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Hash Brown Egg Cups

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Hash Brown Egg Cups (aka Birds Nest Eggs), is an easy breakfast or holiday brunch idea. If your family loves hash browns, you will love this nest egg recipe!

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Shredded hash brown potatoes are baked in a muffin tin to create a crispy crust for baked eggs, cheese, and crispy bacon bits. These egg breakfast cups are super simple to make, and scrumptious, too!

Hash brown egg cups on a white serving platter.

Looking for a new and interesting way to make hash browns? Well, these hash brown breakfast cups are sure to impress your family and friends. Nearly everyone has heard of hash brown casserole, but that dish doesn’t typically include eggs.

We took the shredded potatoes and turned them into something extra special by baking them in mini muffin tins. The end result is delicious birds nest eggs!

Reasons to Love Hash Brown Egg Cups

  1. A hearty and wholesome breakfast dish.
  2. Easy to make with simple ingredients.
  3. Single-serving portions, and they’re portable, for breakfast on the go!

Whether it is a special occasion or simply a relaxing weekend, a delicious meal of potatoes, eggs, cheese, and bacon is always welcome by all!

These hash brown muffin cups are perfect for special occasions, especially Easter brunch and Christmas morning. They’re great for bridal and baby showers, too!

Each nest is just the right portion size and great to enjoy as you socialize.

A hand holding a hash brown breakfast cup, and a tray full of baked egg cups in the background.

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions

  • Hash browns – You can use refrigerated shredded hash browns (Simply Potatoes is a popular brand) or thawed frozen shredded potatoes. *See recipe tips below for how to defrost the potatoes.
  • Eggs – Because the eggs are baked in the hash brown cups, it’s best to use whole eggs. Although, you could substitute with all egg whites if you’d like.
  • Cheese – Cheddar is our favorite, but feel free to use any cheese that melts well.
  • Bacon – Either bacon bits or cooked and crumbled bacon. Feel free to substitute the bacon with diced ham or turkey bacon.
  • Green onions – These are also known as scallions. If you don’t tolerate onions well, feel free to leave them out of your egg nests. Or, use shallots instead – they have a milder onion flavor.
Packages of shredded hash brown potatoes, bacon, eggs and shredded cheddar cheese, for making an egg nest recipe.

Love hash browns?
Try our Chicken Hashbrown Casserole, Loaded Hashbrown Casserole, Cracker Barrel Copycat Hashbrown Casserole, and Instant Pot Cheesy Hashbrown Casserole.

Egg Nest Recipe Notes and Tips

  1. Grease the pan to prevent sticking.

Remember to apply cooking spray to the wells of the muffin tin, to prevent sticking. Using non-stick spray works better than melted butter or oil.

  1. Prepare the potatoes.

If you are using frozen hashbrowns, you will need to thaw them first. If you’re using fresh (refrigerated), it’s important to squeeze out any excess water.

PRO TIP!
Do NOT rinse hash browns, whether they’re fresh or frozen. The shredded potatoes will soak up the water and make your hash brown egg cups soggy.

Shredded potatoes in wells of a muffin pan.

How to Thaw Frozen Hash Browns

The easiest and most preferable method to thaw frozen shredded potatoes is to defrost them on a baking sheet.

Spread the hash browns out evenly on the baking sheet and leave them out at room temperature for 30-60 minutes.

To thaw them more quickly, bake the shredded potatoes on a baking sheet for 15 minutes in a preheated 170°F oven.

Alternatively, you can defrost hash brown potatoes overnight in the refrigerator. Place the whole package on a plate to keep the water from pooling in the fridge.

  1. Press the potatoes down into the pan – don’t leave them loose.

Spray some cooking oil on the bottom of a small juice glass or shot glass. Twist the glass around inside each muffin cup to create a potato birds nest.

Turn the glass until the shredded potatoes come up the sides and reach the top of each muffin cup opening. Add more potato mixture if necessary.

Using a shot glass to press hash browns into muffin tins so they look like birds nests.

Equipment Needed

raw shredded potatoes pressed into a muffin pan.
  1. Avoid over baking the potatoes.

Bake the hash brown cups for 10 minutes, until the tips are golden in color. Do NOT overbake, or your hash browns will become dry.

  1. Use caution when adding the eggs to avoid broken pieces of shell.

Carefully crack one egg directly into each muffin cup. Or, to help prevent pieces of shell from falling in, crack each egg into a small ramekin or bowl first. Then slide the egg from the ramekin into the muffin cup.

Birds nest eggs in muffin pan, before baking.
  1. Baking time for this egg nest recipe is according to your preference for doneness.

Bake the eggs for 15 more minutes for medium-cooked yolks.

Bake for 10 minutes for runny yolks, and up to 20 minutes for hard-cooked yolks.

Baked hash brown breakfast cups in a muffin pan.
  1. Add toppings of choice and bake one final time.

Take them out of the oven, add cheese and bacon bits on top, and then put them back in the oven for 2-3 minutes until the cheese has melted.

hash brown breakfast cups with bacon and cheese
  1. Cool the hash brown egg cups before removing them from the muffin pan.

To help loosen the hash brown egg cups, run a knife around the edges, then slip a fork or small spatula underneath the bottom of each birds nest.

baked hash brown birds nest egg cups in a muffin pan.

What To serve with hash brown Cups

Our favorite way to enjoy the birds nest eggs is with a dollop of sour cream. It adds a cool balance to the savory shredded potatoes and salty bacon.

Or serve them with fresh fruit, a side of bacon or sausage, and some breakfast pastries.

They’re also delicious with other classic potato and egg condiments, like ketchup, salsa, guacamole, and hot sauce.

a white plate with garnished egg nest breakfast cup and a tray full of them at the back.

Recipe Variations

  • For a vegetarian version, exclude the bacon bits.
  • Replace the cheddar cheese with your favorite shredded cheese like pepper jack, Swiss, mozzarella, or cream cheese for a rich and decadent quiche.
  • Add sautéed veggies like mushrooms, bell peppers, onions, and spinach to the hash brown cups before baking.
  • Make Southwestern egg nests by adding salsa, diced avocado, and chopped cilantro to the toppings.

a hand holding a piece of baked hashbrown cup.

Storing and Reheating Hash Brown Egg Cups

Store your egg breakfast cups in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They should keep well for up to 4 days.

To reheat, place them on a sheet pan in a 350ºF oven until warm, about 10 minutes.

Note: Microwaving is not recommended for this egg nest recipe, because the potatoes will become soggy.

Make Ahead Instructions

Prepare the hash brown nests according to the instructions in the recipe card below, through step 5, then cover and refrigerate for up to 12 hours.

When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 400° F and continue with the recipe as directed.

Can I freeze Baked Hash Brown Cups?
No, freezing the birds nest eggs will result in soggy potato nests.

Birds Nest Recipe FAQ

Why are my hash browns soggy?

If you’re using frozen hash browns, be sure to thaw them completely before using them.

If you use refrigerated, ready to cook shredded potatoes, be sure to squeeze out as much moisture as possible before shaping them into nests.

Can I use butter instead of oil for hash brown cups?

Yes, you can use melted butter in place of cooking oil. You can also try using bacon grease for extra flavor!

Why does my hash brown cup burn?

If your hash brown cups are burning, it’s likely that they were baked for too long.

White serving tray with birds nest eggs.
square photo of a white tray with hash brown breakfast cups.
Print Pin
5 from 1 vote

Hash Brown Egg Cups

Turn hash browns into something special by making them into mini hash brown cups with baked eggs! This hash brown egg cups recipe is perfect for your next brunch or breakfast. Everyone will love having their own little egg nest filled with potatoes, cheese, and crispy bacon bits.
Course Breakfast, Brunch, Holiday
Cuisine American
Keyword Appetizers, breakfast recipes, brunch ideas, hash brown recipe, egg cups
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 37 minutes
cooling time 3 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 12 egg cups
Calories 301kcal

Equipment

  • 1 muffin pan with 12 cups

Ingredients

  • 32 ounces hash browns, refrigerated or thawed (use the shredded potato style)
  • 12 large eggs
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) cheddar cheese, grated or shredded
  • 1/2 cup bacon bits or bacon, cooked and crumbled (about 4 slices of bacon)
  • 1/4 cup green onion, thinly sliced, green part only

optional

  • sour cream for topping

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400º F.
  • Spray the muffin tin cups with cooking oil. Place 1/3 cup of hash brown potatoes into each muffin cup well. Bake at 400º F for 10 minutes, then remove the muffin pan from the oven.
  • Spray the bottom of a small juice glass or shot glass (2" in diameter) with cooking oil. Twist the glass around the inside of each muffin cup creating a potato cup nest. Twist until the sides of the potato cup reach the top of each muffin cup opening. Bake them for 10 minutes, until the tips are golden in color.
  • After removing the muffin pan from the oven, carefully crack an egg into each of the potato nests. Bake for another 15 minutes (10 minutes for runny yolks, and up to 20 minutes for hard-cooked yolks).
  • Remove them from the oven, add cheese and bacon bits on top and return to oven for 2-3 minutes until cheese has melted.
  • Wait for a few minutes for the hash brown egg cups to cool, then run a knife around the edges of the muffin cups to loosen them. Carefully remove the baked hash brown cups with tongs. Garnish with green onions and sour cream when serving.

Nutrition

Serving: 1egg cup | Calories: 301kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 212mg | Sodium: 466mg | Potassium: 321mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 653IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 318mg | Iron: 2mg

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