If People magazine were to release an issue of the “Most Eligible Breakfast Foods,” Arugula Eggs Benedict with Goat Cheese Hollandaise would be the cover.
Arugula Eggs Benedict with Easy Goat Cheese Hollandaise on Crispy Farina Cakes Think about it. Eggs Benedict is the total package. It combines all of the main breakfast food groups—toasty carbs, runny eggs, and savory meat—then smothers them in an irresponsibly rich hollandaise. Who wouldn’t want a date with that kind of decadence, if only for one morning? I eagerly order eggs Benedict when I’m out on the town, but it’s not a dish I’d bring home to mom, for a few reasons.

One: Eggs Benedict may be easy on the eyes, but it’s hard on the heart. Literally. Hollandaise is an emulsion of butter and egg yolks, the meat used is not lean, and the English muffin rarely incorporates whole grains.

Two: Eggs Benedict is high maintenance. Who wants to stress about emulsifying eggs on a Saturday morning? Not this girl. I want a brunch dish who isn’t fussier than I am, thank you very much.

Arugula Eggs Benedict with Goat Cheese Hollandaise, however, swept me off of my feet. This healthy twist on classic eggs Benedict that is both lightered up and attainable for a home cook. Not only is this version much better for you, I found the robust flavors of nutty farina (more on that soon), sweet sundried tomatoes, garlicky arugula, and creamy goat cheese far more satisfying that the original.
Arugula Eggs Benedict with Sundried Tomato Goat Cheese Sauce on Crispy Farina Cakes Let’s build our Arugula Eggs Benedict with Goat Cheese Hollandaise! In place of the English muffin, the base of Arugula Eggs Benedict is a crispy farina cake. Farina is more commonly known as “cream of wheat,” and if you have bad childhood memories of icky, soggy of mush (as I did), now is the time to listen to your therapist and put them behind you. I used Bob’s Red Mill’s Whole Wheat Farina, which boasts a satisfying, nutty flavor and hearty texture. While farina is typically prepared as a creamy porridge, it can also be cooled, sliced, and pan seared into tasty little cakes. Not only are these farina cakes much more healthier and more filling than a classic English muffin, but also, they are better equipped to transport the slew of eggs Benedict toppings we are about to pile on thick.

In place of the standard bacon or ham, I swapped fresh arugula sautéed in garlic and olive oil. Its vibrant, peppery flavor stands up to the hearty farina, and the leafy greens provide a healthy boost of nutrients. Next we have the classic poached egg with its delicately soft, runny yolk. If you are intimidated by poaching eggs, fear not—I’ve included an easy step-by-step. Should you choose to substitute a fried egg for ease, I won’t judge.
Vegetarian Eggs Benedict with Goat Cheese Sauce on Crispy Farina Cakes The crowing glory of our Arugula Eggs Benedict is a goat cheese sundried tomato “hollandaise.” It’s not technically a hollandaise (since hollandaise by definition is comprised of butter and egg yolks and the goat cheese sauce has neither), but its texture is just as luxurious and—I’ll say it—I prefer the sundried tomato goat cheese sauce. It’s creamy, dreamy and flavor-packed. Plus, it’s far healthier and easier to prepare than hollandaise, and its dynamic flavor has more to offer. We loved this goat cheese sundried tomato sauce so much, I’ve started making extra batches to spread onto sandwiches and top pastas. Try it once and you will be equally addicted!

Vegetarian Arugula Eggs Benedict with Easy Goat Cheese Sundried Tomato Hollandaise Sauce on Crispy Farina Cakes  Arugula Eggs Benedict with Goat Cheese Hollandaise combines simplicity of farina with the indulgence of eggs Benedict, all with less guilt. Bring it home to mom, give it your heart, and live happily ever after!

Two eggs benedicts on white plates

Arugula Eggs Benedict with Crispy Farina Cakes

5 from 1 vote
Vegetarian eggs benedict with garlic arugula, an easy goat cheese sundried tomato hollandaise sauce, poached eggs and crispy farina cakes

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 1 hr 10 mins
Total: 2 hrs 45 mins

Servings: 4 servings


For the Farina Cakes:

For the Goat Cheese Sundried Tomato Sauce:

  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons sundried tomatoes dry, not oil-packed
  • 4 ounces goat cheese
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne Pppper

For the Garlic Arugula:

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic about 4 cloves
  • 7 ounces arugula leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper

For the Poached Eggs:

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar


  • Prepare the farina cakes: Lightly oil a 9×9-inch baking dish and set aside. In a large saucepan, bring water to a boil. Add salt. Whisk in farina, reduce heat to low, and stir briskly to prevent lumps from forming. Cover and cook on low for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Continue cooking and stirring until the farina is the consistency of a very thick porridge. Pour into the prepared dish, smooth the top, and let stand until no longer steaming, about 10 minutes. Refrigerate, uncovered, until cold and set, about 1-1/2 hours. If not using immediately, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve (up to 2 days).
  • When ready to serve: Place a rack in the center of oven and preheat to 200°F. Invert the set farina onto a large cutting board. Cut into squares with a knife or into 3-inch rounds with a biscuit cutter (cutting into squares will yield more cakes—biscuit cutters will leave some scraps.) Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet over medium heat and cook the farina cakes for 3 to 5 minutes, turning once, until browned on the outside and heated inside. Repeat until all of the cakes are seared, adding more butter and oil as needed. Remove to a baking sheet and keep warm in preheated oven until ready to serve.
  • Prepare the sundried tomato goat cheese sauce: Place sundried tomatoes in a small bowl and cover with boiling water to rehydrate. Let sit 5 minutes, then drain. Warm the milk in the microwave for about 30 seconds. In a blender or a food processor fitted with a steel blade, add the milk, drained sundried tomatoes, goat cheese, mustard, lemon juice, and cayenne. Blend until mostly smooth (the sundried tomatoes will still be a little chunky.)
  • Prepare the garlic arugula: In a large, deep skillet or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium. Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Do not allow the garlic to brown. Add the arugula, salt, and pepper, tossing to coat with garlic and oil. Cover and cook for 2 minutes. Uncover, turn the heat to high, and cook for additional 30 seconds to 1 minute, stirring until the arugula is wilted. Turn off heat, cover to keep warm, and set aside.
  • Poach the eggs: Fill a deep saucepot with 1 inch of water and add vinegar. Heat water until just below the simmering point (small bubbles will appear all over the bottom of the pan but will not break the water’s surface.) Reduce heat slightly to keep the water from simmering. Break the first egg into a small dish. Using a rubber spatula, move in a vigorous circular motion around the sides of the pot to create a “whirlpool.” Gently slide the egg from the dish into the whirlpool’s center. Do not worry if the egg appears to be coming apart—the motion of the water will draw the sides in and around. If your egg sticks to the bottom of the pot, wait 30 seconds then gently slide the spatula underneath to loosen it. Cook egg for 3-4 minutes, until it only jiggles a little when nudged with the spatula. With a slotted spoon, carefully remove to a paper-towel lined plate. Repeat with remaining eggs. Just before serving, you can slip the eggs back into the warm (not simmering) water briefly to rewarm them if desired.
  • Serve: Top each farina cake with a spoonful of sauce, the sautéed arugula, a poached egg, and then another spoonful of sauce. Serve immediately.

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Disclosure: I am an ambassador for Bob’s Red Mill and received compensation for recipe development. As always, all opinions are my own.

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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  1. I thought the same thing as Stephanie….can’t decide if I’m more in love with the goat cheese hollandaise or the farina cakes!

  2. This looks amazing Erin! I’ve never made eggs benedict at home for your very same reasons but am totally in love with this lighter less high maintenance version! A taste of this would totally sweep me off my feet!

  3. Eggs Benedict is so divine. I love that you have made a healthier and heartier version. The goat cheese sauce looks heavenly!

  4. Awesome idea. Eggs Benedict is Aaron’s favourite breakfast but you are completely right about the unhealthy combo of simple carbs, fat, fat and… uh, cholesterol. This version has gorgeous flavours, colours, textures and a whack of nutrients to boot! Love it. I’ve never eaten farina or cream of wheat but I like the idea of the farina cake. I’ll definitely head over to the Bob’s Red Mill page to take a further look at your method. Erin, you’re amazing. Yeah, take a bow now! ;)

  5. You make everything look amazing! I’ve never liked arugula but this definitely makes me think I would change my mind!

  6. This dish brings a smile to my face. I love this heart-healthy version of eggs benedict. And you added goat’s cheese! *squeals*

  7. Oh my lordy. Passing this along to hubby with a note begging him to make this for Sunday morning breakfast… fingers crossed! ;)

    1. Before coming up with this version, eggs Benedict was something I never made too–too heavy and just too much work for me to do at home! That’s why I love this shortcut version that’s healthier and easier to make too. Eggs Benedict every Sunday? I think yes :-)

  8. Goats cheese hollandaise?? How have I never heard of this before?! I need this in my life asap!

    Definitely know what I want for Sunday brunch now.

    {Teffy’s Perks} X

    1. Teffy, I’m not sure if it existed before :-) If you do try it, I hope you love it as much as we do. I’ve been putting it on just about everything!

  9. Whoa, I love this spin on eggs benedict! I usually don’t order it because it can be so heavy but this version I am loving! I feel a special sunday brunch at home coming on…

    1. Thanks girl! I think face planting is the only acceptable action where runny eggs and goat cheese are involved :-)

  10. What a perfect healthier twist on this brunch favorite! Goat cheese – you said?? It totally looks much better than the real deal girrrrrl. These need to happen for tomorrow’s lunch. They really do.
    Happy Friday! <3

  11. Eggs benedict is one of my favorite things for breakfast and I will order it when we go out to eat. Now I can make a healthier version myself. Pinned. Would love for you to come and linkup at the Let’s Get Real Blog Hop. mypinterventures.com

    1. Thanks so much!! I love having healthier versions of classic dishes to make at home too. Hope you enjoy, and have a wonderful weekend!

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