Sunny-Side Beans

July/August 2013

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In this lovely vegetarian green bean salad recipe, eggs are baked over a bed of saucy beans in ovenproof bowls or ramekins. (The runny yolk mingles deliciously with the melted butter.) The dish uses a combination of green beans in the pod plus a cup of the beans shelled out—known as “shelly beans”—or baby lima beans or crowder peas. Crowder peas are any variety of field pea, such as a black-eyed pea.

Sunny-Side Beans

Makes: 4 servings, 1 egg & about 1 cup beans each

Serving Size: 1 egg & about 1 cup beans each

Active Time:

Total Time:

Equipment: Four 10-ounce ovenproof bowls or an 8-inch-square baking dish


  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 12 ounces green beans, trimmed, cut in 1-inch pieces (about 3 cups)
  • 1 cup fresh shelled beans, fresh crowder peas or frozen baby lima beans
  • 1/4 cup minced onion
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature (see Tip)
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste


  1. Bring water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add green beans and shelled beans (or peas or lima beans). Reduce the heat to maintain a lively simmer and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until tender, 15 to 20 minutes. (The beans will not be completely submerged in the liquid.) Stir in onion, butter and salt. Remove from heat, cover and let stand until the butter is melted.
  2. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350°F. Fill four 10-ounce ovenproof bowls (or an 8-inch-square baking dish) with hot water to warm them while the oven preheats.
  3. Empty the bowls (or dish) and dry. If using bowls, place them on a baking sheet. Evenly divide the bean mixture and butter sauce among the bowls (or spread in the baking dish). Using a large spoon, make a 1/2-inch-deep well in the beans for each egg. Break an egg into each well.
  4. Bake until the egg whites are just set, 15 to 20 minutes. Check after 15 minutes; if necessary, continue to bake, checking every minute or two, until the whites are set but the yolks are still liquid. Remove from the oven and let stand 5 minutes; the eggs will continue to cook a little bit. Serve with a generous grinding of pepper on top.

Tips & Notes

  • Bring eggs to room temperature by either setting them out on the counter for 15 minutes or submerging them (in the shell) in a bowl of lukewarm (not hot) water for 5 minutes.


Per serving: 204 calories; 11 g fat (5 g sat, 3 g mono); 201 mg cholesterol; 17 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 11 g protein; 6 g fiber; 379 mg sodium; 396 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (22% daily value), Vitamin C (19% dv), Folate (15% dv)

Carbohydrate Servings: 1

Exchanges: 1/2 starch, 1 1/2 vegetable, 1 medium-fat meat, 1/2 lean meat, 1 fat

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Recipe Categories

Main Ingredient
Vegetarian, other
Preparation/ Technique

Type of Dish
Main dish, vegetarian
Ease of Preparation
Total Time
1 hour or less
July/August 2013
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