Egg-in-a-Hole Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Possibly the best (and messiest) breakfast sandwich in existence.

Two halves of a grilled cheese egg-in-the-hole sandwich stacked on top of each other, with cheese and egg overflowing from the middle.

Serious Eats / Amanda Suarez

Why This Recipe Works

  • A combination of soft-cooked fried eggs and melty grilled cheese makes a delightfully messy sandwich (to be eaten with a knife and fork!).
  • Pre-toasting the bread in the skillet allows you to avoid overcooking the eggs.

I wish I could say that I came up with what may well be the best breakfast sandwich concept ever on my own, but I'd be lying. I first came across the brilliant idea over on Reddit, but awesomeness rarely goes unrepeated when the internet is involved, and I have no shame in admitting that I made this sandwich within an hour of reading about it.

Several slices of cheese (American and cheddar), two eggs, four pats of butter, and two slices of bread on a wooden cutting board.

Serious Eats / J. Kenji López-Alt

Like the infamous Fatty Melt—that's a burger made with two grilled cheese sandwiches as a bun, the brainchild of our own Adam Kuban—the Grilled Cheese Eggsplosion is a hybrid sandwich, combining elements from two or more sources into a single glorious dish. In this case, it's a simple grilled cheese sandwich with two eggs-in-a-hole (or bull's-eye eggs, eggs-in-a-basket, whatever you want to call them) replacing plain old bread.

Bonus: You get to make yourself a mini grilled cheese using the circular cutouts—or a mini egg-in-the-hole, if you like.

If all goes well, once this sucker is fried up, the cheese will be perfectly melted and the yolks still runny, so that they gush forth as soon as you cut or bite into them. I strongly believe that anything good can be made better by adding a chin-dripping element. Except perhaps disposable razors.


How to Make a Grilled Cheese Eggsplosion (Eggs-in-a-Hole + Grilled Cheese)

February 2015

Recipe Details

Egg-in-a-Hole Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Prep 5 mins
Cook 10 mins
Active 15 mins
Total 15 mins
Serves 1 sandwich

Possibly the best (and messiest) breakfast sandwich in existence.


  • 2 slices hearty sandwich bread

  • 3 tablespoons (45g) unsalted butter, divided

  • 2 large eggs

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 slices American, cheddar, and/or Jack cheese


  1. Using a small empty can, a biscuit cutter, or the ring from a Mason jar, cut a circle out of the center of each slice of bread.

    A circle being cut out of the middle of a piece of white bread with a pastry tin

    Serious Eats / Amanda Suarez

  2. In a large nonstick or cast iron skillet, melt 1 tablespoon (15g) butter over medium heat until foaming subsides. Add both bread slices and circular cutouts and cook until very lightly browned on the bottom side. Break an egg into each hole, season with salt and pepper, and cook, swirling occasionally, until bread is lightly golden brown on the bottom side and eggs can easily be lifted without breaking, 1 to 2 minutes. While the egg-filled bread slices cook, flip circular cutouts as soon as they are golden brown on first side, then toast on second side and remove when ready.

    Two Image Collage. Top image: Two pieces of bread with circular middles cut out in a pan with butter and the removed circles. Bottom: a raw egg added to the open middle of both pieces of bread

    Serious Eats / Amanda Suarez

  3. Add remaining 2 tablespoons (30g) butter and carefully flip both slices of bread, making sure the eggs don't break. Add a cheese slice to the top of each bread slice. Cook, swirling pan occasionally, until golden brown on second side.

    Four Image collage. Top Row: Two photos showing one piece of bread with a semi-cooked egg in the middle being flipped in the pan. Bottom Left: Golden brown toast with fried egg in center in pan. Bottom Right: A piece of cheese added to each egg-in-bread toast in pan.

    Serious Eats / Amanda Suarez

  4. Close sandwich with cheese inside and continue to cook, flipping occasionally, until eggs are soft-cooked and cheese is melted, about 1 minute longer. Serve immediately.

    Grilled Cheese Eggplosion cut in half on a blue plate

    Serious Eats / Amanda Suarez

Special Equipment

Small can, biscuit cutter, or Mason jar ring; large cast iron or nonstick skillet

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
750 Calories
55g Fat
33g Carbs
31g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 750
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 55g 70%
Saturated Fat 30g 148%
Cholesterol 492mg 164%
Sodium 1080mg 47%
Total Carbohydrate 33g 12%
Dietary Fiber 2g 6%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 31g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 550mg 42%
Iron 4mg 23%
Potassium 266mg 6%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)