Poached Egg on Spinach

Poached Egg on Spinach

Spinach is an impressively versatile ingredient. Graced with heaps of inimitable flavour and significant nutritional value – a trait famously demonstrated by Popeye – this superfood has no trouble stamping its unique mark on many a dish. Despite this, simplicity is the key when attempting to unlock the full potential of spinach; a knob of butter is all that is necessary to bring to the fore its vibrant colour and delicious, though complex, flavour. Once wilted, this iron and calcium rich plant serves very well as a topping for toast, morning, noon and night – throw an expertly poached egg into the equation and what you have is a meal fit for any occasion.

Poaching an egg can be a tricky business if one knows not how to go about it. Simply cracking an egg into boiling water is more likely to land you with a shapeless, watery mound, than it is a firm white with every bit of its integrity intact. Of course, one could cheat and buy  an egg poacher, but where’s the fun in that? No, the best way to poach an egg is thus: crack the egg into a ramekin and add a dash of white wine vinegar; bring a deep pan of water to the boil and whisk it vigorously, but carefully, in one direction; gently tip the egg into the water from as low a height as possible, turn down the heat and cook for 2-3 minutes. Following these instructions will, I assure you, make your egg poaching skills the wonder of you neighbourhood – stray children will appear and breakfast will never be the same again.

Poached Egg on Spinach

If you’re interested in another of my recipes that explores the combination of spinach and egg, please refer to these individual egg and spinach bakes.

Local connection: If you happen to live in Bristol, which I don’t suppose many of you do, I highly recommend visiting Mark’s Bread in Bedminster and Arch House Deli in Clifton, they sell/make cracking bread and cheese, respectively.

Poached Egg on Spinach {recipe}

Serves 1


• 1 slice of sourdough bread, though any will do

• A generous handful of fresh spinach

• 20g salted butter

• Pepper

• 1 egg

• A little parmesan

• A drizzle of rapeseed oil


1. Add a knob of butter to a heavy based pan and bring up to temperature – heat until the froth has subsided. Meanwhile bring a pan of water to the boil and poach your egg according to the above instructions.

Poached Egg on Spinach

2. Ready your toast and transfer your beautifully poached egg to a plate or paper towel. Quickly wilt the spinach in the butter, adding a twist of black pepper – do not crucify it. Place the spinach on top of your toast, pop the egg on top of that and finish the divine article with a swift grate of parmesan cheese and a frugal drizzle of rapeseed oil.

Poached Egg on Spinach

Cost: This dish may sound a little fancy, but if one uses good quality ingredients in moderation it is perfectly easy to sustain their presence in your pantry. Rapeseed oil is a little on the pricey side, especially if you get the pressed variety, but it should only be used as a drizzle, or perhaps in a dressing. Besides, it has such a powerful flavour that it would probably ruin most of your everyday cooking. Indeed, if this rule is adhered to, there’s no reason a meal of this quality should set one back more than £1 or so.

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87 comments on “Poached Egg on Spinach

  1. cathyn61
    February 7, 2013 at 6:28 pm

    This is one of my favourite breakfasts, as is the egg & spinach bake.

  2. FarAwayPeachGarden
    February 7, 2013 at 6:34 pm

    Delicious work and beautiful photos, as always!
    Spinach is indeed very versatile.

  3. Bernice
    February 7, 2013 at 6:36 pm

    Looks wonderful. I have a pan to poach eggs – thanks for letting us know the proper way to cook them. I will have to try it!

  4. countrywoodsmoke
    February 7, 2013 at 6:36 pm

    A wonderful brunch recipe, love the dribble of yolk coming out of the egg, cracking pic 😉

    • frugalfeeding
      February 12, 2013 at 9:55 pm

      Hehe – thanks, Marcus! It had to be done.

  5. Jennifer M.
    February 7, 2013 at 6:44 pm

    A poached egg may simply be the most perfect food in the world! Your photos are making my mouth water – yum!

  6. narf77
    February 7, 2013 at 6:47 pm

    Your recipes give soul food a whole new connotation. They are positively redolent with the essence of soul. You manage to make me want to eat everything that you post which is a HUGE feat considering I am vegan and most of what you post contains at least one egg ;). From your base ingredients that are sterling representitives of the ingredient world, through the processes of preparation to the end result, which has more to do with the fantastic combinations than your lovely new camera, your love of food shines through. Simply delicious and incredibly rewarding. Now I want poached eggs! Comfort food from my childhood :)… I have to admit…I don’t think I would have been as keen on the spinach underneath when I was a kid ;)…”Stray children will appear”…eh?!!!! I had best leave the poached eggs off the menu then! I wouldn’t want any of the local urchins to have to traverse our horrifically steep driveway in zombi like hoardes just to get to these scrumptious eggs!

    • frugalfeeding
      February 12, 2013 at 9:55 pm

      Thanks, Fran! Now, now – I do some vegan food! Haha – I witter on sometimes! That’s a active imagination you have there 😀

      • narf77
        February 13, 2013 at 3:19 am

        I need an active imagination living out here in the sticks…otherwise I would go mad! ;). I trawl the net looking for good facimiles of comfort food and try to feed my poor long suffering expat husband something approximating good old blighty tucker with our antipodean ingredients…its a tough job but someone has to do it! 😉

  7. EmmaMT from CakesBakesAndCookies.com
    February 7, 2013 at 6:49 pm

    Eggs are my favorite. Full stop! But especially poached. AND I’ve become seriously addicted to spinach this week. I’ve been wilting it in butter with a ton of mushrooms and cherry tomatoes and way too much pepper. It’s so good. Next time I’m going to add a poached egg. That would make it perfect!

  8. Darya
    February 7, 2013 at 6:53 pm

    This is simply my favorite combination of flavours EVER. Lovely post and pictures!

  9. makingitwithdanielle
    February 7, 2013 at 7:04 pm

    I LOVE poached eggs and this combination looks divine!

  10. abrooke65
    February 7, 2013 at 7:05 pm

    LOL. Beautiful, funny and informative. What more can you ask?

  11. Pheebz
    February 7, 2013 at 7:08 pm

    Love this! I went through a phase of eating eggs with spinach all the time. At the moment, it’s just two plain poached eggs for breakfast…but wow, I can’t go without them!

  12. Celia @ Fig Jam and Lime Cordial
    February 7, 2013 at 7:31 pm

    Delicious! And those darn egg poachers never work properly anyway, much better to use your (and my) method! :)

    • frugalfeeding
      February 12, 2013 at 9:52 pm

      Thanks, Celia! My Gran’s did, but this is better 😀

  13. Misky
    February 7, 2013 at 7:47 pm

    I thinking this would make a lovley (low-cal) lunch. I’ll add more spinach. And maybe some piri-piri sauce!

  14. The Kat and The Falling Leaves
    February 7, 2013 at 7:50 pm

    This is my favourite weekday breakfast!

  15. Judy Smith
    February 7, 2013 at 8:22 pm

    This looks really good! In fact, so good that even though I just had lunch, I want this for “dessert” right now!

  16. anothermotherblog
    February 7, 2013 at 9:24 pm

    Very excited to try your poaching method. I love this recipe but am a total poaching failure!

  17. Mama's Gotta Bake
    February 7, 2013 at 10:01 pm

    I love to start my day with a poached egg. This looks divine!

  18. my sleepy kitchen
    February 7, 2013 at 11:20 pm

    I love this line: “Following these instructions will, I assure you, make your egg poaching skills the wonder of you neighbourhood – stray children will appear and breakfast will never be the same again.” Amazing! In the Joy of Cooking, it refers to the whisking of your poached egg water as a “swirling vortex,” which took me a little while to figure out what that meant:)

  19. Willow
    February 8, 2013 at 12:31 am

    That truly is an expertly poached egg – I’ve had similar luck cracking my egg into a metal ladle, and lowering the ladle gradually into gently simmering water… it can prove a little tricky to get the egg out of the ladle once poached this way, though. I’ll have to try your method in the future! Also, I am a spinach fiend… even as a child I loved the stuff! This dish is heaven to me. (As an aside, my apologies for not stopping by in so long – your site looks great since I last visited! I’ll head back and read through some of your previous posts to get caught up.)

    • frugalfeeding
      February 12, 2013 at 9:50 pm

      Hehe – thanks! That’s a good idea! That’s all right. IT’s just good to have you back now. I need to stop by yours too 😀

  20. Korena in the Kitchen
    February 8, 2013 at 2:27 am

    I know what I’m making for breakfast this weekend!

  21. Amy Tong
    February 8, 2013 at 6:47 am

    This is such a gorgeous dish and I can eat this every day and be very happy! I love poach eggs and that runny yolk is just simply divine!

  22. thelittleloaf
    February 8, 2013 at 9:36 am

    Very simple. Very healthy. Very yummy! :-)

  23. N
    February 8, 2013 at 11:56 am

    This looks really good!

  24. fleurdeselsf
    February 8, 2013 at 3:14 pm

    This looks delicious! I love poached eggs and am still trying to master the art of poaching – can’t wait to try your tips!

  25. DellaCucinaPovera
    February 8, 2013 at 3:25 pm

    This is my ultimate, stranded on a desert island and you have one meal left to eat before you die-meal. Maybe with a little Hollandaise Sauce :)

    • frugalfeeding
      February 12, 2013 at 9:42 pm

      Very nice! Recipe for that incoming I think!

  26. Karen
    February 8, 2013 at 4:48 pm

    This is one of my favorite brunch items.

  27. Ruth
    February 8, 2013 at 6:06 pm

    I love eggs but can’t poach to save my life I’ve tried yOur method but can do it…

    Ps I live 5 mins from arch house deli!!

    • Ruth
      February 8, 2013 at 6:06 pm

      Obviously I meant can’t

    • frugalfeeding
      February 24, 2013 at 8:27 pm

      Follow my instructions – they’re infallible. That’s so cool – do you visit often?

      • Ruth
        February 27, 2013 at 6:17 pm

        I often get stuff for my foodie penal box there :) there’s another nice health food shop just by tesco on whiteladies

        • frugalfeeding
          March 2, 2013 at 10:34 pm

          I’ve not been there, will have to check it out.

  28. spree
    February 8, 2013 at 6:37 pm

    Such oozing wonderful-ness!

  29. Deanna
    February 8, 2013 at 7:48 pm

    This looks wonderful! I love the combination of eggs and greens. What a great brunch idea!

  30. Yonder Wild
    February 8, 2013 at 11:32 pm

    this looks great! Re: “bring a deep pan of water to the boil and whisk it vigorously, but carefully, in one direction” – why do you whisk the water? Thanks!

  31. paleolover
    February 9, 2013 at 7:12 am

    That looks delicious! I am actually going through a spinach phase at the moment!!

  32. Debbie
    February 9, 2013 at 4:23 pm

    will be trying this for my breakfast tomorrow. My usual weekly Sunday treat is poached eggs microwaved (sorry sorry blush hangs head in shame) so thanks for this new take on it.

  33. musingmar
    February 10, 2013 at 3:25 am

    Oh my, you’ve made the humble egg the epitome of lusciousness. If I lived closer I’d beat those stray children to your door so I could breakfast with you!

    • frugalfeeding
      February 12, 2013 at 9:40 pm

      Thanks! Haha – but not actually beat them, I hope!

      • musingmar
        February 13, 2013 at 2:24 am

        To be clear, I will not beat the children. I will, however, do everything in my power to get to your breakfast table before they do. Maybe I’ll just strew candy on your sidewalk and that’ll distract them.

        • frugalfeeding
          February 20, 2013 at 7:37 pm

          Haha – good! We have pavements here 😀

  34. Debbie
    February 10, 2013 at 10:38 am

    Thank you for turning me into a domestic goddess. Bliss!

  35. Little Miss Ling
    February 10, 2013 at 1:01 pm

    Interesting egg poaching technique! I’ve only heard of adding the vinegar into the water and not the egg. Also, after you swirl the water, do you pour the egg into the vortex in the middle, or on the sides that are swirling? I’ve poured my eggs into the vortex before, and it just flung the egg white apart. Now I poach my eggs in still, simmering water and it works a treat. I don’t get that beautiful plump shape that you got in your photo though! And thanks for stopping by my blog!

    • frugalfeeding
      February 24, 2013 at 8:22 pm

      It works well! Because you use a whisk there isn’t a vortex, so it doesn’t pull the egg apart. Just add it gently to the middle.

      • Little Miss Ling
        February 27, 2013 at 1:12 pm

        Ah! There’s my mistake! I’ve never used a whisk! I’ll will give that a go! Thank you!

  36. TheDorsetFinca
    February 10, 2013 at 2:58 pm

    Ooh, I love a poached egg! I have just nominated you for some blog awards. I don’t know whether they’re your cup of tea, but if so, please pop on over to my site to take a look. x

    • frugalfeeding
      February 12, 2013 at 9:39 pm

      Thanks! I don’t tend to do them, but they are appreciated!

  37. pattyabr
    February 10, 2013 at 3:53 pm

    I had a similar meal at the Dashunabe Tea House in Boulder this week. The greens were poached in a type of tea. the eag and greens were placed atop a garbanzo bean ball in a lovely tomato sauce. YUM love poached eggs atop anything.

  38. cookinginsens
    February 10, 2013 at 5:12 pm

    That is fabulously delicious Frugal! Great photos and pretty plate.

  39. notedinnashville
    February 11, 2013 at 9:17 pm

    It’s just cruel to post a picture this good! I can ALMOST taste this, but “almost” isn’t good enough. :)

  40. baconbiscuit212
    February 12, 2013 at 3:06 am

    Poached eggs on toast always hit the spot! Your’s looks absolutely perfect. So, Nick, when’s the café opening? :-)

    • frugalfeeding
      February 12, 2013 at 9:28 pm

      Thanks, Daisy! I really want to open one you know – perhaps a cool canteen type place. Let me get some money first though… a job might help. There are a couple of things on the horizon.

  41. pixi
    February 12, 2013 at 4:02 am


    The egg is king (due to the egg factory coop at the bottom of the garden) and there is always someone poaching, frying or scrambling an egg in our kitchen. Owning chickens is pretty frugal as the live mainly on scraps and you can often get these for free from your local grocer/market as they will throw away the old stuff (That is if you don’t produce enough of your own). And if you have too many you can always sell them to your neighbour making them even more of a frugal friend.

    If you have to buy them always get the best you can afford is it really makes a difference to taste. Just think pale yolked tiny cage egg vs big orange glossy yolks from happy, well fed, free range chickens. In fact, I may just have to go and poach one right now.

    • frugalfeeding
      February 12, 2013 at 9:27 pm

      Oh it is! I used to own chickens and plan to again in the future! I do try to buy the best!

  42. emily
    February 12, 2013 at 7:22 am


  43. Veronica Sheppard
    February 12, 2013 at 9:33 pm

    I got this great cookbook for Christmas which shows you how to poach eggs, I’m going to have to give it a try soon! Looks delicious

  44. Kim Bultman
    February 14, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    Inimitable. Yes, sir! (Hadn’t tried the vinegar trick yet — was thinking tarragon vinegar would be a nice variation?) Your comment about stray children showing up at your door made me laugh long and loud. Thanks for the great start to Valentine’s Day — breakfast & reading-wise.

    • frugalfeeding
      February 24, 2013 at 8:21 pm

      haha – thanks! give it a whirl. I’m not sure the vinegar changes the taste.

  45. denshispeaks
    February 18, 2013 at 3:57 am

    Reblogged this on denshispeaks and commented:
    I found this recipe fascinating! I tried it – with some moderation to suite the ingredients I had – and it was wow!!

    You need to try it out.

  46. Somer
    February 28, 2013 at 12:30 am

    Fascinating, rapeseed oil here, is renamed canola oil (I guess someone in marketing thought rapeseed didn’t sound very nice), which is commonly referred to as one of the most neutral tasting oils, even when freshly pressed.

    Whatever it is though, the egg and spinach are beautiful Frugal!

    • frugalfeeding
      March 2, 2013 at 10:15 pm

      Hmm – perhaps you’re right! I find it really nutty and delicious!

  47. Dr Dan
    January 22, 2014 at 12:44 am

    Love how it is your picture that comes up for Spinach Balls with Yoghurt Dip… Love your recipe.

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