Best Egg Salad Recipe

classic homemade egg salad

The Spruce Eats / Diana Rattray

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 22 mins
Chill Time: 10 mins
Total: 42 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Yield: 2 cups
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
219 Calories
17g Fat
2g Carbs
13g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 219
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 17g 22%
Saturated Fat 4g 22%
Cholesterol 376mg 125%
Sodium 269mg 12%
Total Carbohydrate 2g 1%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 13g
Vitamin C 1mg 5%
Calcium 63mg 5%
Iron 2mg 10%
Potassium 181mg 4%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Egg salad is a simple combination of hard-boiled eggs mixed with mayonnaise and crunchy additions, such as celery and onion. Whether eaten as a side dish or as a sandwich filling, egg salad is a comforting, enduring favorite, and it's vegetarian-friendly. Egg salad is economical, too. With a dozen eggs, a loaf of bread, and some mayonnaise, you can easily make 6 or more generous sandwiches.

Serve egg salad on any kind of sliced bread, toasted or not, or in buns, bagels, croissants, crackers, wraps, pita pockets, or keto-friendly lettuce wraps. Serve a bowl as a side dish at a picnic or cookout, with a baked bean dinner. Egg salad is also an excellent stuffing for freshly cored tomatoes, celery sticks, and mini sweet peppers. Serve egg salad sandwiches with potato chips, french fries or sweet potato fries, crudites, sliced tomatoes, or a simple salad or cup of soup.

While boiling the eggs on the stovetop is a great way to make hard-boiled eggs, other methods are worth mentioning. Instant Pot hard-boiled eggs are not only easy to make—they're easy to peel as well. You can even bake your eggs in a muffin tin or use the air fryer. Use your favorite method to make this egg salad.

If you have leftover egg salad, use it to make a breakfast melt. Pile some on a toasted English muffin half, top with a tablespoon or two of shredded cheese, and place it under the broiler for a few seconds, or just long enough to melt the cheese. 

"This egg salad is simple and classic. Celery provides crunch and red onion provides a bit of bite in contrast to the creamy mayo and eggs. It comes together easily and can be eaten in so many different ways. I love the sprinkle of paprika on top which, makes it reminiscent of deviled eggs." —Kayla Hoang

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A Note From Our Recipe Tester

Ingredients

  • 8 large eggs

  • 1/4 cup finely chopped celery

  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise, more to taste

  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped red or green onion

  • 1 teaspoons yellow mustard, more to taste

  • Salt, to taste

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • Paprika, for garnish, optional

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    egg salad ingredients

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Rattray

  2. Put the eggs in a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat, then place a lid on the pan and turn off the heat.

    how to boil eggs

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Rattray

  3. Let the eggs stand, covered, in the hot water for 12 minutes.

    covered saucepan with hard boiled eggs

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Rattray

  4. Meanwhile, fill a large bowl with ice and water. When the 12 minutes is up, add the eggs to the ice bath and let them cool for 10 minutes.

    hard boiled eggs in ice water

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Rattray

  5. Drain the eggs. Gently rap both ends of an egg on the counter and roll it to crack the shell all over. Starting at the wide end, carefully peel the egg. Repeat with the remaining eggs.

    peeled hard boiled eggs

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Rattray

  6. Put the hard-boiled eggs in a bowl and chop or mash with a fork or small masher.

    how to make egg salad: mash or chop the eggs

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Rattray

  7. Add the celery, mayonnaise, red onion, mustard, salt, and pepper and mix thoroughly. Taste and adjust the seasonings as desired.

    how to make easy egg salad with chopped vegetables and mayonnaise

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Rattray

  8. Transfer the egg salad to a serving bowl, if desired, and sprinkle with paprika, if using.

    best egg salad with paprika garnish

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Rattray

Tips

  • For easier peeling, use eggs that are about one week old. Fresh eggs can be difficult to peel. If you have a pressure cooker, make the eggs in that—the eggshells slip off after being cooked with high-pressure steam.
  • Hard-boiled eggs are easiest to peel as soon as they're cool enough to handle. Roll the egg on the countertop to loosen the shell and start peeling at the wider end.  Peeling the eggs under some cold running water or submerged in a bowl of cool water is the ideal way to get a little extra help from the water to loosen the egg shell from the egg.
  • Hard-boiled eggs—peeled or unpeeled—can be kept refrigerated for about one week. Make sure you label the container with the date. If peeled, add a dampened paper towel to the container to keep them moist.
  • The best way to "chop" up the eggs is to wash your hands well and then use them to mash up the eggs. You can also smash them with a whisk, fork, small masher, or a pastry cutter.
  • Serve the egg salad on small split biscuits or slider buns.

How to Serve Egg Salad

Think outside the box and try some of the following creative ways to serve egg salad.

  • Top crostini slices with lettuce or spinach leaves, scoops of egg salad, and garnish with chives, cornichon slices, or pimiento or roasted red pepper slices.
  • Make a breakfast egg salad sandwich on a split warm croissant or a toasted English muffin or bagel.
  • Use egg salad to stuff fresh cored small tomatoes or seeded mini bell peppers.
  • Spread egg salad on celery sticks for a quick and healthy snack.
  • Instead of loaf bread, make egg salad sandwiches with wraps, pita pockets, biscuits, or lettuce wraps.
  • Make tea sandwiches with watercress and sandwich bread.

Recipe Variations

  • Swap out the mayo with some Greek yogurt or sour cream for a mayonnaise-free egg salad.
  • Replace the red onion with 1 to 2 tablespoons of finely chopped sweet, yellow onion.
  • Replace the chopped onion and celery with about 2 tablespoons of chopped ripe olives and 1 to 2 tablespoons of chopped and drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes.
  • Add flavor and texture with a bit of sweet, dill, or spicy pickle relish. 
  • Refine a plain egg salad with a teaspoon or two fresh chives, parsley, or thyme leaves.
  • Add some heat to your egg salad with chopped pickled jalapeno pepper rings, or add a dash of Asian chili sauce (sambal) or Sriracha to the mayonnaise mixture.


How to Store

  • Refrigerate leftover or freshly made egg salad in an airtight container for up to 5 days. 
  • Keep egg salad cold when transporting it for a picnic or event. It should never be out of the fridge for more than 2 hours before eating, or 1 hour if the ambient temperature is above 90 F. Ideally, keep it in a cooler or nestle the bowl in crushed ice to keep it cool while serving.
  • While you can freeze egg salad, it isn't recommended. The egg texture becomes hard and rubbery when frozen and the mayonnaise texture changes as it thaws.

Why Is My Egg Salad Runny?

Too much mayonnaise can make an egg salad too runny. You can always add a few more hard-boiled eggs to correct the texture.