18 Dishes That Are Better When Topped With An Egg

There are few kitchen staples as essential as eggs. Eggs are perhaps one of the most versatile ingredients in the world. Not only can you scramble them for breakfast, soft boil them for an easy appetizer, and use them as a binder in baking projects, but they can also be added to a wide variety of other dishes to boost the protein content, add some extra sustenance, and even create a delicious sauce with a runny yolk.

However, not every single dish needs an egg on top — in fact, there are some foods you won't want to combine with an egg at all. To give you a better idea of what you should use that carton of eggs in your fridge for, though, we've compiled a list of some of our favorite foods to top with an egg. For some of these dishes, you might want to use a fried egg. For others, a boiled egg may be in order. That being said, all of them benefit from the simple addition of this ingredient you probably already have in your fridge. Let's take a closer look at some of the dishes you should definitely top with an egg.

1. Sandwiches

Sandwiches are one of our all-time favorite food genres. We love them in all their iterations, from fried chicken sandwiches to bologna sandwiches to everything in between. And with the exception of sandwiches that skew sweet, like peanut butter and jelly, an egg can only improve a sandwich. It's an easy way to bulk up a sandwich that may be somewhat lacking in ingredients, or it can take an already towering sandwich to a whole new level.

Of course, you can always keep it simple and make the egg the star of the show by making a breakfast sandwich. Bread or a bagel and an egg is really all you need to make this easy meal come together, but an egg sandwich can be even more delicious with the inclusion of some greens like arugula or meat like bacon or sausage. 

2. Ramen

Some dishes are practically begging for an egg, and ramen is one of them. If you're using a packet of the cheap stuff, adding a boiled egg is one of the best ways to ensure you're getting enough nutrition in every bite. Plus, once the egg has been sitting in the broth for some time, it starts to take on some of that flavor, yielding deliciously savory results.

But you don't have to settle for the budget version of ramen if you want to really spread your culinary wings. Try making ramen with better-quality noodles and other ingredients like vegetables and maybe some tofu or meat. Add a boiled egg, and you'll enjoy a special meal that feels like it comes straight out of a restaurant.

3. Fried rice

Fried rice is one of the easiest dishes to learn how to make at home. Especially if you already have some cooked rice on hand, fried rice can come together in a matter of minutes. It's really just about choosing what other ingredients you want in the mix. One of the best additions? If you ask us, you can't go wrong by adding an egg.

There are two different ways to include an egg in your fried rice. First of all, you can actually fry the egg with the rice, breaking the pieces up so you can make sure the eggs are evenly distributed throughout. Alternatively, you could fry the egg separately and then add it on top of the rice when you're done. Either way, you're sure to get delicious results.

4. Burgers

Is there any food quite as appetizing as a burger? It's a sandwich, but better. Stacked high with a meat patty, cheese, tomatoes, onions, and lettuce, it's hard to imagine a better combination of ingredients. But while a standard burger is one of our all-time favorite dishes, a burger with an egg on top is even better.

There's an ideal way to cook an egg for topping a burger, though. You'll want the yolk to be slightly runny so that when it breaks, it'll spread out, creating a rich sauce for the sandwich. However, make sure you cook it long enough — you don't want the yolk to be so runny that you can barely eat the burger without dripping all over yourself. Give it a try the next time you fire up the grill.

5. Avocado toast

Eating a plate of avocado toast may just be one of the best ways to start your day. You get some filling carbs into your diet, which will give you the energy you need to take on the day. The avocado provides some fat, which will fill you up even more while providing you with a rich, buttery spread for your toast. But you definitely don't have to stop there if you want to make the best possible avocado toast.

There are a ton of different ingredients you can add to avocado toast, but a poached egg is probably our favorite. It's light, but it's filling. It's flavorful, but it doesn't overwhelm the delicate flavor of the avocado. Basically, avocado toast and poached eggs were made for each other.

6. Rice bowls

Making a rice bowl is a super easy way to use up all those leftover ingredients you have sitting around the fridge. Grilled tofu? Throw it in. How about some scallions? That'll go in there too. Tomatoes, corn, cabbage? All great additions to a flavorful rice bowl. But there's one ingredient that can transform a rice bowl like no other, and you guessed it: It's an egg. If you don't have any meat, tofu, or tempeh on hand, fry up an egg and add it to your rice bowl to make it more filling.

You can decide if you want to keep the yolk runny here or cook it thoroughly so it doesn't add any more moisture to the rice bowl. This really depends on the other ingredients you're using. If you have a lot of juicy ingredients, like tomatoes, in the mix, you may want to cook the egg more thoroughly than you would otherwise.

7. Tacos

With very few ingredients in the house, you can make top-notch tacos. You need some tortillas of course, but after that, the sky is the limit. Have some meat like chorizo on hand? Great! Start with that, then start layering in other ingredients. Eggs, of course, are a solid contender (we like to scramble them for tacos), but you can also add in onions, jalapenos, cheese — whatever you want to flavor your tacos with.

What if you don't already have some kind of protein picked out, though? In that case, the eggs can take the place of the meat, accompanying some beans or just standing on their own to yield a breakfast taco that you can eat at any time of the day. Don't forget to add some salsa or hot sauce on top.

8. Pizza

When you think of foods you want to pair with eggs, pizza probably isn't the first dish that comes to mind. After all, you usually don't see eggs offered as a topping at pizza places, and you may not have ever tried the combo before. But believe us when we say that fried eggs can make a fantastic pizza topping. In fact, it's a traditional Italian topping (and we think they know what they're talking about).

There are a couple of different ways you can incorporate egg into your pizza. If you want it to really meld with the other ingredients, you can actually break a raw egg onto the center of the pizza right before you get ready to bake it. Alternatively, you can fry the egg separately and add it on after the pizza's already come out of the oven.

9. Risotto

Risotto is one of those comfort foods we could easily eat for every meal. It packs plenty of carbs, which play a huge role in making you feel satisfied, and its creamy texture is almost always appealing. Plus, it's such a versatile dish — there are so many different flavor profiles you can tap into depending on the ingredients you use.

One ingredient we never want to enjoy our risotto without? A poached egg. You may not have put eggs on your risotto before, but it's a combo you have to try. Once the yolk breaks and it starts to run into the rice, you can mix it in, which creates a velvety texture with an extra kick of fatty, decadent flavor. You may never eat risotto without the egg again.

10. Loaded sweet potatoes

We're all in search of easy, simple, savory breakfast hacks that will leave us feeling full and satisfied — and don't require 30 minutes or more of prep work before we head out the door. If you're looking for an unconventional (but very delicious) breakfast hack, you may want to try making loaded sweet potatoes. These aren't just any loaded sweet potatoes, though — if you're looking for the best results, add a hard-boiled egg for a breakfast twist. We like cutting a sweet potato in half and then topping each half with an egg.

Of course, there are other ways to serve sweet potatoes and eggs. If you have some extra time in the morning, consider making an omelet with sweet potato as an addition. The savory and sweet flavors, when combined, make for a deeply satisfying weekend breakfast.

11. Breakfast potatoes

Potatoes are great for any meal, but they're especially enjoyable when you eat them for breakfast. Because they're so hearty, they can really fill you up fast, especially when you combine them with other ingredients. If you want to upgrade your breakfast potatoes, consider preparing them with some ground meat like sausage, vegetables, and, yes, eggs.

There are so many different ways you can incorporate eggs into your breakfast potato dish. Fry them and place them on top of the cooked potatoes, or fry them together so the flavors meld together more. Bake some eggs on top of the potatoes in the oven, or combine scrambled eggs and potatoes for less of a runny yolk experience. The possibilities are endless — and delicious.

12. Oatmeal

Now this one may come as a surprise to some, especially if you're used to eating oatmeal sweetened with fruit, sugar, or syrup and topped with nuts, shredded coconut, or even chocolate nibs. Although many of us enjoy eating our oatmeal in a sweet format, that's not the only way it can be prepared. If you're ready to completely switch up your oatmeal routine, you may want to try savory oatmeal.

Cook your oatmeal in chicken or vegetable broth, and then don't be afraid to get creative with the toppings you use. A wide variety of salty, savory ingredients can work here, like vegetables, ground meat, and more. Of course, no savory oatmeal is complete without an egg on top. Whether you choose to poach, fry, or scramble your egg, you're going to love this combo.

13. Yogurt

Yogurt, too, is often served sweet in the United States, but in so many other cultures in the world, yogurt is really more of a savory ingredient. Since it's relatively plain, it goes with a lot of other ingredients as well, adding creaminess to a wide variety of dishes. One ingredient yogurt pairs especially well with? Eggs.

Turkish çılbır, which is a poached egg on top of plain yogurt, is something you absolutely have to try. The creaminess of the yogurt is even more decadent when you break the yolk open and allow it to mix with the other ingredients. Add in some Aleppo butter for extra color, flavor, and fat, which is just what this dish needs to come together beautifully. This is definitely one of our favorite ways to start the day.

14. Pasta

Pasta is just for dinner, right? Maybe if you're feeling fancy, you can order it for lunch. But breakfast? Many of us wouldn't dream of making breakfast pasta. We're here to tell you, though, that it may just be the best possible way to get your day off to a good (and deeply enjoyable) start. You can start with any kind of pasta, but we like something long, like fettuccine or linguine. Add in some bacon for added saltiness and fat, and then — of course — plop some fried or poached eggs on top.

This breakfast salad is basically a deconstructed carbonara. It's easier to make than the original dish, and it comes together in just a few minutes at the stove. Who knows? Pasta may just become a breakfast food in your house from now on.

15. Salad

We absolutely love salad for several reasons. Of course, salads can be healthy, and they're a great way to work more vegetables into your diet. But we also love that you don't have to be a top-notch cook to make an incredible salad. As long as you have all the necessary ingredients and can chop them up, you're already well on your way to feeding yourself a salad anytime you want one. And because they're so versatile, you can use basically anything you have in the house.

No matter what kind of salad you're making, adding in a boiled egg is a great way to boost the protein content and make it more filling. However, there's one salad that's basically begging for a boiled egg, and that's a classic Cobb salad. This classic utilizes cold cuts, an assortment of vegetables, and importantly, a boiled egg, and it somehow always hits the spot.

16. Steak

Is there anything in this world better than digging into a big, juicy steak? If you're a meat lover, it's probably the pinnacle of your culinary existence. But there's one addition that can take your steak to a whole new level, and it's fried eggs. Steak and eggs is a timeless, traditional combo for a reason: It combines two decadent ingredients in one dish. And since fried eggs are so easy to cook, it's simple to add them onto your plate once you finish cooking the steak.

There are so many ways you could flavor your steak in general, but we think the steak and egg combo is begging for some chimichurri. Buy some at the store if you're pinched for time, or make your own from scratch for the freshest possible flavor.

17. Fried chickpeas

If you ask us, chickpeas are one of the greatest foods on the face of the earth, especially when they're crisped to perfection. We love frying ours and then snacking on them on their own or adding them to other dishes that need a bit of crunch. But perhaps the best way to enjoy chickpeas is with a fried egg. Not only are you adding even more protein into the mix (which will help you feel full for longer), but you're also giving your fried eggs a distinctive crunch.

Enjoy your fried eggs and chickpeas on rice or potatoes, or just eat them on a slice of toast. Even if you don't want to combine them with anything else, though, fried eggs and chickpeas can be eaten all on their own. Top them with some sort of hot sauce for a bit of extra heat, and you're good to go.

18. Grits

You may have had shrimp and grits before, but have you ever had eggs and grits? Eggs are a common addition to grits, and because it's (usually) a cheaper option than shrimp, we think it's a perfect combo. If you want your breakfast to cook in a flash, opt for instant grits — they only take a few minutes to cook on the stove. Then, add in any kind of egg that you're craving. Fried eggs work well here, of course, but scrambled eggs are a better option if you want the eggs to mix in with the grits more.

You don't have to stop with grits and eggs, though. From there, you can add in a variety of other ingredients to give the dish even more flavor. Scallions, soy sauce, and red pepper flakes are some of our favorites.