Egg Salad is an easy-to-make, protein-packed salad. With celery, hard-boiled eggs, and onion, this easy egg salad recipe is so delicious, and you likely already have the ingredients in your pantry.
After you colored eggs all of the beautiful colors of the rainbow for Easter and your kids had so much fun finding them, what do you do with them? I don’t know about your family, but we usually have at least 12 hard-boiled eggs along with 30+ plastic eggs that my kids want to leave out for the Easter Bunny!
They love looking for eggs on Easter morning. While we can just put the plastic eggs away for next time, there are a lot of hard-boiled eggs that need to be eaten. Sometimes we just eat them plain or add them to a green salad. Sometimes we use them to make southern potato salad, but one of my favorite recipes to use up the leftover eggs is to make a Classic Egg Salad Recipe and make Egg Salad Sandwiches.
Egg Salad can be made in so many different ways, but this is our favorite way. It is one of my favorite lunches, though I admit, I only eat it when I eat lunch at home!
- Fresh Eggs
- Finely Chopped Onion
- Finely Chopped Celery
- Mustard - Plain yellow mustard or dijon mustard are recommended.
- Vinegar - We use distilled white vinegar.
- Fresh Herbs - Top your egg salad with fresh chives or fresh dill.
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- Optional - Diced Red Onion or Green Onions.
To Make a Delicious Egg Salad Sandwich
- A Few Slices of Bread
- Salad Greens
- Sliced Tomato
- A Medium Saucepan
- A Medium Bowl
- A Small Bowl
- A Whisk
- A Sharp Knife and a Cutting Board
How to Make Easy Egg Salad
This is such an easy recipe to make. You will first need to peel the eggs. If you cook the eggs with an Instant Pot using the 5-5-5 method outlined in this Instant Pot Hard Boiled Eggs post from Southern Bytes, they will be really easy to peel. The Instant Pot makes perfect hard-boiled eggs every time. If you don’t use an Instant Pot, you can try the tip below to make eggs that are incredibly easy to peel.
How to Boil Eggs for Egg Salad
First, place the eggs in a single layer in a pot with cold water one inch above the eggs. Bring the water to a rolling boil, then cover the pot, remove it from the heat, and let the eggs sit for ten minutes. Now, here is the part that will make it easier to peel those eggs…
Pour a quart (four cups) of cold water into a large bowl and add one tray or a few handfuls of ice cubes. Set that aside.
Drain the hot water from the pot of eggs and gently tilt the pot back a forth a few times, so the eggs crack a little. Then place them into the ice water using a slotted spoon and leave them in there for five minutes.
After 5 minutes, remove the eggs from the water and peel away… they should peel very easily now! This trick comes from The Science of Good Cooking cookbook. Why does this cooking and cooling method work so well? If interested, keep reading…
As an egg cooks, the layer of protein in the white part of the egg that is closest to the outer shell will slowly bond with it. If you have a hard-boiled egg at room temperature or one that is run under cold running water, it will cool somewhat slowly, giving the protein enough time to form a strong bond with the shell. This makes peeling not such an easy task.
Shocking the egg in an ice water bath will quickly stop the bonding process. Also, the quick cooling causes the cooked egg white to shrink and pull away from the shell, making it much easier to remove the shell while keeping the white part of the egg intact and looking nice and smooth, which is especially important when making deviled eggs! (I know I have peeled some eggs in the past, and they did not look very appetizing after they were peeled!)
And why gently tilt the pot back and forth to crack the eggs a little? That part helps loosen the eggshells even more and cool the eggs quicker.
Now that the eggs are peeled, it's time to slice or chop the eggs into small pieces.
Next, finely chop the onion and celery. (You can also do this step while the eggs are cooking.)
Then, in a small mixing bowl, make the dressing by whisking together the mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, salt, and pepper. The dressing will give the egg salad a nice creamy texture. You can also mash a few pieces of egg yolks into the dressing to make the dressing thicker.
Then in a larger bowl, combine the chopped eggs with the vegetables. Toss the eggs in the dressing and taste it - then add a little more salt and black pepper if needed. So easy!
We like to serve egg salad on bread (sometimes toasted bread), with a “healthy handful” of salad greens and sliced tomato, and a side of our favorite potato chips. It's such a simple recipe, but it makes for a great dinner when you don’t have much time or also on a hot summer day when it is just too hot to cook!
How long does Egg Salad Last?
Leftover Egg Salad should be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container. It will be best for 2 - 3 days, though it is best eaten right away. It will decrease in quality pretty quickly.
There are a lot of different things that you can add to egg salad to change it up and make it unique:
- Add a little Curry Powder.
- Add Dill Pickles.
- Use different kinds of mustard - Yellow Mustard, Dijon Mustard, or Spicy Brown Mustard.
- Use Greek Yogurt or Sour Cream instead of Mayonnaise.
Frequently Asked Questions
To really take egg salad over the top, there are a few things that can be added. I love to add finely chopped pickles. I love the crunch and the combination of egg, mayonnaise, and dill. You can also add Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning to add a little bit of spice or you can use a few dashes of hot sauce.
Here is a link to Martha Stewart’s Egg Salad recipe. It is a good one!
Egg salad can be watery if the eggs are overcooked or if it sits too long. If you are making egg salad in advance to serve and are worried about it getting runny, you can make the dressing and chop up the rest of the ingredients, then assemble it about an hour before you intend to serve it.
That depends on your diet. Egg salad can be made Paleo or Whole30 compatible by using a Paleo approved mayonnaise. I love to make a healthy egg salad using the Primal Kitchen Chipotle Mayonnaise or their garlic aioli. Any kind of flavored mayonnaise or aioli will take egg salad over the top!
If you are trying to avoid fat per a doctor's recommendation, you can use low-fat mayonnaise (and mix it in at the last minute to prevent watery egg salad.) I am personally a big fan of eating real, whole foods, so I would recommend making homemade mayonnaise and eating those healthy eggs 😉
Eggs are one of the most nutritious foods that you can eat. They have a bad reputation because of their high cholesterol content and the fat fear from the 80s and 90s, but their benefits outweigh the potential risks. Healthy bodies can generally compensate for the cholesterol we consume, so we end up with only the good stuff - protein, amino acids, iron, B vitamins, selenium, choline, lutein, & phosphorous - making eggs a bit of a secret superfood. (At least according to Healthline.)
Egg salad needs to be stored in the refrigerator in an air-tight container. If stored properly, it can be eaten within 5 days of being in the refrigerator. If it is left out in the sun all day at a barbecue or left in a lunch box all day, it should be thrown away or eaten with extreme caution.
I would not recommend freezing egg salad. Mayonnaise does not freeze well, nor do hardboiled eggs, so it will likely have a really terrible texture once defrosted.
Did you make this recipe? If so, please leave a comment and rating below. I love hearing from you.
Easy Egg Salad
- mixing bowls
- 6 large eggs
- ¼ cup onion finely chopped
- ½ cup celery finely chopped
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard or yellow mustard
- 1 teaspoon vinegar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon fresh chives minced, optional
- ½ tablespoon fresh dill minced, optional
- bread if desired
- salad geens if desired
- sliced tomato if desired
To boil the eggs
- Place the eggs in a single layer in a pot. Fill with cold water until about an inch over the eggs. Bring to a boil. Cover and remove from heat and let them sit for ten minutes.6 large eggs
- Make an ice water bath by filling up a bowl with a quart of cold water and a tray of ice cubes.
- Drain the hot water and gently tilt the pot back and forth a few times so the eggs crack a little. Remove eggs with a slotted spoon and place into the ice water. Leave them in the ice water for five minutes.
To make the Easy Egg Salad
- Peel and slice or chop the eggs into small pieces.6 large eggs
- Finely chop the onion and celery.¼ cup onion, ½ cup celery
- In a small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, salt, and pepper.½ cup mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon dijon mustard, 1 teaspoon vinegar, ¼ teaspoon salt, ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- Place eggs, onion, celery, and herbs in a large bowl and mix well, then drizzle with the dressing and toss to combine.6 large eggs, ¼ cup onion, ½ cup celery, 1 tablespoon fresh chives, ½ tablespoon fresh dill
- Serve on bread with salad greens and tomato if desired.bread, salad geens, sliced tomato
- Recipe makes 4 egg salad sandwiches.