eggs in purgatory breakfast brunch recipe
Breakfast Recipes

Quick and Easy Eggs in Purgatory Breakfast or Brunch

Cooks in 20 Minutes Difficulty Easy 0 comments

​Whether you are looking for a new breakfast or brunch idea, these eggs in purgatory made in a cast iron skillet will have your palette singing! This fresh egg dish with a slice of sourdough toast is made with blistered cherry tomatoes and sauteed Swiss chard. This Italian-inspired egg dish is infused with fresh garlic, making it a tasty addition to any breakfast table. Eggs in purgatory are topped with poached eggs and cooked until your desired doneness, making them a wonderful morning start!

We love eggs; any way you can make them around here, from hard-boiled to poached and runny. Eggs are a wholesome and nutrient-dense food that is still relatively inexpensive. Yes, we saw egg prices climb this past year, but that is likely due to farmers having to cover their increased chicken feed costs. I am okay with spending a bit extra for these weekly. From baking to eggs scrambled in a hurry, they are an excellent food source. 

​If you are near a National Grocer like I am, you can purchase eggs by the case, which works out budget-wise to one complimentary tray of 30 eggs per purchase. For a savings of ten dollars. And if you think there is no way to use all those eggs before they go bad. Try the mineral oil trick to keep them suitable for months!

​This tomato-based dish is one of my favorite easy recipes. It’s such a refreshing change from fried egg breakfast dishes. It is summery, fresh, and full of great vitamins and rich flavors. If you can find rainbow Swiss chard, I recommend it simply for the colorful beauty it brings to the breakfast table. Otherwise, regular Swiss chard will work for this recipe. 

​Looking for more tasty, quick, and easy breakfast ideas? Try our hot sauce salsa egg breakfast burrito!

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Why You Will Love This Savory Egg Dish:

It’s quick and easy. With a short list of ingredients, this whips up in 20 minutes for a perfect breakfast or brunch that the whole family will love. 

You can easily customize it. You can easily switch out the Swiss chard’s green color for a preferred green leafy vegetable and add a few extra ingredients to make it even heartier. Consider adding cheese or even chorizo sausage!

Nutritious. Eggs are nutritious and good for overall health. When combined with the nutrient-rich tomato sauce and other wholesome ingredients, Eggs in Purgatory becomes not only delicious but also a nutritious meal idea. 

​Grab the cast iron skillet. It’s time to make brekkie!

​This is a straightforward recipe—the best kind. Even better, we use only one cast iron skillet for this breakfast dish. Less cleanup makes for better mornings. 

​Step one in this dish is deciding how much garlic you feel comfortable using. I used five whole cloves sliced; you can smash them if you prefer. If you are not a garlic fan, cut back to two cloves. The garlic becomes milder as it cooks, and the flavor isn’t overpowering with five cloves. 

Add olive oil to your heated cast iron skillet. Allow it to heat before adding garlic. We sauteed this for one minute before adding the whole cherry tomatoes. I have made this with both regular and colored cherry tomatoes. It consistently tastes excellent, so don’t feel you must spend more on colorful tomatoes if you don’t have them in your budget. 

​While the tomatoes are heating up, you will want to roll them around now so they heat evenly. Once they have started to blister, in about 3-5 minutes, use a tool (I used my potato masher) to gently burst them open. You will need the juices from the tomato to keep them from burning in the pan. We are stewing these tomatoes but want them to maintain a bit of shape. So don’t go nuts with that masher. Leave a few sizeable pieces of tomato, too. 

Many people have eggs in purgatory. Removing the Swiss chard stems is often recommended in their recipes. I’m not fond of food waste, so I left mine in. They softened as much as the rest of the meal and didn’t detract from the flavor. I leave it up to you. Cut the stems off or leave them in. Either way, wash up the Swiss chard and cut or rip it into pieces. Add to the top of the tomatoes and cover the whole thing for a few minutes until the chard has wilted.

​At this point, we will be adding the eggs. You will want to have the eggs intact for this dish. So, if you need more confidence in cracking eggs, you can crack them into a bowl one at a time and then slip the whole egg on top of the chard and tomatoes in a saucy area. It is best for poaching the eggs perfectly with a runny yolk. If you have more experience and feel confident, crack the eggs onto the surface. Use as many eggs or as few as you need to serve yourself and your family/guests. 

The eggs should be spaced out across the surface of the dish. Once you have all the eggs added, replace the cover/lid and allow the eggs to be set to the desired doneness, usually in 1-2 minutes. Ideally, the eggs in purgatory should still be runny in the center when finished. However, if you have others who like them more well done, cook a little longer. Add a sprinkle of black pepper to the dish before serving. 

The best part is you can put the whole cast iron skillet on the table, with a heat-resistant trivet, of course, and people can see the beauty of this dish before serving. 

Additionally, you can include a few wedges of lemon for those who like a little lemony zest on their tomatoes. Served with sourdough toast or other crusty bread, eggs in purgatory are a great, satisfying meal for the whole family.


Eggs: The dish’s star is the eggs, which, when poached in the flavorful tomato sauce, provide a creamy and protein-rich element. They add richness and texture, binding all the ingredients together.

Olive Oil: This base is used to sauté the garlic and cook the tomatoes. It infuses the dish with its rich, fruity flavor.

Fresh Garlic:  Mellowing as it cooks, garlic brings a robust and aromatic flavor to the dish, complementing the sweetness of the tomatoes and adding depth to the sauce. 

​Swiss Chard: This nutritious and vibrant leafy green has a subtle hint of bitterness that balances the sweetness of the tomatoes. It also contributes vitamins and minerals for added health benefits.

Cherry Tomatoes: Bursting with sweetness and bringing acidity to the dish, cherry tomatoes create a bright and refreshing contrast to the richness of the eggs and olive oil. Their small size also allows them to cook quickly and release their juices, forming the flavorful base of the tomato sauce.

Black Pepper: The simplest spice complements the other ingredients without competing. 

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Substitutions And Add-Ins For This Tasty Breakfast/Brunch Dish:

Eggs: I used large eggs, but any size egg will work for this simple dish. For a vegan version, tofu can be used as a substitute for eggs, providing a similar protein-rich element. Alternatively, cooked white beans or chickpeas can offer a creamy texture while adding protein.

Olive Oil: Other types of cooking oils, such as vegetable oil, avocado oil, or coconut oil, can be substituted for olive oil.

Fresh Garlic: Garlic powder or garlic paste can be substituted for fresh garlic, offering a convenient alternative without sacrificing flavor. Minced shallots or onions can also provide a similar aromatic quality.

Swiss Chard: Spinach, kale, or collard greens can be substituted for Swiss chard, providing a similar leafy green component to the dish. Alternatively, zucchini or bell peppers can add texture and color to the overall flavor profile.

Cherry Tomatoes:  Canned diced tomatoes or tomato sauce can be used as substitutes for fresh cherry tomatoes, providing a convenient option, especially when fresh tomatoes are not in season. 

Black Pepper: Using crushed red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper can bwork in place of the black pepper, adding a spicy kick. Alternatively, smoked paprika or chili powder can provide a different flavor profile while still enhancing the dish’s overall taste.

​For an extra layer of flavor, consider using additional ingredients such as onions and bell peppers, sautéed until caramelized for sweetness. Fresh herbs like basil or parsley can lend a burst of freshness and aroma, enhancing the overall taste profile. For added richness, sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese or crumbled feta cheese over the finished dish, melting into the tomato sauce and eggs for a creamy finish. Finally, serve the Eggs in Purgatory with crusty bread or toasted sourdough to soak up the flavorful sauce and complete the meal.

​Expert Tips, Serving And Storing Suggestions For This Easy Egg Breakfast:

Tip #1: Do not let the tomatoes overcook. The moisture from the tomatoes is needed to create a nice sauce for this dish.

Tip #2: Control the Egg Poaching. For perfectly poached eggs, create small wells in the tomato sauce and crack each egg directly into the well. This helps to contain the egg whites and maintain their shape as they cook. Cover the pan with a lid or aluminum foil during the last few minutes of cooking to gently steam the eggs until the whites are set but the yolks remain runny.

Tip #3: Remember garnish! Finish the Eggs in Purgatory with a sprinkle of herbs like fresh parsley or basil, adding a vibrancy and freshness to the dish. 

​For a rustic presentation, serve Eggs in Purgatory directly from a cast iron skillet, placing it at the center of the table for a communal dining experience. 

​To store leftover Eggs in Purgatory, allow the dish to cool before putting it in an airtight container. Refrigerate the leftovers promptly and consume within 2-3 days for optimal freshness and flavor. When reheating, gently warm the dish in a skillet over low heat, adding a splash of water or broth to prevent the eggs from overcooking and to maintain the sauce’s consistency.

​This savory breakfast is best served fresh and consumed right away. 

Your feedback fuels my passion for cooking and writing. Leave a comment with your thoughts, questions, or even your own culinary tips. Let’s keep the conversation sizzling!

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Quick and Easy Eggs in Purgatory Breakfast or Brunch

Amber Bondar
This tomato based breakfast is such a refreshing change from fried eggs. Eggs in purgatory with cherry tomatoes, swiss chard and fresh garlic is wonderful served on a slice of toasted sourdough bread. Whether you want a new breakfast or brunch dish this Italian inspired meal is great start to the day.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American, Canadian, Italian
Servings 6


  • 1 Cast Iron Skillet


  • 2 lbs Cherry Tomatoes
  • 1 Bunch of Swiss Chard
  • 5 Whole Cloves Fresh Garlic Sliced or smashed
  • 4 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • Dash Black Pepper
  • Eggs Add As Many As You Would Like


  • In your heated cast iron skillet add the olive oil and garlic. Allow to sauté one minute.
  • Add in the whole cherry tomatoes and stir while heating until they start to blister.
  • Once they start blistering use a tool (masher) to press down to release the juice. Try to keep some of the tomatoes looking like a tomato-not just tomato pulp.
  • Add to the pan wash and cut Swiss chard and cover.
  • Allow Swiss chard to wilt and remove cover.
  • Crack eggs on the surface of the Swiss chard tomato dish.
  • Return cover to pan and allow eggs to cook until set to desire doneness.
  • Remove lid and a dash of black pepper before serving immediately.
  • Optional* Serve with sourdough toast
Keyword breakfast, brunch, eggs, veggie

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