Baked Birds in a Nest

Baked eggs in Italian bread nests covered with a tomato sauce and topped with pancetta is a delicious meal anytime of the day. You can swap in different sauce ingredients and toppings to get creative for future meals.


  • 1 loaf Italian bread
  • 1 stick butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, 1 crushed and 2 chopped, divided
  • Salt and ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grated
  • 8 eggs
  • 8 thin slices pancetta
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 1 medium red onion, finely diced
  • 2 cans fire-roasted or petite diced tomatoes (15 ounce cans)
  • 1 cup basil, torn


Pre-heat the oven to 400˚F.

In a small pot over low heat, melt the butter with the crushed garlic clove. Using a pastry brush, brush the inside of a casserole dish with some of the melted butter to keep the eggs from sticking.

Cut the loaf of bread in to 8 pieces, each about 1-1 1/2 inches long. Using a cookie cutter about an inch in diameter, cut a hole into the middle of each piece of bread. Place the pieces of bread into the casserole dish.

Using a pastry brush, brush each of the slices of bread with the melted garlic butter, then sprinkle with the parsley and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.

Crack an egg into a small bowl and pour it into one of the bread holes. Repeat until all the bread “nests” are filled with an egg.

Being careful not to disturb the eggs in their nests, place them in the oven and bake until soft or medium-hard, 10-15 minutes, depending on how runny you like your eggs.

Meanwhile, in a skillet over medium-high heat with EVOO, cook the pancetta until golden brown. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate and reserve.

To the same skillet, add the red onion and chopped garlic and cook until tender. Add in the cans of tomatoes and let cook until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.

To serve, spoon a puddle of the tomato sauce onto the bottom of each plate. Top with two eggs in a nest and garnish with 1 crispy round of pancetta and some basil.

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