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. Alex

    5 stars
    Very tasty!
    …a tip to prevent cracked eggs when boiling. Poke the wide bottom of the egg with a stick/push pin.
    …Ice bath works great, a fine technique.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      thanks for the tip!

    • Francis

      2 stars
      6 minutes. Not 7.

  2. Tracie Zenis

    5 stars
    These came out as close to perfect of any attempt I’ve made at soft-boiled eggs.. Or they would have, had I not skipped the ice in the cold water bath. That made them more difficult to peel, as described. Next time I will get my act together and make sure to use the ice.

  3. mCode

    I haven’t made soft-boiled eggs in about a decade. I quick looked up a recipe and this worked perfectly! thank you

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so happy they were perfect!

  4. Susan

    5 stars
    Tried this method for doing our breakfast this morning, and it worked beautifully. I think the last time I soft boiled an egg was back in the 1970s, so its good to have a great, easy method for doing it. Thank you for being there when I needed you!

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Hi Susan, I’m so glad you loved the eggs!

  5. Erin

    Hi! Do you recommend starting with room temperature eggs or do refrigerated eggs work as well? Thank you! Excited to try!

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Hi Erin, I’ve had success making this recipe with fridge-cold eggs. Hope you enjoy!

  6. Rose

    5 stars
    I never heard of using a small spoon to help peel the eggs. Just tried it for a ramen night and holy cow! It was so easy and the shells slid right off! No more ugly eggs for Easter/Thanksgiving now! Thank you so much for sharing this tip!!!!

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Hi Rose, so glad you found it handy!

  7. Nena

    4 stars
    7 mins on the dot was perfect, thank you. Soaked it in an ice water bath for 15 mins and was still a bitch to peel unfortunately but not sure what to do about that.

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Hi Nena, glad the eggs came out well! We’ve had success using a small spoon to scoop the eggs out of the shell instead of peeling them.

  8. Tracey

    5 stars
    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!!

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Hi Tracey, I’m so glad you loved the eggs!

  9. Mary Neforas

    5 stars
    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~

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      So glad it’s your new go-to!

  10. April

    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)

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Hi April, I’m so glad you loved the eggs!

  11. Deb

    5 stars
    Comes out perfectly everytime. I love soft boiled eggs. 🥰

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      So glad you love the recipe! Aren’t soft boiled eggs great? 🙂

  12. Sylvia

    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!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      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.

  13. Gary Zimmerman

    5 stars
    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!

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      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!

  14. Marija Webers

    5 stars
    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!
    thank you!!!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Marija, I’m so glad your eggs have been perfect!

  15. emi love

    Are you starting with cold or room temp eggs?

    • Jayne

      5 stars
      From other comments, the author says that starting from cold is acceptable (what she used in the recipe).

      I followed the instructions from cold, added a minute, and it came out perfectly jammy. A bit hard in the yolk for egg and soldiers, but that’s on me.

  16. Ellie

    Legit the best egg I’ve ever had. Worked perfect.

  17. Nancy B

    5 stars
    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!!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad your eggs were perfect!

      • EreikaKaneAKAGirl6

        5 stars
        My eggs turned out great. Happy I know how to make perfect soft boiled eggs. A little obssessed now…. Thanks Jeanine

        • Jeanine Donofrio

          I’m glad they were perfect!

  18. Leanna

    The spoon trick for peeling was a game changer! And the eggs cooked perfectly just like you said. Thank you!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Yay, I’m so glad you enjoyed the method, I love the spoon trick 🙂

  19. Kelsey

    When you refrigerate leftovers, do they stay soft boiled in the middle of reheated?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      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.

  20. Ro

    5 stars
    Fabulous! They came out ‘exactly’ how I love them!!!😍Thank you so much for the tutorial Jeanine Donofrio🙏🏻

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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.