A plate of fluffy scrambled eggs is a breakfast classic for good reason — they’re filling, cook up quickly and are so easy to customize with all sorts of tasty add-ins. Trouble is, they’re also easy to overcook into a rubbery mess, leaving us wondering how places like IHOP get them so delicious every time. That’s why we asked a professional chef for the secret to perfectly scrambled eggs. The surprising answer? Sour cream! Simply use it instead of water or milk to whip up a soft scramble in no time. Even better, sour cream adds a tanginess to the eggs, which complements the flavors of meat, cheese or any other ingredients you incorporate into the dish. Keep reading for chef’s tips on how to make fluffy scrambled eggs like IHOP using this surprise ingredient!
The basics of scrambled eggs
At its core, scrambled eggs consist of beaten eggs that are mixed with salt and pepper and cooked in butter or oil. Often, milk or water is combined with the eggs as the liquid will evaporate in the pan during cooking and help the scramble rise, giving it a fluffy texture. However, if you’re looking for a bouncy and extra creamy scramble your best bet is using sour cream instead.
Chef’s secret to fluffy scrambled eggs
While sour cream may seem like an odd addition to scramble eggs, it has all of the components needed to create a tender and moist dish. “Sour cream provides three key elements that enhance eggs: fat, moisture and acidity,” chef Nelson Serrano-Bahri, director of innovation at the American Egg Board, explains. “The acidity in sour cream may also prevent eggs from turning green and drying while eggs wait to be served.” Incorporating the sour cream into the scramble at the right time is important as adding it too early creates mushy eggs.
When to add sour cream to scrambled eggs
To avoid a watery scramble, Lisa Steele, blogger and author of The Fresh Eggs Daily Cookbook (Buy from Amazon, $15.39), suggests adding it during the last minute of cooking. “Wait to add the sour cream until the eggs are just about done, then take them off the heat and gently fold in the sour cream,” she says. “Room-temperature sour cream is best so you don’t cool off the eggs too much.” Once the sour cream is incorporated, you can finish cooking the scramble and then add seasonings so the flavors aren’t dull by the time the eggs are done.
How to make scrambled eggs with sour cream
To make a batch of sour cream-infused scrambled eggs, use this easy recipe from Steele.
- 2 large eggs
- 1 Tbs. sour cream, room temperature
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 Tbs. butter or olive oil
- Freshly chopped chives or other herbs (optional)
- Total time: 10 mins
- Yield: 1 serving
- In small bowl, beat eggs until whites and yolks are fully mixed. Set aside.
- Heat butter or oil in small skillet over medium heat. Once heated, pour in beaten eggs. Cook while stirring occasionally until eggs begin to firm up and lose their runniness, around 2 to 3 minutes. When eggs are almost done, fold in sour cream and continue cooking another 1 minute or until scramble is fully cooked.
- Remove pan from heat and season with salt and pepper. Serve eggs on warm plate with chives or other herbs (if desired). Enjoy!
Note: If you don’t have sour cream on hand, you can substitute the full amount with another creamy ingredient like Greek yogurt or cottage cheese. (Click through for more sour cream substitutes.)
5 ways to dress up scrambled eggs
To flavor up your homemade scramble, try these five delicious suggestions!
1. Salsa or guacamole
For a touch of freshness, serve the cooked scrambled eggs with a spoonful of zesty salsa or creamy guacamole.
2. BBQ meat
Chunks of leftover BBQ chicken, pulled pork or brisket give your plain scramble a smoky taste.
3. Cooked vegetables
Incorporating cooked onions, mushrooms and/or root vegetables into the dish makes it more filling and earthy. (Click through for guides on making quick caramelized onions, satuéed mushrooms that aren’t soggy and reheating roasted vegetables.)
While still piping hot, a dollop of basil or sun dried tomato pesto provides the cooked eggs with bright and rich flavors. (Click through for a sun dried tomato pesto recipe.)
Shredded cheeses including cheddar, Parmesan and Monterey Jack infuse this breakfast staple with added sharpness and gooeyness.
For sides to go with that fluffy scramble, try these recipes below:
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