My Mom’s Simple Egg Salad and How to Perfectly Hard Boil an Egg

March 23, 2010Katie


It’s close to Easter.

And that means, coloring eggs.  If you have kids, lots of eggs.

And then the day after Easter?  You’re stuck with lots of leftover eggs.  Hardboiled eggs.  So, the inevitable question of what to do with them leads to various things.  Deviled eggs, potato salad with chopped eggs, and my favorite..

Egg salad.

I am an egg salad purist.  I don’t like a lot of junk and gunk in my egg salad.  Maybe it’s because this is the way my Mom always made egg salad?  I’ve seen recipes of late on different cooking shows like Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato Egg Salad, and BBQ Egg Salad….


And besides that, I have 3 kids who don’t like crunchy stuff in their egg salad.

I like a simple, creamy, egg salad.  You can use this recipe as your base and then add whatever your heart desires – chopped pickles, celery, onions, whatever makes ya smile.

Here is what I do.

First we need to perfectly hard-boil our eggs.  Start by putting the amount of eggs you want into a large pot.  All of your eggs need to be in a single layer.  Then you need to cover them completely with cold water.  I just put enough water to cover the eggs.  Turn your heat on high and bring them to a boil.  I’ve seen many suggestions on adding salt, vinegar and even a burnt match (???) but I don’t do any of that.  It’s not needed.

Once the water comes to a boil, take it off the burner, cover the pot with a lid, and let it set for 12 minutes.

Set a timer, or you’ll forget.

Trust me, I know.

While that’s finishing up, let’s make our dressing.  I am making enough for two people so I used 4 eggs.  You can multiple this to your liking.

Measure out one-fourth of a cup of mayonnaise.  Add in one teaspoon of mustard, one-half teaspoon of sugar and one-fourth teaspoon of salt.

I know you might think sugar is weird, but try it. It just does a little sumthin-sumthin to the dressing to balance out the savory.

By now your eggs should have finished their twelve minute stint in cooking.  Immediately take off the lid, dump out the hot water and fill the pot with cold water.

Throw in a couple of cups of ice cubes.  This will stop the cooking of the eggs.

If you overcook the eggs, that is when that nasty greeny/grayish ring forms around the yolks and we don’t want that!

Putting them in ice water also helps the egg skins inside shrink so that they will peel easier.

Here’s another helpful tip.  Fresh eggs peel harder.  We have a local dairy here called Braum’s.  I could never figure out why I couldn’t get their eggs to peel.  It was because they were so fresh!  So for cooking, fresh eggs are wonderful, but for hard boiled? Maybe not so much…

I like to smash both ends a little and start from there.  You can usually hook your fingers in the pockets of air at the end and pull bigger pieces of shell off.

After I peel an egg, I like to give it a quick rinse under cold water to make sure I get all those little specks of peel off the egg also.

Now you’ll need to chop up your eggs into small pieces, yolks and whites.  I use this nifty chopper thing Mr. Wonderful got me, but you can just use a knife.

See how my egg yolks are nice and bright yellow? They’re almost a little soft, but when you mix them into the sauce, this will make it extra delicious.  If you want yours firmer, boil your eggs for no more than an additional 2 minutes.

Dump your chopped eggs into your sauce.

Now get a good-size spoon or spatula and gently mix up your eggs and sauce.

I prefer my egg salad on soft, regular sandwich bread.  I told you I’m a purist when it comes to egg salad.  It’s especially delicious on Wonder Bread, if you’re going for pure taste and no nutritional value whatsoever.

Spread some of your egg salad over one piece of bread.

Top with another and slice in half.

Mr. Wonderful likes a slice of cheese on his.  Again, just the individually wrapped, Kraft -type American cheese.

And that’s it.  Hard boiled eggs and fresh Egg Salad Sandwiches.

It’s a wonderful thing to do.

Happy Egg Boiling!

Katie’s Printable Recipe – Hard Boiled Eggs and Simple Egg Salad


  • Fran J

    March 25, 2010 at 12:47 pm

    I like to dress up my egg salad with all the crunchies: celery, onion, and pickle relish and then spread it on toasted wheat bread and lettuce in between the slices. yum. Sometimes I stick potato chips in, too.
  • Raghu

    February 26, 2011 at 1:43 pm

    Nice recipe - just what I was looking for - thanks!
  • Dave

    March 26, 2011 at 10:44 am

    Just what I was looking for as well--the perfectly simple egg salad recipe from my childhood, spelled out in complete and easy-to-follow instructions! I'm SO glad I found your site, and thank you for posting this!
    1. dishinanddishes

      March 26, 2011 at 12:21 pm

      Dave - I sense you're an egg salad purist like myself :)
    2. Dave

      March 27, 2011 at 8:01 pm

      Katie-- I think you're right about that! I just now finished making this egg salad. I followed your instructions exactly, and when the moment of truth came...WOW. This is seriously the best. I made it for sandwiches this week, so I had to stop myself from taste-testing the entire bowl. Thank you again--it certainly is a "wonderful thing to do"! Hugs and best wishes to you, Mr. Wonderful, and the rest of your family. :)
      1. dishinanddishes

        March 28, 2011 at 8:17 am

        Dave - yay! Glad you liked it..I can "taste test" the whole bowl also!
  • Oki

    April 28, 2011 at 10:42 pm

    I'm glad to have finally found a super simple egg salad recipe but the sugar and the salt really feel like they throw off the flavor for me. I think I'm gonna try to tweak the recipe a bit, but I'm happy I've found a good base recipe to work with. Thank you.
  • Ruth

    May 17, 2011 at 5:38 am

    Im definetly going to try thiss!!
  • Angela

    November 21, 2011 at 11:45 am

    I just made this recipe for myself and my two year old daughter. I have never seen her eat so good. Thank you. I will be making this egg salad at least once a week from now on
  • Catherine

    January 7, 2012 at 7:17 pm

    Just made this recipe for a brunch tomorrow, PERFECT! So easy to follow and the taste is amazing (of course I had to try some). :) followed the recipe, except tripled it. Perfect consistency! Thank you so much for simplifying my breakfast obligation. :)
  • Timhole

    May 29, 2012 at 8:21 am

    Eww sugar and salt? =x Rest is cool. Grey eggs are fine too, I don't care, they still taste like egg.
    1. DishinandDishes

      May 29, 2012 at 12:57 pm

      Timhole -no salt on hard boiled eggs or egg salad would be criminal!
  • Candice

    September 3, 2012 at 11:20 am

    Yummy and so easy!
  • Lauren

    September 8, 2012 at 3:11 am

    Thank you for this recipe! Just what I needed. I followed the recipe...then proceeded to eat half of the finished product. So naturally, I had to make another batch! Egg-cellent!
    1. DishinandDishes

      September 8, 2012 at 11:20 pm

      Lauren - so glad you enjoyed my simple but love recipe! :)

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