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Cheesy Hash Brown Egg Nests

These delightful morsels are a full breakfast in an adorable nest shape. With cheesy hash browns on the outside and a baked/shirred egg or mini-quiche filling inside, they make a delicious breakfast, brunch, or snack. You can freeze and reheat them too! 

Course Brunch
Cuisine American
Keyword eggs, hash brown potatoes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 43 minutes
Resting time 2 minutes
Total Time 58 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Laura

Ingredients

  • 1 cup frozen hash brown potatoes, defrosted for about 1 hour, then pressed with a clean cloth or paper towel to dry About 5 ounces
  • 1/2 cup shredded or grated cheese I like a combination of sharp cheddar and parmesan or romano
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 2-4 large eggs (for mini quiche use 2, while for baked/shirred eggs use 4 - see note)
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil or butter ( for mini quiche only)
  • 1/2 cup diced onion, red/orange/yellow pepper (for mini quiche only)
  • 1 cup fresh baby spinach (for mini quiche only), chopped
  • kosher salt to taste (see note above recipe re saltiness of cheese)
  • 1 scallion green part only, thinly sliced (for garnish)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly spray 4 muffin cups with oil or brush with butter. 

  2. Mix the dried off hash browns and about 1/3 cup of the cheese together with a couple of good turns of freshly ground pepper. 

  3. Divide the mixture equally among the 4 muffin cups and press into the shape of the cup using either your hands or the back of a teaspoon. 
    how to make the nest for cheesy hash brown egg nests
  4. Cook for 30 minutes. The nests should crisp up at the top. If any start to droop, take the muffin tin out of the oven and press them up against the walls of the muffin cup with the back of a spoon.  

    The nest part of cheesy hash brown egg nests done in muffin pan
  5. If you are making the mini quiche version, while the nests are baking, warm the oil or butter in a small pan, add the onion and pepper. Saute for about 5-8 minutes, then add the chopped spinach and cook for about 2 minutes, just until the spinach is wilted. In a separate small bowl, lightly beat the 2 eggs with a bit of water or milk. 

  6. Once the nests are set, lower the oven to 375. Then fill each nest with an egg cracked into it for the baked/shirred version, or with a quarter of the vegetables if doing the mini quiche, followed by the egg mixture. In either event, top with a bit more cheese and bake for an additional 13 minutes. (See note regarding baking time for plain eggs.) 

    adding eggs and cheese before second bake for cheesy hash brown egg nests
  7. Once the nests are done, take them out of the oven and let them sit for 2 minutes before running a sharp knife around the edges and gently removing them from the muffin cups. 

    cheesy hash brown egg nests done in pan
  8. Once plated, add the chopped scallion as a garnish and serve. 

Recipe Notes

In the mini quiche version, half of the space in the muffin cups is taken up by the sauteed vegetables, so you use only half as much egg. 

The Kitchn suggests that you bake the eggs for the baked/shirred version as follows depending on how you like them:

  • 12-15 minutes for runny yolks,

  • 15-18 minutes for soft cooked, and 

  • 20 minutes for hard cooked.

I found that 13 minutes followed by a 2 minute rest (while the egg still cooks a bit in the hot muffin cup) yields a yolk that is lightly set, not soft cooked.