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Kalyn's Kitchen

Pop-Eye Eggs with Cheese and Salsa

Pop-Eye Eggs with Cheese and Salsa is my grown-up and more diet-friendly version of what my mother called “Pop-Eye Eggs.” Did your mom make this type of egg dish? Use Breakfast Recipes for more fun ideas for breakfast.

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Pop-Eye Eggs with Cheese and Salsa found on KalynsKitchen.com

Pop-Eye Eggs with Cheese and Salsa are a riff on a favorite egg dish my mom made for me when I was a kid. I had the kind of mother who always sent her kids to school with a hot breakfast in their tummies, even though she was cooking for twelve!  Most of the time it was an easy-to-make hot cereal like oatmeal, but sometimes mom would cook things like pancakes or French toast.  And when it was a very special breakfast, we’d have Pop-Eye Eggs.

We called them Pop-Eye Eggs because the yolk of the egg looked like an eye popping out, but eggs fried inside a hole cut in a piece of bread are called by a large variety of names including Toad in a Hole, Eggs in a Basket, Eggs in the Hole, Eggs in a Blanket, Bird’s Nest Eggs, Cowboy Eggs, Bull’s Eye Eggs, Gas House Eggs, and Sunshine Toast.  If your mom used to make something like this, I’d love to hear in the comments about what you called it.

When my mom made them, she’d melt butter in a pan, cut holes in the toast, and then fry the eggs and bread in the butter.  We’d use the crust and dip it into the “eye” to eat them, maybe with a little ketchup on the white part of the egg.

When I started making these for myself a few years ago they eventually evolved into the healthier version you see here, with the eggs and toast fried in olive oil, but use butter if you prefer.  I sprinkle them with a little cheese that melts over the egg, and then eat them with salsa drizzled over.  For South Beach Dieters, this is one of my favorite phase two breakfasts because you’re not eating even one whole piece of bread, but one Pop-Eye Egg with Cheese and Salsa is a filling breakfast for me.

Pop-Eye Eggs with Cheese and Salsa found on KalynsKitchen.com

Be sure not to cut the hole in the bread too big; I use a small juice glass that’s about 2 1/4 inches across. Heat a little olive oil over medium heat in a heavy pan (cast iron is perfect), then toast the bread on one side until it’s lightly browned, 2-3 minutes, then turn over. Drizzle a tiny bit of olive oil into the hole in each piece of bread, then gently break an egg into the hole.  Season eggs with salt and pepper if you want. Sprinkle about 2 tablespoons of low-fat cheese over each egg and cook covered for about 3-4 minutes, depending on how soft you want the yolk to be. Eggs are done when the cheese is melted, white is firm, and yolk is a done as you like it. I cook mine about 3 minutes for yolks that are still mostly soft but starting to firm on the edges.  Serve hot, with salsa to drizzle over if desired.

Pop-Eye Eggs with Cheese and Salsa found on KalynsKitchen.com

More Bloggers Cook Eggs in a Hole:

Heart-Shaped Egg in a Nest from Pinch My Salt
Toad in a PattyPan Hole from A Veggie Venture
Egg-in-a-Hole from The Pioneer Woman Cooks
Egg in a Hole Grilled Cheese from A Cozy Kitchen
French Toad in the Hole from The Amateur Gourmet

Pop-Eye Eggs with Cheese and Salsa

Pop-Eye Eggs with Cheese and Salsa is my grown-up and more diet-friendly version of what my mother called “Pop-Eye Eggs.”


  • 1 tsp+ 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 pieces whole wheat bread
  • 2 large eggs
  • salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup low-fat grated cheese (I use Four Cheese Mexican Blend)
  • salsa for serving, optional but good


  1. Have all ingredients ready on counter.
  2. Use a small juice glass to cut a hole directly in the center of each piece of bread.  (I use a glass that’s 2 1/4 inches across, and save the holes from the bread to make whole wheat bread crumbs.  You can also toast the holes and dip them in the egg.)
  3. Use a heavy frying pan large enough to hold both pieces of bread.
  4. Heat the pan for about 30 seconds over medium heat, brushing the pan with 1 tsp. olive oil.
  5. Add the pieces of bread and cook until one side is browned and toasted, about 2-3 minutes.
  6. Turn pieces of bread over.
  7. Drizzle 1/2 tsp. of oil into the center of each piece of bread and immediately break an egg into the hole, being careful not to break the egg.
  8. Season eggs with salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste, then sprinkle each piece of bread with about 2 tablespoons of grated cheese.
  9. Cover pan and cook until cheese is melted, egg white is firm, and yolks are as done as you’d like them, about 3-4 minutes.  (I cook mine for about 3 minutes in a cast iron pan for a slightly runny yolk.)
  10. Serve hot, with salsa drizzled over if desired.


I use Jack Spratt Bread sprouted wheat bread.

Recipe adapted by Kalyn with memories of Pop-Eye Eggs made by her mother.

All images and text ©

Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
One of these Pop-Eye Eggs with Cheese and Salsa makes a great phase two breakfast for the South Beach Diet. If you want, you could have something like Turkey Breakfast Sausage Links on the side. This isn’t terribly high in carbs if you use a bread that’s a lower-carb option but it’s probably too high in carbs for a strict low-carb eating plan.

Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use the Recipes by Diet Type photo index pages to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.

Nutritional Information?
If you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into this nutrition analyzer, which will calculate it for you. Or if you’re a member of Yummly, you can use the Yum button on my site to save the recipe and see the nutritional information there.

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    40 Comments on “Pop-Eye Eggs with Cheese and Salsa”

  1. These look great! My husband I I make them, and we call them Moonstruck Eggs because in the movie Moonstruck, Cher's mom cooks them. We do them Italian style like the movie with roasted red peppers.

  2. The names are so interesting. And I'm picturing Nancy's mom using a dog cookie cutter to cut out the inside of the bread!

  3. this sounds like such an excellent way to start the day! I love an egg for breakfast and cheese and toast are never unwelcome additions.

  4. Bull's Eye Eggs!! Love your recipes Kalyn – you are my favorite food blogger!

  5. OK, I'm going to bet that no one else used the name we used. 😀 When my Mom first started making these she used a cookie cutter to take out the center. The cookie cutter was a dog. So, we called them doggies. 🙂 Even when she later would use a glass to cut a circle rather than the cookie cutter, we still called them doggies. And, no doubt, if the subject came up today we would still call them doggies. LOL.

  6. isn't it funny what different parts of the country may call the same thing? we call them egg in the nest.

  7. One eye jacks. One of my favorite breakfasts growing up. A couple years ago saw them on a menu at a diner in upstate New York, called one eye jacks. I ordered them. Delious.

  8. This is one of my favorite breakfasts!

  9. I am fascinated by the names, and also by hearing that even as far away as Poland people are making these.

  10. I like to make these whenever we have breakfast guests just to see what they call them! I grew up calling them Picture Window Eggs, my husband grew up calling them Hole in Ones and my kids have named them Circle Toast.
    We've never made them with cheese either, but it certainly couldn't hurt. 🙂

  11. Hey there!! I am from Brazil and LOVE to visit your blog and eventually try your recipes!! My fathers best friend family is from Polland and up there they call it Egyptian Sandwich!! I `ve been eating them since I was a kid!! U could also add some turkey breast slices on top of the cheese!

  12. I'm loving hearing all the names I haven't heard before. And it's interesting how many parents seem to have made these for their kids.

  13. My dad was the breakfast cook in our family. He called these "spit in the ocean" — a kind of naval reference, though he was an army guy. Thanks for reminding me how much fun these eggs are!

  14. Not very exciting, but my mother called them "hidden eggs" – she would fry up the cut-out circle and put that on top to "hide" it.

  15. Kelly, that's definitely a new name for me.

  16. Looks yummy! My mom made them for me and called them ox eye eggs. So neat how they so many names for the same thing!

  17. Denise, this goes with my belief that almost everything is better with cheese!

    Liz, some Hollandaise might work for SB, and I think it sounds delicious on this!

  18. I love these, but I make a fake Hollandaise that I found in Good Housekeeping (I think) cook book instead of salsa. I don't know how that would stack up on the South Beach Diet (I'm a calorie counter, but I love your recipes!) but I'll send it to you by e-mail and you can decide whether it works for SB or not. Either way, I've never sprinkled cheese on mine before-WILL NOW!

  19. Egg in a hole or egg in a basket – depends. Egg in a basket was a Girl Scout term, I believe – egg in a hole is what we were more likely to call it at home. And – we never had cheese on it.

    Cheese is a nice touch.

    I love cheese. 🙂