How to Dye Easter Eggs Naturally With Food Scraps

Naturally dyed Easter eggs

The Spruce / Cara Cormack

If you're reading this, it's probably that time of year again. When plain old hum-drum eggs turn pink and yellow and blue. Tablets and packets are all fine and good, but it's also easy to dye beautiful Easter eggs using food.

Red cabbage makes any white egg look as lovely blue as a robin's egg. Turmeric or saffron create a bright, sunny yellow. The staining properties of beets can be so annoying on wooden cutting boards and freshly manicured nails, but it comes in handy when dying eggs to achieve anywhere from a light pink to a darker red, depending on how long you allow the eggs to sit in the natural dye. And a lovely deep orange is made with use of yellow onion skins, while a more subdued purple can be obtained through the use of purple onion skins.

It's easy to dye Easter eggs naturally, using dyes made from foodstuffs—fruits, vegetables, herbs, and spices.

  • 01 of 04

    Gather the Ingredients

    turmeric, beets, and vinegar

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

    These foods work well for coloring eggs:

    • Shredded red beets (purple)
    • Onion skins (orange or rust)
    • Turmeric or chili powder (yellow)
    • Spinach (green) 
    • Red cabbage or grape juice (blue)
    Continue to 2 of 4 below.
  • 02 of 04

    Create the Natural Dye Using Food and Spices

    pot with vinegar, water and beet scraps

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

    Make the dye by chopping or mashing the vegetable of your choice and combine with 4-6 cups of water and 1 tablespoon of vinegar for every 2 cups of water. (4 cups water = 2 tablespoon vinegar; 6 cups water = 3 tablespoons vinegar)
    One beet grated or the scraps of a few beet skins, or the skins of 3 to 4 onions will work for this quantity of water. If using dried spices like turmeric instead, use about 1 tablespoon of spice per 1 cup of water. The more you add, the deeper the color, so play around. Simmer for about 30 minutes.

    Continue to 3 of 4 below.
  • 03 of 04

    Strain Liquid

    Strained beets scraps from liquid in a bowl

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

    Strain the food scraps or the spices from the liquid, placing the liquid in a bowl large enough to allow for dunking of the eggs.

    Continue to 4 of 4 below.
  • 04 of 04

    Dye the Eggs in the Natural Dye

    Eggs in liquid for dying

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

    Place hardboiled eggs in the natural dye and allow to sit for several minutes to absorb the colors. The longer it sits, the darker the shade.

Note: Before you get started, you may want to review how to make perfect hard-boiled eggs.