Vegetarian Eggs Benedict

Why didn’t anyone tell me that it was so easy to make Hollandaise sauce? It took all of a 3 minutes and while it isn’t something I would ever eat frequently – it’s really good.

Back in my waitressing days, I remember serving up Eggs Benedict at Perkins. It was a popular Saturday/Sunday morning indulgence. At that time I was a vegetarian, and it never occurred to me to try and convince the cooks to adapt it for me.

A few years later, while visiting home, my parents took me out to Good Day Cafe in Minneapolis. They told me it was one of those “must-go-to” places for breakfast. Long lines, good food, etc.  They instructed me to get the Wild Mushroom Benedict there. “You must taste this, Hindy,” they said. My mom and I split it. Totally worth the calorie splurge. At Good Day, the sauce they lay over is more of a gravy, but it had the same consistency of a Hollandaise, and probably just as healthy.

Ten or so years later, I decided to try a Benedict at home. I decided to go the traditional route with the Hollandaise and leave out the Canadian bacon of course. I chose to substitute the bacon with sauteed spinach and mushrooms. I think the hardest part about making something like this is that there are several cooked components. Each component in and of itself is pretty easy.

Recipes for each of the components are below.

Spinach Mushroom Mixture
Ingredients3 cloves of garlic
Chopped fresh spring garlic (two shoots)
1 shallot, chopped
1/2 pound of spinach
5 oz. of sliced mushrooms
olive oil

Saute the onion and garlic for a few minutes in some olive oil. Add the mushrooms. Cook for two minutes. Add the spinach. Stir and cook for a couple more minutes. Season with salt, pepper. I also used some lemon pepper. Keep warm while you do everything else.

Poached Eggs

eggs – 1 for each muffin half

Boil some water in a shallow sauce pan.

Crack the egg in to a small cup or ramekin.

Turn the water down to a simmer.

Add a drop of vinegar to the water.

Swirl the water around quickly with a spoon.

While the water is still swirling, slide the egg in to the water with the cup. With a slotted spoon, push the white in to the yolk so it cooks neatly.

You could also try using one of those silicone egg poaching eggs. I found that the egg came out better directly in the water bath. You may have better luck than me with a cup though. If you are using the poaching cup method, you need to cover the pot while the eggs cook.


Cook for 4-5 minutes.  Remove with a slotted spoon.

I like this step-by-step tutorial on Simply Recipes.

Hollandaise Sauce
recipe by Julia Child


3 egg yolks
1 stick of butter
1-2 tbsp lemon juice (depending on how lemony you like it)
Cayenne Pepper (optional)

Place the egg yolks, salt, pepper, lemon juice and cayenne in a blender. Beat it for 3 seconds.

Microwave your butter until frothy.

With the blender running, slowly pour in the butter. Blend for another 30 seconds or so. The sauce will be thick.

Discard the butter solids at the bottom of the bowl.

Take a taste of the sauce with a finger or spoon. Season further to taste.

While you wait for everything else to be ready, place the blender in a bowl of warm water to keep warm and saucy.


As a gluten free alternative, I would recommend an arepa for the bottom bread like piece. Toast your English Muffin or arepa. I hope you can manage that without a recipe.

Now it’s time to plate up your Eggs Benedict!

To assemble:
Lay out your English Muffin or halved arepa. Spoon on some spinach mixture. Carefully place the poached egg on to each round. Top with some Hollandaise and a sprinkling of cayenne. Yum!


I served this with some herb roasted potatoes and a salad.


About Hindy Garfinkel
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