Most cultures have recipes designed to use up stale or leftover bread. In Spain, migas—a dish made with torn pieces of rustic bread is combined with vegetables and meat to create a smokey and flavorful comfort food.
Migas in Spanish literally mean crumbs, and the Spanish ‘migas del pastor’ is associated with a shepherd’s dish of combining the fried crumbs with whatever meat or vegetables might be at hand.
You can find both Mexican and Tex-Mex style migas but they are not the same as Spanish Migas.
My version of Spanish Migas is made with softened peppers, tomatoes, and asparagus infused with the meaty flavors of bacon and dry-cured chorizo then crowned with a fried egg all while dotted with torn pieces of toasty bread.
It is a hearty satisfying meal for any time of day. If brunch were the main meal of the day, this substantial plate of eggs would carry you to supper without a single hunger pang.
Tips and Tricks for Making Migas
- The best bread is a simple loaf made without fat. In other words, any rustic white bread you can find.
- Mist the stale bread so its chewy in the center, but crisp on the outside when fried.
- One of the primary flavorings of this dish comes from dry-cured chorizo, which is hard, something like salami (as opposed to Mexican fresh chorizo). You can buy mild or hot chorizo. Its primary seasoning is smoked paprika, garlic, and salt.
- This is a perfect make ahead meal. You can cook the veggies a day or two ahead of time, store in the fridge, and reheat it when you are ready to cook the eggs.
- If you’re not a fan of fried eggs, try topping the base with scrambled or poached eggs.
Migas Swaps and Substitutions
Here are a few different ways you can make these migas your own.
- While the hallmark of this dish is fried stale bread, you can use fresh bread, too. Just tear it into pieces, spread it on a baking sheet, and let it dry for 10 to 15 minutes in a 300°F oven.
- You could leave the meat out altogether if you want to make a vegetarian version of this dish, or you could substitute diced ham for the chorizo. To replicate the overall flavoring of the dish with these substitutions, add additional smoked paprika, to taste.
- Instead of asparagus, you can add or substitute other vegetables into the onions, peppers, and tomatoes. Stir in zucchini, spinach, kale, yellow summer squash, or diced potatoes, to name a few.
How to Serve Migas
This dish traditionally would be served for lunch or supper. Add a salad and glass of wine and you have a celebratory supper, with a delicious crunch in every bite. I, however, wouldn’t let the time of day stop you from enjoying this recipe. Who is to say you can’t whip some up for breakfast or brunch as well!
Spanish Style Migas with Fried Eggs
- 4 thick slices day-old rustic-style white bread
- Pinch of salt, plus more to finish
- 4 slices thick cut bacon (3 to 4 ounces), cut into 1-inch pieces
- 3 ounces (about 1/2 cup) dry-cured chorizo, cut into cubes
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika, plus more to finish
- 2 whole cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced
- 3 medium globe tomatoes, diced
- 8 ounces asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces (peeling optional)
- 4 teaspoons olive oil
- 4 eggs
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
- Freshly ground black pepper, to finish
- Special Equipment
- Water bottle with sprayer to mist the bread
Prepare the bread:
Cut off the bottom crust if the bread is very hard and tear the bread into small pieces.
Spread the cubed bread onto a cutting board and sprinkle it lightly with a pinch of salt.
Using a sprayer bottle, mist the bread with water until it is damp but not soggy. If you don’t have a sprayer, use your fingers to sprinkle lightly with water. Cover with a clean, dampened dishtowel and set aside while you cook the meat and vegetables.
Cook the bacon and chorizo:
In a large skillet over medium heat, add the bacon to the pan and cook, stirring often for 3 to 4 minutes, or until crisp. Stir in the chorizo and 1/2 teaspoon of paprika and cook for 1 minute.
With a slotted spoon, transfer the meat to a plate. Leave the bacon fat in the pan.
Fry the cubed bread:
Line a plate with a paper towel and set it next to the stove.
Add the garlic cloves to the pan and cook over medium heat for 30 to 45 seconds, or until they start to sizzle and turn golden. With a slotted spoon, remove the garlic from the pan and discard.
Add the bread cubes to the pan and cook, stirring and turning the bread in the bacon fat for 4 to 5 minutes, or until it is golden and crisp. Transfer to the paper towel lined plate.
You can fry the bread cubes ahead; just store them in a container with a lid and keep at room temperature for up to 2 days.
Cook the vegetables:
Add the onions and peppers to the pan and cook, stirring often until they are soft and starting to brown.
Add the tomatoes and asparagus, cover the pan, and cook until the tomatoes soften, and the asparagus is tender, about 4 minutes. Add water, 1 tablespoon at a time, if the vegetables seem dry. Taste and add more salt, if you like.
Fry the eggs:
In a separate large non-stick skillet over low heat, add the olive oil and heat for 1 minute. Crack the eggs into the skillet and cover the pan with a lid.
Cook, covered, for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes, or until all but a thin rim of egg white around each yolk is opaque. Remove the lid.
Serve the migas:
Spoon the vegetables, bacon and chorizo into warm, shallow bowls. Slide a spatula directly under the yolk when removing the eggs from the pan.