How to Make Eggs Benedict

4.77 from 13 votes
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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.

Two servings of eggs benedict on a white plate.

When I’m feeling a little fancy in the morning, I treat myself to this homemade eggs benedict recipe. It 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.

When this open-faced sandwich is pierced, the velvety butter sauce oozes into the golden center of the yolk. Pan-seared bacon and crunchy toasted English muffin halves catch all those luscious flavors.

“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.”—Allison

Recipe ingredients

Ingredients for this eggs benedict recipe spread out across a table.
  • Hollandaise Sauce: A creamy egg and butter sauce is created by making an emulsion on the stovetop. It’s flavored with vinegar, lemon juice, salt, and a pinch of cayenne for subtle heat.
  • Eggs: Use large eggs to poach. Eggs benedict is served with two poached eggs, making for a hearty meal.
  • Bacon: Use Canadian bacon for the ham. It has a similar taste to ham steak, but it is thinly sliced into rounds.
  • Bread: English muffins are the traditional choice of bread to use as the base.
  • Garnish: A sprinkle of paprika adds an earthy, sweet pepper flavor to the hollandaise sauce and eggs. Fresh chives add a hint of onion flavor without being overpowering.

See the recipe card below for all ingredients and measurements (US and metric).

How to make hollandaise sauce

Step 1: Prepare the hollandaise sauce by whisking the yolks, water, and vinegar over a double boiler of hot water until thickened. Stir in the lemon juice to help the egg stop cooking. Gradually whisk in the butter to make a velvety and rich emulsion. It should have a light and creamy consistency.

Make sure the hollandaise sauce is warm when served. It can be reheated and whisked over the double boiler until it reaches 141 to 145ºF (61 to 65ºC).

Poach the eggs

Pouring an egg yolk from a ramekin into a pot of hot water.

Step 2: Poach using barely simmering water, between 180 to 190°F (82 to 88°C). Reduce the heat as needed, adjusting the temperature to maintain poaching conditions. Crack each egg into a small bowl, then add the eggs one at a time.

Cook until the whites firm up and the yolks stay runny, about 3 to 5 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove, then transfer to a paper towel to drain. Cook the remaining eggs.

Cook the bacon

Searing Canadian bacon in a nonstick pan.

Step 3: Sear the slices of Canadian bacon in butter to lightly brown the surface. The pork is already cooked, it’s just being warmed up before serving.

Assemble the eggs benedict

Step 4: It’s all about timing! This is an open-faced sandwich. Top each piece of bread with a slice of Canadian bacon and a poached egg, drizzle on the hollandaise sauce, and garnish with a sprinkle of paprika or cayenne pepper and chives to make the colors pop.

Heat the English muffins in the toaster or stovetop with butter for extra flavor.

Flavor variations

Now that you know how to make eggs benedict like a pro, there are endless ways to customize the dish. Here are some exciting options to try:

  • Eggs Florentine: Add sauteed spinach or other greens like kale.
  • Eggs Hemingway: Add slices of smoked salmon.
  • Protein: Try crispy bacon, crab cakes, baked ham, carnitas, or shredded BBQ chicken.
  • Bread: Croissants, homemade biscuits, or crusty sliced sourdough bread make tasty bases.
  • Toppings: Layer in sliced avocado, fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, fresh herbs, or pesto sauce.
  • Vegetables: For a low-carb alternative, use portabello mushrooms, sliced sweet potato, butternut squash, zucchini, or beefsteak tomatoes.

Serving suggestions

Frequently asked questions

How do you make a smooth and stable hollandaise sauce?

The key to a smooth, rich, yet light hollandaise sauce is making a proper emulsion with 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 the butter. Once the eggs have gained volume and turned cream-colored, take them off the heat. Add the butter drop by drop, vigorously whisking until it’s all incorporated. It should have the texture of a lightly whipped cream.

How much vinegar do you add when poaching eggs?

Use 1 tablespoon of 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 use this technique when making poached eggs; it yields beautiful whites with runny centers every time. Can you skip the vinegar? Yes!

Close up photo of eggs benedict with hollandaise sauce on top.

Vinegar is added to the water when poaching

Vinegar is a handy ingredient 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.

Eggs Benedict

Easy eggs benedict breakfast with poached eggs on top of toasted English muffin, savory Canadian bacon, and drizzled with hollandaise sauce.
4.77 from 13 votes
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time25 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Servings 2 servings
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American

Ingredients 
 

Hollandaise Sauce

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

Poached Eggs

  • 2 quarts water
  • 4 teaspoons distilled white vinegar, optional
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt, optional
  • 4 large eggs, cold

Eggs Benedict

  • 4 slices Canadian bacon
  • 2 english muffins
  • paprika
  • 1 teaspoon sliced chives

Instructions 

  • Make the Hollandaise Sauce – Place egg yolks, water, and vinegar in a medium stainless steel mixing bowl. Fill a small saucepan with about 2 inches of water and bring to a simmer. Place the bowl on top of the saucepan without it touching the water and whisk continuously until the eggs thicken, about 3 minutes. Remove the bowl from the saucepan and whisk in lemon juice to stop cooking. In a medium skillet, melt the butter over low heat. It should be warmed to 140 to 145ºF (60 to 63ºC) when added to the egg yolk mixture.
    Nestle the bowl containing the egg mixture in a kitchen towel. Slowly add a few drops of melted butter while constantly whisking. Gradually add more butter, whisking until all is incorporated. The sauce should be thick. Add salt and cayenne pepper to taste. Set aside. Rewarm if needed for serving.
  • Poach the Eggs – Add 2 quarts of water to a medium saucepan. Heat over medium-high heat. Once simmering, reduce to medium-low heat and stir in the vinegar and salt (if using). Hold the temperature between 180 and 190°F (82 and 88°C) on an instant-read thermometer, adjusting the heat as needed.
    Crack one egg into a small bowl or ramekin, then carefully slide it into the water. Slowly stir at the edges of the pot for 10 seconds. Cook until whites are set, 3 to 5 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the egg to a paper towel-lined plate. Repeat the process with the remaining eggs.
  • Cook the Bacon – Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Lightly grease the pan with butter or cooking oil. Sear the Canadian bacon, for 1 to 2 minutes per side.
  • Assemble – Toast the 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.

Recipe Video

YouTube video

Notes

  • Batch Cooking Eggs: To poach 4 eggs, add them to the saucepan one at a time, evenly spacing out. Do not stir. Let them cook for about 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Keeping Eggs Warm: Heat a separate pot of water over low heat, keeping it between 120 and 140ºF (49 and 60ºC). Add the poached eggs and keep warm for no more than 20 minutes.
  • Storing: Hollandaise sauce can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. 
  • Reheating: Place hollandaise sauce in a double boiler, whisking until warm. 

Nutrition Facts

Serves: 2 servings
Calories 627kcal (31%)Carbohydrates 29g (10%)Protein 32g (64%)Fat 42g (65%)Saturated Fat 21g (105%)Polyunsaturated Fat 4gMonounsaturated Fat 14gTrans Fat 1gCholesterol 645mg (215%)Sodium 2725mg (114%)Potassium 439mg (13%)Fiber 2g (8%)Sugar 1g (1%)Vitamin A 1516IU (30%)Vitamin C 1mg (1%)Calcium 150mg (15%)Iron 3mg (17%)

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000-calorie diet. All nutritional information is based on estimated third-party calculations. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods, and portion sizes per household.

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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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8 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!

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Great job Allison! I’m so happy that your first time making eggs benedict was a success!