Eggs Benedict

Eggs Benedict is one of those classic American breakfast recipes that goes deeply to the heart and soul of adventurous eaters.  Its name is shrouded in mystery, and it is said that it originally was invented in a hotel near New York. 

I always think of Benedict Arnold and the Revolutionary War, but really this has nothing to do with that.  Supposedly it was named after a couple who frequented a New York restaurant sometime during the mid-1800’s. 

Who knows? 

Why you will love this Eggs Benedict recipe

Traditional eggs benedict requires a significant amount of work because the eggs in the Hollandaise sauce are tempered over a double boiler while the cook is vigorously whipping the mixture non-stop.  You will LOVE my recipe since we make the Hollandaise sauce in a blender, saving the work (and your arms) and it comes out perfectly every time!

Tips

When it comes to making Hollandaise sauce, it’s very important that the butter is hot. If your butter is not hot, then your eggs will not cook properly. 

Some people think that the eggs are raw in Hollandaise sauce, but that is not true.  The eggs are tempered, which means that they are cooked to the proper temperature, but they still retain a more liquid state of being.  If you cook your egg yolks without tempering them, they will become scrambled eggs which we don’t want when making eggs benedict.  You want them cooked but you also want them to remain runny. 

Ingredients

There are 4 main components to eggs benedict:

  1. English muffin
  2. Canadian bacon
  3. Poached egg
  4. Hollandaise sauce

Now this is rather strange when you think about it.  Although this is a traditional American breakfast, we have an English muffin, a piece of bacon that is Canadian, and a sauce that originated in Normandy, France as it is named after “Holland”.  This is proof that we truly are the melting pot of the world!

What is Hollandaise sauce made of? 

Hollandaise sauce is made with tempered egg yolks mixed with a whole lot of butter and a splash of lemon juice.  It’s traditionally whisked/whipped together over a double boiler and comes out as this wonderfully creamy sauce.  

We will still have the “wonderfully creamy sauce” part, but we will be using a food processor or blender instead of a whisk and our arm muscles.  

Let’s talk about Canadian bacon for a moment.  It is quite different from American bacon.  Canadian bacon, in my opinion, is more like a piece of ham rather than a piece of bacon.  It is round and comes already cured and  cooked, so all you need to do is heat it up or quickly pan fry it before serving it.  

These are the ingredients for eggs benedict:

  • Whole eggs
  • Egg yolks
  • English muffins
  • Canadian bacon
  • Butter
  • Lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper
  • Vinegar
  • Chives for garnish

How to make homemade eggs benedict

Eggs benedict is one of those things that people like to order out at restaurants, but sometimes you just need to make eggs benedict from scratch when the craving hits!

So here is your complete guide to how to make eggs benedict at home!

Let’s start with the English muffin and Canadian bacon.  All we need to do is toast the English muffin and heat the Canadian bacon through.  Some differ on how to do this. I personally like to cut the English muffins in half, butter them,  place them on a baking sheet with the slices of Canadian bacon and  throw them in the oven with the broil function on for a few moments.  

If you decide to do this, you should constantly watch it, since we all know what happens the moment you turn away when you broil something.  I would rather toast each English muffin individually in a toaster or a toaster oven that will work fine also. You can quickly pan sear the Canadian bacon on both sides just before serving if you don’t broil it in the oven.  

Prepare to poach your eggs by cracking them into a bowl and bringing a pot of water to a boil. For the poached egg, you will need a medium size pan. Fill it with about 3 inches of water, salt the water and put a splash of vinegar in it and turn the stove on high.  Don’t poach the egg quite yet, just get everything ready.  We will make the Hollandaise sauce first. 

Bonus Tip*:

I will give a little tip for poaching eggs.  If you have store bought eggs, sometimes there is a very runny part of the white that you don’t want to include in the boiling water while it is cooking.  That particular part of the eggs white foams up and tends to boil over, making a mess to clean up.  I like to put a slotted spoon into a bowl and crack the egg into the spoon.  I lift the egg up in the spoon and the runny part of the white stays in the bowl.  Discard that watery part of the egg. 

For the Hollandaise sauce, separate the egg yolks from the whites.  (Need an idea for how to use egg whites? Check out my recipe for rose meringues 🡨 here.)

I use a food processor for this recipe, but a blender works fine.  Put the egg yolks into the food processor. Heat the butter up in the pan until it sizzles, but don’t brown it.  Turn the food processor on and blend the yokes, get the hot butter and SLOWLY drizzle it into the egg yolks while the food processor is still on.  If you pour the butter in too quickly, you will make scrambled eggs instead of tempered egg yolks.  

Pour it in over about a 1 minute time frame, until all of the butter is incorporated.  After you have added the butter, add the lemon juice and salt and pepper, processing it together.  Now your Hollandaise sauce is made, time to make the poached eggs.  You will want your Hollandaise sauce to be hot when serving it. This is why I suggest getting your poached eggs ready to poach before making the sauce.  

When the pan of water is gently boiling, swirl the water with a spoon and carefully add the eggs to the boiling water.  For the perfect runny eggs, poach them for exactly 3 minutes.  The water should be boiling that whole time.  With a slotted spoon remove the eggs and place them on a paper towel to remove any excess water. Salt and pepper the poached eggs to taste.

Now it’s time to learn how to assemble eggs benedict!  We have our English muffins toasted, our Canadian bacon is hot, the Hollandaise sauce is ready, and we just poached our eggs.

Place the piece of Canadian bacon on top of the sliced and toasted English muffin (1/2 muffin per serving). 

Proceed to add the poached egg on top of the Canadian bacon, then generously douse the top of the poached egg with the Hollandaise sauce, letting it run over the sides.

Garnish with chopped chives and serve while hot.  Enjoy!

Variations

There is another dish that excludes the Canadian bacon and adds cooked spinach instead.  This dish is called eggs Florentine.  If that is up your alley, then have at it!

There is also another version called Eggs Royale, which is made with smoked salmon instead of Canadian bacon.  

Cooked prosciutto or American bacon is also a great option to kick up the eggs benedict a level.

Equipment

  • Medium saucepan
  • Food processor or blender

FAQ’s

Why is it called Hollandaise sauce?

Though Hollandaise sauce originated in Normandy, France, it is called this because it referred to being from near the country of Holland or the Northern part of France. 

Can I buy store-bought Hollandaise sauce?

There are several options when it comes to buying Hollandaise sauce.  Although I don’t recommend any of these, you can buy powdered Hollandaise sauce in the seasonings section of your grocery store and all you need to do is rehydrate it somehow.  It will most definitely not taste nearly as good as making it at home.

You can also buy Hollandaise sauce in a jar and heat it up before using. I also don’t recommend these since they are full of all sorts of controversial ingredients that you can’t pronounce and may not be good for you.  

Should eggs benedict be hot or cold?

Most definitely eggs benedict should be served hot!  Everything should be hot, for the poached egg to the Hollandaise sauce, serve it hot!

Eggs Benedict

Print Recipe
Course Side Dish
Keyword eggs, Eggs Benedict, Hollandaise, sauce
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4

Equipment

  • Medium saucepan
  • Food processor or blender

Ingredients

  • 4 whole eggs
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 2 English muffins
  • 4 slices Canadian bacon
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup butter salted
  • Chopped chives for garnish

Instructions

  • Turn on the broil function of the oven and slice the English muffins in half. Butter them and place them on a baking sheet along with the slices of Canadian bacon.
  • Broil them in the oven for 1-2 minutes until the English muffins are lightly toasted.
  • Prepare to poach the eggs by filling a saucepan with about 3 inches of salted water and a splash of vinegar. Turn the oven on and bring it to a gentle boil.
  • Crack 4 eggs into a bowl and remove the watery part of the egg white*.
  • Heat 1 cup of butter in a saucepan until sizzling, but don’t brown it.
  • Separate 3 egg yolks from the whites and put the yolks into a food processor or blender.
  • Turn the food processor on and SLOWLY drizzle the hot butter into the egg yolks while it is on. This should take about 1 minute to add all the butter. The butter MUST be HOT!
  • After the butter is added, add the lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Blend again until incorporated.
  • Swirl the boiling water with a spoon then carefully drop the eggs into the water. Poach them for 3 full minutes.
  • Remove the eggs with a slotted spoon from the boiling water and place them on the paper towel to remove excess water. Salt and pepper to taste.
  • Assemble the eggs benedict by place a piece of Canadian bacon on top of a toasted half of the English muffin, then add the poached egg then douse it with the Hollandaise sauce.
  • Garnish with chopped chives and serve while hot. Enjoy!

Notes

Sometimes store bought eggs have a very water part to them that is separate from the egg white. In order to remove that watery part, crack the egg into a mesh strainer and the water part will run off of the egg.