Upgrade Your Breakfast Sandwich

I love a good egg breakfast sandwich. Note that I said a “good” breakfast sandwich, which ahem, means one that has good-quality eggs, whole grain bread and lots of yummy veggies. Those fast food places have a knack for making something that could be such a nutritious start to your day, a complete disaster! Sure they can be quite delicious, but that flavor comes at a nutritional cost since they are loaded with sodium, saturated fat and calories.

My idea you ask? Make your own and take it up a notch! My version is prepared using harissa, a popular spicy condiment used in North African cooking. Harissa is low in calories, but is amazingly flavorful and packed with nutrition thanks to the olive oil, red peppers and spices. My version also uses a whole wheat English muffin to replace the processed white muffin and is topped with refreshing lettuce greens for added nutrition.

The trick in getting people to appreciate and enjoy healthier cooking is to provide recipes loaded with flavor. My family loves this sandwich and doesn’t seem to miss those fast food breakfast sandwiches loaded with processed meats and cheeses.

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Egg Breakfast Sandwich with Harissa

  • Author: Sara Haas


A flavorful twist on a delicious breakfast sandwich.




  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • ½ cup roasted red bell pepper, drained
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided


  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 4 large eggs, whole
  • 4 large eggs, whites only
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • 4 English muffins (preferably whole wheat), toasted
  • 2 cups arugula or mixed lettuce greens, cleaned


To Prepare the Harissa

  1. Place a small skillet over medium heat. Add the caraway and cumin seeds and toast until aromatic, about 1-2 minutes. Swirl the pan while toasting to prevent burning. Remove the pan from the heat and add the chili powder and stir for one more minute. Remove the seeds and chili powder from the pan, transfer to a clean coffee or spice grinder (a mortar and pestle will work too) and grind into a fine powder.
  2. Add the ground spices to a food processor, followed by the garlic, roasted red bell pepper, olive oil, and sugar. Purée, stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl, until the paste is smooth, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

To Make the Breakfast Sandwich

  1. Heat the remaining oil a non-stick pan over medium heat. Once the pan is hot, add the onion and sauté for 5-7 minutes or until onion is softened.
  2. While the onion is cooking, whip together the eggs, salt and pepper.
  3. Add the egg mixture all at once to the pan with the onions and cook for one minute. Do not stir. Using a spatula, gently fold and lift the egg mixture, allowing the uncooked portions to flow under and cook. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until eggs are cooked, but still moist.
  4. Spread 1 tablespoon of harissa on each half of the English muffins. Divide the egg mixture evenly among the muffin bottoms and top with ½ cup of greens. Serve immediately.


  • Note: This recipe will yield approximately 1 cup of harissa. Leftover harissa can be used as a condiment for burgers, sandwiches and wraps. It can also be mixed with olive oil or yogurt and used as a marinade. Refrigerate in a sealed container and use within 2-4 days.


  • Serving Size: 4
  • Calories: 387
  • Sugar: 1
  • Sodium: 604
  • Fat: 21
  • Saturated Fat: 5
  • Unsaturated Fat: 15
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 31
  • Protein: 18
  • Cholesterol: 372