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Perfect Egg Salad Plus 10 Spinoff Recipes

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Linda explores food facts, folklore, and fabulous recipes, one ingredient at a time.

Learn to make perfect egg salad (plus 10 spinoff variations)

Learn to make perfect egg salad (plus 10 spinoff variations)

Who Invented Egg Salad?

The sandwich of my youth, the one I loved even more than peanut butter and jelly, was Mom's egg salad. It was a no-frills, nothing fancy, simple meal of the most basic of ingredients—sliced white bread, hard-cooked eggs, a dash of salt and pepper, and (the most exotic ingredient of it all), a dollop of Best Foods Real Mayonnaise.

Comfort food.

No one knows for sure who invented the egg salad, or when it came to be, but most food historians place it somewhere in the mid-19th century. The first recipe in print seems to be in the 1896 edition of The Boston Cooking-School Cook Book, by Fannie Farmer.

perfect-egg-salad

Our On-Again, Off-Again Relationship With the Egg

Do you remember when eggs were the basis for a "good, solid breakfast?" They were considered wholesome and healthy—and most of us had chickens in the back yard, so fresh eggs were always available.

Then, about 40 years ago, we started talking about cholesterol. Fat was "bad" and fiber was "good." With more than a bit of sadness, we gave up our whole milk, fresh butter, creamy cheeses, and (worst of all), eggs. Overnight our typical 'start of the day' had become poison. And those who simply could not exist without eggs discarded the yolks and prepared scrambled eggs with the whites-only (and a touch of canola oil in a nonstick pan).

Oh, the horror!

But Then Eggs Hired a New Public Relations Firm

Now (thankfully) the tide has turned. Nutritionists now recognize that the dietary cholesterol found in eggs does not contribute to high blood cholesterol levels. The typical American diet, which includes lots of animal products (meat) can (and often does) increase blood cholesterol levels, but it's the saturated fats in those animal products that are the real culprit.

In contrast, eggs are low in saturated fat—and they contain important nutrients. We now know that eggs are safe to eat and (Grandma was right) an important part of our diets.

How to Prepare Easy-to-Peel Hard-Cooked Eggs

First, you need to prepare your eggs so that they will be easy to peel. Here's how:

  • Grasp a pin (I use a bulletin board push-pin).
  • Use the pin to make a "pin-sized" hole in the large end of each egg. You will need to hold the egg in your hand. Trust me on this. If you attempt to push the pin into the end of the egg while balancing it on a hard surface it WILL crack.
  • You don't need a large hole, just a pinprick that goes through the shell into the egg.

Next, bring a saucepan (with a lid) of water to a boil over high heat. There should be enough water to cover and have about one inch of water above the eggs. Don't use a pan that's too small. You want the eggs in one layer, not piled on top of one another.

When the water is boiling gently, lower the eggs into the water. I use a large slotted spoon to do this. Cover and remove from the heat. Let sit undisturbed (no peeking) for 13 minutes. Transfer eggs to a cold water bath (a bowl filled with ice and water) and allow them to cool completely.

The Perfect Egg Salad

Ingredients

  • 6 hard-cooked eggs, cooled and peeled
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • Freshly ground black pepper and Kosher salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Slice the eggs in half; pop the yolks out of the whites. Place the yolks in one bowl and the whites in a separate bowl.
  2. Mince the whites. I use a potato masher to cut the whites into small pieces (pieces, not a smooshy mess.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl with the yolks. Mash and smash until it's all smooth and creamy. Stir the minced whites into the yolks/mayonnaise mixture.

My mom never used Dijon mustard in egg salad (I doubt she had even heard of Dijon). But I think the recipe needs a little acid to cut the richness of the yolks.

By the way, I know that some of you like (demand) a bit of crunch in your sandwich and/or the "bite" of raw onion. If that's your thing, feel free to add in 1 small stalk of celery (finely diced) and/or 2 tablespoons of minced onion.

Avocado Egg Salad

Avocado Egg Salad

1. Avocado Egg Salad

Our first spin-off recipe uses avocados (and a touch of Greek yogurt) in place of the traditional mayonnaise. Avocados are not only rich and creamy but add a nutritious boost of potassium and heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids. Plan on using this avocado egg salad the same day you make it.

Avocado Chicken Egg Salad

Avocado Chicken Egg Salad

2. Avocado Chicken Egg Salad

This avocado-chicken egg salad is loaded with flavor and texture with the inclusion of extra goodies (corn, bacon, red onion) and a tangy lemon-dill dressing. Unlike the above recipe, I won't make any comment about leftovers, because there will be none.

Bacon Ranch Egg Salad

Bacon Ranch Egg Salad

3. Bacon Ranch Egg Salad

Bacon lovers, this one's for you. This bacon ranch egg salad pairs crispy, crunchy bacon with creamy eggs. Shredded cheddar cheese and dry ranch salad dressing mix are easy flavor additions.

Cobb Egg Salad

Cobb Egg Salad

4. Cobb Egg Salad

More and more flavor—all the flavors we associate with the Cobb salad are packed in this Cobb egg salad. There's egg (of course), bacon, two types of cheese, arugula, and even grape tomatoes. It's a full meal in a bowl or bun.

Curry Egg Salad

Curry Egg Salad

5. Curried Egg Salad

Curried egg salad takes a flavorful, spiced spin on this classic dish. It’s the perfect combination of creamy and crunchy, with a hint of curry heat. Grated carrots add crunch, color, and a bit of sweetness to contrast with the warm curry spices.

Deviled Egg Salad

Deviled Egg Salad

6. Deviled Egg Salad

My daughter says she doesn't like eggs; fried, poached, scrambled, baked—she turns her nose up at every one. There's one exception—she loves deviled eggs. If you like the tangy deviled eggs flavored with dill pickle, vinegar, and spices, this deviled egg salad will be one of your favorites in this article.

In case you were wondering, “deviled" is a culinary term dating back to the 1700s. It means cooking something with lots and lots of hot and spicy condiments and seasonings.

Shrimp Egg Salad

Shrimp Egg Salad

7. Shrimp Egg Salad

This is an ideal warm-weather light meal. Shrimp egg salad is a wonderful contrast of tastes and textures. Sweet, briny shrimp are the perfect counterpoint to the sharp tang of onions, lemon, and garlic.

Tuna Egg Salad

Tuna Egg Salad

8. Tuna Egg Salad

Tuna egg salad is a classic that never seems to get old. Simple, familiar, yet oh-so-satisfying, this recipe comes fully loaded with tuna, hard-boiled eggs, celery, and dill pickles, all tossed together in a creamy, zingy dressing. It’s all the savory goodness you know and love about old-fashioned tuna salad!

Vegan (Smashed Chickpea) "Egg" Salad

Vegan (Smashed Chickpea) "Egg" Salad

9. Vegan (Smashed Chickpea) "Egg" Salad

Chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans) aren't just for making hummus. These little legumes are a nutritional powerhouse, a rich source of vitamins, fiber, minerals, and plant-based protein.

This chickpea "egg" salad is great as a filling for sandwiches or wraps, as a spread on crackers, or eaten straight from the bowl.

Vegan (Tofu) "Egg" Salad

Vegan (Tofu) "Egg" Salad

10. Vegan (Tofu) "Egg" Salad

This cholesterol-free, tofu-based "egg" salad is perfect for those summer days when it's simply too hot to cook. You don't even have to boil water.

© 2021 Linda Lum

Comments

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on June 18, 2021:

Rachael, what a great story. I think you put the best ingredient (love) in those sandwiches.

Rachel L Alba from Every Day Cooking and Baking on June 18, 2021:

Hi Carb Diva. I love all of these recipes. One of my husbands favorite sandwiches is egg salad. When he was working as a fireman, I used to make them and bring a bunch of them to the fire house and all of the firemen loved them. I wish I would have thought of making them more interesting like these, I'm sure they would have loved them also. Thanks for sharing your recipes.

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on June 15, 2021:

Thank you Brenda. Egg salad is such a great foundation. As you can see there are so many possibilities.

BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on June 15, 2021:

I'm not much for egg salad but you have a few interesting recipes that might be worth a try.

I have never known to use a pin on an egg before boiling it.

Great tip.

Denise McGill from Fresno CA on June 15, 2021:

I just tried the chickpea egg salad and I really like it, better than the tofu version. Thanks.

Blessings,

Denise

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on June 15, 2021:

Flourish, I guess I'm the only one who doesn't want my egg salad to "crunch." But I like your idea about using pickle juice and dry mustard. The pin trick has never failed me.

FlourishAnyway from USA on June 15, 2021:

What an incredible variety! I usually add celery for crunch and several spoonfuls of pickle juice in lieu of any salt, then instead of dijon mustard, I add a few good dashes of the mustard spice from the cabinet. I like your tip on preparing hard boiled eggs.

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on June 14, 2021:

Peggy, thanks for your kindness and words. I want to make all of them LOL.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on June 14, 2021:

There are many good-sounding egg salad recipes here. I always add minced celery to ours for the crunch factor.

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on June 14, 2021:

Denise, I prefer the chickpea--I hope you'll give it a try.

Denise McGill from Fresno CA on June 14, 2021:

I've tried the tofu egg salad but not the chickpea egg salad recipe. Now I will have to try it and see if it suits me. Thanks so much for including those. My family used to love egg salad sandwiches, especially after Easter will all the hard-cooked eggs around.

Blessings,

Denise

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on June 14, 2021:

Hi Shauna, I love eggs any way, but egg salad is so easy, I thought I'd share. Yes, I always put eggs in my potato salad. I wrote about deviled eggs a few months ago. I'll send the link to you.

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on June 14, 2021:

Thank you Chitrangada. I think in every culture, every place, people eat eggs. I hope your children will enjoy these recipes.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on June 14, 2021:

Sis, as you know, I love eggs. Egg salad is such a comforting dish. I put chopped celery, green pepper, and radishes in mine with salt, pepper, fresh dill and just enough mayo to hold it together. I don't separate the whites from the yolks. I use an egg slicer to slice lengthwise, then horizontally to get diced eggs. I love it on crackers or whole grain bread.

And I always put eggs in my tuna salad. To me, it's just not tuna salad without them. I put them in potato salad, too.

The chicken egg salad looks yummy. I think I'll have to try that recipe.

Deviled eggs? Yes, please!

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on June 14, 2021:

All delicious egg salad recipes. Eggs are perhaps the most popular comfort food, I can think of. My children love experimenting with egg recipes. I will share it with them.

As always, a very well written and well presented article, with nice pictures and details. Thank you for sharing and a wonderful week to you.

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on June 13, 2021:

Dora, there's no reason to eliminate eggs from your diet. Everything in moderation.

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on June 13, 2021:

Thank you John. Glad you were able to find me and comment before we went into y abyss.

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on June 13, 2021:

Thelma, avocado is such a mild, passive fruit. It plays well with friends, and really works well in egg salad. Not assertive, but helping where it does best.

Dora Weithers on June 13, 2021:

Was thinking of taking eggs off the menu. You've got me rethinking that. Some new ideas here are worth trying. Thank you..

John Hansen from Gondwana Land on June 13, 2021:

Eggs are among my favourite foods, and these egg salad recipes are wonderful. So much variety.

Rawan Osama from Egypt on June 13, 2021:

I enjoyed this recipe , thanks for sharing it

Thelma Alberts from Germany on June 13, 2021:

I love egg salad. I have not tried it yet with avocado. This is a good idea for me to make this egg salad. A perfect salad for summer. The photos make me hungry. Thank you for sharing.

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on June 13, 2021:

Thank you Pamela. Love to you

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on June 13, 2021:

Bill, I was keeping fingers crossed that you would like this one. I wrote it hoping that Summer would return. Do you promise?

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on June 13, 2021:

Misbah, this trick has never failed me. By the way, fresh eggs are more difficult to peel. Thank you for your comments; always kind, sweet, and generous.

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on June 13, 2021:

Rozlin, I'm glad you like the recipes. Blessings on your day

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on June 13, 2021:

My mother absolutely loved egg salad. You have so many wonderful recipes, and I wish she were still here to try some of them. Regardless, I do appreciate these recipes/ you have put together a splendid article for egg salad, Linda. Thank you.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on June 13, 2021:

Finally I can participate in one of these discussions. This is down-home comfort food to this boy. I love me some egg salad, the simpler the better, thus the first recipe is my instant favorite. I've had it with mustard and without; I prefer without, but just by a pinch. :) Thanks for writing about something I can relate to.

I hope you're staying dry. I promise, summer is coming.

Misbah Sheikh from The World of Rebels. on June 13, 2021:

Linda, I enjoyed reading this hub. Amazing trick for preparing a hard - boiled egg. Seriously I have never tried nor heard of this method. But I will try it. Whenever, I make hard- boiled eggs, I found them hard to peel. I like all the salads you mentioned but my favorites are Shrimp Egg Salad, Avocado Chicken Egg Salad and Tuna Egg Salad.

Thanks a lot for sharing

Love and Blessings

Rozlin from UAE on June 13, 2021:

Hi, Linda. This is a very interesting and informative article. I liked the recipes too. Thanks for sharing.

Blessings

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