Sunny Side Up Eggs – The Recipe Critic


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A Sunny Side Up Egg is a perfect way to add protein to a meal, and is a must-have skill in the kitchen! The key is timing and temperature, and following my simple tips you’ll whip up the most flavorful and perfectly runny pan-fried egg.

I really love eggs. They taste great in so many different things! Whenever I’m craving an egg dish, egg salad is always my go-to recipe. I also can’t resist a deviled egg, and of course, scrambled eggs for breakfast!

A plate of sunny side up eggs with a fork cutting through it with strawberries and potatoes next to it.

Eggs Sunny Side Up

A sunny side up egg is the perfect addition to your breakfast or dinner. It is an egg cooked in a frying pan until it has a perfectly runny yolk, also called an over-easy egg. The egg white is still soft and creamy, and not at all crispy or rubbery. It is the perfect egg if you ask me! Sprinkle some salt and pepper on the top and it’s so flavorful. The trick to making a sunny side up egg is heating up the oil in the pan before adding the egg, and not keeping the pan too hot. It’s so simple, but an overlooked skill in the kitchen.

If you are wondering what to eat a sunny side up egg with besides toast, there is a world of possibilities. Have you ever tried chilaquiles? It is a warm salsa dish that you will fall in love with! A sunny side up egg is perfect with a side of parmesan garlic roasted potatoes, or paired with a homemade breakfast sausage. It doesn’t just have to go with breakfast either, it’s great with a juicy air fryer steak for dinner or on a sandwich or burger.

What You Will Need

It’s pretty simple, just grab your favorite pan, some oil, and an egg! This recipe is easily changed to make as many eggs as you need, just make sure to not put too many eggs in the pan at a time. They will run together, and it will also make the eggs cook unevenly. So stick to 3 eggs at most in the pan at a time. You can find exact measurements below in the recipe card.

  • Olive oil or Butter: Adding fat to the pan before you put the eggs in will help the eggs not stick, and add flavor.
  • Eggs: I always use large grade A eggs in my recipes.
  • Kosher Salt and Ground Black Pepper: Use quality salt and freshly ground black pepper for the best tasting egg.
Process photos showing oil heating up in a pan, then eggs added, them cooked and being covered.

How to Cook Sunny Side Up Eggs

As I said earlier, you may think there is nothing to it, but it takes a few simple steps that you have to pay attention to. First, you have to make sure the pan isn’t too hot. If you egg sizzles when it hits the pan, the pan is too hot! You have to have a little patience, but it will pay off. You will have the perfect sunny side up egg! The other thing to remember is you don’t flip the egg. Covering the egg will keep enough heat around the egg to cook the top.

  1. Heat: Heat the oil in a medium non-stick pan over low heat for about 3 minutes.
  2. Add Eggs: Crack the first egg and slowly add it to the skillet. You should NOT hear a sizzle when it hits the pan. That means your skillet is too hot, so be sure to turn it down. Repeat with the other egg, adding it to the other side of the skillet.
  3. Cover and Cook: Cover with a tight lid and cook until the whites are completely set but the yolks are still runny. This will take about 2 to 2 ½ minutes. Watch it closely, and don’t remove the lid until after 2 minutes. Remember, do not flip the egg to the second side!
  4. Season and Enjoy: Carefully slide the eggs out of the skillet with a spatula and onto a plate. Season with salt and pepper and serve with a side of toast.
A close up of sunny side up eggs cooked in a frying pan.

Tips for Cooking A Sunny Side Up Egg

Here are a few tips I’ve picked up from friends and family when we talk about eggs. Everyone has a different way of cooking them to get them the way they like them. There is more than one way to cook a sunny side up egg!

  • Using Butter: Some people swear by butter! It does add great flavor and helps the egg to release from the pan. You don’t want the butter to brown in the pan, that will be a sign the pan is too hot.
  • Cooking the Egg White: Some people don’t like the film of the egg white to be too raw. If you add a little bit of water before you cover the pan, it will help to steam the top of the egg and make it less “slimy”.
  • Basting the Egg: You can add a lot of flavor and help the egg cook by basting it while it’s cooking. You can add a little extra oil, lard, or butter in the pan, and as it is cooking, spoon the fat on top of the egg. It gives a firm surface on the top of the egg yolk, but the inside stays runny.

A plate of food with eggs, potatoes, and strawberries with a fork.

Storing Leftovers

Sunny side up eggs don’t store very well. It is hard to reheat them without changing the texture of the egg. In the microwave, the egg white gets rubbery and the yolk gets firm. So in my opinion, just make them fresh! But if you do have leftovers, here is how to store them.

  • In the Refrigerator: You can store your leftover sunny side up eggs in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to two days.


  • Heat the oil in a medium nonstick skillet over low heat for about 3 minutes.

  • Crack the first egg and slowly add it to the skillet. You should NOT hear a sizzle when it hits the pan. That means your skillet is too hot, so be sure to turn it down. Repeat with the other egg, adding it to the other side of the skillet.

  • Cover with a tight lid and cook until the whites are completely set but the yolks are still runny. This will take about 2 to 2 ½ minutes. Watch it closely, and don’t remove the lid until after 2 minutes. Remember, do not flip the egg!

  • Carefully slide the eggs out of the skillet and onto a plate. Season with salt and pepper and serve with a side of toast.



Serves: 1

Calories197kcal (10%)Carbohydrates1gProtein11g (22%)Fat16g (25%)Saturated Fat4g (20%)Polyunsaturated Fat3gMonounsaturated Fat9gTrans Fat0.03gCholesterol327mg (109%)Sodium125mg (5%)Potassium122mg (3%)Sugar0.3gVitamin A475IU (10%)Calcium49mg (5%)Iron2mg (11%)

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.

Course Breakfast

Cuisine American

Keyword sunny side up egg



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