How to Make Egg Salad

Including smart solutions, like extra-fast ways to chop eggs.

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March 10, 2022
Egg salad with chopped green onions on top in a white bowl for cooking a sandwich on a white wooden background. Selective focus.

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Egg salad with chopped green onions on top in a white bowl for cooking a sandwich on a white wooden background. Selective focus.

Photo by: Irina Taskova/Getty Images

Irina Taskova/Getty Images

By Fraya Berg for Food Network Kitchen

Fraya is a chef and a contributing writer at Food Network.

When you’ve got a batch of hard-boiled eggs in the fridge you can have egg salad in minutes with just mayo, mustard, salt and pepper. Once you’ve got that down, you can branch out and try some of our ideas for making it even more delicious. Follow our tips for hard-boiling eggs, storing them, chopping them and then making egg salad.

A row of hard boiled eggs showing the order of hard boiling an egg, peeling, and cutting.

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A row of hard boiled eggs showing the order of hard boiling an egg, peeling, and cutting.

Photo by: Laurie Ambrose/Getty Images

Laurie Ambrose/Getty Images

How to Hard-Boil Eggs

Hard Boiled Eggs

Learn how to boil soft, medium and hard eggs.

The first step to making egg salad? Hard-boiling your eggs perfectly. Check out our steps below, or cut several corners and simply make an Instant Pot Egg Loaf: no cooling and peeling eggs required.

1: Cook the Eggs

Put eggs in a pan and cover them with cold water. Bring to a boil, put a lid on pan and turn off the heat. Let eggs stand for 10 to 15 minutes.

2: Cool the Eggs

Place them in a bowl of ice water until they are cool.

3: Peel the Eggs

Crack all over and peel the eggs in the ice water.

4: Store the Eggs

Refrigerate unpeeled, hard-cooked eggs in a sealed container for up to a week.

Fresh hard boiled eggs with shell beside on wooden board (Selective Focus, Focus on the front of the shell on the first egg)

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Fresh hard boiled eggs with shell beside on wooden board (Selective Focus, Focus on the front of the shell on the first egg)

Photo by: AndreyCherkasov/Getty Images

AndreyCherkasov/Getty Images

What Is the Easiest Way to Chop Eggs for Egg Salad?

There are many ways to chop eggs when you’re making egg salad. Some use gadgets, some just knives. Here are a few options to consider.

  • Knife and Cutting Board: a knife allows you to cut the eggs in pieces just the right size for you. We like pieces between 1/4 and 1/2 inch big; the yolks will break smaller when you stir everything together.
  • Egg Slicer: An egg slicer is a great way to chop hard-cooked eggs into small pieces. Slice them one way, then turn them the other way and slice again. If buying a single use gadget goes against your philosophy, keep in mind they can also slice strawberries, kiwi, mushrooms, pitted olives and bananas.
  • Potato Masher: You might already have a potato masher. It's a great way to chop eggs quickly. Place one egg squarely beneath the masher and press straight down; repeat with all of your eggs.
  • Your Hands: A surprisingly fast way to turn eggs into small pieces? Tearing them up wtih your hands. It’s kind of fun, like playing with squishy clay.

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Matt Armendariz, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

How to Make Egg Salad

Chunky Egg Salad

Dill and whole-grain mustard make this egg salad stand out from the crowd. Serve it on grainy bread the best lunch.

Use fresh hard-boil eggs to make a brunch-friendly egg salad with these step-by-step photos.

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Matt Armendariz, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

1: Start with Onions

In a small bowl, soak chopped red onions in cold water for 15 minutes.

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Matt Armendariz, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

2: Hard-Boil Eggs

Meanwhile, in a large saucepan with a tight-fitting lid, cover the eggs with cold water by 1 inch. Bring to a boil and cook for 1 minute. Cover the eggs, remove from the heat and set aside for 8 minutes.

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Matt Armendariz, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

3: Cut the Eggs

Drain the water from the pan and cool the eggs in the pan under cold running water. Peel the eggs and cut into sixths - or smaller pieces if you prefer a less chunky egg salad.

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Matt Armendariz, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

4: Mix Ingredients

In a large bowl, mix together onion, chopped celery, mayonnaise, chopped dill, mustard, lemon juice and salt. Add the eggs to the mayonnaise mixture and gently mix them together. Season with pepper to taste. Use in sandwiches, with lettuce and tomatoes or in a salad.

How to Make Egg Salad Healthy

Once you’ve made egg salad once, making a healthier version is as simple as switching up a few ingredients. The easiest ways to lower fat, calories and cholesterol is to eliminate mayonnaise and a few egg yolks. For more ideas, the article Egg Salad, Lightened Up has other options and egg nutrition info.

  • Use lighter mayo. Use low-fat mayo instead of full-fat mayo.
  • Replace half the mayo with another creamy ingredient. Replace part of the mayo with yogurt or mashed avocado.
  • Replace the mayo with tangy ingredients. Another direction to go is a mustard sauce. Simply use Dijon mustard plus a dash of red wine vinegar instead of mayo.
  • Use less mayo and double up on other flavors. Use a few less tablespoons of mayo and add flavor factors like fresh herbs, minced celery, relish, roasted red peppers or sun-dried tomatoes.

What Makes Egg Salad Watery?

Every ingredient that goes into egg salad has water in it. Salt and sugar in the dressing draw the water out of the ingredients as they sit, and they make your egg salad watery regardless of whether it's in the fridge or in a sandwich. When making a sandwich, lettuce between the bread and egg salad (on both sides) goes a long way towards keeping the bread from becoming one big soggy mess. A few simple ideas to reduce watery egg salad are these ingredient swaps.

  • Low-fat mayo has extra water: use less full fat mayo (as long as you're not worries about lightening things up).
  • Onions add a wonderful flavor, but they also add water: green onions or chives are delicious and drier.
  • Drain pickle relish: the sugar draws water out of the other ingredients.

How Long Does Egg Salad Last?

Egg salad will last 3 to 5 days in the refrigerator. Egg salad should not be left out at room temperature for more than 2 hours, so if it’s in a lunch bag at your desk, consider an ice pack. The best way to store egg salad is in a tightly sealed container in the coldest part of your fridge. Keeping the container sealed is good for the egg salad, but it’s also good for the fridge: open egg salad will fill the entire fridge with the aroma of hard-boiled eggs. We don’t recommend freezing egg salad because the texture when thawed makes it a grainy, unpleasant eating experience.

Egg Salad Recipes

Food Network Kitchen
Egg Salad
Healthy Eats
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Food Network KitchenEgg SaladHealthy EatsFood Network,Food Network Kitchen Egg Salad Healthy Eats Food Network

Photo by: Stephen Johnson ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Stephen Johnson, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Garden vegetables meet hard-boiled eggs in a low-fat mayo dressing in this spring-y egg salad.

This recipe is the little black dress of egg salads: simple, classic and always in good taste because it tastes so good.

Food Stylist: Anne Disrude
Prop Stylist: Lynsey Fryers

EggSalad2.tif

Food Stylist: Anne Disrude Prop Stylist: Lynsey Fryers

Photo by: Yunhee Kim

Yunhee Kim

Tarragon with chicken is a classic French combo, so it makes sense that tarragon is also delicious with eggs—in this case egg salad.

When curry powder is added to mayonnaise magical things happen. In this egg salad recipe, the curry compliments the chives and radishes beautifully.

Asparagus brings the flavor of springtime to this egg salad. You may not have a need for crustless tea sandwiches, so consider a heartier bread.

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