Tuscan Baked Eggs on Lentils

by Dorothy Reinhold on April 15, 2013

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Tuscan Baked Eggs on Lentils are gently baked eggs resting atop a flavorful, tomatoey bed of cooked lentils. It’s like an Italian Shakshuka, complete with Parmesan and pine nuts on top.

When I am rustling up breakfast, I try to figure out what’s for dinner. Otherwise, 5 p.m. will be here and I won’t know what the plan is.

But when I came back from a vacation recently, I was off my routine. For several days in a row, dinnertime came and I just looked like a deer in the headlights.

Luckily, I have some foodie friends whose ideas inspired me, and based on the photos of their recipes, I decided to make a sort of Italian Shakshuka, or Eggs in Purgatory.

I put the flame on under the skillet and got to work. It’s fun to make up your own recipe based on just an idea. Try it sometime!

The starting idea was Tuscan Baked Eggs, which I had never heard of before, but unfamiliarity shouldn’t stop you, it should drive you forward! Here’s what I saw in the refrigerator and pantry that helped me out: eggs, steamed lentils (I always keep a package of these on hand for speed), jarred pasta sauce, carrots, celery, onion, Parmesan cheese.

Ready, set, go! In less than 30 minutes, I had a new, tasty, healthy, Meatless Monday vegetarian meal.

How to make Tuscan Baked Eggs on Lentils

First, gather your ingredients. For this recipe, I used:

  • olive oil
  • onion
  • celeryMelissa's Produce Steamed Lentils
  • carrots
  • dried oregano
  • steamed lentils
  • jarred pasta sauce
  • eggs
  • Parmesan cheese
  • pine nuts
  • capers (optional garnish)

Carrots, celery and onions in a black skillet

Cook the vegetables in a skillet until they’re soft and beginning to caramelize.

4 eggs atop a reddish bed of tomatoes and lentils in a black skillet

Add lentils and cook a bit more. Then make wells in the tomato-lentil mixture and crack an egg into each well. I used 5 eggs — 1 each for me and my two children, and 2 for my husband. Use whatever number suits your family.

4 cooked eggs with pine nuts sprinkled on top, resting on reddish lentils in a black skillet, for Tuscan Baked Eggs on Lentils.

Cook for a bit, then top with grated Parmesan and pine nuts, and run the skillet under the broiler to finish cooking the eggs.

Tuscan Baked Eggs on Lentils

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: Serves 4

Tuscan Baked Eggs on Lentils

Tuscan Baked Eggs on Lentils are gently baked eggs resting atop a flavorful, tomatoey bed of lentils, with Parmesan and pine nuts on top, for a fast Meatless Monday meal.


  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 (17-ounce) package steamed lentils (you will use half the package)
  • 1 (24- to 25-ounce) jar pasta sauce
  • 5 eggs
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4-1/3 cup pine nuts
  • Optional: 2-3 tablespoons drained capers for garnish


  1. Heat oil in large skillet and saute onion, celery, carrots and oregano until the vegetables are soft and beginning to caramelize, about 10 minutes.
  2. Stir in half the package of steamed lentils (save rest for another use) and the whole jar of pasta sauce. Stir, cover and simmer on low for about 10-15 minutes.
  3. Heat broiler in oven. Remove skillet lid, stir mixture (add a tablespoon or two of water if it seems too dry) and make slight indentations with the back of a spoon; crack an egg into each indentation. (I allowed 1 egg each for me and the kids and 2 for my husband; your mileage may vary.) Replace skillet lid and cook mixture on low for about 4-5 minutes.
  4. Remove lid, sprinkle eggs with grated Parmesan and pine nuts, and move the skillet to the broiler. Broil uncovered for 2 minutes, which will toast the pine nuts and finish cooking the eggs.
  5. Remove from oven and garnish with capers (if you like them), or snipped chives, or leave them as is. Serve onto plates, with a toasted bagel half tucked beside.
  6. Serves 4.


Recipe source: Dorothy Reinhold | Shockingly Delicious. Inspired by food bloggers Stephanie Weaver and Kalyn Denny.


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Tuscan Baked Eggs on Lentils on Shockingly Delicious

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{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

Nicole @ Daily Dish Recipes April 17, 2013 at 11:50 am

Oh my goodness, this looks just fabulous Dorothy!


Dorothy Reinhold April 17, 2013 at 12:35 pm

Thank you! I loved it A LOT!


Stephanie, The Recipe Renovator April 16, 2013 at 12:47 pm

Hey, nice to know I inspired you! Love the idea of adding lentils… mmm.


Dorothy Reinhold April 16, 2013 at 1:46 pm

Inspiration is all around, isn’t it, if only we let it in!


Tara April 16, 2013 at 10:16 am

Oh yum, I have to try this one, looks so very good!!


Dorothy Reinhold April 16, 2013 at 1:46 pm

Oh yeah, I really liked this one!


Geez Louise! April 16, 2013 at 7:54 am

This is the second time I’ve come across a recipe like this in the last few weeks… looks so good and simple, and photographs nicely! I’m on it..


kirsten@FarmFreshFeasts April 16, 2013 at 3:26 am

I’ve never tried anything like this, but it looks really good and I’m pretty game to try it. It seems like any old cooked lentils would do. (I’m guessing about 1 1/2 cups of cooked lentils go in the skillet?)
Thanks, Dorothy!


Erika {In Erika's Kitchen} April 15, 2013 at 7:45 pm

I so rarely think about eggs for dinner – this looks just delicious. A nice crusty loaf of bread and you’re all set. Thanks Dorothy!


Renee April 15, 2013 at 5:08 am

Everything about this dish sounds so wonderful. I have not tried the steamed lentils yet. I will be on the hunt for them thanks to you.


Dorothy Reinhold April 15, 2013 at 9:48 am

They are in the refrigerated section, or the refrigerated produce section sometimes. Also, if you have a Trader Joe’s near you, they carry them (shhhh…Melissa’s distributes them to TJs and TJs puts their own label on — all is fair in love and grocery stores, right?).


Hezzi-D April 15, 2013 at 3:32 am

Great weekday supper post! This looks like a quick and easy dinner. Plus, I love anything with pasta sauce!


Dorothy Reinhold April 15, 2013 at 9:48 am

Yeah, you could put pasta sauce on dirt and it would be good!


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