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Portuguese Recipe: Braised Peas with Poached Eggs (Ervilhas com Ovos Escalfados)

Cooking 10 min Preparation 10 min 2-4 easy
Recipe type: Cured Meat Cuisine: Portuguese

If you’re not coming to Portugal for a sumptuous food tour, then follow our recipe for a taste of Portuguese cuisine at home!

The use of greens are the epitome of peasant food. They became a Portuguese staple because in this climate they grow like, well, weeds! If there isn’t a small plot of land for such things, they are still inexpensive to grab from the local store. These healthy vegetables are also filling enough that you can have a bowl of caldo verde, esparragado or ervilhas com ovos Escalfados with a bite of meat or a hunk of crusty bread and still have a delicious balanced meal. 

As savory dishes go, I find the egg to be an afterthought, an addition, not the center of attention that they often are in American cuisine. When it comes to ervilhas com ovos escalfados, or peas with poached eggs, that is definitely not the case. If there were no eggs in this dish, it’d just be a bowl of peas…

Ervilhas com ovos come in many ways depending on the region. Some recipes include bacon while others stick to smoky Portuguese chouriço. One way may call for white wine, while another requires a red. The biggest difference I’ve found is between the saucy and dry versions of this dish. I personally can’t fathom ervilhas com ovos without the hearty sauce at the bottom of the bowl that’s best when sopped up with warm crusty Portuguese bread.

If you’re looking for more recipes, check out our book on Northern Portuguese Cuisine, or book a custom Portuguese food tour with us today!


  • 45 ml (3 tablespoons) olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tomatoes, peeled and diced
  • 125 gr (4.4 ounces) chouriço, sliced
  • 236 ml (1 cup) red wine
  • 236 ml (1 cup) water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 kg (2.2 pounds) fresh or frozen peas
  • 1 large pinch salt
  • Pepper to taste
  • 4 eggs


  1. Heat olive oil in a deep pan over medium heat. Toss in the onion, garlic, tomato and chouriço. Cook, stirring frequently, until the edges of the chouriço have crisped slightly and the onion has turned translucent.
  2. Pour in the wine and scrap the bottom with a wooden spatula to release any crispy bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the bay leaf and water to the pan and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the peas into the pan. Season with salt and pepper and allow it to simmer about 5-7 minutes uncovered, stirring frequently.
  3. Crack each egg into the peas and cover with the lid. Cook the eggs in the peas for 7-12 minutes depending on how done you want your eggs.
  4. Serve hot with plenty of crusty Portuguese bread!

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