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Mini Bacon and Spinach Breakfast Souffle Recipe

Vespa's recipes have appeared in "Midwest Living" and "Taste of Home". She belongs to Cook's Recipe Testers for "Cook's Illustrated".

Mini breakfast soufflés.

Mini breakfast soufflés.

Breakfast Soufflé Recipe

A soufflé is a classic French dish that owes its loft to whipped egg whites and quickly collapses when removed from the oven. Don't be intimidated by its highfalutin reputation. Improved techniques mean soufflés are easier to make than ever before. Just think of it as a glorified breakfast casserole. And, best of all, this recipe is easy to adapt to ingredients you might have stored in your pantry or refrigerator.

Several steps must be followed to make a soufflé. First, you prepare a béchamel, or light cheese sauce. If you’ve ever made a batch of homemade macaroni and cheese, you’ve made a béchamel. Then fold stiff egg whites into the base. Last of all, spoon the batter into cupcake tins or individual ramekins and slide it into a hot oven. Thirty minutes later, an impressive soufflé emerges, like a butterfly flaunting gorgeous wings after a long stint in its cocoon.

My First Soufflé

I'll never forget my first experience with soufflé. At the ripe age of 10 years old, I was sitting in a restaurant with my parents.The tablecloth, crisp and stark, stretched out before me like an arctic glacier. I eyed the menu's list of French dishes with a sigh. Although dressed to the nines in an eyelet dress and patent leather slippers, I fit into this crowd about as well as an elephant fits into a bikini. Sensing my discomfort, a tuxedoed member of the staff stooped down and, in a whispering tone, suggested several appropriate dishes.

Much to my parents' pleasure, I chose a seafood soufflé. What was a soufflé? I had no idea what to expect. Before long, the waiter set a plate before me. In the center stood a dome of golden pastry, puffed up like a pigeon's breast. The mound deflated as quickly as a hot air balloon when I plunged my fork into it, but the ethereal custard concealed a special treat: tender chunks of seafood. I felt like a princess.

We hope this soufflé also makes you and your family feel like royalty. Enjoy!

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

20 min

20 min

40 min

18 muffin-sized soufflés

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 cups warm milk
  • 1 1/2 cups sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 8 slices bacon, fried until just crisp and crumbled
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup spinach, squeezed of excess moisture
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar (can be omitted, although it stabilizes egg whites)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Grease muffin cups or individual ramekins with butter and dust with flour.
  3. Melt butter in a saucepan on medium heat.
  4. Add flour and cook for about 1 minute, whisking constantly.
  5. Whisk in warm milk and heat until it begins to bubble.
  6. Remove from heat and add cheeses, salt and garlic powder. Stir until melted.
  7. Allow to cool slightly while you work on the eggs.
  8. Separate egg yolks from whites and set the yolks aside.
  9. Beat egg whites and cream of tartar with a hand mixer until glossy and stiff but not dry. Set aside for a moment.
  10. Add yolks, one at a time, to the butter/flour/milk mixture and whisk until thick and yellow.
  11. Add bacon and spinach to the yolk mixture.
  12. Quickly mix a large dollop of egg white into the yolk mixture.
  13. Using a spatula, gently fold the rest of the stiff egg whites into the yolk mixture.
  14. Pour into prepared muffin cups or ramekins.
  15. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until puffed and golden brown.

Bon appetit!

Bacon and Spinach Soufflé Recipe

Tips

  • The base is a simple béchamel which can be prepared ahead and stored in the refrigerator until ready for use. Store egg whites overnight in the refrigerator and allow them to return to room temperature before attempting to beat them into stiff peaks.
  • This recipe is very forgiving. Even if the whites are over-whipped, the results are still impressive.
  • See the video clip below about beating egg whites until stiff.
  • If you're in the market for a stand mixer, the KitchenAid makes whipping egg whites a snap.
  • Allow egg whites to return to room temperature to get the most volume.
  • Use a clean bowl to beat the whites and don’t allow yolks or any fat to combine with the whites.
  • Gently incorporate stiff whites into the yolk mixture with a spatula, being careful not to deflate them by mixing too quickly. Le Creuset makes a wonderful spatula that is heatproof, durable and comfortable to handle.
Soufflés, hot from the oven.

Soufflés, hot from the oven.

Try These Variations

  • Roasted red pepper and goat cheese
  • Snipped fresh chives and dill with cream cheese (substitute 4 ounces of cream cheese for 1/2 cup of the milk)
  • Lox and capers. Garnish soufflé with a dollop of crème fraiche.
  • Cottage cheese and dill
  • Blue cheese, bacon and red onion
  • Green chilies, Cheddar and chorizo
  • Ham and Cheddar
  • Brie cheese and fresh pears
  • Parmesan cheese shavings and fresh, chopped basil leaves
"All happiness depends on a leisurely breakfast."  —John Gunther

"All happiness depends on a leisurely breakfast." —John Gunther

Questions & Answers

Question: Can mini souffles be frozen?

Answer: Yes, you can freeze mini souffles either before or after baking. If you freeze before baking, be sure to allow extra time in the oven to compensate.

Comments

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on June 05, 2013:

Rose, thank you for your kind and meaningful comment. I'm glad you're going to try these soufflés! They really aren't difficult and are so worth the extra effort. Have a great day and thanks for the vote and comment.

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on June 05, 2013:

FlourishAnyway, hope you can try these soufflés sometime!

rose-the planner from Toronto, Ontario-Canada on June 05, 2013:

I enjoyed the story of your childhood memory with your parents in a French restaurant, it was so sweet. What a wonderful breakfast soufflé recipe. It looks scrumptious and not overly complicated to prepare. Can't wait to try it! Thank you for sharing. (Voted Up). Take care. -Rose

FlourishAnyway from USA on June 05, 2013:

This looks delicious, and the photos are gorgeous! Now I'm hungry!

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on June 05, 2013:

Rebeccamealey, these breakfast soufflés are great for a special brunch. Hope you can try them! I appreciate the comment and share.

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on June 05, 2013:

Au fait, these breakfast soufflés are perfect for a fancy Sunday brunch. Hope you can try them sometime! Thanks for sharing.

Rebecca Mealey from Northeastern Georgia, USA on June 05, 2013:

These are so cute, and look delicious. These would be nice at breakfast for holiday company. Thanks for sharing! Shared!

C E Clark from North Texas on June 04, 2013:

Love this recipe and going to share it with my followers.

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on January 16, 2013:

Au fait, these souffles are a delicious addition to any meal! I hope you try them sometime. Thanks so much for the votes and comment!

C E Clark from North Texas on January 16, 2013:

Looks so yummy and I'm hungry. Still haven't had my supper since getting home from work. I love soufflés. The ingredients include so many of my favorite things -- this one must be delicious. Voted up and 5 stars!

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on October 06, 2012:

Marcy Goodfleisch, with a hand or stand mixer and a little patience, souffles are actually pretty easy to make and the pride you feel when you pull them out of the oven makes it all worthwhile! Thank you for your kind and supportive words. I know we'll all get through Panda together! I appreciate the vote and comment.

Marcy Goodfleisch from Planet Earth on October 06, 2012:

I love the way you combine great writing with exquisite recipes. I'm still a bit intimidated by souffles and other exotic dishes, but you're convincing me I can learn! Voted up!

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on August 08, 2012:

ignugent17, I'm glad you found the recipe useful and hope you enjoy it as much as we do! It seems so elegant and yet it's pretty quick and easy to put together. Thnks so much for the vote, pin and comment.

ignugent17 on August 08, 2012:

Souffle is a French dish. I have additional information besides the recipe.

I have an Italian friend who invited us for breakfast and she prepared this kind of dish and I liked it but I am just too shy to ask for the recipe. Now I am very happy to see that you shared this hub. I also like this dish because it is forgiving unlike other recipes they don't forgive if you over beat the eggs. Thanks vespawoolf. :-) Voted up, useful and pin it.

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on May 28, 2012:

RTalloni, thank you for taking the time to comment. I hope you have the opportunity to try the souffle!

RTalloni on May 28, 2012:

I'm still smiling at your intro, and this recipe looks fabulous!

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on May 28, 2012:

Peggy W, thank you for your comment. Enjoy the souffles!

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on May 28, 2012:

We also like souffles but never thought of making individual ones using a muffin pan. I liked the sound of all of the variations you mentioned. Will have to make some soon! Voted useful, interesting and SHARING.

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on May 08, 2012:

Claudia Tello, these souffles are very versatile and yummy. Thank you so much for stopping by!

Claudia Tello from Mexico on May 08, 2012:

Bacon, eggs and spinach go very well together and they look beautifully presented in your mini soufflés. Great idea for a special breakfast or even as nibbles when entertaining.

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on April 15, 2012:

I hope you enjoy them, moonlake!

moonlake from America on April 14, 2012:

They look really good. Will have to try them. Thanks for sharing. Vote up.

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on April 14, 2012:

Nice to meet a fellow breakfast lover! Please let me know what you think and thank you for stopping by.

Stacy Harris from Hemet, Ca on April 14, 2012:

I have had souffles in the past but I have never actually attempted to make them. This doesn't look all that difficult so I am definitely going to give this a try. After all, I am all for a good breakfast. It is my favorite meal of the day!

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on April 08, 2012:

Thank you for your feedback, ElizaDoole! I hope you enjoy the souffle recipe, as well. It's always nice to hear from you.

Lisa McKnight from London on April 08, 2012:

This sounds like an amazing breakfast recipe. Thanks for posting I will get back here when I try it. Still loving the mulligatawny soup recipe too :)

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on April 06, 2012:

Thank you for dropping by, midnightbliss!

Haydee Anderson from Hermosa Beach on April 06, 2012:

I just ate brunch, but after reading your hub I'm hungry again. Yumm! Thanks for sharing.

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on April 05, 2012:

It's always nice to hear from you, IndieJoe!

IndieJoe on April 05, 2012:

You had me at eggs, spinach and BACON. Thanks for demystifying the souffle. This is a keeper.

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on April 02, 2012:

Thank you for commenting, Just Ask Susan. Please drop by again and let me know what you think of the souffles!

Susan Zutautas from Ontario, Canada on April 02, 2012:

Oh wow this looks delicious! I can't wait to try this recipe.

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on April 02, 2012:

I agree...it's a winning combination. Thank you for dropping by, Lilleyth!

Suzanne Sheffield from Mid-Atlantic on April 02, 2012:

Oh my goodness that makes me hungry! Anytime I see bacon or spinach in a recipe I have to try it.

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on March 29, 2012:

Thank you for stopping by, Shannon Paigah. Enjoy the souffles!

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on March 29, 2012:

Thank you for your kind words, Victoria Lynn. I also enjoy your hubs and recipes and look forward to more!

Shannon Paigah from Irvine, CA on March 28, 2012:

Looks delicious! I know what I'm having for breakfast this weekend. Thank you!!

Victoria Lynn from Arkansas, USA on March 28, 2012:

/Wow, this looks incredible. I've never made souffle. I love bacon and spinach. I really like this hub. I loved how you started so creatively, like you were writing a novel or short story. Awesome and many other votes!

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on March 28, 2012:

You're welcome! Thank you for visiting and for your comment, flashmakeit.

flashmakeit from usa on March 28, 2012:

Tasty treat! I just love spinach so thanks for the idea and recipe.

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on March 28, 2012:

Thank you for your nice comment, randomcreative!

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on March 28, 2012:

I agree about the bacon. It's hard to resist! It's always nice to hear from you, alocsin. Thanks for dropping by.

Rose Clearfield from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on March 28, 2012:

That looks delicious and so elegant! I'm sure that this recipe always impresses people. Thanks for sharing.

Aurelio Locsin from Orange County, CA on March 28, 2012:

Wow, all these recipes you're coming up with. I like the bacon in this one. Voting this Up and Useful.

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on March 28, 2012:

Thanks, jenubouka for your meaningful and cheerful words! Souffle really is a lot easier than most imagine.

jenubouka on March 28, 2012:

What a great step-by-step recipe and pictures! Some cooks fear this dish, however you make it seem painless. I love your story and the ingredients are classic! Yum, where is that button!!

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on March 27, 2012:

Thank you for commenting, Maddie Ruud. They're not as difficult to make as one might think and they make a delicious breakfast!

Maddie Ruud from Oakland, CA on March 27, 2012:

Yum, yum! I'm a sucker for a good soufflé. I never thought to make them for breakfast, though!