Easy Egg Salad Recipe made with hard-boiled eggs, creamy mayonnaise, diced red onion, sweet paprika, and a hint of mustard. Learn how to make the BEST egg salad and add it to your favorite salads, sandwiches, or enjoy it straight from the bowl.
The Best Egg Salad Recipe
Inexpensive, easy, and high in protein, egg salad has the talent of being incredibly basic or extremely complex. Created sometime after the introduction of mayonnaise in the early 1800s, it remains more than two centuries later, a favorite for both sandwiches and salads all across Europe and America.
That said, no two egg salad recipes are completely alike.
Some salads come bare and drowning in mayonnaise. Others prefer a little added crunch from vegetables such as red onion, celery, bell pepper, or even jicama. In this version, you’ll find hard-boiled eggs mixed with mayonnaise, red onion, chives, dijon mustard, sweet paprika, salt, pepper, and pickle juice!
Everyone has their own favorite version of the “egg salad”.
This is mine.
I have two very strong opinions about hard-boiled eggs. You may, or may not agree with them.
First, hard-boiling eggs is much trickier than people make it seem. I have ruined many eggs over the years. Or, perhaps it’s just me? I’ll never know for sure. Second, everyone should know how to boil an egg. It will take some practice (if you’re anything like me), but eventually, you’ll get it.
You Will Need Hard Boil Eggs
There are several different methods but these are my favorite.
- Instant Pot (pressure cooker) – If I had to pick one way to cook hard-boiled eggs for the rest of my life, the Instant Pot would be it. Why? They’re easy to peel. The shells don’t stick!
- Add 1 cup water to the inner pot of your Instant Pot and insert egg or steam rack. Place eggs on the rack and securely fasten the lid.
- Set the cooking time for 5 minutes on high pressure.
- Allow pressure to release naturally for 5 minutes before doing a quick release. Transfer eggs to an ice water bath to stop cooking.
- Once cool, remove eggs from the ice bath and carefully peel and chop.
- Stovetop – Classic hard-boiled eggs in a pot of boiling water. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this method – especially for egg salad since the eggs are going to get all chopped up and you won’t be able to tell if you lost part of the egg white to the eggshell.
- Add eggs to a large saucepan and cover with 1-2 inches of water.
- Bring to a boil and immediately remove from heat.
- Cover and let eggs rest in the hot water for 10-12 minutes before transferring to an ice bath to cool.
- Remove eggs from the ice bath, peel, and chop.
If you’re wondering what an ice water bath is, it’s a bowl filled with ice water. Often used in cooking when you quickly need to stop something from cooking.
How to make Egg Salad
Now that you have a whole bunch of beautiful (or not so beautiful, that’s ok too), hard-boiled eggs, let’s make some egg salad.
Start by mixing everything together. You may do this a couple of different ways:
- Somewhat chunky – Transfer the peeled and chopped eggs to a medium mixing bowl. Add the mayonnaise, pickle juice (optional), red onion, mustard (Dijon or yellow), chives, sweet paprika, salt, and pepper. Mix until desired texture and consistency is reached.
- Extra smooth and creamy – This method has an extra step. In my opinion, it tastes the same, but some people may disagree. Anyway, divide the egg yolks from the egg whites. Add the yolks to a large mixing bowl with the mayonnaise, pickle juice, mustard, paprika, and salt and pepper. Mix well until fully combined and smooth. Finally, add the egg white and the diced red onion to the yolk and mayo mixture. Gently mix to combine.
Once your egg salad is all mixed together, season with additional salt, pepper, or mustard, to taste.
Egg Salad Variations
What happens if pickle juice isn’t your thing? or you’re allergic to mayonnaise? No problem! There are so many egg salad variations it’s easy to find one just right for you.
- Mayo substitutions – Greek yogurt, hummus, tahini.
- Crunchy veggies – celery, jicama, green onion, sweet bell pepper, spicy jalapeño.
- Add more protein – garbanzo beans, small cooked shrimp, diced chicken, bacon.
- Fresh herbs – parsley, basil, rosemary.
- Things that are salty – diced pickles or relish, olives, chopped (well-drained) artichoke hearts, capers.
Things I do not recommend adding (unless you plan to enjoy the entire batch of egg salad right away) are things with a lot of water. For example, tomatoes and cucumber. You’re better off topping your sandwich, salad, or bowl with these veggies.
How to Serve
Everyone has their own favorite way to enjoy egg salad. I am especially fond of eating it by the spoonful straight from the bowl, but here are a few other suggestions to get you started.
- Egg salad sandwich – Keep it simple with just the egg salad sandwiched between two pieces of bread, or make it fancy and add all sorts of toppings like,
- Lettuce, sprouts, microgreens
- Sliced tomatoes
- Pickled onions
- Scoop it on a salad – This is my second favorite way to eat egg salad. Low carb and totally delicious, adding a scoop or two of egg salad to a green salad is an easy way to turn a side dish into a complete meal. Perfect for make-ahead lunches or last-minute dinners.
- Serve it as a dip – Why not? Let guests scoop it onto buttery crackers. I’m fairly certain they’ll just take the bowl with them.
- Scoop into lettuce cups – Butter lettuce and Romaine works best.
How Long Will Egg Salad Last?
Stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator, your egg salad should last between 3-4 days. That said, use your better judgment; if it smells off, looks dull, or has turned watery, it’s probably a good time to toss it in the bin. Fortunately, egg salad never lasts that long and is usually gone within a couple of hours at my house.
If you want to meal prep your egg salad for the week, your best bet is to hard-boil a large batch of eggs (as many as you want!) as hard-boiled eggs will stay fresh in the refrigerator for one week, peeled or unpeeled. This way, whenever you want egg salad the hard-boiling part is already done.
Looking for more delicious salad recipes? Try these reader favorites:
- Curried Chicken Salad
- Easy Fruit Salad Recipe
- Easy Three Bean Salad Recipe
- Creamy Pea Salad Recipe with Bacon
- Balsamic Tomato Basil Salad
- Cucumber Salad Recipe
Have you tried making this Easy Egg Salad Recipe?
Tell me about it in the comments below! I always love to hear your thoughts. And tag me #theforkedspoon on Instagram if you’ve made any of my recipes, I always love to see what you’re cooking in the kitchen.
Easy Egg Salad Recipe
- 8 large eggs (hard boiled)
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise (plus more as needed)
- 2 teaspoon pickle juice ((optional))
- 1/4 red onion (minced)
- 1 teaspoon mustard (yellow or dijon)
- 1/4 cup chives (chopped)
- 1/4 teaspoon sweet paprika
- salt and pepper (to taste)
- Hard boil the eggs (stovetop) - Add eggs to a large saucepan and cover with 1-2 inches of water. Bring to a boil and immediately remove from heat. Cover and let eggs rest in the hot water for 10-12 minutes before transferring to an ice bath to cool. Remove eggs from the ice bath, peel, and chop.
- Hard boil the eggs (pressure cooker) - Add 1 cup water to the inner pot of your Instant Pot and insert egg or steam rack. Place eggs on the rack and securely fasten the lid. Set the cooking time for 5 minutes on high pressure. Allow pressure to release naturally for 5 minutes before doing a quick release. Transfer eggs to an ice water bath to stop cooling. Once cool, remove eggs from the ice bath and carefully peel and chop.
- Mix - Transfer peeled and chopped eggs to a medium mixing bowl. Add the mayonnaise, pickle juice (optional), red onion, mustard (Dijon or yellow), chives, sweet paprika, salt, and pepper. Mix well to combine.
- Season to taste - Season with additional salt, pepper, or mustard, to taste.
- Serve - Serve on your favorite bread, crackers, or on your favorite salad, if desired. Enjoy!
- Classic egg salad calls for mayonnaise. Whether you add full-fat or low-fat, that's completely up to you, but you will need some sort of creamy base. A healthy alternative is Greek yogurt, or simply cutting back on the total amount used.
- The pickle juice is a fabulous way to add some salty vinegary flavor. If you're worried that your egg salad will taste like pickles, don't...because it won't. However, feel free to leave it out if it's not your thing.
- Mustard - Add yellow, whole grain, or dijon - whatever is your favorite.
- Chives are there to add a little fresh bite to the egg salad and help bring out different flavors. Some thinly sliced green onion would also work well.
- Paprika is more for color and decoration than it is for taste. Add it in, leave it out, completely up to you.
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.)