The Bacon Swap You Should Try With Eggs Benedict

You've always heard the saying, "Breakfast is the most important meal of the day." According to Medical News Today, the morning meal does "break the fast" we make in our sleep, fueling our bodies with nutrients for the day ahead while also reducing our risk for a number of health issues, including heart disease, diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, and more.

Among endless breakfast recipes to choose from, there's still one staple morning meal that trumps our list: eggs Benedict. The decades-old dish has two possible origin stories explaining how eggs Benedict got its name, both in late 1800s New York City: One says it was named after Mr. and Mrs. LeGrand Benedict, who were regulars at Delmonico's, and the other after Lemuel Benedict, who ordered the dish at the Waldorf Hotel when he was hungover (via Atlas Obscura).

Though the eggs Benedict recipe began as an English muffin with poached eggs, Canadian bacon, and hollandaise sauce and is still eaten this way today, there are plenty of ways to put your own twist on the dish at home. In fact, the dish originally used American bacon until the Waldorf's maître d' opted to replace it with the Canadian version, proving that the meat in the recipe is ever-flexible.

Swap the Canadian bacon with...

Sure, if you want to make classic eggs Benedict in a pinch but don't have Canadian bacon, you can whip up the Benedicts' original version with American bacon cooked to your liking. And if you're still craving salty, crispy meat but want to get more creative, Real Simple recommends using your favorite sausage patties, sliced ham, or cured and pan-fried Italian meats, like pancetta or prosciutto. Just keep the cooking time in mind while you're multitasking on the eggs and hollandaise; Canadian bacon cooks up in about one to two minutes per side, while other meats may need more time.

Not in the mood to cook a protein? Just as satisfying as Canadian bacon but much easier to prepare are smoked salmon, thick slices of heirloom tomatoes, and avocado, which can all liven up your morning with a pop of color and tasty nutrients, to boot. Finally, whether you follow a vegetarian diet or are just a big fan of fine dining, you could try former royal chef Darren McGrady's take on eggs Benedict. Having cooked for Princess Diana at Kensington Palace for several years, McGrady came up with a similar dish that he called Egg Suzette, consisting of a hollowed out baked potato filled with cooked spinach, a poached egg, and hollandaise sauce, plus the remaining potatoes elegantly "piped around the edges."