Post-Easter Guide to Using Up All Those Hard-Boiled Eggs

Easter is tomorrow, and for my family that means one thing: lots of hard-boiled eggs. We love to decorate them (see some of my fun ideas here), hunt for them and, of course, eat them. We always have a ton leftover, and over the years I've developed a number of strategies for breezing through even the most copious of hard-boiled-egg inventories. As Monday morning rolls around, take that basket full of colorful hard-boiled eggs sitting in your fridge and try these recipe ideas ranging from classic to never-before-seen.

Traditional Ideas, with a Twist:

— Deviled Eggs: Try some new flavor profiles such as an all-time favorite, Barbecue Ranch, or top deviled eggs with an upscale ingredient like a dab of caviar or some tuna tartare.

— Egg Salad: Egg salad is a fantastic canvas for fun flavors. Try adding curry powder and spreading the egg salad on cut slices of toast for a perfect tea-sandwich snack (see my recipe here). Or add some canned salmon and chopped bacon to your favorite egg salad recipe for a brunch-inspired twist. Use the eggs in a green salad: Assemble my classic Salade Nicoise on a large platter for easy entertaining if you have guests visiting.

— Egg Sandwiches: Taste synergy in action on this sliced-egg sandwich by whipping up an easy garlic cream cheese and adding tomato. Or just add sliced egg to a BLT or tuna salad sandwich for an extra boost of protein and creaminess.

Less-Traditional Ideas:

— Yolk in Dressing: Mash up the egg yolk as a base for a creamy vinaigrette. Simply mix up the mashed yolk with a spoonful of Dijon mustard and some red wine vinegar, and then whisk in olive oil and seasonings. (Follow my recipe for Asparagus with Tangy Smoky Dressing, which uses the chopped egg white too.)

— Cheesy Egg Gratin: Place quartered peeled eggs in a greased baking dish, cover with your favorite marinara sauce and top with mozzarella or cheddar cheese and bake until bubbly at 450 degrees F (about 10 minutes). Add a fresh green salad and you have dinner.

— Soups, Stews and Sauces: Lay halved peeled eggs in a brothy soup for extra protein, or place on top of saucy lentils in a spicy curry for a Meatless Monday treat.

— Pickled Eggs: This classic is so old-fashioned that it's actually trendy again. And because they are best a few days into the pickling process, you get a little break in egg eating. Heat 1 cup each white vinegar and water, 2 tablespoons each sugar and salt, a chopped onion, and a few garlic cloves and red pepper flakes in a pan until salt has dissolved. Place peeled eggs in a jar and cover completely with the pickling liquid (add cooked beets if you want pink eggs). Refrigerate for at least one day before eating. (Even easier version: Save the liquid from a jar of pickles, plop your leftover eggs in, and fill with water to cover.)

Replace Regular Eggs with Hard-Boiled Eggs: Don't overlook your current favorite egg recipes for inspiration. Instead of frying egg into rice, try topping fried rice with a chopped hard-boiled egg. Sliced hard-boiled eggs can be a great replacement for poached eggs in many recipes, from eggs Benedict (hollandaise sauce is super tasty) to the European classic salad with lardons and egg (see my recipe here).

Do you have any fun traditions with leftover Easter eggs?

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