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Simple Is Best Egg Salad



Egg Salad on a navy blue plate
Photography by Travis Rainey, Food Styling by Emilie Fosnocht

I think we can all agree that the world is a better place with creamy salads. Imagine a universe without egg salad sandwiches. How dreary. Egg salad may have its detractors (smelly! mushy!), but fans know the unique comfort of that first bite—smooth dressing, slightly bouncy egg whites, velvety yolks, and maybe a little crunch from diced onion or celery. Stuck between soft white bread or piled onto toasted sourdough, it is a Platonic ideal of taste and texture.

A great egg salad begins with great hard-boiled eggs. Soft or jammy egg yolks are good for many things, but they can leave an egg salad feeling runny and loose. For egg salad with textural integrity, firmly set (but not chalky) yolks are key. The best hard-boiled eggs are—surprise!—actually steamed. This technique doesn’t require a steamer or any special setup. Instead, you bring just a couple inches of water to a boil in a saucepan on the stovetop, lower the eggs in, cover the pan with a lid to trap the steam, and cook the eggs for about 10 minutes, much like traditional boiled eggs. Some people swear by the Instant Pot for easy-to-peel eggs but steamed eggs perform just as well and are substantially faster.

Any classic egg salad recipe demands mayonnaise. Sour cream and Greek yogurt simply don’t make the cut. Instead of peeling a whole white or red onion only to use a small portion of it in the egg salad, this recipe uses scallions, conveniently pre-portioned by nature and a breeze to slice. A dash of hot sauce, a healthy dose of Dijon mustard, and some salt and pepper are all that’s required to complete this simple egg salad. If you’re looking to throw in a little razzle-dazzle, choose one or two of the following ingredients and add in up to 1 Tbsp. each in your egg salad: fresh herbs like finely chopped chives, dill, or parsley; capers; or minced dill pickles.

Recipe information

  • Total Time

    30 minutes

  • Yield

    2–4 servings


6 large eggs
1 scallion, finely chopped
¼ cup mayonnaise
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
2 tsp. hot sauce (such as Crystal)
¼ tsp. Diamond Crystal or Morton kosher salt, plus more
Freshly ground pepper


  1. Step 1

    Pour water into a medium saucepan to come 2" up sides and bring to a rolling boil. Using a large spoon, carefully lower 6 large eggs into pan one at a time. Cover and cook, adjusting heat as needed to maintain a simmer, 11 minutes.

    Step 2

    Using the same spoon, carefully transfer eggs to a medium bowl of ice water and let cool 10 minutes.

    Step 3

    Meanwhile, stir 1 scallion, finely chopped, ¼ cup mayonnaise, 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard, 2 tsp. hot sauce, and ¼ tsp. Diamond Crystal or Morton kosher salt in a medium bowl to combine.

    Step 4

    Gently crack eggs all over and peel, starting from the fat end containing the air pocket. Blot eggs dry with a kitchen towel. Halve lengthwise then coarsely chop; transfer to bowl with scallion mixture. Stir vigorously to combine (yolks should more or less dissolve into sauce). Taste and season with more salt if needed and freshly ground pepper.

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  • I cut this recipe in half, I also substituted a shallot for green onion since I didn’t have any green onion on hand. I used what I eyeballed as a 50% of 1/4 cup mayonnaise, I probably could’ve use a bit less as it was somewhat runny, but still good. This recipe was very good as is, but I love picked relish in my egg salad, so I added that in too. Served on multi-grain bread with spring mix greens. This felt like a grown up version of egg salad, not the stuff your Mom put in your lunchbox. This is now officially my go-to recipe for egg salad 🤩🤩

    • JCB

    • 5/23/2024

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