Vegan eggs Benedict is an indulgent, mouthwatering brunch dish. An English muffin is piled high with browned vegan ham, eggy tofu, and a generous slathering of cashew hollandaise.
Every bite will have you saying, “Mmmmm….”
Vegan, egg free, and dairy free. Soy free and gluten free optional.
Nothing says brunch like “eggs benny.”
It’s one of those quintessential offerings for a Sunday 11 am breakfast. It’s up there with a Bloody Mary.
It was one of my favorite restaurant breakfast orders before I went vegan, because it was a lot fussier than the kind of dish I’d typically make at home.
Traditional hollandaise involves 100% more double boilers than I usually use before noon.
Non-vegan hollandaise is made with a base of egg yolks & dairy butter. So it takes a deft hand to insure you’re not covering your breakfast with scrambled eggs instead of sauce.
Luckily, there’s none of that with a vegan eggs Benedict.
This alternative is easy to make. And no double boilers are involved.
What is eggs Benedict?
The original eggs Benedict recipe was conceived of in Manhattan in the late 1800’s. It came on the scene around the same time as egg in a hole.
It was either from Delmonico’s Restaurant or the Waldorf Hotel. There are conflicting accounts & heated debate on who originated the dish.
Traditionally eggs Benedict is made with poached egg & Canadian bacon on an english muffin. It’s topped with egg and butter-based hollandaise.
Vegans basically don’t eat any component of the original version. (Even English muffins are often made with dairy and/or eggs.)
However, you can still get all of the flavors of eggs Benedict in plant based form.
Vegan eggs Benedict is made with eggy tofu, seitan ham, and baby spinach on a vegan english muffin. Then it’s smothered in a creamy cashew hollandaise.
It feels so satisfying and indulgent.
- Seasoned tofu
- Smoky seitan ham
- Chewy english muffin with all the nooks & crannies
- Spinach for springy color
- In a bath of creamy, lemony yellow sauce
Plus, it’s ready in half an hour.
Easy enough to make anytime. Or for a special occasion like Easter brunch!
For this delicious vegan breakfast dish, here’s what you’ll need:
Vegan hollandaise: This velvety sauce is made with raw cashews, lemon juice, water, cooked carrot, tangy Dijon mustard, black salt, and non-dairy milk.
Get all of the details in this 15 minute vegan hollandaise sauce recipe.
Oil: You’ll need a little oil to brown the tofu & seitan ham in a non-stick skillet. Any cooking oil that you like can be used here.
Super firm tofu: I recommend buying the kind in vacuum-sealed packaging, because it doesn’t have to be pressed first.
It’s sold in the refrigerated section by the other tofu. It’s one of my favorite Trader Joe’s products. And you can also find Wildwood brand at most natural grocery stores.
If you only have water packed tofu, that will work too. However, you’ll need to press it first for optimum browning and texture.
Black salt: Also known as kala namak, this is a sulfurous salt that lends an eggy flavor to dishes. You can find it at Indian grocery stores or online. (Swad brand is my favorite.)
Since hollandaise is traditionally made with egg yolks, you’ll use a sprinkling of kala namak in both the sauce and on the tofu egg. Remember, a little goes a long way!
Nutritional yeast flakes: Also known as nooch, nutritional yeast gives the tofu some cheesiness and umami.
If you don’t have this ingredient, just omit it. It’s not a deal breaker.
Pepper: A sprinkling of pepper brings home that fried egg experience.
Vegan ham: A slice of vegan ham adds smoky flavor and chewy texture.
Look for it in the refrigerated section of the grocery store with other vegan deli meats or by the plant-based holiday roasts.
Herbivorous Butcher, Tofurky, and Yves make vegan ham. Any of the Field Roast deli slices would also work.
If you can’t find ham, vegan bacon is also good & provides the same smoky, salty flavor.
English muffins: English muffins provide a sturdy base for this open faced sandwich. They hold up to the toppings without falling apart.
Often English muffins are NOT vegan. So you’ll want to read the ingredients first.
Both the classic & whole wheat English muffins at Trader Joe’s are vegan, as well as ones from Dave’s Killer Bread, Food for Life, and Rudi’s.
Vegan butter: Slather your toasted muffins with a bit of non-dairy butter.
Look for it in the refrigerated section of the grocery store, by the vegan specialty products or by the other butters.
Baby spinach: A few leaves of baby spinach add springy color.
Chives (optional): Minced chives add a nice pop of color as a garnish.
How to cut tofu into circles
To mimic the poached egg on a Benedict, I recommend cutting the tofu slabs into circles.
Cut the tofu into 4 even slabs across the longest part of the block.
Pick a round cookie cutter, ring mold, or glass that’s about the same size as an English muffin. Place it in the center of a tofu slab & cut into a circle. Repeat with the remaining tofu slabs.
Step by step instructions
Make the vegan hollandaise sauce recipe.
Then put the tofu circles & vegan ham into an oiled skillet. Brown both sides on a medium heat.
After the tofu browns on one side, season it with a sprinkling of the following:
- Black salt
- Nutritional yeast
Flip, season the other side, and flip again to seal it in.
Toast English muffins in a toaster until browned. Then butter the muffin halves.
Assemble the vegan eggs Benedict with spinach, a slice of vegan ham, and a tofu slab.
Pour warm vegan hollandaise sauce on top.
If you like, garnish with minced chives.
Tips for success
Here are a couple tips to make sure your egg free Benedict comes out just right.
Don’t cut the English muffin with a knife
Instead use a fork or your fingers along the seam of the muffin to pull it apart. You want it to have rough, porous edges, not smooth like sliced bread.
For perfectly-sized vegan ham
If your vegan ham is too big for the muffin, cut each slice into a circular shape with a cookie cutter, ring mold, or cup.
If necessary, you can cut around the cup with a knife or use your fingers to pull the ham away from the exterior of the glass.
Make it your own
You can easily make this brunch dish your own by varying the cooking methods or ingredients.
Vary the cooking methods
- If you don’t feel like cutting the tofu into circles, just slice it in quick & easy rectangles across the short part of the block.
- Instead of using a toaster to cook the English muffin, butter it & toast it in a warm skillet cut side down.
Vary the ingredients
- Replace the English muffins with bagels, toasted bread, or a biscuit. (Many of the refrigerated canned biscuits are accidentally vegan.)
- Replace the vegan egg with mini vegan quiche, folded Just Egg, or avocado seasoned with kala namak & pepper.
- Replace kala namak with regular table salt. (Be aware the dish will lose its eggy flavor.)
- Replace vegan ham with vegan bacon, veggie sausage, or a slice of raw tomato.
- Instead of the vegan egg and/or ham, use a vegan crab cake as the topping.
- Add a Tablespoon or two of vegan butter to the hollandaise for a richer, saltier sauce.
- Enjoy the Benedict as a sandwich with both halves, similar to a vegan egg mcmuffin. Then use the hollandaise as a sandwich spread.
- Omit the spinach. Or replace it with arugula, sautéed kale, or air fried asparagus.
- Replace chives with fresh dill or parsley.
Make it allergy friendly
Need a gluten free or soy free option? That can be done with a few simple swaps.
Gluten free option
To make this dish gluten free, replace the English muffin with a hashbrown patty. Or have it over a bed of greens or gluten free toast.
Then replace the seitan ham with GF tempeh bacon, Beyond Meat breakfast sausage, a slice of tomato, or roasted asparagus.
Soy free option
If you’d prefer vegan eggs Benedict without tofu, replace the eggy tofu with a folded Just Egg, chickpea scramble, or sliced avocado sprinkled with kala namak & pepper.
This eye-catching brunch dish goes well with any of these side dishes.
- Air fryer asparagus
- Sautéed kale
- Broccolini with garlic
- Air fryer breakfast potatoes
- Roasted asparagus with chickpeas & spinach
- Spinach salad with strawberries
- Roasted cauliflower
- Sliced grapefruit
Store & reheat
Keep leftovers in a covered container in the refrigerator. They will last about 3 days. Although, it’s obviously best fresh.
To reheat, microwave the eggless Benedict for 40 seconds to a minute.
Store leftover hollandaise in a covered container in the refrigerator. It will keep about 4 days. It will thicken as it cools.
To reheat the sauce, warm in a pot on the stove at a low medium heat, stirring often. Add splashes of non-dairy milk to achieve the right consistency.
Or microwave at 30-second intervals, stopping regularly to stir, until it comes up to temperature. The sauce will have thickened in the refrigerator & while reheating. Stir in splashes of non-dairy milk until it reaches your preferred thickness.
The sauce also freezes well in a freezer-proof container. When you’re ready to use it, move it to the refrigerator to thaw before reheating.
More vegan breakfast recipes
Here are more ideas for a delicious vegan brunch or breakfast:
Vegan eggs Benedict
- 1 recipe vegan hollandaise sauce
- 1 teaspoon oil
- 16 ounces super firm tofu in vacuum packaging**
- ½ to 1 teaspoon nutritional yeast flakes
- ½ to 1 teaspoon kala namak also known as black salt
- ½ to 1 teaspoon pepper
- 2 English muffins
- 4 slices vegan ham or vegan bacon
- 1 to 2 Tablespoons non-dairy butter
- ¼ to ½ cup baby spinach leaves
- 1 ½ Tablespoons minced chives (optional garnish)
- Make the recipe for vegan hollandaise sauce. Then set aside.
- Cut the tofu into 4 equal sized slabs across the longest part of the tofu block.Grab a circular ring mold, cookie cutter, or glass that's about the same size as the English muffin. Use it to cut a circle into each of the tofu slabs.(Save the leftover scraps for another dish, like a tofu scramble or vegan blue cheese dressing.)
- Bring a large non-stick skillet to a medium heat along with a teaspoon of oil. Put the tofu slabs and vegan ham slices onto the skillet. (If your skillet isn't large enough to hold everything, grab a second one & oil it as well.)
- Brown the tofu and ham on each side for a couple of minutes each. After one side of the tofu has browned, add a sprinkling of kala namak (black salt), nutritional yeast flakes, and pepper. Flip the tofu slices. Then sprinkle more black salt, nutritional yeast flakes, and pepper on the other side. Flip one more time to seal in the spices. (You'll need about ⅛ to ¼ teaspoon of each of the seasonings on each tofu slab, but don't worry too much about being precise.)
- Pull the English muffins apart. Toast the halves in a toaster until warmed & browned. Then remove them from the toaster and lightly slather each one with vegan butter on the cut side.
- Compile the vegan eggs Benedict. Top an English muffin half with several baby spinach leaves, vegan ham, and eggy tofu. Then spoon vegan hollandaise sauce over the top of it. Garnish with a sprinkling of chives, if you like. Continue until all of the eggless Benedicts are made.
Content, recipe, and photos updated April 4, 2022. Originally posted June 1, 2012.