Review: Starbucks Savory Potato, Cheddar & Chive Bakes Is A Must-Try Vegetarian Option That Might Not Last

It's no secret that Starbucks offers some pretty incredible rotating menus throughout the year. In 2024, to usher in the new year, Starbucks has introduced returning favorites, a new shaken espresso, and some promising food items as part of its latest winter menu. Starbucks invited us to sample these offerings, and I think it's safe to say they will be added to our regular rotation for as long as they're available. One of the new food items we tried was the Potato, Cheddar & Chive Bakes.

These little square egg bakes are a noteworthy addition to the Starbucks winter lineup, especially since they represent a vegetarian option. They offer a rich and savory flavor profile with some good ingredients. Given their limited seasonal availability, we think these bakes are worth a try before they leave the menu later in the season, especially if you enjoy the egg bites currently on the menu.

Meet Potato, Cheddar & Chive Bakes

These Potato Bakes are Starbucks' latest venture into offering vegetarian options that don't compromise on protein content or freshness. Drawing inspiration from Canadian breakfast casseroles that evoke memories of family gatherings, these bites are a medley of potatoes, spinach, chives, eggs, and cheese.

Presented in a convenient duo pack, similar to the familiar packaging of Starbucks' egg bites, they also come with a handy plastic fork. However, if you prefer a more direct experience, your hands will work just as well for enjoying these treats. The appearance of the mini casseroles is exactly what you'd expect: quaint, inviting, and homely. Upon taking a bite, the presence of little diced potatoes, complete with their red skin, is immediately noticeable. This detail not only adds to the rustic charm of the bites but also enhances the overall texture and flavor, making each bite a satisfying and hearty experience.

These will be available for a limited time

Prices for the product may vary by location. For example, we purchased our duo of Potato, Cheddar & Chive Bakes for $5.95. Interestingly, we noticed that several nearby locations offered these same new egg bakes for $5.45. As for their availability, there is no definitive timeline for how long the product will be on the menu. 

Keen on trying these bakes? A few words of advice to consider: If you live in an area with a high concentration of vegetarians, these bakes might sell out more quickly than in places where vegetarianism is not as prevalent. It all boils down to a matter of old-school supply and demand. Hopefully, if these are popular enough with customers, market demand can serve as proof of concept, so that the Potato, Cheddar & Chive Bakes will come back and stick around, perhaps even on a permanent basis.

Nutritional information for these bakes

These Potato Bakes begin with a foundation of diced potatoes, enhanced with the addition of cottage cheese and egg. Throughout the bakes, you'll encounter a rich infusion of yellow cheddar cheese, enhanced by a mix of other cheeses, including Monterey Jack and Gruyère. White cheddar cheese is also a notable component. The flavor profile is further elevated with the inclusion of roasted onions, spinach, and chives, and there's even a subtle hint of hot sauce to add depth to the flavor.

On the nutritional front, each egg bake serving provides 210 calories and contains 17 grams of fat. The cholesterol content is 135 milligrams, while the sodium level is 410 milligrams. An order comes with two pieces. The standout feature, however, is the protein content: 12 grams per serving. This high protein content makes the Potato Bakes not just a flavorful but also a quick and substantial breakfast complement to your coffee run.

Taste-testing the Potato, Cheddar & Chive Bakes

Admittedly, when we were first handed these cheese and egg bakes, our initial reaction was a bit of disappointment. They looked quite dry on the outside. But taking a bite changed our minds completely. They were fluffy and moist, maintaining that casserole-like feel without being too heavy. Each piece felt like a mini-casserole of its own with brown edges, yet none were overly brown or dark.

The flavors here abound. Looking at the ingredients list, the inclusion of hot sauce in the egg bakes was a surprise. However, considering how tasty they turned out, we think the hot sauce does a lot of heavy lifting in adding intrigue. They're not spicy but you definitely get that hot sauce flavor.

What we can't get over is seeing the actual pieces of cubed potatoes with the skin still on. The texture and flavor combination here is an absolute win. However, even though we like the convenient egg bite packaging similar to other menu items, we wish Starbucks would bring back the little white plates for eating these or any other food item in the cafe. Eating out of a brown to-go bag while sitting at a table just feels a bit off.

Bakes vs. Egg Bites

Under the menu section once solely sporting egg bites, Starbucks has now added the designation Bakes and Egg Bites, incorporating these new little square bakes. Flavor-wise, these bakes remind us quite a bit of the menu's existing egg bites. However, there's a distinct difference in their preparation. While the bakes are, as their name suggests, baked — giving them a unique texture with Browning around the edges — the egg bites are sous-vide style, making them ultra-tender and without any browning.

Just like the original bites, we found these new bakes to be flavorful and a welcome addition to the menu. We've always appreciated Starbucks for its simple, savory items that are easy to eat on the run. With Bantam Bagels once being a go-to for us, but now being a discontinued food item we sorely miss, it's great to see Starbucks continuing to expand its offerings with more quick, coffee-companion eats.

Verdict: this a must-try

If you're a fan of casseroles, this new breakfast option at Starbucks is a must-try. Even for those who typically include meat in their morning meal, we believe that these flavorful bakes will leave you satisfied without missing the meat. While the bakes are vegetarian, we're eager to see Starbucks take the leap into vegan options by using an egg substitute like Just Egg and vegan cheese. Having worked extensively with both ingredients, we know how well they can perform as alternatives to traditional eggs and cheese. Considering Starbucks already offers a breakfast sandwich with an Impossible meat patty, stepping into vegan egg bites would be an excellent next move.

Whatever happens, we're excited to see a new vegetarian option on the menu. We plan to enjoy these bakes for as long as they're available and hope to see Starbucks continue to innovate in this direction.