salsa poached eggs & grits

$4.50 recipe / $1.13 serving

Okay, so maybe it’s not salsa but it’s a really delicious salsa-like sauce.

This breakfast is super easy, really filling (huge portions) and most of all tasty. It was kind of a “sweep the pantry” type of recipe. I knew I wanted eggs poached in a tomato sauce but the rest was whatever I had waiting to be used up (green chiles, green onions, and grits). Luckily, the final product was a winner. A REAL winner.

It was so good that I ate some of this for brunch and then another serving later that day for “brinner” (any Scrubs fans out there? Turk is obsessed with “brinner”). The servings are huge that if you can find a way to fit six eggs into the pan with the sauce, there would definitely be enough tomato sauce to accommodate.

Salsa Poached Eggs & Grits

salsa poached eggs with grits

4.8 from 6 reviews
salsa poached eggs & grits
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil $0.24
  • 1 medium vidalia onion $0.73
  • 1 tsp minced garlic $0.12
  • 1 (14 oz.) can fire roasted tomatoes $1.04
  • 1 (4 oz.) can diced green chiles $0.56
  • 3 oz. tomato paste $0.25
  • ¾ tsp salt $0.05
  • ½ tsp cumin $0.03
  • to taste pepper $0.02
  • 4 large eggs $0.90
  • 3-4 sliced green onions (optional) $0.15
  • 3 cups water $0.00
  • ¾ cup quick cooking grits $0.17
  • ¾ tsp salt $0.05
  • 2 Tbsp butter $0.15
  1. Heat a large skillet over medium heat with 2 Tbsp of olive oil. Dice the onion and add it to the skillet along with the minced garlic. Cook over medium heat until the onions are soft and translucent (5-10 minutes).
  2. Once the onions are translucent, add the roasted tomatoes, tomato paste, and diced green chiles. Also stir in ½ cup of water, ¾ tsp of salt, and ½ tsp of cumin. Stir everything together and allow it to come up to a simmer over medium heat.
  3. Make four indentations in the sauce with the back of a large spoon. Crack an egg into each. Reduce the heat to low, place a lid on top of the skillet and allow the mixture to simmer while you make the grits. It should take about 10 minutes of simmering on low with a lid for the eggs to poach.
  4. In a medium pot with a lid, bring 3 cups of water to a boil over high heat. Once it reaches a rolling boil, stir in the ¾ cup of quick cooking grits and ¾ tsp salt. Reduce the heat to low, place a lid on the pot, and allow it to cook on the lowest heat setting for 5 minutes. After five minutes it should be thick. Turn off the heat and stir in the butter. Place the lid back on the pot to keep them warm until you’re ready to serve.
  5. Once the eggs are done cooking, spoon some grits into a bowl and top with an egg and a spoonful or two of the tomato sauce. Add sliced fresh green onions on top.


salsa poached eggs with gritsI couldn’t help adding a little sour cream… since this was a “sweep the pantry” type of meal.

Step By Step Photos

sauce ingredientsIf the instructions looked complex above, this is really how simple it is. These four ingredients are pretty much the basis of the sauce. Oh, plus a little olive oil and garlic. Easy.

onions and garlicStart out by cooking the diced onion and minced garlic in a skillet over medium heat until the onions are soft and translucent.

add tomatoesOnce the onions are nice and soft, add the can of tomatoes, tomato paste, and can of green chiles.

water spicesAlso add 3/4 tsp of salt, 1/2 tsp of cumin, freshly cracked pepper, and 1/2 cup of water. Give it all a good stir and allow it to come up to a simmer over medium heat.

add eggs to poachMake four little divots in the sauce with the back of a large spoon. Crack the eggs into each one. Reduce the heat to low, cover with a lid and let simmer while you make the grits. It should take at least ten minutes (if your eggs were cold) to poach the eggs.

quick gritsQuick cooking grits cook really fast so I only have a pic of the finished product. Basically, just bring 3 cups of water up to a boil, then stir in the grits and salt, reduce the heat to low, cover, and let simmer for about 5 minutes. Then turn the heat off, stir in the butter, and put the lid back on until you’re ready to eat.

poached eggsAfter the eggs are finished cooking, sprinkle the sliced green onions on top.

serve poached eggs in salsa with gritsSpoon some cooked grits into a bowl, place a poached egg on top along with a few spoonfuls of tomato sauce. I also added a smidge of sour cream. Yum.

salsa poached eggs with grits


  1. Kayla says:

    This recipe is so similar to a an inexpensive Italian dinner I’ve been making for several years now. Basically, garlic, onions sauteed with couple cans of diced tomatoes, tomato sauces, tomato paste. Crack the eggs into it, cover with slices of mozzarella cheese and let poach until cheese melts then serve over hot crusty french bread.

    Ill definitely be tring this one. It has never occured to me that it would be good over grits, but I’m always looking for interesting breakfast ideas!

  2. Sarah Fitzgerald says:

    Looks like a version of my favorite breakfast: Eggs in Hell. Only I serve mine over toast. Grits sounds like a fantastic alternative. I also make a version I call Eggs in Rome, where I use more garlic, and instead of chilies I use pre-made pesto.

  3. Samantha says:

    I cooked these for Sunday brunch and they were an instant favorite! My three year old even loved them. Thank you for the recipe!

  4. Michelle says:

    Delicious! And so easy to make. I’ve become very fond of grits over the last couple of years so that is what initially drew me to this recipe. I will definitely be making this one again.

  5. I was searching for an egg and grits recipe that was different from the usual and came across this one. I am glad that I found it because it was excellent! I doubled the sauce recipe and used 9 eggs to feed 3 adults and 2 kids. It was just the right amount. The only change that I made was to add more garlic in the sauce and salt/pepper the top of each egg. Very flavorful. Give it a try!

  6. Jessica says:

    This was SO good. I chose this recipe because our green onions were ready to harvest from our garden. I followed the recipe exactly, and was thoroughly pleased. It’s only my boyfriend and I, and we love breakfast for dinner so this was a delicious spin on the usual egg meals we make. (And I poached the eggs too long, so it worked out that we could have it for breakfast as well) The only thing I added was some beef polska kielbasa to serve on the side with some of the sauce over it for my meat-loving other half. I will absolutely be making this again… and again.

  7. Enybe says:

    I loved the sauce. We didn’t have grits on hand so we ate it with corn tortilla quesadillas which was pretty good. We stuffed the eggs in the quesadillas. I had never made poached eggs before so it was kind of fun to make them. However, I think next time I will fry the eggs separately and pour the sauce over. I want to try the grits next time too.

  8. Excellent flavor. I used Italian stewed tomatoes, cuz that’s what I had on hand. Made some grits for me (my husband doesn’t like them). I can go either way on those. Cooked my eggs too much (prefer them running), but, like I said, excellent flavor. Thank you!!

  9. Caitlin says:

    Made these with tomatoes and green chiles that I roasted from our garden, with eggs from our chickens. YUM! My toddler loved it, eating the tomatoes with his hands.

    Thanks for sharing such a simple and cheap recipe (I am sure the canned version is delicious and probably a little cheaper when all is said and done HAHA)!

    On to the next recipe…

  10. Amanda Z. says:

    I tried this recipe this past sunday (it was DELICIOUS) and it was a HUGE hit with my boyfriend. I think I overcooked the eggs a bit (they were definitely well done based on the 10 minutes) but it was delicious all the same. First time ever poaching eggs and my first budget bytes recipe. For a poor medical student, these recipes are gold!

  11. ^THAT is a great compliment and I’m glad you posted it because I somehow overlooked this and recipe and I will make it tomorrow. I always poach eggs when I make a “gravy” dish like sauce piquant or etouffee, so this will be a nice one to try. Congrats on winning over the kids, same here!

  12. Three meals of yours were made this weekend at our house and this one I made for Saturday breakfast for my four kiddos, hubby and I. To quote my nine year old son who has asberger syndrome, “This dish could solve world peace!”

    How is that for a compliment. Your cooking is everything we do, budget, clean eating, budget some more and experiment. I don’t have picky eaters and we are trying a recipe everyday. So far all have been winners!


  13. Looks delicious! Will try it today :)

  14. I made this last night and it was sooooo good! Thanks for the recipe!

  15. I really liked how you put together an inexpensive version of a recipe. I’ve seen similar recipes which cost 3 times as much. I have a similar blog to yours in that I focus on cooking good food and devleoping good recipes on as cheap a budget as possible. Maybe someday you’ll visit my blog too.

  16. Howdy. I’m from South Texas… ‘Nuff said. Planning to poach the eggs in a really good Huevos Ranchero Sauce and serve it up with some Refried Beans, Home Fries and Flour Tortillas (or corn tortillas will work too). It will be great! Just sayin’.

  17. I have made this several times and love it! Great blog, can’t wait to try your other recipes.

  18. Made this for dinner – it was fantastic!

  19. Absolutely delicious!! I just used a jar of salsa that needed to get used up, and shredded some garlic marble cheddar cheese on top with some fresh chopped onions. Served it with hashbrowns and toast; the Hubs loved it!

  20. M. Davis says:

    This is a delicious meal! In the South were I grew up, these are called “Eggs in Purgatory”.

  21. Toni Hiers says:

    Made this the morning after a Weight Watchers meeting. Added 1/2 a green pepper and some fresh avocado after it was done cooking. I also used my stick blender and blended it a little for a smoother consistency. I had it with 2 eggs, didn’t bother with the grits and it was 8 WW points. Very tasty. Thanks, Beth!

  22. Toni Hiers says:

    Made this the morning after a Weight Watchers meeting. Added 1/2 a green pepper and some fresh avocado after it was done cooking. I also used my stick blender and blended it a little for a smoother consistency. I had it with 2 eggs, didn’t bother with the grits and it was 8 WW points. Very tasty. Thanks, Beth!

  23. Toni Hiers says:

    Made this the morning after a Weight Watchers meeting. Added 1/2 a green pepper and some fresh avocado after it was done cooking. I also used my stick blender and blended it a little for a smoother consistency. I had it with 2 eggs, didn’t bother with the grits and it was 8 WW points. Very tasty. Thanks, Beth!

  24. Or, you can cook the scrambled eggs in a separate pan, plate them up and spoon the sauce over top. Or, you can just cook them as I did above but cook them longer so that the yolks cook through. Any way you slice it, the salsa mixture is delish with the eggs :)

  25. Egg yolks totally creep me out so I have never had a poached egg. Do you think this will wok if I scramble the eggs in a bowl first and then our into the tomato sauce?

  26. I am at awe on your blog. Im learning lots and your photography is quite enticing! Well done and congrats again.

  27. Jessica says:

    Beth, this was absolutely amazing!!! My family devoured it. And it was so pretty when I dished it up that I took a picture. I’d love for you to see it. Thanks for what you do. My husband is unemployed and I have to feed six people. Your website has been a godsend.

  28. This is an absolutely DELICIOUS dish!!! I made it without green chiles (added some chilli poweder instead) and a sprinkling of cheese! It’s such a great breakfast!

  29. I finally had the chance to make this today–it was amazing!!

  30. Anonymous says:

    wow, same concept as an Israeli shakshuka… my fav brunch! Check this out for similar ideas and famous shakshuka dishes:

  31. just made this today. oh wow this is good! i didn’t feel the need to change anything in the recipe and it tasted amazing. thank you!

  32. Thanks! I think I’ll make these for brunch! (Maybe some brinner. ;)

  33. Caitlin, you can cook them as long as you need to until they’re to the point that you like them. Keeping a lid on the skillet will help the tops of the eggs cook. If you’re still leery, you can cook the eggs separately and then spoon the sauce over top :) Mmmm, now I want some :D

  34. Beth,

    How done are the eggs when you cook them this way? I’ve never poached an egg before. This looks so delicious, but I can’t stand a runny egg! Thanks for this great recipe!


  35. Susan says:

    This was another hit at our house. I served it w/ crispy oven potatoes! Yum!

  36. This was delicious! No green chiles at my grocery store, so I substituted a minced chipotle pepper in adobo. Loved the idea of poaching the eggs right in the sauce. My husband and I devoured all of it!

  37. thanks beth! i tried it with the chorizo but didn’t seem to strain it enough. haha. it was sooo good though. btw, thank you for all of the recipes! i make a lot of things that you post and they always turn out so great. :)

  38. bohjudith – you could cook the chorizo first, drain it and then start with the onion step. That should work. :)

  39. would adding chorizo to this recipe make it too soupy because of the grease?

  40. I love this recipe.. this is quite similar to menemen, a Turkish dish, or shakshuka, a popular north-African/Middle Eastern dish. They’re almost the same, but use a variety of spices. :)

  41. eating this now!

  42. Well, just to let you know, I’ll be making this and posting it to my own blog. Thanks for the inspiration. I felt like I was getting a little boring as of late. I’ll be sure to link back to you on the post.

  43. I made almost exactly the same thing recently with a leftover ragout of tomatoes, zucchini, onions, and chicken sausage. I reheated it and then baked the eggs in the ragout in a 375 deg. oven for about 18 minutes. Some grated Parmesan over the top it was fantastic. Leftover polenta on the side – I made it again a week later it was so good.

  44. Awesome!

  45. Oh yum. That would be great for dinner!

  46. Looks delicious! Will try it today :)

  47. Oooo, this looks fantastic – poached eggs and grits?!?

  48. This reminds me of one of my favorite huevos rancheros recipes! I’m going to try it over refried black beans. I’ve actually never had grits (from Northern California) – want to try them separately first :)

  49. Joshua, I’m in New Orleans.

  50. are you in or around Lafayette, LA?

  51. I thought of brinner before you even mentioned it!

  52. Correct, I did not drain the tomatoes (or the chiles) and still added a 1/2 cup of water. You probably could poach four eggs, remove them, and then add four more. Nice thinking!

    Chandra – Genius!

  53. also i was thinking do yu think the sauce could withstand one taking the eggs out and then another go round with 4 new eggs?

  54. i wanna make this but i am wondering why add the 1/2 cup of water, if the tomatoes aren’t drained? please fill a novice in :) thanks

  55. I was having a hard time getting the eggs in, then I set my ladle where I wanted the egg, cracked the egg into the ladle, and poured it out. It kept the eggs nice and contained, and I was able to get 6 in a regular skillet with out messing up all the other eggs!

  56. Not only an interesting recipe, but the photographs are really sharp and enticing, too. Nice blog!

  57. Looks like a nice Western take on shakshouka!

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