How to Make 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.

Two servings of eggs benedict on a white plate.

When you’re feeling a little fancy in the morning, treat yourself 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. 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 to swoon over the 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 this eggs benedict recipe spread out across a table.

How to make eggs benedict

  • Make the Sauce: Prepare the hollandaise sauce by whisking the yolks, water, and vinegar over a double boiler until thickened. Stir in the lemon juice to help the egg stop cooking. Gradually whisk in butter to make a concentrated emulsion.
  • Poach the Eggs: Barely simmer the eggs in vinegar, salt, and water until the whites set.
  • Sear the Bacon: Cook the slices of Canadian bacon in butter to lightly brown the surface.
  • Warm the Bread: Toast English muffins in the toaster or on the stovetop with some butter for extra flavor.
  • Assemble: 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 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 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.

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 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, and it yields beautiful whites with runny centers every time. Can you skip the vinegar? Yes!

Poaching the eggs

Poach using barely simmering water, between 180 to 190°F (82 to 88°C). 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.

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 until golden brown. Toast the muffins right before you’re ready to serve so it stays crispy.

This 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!

Searing Canadian bacon in a nonstick pan.

What other ways can you make eggs benedict?

  • Make it eggs Florentine by substituting sauteed spinach or other greens like kale.
  • Add smoked salmon to make it an eggs Hemingway.
  • Switch 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.

More breakfast recipes

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

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.
4.73 from 11 votes
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time25 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Servings 2 servings
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American


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
  • 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, sliced in half
  • paprika, for garnish
  • 1 teaspoons chopped chives


  • 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. 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.
    Melt the butter in a medium skillet over low heat. It should be warmed to between 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 to the eggs 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. Stir in the vinegar and salt (if using). Hold the temperature between 180 and 190°F (82 and 88°C), adjusting the heat as needed.
    Crack one egg into a small bowl or ramekin, then carefully lower and 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


  • 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, holding it between 120 to 140ºF (49 to 60ºC). Add the poached eggs to keep warm, but no longer 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!

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