Food You Can Eat: Deviled Eggs

This topic came up during a DOT that glancingly mentioned what people in different states loved as sides for Thanksgiving. I of course weighed in and brought up deviled eggs, which I (used to) make all the time as an easy appetizer when we were having people over. I make these many different ways, and here are a few of them.

Before I begin, you need to hard boil your eggs, but not to the point where they’re gummy and the shell becomes one with them. Peel them, cut them in half horizontally, carefully scoop out the yolks (have I already mentioned that I have a whole set of ice cream sundae spoons with long handles and small bowls? I use those) and save the yolks in a bowl and mash them with a fork. Now you’re ready to go. All these recipes presume you have made a dozen hard-boiled eggs. After you fill the egg white halves put them in the fridge to chill for at least 1/2 hour. That will give you time to go to your home bar and serve drinks.


The Traditional

If you were an adult in 1957, let’s say, and you were at a dinner party and Sputnik was passing overhead, you would have left the venue and watched it and wondered if the Soviets were going to colonize the moon and launch hydrogen bombs at us from there. You might have taken this deviled egg with you. 

In the bowl with the egg yolks, add three heaping tablespoons of mayonnaise. Add a little semi-sweet mustard, like French’s, maybe a couple of teaspoons. Salt it a little bit. You could add diced parsley. Mix this all around with a wooden spoon. I don’t know why this works best but it does.

Retrieve the egg halves and arrange them face up. Fill each with a spoonful of the mixture. There should be enough so that there’s a small mound in each one. Sprinkle a little paprika on each, less than a pinch, and put covered in the fridge until ready to serve. You do not want to serve these room temperature or even warmer.

If You Don’t Have Enough Filling

If you have made a dozen hard-boiled eggs you’ll have 24 egg halves. Sacrifice a few and dice them to fill out whatever filling you have. This will make the filling blander and rather than adding more salt (because I salt the water when I make hard-boiled eggs) I’d add pepper instead.

For the Salmon Lover

I make this for the Forager-in-Chief. I swear, in a past life he was a voracious bear who spent his life haunting a salmon ladder and eating them all.

Do everything in “The Traditional” above except use a very eggy mayonnaise. I’ve tried doing this with cream cheese or sour cream and it was inedible. Cut down on the mayo a little bit. Increase the portion of mustard to a tbs. Add 3-4 medium slices smoked salmon, diced, into the mixture. Don’t use the parsley. Don’t use the paprika, slice a very small onion and top with a slice of that. Sprinkle with black pepper. 

Deviled Eggs with Truffle Oil

A few years ago a friend of a friend stayed with me. As a host gift she presented me with a bottle of truffle oil. We spent most of our time wandering the city but she was a fanatic about some sports team and wanted to see the game. “You’re in New York. Can’t you wait until it’s done and read and watch a recap or something?” Nope. “Well, I’ll make some snacks.”

Add 1/2 cup mayo to the yolk bowl. Add a tiny bit of truffle oil, a little bit goes a long way, 1 tbs. MAX. Add something green, I had some parsley so I put in a little of that. Mix that together and fill.

Deviled Eggs Vaguely Spanish

These are theoretically delicious. I’ve had them in Spain and they’re wonderful, but I can’t get them quite right. This recipe is loosely translated and adapted (metric to ounces) from a Spanish cookbook.

Drain 2 (approx. 6-oz.) cans of dark tuna and put in the bowl with the egg yolks standing by. Add room temperature marinara sauce, or even a tomato soup that you’ll add pepper to, about 6 heaping tablespoons from the jar or can. You don’t want vegetables crowding the mix, so the marinara should be tomatoes and that’s about it. Don’t use (for once) a jarred garlic marinara sauce.

Stir this all together and fill your egg boats. Top with diced anchovies. Put this in the fridge until it’s time to serve. I swear I’ve had this in Spain, loved it, and I have a witness, but maybe we’re under a mass delusion.

Deviled Eggs with Lump Crab

Here we go again with the lump crab.

Add an 8-oz can, drained, of lump crab to your egg yolk bowl. Add 3 heaping tbs. of mayonnaise and a little sharp mustard, maybe a tsp., and some chopped chives, but not too much. Some amount that would fit comfortably in your palm. Add the juice of a large lemon (just cut it in half and squeeze all the juice into the bowl.) Stir this all up and fill.

Deviled Eggs with Lobster

This is very rich and it’s almost too much. Into the egg yolk bowl add 1/2 cup mayonnaise, maybe a little diced cornichons, a small tablespoon of bland mustard, some chives, and 6 or 8 oz. of canned lobster. Fill the denuded egg halves and drizzle with a little lemon juice, preferably from a couple of lemons you have sliced in half and squeezed over them. I actually really like this but I wouldn’t serve it as an appetizer. I had a couple of vegetarian/pescatarians over and served this for dinner, with a salad that had walnuts I threw in. I remember the walnuts being a good accompaniment to this.

My Disastrous Experience With Beef Deviled Eggs

Don’t do this. I make so many deviled eggs that one day I got the bright idea to fill them with ground beef. I thought, “I like steak and eggs, and eggs and beef are used in meatloaf, and in Europe sometimes a poached egg is served over a hamburger…”

Really, don’t do this.

Deviled Eggs with Walnuts and Blue Cheese

One of my siblings makes this. I’m not a fan (“simplify, simplify” as Thoreau once wisely counseled), and I’ve never asked them for the recipe but I’m guessing this is what they’re doing.

In the yolk bowl add about five or six tbs. of mayonnaise and a small slice of crumbled blue cheese. How much is up to you and my sibling, but not a lot. I made this once a couple of years ago but did not weigh my sad, neglected rump of blue cheese at the time. It was probably about 4 oz. Mix this together, fill the eggs, and then top with diced walnuts. I thought I would love this because I, like the lunatic I am, sometimes make huge blue cheese and walnuts cheese balls (when we were having people over, especially around the holidays) but this doesn’t really do it for me. 



  1. So, obviously, I am a Traditional deviled egg eater.  However, I would be willing to try the salmon, crab or lawbstah recipes.  The blue cheese and walnut recipe is an abomination unto God and Nature.
    For the truffle recipe, are you 100% sure about the 1/2 cup of mayo?  It seems to be just egg yolks, a spoonful of truffle oil, some parsley and mayo.  That seems like a shitload of mayo for 12 egg yolks without anything else solid for the mayo to coat.

  2. I love smoked salmon in scrambled eggs but never thought of using it in deviled eggs. You’re a genius.

    If you’re ever making deviled eggs for an Easter brunch you can dye the egg whites just like you would a hard boiled egg. They look pretty on the holiday table. You can also slice a small piece from the bottom of each egg so they stand upright. Cut a larger piece from the top. Empty and fill, top with the larger piece as the cap leaving some of the filling exposed. Of course then you only get 12 eggs from a dozen instead of 24. But it looks impressive.

    • I once (ONCE) made the stand-up version and put the filling into a pastry bag so it looked like, but did not taste like, I piped in Cheez-Whiz, and left uncapped. I liked the effect but those are a pain in the ass to eat gracefully. Maybe I’ll do that again soon since it’s just the two of us.

  3. I was never a fan of deviled eggs when I was a kid, and as an adult, I realize that that was because my grandma made them with Miracle Whip and Thousand Island dressing. Both too sweet and too bland, somehow! 
    I make them for my guys sometimes now, but I use a blob of regular mayo, a bit of jalepeño mustard, and a bit of dill relish. MUCH better than those sweet egg abominations my parents and grandparents made.

    • …and, you lost me at relish.  Pickles have no place in a deviled egg recipe.  But, I can’t really blame you, considering your traumatic childhood.  Miracle Whip and Thousand Island?!  Neither should be consumed at all, and both are proof of a hostile universe which only seeks to make us all miserable.

  4. Miracle Whip is an abomination and should never have been created. Thousand Island dressing is slightly less offensive, but the fact that it looks like what the cat leaves on the rug after eating too fast has always put me off it. 
    Pickles belong in pretty much everything. You should see my Subway order… 😀

Leave a Reply