Eggs Benedict

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Eggs Benedict is an elegant breakfast or brunch dish that’s surprisingly easy to make at home. Poached eggs sit on top of toasted English muffins and savory Canadian bacon, then drizzled with a creamy hollandaise sauce. There are four simple components that take a little coordination to prepare, but the decadence is well worth the effort.

close up photo of eggs Benedict with hollandaise sauce on top

When you’re feeling a little fancy in the morning, treat yourself to homemade eggs benedict. The recipe uses two of my favorite culinary techniques, poaching and making an emulsion. Once you’ve nailed those two methods for the eggs and sauce, everything else is a breeze. What’s even better is that it comes in pairs, so you get two chances to indulge.

Fans of the dish obsess over the decadent open-faced sandwich. It’s hard not swoon over velvety butter sauce that oozes into the golden center of the yolk when pierced. Pan seared bacon and crunchy toasted English muffins catch all those luscious flavors.

ingredients for eggs benedict spread out across a table

How to make eggs benedict

  • Make hollandaise sauce by whisking yolks, water, and vinegar over a double boiler until thickened.
  • Gradually whisk in butter, and then keep warm.
  • Poach eggs in a vinegar and water mixture until the whites set.
  • Sear Canadian bacon to lightly brown the surface.
  • Toast English muffins.
  • Top muffins with bacon, eggs, hollandaise sauce, paprika, and chives.

How do you make a stable hollandaise sauce?

The key to a smooth, rich, yet light hollandaise sauce is making a proper emulsion with the egg yolks and melted butter. It’s just like making mayonnaise, however, a double boiler is added to warm, thicken, and help aerate the yolks before adding in the butter.

Once the eggs have gained volume and turned cream-colored take it off the heat. Add the butter drop by drop, vigorously whisking until it’s all incorporated. It should have the texture of a light whipped cream.

pouring an egg yolk from a ramekin into a pot of hot water

How much vinegar do you add when poaching eggs?

The level should be low, about 1 tablespoon vinegar for every 4 cups (1 quart of water). The eggs should not taste like vinegar or cooked to the point of the texture becoming rubbery. I often use this technique when making poached eggs, and it yields beautiful whites with runny centers every time. Can you skip the vinegar? Yes!

Serving the eggs benedict

It’s all about timing. Make sure the hollandaise sauce is warm, it can be reheated and whisked over the double boiler until it reaches 141 to 145ºF (61 to 65ºC). Next, poach the eggs, and while those are cooking lightly sear the Canadian bacon in a hot pan to warm. Toast the muffins right before you’re ready to serve so it stays crispy. Drizzle on the sauce, and garnish with a sprinkle of paprika and chives to make the colors pop!

searing Canadian bacon in a nonstick pan

What other ways can you make eggs benedict?

  • Make it a Florentine by substituting sauteed spinach or other greens like kale.
  • Add smoked salmon to make it an eggs Hemingway.
  • Switch up the protein with crispy bacon, crab cakes, ham, carnitas, or shredded BBQ chicken.
  • Croissants, biscuits, or crusty sliced sourdough bread make tasty bases.
  • Layer in sliced avocado, fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, fresh herbs, or pesto sauce.
  • Use portabello mushrooms, sliced sweet potato, butternut squash, zucchini, or beefsteak tomatoes for a low carb alternative.

two servings of eggs benedict on a white plate

More breakfast recipes

Why is vinegar added to the water when poaching eggs?

Vinegar is a handy ingredient to add when poaching water to help the eggs coagulate, or set a little faster. It also adds extra tenderness by breaking the twisted bonds in the egg proteins which don’t bond as tightly together after being cooked.

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Eggs Benedict

Easy eggs benedict breakfast with poached eggs on top of toasted English muffin, savory Canadian bacon, and drizzled with hollandaise sauce.
Pin Print Review
4.84 from 6 votes
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time1 hr
Servings 4 servings
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American

Ingredients

Hollandaise Sauce

  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • ¾ teaspoon white wine vinegar, or distilled white vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • kosher salt, for seasoning
  • cayenne pepper, for seasoning

Poached Eggs

  • 2 quarts water
  • 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar, optional
  • 8 large eggs, cold

Eggs Benedict

  • 8 slices Canadian bacon
  • 4 english muffins, sliced in half
  • paprika, for garnish
  • 2 teaspoons chopped chives

Instructions 

Hollandaise Sauce

  • Place egg yolks, water, and vinegar in a medium-sized stainless steel bowl.
  • Fill a double boiler with about 2 inches of water, or pot large enough to have the bowl sit on top without touching the water. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. 
  • Place bowl on top of the pot, whisk egg mixture vigorously and continuously until eggs turn cream colored and thickened, about 3 minutes. 
  • Remove bowl from pot. Whisk in lemon juice to help egg stop cooking. 
  • Melt butter in a small pan, it should be between 140 to 145ºF (60 to 63ºC) when adding to egg yolk mixture. 
  • Place bowl containing egg mixture nested in a kitchen towel to help keep the bowl in place when whisking in butter.
  • Very slowly start to add a few drops of melted butter at a time into eggs, whisking constantly, to create an emulsion.
  • Continue to gradually add in butter, constantly whisking until all of butter is incorporated. The sauce should be thick and velvety.
  • Add in salt and cayenne pepper to taste. Add more lemon juice if desired for a more tart hollandaise sauce. Set aside. Rewarm if needed for serving.

Poached Eggs

  • Add 2 quarts of water, or enough to reach about 3 inches, to a medium-size pot. 
  • Add vinegar, if using. Bring water to barely a simmer and hold at a temperature between 180 and 190°F (82 and 88°F), adjusting heat as needed. 
  • Crack one egg into a small bowl or ramekin. 
  • Carefully lower the side of the bowl into the water and slide the egg into simmering water, and then slowly stir at edges of pot for 10 seconds.
  • Cook until whites are set, 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Use a slotted spoon to remove egg and trim any ragged edges with a small knife or kitchen scissors, if desired. 
  • Place egg in a small, clean bowl and repeat process for remaining eggs.

Eggs Benedict

  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Sear Canadian bacon on each side to warm through, 1 to 2 minutes per side.
  • Toast English muffins and top each half with a slice of Canadian bacon, poached eggs, and hollandaise sauce.
  • Garnish with a sprinkling of paprika and chopped chives.

Notes

  • Use 1 tablespoon vinegar for every 4 cups (1 quart of water) when poaching the eggs.

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Nutrition Facts
Eggs Benedict
Amount Per Serving
Calories 501 Calories from Fat 252
% Daily Value*
Fat 28g43%
Saturated Fat 12g60%
Cholesterol 526mg175%
Sodium 968mg40%
Potassium 427mg12%
Carbohydrates 28g9%
Fiber 1g4%
Protein 31g62%
Vitamin A 1030IU21%
Vitamin C 0.5mg1%
Calcium 121mg12%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Jessica Gavin

I'm a culinary school graduate, cookbook author, and a mom who loves croissants! My passion is creating recipes and sharing the science behind cooking to help you gain confidence in the kitchen.

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4 Comments Leave a comment or review

  1. Ann Luggen says

    Made for FATHERS DAY breakfast. Had home made English muffins. Made holllandaise day prior. Said it was best eggs Benedict ever had.

  2. Allison says

    Hi! Just wanted to say this was my first ever attempt at making eggs benedict and your instructions were so easy to follow! I made this for my Dad’s birthday and everything turned out so delicious. The only thing I did was add a little bit of grainy mustard to the hollandaise. Thanks for the recipe!

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