Tasty Toppings Chefs Use To Upgrade Classic Eggs Benedict

It's a quintessential brunch dish enjoyed by restaurant diners and home cooks across the nation and beyond — eggs Benedict. This reliable classic is cherished for its mouth-watering combination of flavors and textures, typically consisting of a toasted English muffin topped with Canadian bacon, poached eggs, and hollandaise sauce.

In the words of Chef Patrick O'Connell of The Inn at Little Washington, "Nothing is more sensual than a poached egg." O'Connell advocates using simple, high-quality ingredients for eggs Benedict, stating, "You want to start with the freshest egg you can find."

But what if we told you there are ways to elevate this dish to even greater levels of deliciousness? That's right — there's a whole world of Benedict toppings to explore. With the help of some expert chefs, we're here to guide you through some tempting options that will add a mouthwatering twist to this dish, from classics like smoked salmon and avocado to the more unconventional.

Chef Shane Schaibly of First Watch restaurants tells Mashed that the key to a great eggs Benedict is finding the balance between style and flavor. "You want toppings that are not only going to taste great but also lead to a killer presentation," Schaibly explains. "We've seen among Gen Z and younger generations that making a dish 'Instagrammable' is just as key of an ingredient as the actual toppings themselves." So, let's dive into some of the delicious and innovative twists that can upgrade this brunch staple.


First up, we have salmon, which pairs incredibly well with the velvety richness of perfectly poached eggs and silky hollandaise. You might have heard of the dish often termed "eggs royale," where the traditional bacon is swapped out for delicate folds of smoked salmon. It's a delicious combination that's often found on the menu at fancy brunch spots.

If you want to experiment further, why not go all out and add a freshly seared fillet of salmon? Mashed asked Chef Gocha Hawkins — CEO and Founder at Gocha's Restaurant Group — about her favorite variation on this classic dish, and she told us, "I would recommend trying fried green tomatoes under seared salmon and sauteed spinach, with two over easy eggs on top." Hawkins also likes to switch out the traditional hollandaise sauce for her flavorful vegan chipotle sauce, and garnishes the final dish with some fresh parsley and chopped green onions. She assures us that, "This is one dish that will definitely send your taste buds into a flavor-packed attack."

You'll find that the salmon brings a wonderfully luxurious touch to the classic eggs Benedict, adding plenty of rich and savory flavor. Plus, it also offers a wealth of nutritional benefits. Rich in omega-3 fatty acids and protein, eating salmon is great for keeping your heart healthy, and for building and repairing muscle.


This one has to be the ultimate luxury eggs Benedict topping — meaty, succulent lobster. With this decadent addition, you can create a brunch dish that screams sophistication. And who says you can't treat yourself and whip this up on a standard Sunday morning?

Lobster meat is sweet and succulent, and can add a delicate yet indulgent flavor to eggs Benedict. You can serve the lobster in diced chunks or as larger pieces, on top of or in place of the traditional bacon. However you choose, the meat will pair effortlessly with the creamy hollandaise, crisp muffin, and runny yolks. For ease of prep, you could buy pre-cooked lobster meat, or cook whole lobster tails on the grill or by steaming on the stovetop before removing the meat from the shell.

And, because you may as well continue with the opulent theme, go all out and serve your lobster eggs Benedict with a glass of fizz. Chilled Champagne, prosecco, or a fruity mimosa would all make great pairings.


Sticking in the seafood realm, crab is another topping that's high on our list for upgrading your eggs Benedict. The succulent meat from a crab can bring an undeniably delicious taste of the sea to your brunch plate.

If you want to add a more indulgent, ocean-inspired topping to the English muffin than the standard Canadian bacon, crab is a wonderful option. The meat is tender and naturally sweet, adding a delicate yet distinct briny flavor to eggs Benedict. Lump crab meat consists of larger, whitish chunks of meat, with a more subtle flavor, while claw crab meat is darker in color and has a stronger flavor. Either variety will work great here.

With pre-prepared canned crab meat readily available in most stores, it's easy to whip up crab eggs Benedict too. But you can, of course, opt for boiling and removing the meat from a whole crab if you want to keep things extra fresh. To round everything off, serve this dish with a side of fresh fruit or a crisp leafy salad and some lemon wedges. It's a light yet luxurious brunch that's sure to impress.


Add a creamy and nutritious twist to your eggs Benedict with the addition of ripe avocado. This versatile topping brings a wonderful smooth texture and a subtle, buttery flavor that ties in perfectly with the eggs and tangy sauce. According to Chef Shane Schaibly, "Since hollandaise sauce tends to be rich and heavy, adding a light touch of freshness — like freshly sliced avocado ... goes a long way in balancing the dish."

To add avocado and its lovely fresh creaminess to your eggs Benedict, place it on top of your freshly toasted English muffin. You can either mash it into a delicious guacamole (chunky or smooth, take your pick!) and spoon it on, or slice the avocado thinly and lay it on top. Its mild flavor enhances the other ingredients without overpowering them, allowing the delicate flavors of the dish to shine through. So, you can either choose to keep the classic bacon in there too, swap it out for another veggie or protein source, or keep things simple with just the avocado, eggs, and sauce.


For a hearty, meaty twist, try adding succulent slices of steak to your eggs Benedict. This indulgent pairing combines the best of breakfast and dinner, creating a dish that's satisfying, savory, and utterly irresistible.

Grilled or pan-fried until deliciously charred, steak adds a rich and savory flavor that elevates eggs Benedict to a whole new level. Opt for the right cut and cook it to perfection, and your steak will have a wonderful tender texture that ties in perfectly with the other ingredients. Simply slice it up and divide it between the two English muffins, where the bacon would normally sit, before topping with the eggs and sauce. Steak also has the added benefit of being packed with protein, so it will keep you feeling fueled and satisfied all morning long. What better way to kick-start your day?

A great way to serve this version of eggs Benedict is alongside a crisp green salad or some roasted veggies like bell peppers, red onion, or zucchini. This helps balance out the hearty richness of the other ingredients with something a little more fresh and vibrant.

Béarnaise sauce

While traditional eggs Benedict typically features hollandaise sauce, one way to switch things up is by opting for the slightly herbier, tangier béarnaise sauce. A classic hollandaise recipe usually includes a more simple base of egg yolks, butter, and lemon juice. Béarnaise is also made with egg yolks and butter, but it includes a tarragon-infused vinegar that gives it its signature taste.

Chef Patrick O'Connell has created his own take on béarnaise sauce, which he serves with eggs Benedict at his restaurant. He tells Mashed, "We serve [eggs Benedict] on homemade English muffins with eggs from our henhouse, Virginia country ham and Sauce Choron — a Sauce Béarnaise with the addition of tomato. The fresh tarragon in the Sauce Béarnaise introduces an illusive hint of licorice. The tangy sweetness of the Sauce Choron is the perfect counterbalance to the rich egg yolks and our slightly salty country ham."

It seems that béarnaise sauce is the unsung hero we should all be adding to our eggs Benedict! This is a great twist to try if you want to maintain the textures of the original dish, with the tarragon-infused sauce being equally rich and velvety as hollandaise.


If you're looking to add a fresh and vibrant twist to your eggs Benedict, spinach is your friend. This leafy green not only adds a pop of color to your plate but also brings a delicious earthy flavor and a dose of goodness. It's another popular variation on the classic, with the combination of spinach, poached eggs, and hollandaise served on an English muffin known as "eggs Florentine."

Sauteed until wilted and tender, spinach makes the perfect bed for your poached eggs, providing a wholesome foundation for this indulgent dish. Its mild flavor pairs beautifully with the creamy hollandaise sauce and the richness of those runny yolks. Packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, this tasty veggie brings a wealth of health benefits to your plate too.

You can either completely substitute the bacon for spinach to create a fully vegetarian dish, or go for a combination of the two. To take things to the next level and whip up a fully-loaded, veggie-packed eggs Benedict, try topping the muffin with some extra additions like pan-fried cherry tomatoes and sliced mushrooms.

Paprika and red chili flakes

For a simple and easy upgrade, turn up the heat on your eggs Benedict with the addition of a little spice. It's a fantastic way to bring a punchy kick of flavor to your brunch plate.

Chef Gocha Hawkins has a top tip for elevating the classic hollandaise sauce into something a little more exciting. "I love adding red chili flakes along with paprika for a different spin. The red chili flakes will provide a hint of heat to the benedict which is definitely a untraditional taste, [and] the paprika will give a hint of color to the dish, making it appear inviting."

To give your hollandaise a kick, simply prepare the original sauce as usual, then whisk in a pinch of both paprika and chili flakes at the end before serving. This spicy twist on the original is great served with some crispy streaky bacon in place of the standard Canadian bacon, and perhaps some creamy sliced avocado or guacamole to balance out the heat.


A beloved component of many savory brunch plates, mushrooms can add a wonderful earthy richness to eggs Benedict. This savory and nutritious twist on the original dish is hearty, satisfying, and full of flavor.

To add mushrooms to your eggs Benedict, slice them up and gently saute them until golden brown. Cremini, white, or even meatier varieties like portobello mushrooms are all fantastic options. Place the mushrooms on top of the bacon before adding the poached eggs, so they're nestled wonderfully in your stack. Or, ditch the bacon altogether for a veggie version. Either way, the mushrooms will bring a robust umami flavor and a super satisfying texture to the plate.

Mushrooms can also be paired with a variety of other veggie toppings, like tomatoes, asparagus, or spinach. You can also infuse the mushrooms with other flavors as you saute them, such as garlic, truffle, or red pepper flakes. Finish the dish off with a side of crispy hash browns for the ultimate hearty brunch.


The addition of chorizo is an incredible way to spice up eggs Benedict. This Spanish sausage offers a fiery kick and a bold richness that will completely transform the flavor profile of the dish without overpowering the other ingredients — and the best way to bring out the smoky, spicy flavors of chorizo is to dice it up and pan-fry it so it releases some of its flavorful fat. Once crisp and golden, scatter the chorizo pieces over the top of your eggs Benedict to add some extra savory goodness. Or, you can sub out the bacon and layer the chorizo underneath the poached eggs.

Chorizo comes in different varieties, each with its own spice level and unique blend of spices and aromatics. So whether you prefer a milder dish or want to make things extra hot, there's a flavor-packed option to suit you.

Try serving your chorizo eggs Benedict with a side of roasted breakfast potatoes or fresh avocado slices for a satisfying and totally delicious brunch. For an extra kick, some slices of fresh jalapeño make a great garnish too.

Glazed bacon

Upgrading your eggs Benedict doesn't always have to be about swapping out the traditional toppings; there are ways to enhance them too. When it comes to the bacon typically found in an eggs Benedict, you can amp up its flavor by coating the meat in some simple yet mouth-watering ingredients.

At his restaurant, Chef Shane Schaibly has created what he calls "Million Dollar Bacon." And it's easy to whip up at home too. "Glaze your own slices with brown sugar, black pepper, cayenne, and maple syrup," he states. According to Schaibly, the result is a "sweet and spicy twist" on classic bacon. We think the combination of the sticky glaze and subtle heat sounds like an incredible match for those perfectly poached eggs and creamy sauce.

And you don't have to stick to bacon when it comes to adding glazed meat to your Benedict. "Swap in a thick-cut slice of smoked ham, thinly sliced country ham or even tenderloin steak, which works great as a breakfast-for-lunch or breakfast-for-dinner option," Schaibly adds. Whichever you opt for, this is a fantastic way to bring extra elements of flavor to the classic dish.

Blue cheese

Bold and tangy, blue cheese is a wonderful way to add an extra dose of richness to your eggs Benedict. This pungent cheese has an amazing depth of flavor that pairs beautifully with the other ingredients, making your brunch extra special.

Crumbled or melted, blue cheese will add a distinct sharpness and a luxurious feel to the final dish. Its intense flavor profile and creamy texture offer a great contrast to the delicate poached eggs and velvety hollandaise sauce. Blue cheese comes in a range of varieties, so choose your favorite. Stilton, Gorgonzola, and Roquefort are all great options.

Simply scatter blue cheese on top of freshly made classic eggs Benedict, or you can add the cheese to the hollandaise while it's still warm and mix until everything is melted together, for an extra indulgent and flavorful sauce. Serve the final dish up with some roasted veggies, or perhaps some garlicky sauteed spinach.


If you're in the mood for luxury, there's no better topping for your eggs Benedict than delicate pearls of caviar. This opulent twist on the classic dish certainly delivers on elegance and sophistication.

Caviar, made from the cured eggs of sturgeon fish, is prized for its exquisite flavor and texture. Chef Patrick O'Connell has a few different ways to incorporate this delicacy into eggs Benedict. "For a special breakfast or brunch occasion, a quenelle of caviar can be placed on the sauced egg," he explains. If you'd prefer to extend the seafood theme throughout the whole dish, O'Connell recommends another great option: "Another wonderful combination is to substitute smoked salmon for the ham and finish the dish with a caviar hollandaise, made by adding a dollop of unsweetened whipped cream to the hollandaise along with a spoonful of caviar."

Whether you're celebrating a special occasion or simply treating yourself to a lavish morning meal, caviar eggs Benedict is sure to impress. Try serving it with a glass of chilled Champagne or a crisp sparkling wine to amp up the extravagance even further.

Reuben sandwich fillings

In this delicious take on eggs Benedict, we use the components of a classic Reuben sandwich. Combining savory corned beef, tangy sauerkraut, and zesty Thousand Island dressing creates a brunch experience that is unique, flavorful, and super satisfying.

First, we layer thinly sliced corned beef and sauerkraut on top of the toasted English muffin. Some recipes also opt to switch out the muffin for hearty rye bread, or even a large hash brown. Once you've chosen your base, crown each stack with a perfectly poached egg and a generous drizzle of Thousand Island dressing. Alternatively, to maintain more of the flavors and textures of the original dish, there's the option to simply add Thousand Island dressing to a batch of hollandaise sauce.

The result is a dish that certainly pays homage to the beloved deli classic. It's an ingredient combination that, put simply, just works! So why not convert it into a tasty brunch version? There are plenty of options when it comes to adding sides too. Try serving your Reuben eggs Benedict with some crispy potato latkes or a fresh cucumber salad to add some hearty and refreshing elements to the plate.

Hot honey

Another way to give humble hollandaise sauce a serious and dynamic upgrade is with the addition of some hot honey. Heated with chili to infuse it with a fiery kick, this condiment will add dimension and depth to your creamy eggs Benedict sauce.

Chef Shane Schaibly is a huge fan of hot honey, telling Mashed, "Adding just a drizzle to your hollandaise sauce adds a surprising sweet heat kick. First, you taste the sweetness and floral notes of the honey up front, but after a second or two, you'll feel a tickle of heat on the back of your tongue from the chili peppers."

It's a fun way to create a delicious flavor contrast in an otherwise mild and creamy dish, while preserving the classic velvety hollandaise and runny poached eggs. Hot honey-infused eggs Benedict would be wonderful served with some roasted bell peppers and fresh avocado slices.