How to Make Soft Boiled Eggs

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.

Soft boiled eggs

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!

Eggs in a tray

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.

Eggs covered with 1 inch of water in a pot

Then, add the eggs. Using a slotted spoon, carefully lower the eggs into the simmering water. Set a timer for 7 minutes.

How to make soft boiled eggs

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 eggs on a plate

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.

Power bowl with a soft boiled egg

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:

Let me know what combinations you try!

Soft boiled egg recipe

More Favorite Cooking Basics

If you loved learning to how soft boil an egg, check out one of these basic tutorials next:

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How to Make Soft Boiled Eggs

rate this recipe:
4.82 from 80 votes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 7 minutes
Serves 2 to 4
Learn how to make perfect soft boiled eggs! With tender whites and runny yolks, they're a delicious snack or topping for toast, salads, and more.

Instructions

  • 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.

Notes

*or as many or few eggs as you desire
Eggs may vary based on size, type, and freshness.

92 comments

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Rate this recipe (after making it)




  1. Erin
    04.02.2024

    We’re making the eggs for a brunch, how far ahead of time can I boil the eggs? Ideally, I’d like to do it the day before. Is this possible w soft boiled?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      04.02.2024

      Hi Erin, yes you can make them a day or two ahead of time and store them in the fridge.

  2. Mossy
    03.24.2024

    after the ice bath of 3 minutes, are the eggs still hot?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      03.25.2024

      Hi Mossy, they’re cooled down to about room temperature by then. If you would like a hot egg, you can do less time or just run the egg under cold water until it’s cool to the touch to peel.

  3. Surya
    03.01.2024

    This was super easy to follow and came out perfectly! Thank you

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)
      03.08.2024

      Hi Surya, Awesome! So glad you loved the recipe.

  4. Stacey
    02.13.2024

    5 stars
    Perfect soft-boiled eggs! All of your recipes are wonderful and create delicious results!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      02.13.2024

      I’m so glad your eggs turned out perfect!

  5. Holley
    02.09.2024

    5 stars
    Wow. This worked so perfectly fo me. Lowering the heat on the boil prevented eggs from popping open. Whites were tender, not rubbery with perfect runny yolks. Yay! Thank you!

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)
      02.09.2024

      Hi Holley, I’m so glad you loved the soft-boiled eggs!

  6. Rob
    01.30.2024

    1 star
    3 eggs popped straight off the bat. Crap recipe!

  7. Allison
    01.21.2024

    3 stars
    Lowered eggs into the non boiling water as if I was stepping away from a ticking bomb and every single egg broke 🤷🏼‍♀️

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      01.23.2024

      Hi Allison, I might try a different brand of eggs.

    • Windy Rudd
      03.30.2024

      If your eggs come directly from a cold fridge into boiling water they will crack and be ruined every time. If your eggs are more room temp when added to boiling it will work. Or put cold eggs in at the very beginning.

  8. Lisa
    01.05.2024

    Eggs were over cooked and cold even at 6.5 mins. I’ll try a different method

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.