Does this sound familiar?
“Hi, hon. Yeah, we had a really nice dinner and everyone said they liked the pie. But I don’t know how we forgot the deviled eggs in the fridge! Fortunately your brother and his friends were able to enjoy them for a midnight snack…”
This was the gist of a conversation with my mom a few days after Thanksgiving last year. And it’s not an uncommon occurrence, to have forgotten to put a more minor dish on the table on our national day of feasting.
But you need to believe me when I say the simple act of forgetting the deviled eggs was downright shocking to me – after all, asking my mom to make them for every family gathering is a tradition that my brother holds near and dear.
Steve could probably eat six or eight if you let him, alongside a few slices of crumbly five-year cave aged gouda and maybe a glass of wine or a big mugful of black coffee, followed by a huge Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Easter dinner that he had been looking forward to for days, if not weeks. He’s truly a connoisseur of both the finer things in life, and life’s simple pleasures.
And that’s why deviled eggs are so fascinating to me as an appetizer. They’re relatively simple, and made with humble ingredients. But they’re so much more, way greater than the sum of the various parts involved.
Offering salt and creaminess and tang, and maybe a hint of pickle or spice, they achieve the appetizer’s ultimate goal of whetting the appetite with a few small bites before the meal, in the same mode as a fine cheese or a handful of spiced nuts.
They also serve as a blank canvas, easily manipulated to take on a number of enticing flavor profiles, or to meet a variety of dietary requirements. And they’re welcome at brunch, lunch, or dinner, at backyard barbecues and potlucks, fancy formal affairs and simple meals at home.
I don’t remember exactly when this tradition began. But I know that at every holiday meal, birthday, and dinner on an average Sunday or weeknight when everybody’s schedules mesh, no matter what’s on the menu, my brother says, “And you’re gonna make deviled eggs, right?” and my mom says yes.
Whether you’re not sure what to do with those leftover hard-boiled eggs on Easter Sunday, you’re looking for a simple dish that you can make with the kids, or you were asked to bring a fancy appetizer to your best friend’s baby shower, there’s a recipe here for you.
My mom likes to keep things simple while I’m more prone to experimenting and adding things like pickled red onions or Old Bay Seasoning. Either way, be sure to follow my mom’s advice and always boil a few more eggs than you plan on needing – you never know which ones will crack in the pot, and it always helps to have an extra yolk or two to fluff up the filling.
So, please check out these recipes from some of our favorite food bloggers around the web, and make them your own. Many of the categories below overlap, and mixing and matching is encouraged. Who knows, maybe you’ll create your own family tradition.
Nothing sets off those comfort food bells like a classic, timeless dish, especially when it’s homemade with love. Keep things basic (and delicious, of course!) with these recipes.
Don’t Forget the Paprika
A more traditional take with a few shakes of paprika added on top before serving, this no-nonsense version is simple to make, and easy to enjoy.
Get the recipe now, from Served Up with Love.
Veruska Anconitano at La Cuochina Sopraffina calls this a “non-recipe” and I like that idea – it’s one of those simple go-to’s that, despite its simplicity, you can continue to perfect over time.
Veruska is an Italian blogger based in Ireland, and I was excited to see this beloved dish on her site – it reminded me of a memorable meal that my husband and I enjoyed in Paris a few years back, with oeufs mayonnaise for our starter. Très international!
The main difference that you might notice here from what you’re used to is that the ingredients call for powdered mustard and vinegar rather than the premixed and jarred kind. This is a great opportunity to experiment with different types and ratios, and see what you like!
If Peter Cottontail hasn’t already arrived, he’s undoubtedly on his way, and countless hard-boiled and dyed Easter eggs are rolling around in his wake, for children to enjoy and moms to struggle to figure out what to do with after the holiday.
All of the recipes on this list are perfect solutions to this common problem! But if you want something extra special for your Easter table with a particular holiday-themed color palette in mind, you’ve come to the right place.
Nothing says “Easter” like pretty pastels! And this version from Cincy Shopper, like all of those in this category, removes the shell from the Easter eggs and colors the whites instead. Fun, right?
You don’t need anything more than food coloring and your usual deviling ingredients to transform your eggs into this gorgeous treat.
Pretty in Pink
Any pickled egg lovers in the house? Forking Up has got you covered.
Natural Dye, Butterfly
If you haven’t heard of butterfly pea flowers yet, you’ve got to check these out. Sure, they’re touted for their supposed health benefits and consumed as a healthful tonic when brewed into a tea, but that’s a different story altogether – I’m in it for the color, and these powerfully pigmented blossoms definitely deliver.
Creating an egg dye that’s light blue on its own, it transforms to a deep purple when an acid is added. Plus, combining some dill with the yolk mixture is a tasty touch. Visit The April Blake to learn how to make these.
A Spicy Take
Some like it hot, and I’ve got to agree that a tasty bite that will set your mouth aflame undeniably puts the “devil” in deviled eggs…
Smoky and Spicy
If you’re looking for depth of flavor plus an impressive look, try these. Smoky, spicy, and maybe even a little sultry, they’re made with whole grain mustard and chipotle peppers canned in adobo, plus a bit of the adobo sauce, and a dash of cayenne or chili powder to replace the usual paprika.
These beautiful bites will make your taste buds stand up and take notice. Get the recipe now, on Foodal.
Ready to kick things up a notch with this spicy version from Oven Tales? All told, the red pepper flakes and paprika garnish might be the least exciting things about this recipe. There’s so much more coming at you in the flavor department.
I love Syala’s south Indian spice mix, made with caramelized onions, ginger, garlic, a sprinkle of sugar, and a dash of vinegar. Sing it with me: These are a few of my fa-vor-ite things!
Buffalo Buffalo Buffalo
If you’re a fan of buffalo wings, this one’s for you. Change things up on game day and set the chicken aside for at least one weekend to serve these instead.
You can get the recipe from Thrifty Jinxy.
Spice, Spice Baby
This version from Savory Tooth is made spicy with the addition of sriracha alongside a good dash of Dijon mustard.
I recommend smoked paprika for the garnish, especially if you’re considering leaving off the suggested bacon garnish.
Jalapeño and Lime
Not too crazy in the spice department, especially if you remove the seeds and ribs from the peppers before you chop them up, this is a head-turning take on the old classic.
The fresh flavor of lime juice and zest, jalapeño, and fresh cilantro combine to make something entirely new. I can imagine serving this recipe from The Kitchen Is My Playground poolside with tomatillo mojitos, or at brunch alongside pepper-infused bloody marys.
Everybody has their favorite type of mustard, but when it comes to the spice hounds, Coleman’s is a safe bet. If you’ve never tried it before, I definitely encourage you to give it a go. This stuff will clear your sinuses!
With a powerful punch that’s similar in effect to wasabi, it’s the powdered type that you’re after here (and the yellow tin will make a nice addition to your spice rack). What this mustard lacks in vinegary sourness the recipe more than makes up for with the addition of tangy sour cream. Sincerely Mindy shares the recipe.
This sriracha version comes together in a flash, made with just four ingredients, plus an optional red pepper flake and cilantro garnish.
I absolutely love the idea to mix the spicy red pepper and garlic sauce in with the yolks, and to drizzle more on top before serving. You can find the recipe at The Bewitchin’ Kitchen.
Pass the Peppadew
Peppadew peppers are both sweet and spicy (appropriately, a portmanteau of “pepper” and “dew”), and you’ll often find them jarred and sold with the seeds and cores already removed.
Sure, they’re perfect for stuffing – but you can also expect delicious results if you chop them up and add them to your egg filling. Get the recipe now from My Life Runs on Food.
Bacon and Eggs
A breakfast duo unlike any other, in appetizer form. Further introduction really isn’t required – if you’re a bacon fan, you’re going to dig these.
Can’t Miss Maple
This version caught my eye right away, and that’s because it seamlessly combines sweet, salty, spicy, tangy, and oniony. It’s creamy with a touch of crunch, with flecks of red and green to brighten it up.
You eat with your eyes first, so the Fresno chili and chive garnish is a definite plus, but the wow-factor here is really pushed over the top with the addition of earthy and sweet maple syrup. Beyond Mere Sustenance shares the recipe.
If you’re craving baked potatoes with all the fixin’s but in a slightly more manageable size, you will love this recipe from The Two Bite Club.
Chives, cheddar, bacon, and horseradish mustard – they’ve really got it all! I definitely agree with the suggestion to make a double batch of this version – they’ll be gobbled up in a flash.
Mayo Alternatives and Unusual Ingredients
Even though I am a serious Hellmann’s advocate, I realize there are mayo haters out there. And I wouldn’t want to deny you the glories of these delicious eggy treats.
These versions highlight their mayo-less-ness as a feature, not a bug.
Various recipes placed in other categories on this list are also made without mayo, and with other less traditional flavor add-ins as well – I encourage you to explore and find the rest of these, hidden (like Easter eggs?) throughout the round up.
A Dollop Will Do Ya
Presentation will take you far in the world of egg appetizers, and Nikki Cervone shows off her perfect piping, spice shaking, and herb-arranging skills in our no-mayo version. It features tangy sour cream instead of that other stuff, plus yellow mustard and sweet relish.
I promise, you really can make these at home, and with a little patience (and a few batches for practice), yours will be just as pretty. Get the recipe now on Foodal. You might even like to check out Nikki’s cake decorating advice for additional piping tips.
This super-simple version from Mama Likes to Cook is made with Greek yogurt instead of mayo, and just a few additional ingredients.
An old classic with just one simple twist in the dairy department, it’s important to use Greek yogurt here – other varieties that contain more water will create a loose filling that doesn’t hold up on the buffet table or sideboard.
Green and Healthy
A healthier take, this version from The Domestic Dietitian swaps out the mayo with creamy avocado – just be sure that yours are fully ripe before attempting to mix them with the egg yolks for best results.
Brynn also adds that these are picnic friendly, since they won’t spoil in the sunshine as quickly as a mayo version might. Plus, cilantro and garlic powder add an extra punch of flavor.
Rather than being truly “deviled,” Simply Stacie says these eggs are merely “devilish,” namely due to the fact that they are made without paprika. In fact, there’s not a red or spicy ingredient to be found anywhere near these babies. Er, eggies.
But don’t worry – they’re still big on flavor! They might remind you more of a take on deviled ham, with their combination of ham, scallions, sour cream, and… mayo. Okay, don’t panic. You can switch out the final ingredient for Greek yogurt instead, if you’re mayo averse.
Add a Pinch of Pickle
I don’t know if I’ve ever concretely thought of it as a requirement until now, but most picnics and backyard barbecues would be severely lacking without pickles. And as an adult, I have come to enjoy the vinegary tang of a crisp pickled veggie as the perfect counterpoint to many rich dishes.
Some of my favorite bars and restaurants serve pickle plates as appetizers – no cheese, no charcuterie, just pickles – and I am always eager to partake. Bottom line: pickles are awesome, and these recipes are too.
If you skipped ahead, be sure not to miss the other pickle-rific recipes in this round up that fit into other categories, made with pickled eggs, or a few tasty tablespoons of relish!
Wild, Wild West
Like a western omelet, this version from Mary Ellen’s Cooking Creations is made with ham, green pepper, and onion, plus a tasty dollop of pickled mustard seeds on top.
If you can’t find these premade, try making your own – the basic recipe for pickled grapes in our ultimate spinach salad is a good place to start.
This southern-style version from Smart Savvy Living is made with yellow mustard rather than Dijon, but the real key here is the addition of pickle relish.
Sweet or dill? Michelle says you can take your pick!
Avocado on My Mind
Oh, those black and green oddly shaped and textured fruits of glorious deliciousness, perfect for topping tacos of spreading on toast… It probably comes as no surprise that they’re a lovely addition to deviled eggs as well!
Go for the Guacamole
This lightened-up avocado version combines the best of both worlds, part deviled egg and part guacamole dip. In fact, I might even go so far as to call them “angelic eggs,” but I’m not sure if that would sell well…
Felicia Lim suggests using onion, lime, and parsley for the cilantro averse. But you could use cilantro instead if you like, and maybe add a touch of garlic.
If you’re one of those people who orders egg white omelets at brunch, you’ll love this – for every six you make, this recipe only uses two yolks. You’ll find the recipe on Foodal.
Better with Bacon
Funnily enough, though the Hass is certainly the most well-known and widely consumed type of avocado, residents of southern California, Mexico, and other warm places where these are commonly grown and sold locally may be familiar with other cultivars – namely, the Bacon avocado.
If you’ve never heard of these before, chances are that the gears are turning in your mind right now, and you’re wondering with eager anticipation whether or not they actually taste like bacon.
Sadly, the answer is no. But this recipe makes up for that, bringing the two together in happy harmony, with lemon, dill, and a shot of mustard for good measure. Check out the recipe on Munchkins and Military.
Eggbert, I Choose You!
Well, it looks like the only question now is which recipe(s) to choose to make for your next shindig. Or for lunch this weekend. Or an appetizer to serve before dinner tonight. Or a solo indulgence to dig into right now…
Whether you’re using up Easter leftovers of planning a special event, there’s a place for deviled eggs. They’re both simple to make, often with ingredients you already have on hand, and easy to elevate to a more refined app, with a beautiful presentation and incredible flavors.
When you host a holiday party at your house, are there favorite family recipes that your relatives expect will be served every time? What’s your personal take on transforming hard-boiled eggs into a must-have appetizer? Tell us in the comments below! And don’t forget to check out more of our tips for using up hard-boiled eggs, and our full catalog of Easter recipes.
Photos by Nikki Cervone and Felicia Lim, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. All other photography in this article is owned and copyrighted by its respective owners as identified. Used with permission by Ask the Experts, LLC. All rights reserved by all parties.
About Allison Sidhu
Allison M. Sidhu is a foodie from Philly who is based in Los Angeles, where she loves exploring the local restaurant scene with her husband. She holds a master's degree in gastronomy from Boston University. When she’s not in the kitchen whipping up something tasty (or listening to the latest food podcasts while she does the dishes!) you’ll probably find Allison tapping away at her keyboard, curled up with a good book (or ready to dominate with controller in hand in front of the latest video game) on the couch, or devouring a food-filled magazine at the beach.