This Eggs in Hell recipe is an Italian baked eggs dish with portabella mushrooms, red peppers and melty mozzarella! Serve it with french bread for a hearty and inexpensive vegetarian dinner.
This Eggs in Hell recipe was inspired by the first time I tried Shakshuka! Have you tried Shakshuka yet? I just tried it for the first time and it was love at first bite. Typically, Shakshuka is a Mediterranean breakfast dish of baked eggs in a tomato sauce that incorporates spices from that region; paprika, cayenne, cumin.
I've had modified versions of this dish that incorporated a variety of diced vegetables from sweet potato to eggplant, and absolutely loved them. But, each time I've eaten it, I've thought to myself, "I should make Italian Shakshuka." Honestly, italian flavors hit my palate a bit better!
It turns out I wasn't the first one to think of adapting Shakshuka into Italian Shakshuka, but I didn't let that stop me from making my own version of it! You mostly see it referred to as "Eggs in Purgatory," or "Eggs in Hell."
Basically, we're baking eggs in tomato sauce here, nothing too crazy!
I perused a few recipes, but they were missing the addition of veggies and cheese that I had envisioned. So, I added portabella mushrooms, red peppers and little bits of mozzarella to the dish.
The result? This Eggs in Hell recipe is absolutely delightful!
I serve this Eggs in Hell (Eggs in Purgatory) recipe about once a month for dinner. It makes a great "Meatless Monday" vegetarian egg dinner!
I love it because it's super customizable to what you have on hand. It is best served with hunks of crusty bread that you use to scoop up the sauce. Delicious!
How to Customize Eggs in Hell:
- Substitute eggplant for mushrooms
- Substitute roasted red peppers for raw bell peppers (add along with the heavy cream)
- Use an Italian blend cheese instead of mozzarella or parmesan (or use a little bit of everything!)
- In the summer months, add diced summer squash along with the other vegetables
- Omit red bell pepper and/or red pepper flakes to lessen spice
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and diced
- ½ cup portabella mushrooms, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
- ½ of a red bell pepper, diced
- ¾ teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1-½ teaspoons salt, divided
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 28-oz can diced tomatoes, with juices
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 2 ounces mozarella cheese, shredded OR parmesan cheese, grated
- 6 eggs
- Handful chopped basil
- In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions, mushrooms, garlic and bell pepper and cook, uncovered, for about 8 minutes, until softened. Reduce the heat if the vegetables start to brown.
- Add the onion powder, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes (optional),1 teaspoon of the salt, sugar, and tomatoes. Cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, or until the sauce is slightly thickened.
- Add the heavy cream to the sauce and stir to combine, allowing to simmer for 2-3 minutes.
- Meanwhile, set your an oven rack to the top position and preheat the broiler.
- Remove the skillet from the heat. Using a spoon, make 6 wells/indentations in the sauce. Carefully crack an egg into each well, then spoon a bit of the sauce over each of the egg whites. Be careful not to disturb the yolks.
- Sprinkle the eggs with the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt, then sprinkle the cheese around the eggs. Return the skillet to the stove over low heat and cover with a lid.
- Cook for 5-7 minutes, until the egg whites are mostly set but still a bit translucent on top.
- Remove the lid from the skillet and transfer the skillet to the oven. Broil until the eggs are cooked to your liking.
- Remove the pan from the oven and sprinkle the basil over top. Serve hot with bread.