Crispy sweet potato nests with eggs

An easy yet impressive meal for any time of day!

I wish I was the kind of person who enjoyed going out for brunch. I love the idea of having someone else prepare something tasty and interesting for my first meal of the day, but alas, I am an extremely early riser and tend to eat my eggs (or these awesome oatmeal squares) before the sun is up. This dish is my homage to the many places that serve clever mid-morning to mid-afternoon meals and gain legendary followings (I wrote about a few such places in my hometown for Ottawa At Home magazine where I serve as food editor). The combination of crispy-on-the-bottom sweet potatoes and eggs is sublime; if you’re not a cilantro fan you could substitute parsley, basil, spinach or kale instead.

a crispy sweet potato 'nest' topped with a perfectly-cooked egg


  • 1 medium-sized sweet potato
  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) butter
  • Handful fresh cilantro leaves
  • 2 eggs


  • Peel, wash and spiralize the sweet potato. If you don’t have a spiralizer you can grate the potato instead.
  • Heat oil in two small, heavy-duty skillets (or one large) placed over medium heat. Add butter and when it has melted, add the spiralized sweet potato. Cook, tossing often with tongs or a fork, until potato is softened and has lost its raw taste, about 5 – 7 minutes.
  • Shape the partially-cooked sweet potato into two nest shapes, building up the sides a little and making an indentation in the centre. Be sure there is still a good layer of potatoes in the centre so the egg won’t make full contact with the pan when you add it.
  • Cook nests for a few minutes longer, until potatoes are starting to get crisp on the bottom.
  • Place cilantro in the middle of each nest, then crack eggs into the centre of the nests.
  • Reduce heat to medium-low and cover each pan with a lid. Let eggs cook for 4 – 6 minutes until they have firmed up (best way to check for doneness is with an instant-read thermometer; I like my eggs at 145F (white will be set and yolk will be firm but not hard-cooked).
  • Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

Serves 2 (or one really hungry person).

crispy sweet potato nests with eggs

Author: Paula Roy

Welcome to my kitchen! I love simple dishes prepared with passion and am always seeking to find new methods to make food as fun and flavourful as possible. If you enjoy this space be sure to check out my Rogers TV Ottawa cooking show, Paula Roy's Favourite Foods, available on local cable, streaming and a dedicated playlist on Rogers TV's YouTube channel.

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