Admin Note: Since this post, I’ve remade these using a better technique. Be sure to check out my Breakfast Sandwiches Revisited.
After I made baked chicken nuggets a few weeks ago and explained my deal with Betsy (if she wants something from McD’s, I try to make it for her), I got a few emails saying that the only meal some people will eat at McDonald’s is breakfast.
This struck me as kind of odd because most of the stuff on their breakfast menu is even easier to reproduce at home than the stuff on their other menus. Take their classic Egg McMuffin for example. I was able to make some breakfast sandwiches in no time that I would put up against their version any day of the week.
I made 12 breakfast sandwiches for this post because they are really easy to freeze and they reheat nicely. I used the same basic ingredients for my versions (English Muffins, eggs, cheese). I also used butter while they use something called “Liquid Margarine.”
My total bill for these came to $16.00 or about $1.33/sandwich. I think McD’s sells them for about $1 a piece, so it would cost you maybe $12-$13 to buy the same sandwiches there.
Here’s some interesting facts though about what a bit of time and that extra $3 gets you:
- Whole Grains. McD’s uses “enriched” wheat flour in their product. I used a nice whole wheat product.
- No Less Saturated Fat. Their version has 5 grams.
- Less Sodium. One McDonald’s Egg McMuffin (with no sausage or anything) has 580g of sodium, about 1/4 of what you should be eating every day.
- Real Cheese. I used a nice medium cheddar cheese. Their version can barely be called cheese.
- Storability. I can freeze mine. I wouldn’t recommend buying an Egg McMuffin and then coming home and freezing it. That means when I want one, I just have to open my freezer.
- A few, real ingredients. Guess how many ingredients (most of which you can’t pronounce) are in an Egg McMuffin… 55. English Muffin. Cheese. Egg. 55 ingredients. Go figure.
Egg and Cheese Breakfast Sandwiches
Yield: 12 Sandwiches
Cheese (I used about 10 ounces for 12 sandwiches.)
Butter, or olive oil (optional)
1) Lightly oil a muffin tin and crack an egg in each tin.
2) Bake the muffin tin with eggs in a 350 degree oven for 10-15 minutes. Depending on your egg size, start checking them early to make sure they are cooked through. Try not to overcook them!
3) Slice all the muffins and toast them in the oven for 10 minutes or you can toast them one at a time if you want.
4) Add an egg, grated cheese, and any protein or veggies that you want to each sandwich.
5) If you want to eat one right away, I recommend sticking it in the oven as a sandwich for 5-10 minutes to melt the cheese and everything.
6) You can also stick all your sandwiches on a baking sheet and stick it in the freezer. Leave them in the freezer until they are frozen, about an hour. Then wrap each sandwich individually in plastic or foil and store all the individually wrapped sandwiches in a freezer safe bag.
7) When reheating, you can microwave if you're in a hurry, but it'll make the muffin soggy. If you can plan ahead a bit, bake the sandwich at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes. You can even keep it wrapped in the foil if you used foil to store the sandwiches.
Cooking the Eggs
To get that classic Egg McMuffin shape to the egg is kind of tricky. Oh wait. No it’s not. Just grab a muffin tin and and very lightly oil each spot in the tin with either butter or spray oil (I used a very small amount of butter on a paper towel.)
Then crack an egg in each muffin area!
Stick these in a 350 degree oven for about 10-15 minutes. Sometimes for sandwiches like this, I like my eggs runny, but since I was freezing them and everything, I thought it’s probably a better idea to make sure they are cooked through.
While you’re waiting for your eggs to cook, grate some cheese.
After about 10-15 minutes, you’ll have these perfectly cooked, perfectly shaped eggs. These are just asking to be put on a sandwich!
I also decided to toast up all my English muffins. Given that I was making a bunch, I just sliced all of my muffins in half and laid them all out on a baking sheet. After about 10 minutes in the oven (you can toast these at the same time as your eggs are cooking), they’ll be toasty and ready to go.
Making the sandwich
This is not rocket science people. Take half of a muffin, add some cheese, add an egg, and apply the top half of the muffin.
If you’re so inclined, add a tiny smear of butter onto the top half of the muffin, just for some added flavor. You could also hit the sandwich with some pepper if you wanted or even some hot sauce!
Once everything is set, it doesn’t take much time to bang out a whole bunch of these. I would never call this Fast Food, but it’s definitely a fast way to make food.
Now you have two options:
Eat these right away!
If you wanted to eat these right away, just stick them back in the oven for 5 or 10 minutes until they are warmed through and the cheese is melted and delicious.
Store for later!
If you want to store these for later, stick all your sandwiches on a baking sheet and put them all in the freezer, uncovered and unwrapped. Leave them in there for about an hour. This will give them a chance to give off some moisture and also freeze a bit. If you were to wrap them up right away then there would be all kinds of liquid that would condense.
But don’t forget about them or they’ll get freezer burned. Pull them all out after an hour or two and wrap them individually in plastic wrap or foil and then store them in a freezer safe plastic bag. They will keep for a few weeks without a problem.
Tip for Heating (or Reheating)
There is really only one tip: Don’t use a microwave. I tried one in the microwave and it is just okay. It’s definitely edible and if you’re in a rush, it’ll have to do, but if you have the time, heat them in the oven. From completely frozen to warm and melted, it’ll take about 25 minutes in a 350 degree oven.
The problem with the microwave is that the muffin tends to get a bit soggy. And nobody likes a soggy muffin!
Do these breakfast sandwiches require a tiny bit more time and money than the Fast Food version? I suppose so yes. I can’t deny that.
But I do think that the tiny extra effort and amount of money you put in will pay handsome dividends in almost all cases. In this case, you get practically the same dish except it’s way healthier and tastes better.
What’s not to love?! What else should I make from Fast Food places?