Learn how to make perfect soft boiled eggs! Top them onto toast or grain bowls, or sprinkle them with salt and enjoy them on their own.
There’s something so crave-able about a perfect soft boiled egg. The tender white, the runny yolk. If you ask me, it’s something everyone should know how to make. It takes minutes, it requires 1 ingredient, and it’s an easy way to add protein and healthy fats to just about anything! Want to round out a salad or turn a slice of toast into a meal? Put a soft boiled egg on it.
Below, you’ll find my foolproof method for how to soft boil an egg. It yields soft boiled eggs with perfectly cooked whites and gooey, jammy yolks. This simple recipe is a staple in my kitchen. Once you try it, it will be in yours, too!
How to Make Soft Boiled Eggs
My method for how to make soft boiled eggs couldn’t be simpler! Here’s how it goes:
First, heat the water. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium, so the water maintains a gentle boil.
Then, add the eggs. Using a slotted spoon, carefully lower the eggs into the simmering water. Set a timer for 7 minutes.
While the eggs cook, prepare the ice bath. Fill a large bowl with cold water, and add a handful of ice. When the timer goes off, remove the eggs from the hot water, and immediately add them to the ice bath. Allow them to chill for at least 3 minutes.
Finally, peel the eggs! Tap the bottom of a soft boiled egg to remove a little of the shell. Carefully slide a small spoon between the egg and its shell, and slide it around the egg to loosen the shell and remove it. I love this easy method for peeling a soft boiled egg, but it can take a little practice to get just right. If you prefer, you can also peel the eggs with your hands, like I do in my hard boiled egg recipe.
Repeat the peeling process with the remaining eggs, and enjoy!
Perfect Soft Boiled Egg Tips
- Cook them how you like them. My definition of a perfect soft boiled egg might not be the same as yours, and that’s ok! It all comes down to the consistency of the yolk. I like mine to be gooey and jammy, with some parts runny and some parts starting to solidify. To achieve this texture, I cook mine for 7 minutes. If you prefer a runnier yolk, cook your eggs for 6 1/2 minutes.
- Watch the water. Have you ever cooked eggs in rapidly boiling water? (I have.) Did they crack? (They did.) In this recipe, make sure the water maintains a gentle boil. It should be bubbling, but not so hard that the eggs bounce around. If the water starts to boil too fast, the shells will break against the bottom of the pot.
- Don’t skip the ice bath. For the sake of convenience, it might be tempting to skip the ice bath in this recipe. But trust me, I wouldn’t ask you to do this step if it wasn’t necessary. The ice bath stops the cooking process, so the eggs keep their crave-worthy runny yolks, and it makes them far easier to peel. It’s super easy and totally worth it.
Soft Boiled Egg Serving Suggestions
There are so many ways to enjoy a perfect soft boiled egg! If you’re feeling fancy, don’t even bother to peel it. Instead, pop it in an egg cup, and use a spoon to crack the shell and remove the top quarter of the egg. Sprinkle it with salt and pepper, everything bagel seasoning, or za’atar, and eat it straight out of the shell.
A soft boiled egg is a great topping for larger dishes, too. I especially love adding one to avocado toast and grain bowls, like my Power Bowl or Farmers Market Breakfast Bowl. Try these recipes, or have fun creating your own bowl with these components:
- A soft boiled egg! It’ll add richness and protein.
- A grain. Think white, brown, or black rice, quinoa, farro, or wheat berries.
- Veggies. Anything goes! Experiment with fresh greens, sautéed mushrooms, roasted broccoli, cauliflower, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, and more.
- And a punchy sauce. Tie it all together with sesame ginger dressing, gochujang sauce, peanut sauce, homemade Italian dressing, or lemon vinaigrette.
Let me know what combinations you try!
More Favorite Cooking Basics
If you loved learning to how soft boil an egg, check out one of these basic tutorials next:
- How to Make Sunny Side Up Eggs
- Baked Tofu
- How to Cook Tempeh
- Crispy Roasted Chickpeas
- How to Cook Lentils
- How to Cook Dried Beans
How to Make Soft Boiled Eggs
- Fill a medium pot with water and heat to a gentle simmer, just below boiling. Using a slotted spoon, carefully lower the eggs into the water and let simmer for 7 minutes (6 minutes for a runnier egg). Set a bowl of ice water nearby.
- Remove and chill immediately in the ice water for a minute or two until the eggs are cool enough to handle.
- Tap the bottom of each egg to crack off a little bit of the shell.
- Take a small spoon and carefully slide it in and around the egg to loosen and remove it from the shell. This takes a little bit of practice to get exactly right. If your first eggs aren’t perfect, it’s ok. They’ll still be delicious!
- Season eggs with salt and pepper, to taste.
Made these tonight, followed exact recipe.. perfect. I have always been intimidated about making these… Not any more, I cannot believe how easy. Thank you!!
Hi Tracey, I’m so glad you loved the eggs!
I’m a fan!!! I normally make eggs over easy, but don’t always have success. These eggs came out perfectly, so now it’s my preferred method. Thank you~
So glad it’s your new go-to!
Perfect 👌🏼 💯 I’ve tried for years but never could get it right…(as easy as you would think lol)
But, perfect timing, and everything else with the ice etc.
The best thank you… you made my day…(I just finished some as we spoke)
Hi April, I’m so glad you loved the eggs!
Comes out perfectly everytime. I love soft boiled eggs. 🥰
So glad you love the recipe! Aren’t soft boiled eggs great? 🙂
I find this confusing. You talk about a “3-minute” and “4-minute” egg, but they you talk about setting the timer for 7 minutes. Please clarify!
Hi Sylvia, I’m not sure where you’re referring to – we cook the eggs for 7 minutes (6 1/2 if you prefer a more runny egg), and then chill in an ice bath for 3 minutes.
I live in Prescott, AZ – a mile high city. I followed the instructions exactly, and even though water boils here at 202 instead of 212, the egg turned out great, but was a little hard to peel without taking off some of the white.
I’ll need to make a tiny adjustment I think, but I’ll have to experiment. I think maybe just a little more time simmering or a little time sitting in the hot water to firm up the white some more before plunging into the ice bath. Even so, though, the yolk was perfect consistency, as described. Yum, and thanks!
So glad you enjoyed the eggs! I find that chilling the eggs in the ice bath a bit longer after cooking can make them easier to peel. Hope this helps!
I have followed this recipe at least 5 times and my eggs come out perfect. I have tried so many recipes in the past from Food Network, Martha Stewart, etc. These are the best for me!
Hi Marija, I’m so glad your eggs have been perfect!
Are you starting with cold or room temp eggs?
Legit the best egg I’ve ever had. Worked perfect.
Thank you, thank you and thank you!! My trial and error with my favorite type of egg is over! This worked perfectly! Yay! I can eat my favorite egg prep for those great Sunday morning breakfasts where it’s quiet, peaceful and delicious!!
I’m so glad your eggs were perfect!
My eggs turned out great. Happy I know how to make perfect soft boiled eggs. A little obssessed now…. Thanks Jeanine
I’m glad they were perfect!
The spoon trick for peeling was a game changer! And the eggs cooked perfectly just like you said. Thank you!
Yay, I’m so glad you enjoyed the method, I love the spoon trick 🙂
When you refrigerate leftovers, do they stay soft boiled in the middle of reheated?
Hi Kelsey, I don’t usually make extras for leftover, I like to make my soft boiled eggs fresh. If I do store them in the fridge, I would use them cold on a salad or sandwich. If you reheat them, the yolks would set more.
Fabulous! They came out ‘exactly’ how I love them!!!😍Thank you so much for the tutorial Jeanine Donofrio🙏🏻