How to Make Egg Salad Healthier

This sandwich staple can be high in fat, cholesterol and calories, but with a few simple tweaks it can be made more nutritious.

May 27, 2022

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Egg salad is a classic sandwich stuffer, but with gobs of mayo mixed in, it can be high in unhealthy fats, sodium and calories. An average deli egg salad sandwich can have more than 550 calories, 30 grams of fat and 600 milligrams of sodium. Where does all that come from? Well, the main ingredients: eggs, mayo and some of the seasonings. High amounts of saturated fats can contribute to high cholesterol levels and diets high in sodium can aggravate blood pressure levels, but that doesn't mean you need to give up on egg salad altogether.

Egg Salad Nutrition Facts

Eggs are actually loaded with many healthy nutrients including protein, omega-3 fats, riboflavin and vitamin B-12. One large egg also contains 2 grams of saturated fat, about 210 milligram of cholesterol and 70 to 75 calories. Lots of folks skip the egg yolks to reduce cholesterol for fear they are not healthy, so let’s set the record straight: Yolks have the same amount of protein as the whites, and most of the other nutrients are in the yolk.

Mayonnaise, which is made mostly from oil and eggs, is a high-calorie condiment. One tablespoon of mayo (which counts as a serving) has 90 calories, 10 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat and 90 milligrams of sodium. Most egg salad recipes have way more than 1 tablespoon of in them.

How to Make Egg Salad Healthier

Eggs and mayo can still be a part of your egg salad mix, just use less and add flavor with other ingredients. The easiest thing you can do is switch to small amounts of a light or reduced-fat mayo. Then, use less egg salad on your sandwich and pile fresh vegetables like lettuce, tomato, cucumber or radishes on your bread slices, wraps and salads.

There’s even more you can do: I like to be creative by adding flavorful, lower calorie ingredients like Dijon mustard, fresh herbs, sweet pickle relish, roasted red peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, chopped cucumber, cayenne pepper or curry powder to egg salad. My favorite diner in New York City makes an egg salad with fresh tarragon, a touch of mayo, pickled onions and chopped spinach; they also make an egg-less version with tofu. Take your avocado toast to the next level by mixing your chopped egg with diced avocado, tomato and cilantro.

When I make egg salad at home, I use 4 eggs, 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon of non-fat Greek yogurt, chopped celery and lots of fresh herbs (basil, dill or parsley), salt, pepper and pinch of smoked paprika. My recipe makes enough for at least three sandwiches. Save a few more calories by making an open-faced sandwich (using only one slice of bread), serving on a whole-wheat English muffin or using lettuce leaves as a wrap.

Healthier Egg Salad Recipes to Try

Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition. She is the author of four cookbooks First Bites: Superfoods for Babies and Toddlers, The Healthy Air Fryer Cookbook, The Healthy Instant Pot Cookbook and Healthy Quick and Easy Smoothies.

*This article was written and/or reviewed by an independent registered dietitian nutritionist.

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