25 Best Ingredients To Upgrade Your Fried Eggs

There's a good chance that you've eaten fried eggs countless times in your life, from hasty early morning breakfasts before school to hotel buffets you've eaten at during business trips. Therefore, you may not think there's much more to discover on the fried egg front: Once you've had one, you've had them all, right? Well, that's not necessarily the case, especially if you haven't spent much time experimenting with your eggs. There are actually a whole host of ingredients you can add to fried eggs to make them more flavorful, more texturally interesting, and, well ... better.

That's why we've compiled some of the best ingredients you can add to your fried eggs. Not all of these ingredients are for everyone, but even if you can get a few new ideas from this list, you'll be well on your way to making some of the best fried eggs of your life. Let's take a closer look at these delicious fried egg enhancements.

1. Anchovies

To some people, anchovies sound less than appealing, but they can actually seriously upgrade your fried eggs. By melting some anchovies in butter or oil before frying your eggs, you'll provide a salty, super-satisfying flavor base for your fried eggs. If you cook them before the eggs even reach the pan, you won't even really get any hunks of fish — instead, you'll just be met with an intensely savory flavor profile that really makes your eggs pop.

This combo works because on their own, eggs can be somewhat flavorless. Anchovies have an especially strong, salty flavor, so they complement neutral eggs well.

2. Fish sauce

Let's be honest: Fish sauce can make just about anything taste better, and eggs are no exception. Fish sauce is actually also made from anchovies, which is what gives it its signature salty, savory profile. In this case, though, you don't have to contend with actual pieces of fish. Instead, you can just add a few glugs of the sauce to your eggs as they're cooking, and they'll be transformed from an average breakfast into something worthy of a restaurant menu.

Fish sauce doesn't just work for fried eggs, either. If you want to take your scrambled eggs to the next level, add some to the egg mixture before you start cooking — it'll yield similar results in a scrambled format.

3. Wine vinegar

You don't need a fridge full of ingredients to find something that will pair well with your fried eggs. Sometimes, all it takes to make top-notch fried eggs is some wine vinegar (you can use red or white — whatever you have on hand). You'll want to pour some into the pan right before you get ready to crack your eggs so they'll have time to soak up some of that flavor before the vinegar evaporates.

Not only does the vinegar add a touch of acidity to your eggs, but it also can make them creamier because of the way the acid in the vinegar reacts to the proteins in the eggs.

4. Chili crisp

If you're worried about making bland, flavorless fried eggs, there's one ingredient that can basically guarantee that you'll be happy with the final result: chili crisp. We love adding chili crisp to our egg mostly because of the spiciness, which, when eaten with neutral eggs, really makes the dish pop. But the crispy parts of chili crisp will also add some much-needed texture to your breakfast.

Add some chili crisp to the pan right before you start cooking your eggs, and they'll soak up all that spicy, oily goodness. Just make sure the chili crisp you're using is spicy enough for your taste!

5. Heavy cream

If you're not usually a chili crisp person, you may want to try a very different ingredient in your fried eggs: heavy cream. This unconventional method for cooking your eggs can make them deliciously creamy and rich. 

You'll want to pour some heavy cream in a hot pan before you even crack the eggs in. Wait until the heavy cream boils. Once some of the liquid evaporates, you'll be left with a flavorful fat that's perfect for cooking eggs in. It's a great way to use up any extra heavy cream you have on hand, and it'll yield some of the most velvety fried eggs you've ever tried.

6. Soy sauce

Have some soy sauce in the pantry? Have an extra leftover plastic packet from the last time you ordered Chinese takeout? You're in luck because it can seriously elevate your eggs. Soy sauce has a complexity and depth that you won't get from eggs on their own, so adding it to your eggs while they're frying can completely transform the dish. 

We especially enjoy using it for fried eggs when we plan on eating our eggs with rice. Just keep in mind that you won't want to use too much soy sauce, as it can make your eggs too salty and heavy-tasting.

7. Chorizo

Maybe you want to add something to your eggs that will not only flavor them but also make them a bit more substantial than they would be otherwise. That's when you should consider crumbling some chorizo into the pan in which you plan on cooking your eggs. 

Yes, it'll give you some more substance and protein, which is great if you're trying to make your eggs stretch. But it'll also add some spicy oiliness to the dish, which further enhances every bite of your eggs. Take this route, and you won't even have to make any meat on the side — it'll all be mixed into one dish.

8. Taco seasoning

Do you usually keep some taco seasoning in your pantry so you can easily make top-notch tacos whenever you get a craving for Mexican food? Well, you're in luck, because you can also use it on eggs. 

While taco seasoning may usually be saved for ground beef, chicken, fish, or even tofu in your house, the neutrality of eggs provides an ideal backdrop for taco seasoning, which generally contains spices like chili powder, cumin, onion powder, and garlic powder. If you don't have any pre-mixed, you can easily make your own to experience the same slightly spicy, earthy, and complex flavor profile.

9. Garlic confit

Adding any type of garlic to your eggs is likely to yield delicious results, but if you have some garlic confit on hand, it's going to transform your breakfast into something special. Wondering what, exactly, garlic confit is? It's basically garlic that has been cooked low and slow in oil or some other type of fat for several hours. It renders the garlic cloves super moist and soft — so soft, in fact, that they're usually spreadable. 

The flavor tends to be sweeter and less sharp than raw garlic. By mashing up some garlic confit and adding it to your fried eggs, you'll get an incredible burst of flavor that it's hard to achieve any other way.

10. Tomato paste

Shakshuka, which hails from Tunisia, is a popular dish that involves eggs cooked in a kind of tomato sauce. It's deeply flavorful, but it can take some time and energy to make, which may take it off the table for busy weekday mornings. If you want to capture some of that flavor, though, without actually having to make shakshuka, you may want to incorporate some tomato paste into your fried egg dish. 

Thin it out a bit and add some to the pan before you crack your eggs in, or just heat up the tomato paste and use it as a base for your eggs on the plate. Either way, the sweetness and acidity from the tomatoes is a nice touch.

11. Chimichurri

Whether you've made some homemade chimichurri from scratch or you just happen to have some in a jar in the back of your fridge, it can make a beautiful addition to fried eggs. Chimichurri contains all kinds of flavorful ingredients, like parsley, garlic, oil, vinegar, and chili flakes, so it's going to make pretty much everything — including eggs — taste good.

You can easily cook your fried eggs in the chimichurri (which might be a good option if you don't have much oil or butter on hand), but you can also drizzle it over the top after you've finished cooking the eggs if you'd prefer to eat it that way. Either way, you're not likely to be disappointed.

12. Bread crumbs

It feels like you don't have anything in the house to eat, but you do have a few leftover eggs and a loaf of stale bread. What should you do with them? Well, if you want a delicious breakfast (or lunch, or dinner), try making fried eggs with bread crumbs. Crumble up that loaf of bread, and fry the crumbs in the pan before adding the eggs. 

The bread crumbs will get nice and crispy, which will lend the eggs some much-needed texture. For maximum deliciousness, make sure you leave the center of the egg yolks a little bit runny — once that yolk soaks into the bread crumbs, you're in for a serious treat.

13. Pickle brine

This one may not be intuitive, but trust us when we say that pickle brine tastes amazing when you pair it with fried eggs. Once they're almost done cooking, just pour your pickle brine into the pan, turning it to make sure all the eggs are covered in the liquid. Take the eggs off the heat, plate them, and enjoy the mouthwatering results.

We love this egg-cooking method because it's a great way to use up any extra pickle brine you may have in the fridge. Don't be afraid to add something spicy to the combo as well, as the brightness of the pickle juice will allow the dish to absorb some heat from hot sauce, chili flakes, or any other spicy ingredients you have on hand.

14. Minced shallots

We love onions, but sometimes the strength and pungency of onions are just not what you want in a dish, and that can certainly be true for eggs, which tend to have a rather neutral flavor. You can still capture a similar flavor, though, by using shallots instead. Shallots have the same sharpness you love in an onion, but they're quite a bit milder, which allows them to pair perfectly with fried eggs.

For best results, mince your shallots before adding them to the pan. Cook them slightly until they start to become translucent, then break your eggs into the pan and fry away. You'll be amazed at the results.

15. Dill

Perhaps you want to add some brightness to your eggs. In that case, you should consider adding dill to the dish. You can utilize dill in a few different ways. To keep things as simple as possible, just sprinkle some dried dill on top of the eggs as they're cooking. This takes basically no time and will add a fragrant touch to the eggs.

If you really want to properly harness the flavor of dill, though, you're better off using the fresh stuff, which is significantly more pungent than its dried counterpart. Pick the spindly leaves off of the tougher stalks and toss them on top of your eggs right before you pull them off the heat.

16. Everything but the bagel seasoning

If you've been to Trader Joe's (or basically any grocery store at this point) before, you have it sitting in your spice rack: everything but the bagel seasoning. It's one of the best seasoning combos we have on hand, which is why we try to sprinkle it onto everything we eat. Fried eggs are no exception. 

It shouldn't come as a surprise that a combination of sesame seeds, poppy seeds, onion, garlic, and salt would come together so beautifully with fried eggs, as it just seems like a common-sense breakfast combo. Whether you want to put your fried eggs on an everything bagel after you cook them is up to you.

17. Chives

We love having chives on hand for just about everything. They're pungent enough to really alter the flavor of whatever you're making, but they're much less intense than onions or even scallions, which can sometimes leave you feeling like you need to brush your teeth ASAP.

Incorporating chives into your recipe for fried eggs is simple. Just mince them and sprinkle them on top of the eggs once they're close to coming off of the heat. You probably won't want to cook them for long, though, because they're so delicate — they can easily burn if you don't have enough oil or butter in the pan. Once you take a bite, you'll get what all the chive hype is about.

18. Za'atar

Za'atar is a seasoning mix that's native to the Levant region, which today includes countries like Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan. It's made with a variety of spices and herbs, including oregano, thyme, sumac, sesame seeds, and marjoram, but the exact ratio of ingredients can vary from recipe to recipe. Whether you make your own za'atar at home or you've purchased some of it pre-mixed, you'll find that it adds an incredible amount of flavor to your fried eggs.

Fried eggs don't have a lot going on the flavor front — it's more about texture and fat. Therefore, eggs can really handle a lot of seasoning. Since za'atar combines so many flavors into one, it just makes sense that it would pair well with eggs of any kind.

19. Fennel seeds

You've seen fennel, the vegetable, at the grocery store, right? Well, you don't have to buy the whole veggie to take advantage of the seeds — you can buy the seeds in the section with the other spices. Fennel seeds have a light, floral quality to them that pairs nicely with many other flavors. In fact, there's a good chance that you've eaten fennel seeds in sausage before, as it's a common addition in many ground meat products.

But you don't have to make sausage on the side to get your fair share of fennel seeds because they taste amazing when they're eaten directly on eggs. Just make sure not to use too much — their crunchiness can be off-putting if you overdo it.

20. Crushed red pepper

All the spice lovers out there know that crushed red pepper isn't just for pizza — it can go on just about any food you want to add some heat to. But eggs are a food that takes to crushed red pepper particularly well. As we've already mentioned, eggs have a rather neutral flavor, so they're a good base for really enjoying the flavor (not just the heat) of crushed red pepper.

Plus, it's super easy to add this ingredient to your eggs. Just sprinkle some on while you're cooking the eggs, or save it until you've already got your fried eggs on your plate. If you're not used to eating a lot of crushed red pepper, start slow so you don't accidentally make your breakfast too spicy.

21. Capers

Capers may be small, but they pack a ton of flavor. The tiny, salty green nubs don't look particularly impressive, but they can completely transform an average plate of fried eggs into an unforgettable breakfast. 

You can use capers in your eggs in a few different ways. To make things as easy as possible for yourself, just add half a teaspoon to your fried eggs after you've already plated them. If you really want to go all out, though, you can fry your capers along with your eggs. This will help you integrate the flavors better, and the capers will become nice and crispy. Isn't your mouth already watering?

22. Bacon bits

Maybe you don't have time to make eggs, bacon, and toast for breakfast. Who does on a daily basis, anyway? But you can still get that meat-and-eggs situation going in your kitchen by adding some bacon bits to your fried eggs. 

You can make them ahead of time by frying bacon in a pan, crumbling them up, and then saving them in the fridge for whenever you're ready to make eggs, or you can just use the kind that comes pre-cooked in a plastic bag. Either way, it'll taste like you spent a lot more time on breakfast than you actually did.

23. Sesame seeds

Do you want to add some crunch to your fried eggs? If that sounds good to you, grab some sesame seeds and start frying. First, heat up some oil or butter on the stove, then sprinkle your sesame seeds into the fat. Immediately crack your eggs over the bed of sesame seeds, and continue cooking until the eggs have reached the right consistency for you.

The result will be a nutty and supremely crunchy breakfast that's extremely easy to make. Although you can also add sesame seeds to the top of your eggs after you take them off the heat, this method toasts the seeds, which adds even more flavor to the finished dish.