Skip to main content

Sloppy Joe Shirred Eggs With Spinach

Castiron skillet filled with meat sauce and four eggs that have been poached in the liquid.
Baxter Miller

Years ago, eggs baked in marinara sauce rendered me speechless at a restaurant called Bar Pitti in Manhattan’s West Village. Ever since then, I’ve been shirring eggs (a more seductive term for baking or broiling whole eggs out of their shell) in all the saucy stuff I have on hand. This version builds on a turkey sloppy joe ragout I make for my kids. I swap out the sugar in standard sloppy joes for carrot and caramelized onion, and nestle each egg on a mound of garlic-forward wilted spinach. A perfect bite of this reminds me of one of my guilty pleasures—a sausage, spinach, and cheese omelet covered in ketchup. Plus, you can use one pan from start to finish here. That alone should encourage you to make it.


4 servings

1 medium carrot, top removed and cut into about 6 pieces
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, or 2 scant cups roughly chopped fresh tomatoes
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
3 garlic cloves, minced
8 ounces fresh spinach (4 cups packed)
3 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
1 pound ground turkey
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
4 large eggs Parmigiano Reggiano, for serving (optional)

Step 1

Preheat your oven to 400°F. Combine the carrot, tomatoes plus their juice, and 1 cup water in a blender. Blitz till it’s as smooth as your blender allows.

Step 2

In an ovenproof 12-inch sauté pan or skillet set over medium heat, cook 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and the minced garlic. Watch for the garlic to start sizzling, then stir in the spinach and ½ teaspoon of the salt. Continue stirring for a minute, until all the spinach is wilted. Remove it from the pan and set aside.

Step 3

Add the final tablespoon olive oil to the pan, raise the heat to medium, and add the turkey plus 1 teaspoon salt. Using a wooden spoon or spatula, break the turkey up into small morsels as it browns. When you have browned turkey, add the cumin, paprika, and black pepper. Stir to incorporate, toasting the spices for about 30 seconds.

Step 4

Add the carrot-tomato mixture, the R-Rated Onions, vinegar, and ½ teaspoon salt. Let this cook for about 15 minutes, uncovered, stirring occasionally. You may need to lower the heat to prevent Joe from sticking or splattering. When the ragout is done it will be thick and juicy. If it seems too dry, stir in a little water. Taste the ragout for seasoning and adjust as you like.

Step 5

Turn the heat off and make four indentions in the ragout. Divide the spinach and put equal amounts in each indentation. Top each section of spinach with a cracked egg. Sprinkle the eggs with the remaining 1 teaspoon salt.

Step 6

Slide the skillet onto the middle rack of your preheated oven. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until the whites are set and the yolks are slightly runny.

Step 7

To serve, scatter ribbons of Parmigiano Reggiano or another hard cheese over the top. If bread is your thing, this is great with toast.

Cover of the cookbook featuring the chef in a denim jumpsuit sitting on a kitchen counter.
Excerpted from This Will Make It Taste Good: A New Path to Simple Cooking. Copyright © 2020 by Vivian Howard. Used with permission of Voracious, an imprint of Little, Brown and Company. New York, NY. All rights reserved. Buy the full book from Amazon or Bookshop.

How would you rate Sloppy Joe Shirred Eggs With Spinach?

  • This is terrific! I made it with Impossible Burger because that’s what I had on hand. Otherwise, made as stated; including the R-Rated onions. 😳 They were yummy! I’ll make this again. The baking of it at the end was so good!

    • drloverde

    • Sherman Oaks, CA

    • 11/22/2020

  • Excellent recipe! Will definitely make again! The only change I made was using ground chicken. Next time I make it I will double the smoked paprika and cumin. It took me about 15 minutes to get my eggs to where I wanted. Also, I see some flexibility in the recipe as well. You could go without the spinach or eggs if you wanted a more traditional sloppy joe, or mix in the spinach and go without the eggs. This will be a regular in the rotation!

    • wickedwestie

    • Atlanta, GA

    • 11/12/2020