We’ve shared some really cute Father’s Day breakfast ideas before, with everything from Dad-shaped pancakes to heart-shaped bacon. These adorable and really fun recipes are always a treat on a special day, but sometimes I think that maybe Dad would just prefer a really great breakfast sandwich. I’d certainly be happy with that on Mother’s Day or my birthday. Or, you know, whenever.
Inspired by this thought, I’ve done a scientific breakdown on how to build the perfect breakfast sandwich. Okay, maybe not quite scientific, but definitely a thoughtful analysis of tried-and-true deliciousness. (I know. Hard job.) And though inspired by Father’s Day, I think that my research will come in handy for us anytime, all year long.
Top: Huevos Rancheros Breakfast Sandwich | Closet Cooking
The perfect breakfast sandwich: The bread
If you ask me, bread is the most important part of any breakfast sandwich. When making one for Father’s Day, pick dad’s favorite carb, whether a buttery biscuit, a great deli bagel, a flaky croissant, or a crispy English muffin. Whatever it is, go with it. I even found an over-the-top breakfast sandwich made with cinnamon rolls at Thrillist. It works perfectly for sweet and savory lovers.
Whatever bread you choose, the real magic is in toasting it perfectly. Butter it first and pop it under broiler (not the toaster), watching the whole time, until it’s golden on top and the edges start to turn crispy, golden brown.
The perfect breakfast sandwich: The eggs
Next, the egg. I’m partial to a runny fried egg in my breakfast sandwich. That said, if you want something less messy, whip up an omelet, then fold it into the sandwich. It’s a great way to mix in some of those ingredients that get messy and fall out as you eat, like peppers or mushrooms.
The perfect breakfast sandwich: The meat
Unless you—or the person for whom you are cooking—is a vegetarian, meat is an essential component of a perfect breakfast sandwich. I’m a sucker for crispy bacon and think that it’s a classic go-to, especially if you splurge on high-quality bacon. If you agree and you’ve gone the omelet route, it’s important that you don’t mix the bacon into the eggs. That crispy crunch is the best part of your sandwich and you can only get it by layering bacon in the sandwich.
Since cooking bacon and eggs at the same time can be tricky, try cooking your bacon in the oven. Place thin-cut strips on a cookie sheet and bake in a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes, until crisp (longer if you’re using thick-cut). If this is for a special occasion like Father’s Day, go the extra mile to make oven-cooked Maple Glazed Bacon from our editor Stacie’s site, One Hungry Mama. It’s the perfect sweet-and-salty touch that every breakfast sandwich should have.
Alternatives to bacon include Canadian bacon, country ham, pastrami, smoked salmon (for something different) and, of course, sausage. If you go with sausage, skip the links and opt for crumbles or, even better, patties. Since it can be hard to find sausage patties of the highest quality, consider buying your favorite uncooked link sausage, removing the casing, and forming your own sized-to-fit patties.
The perfect breakfast sandwich: The toppings
I get the value of keeping it simple, especially as a busy home cook with several children tugging at my proverbial apron strings, but if there’s ever a time to go over the top and lay it on thick—literally—it’s when you’re building the perfect breakfast sandwich.
Toppings can vary wildly from spinach and avocado to fried chicken (yes, in addition to the meat component, like in this Fried Chicken and Sausage Breakfast Sandwich that we found on Foodness Gracious). The move here is to stick with favorite foods and make sure that they fit a single flavor profile. When making this on Father’s Day, think about what ingredients or flavors dad loves most.
You can go classic with cheese sauce and spinach like in this breakfast sandwich recipe at Framed Cooks (pictured). Or if you’re chasing southwestern flavors, layer in avocado, Monterey Jack, and hot sauce. Fans of southern food should pair country ham and pimento cheese. Fans of Mexican cuisine can add beans like in this Huevos Rancheros Breakfast Sandwich at Closet Cooking (very top). Or go crazy and satisfy Dad’s sweet tooth with the perfect mix of apple butter and spicy sausage.
So after all my research, is there one and only ultimate breakfast sandwich recipe? Absolutely not. There’s just toasty carbs, salty meat, a runny egg, and toppings that pair together to create a comprehensive flavor profile, whether spicy, sweet ‘n salty, or to match a favorite cuisine. With those elements, anything is possible, no mater how simple or creative you want to get.