Make this creamy smoked salmon eggs benedict recipe for brunch, the perfect marriage of a poached egg and hollandaise sauce with the smokiness of lox.
Salmon Eggs Benedict is a dreamy, indulgent recipe that’s perfect for a slow breakfast meal or a festive brunch event. Smoked salmon, poached eggs, toasted English muffin, and a homemade hollandaise sauce come together for a decadent dish that’s still surprisingly simple to pull together. Reach for this recipe the next time you want to treat yourself or impress a crowd.
What is Hollandaise Sauce?
A hollandaise sauce is one of the five French “mother sauces,” or sauces that are used as bases to form a myriad of other sauces.
My hollandaise recipe is a mixture of egg yolks, lemon juice, salt, warm butter, and a pinch of cayenne powder that are all slowly whisked together over low heat.
This sauce is known for being creamy and rich and is a signature part of Eggs Benedict. It has quite the reputation as a sensitive sauce, but I have plenty of tips to help you perfect the hollandaise.
Gluten Free Salmon Eggs Benedict and Hash Browns
Eggs Benedict is traditionally served over a crispy English muffin coated in a thick layer of butter. However, English muffins don’t have to be your only option.
The hash browns provide some much-needed crunch and quickly turn this recipe into a gluten-free one - without sacrificing any flavor. I add the hash browns to the oven until golden brown, but they can also be prepared in an air fryer. This small swap truly takes this breakfast Benedict to the next level.
Ingredients You Need to Make this Smoked Salmon Eggs Benedict
- unsalted butter - you can use salted or unsalted butter, but this helps you control the salt levels yourself.
- English muffins OR hash brown patties - use English muffins for a traditional take on Eggs Benedict with Salmon. But I recommend using hash brown patties for a decadent gluten-free Smoked Salmon Eggs Benedict recipe. They provide for a beautiful contrast in textures with the creamy poached egg and hollandaise recipe.
- white distilled vinegar - this is my trick for getting the perfect poached eggs, every time!
- Dijon mustard (optional) - adds a bit of a kick, color and helps the hollandaise sauce stick together
- egg yolks
- freshly squeezed lemon juice
- smoked salmon slices
- fresh spinach - you can use baby spinach leaves, regular spinach, or even arugula.
- Cayenne powder - this adds a touch of spice and a beautiful red finishing touch on top of the eggs
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
See recipe cards for exact quantities.
- Small saucepan
- Glass bowl
- Slotted spoon
- Candy thermometer
- Medium pot
- Small bowls or ramekins
- Sheet pan
How to Make Salmon Eggs Benedict
Prep the buns
Begin by preheating the oven to 450°. Toast the English muffins or hash browns for 4-5 minutes, until they are toasted and brown on top. Then, melt the butter in the microwave.
Make the sauce
Next, fill a large pot with water and add the vinegar and salt. Bring the water to a boil, but be careful not to let it simmer. You should see noticeable steam rising from the surface of the water. Grab a large stainless steel bowl that won't reach the bottom of the pot, and place the bowl over the pot.
To the bowl add the Dijon mustard (if using), then add the egg yolks, lemon juice, and a generous pinch of salt to the stainless steel bowl to make the hollandaise sauce. Whisk the mixture vigorously until the egg yolks turn a pale yellow color and thicken in consistency, which will take approximately 1 to 2 minutes. Gradually pour in ½ cup of the warm butter, whisking continuously until the mixture becomes thick and creamy. Then, taste and season the sauce with salt and cayenne powder. Finally, remove the bowl with the hollandaise sauce and set it aside.
You will know the hollandaise sauce is ready when it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
For the poached eggs, break the eggs into 6 ramekins (breaking the egg into a small container at first helps contain the egg white from spreading too much). Using a slotted spoon, lower the water to a simmer and stir the water to create a whirlpool motion.
Place each egg, one at a time, in the center of the whirlpool. Keep heat on a simmer and poach the remaining eggs by gently stirring occasionally in a clockwise motion, until the egg white is set while the yolk remains runny, which should take approximately 2 to 3 minutes. I like to go one egg at a time to avoid issues. Once the eggs are ready, take them out with a slotted spoon and dry them off with a paper towel.
Assemble Smoked Salmon Eggs Benedict
To serve, place two halves of an English muffin or a hash brown on each of 3 plates. Top each serving with a few spinach leaves.
Place two eggs on top of each serving. Top eggs with smoked salmon slices. Generously spoon hollandaise sauce over the whole thing.
Lastly, sprinkle a few capers and some cayenne powder on top of the sauce, and serve (leave the second half of the English muffins on the side).
If you have leftover poached eggs, they will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for 2 days. Leftover hollandaise sauce will also keep for 2 days.
Smoked Salmon Benedict is truly best when enjoyed fresh. Poached eggs will overcook if you try to reheat them and hollandaise sauce is notoriously difficult to reheat as well. However, you can store any leftover smoked salmon in the refrigerator for up to a week. Just make sure that you wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or a plastic bag.
Top Tips for Perfect Hollandaise Sauce and Foolproof Poached Eggs
While it may look intimidating, making eggs benedict poached eggs and homemade hollandaise sauce need not be daunting! I have some tips for making perfectly poached eggs and smooth, creamy hollandaise sauce. Follow my recipe closely for my poached egg method, and remember to:
- Use room-temperature eggs. Cold eggs right from the refrigerator will lower the water temperature when placed in the pan. Allow the eggs to come to room temperature before poaching.
- Crack the eggs into a bowl. Although it may seem unnecessary, cracking the eggs into small bowls or ramekins is very important. The small bowls make it easier to drop the eggs into the boiling water, ensure you have an unbroken yolk, and prevent any shells from accidentally slipping into the poaching pot.
- Pour the butter in slowly - Adding it too quickly will prevent proper incorporation.
- Add a touch of mustard - Before adding the eggs, add 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard to your bowl. This will help stabilize the sauce and prevent separation.
- Dilute with water - If you notice that your hollandaise is too thick while blending or whisking, gradually add a tablespoon or two of hot water before the sauce has the chance to separate.
- Whisk constantly - do not let the mixture sit unattended, and constantly whisk the hollandaise mixture, especially when adding more ingredients.
- Keep the water simmering - keep the pot of water of a low simmer while making the hollandaise and the poached eggs. Do not let the water come to a rolling boil, or go still.
- Control the heat - if the bowl gets too hot, remove it from the pot and whisk continuously.
Lox Benedict - Turn this salmon Benedict into a playful twist on a lox bagel and make Lox Benedict instead. You can swap the English muffin for a bagel and then top it with a few slices of red onion, dill, and capers.
Eggs Florentine with Salmon - Throw in a bright burst of leafy greens for eggs Florentine with Salmon. Eggs Florentine are very similar to eggs Benedict with an English muffin, poached eggs, and hollandaise sauce, but a layer of sautéed spinach is added underneath the eggs.
When to serve this eggs benedict recipe?
I have served Smoked Salmon Eggs Benedict for Mother's Day Brunch for many years. My mom loves poached eggs and feels pampered whenever I make her a variation of my Eggs Benedict recipe!
I've also served it for my husband's birthday, and even Easter Brunch.
Frequently Asked Questions
Unfortunately, I wouldn’t recommend making this Eggs Benedict recipe ahead of time. Eggs Benedict is the ultimate brunch for when you want to treat someone (or yourself!), and it’s best enjoyed for slow mornings when you can make the whole recipe at once.
They are actually a bit different. While smoked salmon is both cured and smoked, lox is only cured. Lox usually has a slightly softer texture and a brinier, saltier taste. Both are delicious options for this eggs Benedict.
I know that poaching eggs can be a bit tricky. If you’d like to make the process more hands off, a few tools are available for the stovetop, pot, or even Instant Pot. Also, don’t be afraid to scramble, fry, or cook your eggs a different way if that’s easier for you or what you’d prefer.
For more delicious breakfast and brunch ideas, try these recipes:
Tried and loved this recipe? Please leave a 5-star review below! Your reviews mean a lot to me, so if you've got any questions, please let me know in a comment.
Smoked salmon eggs benedict recipe with hollandaise sauce
- 2 English muffins OR 2 hash brown patties
- ½ cup unsalted butter or vegan butter
- 3 egg yolks
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- Salt to taste
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard optional
- 2 tablespoons white distilled vinegar
- 4 eggs
- 4 smoked salmon slices
- ½ cup spinach
- 1 TB capers
- Cayenne powder to taste
- Pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 450°. Toast English muffins OR hash browns for 4-5 minutes, until toasted and brown up top. Melt the butter in the microwave.
- Fill a large pot with water, and add salt and vinegar. Bring water to a boil: you should have noticeable steam rising off the surface of the pot without letting the water reach a simmering point. Place a large stainless steel bowl over the pot.
- Make the hollandaise sauce: To the stainless steel bowl, add Dijon mustard (optional), the 3 egg yolks, lemon juice, and a generous pinch of salt. Vigorously whisk the mixture until the egg yolks turn a pale yellow color and thicken in consistency, which will take about 1 to 2 minutes. Gradually pour in ½ cup of the warm butter, whisking continuously until the mixture becomes thick and creamy. Taste, and season with salt and cayenne powder. Remove bowl with hollandaise sauce and set aside.
- Poach the eggs: Break eggs into 6 ramekins. Lower the water to a simmer, avoiding a rolling boil. Using a slotted spoon, create a whirlpool motion in your pot. Next, place each egg, one at a time, in the center of the whirlpool. Cook by gently stirring occasionally in a clockwise motion, until the egg white is set while the yolk remains runny, which should take approximately 2 to 3 minutes (2 minutes will give you a perfectly runny yolk; 3 will give a semi-runny yolk with a set outer circle). Once the eggs are ready, take them out with a slotted spoon and set them to dry them off on a paper towel.
- To serve, line up 3 plates and place two halves of an English Muffin, or a Hashbrown on each plate. Top each serving with a few spinach leaves.
- Place two eggs on top of each serving. Top eggs with smoked salmon slices. Generously spoon hollandaise sauce over the whole thing.
- Lastly, sprinkle a few capers and garnish with cayenne powder on top of the sauce, and serve (leave the second half of the English muffins on the side).
- Leftover poached eggs will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for 2 days. Leftover hollandaise sauce will keep for 2 days as well.