Eggs Benedict is a classic breakfast dish that consists of an English muffin, Canadian bacon, poached eggs, and hollandaise sauce. It’s a rich and indulgent meal that is loved by many for its delicious combination of flavors and textures. However, with its high-fat ingredients like butter, egg yolks, and cream, Eggs Benedict is also high in calories and should be enjoyed in moderation as part of a balanced diet.
Calories in Eggs Benedict Components
To determine the total calories in Eggs Benedict, we need to look at the calories in each component of the dish:
- English muffin: Around 134 calories per muffin
- Canadian bacon: Roughly 42 calories for 2 slices or 1 ounce
- Poached egg: 78 calories per large egg
- Hollandaise sauce: About 205 calories per 1⁄4 cup
So for a typical serving of Eggs Benedict with 2 eggs, 2 slices of Canadian bacon, 1 English muffin and 1⁄4 cup of hollandaise sauce, the approximate calorie breakdown is:
|English muffin (1 muffin)||134|
|Canadian bacon (2 slices)||84|
|Poached eggs (2 eggs)||156|
|Hollandaise sauce (1⁄4 cup)||205|
As you can see, the hollandaise sauce contributes a significant amount of calories to the dish. The egg yolks and butter in hollandaise sauce make it very high in fat and calories.
Calculating Calories Based on Different Portion Sizes
The calorie count of Eggs Benedict can vary widely depending on the exact portion size of each component. Here are the approximate calories for different serving sizes:
|Serving Size||Total Calories|
|1 egg with 1 muffin, 1 slice Canadian bacon, 2 Tbsp hollandaise||340|
|2 eggs with 1 muffin, 2 slices Canadian bacon, 1⁄4 cup hollandaise (typical serving)||579|
|2 eggs with 2 muffins, 4 slices Canadian bacon, 1⁄2 cup hollandaise||960|
|3 eggs with 2 muffins, 6 slices Canadian bacon, 3⁄4 cup hollandaise||1341|
As you increase the portion size of eggs, bacon, muffin and hollandaise sauce, the calories add up exponentially. Sticking with smaller portions can help keep the calorie count of this rich dish more reasonable.
Tips for Lightening Up Eggs Benedict
There are also some tweaks you can make to reduce the calories in Eggs Benedict:
- Use just egg whites instead of whole eggs
- Replace English muffin with whole wheat toast or tomato slices
- Use lean Canadian bacon or ham
- Use light Hollandaise sauce or limited amounts of regular Hollandaise
- Use low-fat or fat-free Greek yogurt instead of sour cream to make the Hollandaise sauce
With some simple substitutions and reductions in high-fat ingredients, you can enjoy Eggs Benedict as a lighter meal that still packs lots of flavor.
Nutrients in Eggs Benedict
In addition to calories, here is how a typical serving of Eggs Benedict stacks up in terms of other key nutrients:
|Nutrient||Amount||% Daily Value|
As you can see, Eggs Benedict is very high in cholesterol due to the eggs and hollandaise sauce. It also provides significant amounts of fat, sodium and saturated fat, so it should be consumed in moderation by anyone watching their cholesterol or sodium intake.
Benefits of Eggs and Canadian Bacon
While high in cholesterol and sodium, the eggs and Canadian bacon in Eggs Benedict do provide some nutritional benefits:
- Eggs are a good source of protein, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants like lutein and zeaxanthin.
- Canadian bacon provides protein, zinc, potassium, iron and B-vitamins.
When consumed in moderation as part of a healthy diet, the eggs and Canadian bacon can provide valuable nutrients.
Healthier Alternatives to Eggs Benedict
If you are looking for a healthier breakfast option that has a similar taste and texture profile to Eggs Benedict, consider these alternatives:
Veggie Eggs Benedict
Replace the Canadian bacon with veggies like sautéed spinach, tomatoes or avocado. Use egg whites or tofu instead of whole eggs.
Smoked Salmon Eggs Benedict
Top your Eggs Benedict with smoked salmon instead of bacon. Smoked salmon has less saturated fat than bacon.
Substitute avocado for the hollandaise sauce for a lighter option. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes for a kick.
Portobello Mushroom Eggs Benedict
Swap Canadian bacon for grilled portobello mushrooms. Mushrooms give you fiber, vitamins and minerals.
Southwestern Eggs Benedict
Use salsa or taco sauce instead of hollandaise and add sliced avocado, black beans and cilantro.
Eggs Benedict Calories Compared to Other Breakfasts
Here is how the calories in a standard Eggs Benedict serving compares to other popular breakfast choices:
|Eggs Benedict with ham, 2 eggs, muffin, hollandaise||579|
|Pancakes with butter and syrup (3 medium)||445|
|Omelet with cheese, veggies and bacon (2 egg)||350|
|Cereal and milk (1 cup flakes with 1 cup 2% milk)||210|
|Oatmeal made with milk and brown sugar (1 cup cooked oats)||150|
|Toast with butter and jam (2 slices whole wheat toast)||240|
|Yogurt and fruit parfait (1 cup yogurt with 1 cup berries)||255|
While not excessively higher in calories than many other breakfast choices, Eggs Benedict is one of the higher calorie options. Choosing lighter preparations and reasonable portion sizes is key to enjoying this meal while maintaining balanced nutrition.
Tips for Making Eggs Benedict More Nutritious
Here are some tips to boost the nutrition in your Eggs Benedict:
- Use whole grain or sprouted grain English muffins for more fiber and nutrients.
- Add spinach, tomato or mushroom to give you vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
- Opt for turkey bacon over pork to reduce saturated fat and sodium.
- Top with fresh herbs like chives, dill or parsley to add flavor without calories.
- Drizzle with a sprinkle of aged balsamic vinegar for tangy flavor and antioxidants.
With some simple additions and swaps, you can turn Eggs Benedict into a more nutritious breakfast option while keeping the delicious flavors.
Should You Avoid Eggs Benedict?
Here are some things to keep in mind about Eggs Benedict’s nutrition profile:
- High in cholesterol – the eggs and hollandaise sauce drive up cholesterol levels, so avoid eating it regularly if you have high cholesterol.
- High in saturated fat – the cream, butter and bacon make this a high saturated fat meal.
- High in sodium – the Canadian bacon in particular adds a lot of sodium.
- Low in fiber, vitamins and minerals – there are not many redeeming nutrients in this dish.
With its high levels of cholesterol, saturated fat and sodium, Eggs Benedict should be enjoyed occasionally as a treat meal rather than a regular part of your breakfast rotation if you are concerned about your heart health. Limit portions and aim to balance it with lighter meals focused on produce, whole grains and lean proteins.
People Who Should Be Cautious with Eggs Benedict
Here are some groups that may want to avoid Eggs Benedict or only eat it occasionally because of its high cholesterol and saturated fat content:
- Individuals with high cholesterol, heart disease or hypertension
- People with diabetes who need to watch saturated fat and carb intake
- Anyone with an egg allergy or sensitivity
- People following low-carb, Keto, Paleo or other restricted diets
- Older adults more concerned with heart health and cholesterol levels
Pregnant women may also want to take caution due to the higher risk for food borne illness from undercooked eggs. People with egg allergies should avoid Eggs Benedict completely.
The Bottom Line
A typical serving of Eggs Benedict with two poached eggs, ham, English muffin and hollandaise sauce contains approximately:
- 579 calories
- 36g fat
- 15g saturated fat
- 495mg cholesterol
- 1464mg sodium
This makes it one of the higher calorie breakfast choices out there. The hollandaise sauce in particular drives up the fat, saturated fat and cholesterol levels substantially. Lightening up the ingredients, watching your portions and balancing it with lighter meals can help you enjoy Eggs Benedict while maintaining a healthy diet.