Classic Egg Salad + 3 Ways to Change it Up – Simple and classic, this makes is such a yummy lunch! Don’t miss 3 of my favorite delicious variations below! (Gluten free, paleo)
I didn’t always like egg salad. In fact, I actively did NOT like it.
…and then I got pregnant with Milo.
I was nauseated every single day of my pregnancy with Milo from 5 weeks to 39 weeks and 6 days (when Milo was born). It was sometimes a long, looong haul. Totally worth it, but sometimes I wondered if anything would ever taste good again (other than fresh fruit, smoothies, and cereal).
One day, while simultaneously trying to lay down and entertain Sophie at the same time, it came to me. From the depths of nausea/morning sickness/death came a bright, shiny thought. A craving I never knew I’d have.
Egg salad. Egg salad is what I should eat right now. Egg salad is what I NEED to eat right now. WHY IS THERE NEVER ANY EGG SALAD AROUND HERE?!
So, egg salad it was. Every day for lunch for three weeks. And, now, long after that pregnancy, I get a craving for egg salad every now and then. It’s not the fanciest lunch, but it’s simple and tasty, and I’m here for it. Here’s what’s in mine…
What’s in Classic Egg Salad?
There are as many versions of this as there are households who eat it, so I don’t claim that mine is The Only Way. That said, here’s what I put in my classic egg salad…
MEDIUM OR HARD BOILED EGGS. I actually prefer medium boiled (where the yolk is still sliiiightly soft), but either will do. I swear by steaming your eggs, which I walk you through in this post. They’re easy to peel, easy to make, and perfect every time.
MAYO OR VEGANNAISE. Use whatever you keep on hand. My two favorites are avocado oil mayo (like this or this), and Just Mayo veganniase (it’s made from pea protein and has a really neutral flavor). You can even make your own if you’re feeling fancy!
MUSTARD. It helps cut the egg/mayo flavor a bit and brighten things up. I go for the basic yellow mustard for most of my egg salad recipes, but if you like a bit of kick, Dijon can be a good way to go.
A BIT OF BRINE OR ACID. Acid sounds scary, but I mean something acidic. I almost always use pickle brine/pickle juice in mine because it’s delicious and goes with the other flavors. But, you can also get by with a tiny bit of lemon or lime juice (see my variations below where this is great), or a bit of vinegar (cider, rice, or white). I promise that adding a bit of something acidic MAKES the egg salad.
SALT, PEPPER & MIX-INS. A little salt and pepper for flavor is a must. Then, my classic egg salad recipe uses finely minced pickles, but you can also go with something like finely chopped celery, fresh herbs, chives, and more. The next section has more ideas for variations. (They’re ALL good)
3 Delicious Variations on Classic Egg Salad:
The classic is my go-to, but I LOVE coming up with variations. Here are 4 of my go-tos for changing things up…
- CURRY EGG SALAD. A tiny bit of curry powder makes for a delicious curry egg salad variation. I use lemon juice for the acid, then garnish with some minced cilantro or chives, if I’m feeling fancy.
- EVERYTHING BAGEL SEASONING EGG SALAD. I put this everything bagel seasoning on All The Things, and a little sprinkle on top of my classic version is fantastic. (Sometimes, I use Dijon instead of yellow mustard with this one)
- BLT EGG SALAD. This is my favorite. It’s definitely over the top and a little extra, but that’s because it’s topped with all sorts of goodies! I serve the classic on toast with lettuce, crumbled bacon and sliced or diced tomato. It’s DYNAMITE!
Tips & Tricks for this Recipe:
TRY AN EGG SLICER! I’m usually not a fan of single use kitchen gadgets, but I LOVE having an egg slicer. They’re really inexpensive and great for slicing eggs for chopped salads, or chopping them fine for something like this. Highly recommend.
HOW TO MAKE PERFECT HARD BOILED EGGS: I actually steam mine! (Get my tutorial here.) I swear by steaming your eggs. They’re easy to peel and simple to make. (When people like using their Instant Pot for hard boiled eggs, they’re actually just steaming with a pressure cooker. I find that stovetop steaming is easier for me–I’m less likely to overcook them since I don’t have to wait for the steam to release.
SHORTCUT: You can sub in dill pickle relish in place of the pickles and pickle brine if that’s more your jam!
KICK UP THE FLAVOR – Try adding fresh herbs (chives and dill are two of my favorites), or garnish this with something like paprika, a few dashes of hot sauce, or one of my variation ideas (in the section above or the recipe notes below).
Craving More Egg-celent recipes? You Might Like…
- My Guide to PERFECT Deviled Eggs + 12 Flavors to Choose From! (+Tutorial for Steamed Eggs!)
- Easy Paleo Mini Quiche (Great for meal prep)
- Potato & Egg Breakfast Tacos(Gluten free, dairy free)
- Green Chile Frittata (Gluten free, paleo friendly)
Classic Egg Salad & 3 Delicious variations! This egg salad is a classic for a reason. Don’t miss the notes for 3 ways to change it up! (Gluten free, paleo)
- 2 eggs, hard-boiled
- 1 1/2 Tbsp mayonnaise or vegannaise (I like avocado oil mayo or Just Mayo vegannaise)
- 1 tsp yellow mustard
- 1 Tbsp finely minced dill pickles
- 1 tsp dill pickle brine
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Dice or smash eggs into small pieces. (I like using an egg slicer to speed things along)
- Add diced eggs to a medium bow. Add mayonnaise, mustard, pickles, pickle brine, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir to combine well.
- Taste and add additional salt, pepper, or pickle brine as desired.
For Curry Egg Salad – 2 eggs, 1 1/2 Tbsp mayo, 1 tsp mustard (optional), 1 tsp lemon juice and a pinch (about 1/8 tsp) yellow curry powder. Salt and pepper, to taste.
For Everything Bagel Seasoning Egg Salad – Make as directed above. Sprinkle with Everything Bagel Seasoning mixture. (You can add pickles or omit them, as desired)
For BLT Egg Salad – Make as directed above. Serve on a piece of toast with lettuce, egg salad, and a garnish of cooked, crumbled bacon and diced or sliced tomatoes.
- Category: Main Dish, Eggs
- Method: No Cook
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: egg salad, egg salad recipe, paleo egg salad, gluten free egg salad, vegetarian egg salad, dairy free egg salad, classic egg salad, BLT egg salad, curry egg salad, avocado egg salad
Originally posted August 2013. Recipe, post, photo, and video updates added apr 2019.