Making eggs Benedict requires careful orchestration.
You have to have warm, crispy bacon, hot buttered toasted English muffins, eggs poached perfectly to your desire, and a warm, creamy, unbroken hollandaise sauce, all at about the same time.
No wonder I rarely eat Eggs Benedict unless I'm eating out, my brain is scrambled enough as it is in the morning without having to juggle in the kitchen.
Watch How to Make Eggs Benedict
How to Make Eggs Benedict
That said, if you know how to toast an English muffin, know how to cook bacon, and know how to poach eggs, then the only element that is not your standard fare is the hollandaise sauce, which is actually quite easy if you have a blender.
When to Serve Eggs Benedict
There may be an occasion, such as Mother's Day for example, for which you might want to make a special someone, such as your mother, something special for breakfast or brunch. Eggs Benedict is as special as they come. Believe me, if you make these for me, I will worship the ground you walk on.
What Is Eggs Benedict?
Eggs Benedict is a traditional American breakfast and brunch recipe that originated in New York City. It consists of an English muffin, cut in half, toasted, and topped with Canadian bacon, poached eggs, and classic French hollandaise sauce. It's decadent, rich, and satisfying.
How to Make Perfect Poached Eggs
Not everyone poaches eggs right on the first try. Or the second. If you've never made poached eggs before, they can take some practice. For a better chance of getting it right, try these tips.
- Start with the freshest eggs you can get. The older the eggs are, the more likely they are to fall apart in the simmering water.
- Make sure the water is barely simmering (with just a few bubbles appearing every now and then). If the water is at a full boil (lots of rapidly moving bubbles), the chances of the egg separating when it hits the water are greater.
- Don't forget to add the vinegar to the water.
- Crack the egg into a small bowl before adding it to the water. Then gently slide the egg from the bowl into the simmering water.
- Time the poaching egg carefully. Four minutes should be just about right.
- Drain the poached eggs well. Hot tip: a stale piece of bread works even better than a paper towel.
Looking for another option? Try our fast and super-easy Microwave Poached Eggs recipe.
Substitutions for Canadian Bacon
While Canadian bacon is the standard in eggs Benedict, it's okay to buck tradition with these alternatives.
- Browned crab cakes
- Smoked or cured salmon
- Taylor ham (or pork roll)
- Steamed asparagus
- Sautéed spinach
Tips for A+ Hollandaise Sauce
Our Blender Hollandaise Sauce is really a breeze to make. But you do need to follow the recipe closely. Stick to these tips and you'll be in good shape.
- Blend the egg yolks a full 30 seconds. Blending them for less time makes for a runnier sauce, plus it heats the eggs yolks a bit.
- Melt the butter gently, so it's not hot and sputtering (this can cause the sauce to break).
- Add the butter in a slow, steady stream as the blender runs. Adding the butter too fast keeps the sauce from properly emulsifying.
- If the sauce is emulsified but too thin for your liking, pour it into the pot you melted the butter in and heat over low heat, whisking constantly until it gets more body.
- If your sauce is thin and greasy it's broken. Look here for ways you may be able to save it.
Make Ahead Tips
There are a lot of moving parts to eggs Benedict. If you'd like to make some of the dish ahead of time, you can poach the eggs up to five days early. Here's how.
- When you're done poaching the eggs, plunge them in a bowl of ice water.
- Remove the eggs from the water with a slotted spoon and place them in a single layer in an airtight container. Refrigerate.
- Right before you're ready to assemble the eggs Benedict, reheat the pre-poached eggs in a bowl of hot—but not boiling—water for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove, then drain on paper towels or a slice of bread and proceed with the recipe.
Don't make the hollandaise sauce or toast the English muffins ahead of time.
More Special-Occasion Breakfast Ideas
- Cloud Eggs (Egg Nests)
- Honey Ricotta Stuffed French Toast
- How to Make French Crêpes
- Ham and Asparagus Quiche
- Lemon Ricotta Pancakes
How to Make Eggs Benedict
Eggs Benedict is also great made with slices of smoked salmon in place of the bacon. If you are in or around New Jersey, try it with Taylor ham.
Don't have a blender? Make our stovetop hollandaise sauce, which is easier than you think.
8 slices bacon or 4 slices Canadian bacon
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons white or rice vinegar
2 English muffins
2 tablespoons chopped parsley, for garnish
For the hollandaise sauce
10 tablespoons unsalted butter (if using salted butter, omit the added salt)
3 large egg yolks
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Dash cayenne or Tabasco sauce
Cook the bacon:
Heat a large skillet on medium low heat. Add the strips of bacon or the slices of Canadian bacon. Slowly fry, turning occasionally, until the bacon is browned on both sides, and if using strip bacon, much of the fat is rendered out (about 10 minutes).
Use tongs or a fork to remove the bacon from the pan, set on a paper towel to absorb the excess fat.
Don't pour the bacon fat left in the pan down the drain! Either sop it up with paper towels when it has cooled a bit, or pour it into a jar to be used later.
Bring the poaching water to a simmer:
While the bacon is cooking, bring a large saucepan two-thirds-filled with water to a boil, then add the vinegar. Bring the water to a boil again, then lower the heat to a bare simmer.
Make the hollandaise sauce:
First time making hollandaise sauce? Check out our Easy Blender Hollandaise Sauce for additional details on making the sauce.
To make blender hollandaise, gently melt 10 tablespoons unsalted butter.
Put 3 egg yolks, a tablespoon of lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt in a blender. Blend on medium to medium-high speed for 30 full seconds (count or time it), until eggs lighten in color.
Turn the blender down to lowest setting, slowly dribble in the hot melted butter, while continuing to blend. Taste for salt and acidity and add more salt or lemon juice to taste.
Transfer it to a container you can use for pouring and set it on a warm—but not hot—place on or near the stovetop.
Poach the eggs:
Essentially, working one egg at a time you crack an egg into a small bowl and slip it into the barely simmering water. Once it begins to solidify, you can slip in another egg, until you have all four cooking.
Turn off the heat, cover the pan, and let sit for 4 minutes. (Remember which egg went in first, you'll want to take it out first.) When it comes time to remove the eggs, gently lift out with a slotted spoon.
Note that the timing is a little variable on the eggs, depending on the size of your pan, how much water, how many eggs, and how runny you like them. You might have to experiment a little with your set-up to figure out what you need to do to get the eggs exactly the way you like them.
If you need some more instruction, here is an easy method for poaching eggs.
Toast the English muffins:
As soon as all the eggs are in the poaching water, begin toasting your English muffins. If you can’t get all the muffins toasted by the time the eggs are ready, gently remove the eggs from the poaching water and set in a bowl.
Assemble the eggs Benedict:
To assemble, butter one side of an English muffin. Top with 2 slices of bacon or 1 slice of Canadian bacon. You can trim the bacon to fit the muffin if you’d like.
Put a poached egg on top of the bacon, then pour some hollandaise over. Sprinkle some parsley over it all and serve at once.
|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 59g||75%|
|Saturated Fat 27g||136%|
|Total Carbohydrate 38g||14%|
|Dietary Fiber 1g||4%|
|Total Sugars 18g|
|Vitamin C 4mg||18%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|