For this vegetarian croissant breakfast sandwich, croissants are filled with scrambled eggs mixed with creamy spinach and sundried tomatoes, then baked to crispy perfection.
I love a good breakfast sandwich, and living in France, my favorite delivery device is obviously a croissant. Bagels and English muffins have their appeal of course, but there’s something about the crispy, buttery layers of a croissant that are next level breakfast sandwich-ing. The easiest method is to slice open your croissant, slap on a couple of thin slices of ham, fried or scrambled eggs, and a slice of cheese before closing it up and giving it a quick toast in the oven. And this is delicious, for sure. But there was some beautiful baby spinach at the marché this week, so I decided instead on this vegetarian Croissant Breakfast Sandwich with Spinach and Feta.
My inexplicable love for the Starbucks Spinach, Feta, and Egg White wrap has in part inspired the filling for this sandwich. I generally don’t like egg white-only dishes, and certainly turn my nose up at food blasted in an industrial microwave before being served to me. And yet. Something about the savoriness of the cheesy spinach and sun-dried tomato filling with the egg just keeps me coming back for more. So why not combine those flavors with the infinitely superior croissant? I’m here to tell you it’s damn good. And, you can make several of these at once to feed other hungry family members or to wrap and reheat later.
How do you make this Croissant Breakfast Sandwich?
First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit or 175 Celsius. Then whisk 8 eggs together until whites and yolks are completely combined. Season with ¼ t. salt and ¼ t. pepper.
Slice croissants in half horizontally. Heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil in a medium-sized nonstick saucepan over medium-high heat. Add 4 ounces of baby spinach and 2 tablespoons of chopped sun-dried tomatoes, and cook until spinach wilts, 3-5 minutes. Drain out any liquid by pressing the mixture against one side of the pan, and letting the excess liquid pool into the other side where you can scoop it out with a spoon.
Now stir in 2 tablespoons of cream cheese and cook until completely melted, about 2 minutes.
Remove spinach mixture to a bowl. Wipe out pan and add 1 tablespoon of butter. Melt over medium-low heat. Add eggs and cook slowly, using a rubber spatula to scrape along the bottom of the pan and around the sides frequently. The lower the heat, the longer this takes, but the creamier your finished eggs will be.
When eggs are just scrambled to your liking, stir in the spinach mixture. Now, lay out the bottoms of your croissants, and divide the egg-spinach mixture between them. Sprinkle each with feta, then put on the tops of the croissants. Place side by side into a baking dish large enough to hold them.
Bake for 10-15 minutes, until cheese starts to melt and croissants are crispy and lightly toasted on top.
Ingredient tips for this Croissant Breakfast Sandwich
This is a very flexible recipe. You can really replace the filling with any kind of scrambled egg dish—for a non-vegetarian version, you could add cooked bacon or chopped ham to your scrambled eggs, along with some cheddar cheese. Or try combining your eggs with sautéed mushrooms and onions, and gruyère cheese. There are tons of possibilities. But for tweaks to this specific recipe, see below.
- Eggs: Feel free to replace with egg-whites, or with a combination of egg whites and whole eggs.
- Baby spinach: Baby arugula would work here as well. Or even some finely shredded kale or swiss chard.
- Sun-dried tomatoes: You can leave these out if you prefer, or you can replace with quartered fresh cherry tomatoes
- Cream cheese: I love the luxuriousness that cream cheese adds to the spinach mixture, but you could leave it out if you like. You could also replace with a little bit of feta (just mix it in but don't expect it to melt). Or, you could cook down a bit of heavy cream in a small saucepan until it thickens, and add that to your spinach mixture.
Can you make this Croissant Breakfast Sandwich in advance?
Yes, you can. Just make the filling, and you have two choices for make-ahead. You can fill the croissants and wrap in foil to bake later. Or you can put the filling in an airtight container, and then later slice your croissants, fill, and bake. Keep the filled croissants or the packaged-up filling in the refrigerator until you're ready. The sandwiches or filling will keep up to 8 hours in the refrigerator. Also, after you have baked your sandwiches, you can wrap up leftovers and put them in the refrigerator for another 1-2 days. Reheating in the oven will give you the best chance of regaining the crispiness from the first bake.
What is the origin of the croissant?
Well, as with all things food, the French croissant was inspired by a dish that came before it, that of the Austrian “kipfel” or “kipferl”. The kipferl dates back to the 1400s, but the the French version of it appeared first in the mid-1800s. French admirers of the kipferl, served by the first Viennese bakery in Paris in the late 1830s, made their own version and named it for its crescent ("croissant") shape. By now the croissant is a thoroughly French dish.
What is the difference between croissant dough and puff pastry dough?
Like puff pastry dough, croissant dough is a laminated dough. This means that the dough is layered with butter, then folded and rolled out again and again to form many layers of butter and dough. But while puff pastry dough is rolled and folded enough times to form hundreds of layers, croissant dough is not folded as much. As a result, it relies on yeast and not just steam from the butter layers to help the dough rise. Croissant dough also includes milk, which gives it some extra richness for those tender inside layers.
What other things can you do with a croissant?
Now that croissants are on your mind, are you mentally going through all the other ways you can eat a croissant? Me too. Of course, croissants can just be eaten plain, or spread with jam. If you’re my youngest daughter, you’ll open one up and slather it with butter (as if there wasn’t enough in there already). As mentioned above, you can also make croissant breakfast sandwiches with any other manner of eggs and toppings. Or break up your croissants to use them in a breakfast casserole or bread pudding. And croissant sandwiches go beyond breakfast as well. Try chicken salad tucked in a croissant (mini ones for a fancy party lunch spread are adorable). You can also take them in a sweet direction and serve with chocolate, nutella, pastry cream, nuts, and/or fresh fruit and berries. Croissants will last for about at day wrapped in paper at room temperature.
Looking for other great breakfast recipes?
I love new ideas for breakfast, particularly on the weekends when I have more time to prepare. If you like your breakfast sweet, try my Puff Pastry Cinnamon Rolls with Apple or my Lemony Almond Flour Muffins.
For a few delicious breakfast frittata options, check out my Spinach Frittata with Mushrooms and Feta, Bacon, Broccoli, and Cheddar Frittata, or my Cheesy Pancetta, Corn, and Leek Frittata. This Cheesy Crustless Quiche Lorraine is delicious too. And while we're on the subject of eggs, my French Crepes with Eggs and Cheddar are a great vegetarian option.
- 8 large eggs
- 4 croissants
- 2 t. olive oil
- 4 oz (115g) fresh baby spinach
- 2 T. chopped sun-dried tomatoes
- 2 T. (36g) cream cheese
- 3 T. (50g) feta cheese
- 1 T. butter
- kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit or 175 Celsius.
- Whisk eggs together until whites and yolks are completely combined. Season with ¼ t. salt and ¼ t. pepper.
- Slice croissants in half horizontally.
- Heat olive oil in medium-sized nonstick saucepan over medium-high heat.
- Add spinach and sun-dried tomatoes and cook until spinach is wilted, 3-5 minutes. Drain out any liquid by pressing the mixture against one side of the pan, and letting the excess liquid pool into the other side where you can scoop it out with a spoon.
- Now stir in 2 T. cream cheese and cook until completely melted, about 2 minutes.
- Remove spinach mixture to a bowl.
- Wipe out pan and add 1 T. butter. Melt over medium-low heat.
- Add eggs and cook slowly, using a rubber spatula to scrape along the bottom of the pan and around the sides frequently. The lower the heat, the longer this takes, but the creamier your finished eggs will be.
- When eggs are just scrambled to your liking, stir in spinach mixture.
- Now, lay out the bottoms of your croissants, and divide the egg-spinach mixture between them.
- Sprinkle each with feta, then put on the tops of the croissants.
- Place side by side into a baking dish large enough to hold them.
- Bake for 10-15 minutes, until cheese starts to melt and croissants are crispy and lightly toasted on top.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 614Total Fat: 41gSaturated Fat: 20gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 459mgSodium: 877mgCarbohydrates: 35gFiber: 3gSugar: 9gProtein: 27g
Nutrition information is provided as a general reference for users courtesy of the online nutrition calculator Nutritionix.