Sunny-Side Up Eggs

Sunny-side up egg on a plate with charred tomatoes.
Diana Rattray
Prep: 1 mins
Cook: 3 mins
Total: 4 mins
Serving: 1 serving
Yield: 2 eggs

A sunny-side up egg is fried on one side, leaving a beautiful golden exposed yolk. This method is an easy way to cook the eggs to perfection, with that brightly colored yolk and no unappetizing globs of uncooked white. 

Using this covered pan method, all you have to do is crack the eggs and add them to the hot oil. There's no flipping or basting required—cover the pan and let the heat do the work. Keep track of the time this method takes on your stovetop, and you'll have perfect eggs every time you cook them.

For an extra-special breakfast or brunch, add sliced broiled tomatoes to the plate along with toasted or grilled bread. Or make the plate more tempting with a sliced avocado half or slices of melon or strawberries.


Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for sunny-side-up eggs.
    Diana Rattray
  2. Break each egg into a small bowl or ramekin.

    Eggs cracked into ramekins.
    Diana Rattray
  3. Heat 2 teaspoons of oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat until it is shimmering. Turn the heat down to low and then, one at a time, slide the eggs into the pan.

    Checking the eggs in the skillet.
    Diana Rattray
  4. Place a lid or plate on the pan so it is tightly covered. Cook the eggs, covered, for about 2 1/2 minutes, or until the whites are firm and the yolks are still bright. If your low heat setting is on the hot side, begin checking the eggs after about 2 minutes.

    Two sunny-side up eggs in a small nonstick skillet.
    Diana Rattray
  5. Arrange the eggs on a plate and sprinkle with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.

    Two sunny-side up eggs on a plate with toast.
    Diana Rattray


If you avoid sunny-side up eggs because of the salmonella risk, consider pasteurized eggs. If you can't find pasteurized eggs locally, you can do it at home with a sous vide circulator. Set the temperature for 135 F (57.2 C) and cook the eggs for at least 1 hour and 15 minutes. Thoroughly chill the eggs in ice water; label and store in the refrigerator.

Recipe Variations

  • Basted Sunny-Side Up Eggs: Use an extra tablespoon or two of oil. Add the egg(s) to the oil and continue to cook on low heat. Baste gently, avoiding the yolk, until the white is firm.
  • Uncovered Sunny-Side Up Eggs: Heat the oil or fat and then turn to low and add the egg(s). Cook for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the whites are firm.

Raw Egg Warning

Consuming raw and lightly-cooked eggs poses a risk for food-borne illness.