Cooking With Confidence
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Breakfast/Brunch, Economical, Main Dishes, Pork, Stuffing Stuff

Breakfast Potato Cups

by Nick

I don’t know if you’ve heard of it (sarcasm), but there’s this little site called Pinterest that’s all the rage. One of my favorite parts of Pinterest is how roughly 80% of the recipes featured on it tend to be something baked in a muffin tin.

I imagine that there are kitchens in the world that are filled with nothing but muffin tins. Every recipe that comes out is round. I’m waiting for the food truck to show up.

To be completely honest, I’m generally only a fan of cooking stuff in muffin tins if it actually makes your life easier. A lot of times I find the recipes to be more work than just cooking the real meal, even if they are cuter.

But I am not immune to the pull of the muffin tin so I thought I’d try my hand at baking an entire breakfast in one: potatoes, bacon, eggs. The good news is that it worked. The bad news is that it is work.

Yield
6 Cups
Prep Time
Total Time

Just a moment please...

Print Recipe Breakfast Cups

Ingredients

  • 3 medium potatoes, peeled and grated
  • 6 strips bacon, cooked crispy
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Nonstick spray or extra oil
  • Salt and pepper

Helpful Equipment

Directions

1) Peel and grate potatoes and submerge them in cold water for a minute to wash off extra starch. Drain potatoes and dry them well on a few paper towels.

2) Add olive oil to a large skillet over medium-high heat and add potatoes and a pinch of salt. Cook potatoes, stirring occasionally, until they are browned. Try to break up potatoes as they cook so they stay in separate strands. They should take 12-15 minutes to brown nicely.

3) Meanwhile cook bacon in the oven at 350 degrees until very crispy. For more on how to cook perfect bacon, check out this post.

4) Grease a 6-cup muffin tin well and divide potatoes between tins. Leave a well in the center of each tin and make sure potatoes go up the sides to form potato cups.

5) Crumble bacon and add about a strip of bacon into each tin.

6) Scramble eggs and divide eggs between tins. You shouldn't need a full egg for each tin.

7) Season cups with a pinch of salt and pepper and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until eggs are cooked through, about 18-20 minutes.

8) When eggs are cooked, run a knife around the outside of each cup and remove each one. Pray that they don't stick, but they might stick a bit!

Potatoes

I’m a savory breakfast dude through and through and hash browns, bacon, and eggs are about as good as it gets for me.  I figured it would be pretty easy to smash these things in a muffin tin, bake them, and call it a day.

I tried this once a few weeks ago and ended up with a huge mess in my kitchen. The thing I learned is that for this to work you have to cook the potatoes and bacon first, then put them all together.

So it’s really an extra cooking step entirely, but nobody said muffin tin cookery was easy!

shredded

Nice shreddin’

If you don’t cook the potatoes first, then you have a cook time problem later. Either your eggs are perfectly cooked and your potatoes are raw or your potatoes are cooked and your eggs are super-cooked. If you cook the potatoes first though then the problem is solved.

Just grate up a few potatoes and then submerge them in cold water for a few seconds. This will help wash off some of the starch and make them less likely to stick later.

rinsing

Important step alert.

Then drain them and dry them as well as possible on a few paper towels.

Add some oil to a large skillet and cook the hash browns over medium high heat. As the potatoes cook, move them around a lot. Ideally the strands will stay pretty separate so you can easily fill the tins later.

cooking

Do people even read captions?

After about 15 minutes of simmering, you should have some reasonably browned potatoes.

If I make these again, I think I would actually brown them even more than this.

cooked

Cooked!

When the potatoes are cooked, just scoop them into your muffin tins and make a well in the center. Be sure to work the potatoes up the edges of the tins.

Important Tip: Even though your potatoes have some oil on them from cooking, you still want to grease your muffin tins well. I recommend a good nonstick spray for this. These suckers will stick badly without some serious lubrication.

in tins

Oil these suckers.

The Other Fillings

Like I said, I was shooting for a complete breakfast so I needed some bacon. If you wanted to go veg you could leave this out or add in some mushrooms, tempeh, or cheese.

Ninety percent of the time, if I’m cooking bacon, I’m using the best way to cook bacon which is in the oven on a tray at 350 degrees until it’s nice and crispy!

bacon

hard to go wrong here.

Each muffin tin will hold about one piece of bacon, crumbled.

Then just scramble your eggs really well and distribute them into the tins. And yes, I used four eggs for six tins. I don’t think a whole egg for each tin would fit.

eggs

4 eggs = 6 cups.

Bake these strange things at 350 degrees until the eggs are cooked through, about 15-20 minutes.

I must say that I love how the tops of these get nice and crispy in the oven.

cooked

Good lookin’ breakfast.

When they come out of the oven, cash in any kitchen karma that you might have and hope that they don’t stick. Mine did a little bit, but I just ran a knife around the outside and then they popped right out. I also didn’t do a great job of greasing my tins.

I served these with some fresh chopped chives and they were really good.

cups

Mine stuck a bit. Hopefully yours won’t.

Like I said, I think these look awesome. I hope they receive many pins and re-pins.

Did they taste better than just cooking hash browns, bacon, and eggs and slapping them all on a plate? Not really.

Were they fun? Definitely. I can see making them for kids or if I was hosting a party I could see making a bunch of them in advance. But that’s pretty much it I think.

Are you a member of the muffin tin mafia? Leave a comment!

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19 comments on “Breakfast Potato Cups

  1. Making things in muffin tins is so much fun! I made little muffin lasagnas, so good!

    As for these breakfast cups, I’ve done something very similar but without the potato layer, so basically baked eggs in bacon cups. The thing about a bacon cup, though, is that it doesn’t hold the egg spectacularly well (read:the egg leaks through cracks in the bacon and makes removal of the cups and washing of the muffin tin quite a piece of work). I really like the addition of the potato layer; who doesn’t love potato, and I’d imagine it would save one from the eggy mess of my previous experience.

    I’ll have to file this idea away…

  2. I have only baked one non-muffin thing in a muffin tin. I lined the tins with thin sliced ham, topped with shredded spinach, broke and egg in and topped with a little oregano, s&p and cheese. It was tasty and quick. Yours looks delicious, but I’m afraid if I already was cooking on the stove, that is where I would finish it!

  3. I made lasagna muffins a LONG time ago (read: before everyone else was doing it). (I guess I did it before it was cool!)

    But SAY . . . what if you used leftover mashed potatoes instead of the hashbrowns? Or even, say finely diced baked potatoes (like wee homefries)? I always seem to have bits of potato lying around lately – we’ve been on a hash-for-breakfast kick lately.

    Hmmmmm. . . .

  4. Love this idea for a brunch as you suggested, and I am going to try it in a giant muffin tin so I can experiment with a whole egg. Thanks for the inspiration.

  5. The number of pinners you follow who pin cutesy recipes totally depends on who you follow. You don’t have to stick with the people you are matched with when you sign up and say you are interested in cooking. If there are blogs you like, follow them on pinterest, also, check out pinners who pin your stuff and see if you like their boards. Then you will get less of the recipes for new moms sort of pins, and something that looks like an idea board of things that inspire you. Back when I was a kid, breakfast potato cups were known in our house as “haystacks” and I really liked them. My Mom also made “toast cups” for supper which was a slice of rye bread, toasted in a muffin tin and then stuffed with leftover meat/veggies and topped with gravy, sauce or cheese, a poor Mom’s pot pie. It was easy and cute enough to distract a picky kid into leftovers… Cheers!

    1. p.s. I would be interested to know how you feel about having your recipes pinned. I will freely admit, I’ve pinned some from you page, but you get credit. I notice some bloggers are against being pinned and require permission. I like to pin because then I don’t have to come back and search for a go-to recipe I have a pin that links to it. And my blog is ever pinned, I’m totally flattered, but that is just me.

      1. Thanks for the comment Meg. I’m always completely flattered when people pin/share any of my recipes. I would never require permission for something like that. In fact, if I could, I’d send every pinner a cookie. :)

  6. Hey Nick! I ALWAYS read the captions!!!! :)

    And I agree- these look yummy, but no doable on a weekday morning between backpacks flying off hooks and jackets being slung on as we’re headed out the door. Or on the weekend mornings… when I’m catching up on sleep!

    Erin

    1. If you are already making breakfast on the weekends, like I do (bacon eggs and hash browns sausage etc., make extra and refrigerate) Then all you have to do it put together in muffin tin stick in oven while you and the kids finish getting ready. Its what I do.

  7. Just wondering if you’ve tried freezing and reheating these beautiful lil cups? I cook for so many people at once and this is a great option if they reheat ok.

  8. Did these up today but used a silpat in place of regular tin – turned out well but found I needed higher heat to crisp up edges of nests. No need for greasing tin or carving out. Added an onion and pepper remoulade on top of egg mixture, increased cooking time but amped up veg and flavour components. Freezing now – I’ll let you know how it turned out.
    Yes – more time up front but if reheating works then may pay off. We’ll see!
    Thanks again for the great step by step – cold water wash and pre-cooking potato shreds and bacon definitely made all the difference.

    1. Sounds so good! I like the Silpat idea. Let me know if you freeze them and they reheat okay. I didn’t think to even try that.

      Good luck!

  9. It worked! Reheat for 1 – 2 minutes in microwave and add sals fresca! Thanks again Nick!

  10. “No one said muffin tin cookery was easy.” You are funny! I’m going to try this this weekend–brunch for eight and three of them are kids. I’ll add veggies and I’m going to use ready made hashbrowns–sorry!–no time to grate and cook the “real” thing.

  11. Hi Nick,
    You mentioned cooking this ahead of time for a party. I am planning a brunch and wondering how to go about doing that. Could you cook them fully, a week ahead and freeze/ reheat in oven. Or would you cook the night before, refrigerate, and reheat in oven? Thanks!

    1. Hey Shyla,
      I think you could do either hoenstly. My only worry about not cooking them fully right away is that they might stick badly to the muffin tin. But even if you did the day before you could cook them fully, pop them out of the tins and then reheat them! Hope that helps! Good luck.

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