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What to add to eggs when frying?

Eggs are a versatile ingredient that can be prepared in many different ways. One of the most popular methods is frying eggs. When frying eggs, there are several ingredients you can add to enhance the flavor and texture.

Why Add Ingredients to Fried Eggs?

Adding extra ingredients to fried eggs serves several purposes:

  • It adds extra flavors and dimensions to the dish.
  • It makes the eggs more visually appealing.
  • It changes up the texture by making the eggs creamy, fluffy, or crispy.
  • It boosts the nutritional value by incorporating veggies, herbs, cheeses, etc.

While plain fried eggs are delicious in their own right, taking them to the next level with a few simple additions makes breakfast, lunch, or dinner even more satisfying. Read on to learn about some of the best mix-ins for fried eggs.

Dairy Products

Adding small amounts of dairy products like cheese, cream, and butter can make fried eggs richer, creamier, and more indulgent. Here are some ideas:

  • Cheese: Grated cheddar, crumbled feta, goat cheese, parmesan, etc. The cheese will melt into the eggs, adding creamy texture.
  • Cream cheese: Dollops of softened cream cheese will create a luxurious, smooth egg interior.
  • Sour cream: Sour cream is tangy and will lighten up the eggs.
  • Crème fraîche: This thickened cream has a lovely subtle flavor when mixed into fried eggs.
  • Butter: Browning the butter before frying the eggs in it will add a lovely nutty flavor.

Opt for just a tablespoon or two of dairy so the flavors blend nicely into the eggs without overpowering them. Sharp, salty cheeses tend to work best.

Great Cheeses for Fried Eggs

Here are some of the top cheese choices to mix into fried eggs:

Cheese Description
Cheddar Sharp cheddar adds a savory, slightly salty flavor.
Feta Crumbled feta cheese gives a tangy, Mediterranean flair.
Goat Cheese Soft, creamy goat cheese becomes smooth and rich when fried.
Parmesan Freshly grated parmesan lends a nutty, aromatic quality.
Mozzarella Melty, mild mozzarella nicely compliments the eggs.
Blue Cheese Pungent blue cheese packs a strong punch of flavor.

Fresh Herbs

Chopped fresh herbs are an easy way to inject flavor, color, and fragrance into fried eggs. Popular choices include:

  • Parsley: Bright green parsley has a fresh, grassy taste.
  • Chives: Delicate chives lend a sweet, oniony flavor.
  • Dill: Feathery dill has a distinctive anise-like flavor.
  • Basil: Sweet basil adds a hint of summery warmth.
  • Cilantro: Cilantro’s cooling, citrusy notes cut through rich egg yolks.
  • Oregano: Earthy, aromatic oregano pairs well with eggs.
  • Sage: Savory sage leaves bring out thyme notes in eggs.

For most herbs, a tablespoon or two is plenty to infuse into a few fried eggs without overpowering them. The exceptions are more delicately flavored herbs like chives or dill sprigs, where you can use a bit more. Add the herbs right at the end just before serving so they retain their freshness and vibrancy.

Best Herb and Egg Combinations

Some classic herb and egg flavor pairings to try:

Herb Notes
Chives Goes well with any style of fried egg
Dill Lovely with poached or over easy eggs
Parsley Brightens up scrambled eggs and omelets
Basil Tastes great in egg sandwiches and breakfast tacos
Cilantro Pairs nicely with tomotoes and spicy flavors
Oregano Enhances Mediterranean and Greek-style egg dishes

Hearty Veggies

For a nutrition and texture boost, add vegetables to your fried eggs. Some excellent options include:

  • Tomatoes: Diced ripe tomatoes or cherry tomatoes add a juicy sweetness.
  • Onions: Sliced or caramelized onions lend flavor complexity.
  • Bell peppers: Red, yellow or green peppers taste great when sautéed with eggs.
  • Mushrooms: Meaty mushrooms like cremini or portobello work wonderfully.
  • Spinach: Wilted spinach mixes in easily for an iron and vitamin boost.
  • Kale: Sturdy kale stands up well when fried with eggs.

Aim for vegetables that are dense and not too watery, so they hold their shape during frying. Cook any raw veggies first before adding eggs so they have time to caramelize and develop their flavors.

Complementary Veggies and Eggs

Some especially delicious vegetable and egg combinations:

Vegetable Notes
Tomatoes Bright acidity cuts through rich yolks nicely
Onions Onions fried in the pan before eggs adds lots of flavor
Bell peppers Peppers add crunch and color to omelets
Mushrooms Earthy mushrooms pair well with creamy scrambled eggs
Spinach Wilted spinach blends perfectly into fluffy egg whites
Kale Hearty kale stands up well to being fried with eggs

Savory Meats

Incorporating cooked meats like bacon, sausage, ham, or chorizo can transform fried eggs into a hearty, protein-packed meal. Some top options include:

  • Bacon: Crispy, smoky bacon is the classic fried egg accompaniment.
  • Sausage: Spicy sausage or meaty breakfast links pair excellently.
  • Ham: Chopped ham works well in scrambled eggs and omelets.
  • Chorizo: The paprika in chorizo sausage adds delightful flavor.
  • Salami: Thin slices of savory salami make a perfect egg sandwich filler.

Aim for 1-2 ounces of meat per egg. Cook meat first before adding eggs so the textures align. Smaller pieces like bacon crumbles, sausage chunks, or shredded ham work best.

Tasty Meat and Egg Pairings

Some of the most popular meat and egg combinations are:

Meat Notes
Bacon A breakfast classic! Goes well with any style of fried egg
Sausage Spicy sausage and fluffy scrambled eggs is a tasty pairing
Ham Chopped ham in omelets is simply delicious
Chorizo The paprika and spices in chorizo enhance egg flavor
Salami Salty salami tastes great in fried egg sandwiches

Flavorful Seasonings

Spices, fresh herbs, citrus, and other flavor agents can transform the taste of fried eggs. Consider adding:

  • Hot sauce: A dash of hot sauce adds a spicy kick.
  • Salsa: Tomato salsa provides a fresh, zesty flavor.
  • Pesto: Nutty basil pesto swirled into the eggs is amazing.
  • Citrus zest: Zest from lemon, lime, or orange brightens up fried eggs.
  • Pepper: Fresh cracked black pepper provides a lovely heat.
  • Garlic: Sautéed minced garlic adds lots of rich flavor.

When adding sauces, opt for just a teaspoon or two at most per egg so the flavors meld instead of overpowering. Stir seasonings into scrambled eggs as they cook for the best distribution.

Top Egg Seasoning Combinations

Some especially tasty ways to season eggs include:

Seasoning Notes
Hot sauce Great way to add heat to eggs without much effort
Salsa Fresh salsa adds lots of flavor to tacos with scrambled eggs
Pesto Nutty, herby pesto takes omelets up a notch
Lemon zest Brightens up the flavor of rich fried egg yolks
Black pepper Essential for bringing out the savory side of eggs
Garlic Adds lots of aroma when sautéed before frying eggs


At the end of the day, the possibilities for what to add to fried eggs are practically endless. Get creative with mix-ins like crunchy veggies, rich meats, creamy cheeses, fresh herbs, zesty spices, or bold sauces. Combining 2-3 complementary ingredients can take your fried eggs from boring to gourmet.

Fried eggs also pair excellently with other breakfast sides like potatoes, toast, pancakes, rice, beans, and more. So don’t be afraid to serve them alongside other dishes to create a heartier meal.

With so many options for customizing fried eggs, you could easily have a different take on them every day of the week. Simple ingredients likely already in your kitchen can vastly enhance plain fried eggs. So grab your frying pan and experiment with unique flavor combinations in your next batch of eggs!