How to Make Deviled Eggs

Basic deviled eggs on a plate

A versatile finger food, deviled eggs make an ideal appetizer for everything from your backyard barbeque to your formal luncheon. You can add spice to give them a little kick, pipe the filling in to make them fancy, or add other more ethnic ingredients to give them flare.

Basic Deviled Eggs Recipe

Deviled eggs consist of hard boiled eggs, halved and stuffed with a mixture of the boiled egg yolk, mayonnaise, and sometimes mustard. Classically, they are typically topped with paprika to add a bit of color and flavor.

Preparing the Eggs Properly

  1. To begin, choose eggs that are a bit older rather than fresh eggs. To tell if your egg is the right 'age' for deviled eggs, fill a small bowl with enough water to cover an egg. The ideal egg should stand on its end, but still touch the bottom. If the egg sinks, it's too fresh to use. If it floats - get rid of it! It's not good anymore.
  2. Hard boil your eggs. Be careful not to cook them too long though. The ideal time for hard boiling the eggs is somewhere between 12 minutes (for small eggs) and 19 minutes (for large eggs), if you have them simmering rather than at a rolling boil.
  3. When you are finished cooking the eggs, place the eggs in an ice cold bath. This trick will allow you to peel the eggs much more easily and can help prevent cracking. When you cool the eggs this way, a layer of steam develops between the white and the peel, thus making peeling easier.
  4. Crack and peel the shell off of each egg.
  5. Cut the eggs lengthwise with a sharp kitchen knife. Scoop the yolk into a bowl and lay the egg whites on the platter that you are going to use to serve them. Transporting deviled eggs from one tray to another not only gets your fingers in everyone else's filling, but it can mess up what would otherwise be a pretty display.

Basic Filling

For six eggs (making a dozen halves), gather together:

  • Basic deviled eggs
    1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar (you can also use lemon juice, wine, pickle juice - anything that is acidic)
  • 1 teaspoon mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Paprika for garnish (optional)

In a small bowl:

  1. Push egg yolks through a fine sieve into the bowl. Although it's tempting, don't mash them with a fork - this will make your final mixture heavy.
  2. Fold in the mayonnaise, vinegar, and mustard until the ingredients are well mixed.
  3. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Pipe the filling into the eggshells using a tip like Wilton's 1A or 2A. If you don't have the kind of tip, don't worry. Fill a quart-sized plastic bag with your deviled egg filling, and cut the corner off. It will work just as well as a decorating tip for piping filling into your eggshell.

Eight Variations to Make Your Mouth Water

The great thing about deviled eggs is that they are versatile. These variations will bring something surprisingly new to the table.

#1 Lighten It Up

Deviled eggs don't have to be unhealthy. Replace the mayonnaise in the basic recipe with plain yogurt and use lemon juice instead of vinegar.

#2 Add a Little Something to the Filling

If you like it, it can probably be added to a deviled egg. Try some of these ideas:

  • Add chopped, roasted almonds to your filling, and top with either sliced or whole, roasted almonds. Use wine or wine vinegar in lieu of plain white vinegar.
  • Bacon deviled eggs
    Top with bacon. If you really love bacon, add bacon bits to your filling. Pickle juice makes a good acid for this all-American version.
  • Add chopped pickles to your mixture.
  • Try spicy brown mustard for a kick. Use wine as your acid to balance out the kick of the spicy mustard.

#3 Get Creative with Garnish

While paprika is generally the tried and true garnish of deviled eggs, there are lots of other delectable ways to garnish your deviled eggs. Try one of these toppings for a delicious twist:

  • Minced scallions
  • Chopped olives
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Dill
  • Sour cream, chives, and smoked salmon slivers
  • Shredded cheddar cheese

#4 Old Bay Deviled Eggs

Start by adding cooked seafood to your filling. You can add about one-half cup to the mixture. Any seafood that you love is fine, but crab, lobster, imitation crab meat, or scallops make ideal additions. Add one-half teaspoon of Old Bay spice to your filling and use white cooking wine as your acid. Sprinkle with Old Bay Seasoning.

#5 Peppers and Ranch Eggs

Deviled eggs with peppers

In lieu of mayonnaise, use ranch dressing. Add copious amounts of finely chopped red, orange, and yellow bell peppers. You don't need to add vinegar to this recipe, and maybe even better yet, the filling will be to chunky to pipe. Just spoon the mixture into the egg halves. The color in the peppers will make the presentation look pretty.

#6 Creamy Deviled Eggs

Use herbed cream cheese, or herbed spreadable cheese, in lieu of mayonnaise and mustard to give your palate a true experience. Options with garlic or dill make an especially tasty mixture. Top with a sliced olive.

#7 Boursin Deviled Eggs

Instead of mayonnaise and mustard, mix the egg yolks with Boursin Shallot and Chive spreadable cheese. Use a splash of lemon juice, and add chopped walnuts to the mixture. Garnish with a whole walnut, and thinly sliced apples.

#8 Pink Deviled Eggs

Mix cooked beets into your basic deviled egg recipe that omits the mustard. If you like the mixture more on the tangy side, add a dollop of sour cream (but taste test so you don't make them too tangy.) Top the mixture with crumbled blue cheese.

Serving Deviled Eggs

Deviled eggs are delicious - and slippery. Don't put all that work into creating the perfect appetizer, only to stick them on a plate and have them slide all over the place, losing filling and messing up your pretty garnishes. Ideally, you can put them on a tray that is specifically made for deviled eggs, with indents where the eggs will sit prettily on display. However, if you don't have a deviled egg tray, don't worry, you can still play an appealing display with one of these tricks of the trade:

  • Artfully arrange large leaves of romaine lettuce on a round plate. Gently place the eggs on the leaves. The lettuce will keep the eggs from slipping.
  • Use grilled asparagus as a bed for your deviled eggs. Use a square or rectangular serving plate, and arrange the asparagus so that all the tips are facing the same direction. Place the eggs in zigzag pattern along the length of the plate.
  • Use a wide, shallow bowl, and add black dry beans to the bottom. Then you can nestle your deviled eggs into the beans to prevent them from slipping, and create an appealing table display at the same time.
  • Serve your eggs in cupcake papers. This is an ideal presentation for a bridal or baby shower, where you can get cupcake liners to fit the theme.
  • Place each egg on a sliced olive.

Make an Impression

It's not hard to make an impression when you serve deviled eggs. Whether you get creative or go classic, these are often the first things to go at a party. Plate them so they're pretty, or use an egg tray, and your dish might just be the talk of your next party.

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How to Make Deviled Eggs