With a perfectly cooked egg resting atop a freshly toasted slice of bread, a fried-egg sandwich is a delicious, easy-to-make brunch item. Because of the simplicity of its ingredients -- typically bread, egg, butter and cheese -- you can add almost anything to this sandwich to give it your own flavor. From broccoli and bacon to crème fraiche and smoked salmon, we've compiled 11 fried-egg sandwich ideas to inspire the chef in you.
The Classic Fried-Egg Sandwich
Heat a few tablespoons of butter in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Place your bread in the pan and add a slice of cheese to each slice of bread. Cover the pan and cook until the bread toasts and the cheese softens, about 3 to 4 minutes. Wipe the pan, add some butter or olive oil and cook the egg over medium heat until the egg whites set, about 2 to 3 minutes. Place the egg on the toast, season with salt and pepper, and top with the other slice of toast (skip last step if serving open-faced).
Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Arugula & Gruyere
Melt one slice of gruyere on each piece of bread, toast and set aside. Roughly chop a few sun-dried tomatoes packed in olive oil and heat them in a small amount of olive oil over medium heat -- about 1 minute. Spread the chopped tomatoes out in an even layer in the pan and crack the egg onto them. Cook the egg without pepper (arugula is peppery) and slide it out onto a slice of toast. Lightly toss a handful of arugula with olive oil and place on egg.
Serrano & Manchego
Add some spice to your brunch routine with a serrano ham and manchego cheese fried-egg sandwich. Shave manchego over bread while toasting, then set the bread aside. Add two to three thin slices of serrano ham to the pan, crack the egg over it and cook. Top with freshly chopped cilantro.
Ricotta, Strawberries & Mint
Perfect for a hot summer day, ricotta, strawberries and mint add a refreshingly cool spin to the classic fried egg sandwich. Smear some ricotta on toasted bread and add the cooked egg. Cook sliced strawberries with 1 teaspoon of sugar until heated through, about 1 to 2 minutes. Top the eggs with the strawberries and garnish with freshly chopped mint.
Spinach, Walnut & Teardrop Tomatoes
For a healthy dose of omega 3 and vitamins, top your sandwich with a spinach, walnut and tomato mixture. Saute halved walnuts and spinach, and cook until the spinach has wilted. Stir in halved teardrop tomatoes, and season to taste with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Stir and set aside. Cook egg and transfer to toast, then top with the spinach and tomato mixture.
Creme Fraiche & Smoked Salmon
Smoked salmon pairs well with a bagel -- why not try it in your fried egg sandwich? Smear creme fraiche on toast after it's out of the pan but still warm. Cook egg and add to toast. Top with smoked salmon. Garnish with freshly chopped chives.
Mascarpone & Pesto
Rich mascarpone meets refreshing pesto in this well-balanced sandwich. Mix a few dollops of mascarpone with pesto until incorporated, and spread on toast while warm. Roughly chop a few sun-dried tomatoes and cook with a handful of pine nuts until heated through. Crack an egg over the pine nuts and tomatoes, and cook to desired doneness. Add to toast and serve.
Chevre, Spinach & Pine Nut
For a decadently creamy fried-egg sandwich, melt chevre over your toast and set aside. Cook spinach with pine nuts until the spinach leaves wilt, set aside. Cook egg, add to bread and top with spinach and pine nuts.
Broccoli & Bacon
Broccoli and bacon? Yes, please! Fry bacon until the fat renders and the meat browns, but don't crisp. Add small, halved broccoli florets and cook until heated through and bacon crisps, set aside. Cook egg, add to toast and top with the broccoli and bacon mixture.
Craving Italian? Try this easy-to-make caprese fried egg sandwich. Cover bread with thinly sliced mozzarella while it toasts and set aside. Lay two to three thinly sliced and deseeded Roma tomato slices in a pan and crack an egg over them. Cook, add to toast and garnish with freshly chopped basil.
Green Eggs & Ham (Avocado & Ham)
All bets are on that this savory fried-egg sandwich will change the mind of anyone who says no to green eggs and ham. Add two or three slices of thinly sliced ham to pan and heat through, turning once. Set aside. Cook egg until whites set, and cover with ham and avocado slices. Cover the pan for 30 seconds then transfer egg to toast.