The Egg Dish That Even The Pickiest Eater Will Like

I’ve deemed one of my family’s favorite meals “The Egg Dish that Even the Pickiest Eater Will Like” because at one point I was that picky eater! My mom makes this egg bake for brunch every Christmas. It is full of eggs (duh), ham, bread, and a lot of cheese. My family loves this meal, but up until a few years ago, I wouldn’t even consider trying it. Without knowing what the dish tastes or feels like, I imagined it would be like a block of hard-boiled eggs. I could not understand why my sisters love it and never thought I would want to try it. Before I tried this dish, I didn’t think I liked eggs at all.

The egg bake recipe requires six whole eggs.

My Relationship with Eggs

I have a weird history with eggs. I started eating scrambled eggs when I was a kid after my parents convinced me to try them. I didn’t hate the taste, but didn’t enjoy eating them because I thought the texture was weird. But I kept eating them because it made my parents happy and I didn’t want to disappoint them. It wasn’t until high school that I admitted that I did not like eggs. Thankfully, instead of being disappointed, my parents were surprised that I was eating them and didn’t pressure me to try them again. After I stopped eating scrambled eggs I thought that food was out of my diet forever. 

Then I left for college. 

Every weekend the line to the cafeteria’s omelet bar stretched past the checkout counters. I was too chicken to try it, but I had to admit it smelled good and the omelets didn’t look half bad! So, Freshman year I convinced myself to try the Christmas egg dish. I use the word, “convinced,” loosely. I think my thought process went something like, “I’ll try the egg dish. This year… Someday. Maybe next year? Eh, it can wait, it’s always there.” 

The Tasting

Needless to say, it took a couple of years for me to work up the nerve to try it. When I finally worked up the courage to try it, I asked my sister, Shelby, if I could have some of hers. She knows my process pretty well, so she did the right thing by:

  1. Not making a big deal out of my request
  2. Putting a tiny bite of egg dish on my plate
  3. Leaving it to me to try it when I wanted to
  4. Not watching me 

These steps may seem small, but I can’t tell you how much they help me when I try a new food! There’s zero pressure, attention, or expectations with this process. I highly recommend parents take Shelby’s lead and do this for their picky eaters!

And guess what, I liked it! No, I wasn’t ready to fill my plate with the egg dish, but I did eat a small piece that morning. Once I realized how much I liked that dish I felt like a world of eggy possibilities were opened to me.

The finished egg bake with a crispy topping for picky eaters who like crunchy food.
An egg bake picky eaters like

These steps may seem small, but I can’t tell you how much they help me when I try a new food! There’s zero pressure, attention, or expectations with this process. I highly recommend parents take Shelby’s lead and do this for their picky eaters!

And guess what, I liked it! No, I wasn’t ready to fill my plate with the egg dish, but I did eat a small piece that morning. Once I realized how much I liked that dish I felt like a world of eggy possibilities were opened to me.

Why I Chose This Recipe

You may be wondering, “if you already know you like this dish, then why did you chose it as your Food of the Month?” Yes, I started this blog in hopes of liking new foods, but the reality is I needed a break. Heck, everyone needs a break at some point! I was burned out from not liking new foods and I needed a win. I permitted myself to indulge in a recipe I like in hopes that it will inspire me to branch out more. 


The Recipe

Ingredients

Mixture #1:

  • 8 slices of day old bread (Picky Tip! If your picky eater likes crunchy food or is afraid that the egg bake will be the wrong kind of gooey like I did, use pre-bagged bread cubes for a crispy top), crusts removed and cubed
  • 1 pound of cubed ham (or browned pork sausage, bacon, etc.)

Mixture #2:

  • 6 beaten eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dry mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 cups of milk

Mixture #3:

  • 1/2-3/4 pound of grated cheddar cheese

Instructions

The night before serving

  1. Grease a 9″ x 13″ pan
  2. Layer half of Mixture #1 on the bottom, then half of Mixture #2, then half of Mixture #3
  3. Repeat layers with remaining mixture

The day of serving

  1. Bake uncovered at 325° for 50 minutes
  2. Check to see if eggs have set. If not, bake for an additional 10 minutes or until set.

What You Can Take Away from This

  • Use Shelby’s process: 
  1. Don’t make a scene
  2. Give them a tiny piece of the new food
  3. Leave it to them to try it when they want to
  4. Don’t watch them
  • Give them a break. If they are tired of trying new foods or seem to be going backward in their picky eating, then lose the pressure! Let them eat what they like and don’t ask more of them. This will lead to confidence at mealtimes and better results the next time they try a new food.
  • Let your picky eater decide what to try. When I admitted to my parents that I don’t like scrambled eggs, they were surprised but didn’t push the issue further. They left it up to me to decide if I’d try eggs again, never asked if I wanted some at breakfast, and recognized that I needed the space to make this decision on my own. This gave me ownership and freedom to decide if and when I’d try eggs again.

Buffalo Chicken-Stuffed Peppers

Second June Food of the Month Attempt – Buffalo Chicken-Stuffed Peppers

For my second food of the month tasting I tried Delish’s Buffalo Chicken-Stuffed Peppers and they’re. So. Good. I have to be honest, I was worried about eating an entire chunk (yes, I mentally call it a chunk) of pepper, but I’m so glad I took the risk! 

When picking out my meals to try this month, this one stood out to me as a possible success for a few reasons:

  • I love buffalo chicken (wraps, dips, sandwiches, you name it!)
  • Spice, for me, is a great way to disguise a flavor that I’m still not sure about, while still allowing the food’s essence to come through (in this case, the pepper’s crispness and fresh zing)
  • These peppers are covered in cheese—a direct path to this picky eater’s heart
  • Peppers are crispy, and if there’s anything a picky eater likes most it’s a crunchy texture!

The Prep

I was in charge of preparing the meal, which I liked because then I can control what goes in and how much! I decided to add a bit more seasoning and hot sauce than the recipe calls for because I knew that would help my chances of liking the food. Plus, having control over my food is a good way to boost my confidence in trying the food. If I know exactly what is in my dish then I feel more comfortable with the idea of trying a new recipe.

Drew and I worked quickly to get this meal together before he had to take off with two of the girls for soccer, so I wouldn’t describe the prep as “high quality,” but we made do! We didn’t have rotisserie chicken, so we had to completely thaw and cook some chicken breasts before we could get started with the rest of the ingredients. We used our awesome Ninja Foodi to thaw and quickly cook frozen chicken before tossing it in the pan.

Because we live in Minnesota and our grilling days are limited, we decided to throw the peppers on the grill instead of cooking them in the oven. Not only did this satisfy all our grilling desires (no matter how short that lasts!) it gave the peppers a nice char, increasing their crispness and adding a little Smokey flavor I love. I’d recommend doing this if you love those two things, but if your picky eater doesn’t like the char taste or is afraid of the black stuff on their food, then for goodness sake put them in the oven!

Because I’m not a huge chives/green onion fan, I actually nixed adding them to the main dish. Instead we simply used them as a garnish when dishing up. Eventually I could see myself adding it in once I’m more used to its taste, but for now chives are perfectly fine on the side!

The Tasting 

I decided to use my trick of disguising the food with even more cheese, hot sauce, and tortilla chips once I dished up my meal. This is a great trick for when a picky eater is unsure of a new taste or texture – load up the meal with what they like and they’re more likely to accept the new food! Even just by changing the appearance a little bit can be a game changer once it comes time to try the new food.

Thankfully I was by myself when I tried the food so I didn’t feel like I had an audience. I took my time finding a good, crispy bite of pepper that had lots of chicken and cheese on top. I skipped the chives for the moment because I wanted to be sure there were plenty of tastes that I like on top of the new food. I took a moment to do my usual inspection (i.e., looking at the bite from all angles so I know what to expect – my friends and family know that look well!), then took the bite. 

It was SO GOOD. I couldn’t believe how much I liked it! The first thing I tasted was the buffalo chicken, which was my goal with loading the pepper up with sauce and seasonings. The pepper added a nice crunch and it’s flavor only came in at the end. It didn’t cover the other flavors, which is what I was afraid would happen, so I’m very happy about that!

My bonus daughter, Addy, tried it and liked it too! It’s always a fun win to have a nine-year-old like a healthy meal. 

What You Can Take From This

I highly recommend doing several of the things I did while prepping this meal:

  • I picked a meal that I knew I liked most of the components so at least I could fall back on the foods I liked if I didn’t like the peppers.
  • Let the picky eater add seasonings and salt.
  • Add less of the “unsure foods” – for me, this meant not adding chives to the recipe but instead using them as a light garnish.
  • Prepare food in a way your picky eater likes best (baked, roasted, grilled, fried, etc.). This will help them be more comfortable with trying a new food. In this example, we cooked the peppers in a grill instead of the oven because I like the char on the peppers and Smokey flavor. 
  • Let them eat in peace – I was very comfortable eating by myself, though I know that isn’t always possible if your picky eater is young. Try to remove pressure and expectations on your picky eater by giving them space when they’re trying something new. Whether it be avoiding watching them trying the food, talking to them about the food too much, or even telling others that they’re trying something new because that draws too much attention to them. 

What I Wish I Did Differently

The only thing I wish we did differently was get rotisserie chicken instead of cooking fresh chicken ourselves. That would have saved us a lot of time in the prep work. Otherwise I was very happy with this tasting!

Try the recipe!


My Favorite Cookbooks and Websites for Recipes

Because I’m not the best chef, I have a hard time even imagining new recipes, much less changing recipes, that I might like. I run to Pinterest, other bloggers and websites, and cookbooks for new recipe ideas.

My favorite cookbook so far is the Magnolia Table: A Collection of Recipes for Gathering by Joanna Gaines. Her book is full of comfort food that is pretty simple to cook. My favorite, brand new recipe from this book was a quiche. Yes, a quiche! Like many picky eaters eggs have never been my favorite food. However, I have never hated eggs, mostly I’ve made myself eat a little if served, but otherwise would avoid them as much as possible. But this quiche is so good I had it for breakfast for a solid month until my waistband cried uncle.

This is just one example of how combining foods I love (bacon, cheese, flaky pie crust, and all the right seasonings) with something I’m not so sure of (eggs) helped me overcome my fear of trying the food. If you ever make this quiche, be sure to use some maple syrup to balance out the saltiness. Also, you can freeze your extra pieces and quickly reheat them in the microwave for a quick breakfast!

Even better, she recently came out with a second volume!! I’ve made plenty of recipes so far, and haven’t found one I didn’t like. My favorite so far is her cinnamon swirl bread – it makes an AMAZING French Toast!

A close second is the Picky Palate Cookbook by Jenny Flake. Fun fact, she made her start as a blogger too! I discovered her site in college and have followed her ever since. The idea of a cookbook written specifically for picky eaters was so exciting I bought it within five minutes of learning about it. In fact, I’ve played around with the idea of pulling a “Julie & Julia” move and cooking through the book from cover to cover to see how much of it I truly like.

And of course, we can’t forget Pinterest. I have more than 800 pins across 21 sections in my Pinterest Om Nom Noms board. Have I tried them all? Nope. Will I try them all? Probably not, but I definitely find some great inspiration from these pins! From one pan recipes to no bake cookies, I have found so many drool-worthy recipes that I can’t wait to dig into.

What do you do to help your kids (or yourself!) try new foods? Comment with your tips and tricks below!