Kickstart your day with these spicy breakfast beans and eggs! This hearty breakfast recipe features tender beans and perfectly poached eggs cooked in a smoky chipotle tomato sauce. It's an easy, one-pan skillet meal that's well-balanced and satisfying.
Are you a sweet or savory breakfast person? For me, it's savory all the way! This dish is like a spicy version of British baked beans, and it's my ultimate comfort food. It's a great way to get more beans into your diet, especially if you're looking for more vegetarian protein options.
The savory, rich beans are cut beautifully by the pickled red onions and cilantro for some much-needed freshness. You can eat it as is, right out of the bowl, or serve it with some toasty sourdough or pita.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
Whether you're looking for a satisfying breakfast or a quick dinner idea, I highly recommend trying this recipe! Here's why:
- It's flavorful. The sauce is smoky, spicy, and tangy.
- It's filling. Soft poached eggs and creamy beans keep you full!
- It's convenient. It's pantry-friendly, easy, and straightforward.
- Aromatics: Fresh garlic and red onion help create a savory base for the spicy tomato sauce.
- Canned Beans: Use your favorite creamy white beans, such as navy beans, cannellini beans, or great northern beans. Don't use black beans, as they won't have the right creaminess. - can sub with green onion
- Eggs: I poach the eggs directly in the sauce to keep this dish as simple as possible. However, a crispy fried egg or soft-boiled egg would be delicious too!
- Chipotle Chiles: This ingredient is essential for this dish's spicy, smoky, sweet flavor. Look for a can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. Keep in mind, they can be quite spicy, so feel free to adjust the heat according to your preferences.
- Sugar: A touch of white sugar rounds out the flavors. You can also use brown sugar or maple syrup.
For a full list of ingredients and quantities, please refer to the recipe card.
- Cherry Tomatoes: For a saucier dish, stir in a handful of cherry tomatoes when simmering the beans. It'll also add a nice pop of freshness.
- Herbs: Swap the cilantro for green onion or fresh mint.
- Vegan: For a vegan variation, omit the eggs.
How to Make Breakfast Beans and Eggs
Step 1 - Pickle the onions: Thinly slice about ¼ of the red onion and place in a Ziploc bag along with the juice of a lime.
Step 2 - Saute the aromatics. In a large skillet, saute olive oil with garlic and onions until softened over medium heat.
TIP: Marinating raw onions in acid (lime juice) is a form of quick pickling! It removes the 'raw' spicy flavor of the onion and offers a nice tang to the dish.
Step 3 - Add the tomato paste, followed by the chipotle pepper, and saute for a couple of minutes until nice and caramelized.
Step 4 - Simmer the beans: Over medium-high heat, add the water and beans, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for a few minutes.
Step 5 - Add the eggs: Season with sugar, salt, and black pepper. Using a wooden spoon, carve two small wells in the skillet, and crack the eggs.
Step 6 - Poach the eggs: Cover the pot and simmer for 3 - 5 minutes, or until the egg yolks are just cooked through. Divide amongst serving bowls, and top with pickled red onion and cilantro. Enjoy!
For nice, runny yolks, remove the pot from the heat just as the whites turn from translucent to opaque. Runnier yolks will still have a bit of a jiggle.
- Serve these breakfast beans alongside a warm corn tortilla, pita, or buttered toast.
- For a bit of extra saltiness, garnish with a handful of crumbled feta cheese or cotija on top.
- Go full English breakfast, and serve these alongside some bacon, sausages, and toast!
For an easy fix, try adding a splash of soy sauce or Worcestershire sauce for umami.
One of my favorite ways to use leftover beans is to make refried beans! Place the beans in a cast-iron skillet with a bit of oil, and cover with some water or stock. Simmer for a few minutes, then mash with a wooden spoon or potato masher to your desired consistency.
Breakfast Beans and Eggs
- 1 red onion
- 1 lime
- Salt and black pepper
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, de-seeded and finely chopped
- 1 cup water
- 1 (15.5-ounce) can white beans, such as cannellini or great northern beans | drained and rinsed
- 1 teaspoon white sugar, optional
- 2 large eggs,
- A handful of minced cilantro, for garnish
- Prep the onion: Thinly slice ¼ of 1 red onion into half-moons. Finely dice the remaining ¾.
- Pickle the onion: In a small Ziploc bag, add the half-moon slices of red onion. Squeeze the juice of 1 lime into the bag and season with salt and pepper. Seal the bag and shake it a few times to allow the juices to fully coat the onion. Let sit for at least 20 minutes, preferably 30 minutes, before serving.
- Saute the aromatics: Add 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil and minced garlic to a medium skillet or frying pan. Set over medium heat, and saute garlic until aromatic and very lightly golden in color, about 1 - 2 minutes.Add diced red onion, and saute for 6 - 8 minutes, until softened and translucent. Season with salt and pepper.
- Cook the pastes: Add 3 tablespoons tomato paste to the skillet, stirring to incorporate. Add the finely chopped chipotle pepper. Saute for about 3 minutes until the paste caramelizes to a brick red color and begins to stick to the pan.
- Simmer: Stir 1 (15.5-ounce) can white beans and 1 cup water into the skillet. Bring to a boil, then simmer over medium-low heat for 6 - 8 minutes to allow the flavors to meld. Season once more with salt and pepper, and add 1 teaspoon white sugar if you want a bit of sweetness.
- Cook the eggs: Using a wooden spoon, form two wells in the center of the pan and drop an egg into each hole. Cover the skillet and simmer for 3 - 5 minutes until the eggs are cooked through.
- Serve: Spoon the beans and eggs into bowls and top with pickled red onion and a handful of minced cilantro on top. Serve immediately.