A brunch classic collides with Middle Eastern flavors in this recipe for za’atar eggs benedict made with harissa hollandaise, sumac spinach, and a drizzle of za’atar on top.

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Mina Harissa. As always, my thoughts and opinions are my own!!
za'atar eggs benedict

Three day weekend hangovers are THE WORST.

Not the alcohol kind, but the living life, having fun, not being held down by The Man kind.

I mean, it’s always hard when Tuesdays are Mondays are Tuesdays and, I think I probably don’t speak for myself when I say that we were just getting the hang of this sleeping in thang!

6AM wake-up calls HURT. Why do we do this to ourselves?


Although the symptoms of this type of hangover are more psychological than physical, I still maintain that we need food to get us through these despairing times.

Sooooo…..let’s do brunch.



Because as much as I would be totally fine with peacing out of work at noon to get my eggs benny on, I’m not sure my boss would be too thrilled with it.

(I can’t imagine why.)

(Maybe the bottomless midday mimosas have something to do with it? Hmm.)


To me brunch is not brunch unless there are runny yolks involved, and eggs benedict is always what I want to be eating except for the fact that it almost always features a slab of Canadian bacon and hollandaise that is nothing to write home about. I mean, if you’re going to make a sauce that’s comprised almost entirely of butter, it had better be akin to liquid gold. Otherwise, WHY?!

I’ve found that what so many hollandaise drizzles are missing is FLAVOR. Sure, they’re fatty and salty and creamy, but they’re missing that oomph that makes the all calories worth it in the end.

That’s where harissa comes in.

Not only does it bring the heat (literally), but along with the spice comes a whole slew of Middle Eastern flair – hints of garlic, touches of vinegar, backsplashes of olive oil – it’s a flavor explosion. I stirred it into a batch of homemade hollandaise on a whim, and haven’t stopped bathing in it since.

Then, because I’m incapable of leaving well enough alone, I swapped out the Canadian bacon for tart and garlicky sumac spinach, layered it along with a poached egg and a harissa hollandaise drizzle atop a toasted English muffin. And called it brunch. Dinner. Brinner?

Whatever our Tuesday-Mondays bring our way. We’re gonna need this.


Soooo many people ask me where they can find harissa in their grocery stores and I always tell them to look for the Mina!! I’ve tried a few different harissa varieties and this is by far my favorite. As I said earlier, it brings flavor to the spice table so when you slather it all over all the things, you’re not just getting something hot – you’re getting something delicious. You can order Mina harissa online on their website, but I have been able to find it in most grocery stores lately. Whole Foods should certainly carry it, and if you live in NYC, you should be able to find it at Fairway also!


Za'atar Eggs Benedict
A brunch classic collides with Middle Eastern flavors in this recipe for za'atar eggs benedict made with harissa hollandaise, sumac spinach, and a drizzle of za'atar on top.
Yield: 4 servings
For the spinach
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb chopped frozen spinach, thawed
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp sumac
  • salt, to taste
For the hollandaise
  • 12 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • ½ cup boiling water
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 2-4 tbsp harissa
  • salt, to taste
For the eggs benedict
  • 4 large toasted English muffins
  • 8 poached eggs
  • za'atar, for sprinkling
  1. For the spinach, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute the garlic until lightly browned, about 1 minute. Stir in the spinach and sumac. Cook until spinach is warmed through and any liquid has evaporated, stirring frequently, about 5-6 minutes. Set aside.
  2. For the hollandaise, whisk the butter and egg yolks in a large heat-safe bowl set over a medium saucepan filled with ½-inch of simmering water. Slowly add the boiling water to the bowl and cook, whisking constantly, until thickened and the sauce registers 160F, about 7-10 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice and 2 tbsp harissa. Season to taste with salt and harissa.
  3. For each individual, prepare 2 toasted English muffin halves. Top each half with a scoop of spinach, a poached egg, and a drizzle of hollandaise. Sprinkle with za'atar.
Hollandaise adapted from Cook's Country
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ¼ of recipe

 More recipes with Middle Eastern flair:

baked falafel hoagies with harissa tomato sauce and tzatziki

Baked Falafel Hoagies with Harissa Tomato Sauce and Tzatziki

roasted eggplant bisque with harissa and parmesan crisps

Roasted Eggplant Bisque with Harissa and Parmesan Crisps

spice-roasted squash with walnut green harissa

Spice-Roasted Squash with Walnut Green Harissa

From Around the Web:

Crispy Eggplant and Harissa Flatbread with Greens from The First Mess

Winter Squash Tamale Pie with Harissa from Climbing Grier Mountain

Harissa-Mango Paneer from Food Fashion Party

Freekeh Bean Burgers with Harissa Onions from Oh My Veggies

Falafel Patties with Harissa Yogurt from A Couple Cooks


za'atar eggs benedict
Share →

40 Responses to Za’atar Eggs Benedict

  1. That is a gorgeous variation on eggs Florentine! I will definitely try adding harissa to my hollandaise. Or maybe chipotles in adobo? You’ve opened up endless possibilities!

  2. Sune Moolman says:

    I’m such a sucker for harissa, I love love love it!
    I can’t believe you used it for breakfast/brunch/brinner – genius!!

  3. Susan says:

    Yes, I definitely need this in my life and I’m with you I’m not much of a hollandaise fan unless I know it’s from a remarkable place. Mixing it with harissa? That I will take and of course breakfast for dinner.

  4. I’ve never tried harissa, is that that some sort of unforgivable sin? I’ll keep an eye out for it at the store because this looks jammin! I’d never tried eggs benedict until around a year ago, and then I needed to eat it every weekend for months. This spiced up version looks incredible.

  5. Sues says:

    omg please come make breakfast for me NOW!!! Please?? 🙂

  6. Damn this sounds perfect with that nice pinch of spice! Just a little twist, but makes ALL the difference!

  7. There isn’t an ingredient I don’t love in this recipe!! Here’s to brinner!

  8. Meg says:

    Looks awesome. I’m totally on board!

  9. This is the kind of breakfast I’d want to eat for dinner! It looks insanely good, Joanne!

  10. Eggs benny is forever my favorite food for brunch. I really love this version – so unique!

  11. Trisha says:

    looks so delicious – what a unique twist!

  12. Pam says:

    Good lord that looks tasty! I am with you, no brunch is complete without runny yolks! I’d eat this for breakfast, lunch, or dinner!

  13. Now, I wish I had had a 3day weekend hangover too – just so I could eat this! YUM!

  14. LOVE Mina harissa also! I find their vinegar to spice ratio is absolutely perfect. Mmmm, I haven’t had some good eggs benedict in a while. This is so making me hungry right now!

  15. Mmm one of my favorite eggs benedict was actually a veggie version!

  16. Gorgeous benedict, Joanne! Looks like the perfect way to recuperate from The Man hangover…

  17. Kate says:

    I’m going to have to look for Mina’s. We don’t have Harissa anywhere around here. I always have to make my own. And this would be especially useful because I was planning on eggs benedict this weekend.

  18. OMG – I wish I had time to make this for breakfast now – just love this combination of flavours.

  19. Josie says:

    Oh man, I could SO go for this right now. With a bottomless mimosa of course. Methinks pomegranate mimosas would go with these flavors quite well 😉

  20. Oh my, oh my, oh my… my mouth is so watering that I don’t know what else to write right now lol. Delish

  21. Oh you did a number on this. You cooked the eggs absolutely perfectly. What a delicious version of one my favorite dishes!!!!

  22. Beth says:

    This sounds absolutely brilliant, Joanne. Bookmarked!

  23. Isadora says:

    I’m so not down with 6am wake up calls, but I can totally get on board with brunch for dinner! Mostly because I love breakfasty food so much but I never want to cook it at 6am! I’ve never cooked with zaatar before, but the flavor sounds delicious! I’ll have to keep an eye out for some 🙂

  24. Mira says:

    These eggs benedict look look very delicious and healthy! Just perfect ! Pinned!

  25. Reeni says:

    What a way to jazz up eggs benedict! Definitely dinner material!

  26. You had me at eggs benedict. Any kind! My weakness…

  27. Whoa. This is brinner perfection. Harissa sounds like the best idea ever for hollandaise! And I love those perfectly runny yolks.

  28. The spices should perk up the eggs perfectly, no matter what time you serve them 🙂

  29. Hotly Spiced says:

    My favourite breakfast. I always have it with spinach rather than bacon! I ordered it at a restaurant on Sunday morning and had to spit it into my napkin. Someone in the kitchen forgot to wash the spinach and it was coated in sand. Horrors. Not like yours at all I’m sure xx

  30. Nutritious and delish! Used to eat lots of egg benedict…I need to make them soon too.

  31. Kate says:

    LOVE the idea of adding za’atar to eggs benedict – yum!

  32. Kelly says:

    I really wish 3 day weekends were every weekend. And that runny yolk though – pure perfection! I seriously want this for breakfast now!

  33. Uhmmmm, why do you do this to me? I used to work at a turkish restaurant and all the spices and flavors are coming back to me with this benny! Za’atar is delicious, and I love the idea of sumac in the spinach. And the harissa. Oh the harissa. One day when we meet (because I feel like it’s inevitable), I vote we make this breakfast 🙂

  34. Wow this looks wonderful!!!! Love the middle eastern flavors in this dish!

  35. This looks so good. I was just messing around with hollandaise sauce too! I was a nice reward now that I’m not pregnant and the baby slept long enough for me to make some!

  36. cheri says:

    I love za’ atar, this looks delicious!

  37. grace says:

    this is really inventive, joanne! i love those spices, though i can’t think of a time when i’ve eaten a breakfast touched by them!

  38. Teffy says:

    I loooove harissa, za’atar and sumac!
    Such amazing flavours, but i’ve never had them eggs benny style, that sounds insanely delicious. I need it in my life, and I need it fast!

    {Teffy’s Perks} X

  39. […] *I’m a bit obsessed with za’atar these days, and I’m pretty excited to try this za’atar eggs benedict. […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *