By Natalie Rizzo, MS, RD
The Egg Nutrition Center partnered with Natalie Rizzo, MS, RD to write this blog post.
Surprise! Eggs aren’t just for breakfast and brunch. They also make a tasty and nutritious addition to basically any meal of the day. Since eggs are so affordable, versatile and easy to prepare, you might as well stock up and add them to your daily menu. If you need a little inspiration to think outside the box (or egg carton), this list of surprising uses for eggs is here to help. All of these suggestions are equal parts unique and delicious.
1. Add eggs to a salad
Whether you like your eggs hard boiled or poached, they make a great addition to a salad. Not only do eggs taste great when paired with veggies, but recent ENC-sponsored research has found that eggs can help you absorb nutrients found in plant foods such as vitamin E and carotenoids when they are paired with a salad1. Specifically, the researchers concluded that vitamin E absorption was 4- to 7-fold higher when three whole eggs were tossed into a salad. This research reinforces a 2015 ENC-sponsored study, which found that the absorption of carotenoids – including alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin and lycopene – was 3- to 8-fold higher when the salad had three eggs2.
2. Put an egg on pizza
Pizza is a family favorite, but it can often be lacking in quality protein. Topping a veggie pizza with an egg is a fantastic way to add more protein to the meal. A large egg has 6 grams of high-quality protein, and it tastes great with veggies and cheese. Make a quick flatbread pizza with an egg on top if you’re in a hurry or an Egg and Mushroom pizza for a crowd-pleasing dinner.
3. Top a pasta dish with eggs
Only have 10 minutes to make a meal? With a pot of boiling water, some frozen veggies and a few eggs, you can have a nutritious homemade meal. Throw together some whole grain pasta, cooked veggies, garlic and olive oil and top it all with a few eggs. Not only do the eggs add a nice creaminess to the dish, but they have two carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin, both of which are important for brain and eye health.
4. Make savory oatmeal
This hearty breakfast food is usually paired with fruit and other sweet toppings, but it also makes a great base for savory foods. Switch up your oatmeal routine with new toppings, like veggies, eggs, cheese and a little hot sauce (if you’re daring). It will almost feel like you’re eating your favorite grain bowl for breakfast.
5. Whip up Shakshuka
Pronounced ‘shock-shoe-kah’, this tomato egg skillet is a traditional Mediterranean dish. It’s made with a combination of poached eggs in a tomato-based sauce with chilis and onions. It’s so incredibly easy to make in one skillet, yet it comes off as elegant and complicated. Serve it with a chunk of fresh bread to sop up the delicious combination of egg yolk and tomato sauce.
- Kim JE, Ferruzzi MG, Campbell WW. Egg Consumption Increases Vitamin E Absorption from Co-Consumed Raw Mixed Vegetables in Healthy Young Men. J Nutr. 2016;146:2199-2205.
- Kim JE, Gordon SL, Ferruzzi MG, et al. Effects of egg consumption on carotenoid absorption from co-consumed, raw vegetables. Am J Clin Nutr. 2015;102:75-83.