This easy egg salad recipe is simple, moist, and oh so tasty! Hard-boiled eggs are tossed with celery, onion & mayonnaise to make the perfect salad for summer. Serve it as is, build a sandwich, or stuff into garden fresh tomatoes or avocados. There's no end to its deliciousness!
It's a tradition in my family for me to make this easy egg salad whenever we travel down to our timeshare in Key West. My kids and grandkids always join us and have come to expect what they call "the best" egg salad to be in the fridge when they visit.
This salad takes hardly any time to make too. Just hard boil some eggs and add a little onion, celery, your favorite mayonnaise, and a bit of mustard, then season it with salt and pepper. That's it! Super simple, right?
Now you can see why this homemade egg salad, second only to my Chicken Salad with Grapes, is one of my all-time favorites. It makes a great light summer lunch accompanied by slices of garden-fresh tomatoes and cucumbers and is easy to throw together wherever you happen to be.
Basic Egg Tips
- Always store eggs in the coldest part of the refrigerator and use them within 3 weeks of the sell-by date
- Eggs that are at least 1 week to 10 days old are easiest to peel
- Eggs are easiest to peel after cooling
Tips for Boiling Eggs for Egg Salad
I believe the hardest part about egg salad is boiling the eggs. And even that's easy!
There are actually 4 ways to hard boil eggs and any of them will work as well as the other. After each method, have a bowl of ice water ready and plunge the eggs into the bowl to stop them from cooking further. Let sit for 15 minutes.
Egg Poacher - this is the easiest and most full-proof way to make hard-boiled eggs. You just add the recommended amount of water, place the eggs in the cooker, set for the number of eggs you are cooking, and let it do its thing.
Stovetop, Steaming Method - if I didn't have an egg poacher this is the method I prefer.
- Place eggs in a saucepan and add enough cold water to cover. Bring to a boil then remove from heat and cover.
- Let sit for 10-12 minutes for large eggs.
Stovetop, Boiling Method - Place eggs in a saucepan in hot water. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to low. Cook 8-9 minutes.
Instant Pot Method - works well for farm fresh eggs but not as well for store-bought eggs. Pour 1 cup of water into Instant Pot. Place eggs on a rack. Cook on manual setting, high pressure for 5 minutes. Let pressure reduce naturally for 5 minutes then release the remaining pressure manually.
Tip: No need to add salt or vinegar to water with any of these methods.
Tips for Peeling Hard-Boiled Eggs
- Let eggs cool completely before peeling.
- Crack all sides of the egg on a countertop.
- Hold the egg under running water as you peel. Peel by starting at the thick end of the egg, where the air bubble is located. This will help you get under the membrane and make peeling the egg easier.
- Once they're all peeled you can opt to make this easy egg salad recipe with celery or some delicious Deviled Eggs with Bacon.
Egg Salad Ingredients
Hard-Boiled Eggs - use at least one-week-old eggs to make them easier to peel. I prefer large eggs to any other size.
Onion - I like to use milder yellow onions that lend a lighter flavor to the egg mixture. You can also use sweet onions, red onions, or even green onions.
Celery - adds texture, color, and a nice crunch to the creamy salad
Mayonnaise - add as much or as little as you like to create a creamy mixture. Traditional mayonnaise works as well as Miracle Whip or try plain Greek yogurt or mashed avocado.
Mustard - yellow mustard makes a classic egg salad while a Dijon or spicy mustard adds a little flavor kick to the finished dish.
Salt & Pepper - Salt is needed to bring out the flavor of the eggs. Without this addition, the salad would be very bland. Pepper adds its own pop of flavor.
How to Make Egg Salad
- Gather the ingredients and chop the celery and onion.
- Dice the eggs. Using an egg slicer, one of my favorite kitchen utensils, makes dicing the egg super simple. Just cut the egg in one direction, turn a quarter turn and slice again - instant dice!
- Place all the ingredients in a large bowl.
- Season the mixture and stir well. Chill before serving.
Chill this easy egg salad recipe prior to serving. This will help marry the flavors and a cool salad makes a much more refreshing summer lunch.
Dressing - much like my Dill Potato Salad you can sub Greek yogurt, sour cream, hummus, or pesto completely for the mayo, or combine it and make it half and half.
Protein - bacon (what wouldn't be better with bacon added!), ham, chicken or shrimp
Cheese - try adding cheddar cheese for a richer egg salad
Herbs - such as dill makes dilled egg salad a popular option
Vegetables - such as tomatoes, chopped carrots, and olives are colorful and flavorful additions
Spicy - add horseradish or red pepper flakes for a little heat. You can also make it a curried egg salad with a teaspoon of curry powder.
Tang - egg salad with relish, chopped dill pickles, or pickle juice adds another layer of flavor.
How to Make an Egg Salad Sandwich
- Start with 2 slices of your favorite bread. I like to toast mine. Of course, croissants, hard rolls, or bagels will work too.
- Spread the homemade egg salad on the bread then top with lettuce or greens and sliced tomatoes.
- Serve with chips (the grandkid's favorite) or sliced fruit.
Doesn't that look so moist and delicious?!
Other Egg Salad Ideas
- Instead of your typical sandwich, try it on a tortilla for a delicious wrap.
- For a keto option - try wrapping in a lettuce leaf
- Make an egg salad wrap then slice it into 4-6 pieces and serve as small pinwheels for hor d'oeuvres
- Stuff an avocado or tomato for a low carb lunch
- Use as a dip and serve with crackers or broken up pita
Hard-boiled eggs will last for 7 days in the refrigerator but once made into egg salad, plan on keeping between 3-5 days. If serving for lunch, do not leave out for longer than 2 hours.
Tip: If storing for a few days, you may need to adjust the seasoning as it will mellow out when refrigerated.
Wondering if you can freeze hard-boiled eggs? That's a big no! The whites will become tough and rubbery and not at all appetizing. It is also not recommended to freeze egg salad as it will become very watery and lose much of its flavor.
More Delicious Salad Recipes
Summer Pasta Salad - is a quick 30-minute lunch or dinner of tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, chicken, and whole-grain pasta tossed with a light Italian dressing.
Quinoa Tabouli - is a hearty, healthy bowl filled with a bountiful garden of fresh vegetables, tossed with quinoa and dressed with a tangy dressing.
Panzanella Salad from Healthy Seasonal Recipes - this colorful salad has toasty bread, tomatoes, peppers, onion, and cucumbers to give it loads of flavor, crunch, and color. Perfect for summer.
Watermelon Cucumber Mint Salad - the perfect summer side! Sweet watermelon combines with cucumber and crunchy walnuts, sprinkled liberally with the fresh flavors of basil and mint, then tossed with a light raspberry vinaigrette.
Find more easy salad recipes on 2CM!
Homemade Egg Salad
- 8 hard boiled eggs
- ¾ cup celery, diced
- ¼ cup onion, diced
- 1 teaspoon mustard (optional)
- ½ cup mayonnaise, add less or more depending on your preference
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Hard boil eggs in egg cooker. If you don't have an egg cooker follow these directions.
- Place eggs in single layer in bottom of large pot.
- Fill with enough cold water to cover eggs.
- Bring to a boil then remove from heat.
- Cover and let sit for 12 minutes for large eggs, 15 minutes for extra large eggs.
- Drain and let cool.
- Dice cooled eggs. Place in large bowl.
- Toss eggs with celery and onion.
- Add mustard and mayonnaise and stir.
- Season with salt & pepper.
- Chill in the refrigerator to let flavors marry for the best egg salad.
This post has been updated with new photos and more helpful tips and information. It was first published on April 19, 2017.