Eggs In Purgatory

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Scrumptious Eggs in Purgatory tops the list for easy egg recipes that are perfect for weekday breakfast, Sunday brunch, or what I call a reverse meal – breakfast for dinner!

Eggs in Purgatory are beautiful yet arrogant eggs hoping for divine intervention. They stare up longingly at Heaven from the mists of a sinfully thick, red, spicy sauce. This delicious hearty meal is best enjoyed with crusty bread, challah, homemade pita bread, or buttery thick-sliced toast.

Eggs in Purgatory

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Eggs In Purgatory History

Eggs in Purgatory is a dish that’s popular in several different countries. Various incarnations are enjoyed all over the globe to include Italy, Mexico, Israel, and northeast Africa. Some historians believe Eggs in Purgatory originated in Yemen or Tunis, or the Ottoman Empire.

You may have heard of this divine dish under one of these names: Shakshuka (the Middle Eastern version), Eggs in Hell, or Huevos Ahogados (Mexican drowned eggs). The Italian version I’m sharing with you today was adapted from the famous restaurateur Mario Batalini.

Easy Egg Recipes

Eggs in Purgatory Ingredient List

Easy egg recipes boast a short list of ingredients, and this beautiful version of Eggs in Hell is no exception! Here’s what you’ll need to whip up this healthy cozy recipe: virgin olive oil, yellow onion, fresh garlic, jalapenos, crushed red chili flakes, large eggs, sea salt, freshly-ground black pepper, fresh basil, and grated Parmesan, Romano or Pecorino cheese. Are you wondering about the heat level of seeded, cooked jalapenos? It’s my experience, especially with this dish, that cooking greatly reduces the heat and calms things down.

Mexican Eggs

Mexican Eggs

If you love Huevos Ahogados (poached eggs in a delicious, spicy red sauce) you are going to salivate over this delicious Eggs in Purgatory recipe!

Eggs and Tomatoes

How to Make Eggs in Purgatory

To make Eggs in Purgatory the traditional way, I highly recommend using a cast-iron pan. Drizzle some olive oil into the skillet and turn up the heat to medium/high. Once the oil shimmers and you see just a little bit of smoke, add in the onions, jalapenos, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Stir frequently with a wooden spatula until the onions are well caramelized (tender and brown) and super fragrant.

Eggs In Purgatory cooked in a cast iron pan

Easy Egg Recipes

Pour the tomato sauce over the onion mixture. Stir to combine. Bring the tomato sauce to a boil. Immediately lower the heat to simmer/low. With the back of spoon, make 7 shallow depressions in the sauce. One by one, gingerly crack the eggs into the dimpled areas. Allow the eggs to simmer until the whites are fully cooked but the yolks are still bright and runny. If the eggs are taking a while to set, cover the pan with a lid. Once the eggs are done, remove from heat. Season the spicy eggs with freshly-ground sea salt and black pepper.

Eggs in Purgatory served with bread

How to Serve Eggs in Purgatory

Sprinkle grated cheese over the top, and garnish with strips of freshly-sliced basil. Mmmm…doesn’t this look fabulous? These Eggs in Purgatory taste Heavenly too! Dip roughly-torn pieces of rustic bread into the flavorful sauce and pierce the bright yellow yolks and let them run. Are you drooling yet? It’s easy egg recipes like this one that are shared down through the generations with family and friends.

Shakshuka in a cast iron pan

Frequently Asked Questions about Egg Recipes

What can you make with a lot of eggs?

  • Deviled eggs
  • Egg sandwiches
  • Breakfast casserole
  • Chinese egg drop soup
  • Shakshuka
  • Eggs in Purgatory
  • Omelettes
  • Quiche
  • Breakfast burritos
  • Egg custard
  • Scrambled eggs
  • Frittata
  • Cobb salad with eggs
  • Macaroni salad
  • Eggs with chorizo

How do I make the perfect poached egg?

  1. Add 2 teaspoons vinegar and 1 teaspoon salt to a pan of water.
  2. Bring the water to a boil over medium heat, then reduce the temperature.
  3. Carefully crack an egg into a ramekin or custard cup.
  4. Once the water is gently simmering, stir the water quickly to create a whirlpool.
  5. Transfer the egg to the center of the swirling water. This will prevent the egg white from spreading outward.
  6. Cover the pan and turn off the heat. Wait 5 minutes before lifting the lid.
  7. Lift your poached egg out of the water with a slotted spoon.

Best Kitchen Tools for Egg Recipes

These are super helpful kitchen tools for making delicious egg recipes! I absolutely love my cast-iron Staub universal pan with lid. A more wallet-friendly option is the traditional Lodge cast-iron skillet and their entire collection of time-honored cookware. The gorgeous wooden spatulas shown below are multi-functional and fabulous helpers in the kitchen! They’re designed so you can stir into the corners of your pots and pans. Use them to separate eggs, scramble eggs, toss salads, and scrape down the bottom of jars.


Eggs In Purgatory


When it comes to easy brunch recipes to feed a crowd, a good old-fashioned BREAKFAST CASSEROLE makes the top of the list!

Tater Tot Casserole

Scrumptious BREAKFAST TOAST is a quick easy meal that’ll help you power through the day! This sweet and savory breakfast recipe is also perfect when preparing a tray for breakfast in bed. Serve with juice or coffee.

Sweet and Savory Breakfast Sandwich

These delightful CREAM CHEESE DANISH PASTRY are beautiful, delicious and super easy to make! This is the perfect brunch recipe for special occasions. Make them for baby showers, wedding showers, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, birthday breakfast, and Christmas morning.

Best cream cheese danish pastry recipe

This easy OATMEAL BAKE is a cozy morning recipe that satisfies the tummy and warms the soul. It’s the perfect breakfast recipe for cold-weather days!

Baked Oatmeal

Celebrate all the joys and blessings in your life with yummy FUNFETTI PANCAKES made from scratch! It’s perfect for birthdays, graduation, and special occasions.

Funfetti Pancakes served on a white cake stand.

How about an old-fashioned stack of delicious BUTTERMILK PANCAKES drizzled with maple syrup? It’s a traditional way to begin the day!

Best Buttermilk Pancakes

Gold Line: Sprinkles of Inspiration |

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Eggs In Purgatory cooked in a cast iron pan

Eggs in Purgatory

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Delicious, savory Eggs in Purgatory is quick and simple to make with just a few basic ingredients. Enjoy this flavorful dish for breakfast, brunch, or a yummy reverse meal (eggs for dinner!). Among a host of easy egg recipes, this one really stands out!


  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
  • 56 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
  • 4 jalapeno peppers, seeded and diced
  • 1 teaspoon chili pepper flakes
  • 1 29-ounce can tomato sauce (from vine-ripened roma tomatoes)
  • 8 large organic brown eggs
  • Freshly-ground salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
  • Fresh basil, thinly sliced


  1. Place a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Drizzle olive oil into the pan. Once the oil shimmers and lightly smokes, add the onions, garlic, jalapenos, and pepper flakes. With a wooden spatula, stir the ingredients until the onions are well caramelized and deliciously fragrant.
  2. Add the tomato sauce, stir well, and bring to a boil. Immediately reduce the heat to low/simmer. With the back of a spoon, make 8 slight depressions in the sauce.
  3. Carefully crack the eggs, one by one, into the depressions. Grind salt and pepper over the eggs. Allow them to cook until the whites are set and the yolks are still bright yellow and runny. This should be a quick process, but if needed briefly cover the pan with a lid until the eggs reach the desired doneness.
  4. Remove the pan from heat. Cool for about 3-4 minutes. Garnish Eggs in Purgatory with grated cheese, and strips of shredded basil.
  5. Serve immediately. Enjoy with crusty bread, warm pita bread, or thick-slices of buttery rustic toast.
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Breakfast, Brunch, Lunch, Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian, American, Mexican

Gold Line: Sprinkles of Inspiration |


Do you enjoy sampling or making new breakfast recipes? Are you a lover of basic scrambled eggs, fried eggs, poached eggs or omelettes? What do you think about this Eggs in Purgatory recipe? Join the conversation! Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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    1. Woo-hoo! Georgia, I’m over-the-moon happy you enjoyed this scrumptious Eggs in Purgatory recipe. Thank you so much for coming back to let me know how it went. Many good wishes are sent your way for a wonderful week ahead!

  1. Amazing! These recipes look so scrumptious and the treatment appears to be a fairly easy job to stick to. I will surely try to make this during the weekend break split. Thank you so much for your helpful sharing post!

  2. Wow. these recipes look really delicious and the procedure looks so easy to follow. I will definitely try to make this on this weekend.

  3. So many delicious and spicy flavors! I absolutely love this dish, and it’s a winner when the fridge is on the empty side :)

    1. Hahahaa! Seyi, that happens to me too! I wish I could hand a forkful of this Eggs in Purgatory recipe to you right through this screen!

  4. Your egg recipe is SPOT ON! It’s been a long time since I have had eggs in Purgatory, but we have back-yard chickens, and I will absolutely be trying this recipe! Thank you!!!!

    1. Woohoo!!! Mary this makes so happy to know you love this recipe! And boy are you super lucky to have some backyard chickens. Fresh eggs daily would be a dream come true. Many good wishes for a fabulous week!

    1. Thank you so much Megan for your sweet comment! This Eggs in Purgatory recipe is just as delicious as it looks! I hope you’ll have a chance to make it soon. :-)

    1. Thank you Candi! Eggs in Purgatory is a great choice for adding protein to your diet. And the best part? It’s super scrumptious too!

    1. Yahooo!!! I’m super happy to know you and your family enjoyed this brunch recipe last weekend. I hope you’ll stop by again and again to find more great recipes for every season. :-)

  5. That sounds really delicious. I have never heard of this before, but I am excited to make this for my family!

    1. Hi Robin! I’m excited to hear that you and your family will soon be enjoying this great brunch recipe. Many thanks for stopping by to join the conversation!

    1. Wilhelmina, thanks so much for stopping by and joining the conversation! I enjoyed hearing that you enjoyed this scrumptious Eggs in Purgatory recipe. Yay! :-)