Classic Eggs Benedict

Yes, You Can Master Poached Eggs at Home!

Eggs Benedict

 Kristina Vanni

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 40 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Yield: 4 plates
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
1127 Calories
81g Fat
69g Carbs
31g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 1127
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 81g 104%
Saturated Fat 39g 194%
Cholesterol 693mg 231%
Sodium 1498mg 65%
Total Carbohydrate 69g 25%
Dietary Fiber 2g 6%
Total Sugars 37g
Protein 31g
Vitamin C 4mg 22%
Calcium 169mg 13%
Iron 4mg 23%
Potassium 639mg 14%
*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.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

The thing about eggs Benedict is that it's comfort food. As such, it's as much about the textures as it is the flavors. You don't want the English muffin to be too crispy, because you should be able to cut into it with a knife without it cracking or crumbling. The egg white should be firm, but open up to revel runny yellow yolks. And the hollandaise is rich, yet zippy from fresh-squeezed lemon juice. Eating eggs Benedict should decadent, but also feel like you're biting into a soft, fluffy cloud.

The recipe below will walk you through the whole process, from how to make a creamy hollandaise to the proper egg poaching technique that you can easily get down in no time. If feeling ambitious, you can even make your own English muffins.

What Is Eggs Benedict?

As the story goes, eggs Benedict was invented by chef Charles Ranhofer of New York City's iconic Delmonico's steakhouse in the 1860s. He came up with the now iconic dish for a regular customer whose name was—you guessed it—Mrs. Benedict. He later published a version of the recipe in his cookbook "The Epicurean" and, as they say, the rest was history.

A classic version of eggs Benedict calls for English muffins, Canadian bacon and poached eggs, all topped with a hollandaise sauce, but as anyone who regularly goes out to brunch knows, many versions of this dish have popped up over the years. Some will use regular bacon, others call for smoked salmon.

Tips for Poaching Eggs Without Fear

Poaching eggs is one of those culinary challenges that even the most seasoned home cooks will avoid. But knowing the right technique and giving it plenty of practice will help you get to poached egg perfection. Here are a few keys to poaching success:

  • The fresher the eggs, the better.
  • Adding vinegar to the water helps the whites set more quickly.
  • Keep the water at a bare simmer, which will cook the eggs gently.
  • Cracking each egg individually into a little ramekin or bowl will help make sure the egg is properly cracked and help guide it into the pot. If you're feeding a crowd and want to be efficient, you'll need eight ramekins or bowls.
  • Don't keep the eggs in there for too long! They quickly go from nice and runny to set.

How to Rescue a Broken Hollandaise

A classic French sauce, hollandaise is a rich, buttery emulsion made from warm butter, egg yolks and fresh lemon juice. It's surprisingly simple to make at home using a blender, but may break—which means the butter separates—for a number of reasons. To prevent that from happening, here's what you can do:

  • Make sure the melted butter isn't too hot.
  • If you notice breaking during the blending process, pause on adding the butter and let the sauce blend for a bit.
  • Add another egg yolk or a spoonful of water.
  • Move the broken hollandaise to a double boiler and reheat gently while whisking.

Can I Make Hollandaise Sauce Ahead of Time?

It's best to make and serve the hollandaise sauce on the same day. While you can refrigerate and store it overnight, hollandaise is tricky to reheat because the sauce may break. In the unlikely case that you do have leftover hollandaise, you can enjoy it at a later meal. Smother asparagus with hollandaise for an elevated side dish or use it as a dipping sauce for French fries.

"Like many people, I rely on restaurants to get my eggs Benedict fix, but this recipe makes it so easy and straightforward, I'm going to start making the dish at home more often. The eggs came out perfectly poached, with firm whites and a runny yolk. But the star of this recipe is by far the hollandaise, which is creamy and luxurious, but bright at the same time because of the lemon juice and dry ground mustard." —Patty Lee

A Note From Our Recipe Tester


For the Hollandaise Sauce:

  • 1 cup (8 ounces) unsalted butter

  • 2 large egg yolks

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

  • 1/2 teaspoon dry ground mustard

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper

  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

For the Eggs:

  • 8 large fresh eggs

  • 4 English muffins

  • Butter, softened, for buttering the muffins

  • 8 slices Canadian bacon

  • Paprika powder, for garnish

  • Snipped chives, for garnish

  • Kosher salt, to taste

  • 1 teaspoon vinegar, for the poaching water

Steps to Make It

Make the Hollandaise Sauce

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Eggs Benedict
     Kristina Vanni
  2. Melt the butter on the stove or in the microwave until piping hot.

    Eggs Benedict
     Kristina Vanni
  3. Warm the blender bowl by filling with hot water and then emptying and drying the bowl. Add the egg yolks, lemon juice, cayenne, salt, white pepper, and mustard and blend at medium speed.

    Eggs Benedict
    Kristina Vanni 
  4. Slowly drizzle in the hot melted butter with the machine still running until emulsified.

    Eggs Benedict
     Kristina Vanni

Prepare and Assemble the Eggs Benedict

  1. Arrange the 8 slices of Canadian bacon on a sheet pan, and warm them in a 400 F oven for 5 to 10 minutes.

    Eggs Benedict
     Kristina Vanni
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a simmer—not a boil. If the water boils, lower the heat until it's merely simmering. 180 F to 190 F is best. Add a teaspoon of vinegar and some kosher salt to the water.

    Eggs Benedict
     Kristina Vanni
  3. Crack each egg into its own bowl or ramekin, and, when the water is ready, gently tip each egg down the side of the pot and into the water.

    Eggs Benedict
     Kristina Vanni
  4. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes then carefully remove each egg with a slotted spoon, and transfer to a sheet pan lined with paper towels to absorb any excess water. Use another paper towel to gently pat the tops of the eggs dry as well. Don't forget about the Canadian bacon in the oven.

    Eggs Benedict
     Kristina Vanni
  5. Toast and butter the English muffins.

    Eggs Benedict
     Kristina Vanni
  6. Top each half with a slice of Canadian bacon, then a poached egg, and then some hollandaise.

    Eggs Benedict
     Kristina Vanni
  7. Garnish with chopped chives and a fine dusting of paprika. It helps to sprinkle the paprika from high above the plate so that it dusts the tops more evenly. Serve with steamed asparagus for an elegant brunch meal and enjoy.

    Eggs Benedict
     Kristina Vanni

Raw Egg Warning

Consuming raw and lightly cooked eggs poses a risk of foodborne illness.

Recipe Variations

  • You can use bacon instead of Canadian bacon. If you do, try to keep the bacon a little softer than you might otherwise prefer it. Overly crispy bacon will detract from the "soft, fluffy cloud" texture you're looking for.
  • You can also substitute corned beef hash for the ham/bacon. Or substitute a slice of smoked salmon.
  • And of course, use cooked spinach instead of the meat, and you have eggs Florentine.
  • Substitute Mornay sauce for the hollandaise and you have eggs Mornay.