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, on egg salad sandwiches, or enjoy it straight from the bowl.
The Best Egg Salad Recipe
Inexpensive, easy to make, super delicious, 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 veggies like 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 one is mine.
How to Hard Boil Eggs For Egg Salad
There are several different methods but these are my favorite.
1. 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 and the shells don’t stick!
- Add 1 cup of water to the inner pot of your Instant Pot and insert the 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 the eggs to an ice water bath (or bowl filled with cold water) to stop cooking.
- Once cool, remove the eggs from the ice bath and carefully peel and chop.
2. Stovetop – In my experience, this method is somewhat more unreliable when it comes to easy-peel shells, but the eggs are going to get all chopped up, so no biggie 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 the eggs rest in the hot water for 10-12 minutes before transferring them to an ice bath to cool.
- Remove eggs from the ice bath, peel, and chop.
What is an ice water bath?
A bowl filled with ice water. Often used in cooking when you quickly need to stop something from cooking.
How to Make Egg Salad
Combine everything together in a medium bowl. You may do this a couple of different ways:
- For a somewhat chunky egg salad – Transfer the peeled and chopped eggs (an egg slicer is great for this) 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.
- For an extra smooth and creamy egg salad – 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, black pepper, or mustard, to taste.
Egg Salad Variations and Additions
- 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.
- Herbs – fresh parsley, fresh dill, fresh basil, rosemary.
- Things that are salty – diced pickles or relish, olives, chopped (well-drained) artichoke hearts, capers.
Things that 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 or liquid. For example, tomatoes and cucumber. You’re better off topping your sandwich, salad, or bowl with these veggies.
How Long is Egg Salad Good For
Store leftover egg salad in a sealed airtight container and in the refrigerator. It is best enjoyed within 3-4 days. With that said, if it smells off, looks dull, or has turned watery, it’s probably a good time to toss it in the trash.
To meal prep egg salad for the week, you’ll want to hard-boil a large batch of eggs (hard-boiled eggs stay fresh in the refrigerator for one week, peeled or unpeeled) and make a new batch of egg salad whenever you need a new batch.
Can you freeze egg salad?
Freezing is not recommended as both eggs and mayonnaise do not taste good once thawed from frozen.
How to Serve
- Make an Egg salad sandwich – Keep it simple with just the egg salad sandwiched between two pieces of bread, or make it fancy and serve it on a buttery croissant with all of your favorite toppings like,
- 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.
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.
Egg Salad Recipe
- 8 large eggs - hard boiled
- ⅓ cup mayonnaise - plus more as needed
- 2 teaspoon pickle juice - (optional)
- ¼ red onion - minced
- 1 teaspoon mustard - yellow or dijon
- ¼ cup chives - chopped
- ¼ 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 mustard- 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.)