Almost Eggs Benedict

$3.77 recipe / $1.89 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
4.79 from 14 votes
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True story: every time my boyfriend and I go out to eat he will order Eggs Benedict if it’s on the menu. Every time. But I’ve never made it for him at home! I had only made hollandaise sauce once in the past and I remember it being quite tricky, so I always just saved that dish for special occasions when we go out. …Until now. I was craving Eggs Benedict like no other, so I decided to give it a shot again. And boy am I glad I did, because I was able to scale the recipe down for two and I found a simple method for the hollandaise sauce that is easy enough for a lazy Sunday morning. I’m calling this “Almost” Eggs Benedict because I used sunny side up eggs instead of poached. I like fried eggs 100x better than poached and they still have the runny yolk, so that’s all that is really important. ;)

Want more breakfast egg recipes? Check out our egg recipe archives!

Two plates of Almost Eggs Benedict with a cup of coffee and tangerine near by

Hollandaise Sauce Methods

While I was giving myself a refresher course on how to make hollandaise, I kept coming across a super simple one pan method that totally intrigued me. I gave it a shot and sure enough, it was incredibly easy and worked like a charm. I used the one pot method below, but I don’t know who was first to discover this method or who to properly credit. Just know that this methodology is not my genius work. Many people also use the blender method for their hollandaise, which seems pretty fool-proof, but I don’t have a blender that would work well for that method, so I used the one pot. If you’re interested in the blender method, just Google “blender hollandaise” and you’ll find hundreds of tutorials.

Small Batch for the Win!

I scaled the hollandaise sauce down as far as I could (one egg yolk), but there was still a bit more than needed for two servings of this Almost Eggs Benedict. Depending on how much of this deliciously rich sauce you like, I think you could stretch this sauce over three, perhaps even four servings of Eggs Benedict.

REMEMBER: When an ingredient is listed as “divided” in an ingredient list, that means that part of it will be used for one step and the remainder for another step. :)

A serving of Almost Eggs Benedict being eaten with a knife and a fork.


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Almost Eggs Benedict

4.79 from 14 votes
Almost Eggs Benedict is the easy and approachable version of the brunch classic, scaled back and scaled down to feed just two on a lazy weekend morning. 
Almost Eggs Benedict is the easy and approachable version of the brunch classic, scaled back and scaled down to feed just to on a lazy weekend morning.
Servings 2
Prep 10 minutes
Cook 25 minutes
Total 35 minutes


  • 5 Tbsp butter, divided ($0.83)
  • 2 English muffins ($1.00)
  • 3 large eggs, divided ($0.83)
  • 2 thick slices ham ($0.83)
  • 1 Tbsp water ($0.00)
  • 1 lemon (or about 1/2 Tbsp juice)* ($0.37)
  • pinch cayenne ($0.02)
  • pinch salt and pepper ($0.03)


  • Separate the whites from the yolk of ONE egg. Add the yolk to a small sauce pot along with 1 Tbsp water and about 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice (I like my hollandaise quite lemony, if you don’t, start with 1 tsp lemon juice). Whisk them together until smooth. The pot is not over heat at this point.
  • Cut 4 Tbsp butter into 1/2 Tbsp chunks, then place them in the sauce pot with the egg, water, and lemon juice. Finally, place the pot over LOW heat and whisk continuously, allowing the butter to slowly melt into the yolk as you whisk. It should take 2-3 minutes for the butter to melt.
  • When the butter is fully melted, continue to whisk continuously and vigorously. As the mixture continues to heat, the yolk will begin to cook and solidify, which will thicken the sauce into a light, velvety mixture. It should take about 3-5 minutes for the mixture to cook to the point where it is thickened and will first look frothy, then finally begin to thicken. Once thickened, remove it from the heat. Taste the sauce and season with a pinch of salt and cayenne pepper. If you prefer more lemon, it can be whisked in at this point. Place a lid on the pot and set it near the burner that will be used for the eggs and ham, but not over direct heat, to keep it slightly warm.
  • Add about 1 tsp butter to a large skillet and place it over medium heat. Allow the butter to melt, then tilt the skillet to coat the surface. Open the English muffins and place them cut sides down in the skillet. Cook them until browned, then flip an cook a couple minutes more on the other side (about 5 minutes total). Place the buttery toasted muffins on your plates.
  • Wipe out the skillet to remove any cornmeal from the muffins, then add another teaspoon of butter. Once melted, add the ham slices to the skillet and cook until browned on both sides (another 3-5 minutes). If your ham slices are large like mine were, cut them in half to better fit the English muffins. Once browned, place the ham pieces on the toasted English muffins.
  • Turn the heat down to medium-low, add another teaspoon of butter to the skillet and cook two of the eggs until the whites are set, but the yolks are still runny. I find using a slightly lower heat helps give the whites time to heat through and cook before cooking the yolk. Top the muffins and ham with the eggs.
  • Finally, drizzle the prepared hollandaise sauce over the eggs and ham on the English muffins, and enjoy.

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*I find that fresh lemon tastes a LOT better than bottled for this recipe, so I highly suggest using a fresh lemon. I like my hollandaise very lemony, but if you want it to be more mild, start with just 1 tsp lemon juice.
**You can cook the remaining egg white that was separated from the yolk in the first step and add it to one of your Eggs Benedict!


Serving: 1ServingCalories: 519.95kcalCarbohydrates: 24.3gProtein: 19.05gFat: 38.55gSodium: 1067.2mgFiber: 1.5g
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Want to try making your own English Muffins, too? Check out my recipe for Homemade English Muffins!

One serving of Almost Eggs Benedict with a cup of coffee next to it

How to Make Eggs Benedict – Step by Step Photos

Combine Egg Yolk, Water, and Lemon Juice in a pot

Start by separating the white and yolk of ONE egg. Place the yolk in a small sauce pot and add 1 Tbsp water and about 1/2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice (I like my hollandaise quite lemony, so if you don’t, you can start with 1 tsp lemon juice). Whisk these ingredients together until smooth. The pot is not over heat at this point.

Add Cubed Butter

Cut 4 Tbsp butter into 1/2 Tbsp chunks. Place the butter in the pot with the egg yolk, water, and lemon juice.

Slowly Melt and Whisk Butter Into Yolk

Place the pot over LOW heat and begin whisking continuously. The butter will slowly melt and as it does the whisking will emulsify it into the yolk and water.

Whisk and Heat Until Thickened

Once the butter is fully melted, just KEEP WHISKING over low heat. What will happen next is that the mixture will continue to heat up and the yolks will finally begin to cook and solidify. Because the yolk is emulsified into tiny droplets with the butter, it will actually thicken the sauce into a beautiful velvety mixture. The sauce will look frothy first, then as it thickens it will become silky smooth.

Season Hollandaise Sauce

Remove the hollandaise sauce from the heat when it becomes thick, but still pourable. Add a pinch of salt and a pinch of cayenne pepper. Give it a taste and adjust anything else as needed (if you want more lemon, you can whisk it in now).

Thickened Hollandaise Sauce

And now you have a glorious, silky, lemony hollandaise sauce! Place a lid on the pot and set the pot near where you’ll be cooking the eggs and things to help keep it warm (but do not place it directly over heat).

Toast English Muffins in the skillet

Place 1 tsp butter in a large skillet and place it over medium heat. Once melted, tilt the skillet to coat the surface in butter. Open two English muffins and place them cut sides down in the skillet. Cook until browned and crispy in the butter, then flip and cook for a couple minutes more on the other side. Remove the cooked muffins to a plate.

Brown Ham in skillet

Wipe out the skillet to remove the cornmeal, then add another teaspoon butter. Add your ham slices (I had two long slices and cut each in half to fit the English muffins better) and cook until browned on each side. Place the cooked ham on top of the English muffins.

Fry Eggs in skillet

Add the final teaspoon butter to the skillet, then add your eggs. I like to cook mine over medium-low because I feel like it gives the whites time to cook through before the yolks cook. Either way, keep those yolks runny so you can have a  yolk and hollandaise party on your English muffins.

Assemble Eggs Benedict, drizzle hollandaise on top

Top your English muffins and ham with the cooked eggs, then spoon the hollandaise sauce over top. WINNING.

Almost Eggs Benedict being eaten with a cup of coffee and a tangerine

Now go enjoy your weekend because it’s already off to an AWESOME start! 

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  1. Perfect. So easy and I love the Fred egg version. I find poached eggs intimidating but you can do either. And the hollandaise is a perfect amount for my husband and I. He eats two eggs. This will definitely be my go to recipe from now on. 

    1. I made the Hollandaise sauce to dip steamed asparagus. It was wonderful. I left the pan sit covered for 15 min and then portioned into ramekins. The warm sauce went so well with this. I followed the recipe exactly.

  2. What about the other half of the English Muffin? What do you do with that? Soak up the egg yolk and Hollandaise sauce with it? Throw it out? Save it for later when you get the munchies?

  3. My review is for the Hollandaise sauce. I was scared to do it but following this recipe it worked perfectly!!! Just be patient and follow her directions exactly. My only complaint is the sauce was enough for 4 not 2 servings for me at least. 

  4. Love the Hollandaise recipe. Could you perhaps add a bit of heavy cream to extend the sauce a bit?

    1. Hmm, I’m not sure how the cream would affect the emulsion. I’ve never tried to add cream to a sauce like this.

  5. Do you have an immersion blender? That’s how I make hollandaisse and it takes about 1 minute, with no constant whisking. I wouldn’t mess around with a regular blender recipe- not worth it to have to clean the blender!

    1. I have never made hollandaise from scratch before, I’ve always been a powder pack buyer. Terrible, I know. I liked Beth’s version as it was simple, and there was no blender involved. The sauce was terrific! Just keep whisking, that’s the key to getting a nice, velvety sauce. Another win, Beth!

  6. This recipe is truly amazing and so easy – just takes a little faith that the very low heat will finally yield the results you want. I’ve made it twice now and it’s hard to keep the faith that the thin thin sauce will turn into anything and then suddenly – voila! – it’s thick and gorgeous! I’m lactose intolerant and have made it (quite successfully) with not!butter too. Thanks, Beth!!