Make our classic smashed avocado toast recipe with poached eggs for an Australian café style breakfast at home. Just add sourdough toast, Vegemite, freshly squeezed OJ, and good coffee, and you’re set! This is the perfect weekend breakfast to make if you’re in lockdown and missing your favourite café. Or you’re missing Australia.
This classic Australian mashed avocado toast recipe with poached eggs makes you one of Australia’s most quintessential Aussie café breakfast dishes at home – ‘smashed avo on toast’. Just add a side of generously buttered sourdough toast, a jar of Vegemite, a tumbler of freshly squeezed orange juice (‘OJ’), and good coffee. There has to be really good coffee.
This is the perfect breakfast to make this weekend if you’re in lockdown in Australia and missing your regular Sunday breakfast at your favourite neighbourhood café. Or if you’re not and, like these two Australians here in Southeast Asia, you’re just missing Australia and Australian café culture.
If you’re looking for more weekend breakfast ideas, browse our breakfast recipes series, Weekend Eggs. If you haven’t dropped by in a while, we revived our Weekend Eggs series on quintessential breakfast eggs dishes from around the world, which we first launched with Grantourismo over a decade ago.
Recipes published in the rebooted series include our Basque fried eggs with chorizo and potatoes recipe for ‘messy eggs’, Mexico City-inspired chorizo eggs recipe, Thai fried egg salad recipe for yam khai dao, pesto scrambled eggs, Japanese rolled omelette recipe for tamagoyaki, scrambled eggs with sauteed mushrooms on sourdough, soft scrambled eggs with Chinese pork and chives, Indian egg bhurji, Chinese marbled tea eggs, corn fritter breakfast burgers, Russian devilled eggs, Turkish çılbır poached eggs and menemen scrambled eggs, Calabria’s take on ‘eggs in purgatory’ with ’nduja, Thai son-in-law eggs, Thai omelette kai jiaw, Cambodian steamed eggs, and Malaysia and Singapore’s half-boiled eggs with kaya jam and toast.
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Avocado Toast Recipe with Poached Eggs for an Australian Café Style Breakfast at Home
Like my Italian-Australian avocado pasta recipe, this classic avocado toast recipe with poached eggs comes not from any perceived need for yet another avocado toast recipe, but rather from my own nostalgia and a longing for things I miss from home – such as overpriced Australian café breakfasts. Just kidding. Definitely not looking forward to paying Australian café prices again.
We had a lot of ripe avocados to use up and I do miss Australian café culture. While I was never one to drop into a café on a mid-week morning for a pre-work coffee and catch-up as some friends did – Terence and I were always burning the candle at both ends, heading to uni for night classes after our day jobs, so we resisted rising earlier than necessary – we did love our weekend café breakfasts in Sydney.
Although I have to confess that until we moved abroad in 1998, I’d never ordered smashed avocado on toast at an Australian café. I made avocado on toast at home and munched into avocado on crackers at my desk if I was busy at work. If I had errands to run in the city, I’d pick up chicken and avocado sandwiches from an excellent little sandwich bar near work or if I dined with colleagues at the in-house restaurant, I’d order a prawn cocktail served in half an avocado. It was the Nineties.
‘Avo toast’ just wasn’t something we’d order out. Weekend breakfasts at our favourite Sydney cafés meant the legendary eggs Benedict on brioche toast with big bowls of café au lait at busy Le Petit Crème if we arrived early enough and they hadn’t sold out. Or a Middle Eastern breakfast of spicy lamb mince with za’atar and hummus and mint tea in Moroccan glasses at Fez in Darlinghurst.
It was only after we began returning to Australia for holidays that I began ordering mashed avocado on toast because it wasn’t yet something we could get back then at a café in Abu Dhabi or Dubai, our home at the time. Vegemite was easier to come by than avocados at UAE supermarkets, and when we did buy avocados in the UAE we made guacamole, which was a better match for margaritas.
But that doesn’t mean that mashed avocado on toast wasn’t already on Australian café menus. The BBC might have named Bill Granger the “godfather of avocado toast”, and with a handful of cafés in London, he’s probably partly to credit or blame for avocado toast becoming a global phenomenon – as are the many Australian owned cafés of New York City’s ‘Little Australia’ in NoLita, the pioneer being Eight Mile Creek, opened by South Australians in 1999.
But I assure you that mashed avocado on toast was an Australian café standard well before Granger put avocado toast on the menu at Bill’s café in Darlinghurst in 1993. I worked casually as both a waitress and kitchen hand at cafés when I was in high school on the Sunshine Coast and then at university in Sydney from the mid-1980s.
Avocado toast was on café menus alongside ham and cheese croissants, sauted mushrooms on toast, classic omelettes, ‘eggs bennie’ and eggs florentine, focaccia with all manner of toppings – artichokes, sun-dried tomatoes and olives being a favourite – and grilled halloumi, typically served with roast tomatoes and a rocket salad with olive oil and balsamic. This avocado toast recipe makes that classic Australian breakfast favourite.
Tips to Making this Smashed Avocado on Toast Recipe with Poached Eggs
Before we began writing on food I would never have dreamt that anybody needed an avocado toast recipe. But then there a lot of things that I didn’t realise people needed recipes for – things on toast being one of them. And yet here we are. (See our sourdough bread ideas here.)
But the world is a very different place now compared to what it was when I had my first little food story (on yum cha) published in a Sydney guide back in the Nineties, when Australians ate avocados as often as apples and people weren’t yet queuing up at cafés to pay A$27 for smashed avo on toast.
This classic avocado toast recipe requires just a handful of ingredients – a ripe creamy avocado is a given (if your avocado isn’t ripe you’re better off slicing it instead of trying to mash it); lemon juice or lime juice, as much for flavour as to preserve the green colour (citric acid slows oxidation, which turns avocados brown); feta cheese to mash with the avo, simply because that’s what we did and it just works so well; perfectly poached eggs; and seasoning (quality sea salt and cracked black pepper are essential, but I also love a sprinkle of chilli flakes).
When it comes to toast, our preference is always sourdough as it holds up so well, but otherwise thickly sliced grain breads work too. Our classic mashed avocado toast recipe calls for virgin olive oil, which you can use brush on the toast with a pastry brush or silicone basting brush, but you could also opt for generous spreads of quality butter. Serve with rucola and cherry tomatoes or a fresh fragrant herb salad.
Variations on the Classic Avocado Toast Recipe
Now while this is the classic mashed avocado toast recipe, you can use this as a starting point and get creative. Over several decades I’ve watched the Australian café avocado toast evolution from afar with delight. You could replace the poached eggs with soft-boiled eggs, runny fried eggs, or soft scrambled eggs and add slices of Jamón Ibérico or smoked salmon, rashers of bacon or crispy bacon lardons.
You could skip the eggs entirely and layer on slices of sweet Roma tomatoes drizzled with balsamic and olive oil, pile your rucola and cherry tomatoes on top of the mashed avo instead of serving it on the side, or give your avocado toast a Southeast Asian twist with a squirt of homemade Thai Sriracha sauce, this fresh fragrant Thai herb salad or simply sprinkle on some fresh coriander (cilantro), basil and mint.
Instead of mashing the feta cheese with the avocado, you could crumble the feta cheese on top of the avocado with cherry tomatoes and your a sprinkle of your favourite herbs, or combine finely chopped tomato, cucumber and olives, and drizzle on some virgin olive oil. See my savoury French toast and Terence’s Greek salad bruschetta on olive sourdough recipes for more inspiration.
Alternatively, look to Spain for inspiration and rub garlic and tomato on the toast before the mashed avocado and pop pieces of fried chorizo on top. Or Italy – a spread of basil pesto and sprinkle of pine nuts, or slivers of roasted red capsicums garnished with fresh Italian basil. Or Eastern Europe – thinly sliced radish, finely chopped gherkins, garnished with aromatic dill.
Or look even further East, to the Middle East – slices of smoky grilled eggplant, a layer of chickpeas, a squirt of tahini or spread of hummus, and sprinkle of za’atar or dukkah. Or East Asia – add a layer of crispy Japanese nori and Japanese onsen eggs, drizzle on sesame oil or sprinkle on sesame seeds or furikake seasoning.
Lastly, let’s not forget the origin of avocados: Mexico. Guacamole might be obvious but Mexican breakfasts and Mexican street corn are great sources of inspiration. Crumbly cotija cheese, grilled corn kernels, Mexican chorizo, roasted pepitas, sliced jalapenos, a squirt of Mexican crema or sour cream, a sprinkle of fresh cilantro leaves, or pile your favourite Mexican eggs on top of the mashed avocado. I recommend huevos revueltos or huevos con chorizo.
Avocado Toast Recipe with Poached Eggs
- 1 ripe avocado
- 1 tsp lemon or lime juice
- 100 g feta cheese crumbly
- ½ tsp sea salt or to taste
- ½ tsp cracked black pepper or to taste
- 2 slices sourdough toast
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 eggs poached
- ½ tsp chilli flakes optional
- Cut the avocado in half, remove the pit, scoop out the flesh, and transfer it to a mixing bowl. Use a large fork to mash the avocado until you have a rough creamy texture; don’t worry if there are lumps, as texture is good.
- Add the lemon or lime juice, crumbly feta cheese, and salt and pepper to taste, and use the fork to combine well, while still leaving some lumps of feta for texture.
- Toast your sourdough bread and generously brush on virgin olive oil (or slather on good quality butter if you prefer).
- Poach your eggs until they are done yet remain soft and runny, then set aside.
- Scoop the mashed avocado on top of the toast, pressing down an area for your egg to sit snugly, then gently rest the poached eggs in their possies, and sprinkle with a little more sea salt, cracked black pepper, and chilli flakes.
- Plate with a rucola and cherry tomato salad doused in virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar or a fresh fragrant herb salad, and serve with more sourdough toast, good butter, Vegemite, orange juice, and great coffee.
Please do let us know if you make our smashed avocado toast recipe with poached eggs as we’d love to know how it turns out for you. We’d also love to hear about your variations on the classic avocado toast.