The Great Canadian Breakfast Sandwich: A hearty salute to some of our country's finest delicacies

With peameal bacon and maple syrup-soaked onions, it’s safe to say this sammy from Matt Basile and Kyla Zanardi is the one to make for Canada Day.

With peameal bacon & maple syrup-soaked onions, it’s safe to say this sammy is the one to make for Canada Day

(Photography by Kyla Zanardi)

We’re not going to pretend this fully-loaded, double bacon breakfast sandwich from Matt Basile and Kyla Zanardi’s cookbook Brunch Life  is anything other than a beautifully greasy, long weekend indulgence. But, it’s a beautifully greasy, long weekend indulgence that also pays homage to a few of our country’s most treasured ingredients! (Hello, maple syrup-caramelized onions.) It’s practically made for your Canada Day celebrations. And served with a fried egg and sliced cheddar on a buttery brioche bun, it’s the type of meal you’ll want to become a summer tradition.

The Great Canadian Breakfast Sandwich

By Matt Basile and Kyla Zanardi

Oh, Canada. Home to hockey, flannel/denim combinations, and peameal bacon, also known as Canadian bacon. Widely considered the most Canadian thing you can eat, peameal is cured and salted pork loin covered in cornmeal (historically it was chickpea meal, hence the name). If you ever find yourself at a Canadian carnival, fair, or farmers’ market that doesn’t offer up these sandwiches, then leave, they’re phonies. My theory on the bacon sandwich is, if you’re going to make it, make it as Canadian as possible. This version ensures that yes, you might wear half of it, but also yes, you will be in love. 


Maple Syrup Onions:

  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 4 small yellow onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ cup real Canadian maple syrup

For serving:

  • 6 strips bacon
  • 6 slices Canadian (peameal) bacon
  • 4 slices orange cheddar cheese
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 brioche buns, sliced in half


Onions, eh?: Heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat and melt the butter. Add the sliced onions and cook, stirring frequently, until translucent. Season the onions with salt and continue cooking for another 7 minutes. Turn the heat down to medium-low and add the cinnamon and maple syrup. Stirring occasionally, cook the onions for 15 minutes. Remove the onions from the pan and set aside.

Back bacon a.k.a. peameal bacon a.k.a. Canadian bacon: Using the same frying pan, turn the heat back up to medium-high and fry the strip bacon for 2 minutes on each side, or until crispy. Remove the bacon from the pan and set it aside to drain on a plate lined with paper towel. 

Again using the same pan (and the bacon grease!), turn the heat down to medium and cook the peameal bacon on the first side for 2 minutes. Flip the bacon and cook for another 5 minutes. In the pan, arrange the peameal bacon into 2 stacks of 3 and lay 2 slices of cheddar on top of each stack. Cover the pan and leave on the heat for 1 to 2 minutes to allow the cheese to melt. 

While the cheese is melting over the bacon, heat the canola oil in a small frying pan over medium-high heat. Crack the eggs into the pan and turn the heat down to medium. Cook the eggs sunny side up for about 5 minutes. 

If you build it, they will eat it: To assemble, place 3 slices of strip bacon on the bottom half of each brioche bun. Layer each with a peameal and cheese stack, and top with a healthy spoonful of Maple Syrup Onions. Finish each sandwich with a sunny-side-up egg and the top of the brioche bun. 

Yield: Makes 2 servings

Excerpted from Brunch Life: Comfort Classics and More for the Best Meal of the Day by Matt Basile and Kyla Zanardi. Copyright © 2018 Matt Basile and Kyla Zanardi. Published by Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.


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