This is the best egg salad I’ve ever tasted, perfectly balanced and creamy, with lots of texture and flavorful ingredients. Perfectly cooked hard boiled eggs, crunchy celery, briny cornichons, and fresh dill make this great in sandwiches or on its own. It only takes 20 minutes to make!
Egg salad doesn’t get enough credit or attention, if you ask me.
My theory is that it’s like brussels sprouts. Brussels sprouts were the most hated vegetable for a long time, until the tides turned in recent years as people discovered that they just need to be cooked the right way instead of being boiled to death.
Like take these warm roasted brussels sprouts with candied pecans and ricotta salata or shredded brussels sprout salad with crispy goat cheese. Both are SO good.
In a similar way, this needs to be prepared with good technique and ingredients.
Though this easy recipe has a relatively short ingredient list, kind of like the magic of caprese, those few ingredients compliment each other so well that you really don’t need more.
The end results are so good that you may find yourself doing as my family does: keeping it on hand in the fridge weekly for easy protein that can quickly be put on crackers, or made into sandwiches.
Tips for Best Results
Be choosy about your mayo – I’ve tried and compared several brands of mayonnaise and some are fantastic while others are downright revolting. Use one that tastes delicious to you. If you have 10 minutes to spare, I recommend using homemade mayonnaise for the best flavor, but Sir Kensington’s and Kewpie are good store-bought options as well.
Don’t overcook the eggs – Overcooked hardboiled eggs are dreadful, with rubbery whites and chalky, crumbly yolks. That will get you off on the wrong foot from the start. Boil your eggs per my Hard Boiled Eggs instructions, and also skip the pre-boiled eggs at the store, which are rubbery and overcooked.
Use the freshest ingredients – Most people don’t realize how quickly fresh produce loses its flavor as it sits in the fridge. Make sure the celery is crisp and fresh, as well as the dill and scallions.
Step by Step Overview:
Cook the Eggs
To get started, you will need to cook your eggs.
In a nutshell, you want to gently place eggs into boiling water for 13 minutes (keeping the boil at a gentle bubble, not a raging boil), then transfer the eggs to an ice bath for a minute to stop the cooking, and peel. If you can, try to use older eggs instead of fresh eggs.
My perfect Hard Boiled Eggs recipe lays out the full method for perfectly cooked, easy-to-peel end results, as well as the timing for different sizes of eggs. Starting with hot water and finishing in cold water, instead of the other way around, makes such a big difference.
You may also steam the eggs using an Instant Pot. Add 1 cup of water to the pot, then place a single layer of large eggs on the metal trivet insert and cook on high pressure for 6 minutes. Quick release, shock in an ice bath, and peel right away.
Peel and Chop the Eggs, then Add Mayo
Chop the peeled eggs into pieces, and toss with mayonnaise in a large bowl, taking care not to break up the chopped eggs too much:
Now it’s time to add all the freshness and flavor.
Prep the Crunch and Flavor
From left to right I have: chopped celery, sliced scallions, chopped cornichons (my favorite type of pickle), and fresh dill. Each brings so much flavor and texture to the salad.
If you have a different preferred pickle aside from cornichons, feel free to swap it in. Dill pickles, bread and butter pickles, sweet pickle relish, and sour pickles are all great too.
You may also use red onion or shallots, if you prefer those instead of the green onions.
Add the veggies and fresh herbs to the bowl, along with mustard, salt and black pepper:
Dijon mustard is my favorite, but again, your preferred mustard is perfect. Any yellow mustard will work. Sometimes I enjoy adding a whole grain mustard to get the extra texture from the seeds.
Mix well, until the dressing evenly coats all the ingredients, and you have a creamy texture:
How to Serve
Though it may be eaten right away, the best egg salad is arguably one that has been allowed to sit for a short time, so the flavors meld together. I recommend at least 15 minutes at room temperature, or, if you prefer it chilled, refrigerating for at least one hour.
There is no one best way to enjoy your egg salad. I love placing spoonfuls onto crackers, and you can make it pretty with a dill garnish:
Or you can make a delicious egg salad sandwich, adding slices of fresh tomato and butter lettuce. The lettuce keeps the bread from getting soggy.
Its softer texture is cradled better between slices of soft white bread.
Now that’s a good egg salad sandwich right there! Add some potato chips on the side and you have an awesome quick lunch. Rye bread also tastes awesome with the flavors here.
You can also stuff this into lettuce wraps for a low carb meal.
Recipe FAQ and Tips
About 3 days in an airtight container. After that the flavor really starts to go downhill.
If you want to prepare sandwiches in advance, place a dry piece of butter lettuce on the inside of each slice of bread, then put your filling in the middle. This will keep the bread dry, so you can make sandwiches ahead of time (like the night before) and store it in the fridge to grab and go the next day.
No, I don’t recommend it. The texture will be very unappetizing upon thawing.
To me, yes! Everyone has a different definition of healthy, but this recipe is paleo, gluten-free, dairy-free, Whole30-compliant, low carb, and more. You can eat this with lettuce cups if you want to skip the bread and crackers.
Yes! It’s safe for children, pregnant women, everyone, as long as you’re using a store-bought mayonnaise (and not a homemade one made with raw egg). The eggs in this dish are completely cooked.
I put it in sandwiches, on crackers, in wraps, or in lettuce cups when I want it gluten-free. You can also add a big scoop of this to a Cobb Salad.
- Roughly chop the hard boiled eggs, then mix with the remaining ingredients. Taste and make any necessary seasoning adjustments.
- Enjoy right away, or chill in the fridge for an hour before serving. Then enjoy on crackers or in sandwiches, if desired.
Nutrition is estimated using a food database and is only intended to be used as a guideline for informational purposes.