THIS POST IS SPONSORED BY
ALDI, who I’m so excited to partner & share with you all throughout 2021. With gorgeous seasonal produce & high-quality staples, ALDI is forever my go-to for putting together the perfect spring brunch spread! All thoughts & opinions are my own.
A beloved brunch staple made easy with a make-ahead twist!
Brunch truly does not get better than eggs benedict! With perfectly poached eggs, luscious & silky hollandaise sauce, & toasty bread to soak it all up, it’s the ultimate indulgence. The only downside? It’s a little intimidating to tackle at home…especially during the holidays or for a special occasion brunch. The solution? Brunch lovers, meet your newest bff – Make-Ahead Eggs Benedict is here!
This easy eggs benedict recipe delivers everything you love about the iconic brunch dish, but it’s been re-engineered a little bit to simplify the process of making eggs benedict at home. By prepping a couple of the components ahead of time, getting eggs benedict pulled together for brunch in the morning is a simple assembly job.
Make-ahead eggs benedict translates really well to entertaining during the holidays. It’s also awesome for 2021-style socially distanced celebrations – you can drop off partially prepped eggs benedict meal kits with family & friends, finishing the dish together in time for a celebratory Zoom brunch!
Plus!!! Absolutely everything you need for an epic eggs benedict brunch spread is available at ALDI! ALDI carries seriously high-quality brunch staples – amazing center-cut bacon, beautiful cage-free brown eggs, gorgeous spring produce, & they’ve even got us covered with OJ & bubbles for mimosas! If you ask me, it doesn’t get better than that! Next time you’re at ALDI (or next time you place a curbside or Instacart order online!), be sure to grab everything you need for this easy eggs benedict. A gorgeous spring brunch is definitely in your future!
How to Make Eggs Benedict – A Quick Overview
It’s totally understandable if you think eggs benedict is a dish that’s too intimidating to try to make at home. There’s some technique & timing involved, that’s for sure. But with a solid game plan, it’s actually pretty simple to throw eggs benedict together when the craving strikes. That’s exactly what I’m going to walk you through today!
Must-have components for eggs benedict:
- A perfectly poached egg – Poached eggs take less than 10 minutes to make. Plus, you can prep them up to 5 days in advance! Reheating poached eggs is really simple; you just need a big bowl of warm water.
- Easy hollandaise sauce – It’s not eggs benedict without rich, silky smooth hollandaise sauce. You can whip up a beautiful hollandaise sauce in a blender or food processor. It takes mere minutes, & it’s perfect every time.
- Toasty English muffins – Plain & simple! If you’re making more than 1-2 servings, pop them in the oven to toast a large batch all at once.
- Toppings a-plenty! – Tailor your eggs benedict to your preferences by using all of your favorite toppings. You can change things up in about a billion different ways just by choosing to use different toppings – I have some of my favorites listed below!
Brunch at home just doesn’t get better than that! ♡ Read on to learn more about this Make-Ahead Eggs Benedict recipe or jump straight to the recipe & get cookin’!
Mastering Perfectly Poached Eggs
An eggs benedict brunch is not complete without perfectly poached eggs! It may seem a little intimidating if you’ve never poached eggs before, but rest assured that poaching an egg (or a whole batch of eggs, for that matter!) is actually pretty simple. In fact, once you see how easy it is, I’m pretty sure that you’re going to want to put a poached egg on everything!
How to make perfect poached eggs:
- SIMMER: Add water & a generous splash of vinegar to a large pot or saucepan. Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer.
- SWIRL: Using a wooden spoon, swirl the water into a gentle vortex. It doesn’t need to be anything crazy; in fact I think it’s easier for the eggs to hold their shape if the water is slowly & gently swirling in the pot.
- POACH: Carefully crack and slide an egg into the center of the vortex. Let the egg poach for 3-4 minutes, until the white is set & the yolk is soft. Use a slotted spoon to carefully transfer the poached egg to a paper towel-lined plate or water bath. Repeat swirling & poaching until you have as many poached eggs as you need. If you feel comfortable, feel free to poach 2-3 eggs at a time.
That’s all there is to it! Pretty easy, right?!
Tips for pretty poached eggs:
If you’re after really beautiful, restaurant-quality poached eggs for eggs benedict, there are a couple of little tricks you can keep in mind as you prep:
- Strain the eggs! Crack the eggs into a fine mesh sieve & swirl to strain off the egg’s looser, liquidy white. Why ⇢ The loose egg white is what gets really wispy as an egg poaches. Cracking an egg through a fine mesh sieve strains off this loose egg white while keeping the rest of the egg intact.
- Use ramekins or small bowls! Crack the eggs into individual bowls. Why ⇢ Let’s be honest – juggling & carefully cracking an egg directly into swirling poaching liquid is kind of tricky! To make things easier, first crack the eggs into a small bowl & then transfer to the poaching liquid. This gives you a little more control over the egg, the poaching liquid, & the entire poaching process.
- Acid, acid, acid! Be sure to add vinegar (or lemon juice) to your poaching liquid. Why ⇢ Vinegar increases the acidity of the poaching liquid, which causes the proteins in the egg whites to coagulate, helping to keep the egg intact as it poaches. & you wouldn’t even guess it was there – the poached eggs don’t taste like vinegar at all!
Make-ahead poached eggs:
Can you make poached eggs in advance? YES! Eggs can be poached up to 5 days in advance, which is exactly what makes make-ahead eggs benedict possible. To poach eggs ahead of time:
- Reduce poaching time to 2-3 minutes & rest in an ice bath. The reduced cooking time & a shock of cold water to stop the cooking process will both help prevent the poached eggs from overcooking when you reheat to serve.
- Poached egg storage: Once cooled, submerge the poached eggs in water in an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- Reheating poached eggs: Fill a large bowl with hot water from the tap. Carefully lower the eggs into the water & let sit for 1-2 minutes, until warmed through. The egg will be perfectly cooked, with a gloriously runny yolk.
The Secret to Easy Eggs Benedict…Blender Hollandaise Sauce!
The other crucial component of eggs benedict is rich, silky smooth hollandaise sauce. Similar to poached eggs, this might be a little intimidating if you’ve never made hollandaise sauce before. But can I let you in on a little secret? You can whip up a perfect hollandaise sauce in a blender or food processor! It takes mere minutes, & it’s perfect every time. The secret to easy eggs benedict at home!
How to make hollandaise sauce in a blender or food processor:
- Heat the butter: Place cold butter in a liquid measuring cup & microwave for 60-90 seconds. The butter should be melted & hot, but keep an eye on it as it microwaves to prevent messy splatter!
- Blend the hollandaise sauce’s base ingredients: Add the base ingredients of hollandaise sauce – egg yolks, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, salt & any desired seasonings – to a small food processor or blender. Blend to combine well.
- Emulsify! While the blender or food processor running, very slowly stream in the hot, melted butter. The fast, constant motion of the blades of the blender will help the egg & butter emulsify, creating a creamy, thick hollandaise sauce.
Less than 2 minutes later you’ll have a batch of restaurant-quality hollandaise sauce for eggs benedict. It couldn’t be easier!
Make-ahead hollandaise sauce – some thoughts:
Can you make hollandaise sauce ahead of time? It’s up to you! Here’s the deal…Hollandaise sauce is one of those things that’s best served fresh, within an hour of prepping it. Because blender hollandaise is so fast & easy to make, I typically opt to throw it together just before serving my easy eggs benedict. That said, there are a couple of make-ahead options you can consider.
Make-ahead hollandaise options:
- Prep ingredients ahead of time: If I’m really focused on having things prepped & ready beforehand, I’ll measure out all of the hollandaise sauce ingredients in advance & on the day of it’s a simple grab-and-go assembly job.
- Make-ahead hollandaise: If you’d like to make your hollandaise sauce ahead of time, prep it up to 1 day in advance & store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator overnight. Reheat in a double boiler or in 15-second increments in the microwave, stirring well until the sauce is warm. The hollandaise might not be as silky smooth as it is when it’s fresh, but it’ll still be tasty!
Putting it all together – Eggs Benedict Assembly:
With your perfectly poached eggs & easy blender hollandaise both prepped & ready to go, all that’s left to do for your ultimate eggs benedict brunch is assemble!
First, prep your toppings. Depending on how many people you’re serving, prep 2-3 of your favorite eggs benedict toppings. Canadian bacon is the most classic choice. Personally, I like using asparagus & thick-cut bacon because you can cook them both in the oven at the same temperature. See below for more easy eggs benedict toppings!
Next, toast the bread. As far as I’m concerned, you can serve eggs benedict on any great thick-cut bread. English muffins are the most classic pairing, so that’s what I chose to use here. You can certainly toast them in a toaster, but it’s easier & just as effective to toast them in the oven. Plus, if you’re serving up multiple portions of eggs benedict at the same time, you can toast them all at once! To toast: Simply pop the halved English muffins on a baking sheet, generously brush with olive oil, & toast at 450 degrees F for 5-10 minutes until beautifully golden brown.
Lastly, assemble the eggs benedict! Place some of your toppings on the toasted English muffins. Carefully place a poached egg over top, then finish with a spoonful (or two!) of the hollandaise sauce. From there, leave them plain or garnish with fresh herbs, a sprinkling of paprika or cayenne, & some freshly snipped chives or green onions, & dig in!
Easy Eggs Benedict Variations:
Once you get the hang of poaching eggs & prepping hollandaise sauce, the fun part about making eggs benedict is customizing it with all of your favorite toppings. You can change things up in about a billion different ways just by choosing to use different toppings, & it couldn’t be easier!
Some inspiration to get you started:
- The Classics: Serve your eggs benedict with a slice of pan-fried Canadian bacon or some center-cut bacon (the Appleton Farms Thick-Cut Bacon from ALDI is the best!!!).
- Vegetarian eggs benedict: Roasted asparagus will forever be my favorite (it’s a classic pairing with hollandaise sauce!), but you can feel free to load up on any other veggies you love! Sautéed mushrooms are satisfying, sliced tomatoes are perfect in the summer, & garlicky wilted kale sounds amazing!
- Smoked salmon eggs benedict: A great no-cook option is thinly sliced smoked salmon. Add some capers, pickled red onions, & fresh dill to the mix for the ultimate smoked salmon brunch!
- Prosciutto eggs benedict: Another no-cook option is a few pieces of thinly sliced prosciutto. Its saltiness is the perfect pairing with runny egg yolk & rich hollandaise sauce.
- & so on! Get creative & have fun with it – the possibilities are truly endless!
There you have it! Making eggs benedict at home is so much easier than you’d think, & it’s a whole lot of fun to treat your loved ones to a special brunch. I can’t wait for you to give this easy eggs benedict a try soon! If you do, be sure to let me know! Leave a comment with a star rating below. You can also snap a photo & tag @playswellwithbutter on Instagram. I LOVE hearing about & seeing your PWWB creations! Happy cooking! ♡
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Cafe-Worthy Brunch at Home
Everyone’s favorite brunch, complete with toasty English muffins, a perfectly poached egg, & luscious homemade hollandaise sauce! This easy eggs benedict recipe is perfect for ordinary weekends & special occasion brunches alike. With a make-ahead approach & lots of easy tips (like poaching eggs in advance & prepping hollandaise in a blender), homemade eggs benedict has never been simpler to make at home!
- 6 L’Oven Fresh Plain English Muffins, split in half crosswise
- 3–4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 12 poached eggs (below)
- blender hollandaise sauce (below)
- toppings of choice – choose 2-3 below:
- 12 ounces Appleton Farms Center Cut Bacon
- 16 ounces asparagus, woody ends trimmed
- 12 ounces Appleton Farms Prosciutto
- 12 ounces Specially Selected Cold Smoked Salmon
FOR THE POACHED EGGS:
- 2 quarts (8 cups) cold water
- 2 tablespoons Tuscan Garden Distilled White Vinegar
- 12 Goldhen Cage Free Large Grade A Brown Eggs
FOR THE BLENDER HOLLANDAISE:
- 3 Goldhen Cage Free Large Grade A Brown Egg yolks
- 1 heaping teaspoon Burman’s Dijon Mustard
- 1/2 lemon, juiced (1 heaping tablespoon)
- 8–10 tablespoons Countryside Creamery Unsalted Butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- optional: 1/4-1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper or 1 teaspoon hot sauce of choice
OVEN-BAKED BACON, ROASTED ASPARAGUS, & TOASTED BREAD:
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F, ensuring the oven racks are positioned in the top & bottom third of the oven. Line 3 large baking sheets with parchment paper or aluminum foil for easy clean up & set aside.
- Roast bacon & asparagus: Arrange the bacon on one prepared baking sheet & set aside. Place asparagus on a second prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with 1-2 tablespoons olive oil, season with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, & toss to coat. Place bacon & asparagus in the oven to bake & roast for 25-30 minutes, until the asparagus is tender with crispy edges & the bacon is crisp. Remove from the oven & set aside.
- Toast English muffins: Increase heat to 450 degrees F. Brush the remaining 2-3 tablespoons olive oil over the surface of the English muffins. Transfer to the oven to toast for 5-10 minutes, until golden brown & crisp around the edges. Remove from the oven & set aside.
- Poached eggs prep: Add the water & vinegar to a large pot or saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer. Crack the eggs into 8 individual ramekins or small bowls. For prettier poached eggs with fewer wispy whites, crack the eggs into a fine mesh sieve & swirl to strain off the looser, liquidy whites. Set aside. Prepare an ice bath by filling a large bowl with cold water & a handful of ice cubes. Set aside.
- Poach the eggs: Gently swirl the water into a gentle vortex (note – the water does not need to vigorously swirl, but it does need to have just a little bit of movement) and slide an egg into the center of the vortex. Cook 2-3 minutes, gently stirring occasionally to keep the water moving, until the white is set & the yolk is soft. Use a slotted spoon to carefully transfer the egg to the prepared water bath. Repeat with the remaining eggs. You can poach 2-3 eggs at a time, but take things as slow as you need to ensure the eggs hold their shape & cook properly.
- Poached eggs storage & reheating: Carefully transfer the cooled poached eggs to an airtight container & submerge in water. Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. To reheat, gently lower eggs into hot water from the tap. Set aside for 1-2 minutes, until warmed through. Serve immediately.
- Melt the butter: Add butter to a liquid measuring cup. Microwave for 60-90 seconds, until melted & very warm. Set aside.
- Blend the hollandaise: Add the egg yolks, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, salt & desired seasonings to a small food processor or blender. Blend about 30 seconds. The mixture should be very well incorporated & pale yellow in color. With the blender/food processor running, very slowly stream in the hot, melted butter until the hollandaise sauce is creamy, emulsified, & has reached your desired consistency. For a thicker hollandaise, use 6-8 tablespoons butter. For a thinner hollandaise, use 8-10 tablespoons butter.
- Hollandaise storage & reheating: Transfer hollandaise to an airtight jar or container and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 day. To reheat, transfer hollandaise to a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 15-second increments, stirring well between increments, until the sauce is warm.
EGGS BENEDICT ASSEMBLY & SERVING:
- Top each toasted English muffin with toppings of choice (crispy bacon, roasted asparagus, thinly sliced prosciutto, smoked salmon, etc.). Place a poached egg on top. Finish with a spoonful of hollandaise sauce & garnish as desired with cracked pepper, fresh herbs, cayenne pepper, or hot sauce. Serve immediately. Enjoy!
Keywords: easy eggs benedict recipe, make-ahead, meal prep, spring, winter, brunch, breakfast, easy entertaining, Mother’s Day, Easter, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Galentine’s brunch
Recipe & Food Styling by Jess Larson, Plays Well With Butter | Photography by Rachel Cook, Half Acre House.