This vegan egg mcmuffin recipe has the flavors of that McDonald’s fast food favorite but in plant-based form. It’s made with tofu egg, seitan ham, and vegan cheddar on an English muffin.
Perfect for a quick & easy breakfast that’s sure to satisfy.
When you think about it, egg mcmuffins are like egg Benedict’s blue collar cousin.
They have the same basic ingredients, except an egg mcmuffin has cheese and a Benedict has hollandaise.
In fact, that was the original sandwich concept back in 1972 when Herb Peterson came up with the idea for McDonald’s signature breakfast sandwich.
(Fun fact: When the sandwich first came out, it was also sold with a container of strawberry preserves for a sweet and savory sandwich. Unsurprisingly, that didn’t catch on.)
Now obviously this popular sandwich sold at the Golden Arches isn’t vegan.
(Nope, not even the eggs inside. Although many people wonder if the eggs in the mcmuffin are in fact chickens’ eggs. They are.)
However, it’s super easy to make a plant based egg mcmuffin at home.
These tasty sandwiches are 100% meat free, dairy free, and egg free.
But you get the same eggy flavor from seasoned tofu, chewy & smoky vegan ham, and non-dairy cheddar. It’s all served together on a toasted English muffin.
Great for a vegan breakfast on the go, or a quick savory brunch of comfort food at home. It’s also a delicious breakfast-for-dinner.
Here’s what you’ll need for this delicious vegan mcmuffin.
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 vegan 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.)
Nutritional yeast flakes: Also known as nooch, this gives the tofu some cheesiness and umami. If you don’t have nutritional yeast, just omit it. It’s not a deal breaker.
Black pepper: A dash of pepper brings that vegan egg experience home.
Oil: You’ll need a little oil to brown the tofu in a non-stick skillet. Any cooking oil that you like can be used here.
Vegan ham: A slice of vegan ham adds smoky flavor and chewy texture to each sandwich.
Look for it in the refrigerated section of the grocery store with other vegan deli meats or by the plant-based holiday roasts.
I used Herbivorous Butcher. Tofurky and Yves also make vegan ham. Any of the Field Roast deli slices would also work.
If you can’t find ham, vegan bacon is also good. It provides similar smoky, salty flavor.
Vegan cheese slices: A slice of vegan cheddar completes the signature taste of this McDonald’s copycat, but any flavor will work.
Look for slices in the refrigerated section of the grocery store near the other vegan specialty foods or sometimes in the dairy department.
Lots of brands make vegan cheese slices like Trader Joe’s, Follow Your Heart, Field Roast, Violife, and Daiya.
English muffins: English muffins are nice and sturdy for a sandwich. They hold up to the fillings 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. It’s usually by the vegan specialty products or by the other butters.
Step by step instructions
Start by cutting the tofu.
1. Cut the tofu into 4 even slabs across the longest part of the block.
2. 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.
3. Repeat with the remaining tofu slabs.
(Use leftover tofu scraps for a tofu scramble.)
4. Put the tofu circles & vegan ham into a lightly oiled skillet. Brown both sides on a medium heat.
After the tofu has browned on one side, season it with a sprinkling of the following:
- Black salt
- Nutritional yeast flakes
Then flip. Season the other side. And flip again to seal it in.
5. Cover each of the tofu circles with a slice of vegan cheese. Turn the heat to low and cover until softened.
6. Toast English muffins in a toaster until browned. Butter the muffin halves.
Then assemble each sandwich with a slice of vegan ham, and a tofu slab topped with non-dairy cheese.
Make it your own
Make this English muffin breakfast sandwich your own by varying the ingredients or cooking methods.
- Instead of cutting the tofu into circles, just slice it in quick & easy rectangles across the short part of the block.
- Instead of cooking the English muffin in a toaster, butter it & toast it in a warm skillet cut side down.
- Instead of making a tofu egg, use a folded Just Egg.
- Instead of vegan ham, use seitan bacon, tempeh bacon, veggie sausage patty, vegan Canadian bacon, or a slice of raw tomato.
- Instead of vegan cheese slices, add avocado, guacamole, vegan cream cheese, or jalapeño cashew cheese spread.
- Instead of an English muffin, make a toasted breakfast sandwich with sandwich bread or a bagel breakfast sandwich. Or have it on a biscuit. (A lot of refrigerated canned biscuits are accidentally vegan.)
- Throw these ingredients into a tortilla for a breakfast quesadilla.
- Add some leafy greens like spinach.
- Add briny crunch with pickled red onions and/or pickled jalapeños.
- Add a spread like vegan sriracha mayo, special sauce, or hot sauce.
Tips for success
Here are a few tips to make your sandwich the best it can be.
Melting the cheese
If you’re having a hard time getting the cheese to soften or melt, add a very small pool of water to the skillet, far away from the tofu & ham. Then cover the skillet with a lid.
The extra steam it provides helps to soften the cheese.
Separating the muffins
When prying the English muffins apart, don’t slice with a knife. That will ruin the nooks and crannies of the muffin.
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.
Getting the ham size just right
If your vegan ham is too big for a sandwich, 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.
This handheld sandwich can be a full meal on its own.
Or enjoy it with any of these side dishes:
- Hashbrown patty
- Air fryer breakfast potatoes
- Baked french fries
- Baked or air fried onion rings
- Vegan poutine
- Broccolini with kale
- Watermelon blueberry salad (from Veggies Save the Day)
Store & reheat
Wrap any leftover sandwiches in a resealable sandwich bag or freezer bag, glass container with lid, or wrap each one in foil.
They will keep in the refrigerator for about 3 days.
To reheat, microwave for 40 seconds to a minute.
(If you’ve wrapped the sandwiches in foil, you’ll obviously want to remove that first.)
Or warm in the oven or toaster oven at 350 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes.
(If your sandwich is wrapped in foil, start by reheating the sandwiches in foil to heat through. Then open the foil & continue until the outside has crisped.)
I don’t recommend freezing for this recipe. Tofu changes texture & releases water after being frozen & thawed.
Vegan egg mcmuffin (McDonald's copycat)
- 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
- 4 English muffins
- 4 slices vegan ham or vegan bacon
- 4 slices vegan cheese I recommend cheddar style
- 1 to 2 Tablespoons non-dairy butter
- 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.)
- 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.)
- Once the tofu has been browned & seasoned on both sides, cover each slab with a vegan cheese slice. Turn the heat to low. Cover the pan with a lid, and allow the cheese to soften or melt.
- Pull the English muffins apart. Toast them 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 sandwiches. Top an English muffin half with vegan ham and eggy tofu topped with vegan cheese. Then top it with the remaining half. Continue until all of the breakfast sandwiches are made.