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 83 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.


  • 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.


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


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Rate this recipe (after making it)

  1. Jenni

    Can these be made a day ahead of when you plan to eat them?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Jenni, I prefer mine right after they’re made – I’ll store hard boiled eggs in the fridge for a few days, but I’m not sure storing runny eggs is entirely food safe.

  2. Tab K

    5 stars
    My husband’s mother used to make him soft boiled eggs and cut up buttered toast when he was a kid. She passed at the end of 2020 and recently, he’s been vocal about how much he misses her. I just made these for him and the grin covered his entire face, from ear to ear. They came out absolutely perfect.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Aww, that’s so sweet, I’m so glad he enjoyed them.

  3. Mark

    Should the eggs be room temperature or straight from the fridge?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Mark, I use them straight from the fridge.

  4. H.J. Wratchford

    5 stars
    Tried this recipe with one egg and it turned out perfectly. Cool egg in ice bath until it was cool enough to handle.. Used a plastic spoon to remove egg as recommended and this worked perfectly also.

  5. Patricia

    I tried this method, ice bath and all, and although my egg was perfectly cooked, it was also cold. I’m curious what the benefit of the ice bath is supposed to be?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Patricia, it just stops the cooking process so the yolk doesn’t hard boil. You could skip the ice bath and just run the egg under cold water until it’s just cool enough to handle and peel.

  6. Rita

    5 stars
    Perfect results! I love your spoon peeling hack.

  7. Amy

    3 stars
    6 minutes way too long for runny yolks. I’ll try 4 to 5 next time

  8. Shannon

    Although I am a pretty great cook, I have always, always been a boiled egg FAILURE. No more. These are great. Will be serving at Christmas brunch. Instead of salt, I am rolling them in everything bagel seasoning and using with Garlic Beef Tenderloin Eggs Benedict.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Shannon, I’m so glad the method worked well for you!

  9. Michelle

    Are the eggs at room temp when you place them in the water? Or chilled from the fridge? That matters.

  10. Nancy Luttropp

    I wish you would include a recipe for soft boiled eggs at high altitude. How long would you cook them and have the remain soft

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Nancy, I’m so sorry, I don’t live at a high altitude, so that would be hard for me to accurately test.

  11. Joshua

    5 stars
    7 minutes was perfection, I think some people could do 8 minutes if they want more chew on the yoke, but yes perfection.

  12. Tiffany

    5 stars
    They turned out perfect! Thank you!

  13. Tomasita

    5 stars
    I have been making soft-boiled eggs on a hit-or-miss basis. Your perfectly-timed recipe is exactly the way I want them to be! Thank you!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad your eggs were perfect!

  14. Cc

    5 stars
    First attempt ever at making soft boiled eggs. I followed this recipe (just found it in a Google search) and it was a perfect experience, came out exactly as I had hoped. Would try this recipe again.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad your eggs were perfect!

  15. Kat from

    Thank you!!! This definitely helped me make some perfect soft boiled eggs!!!

  16. Rachel M

    Do you cover the pot when boiling the eggs?

  17. Bea

    Do you boil the eggs cold from the fridge or room temp??

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      from the fridge

      • Rachel

        Do you cover the pot when boiling the eggs?

        • Jeanine Donofrio

          Hi Rachel, no, I don’t.

      • Anita

        2 stars
        Perhaps my water wasn’t hot enough but I have raw, not runny.

        • Jeanine Donofrio

          Hi Anita, did your water come to a boil? It’s possible your eggs might have been larger than mine, they can vary.

        • Suzanne

          5 stars
          Not sure if it helps, but I brought my water to a boil first and then turned it down to a simmer, and left the lid on (it didn’t reboil). 6 minutes and mine were perfect

    • Rachel

      Do you cover the pot when boiling the eggs?

    • Nicole

      5 stars
      Yup! Exactly how they should be. Thank you!

  18. Jen

    5 stars
    My 14 year old had a craving for soft boiled eggs. We found your recipe and he loved them. Thank you!

  19. Sara J

    5 stars
    Made these tonight with my 16 year old. He and I both give them a thumbs up. So delicious!

  20. Brooklyn

    Ooh, looks delicious! Thank you for sharing your secrets, haha! Would be delicious on a steamy bowl of ramen, too. 🤤

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.