipe for you to try out.

10. and finally, Just Plain Eggs!

Of course you could just cook the eggs as they are and serve them with what ever you like. Whether you fry, boil, poach, bake in individual ramekins or scramble them, you could serve eggs with beans, asparagus or a side salad and baked potatoes or chips, rice with a curry sauce or a lovely crusty home made loaf of bread.

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