breakfast/recipes/Vegetarian Recipes

Coddled Egg Recipe

Posted April 27, 2012 by Stephanie

When we were down in Yountville, we had an incredibly delicious coddled egg dish at Thomas Keller’s French bistro, Bouchon. The egg was was coddled on top of a potato puree with roasted mushrooms and sautéed spinach. There was buttered brioche for dipping. It was literally the best egg dish I’ve had in a long time.

Simply put, coddled eggs are eggs that are baked or steamed until the whites are just set and the yolks are gloriously runny. Buttered toast is absolutely necessary for dipping into the runny yolks. Coddled eggs are a great breakfast or brunch item: they’re customizable, they’re mostly hands off and they’re intensely satisfying.

Feel free to experiment with this recipe. I left out the mushrooms just because I didn’t have any, but they totally added an extra dimension of umami in Keller’s version. If you don’t like mushrooms or you’re in the mood for meat, I think a soft pulled pork layer would be just the thing. Not a spinach fan? Leave it out or substitute another leafy vegetable. Also, I kept it simple with the seasoning, but fresh herbs would be a welcome addition. The only thing I wouldn’t switch out are the mashed potatoes. I never thought of pairing mashed potatoes and eggs, but in this dish they really work.

You can prepare most of this recipe the night before: the potatoes and spinach can be put into the ramekins, covered and chilled. The next day, bring the ramekins up to room temperature before topping with an egg and baking. While the eggs are baking, do a little coffee-making and toast-buttering and you’ll soon be sitting down to a delicious, fancified version of eggs and toast.

i am steamed, i am creamy: i am coddled egg!

Coddled Egg Recipe
serves 2

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup of your favourite smooth mashed potatoes
  • 1 cup of spinach
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a small pan over medium heat, sauté the spinach in a touch of olive oil until just wilted. Season with salt and pepper and remove from the pan.

Divide the potatoes between two ramekins or small jars. Top the potatoes with spinach and one egg each. Season the egg with salt and pepper. Place the ramekins or jars into a deep roasting pan. Pour enough hot water into the pan to come up halfway up the sides of the ramekins or jars.

Carefully put the tray on the centre rack. Bake until the whites are gently set and the yolks are still runny, about 17-20 minutes. Carefully remove ramekins or jars from the roasting pan and serve with plenty of buttered toast.


  1. Katherine Hunter says:

    i love coddled eggs so much i eat them “plain” but i do have some potatoes i can puree and some spinach i can wilt so tomorrow morning i will get fancy with the eggs which, btw, are local fresh and i know the hens and they are happy hens

  2. andrew says:

    i can one up you katherine, i have a few chickens….they are happy and lay eggs fresh. nothing like eating an egg that was just laid! and home grown chickens produce a yolk that is orange…so good. i gotta try this sometime!

  3. Kajal says:

    Wow! this looks brilliant! Coddled eggs sound so fascinating, so much so that i want to try it out for breakfast tomorrow! This is my first time to your blog, and love the stuff, esp the pictures!

  4. Katherine Hunter says:

    i dont raise my own chickens and ducks anymore but i do value a good “red” (the italians call the yoik “rosso”) yolk as i swallow them raw with a spoonful of honey / but only from the hens that i personally know / smile / a perfect egg yolk contains all the nutrients the brain needs / i see your homegrown eggs and raise you home grown potatoes and spinach / both just harvested / the potato was pureed with fresh local raw cream / we have a small local dairy of five cows and are they happy too ? better believe it and i know all their names / dont try to one up this old broad / now i am going to see how this coddled egg turns out / oh my gosh ! this is divine / thank you so much,Adriana and Thomas Keller too / here’s a tip on coddlers / find the glass ones, the see through ones so you can see what’s happening with the egg / i live in the altitude where boiling or coddling an egg takes longer than closer to sea level / the handpainted porcelain coddlers favored by the English arent as useful / btw i used only the yolk on the potato and spinach / a small pat of butter on the potato and the coddler itself brushed with ghee / the coddlers i have are secured with metal springs which do not get hot in the boiling water so you can lift them out without burning your fingers

  5. This looks like such an interesting way to use eggs, but I’m sure that it’s delicious. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Carrie says:

    Gasp! You are my hero! I can’t wait to try these :) thank you for sharing.

  7. Amrita says:

    Gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous photography!!!

    I’ve been stalking your blog for quite sometime now without commenting. Well, here goes.

  8. Made this last night and it came out wonderfully…pretty easy recipe to deal with too. Thanks so much for the idea!


  9. Tory says:

    This is so delicious!! I had some left over yams that needed to be used and used them instead of regular mashed potatoes, and threw in a few leftover sautéed shitake mushrooms that I had from omelettes last week… The sweet potatoes, spinach and mushrooms were a perfect complement to the eggs! I need some advice, however… With coddled eggs, are u supposed to put a lid on them at some point to help the whites to set? Because we had a few areas of white that were still clear-ish and runny after cooking 25 minutes, but we couldn’t cook them longer because the yolks were starting to set a little which we didn’t want. We ate thm anyway (and they were delicious), as I figured 25 minutes in the oven would kill the bacteria anyway… But I worry about serving them this way for company that might be more squeamish… Any suggestions?

  10. Naomi says:

    I never knew what that style of cooking was called. I learned something today!! I’ve made eggs like this before, but never thought of other ways to “coddle” my eggs :)

    Thanks for the recipe, ideas, and new vocabulary word.

  11. Leo adam says:

    hi, thanks for the recipe last night i made this french coddled egg with my wife and finally we made it! very nice i like it so much

    take a long time to made a mash potato, i made it from a war potato.. but the final taste make me satisfied

    greeting from indonesia ;)

  12. Carrie says:

    Soldiers are toast. This looks like a great recipe, but perhaps you mean eggs and soldiers?

  13. AlphaOmega says:

    Can you tell me what size Fido canning jar you use for coddling? That is such a super idea! Thank you, -k.

    1. Stephanie Le says:

      hi! they’re these ones :)

  14. Ken says:

    Yummy, but the yokes were overcooked at 15 minutes. 350 in convection oven. Maybe I’ll try it at 325 for 15 minutes. Or, go to conventional oven (just love convection cooking!) Thanks

    1. Stephanie Le says:

      oof, some ovens do run hot! hopefully 325 works, or the convection! thanks for giving this a go!

  15. Do you do these with or without the lid closed? Also do you take off the rubber ring?

    1. Stephanie Le says:

      i did these with the lid partially closed – i didn’t close the clasp. if you do want to do it with the lid on, i would use the rubber ring. hope that helps!

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