Classic eggs benedict is an easy recipe that is a perfect brunch dish or a great way to start Sunday mornings. Each muffin is topped with crispy bacon, a perfectly poached egg, and my famous homemade hollandaise sauce recipe. Even though this classic breakfast menu item looks and sounds fancy, it’s ready in less than 30 minutes!
If this is your first time making eggs Benedict, or poached eggs in general you are in for a real treat! I am spilling all of my tips so you can get the perfect poached egg without breaking, along with making this recipe without using a double boiler! Our sauce calls for egg whites only, but don’t throw those yolks out! Instead, make a batch of coconut macaroons or meringue cookies.
Obviously, this dish steals the show, but we love pairing them with these other delicious brunch recipes. Overnight french toast casserole is great when you are hosting, there’s very little prep work involved. Sausage breakfast pizza is another big hit that everyone loves. As a sweet treat, we like mini cinnamon rolls or gorilla bread. While mimosas are really popular, sometimes we swap those out for peach sangria, party punch, or mojitos.
What do I Need for this Recipe?
- eggs – fresh eggs stay intact the best when poaching.
- English muffins – use your favorite such as sourdough, lite, whole grain, original, etc.
- Canadian bacon – this bacon is precooked, so we are really just warming it back up while toasting the muffins.
- unsalted butter – moistens the bread for the best-toasted flavor.
- white vinegar – helps to keep the egg whites intact when cooking in simmering water.
- egg yolks – allow them to come to room temperature
- fresh lemon juice – store-bought will work as well, but we prefer fresh.
- cayenne pepper or a splash of hot sauce – this adds just a little more flavor
- Salt and pepper – adjust based on your liking
- unsalted butter – we like unsalted just so we can control the saltiness
- Fresh chives or parsley – for a garnish.
Fresh herbs, parsley, paprika, or chives.
- Blender or food processor – this is to make our smooth sauce, but you can also use an immersion blender.
- Slotted spoon – makes it easy to slip eggs out of the pot onto the muffin half.
Variations and Substitutions:
- Swap the slices of Canadian bacon – easy eggs Benedict is just as delicious with other protein options such as crab cakes (Eggs Neptune), regular bacon, ham, smoked salmon (Eggs Royale), and even lobster.
- Eggs Florentine – using cooked spinach instead is just one of the different variations.
- Eggs Sardou – a variation that originated in New Orleans – uses butter spinach, no meat, and slow-cooked anchovies and artichokes.
- Eggs Cochon – uses a biscuit for the base and swaps the bacon for apple braised pulled pork.
- Low carb/keto friendly – substitute a low-carb bread for the English muffins or omit the bread altogether.
- Biscuits – while it’s not traditional you can use biscuits instead of muffins.
- Veggies – add any of your favorites such as onions, avocado, mushrooms, or spinach.
PREP: Slice open the muffins. Spread both sides with butter and place on a baking sheet.
Step 1: Add the Canadian bacon next to the muffins if you want to cook both at the same time. Broil for 3-4 minutes.
Step 2: Combine the egg yolks, lemon juice, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, or hot sauce in a blender or food processor. Melt butter in a heatproof bowl in the microwave. Drizzle ½ cup of hot melted butter while the blender is running so the egg mixture emulsifies, forming a thick and creamy hollandaise sauce.
Pro Tip: Only melt butter just before you are going to add it to the egg mixture. If it’s not hot, the sauce may not come out properly.
Step 3: Bring a 4-quart pot of hot water to a rapid boil and add a splash of vinegar. Crack each egg into a small bowl.
Step 4: Once the water starts to boil, turn it off or reduce it to very low heat. Use a spoon to swirl the water into a “tornado”. While the water is swirling, drop one egg into the center of the pot.
Step 5: Cook for 3 ½ minutes.
Step 6: Lift the soft poached egg from the water using a slotted spoon. Blot the excess water on a paper or kitchen towel.
ASSEMBLE: Add a slice of Canadian bacon to 3 of the toasted English muffin halves, followed by a poached egg. Drizzle the hollandaise sauce over the homemade eggs Benedict and sprinkle with paprika or fresh herbs.
- We prefer to cook the bacon on a sheet pan with the muffins so it’s fewer dishes. You can also cook your meat in a large skillet or air fryer instead.
- Hollandaise sauce can be made up to 3 days in advance. Just re-blend it before serving, however, we like making it the day we are going to use it.
- We prefer using the “tornado” method for poaching eggs. They come out perfect every time.
- If you want to drop all of the eggs in the pot at one time you can, but the egg whites will spread out more. They will still taste great, but the shape will not be as traditional.
- Hot butter is important for the hollandaise sauce. It heats the yolks to make the sauce nice and creamy.
- If the sauce looks oily, runny, or curdled, it’s broken. To fix it, create a double boiler by sitting the bowl of sauce over a small saucepan with a couple of inches of water. Over medium heat, bring the water to a boil. Whisk cold water into the sauce one tablespoon at a time until it’s smooth. If that doesn’t work, crack new eggs into the blender. Slowly pour the broken sauce with the blender running instead of the butter.
On average Americans consume 281 eggs per year.
Eggs Benedict is a popular breakfast or brunch dish consisting of two halves of an English muffin, each topped with a slice of ham or bacon, a poached egg, and hollandaise sauce. The dish is typically served with a side of roasted potatoes or a salad.
The origin of eggs benny is uncertain, but it is believed to have been created in New York City in the late 19th century. One story says that it was invented by a Wall Street broker named Lemuel Benedict, who ordered “buttered toast, poached eggs, crisp bacon, and hollandaise sauce” at the Waldorf Hotel in 1894. The dish impressed the hotel’s chef, who put it on the menu and named it after Benedict. Another story states that it started in Delmonico’s when a regular guest came in and wanted something new.
Poached eggs can be reheated in a small pot of hot water for 2-3 minutes, then drained as usual. Eggs Benedict is best when eaten fresh.
Classic Eggs Benedict
- 6 large eggs
- 3 English muffins
- 6 slices Canadian bacon
- 2-3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 4 egg yolks room temperature
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Pinch of cayenne pepper or a splash of hot sauce
- Salt and pepper
- ½ cup unsalted butter melted
- Fresh chives and/or parsley chopped (for garnish)
- Open up each English muffin to make two halves. Spread lightly with butter and place face up on a sheet pan. Place Canadian bacon slices on the sheet pan, also, if you wish to cook both at the same time. Broil for 3-4 minutes or until the English muffins are toasted and golden brown and the meat is sizzling. Remove from oven.
- Stack Canadian bacon slices on the toasted English muffins.
- Meanwhile, prepare the hollandaise sauce and poached eggs.
- In the bowl of a food processor or blender, combine the egg yolks, lemon juice, cayenne pepper and/or hot sauce, and salt/pepper to taste (a pinch each).
- With the mixer running, drizzle ½ cup of melted butter into the egg yolk mixture until it emulsifies, forming a thick pale yellow hollandaise sauce.
- To poach the eggs, bring a 4-quart pot of water to a rapid boil. Add 1 tablespoon of white vinegar.
- Crack each egg into a small ramekin or bowl.
- When the water begins to boil, turn off the heat or turn it down to low. Use a spoon to stir the water in a swirl to form a “tornado.” When the water is swirling steadily, drop one egg into the center of the “tornado.” Set the timer for 3 ½ minutes. When the timer goes off, lift the egg from the water with a slotted spoon. Blot excess water with a paper towel and place a poached egg on top of the English muffin and Canadian bacon stack.
- Drizzle the hollandaise sauce over the assembled Eggs Benedict. Garnish with a sprinkle of paprika and/or freshly chopped herbs.