How to Make Deviled Eggs: Recipes, Variations, & Pro Tips

Deviled eggs are basically the most versatile appetizer there is, so get ready to try them every way.

Updated November 20, 2023
Basic deviled eggs on a plate

If you're like us, you love the mouth-watering, tangy flavor a good deviled egg. A versatile finger food, deviled eggs make an ideal appetizer for everything from your backyard barbecue to your formal luncheon. The possibilities are endless here, too. You can add spice to give them a little kick, pipe the filling in to make them fancy, or add other different ingredients to give them some flare.

Basic Deviled Eggs Recipe

classic deviled eggs

Before you get funky with the variations, it's good to know how to make a truly great basic deviled egg. Deviled eggs are made up of hard-boiled eggs, halved and stuffed with a mixture of boiled egg yolk, mayonnaise, and sometimes mustard. Classically, they are topped with paprika to add a bit of color and flavor.

Prepare the Eggs Properly

The first step is a great hard-boiled egg. Here's how to make it perfect.

  1. To begin, choose eggs that are a bit older instead of fresh eggs. To tell if your egg is the right 'age' for deviled eggs, fill a small bowl with enough water to cover an egg. The ideal egg should stand on its end but still touch the bottom. If the egg sinks, it's too fresh to use. If it floats — get rid of it! It's not good anymore.
  2. Hard boil your eggs. Be careful not to cook them too long, though. The ideal time for hard boiling the eggs is somewhere between 12 minutes (for small eggs) and 19 minutes (for large eggs) if you have them simmering rather than at a rolling boil.
  3. Crack and peel the shell off of each egg.
  4. Cut the eggs lengthwise with a sharp kitchen knife. Scoop the yolk into a bowl and lay the egg whites on the platter that you are going to use to serve them. Transporting deviled eggs from one tray to another not only gets your fingers in everyone else's filling, but it can mess up what would otherwise be a pretty display.
Quick Tip

After cooking the eggs, place them in an ice-cold bath. This trick will allow you to peel the eggs much more easily and can help prevent cracking. When you cool the eggs this way, a layer of steam develops between the white and the peel, thus making peeling easier.

Make the Filling

preparing deviled egg filling

For six eggs (making a dozen halves), gather together:

  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar (you can also use lemon juice, wine, pickle juice — anything that is acidic)
  • 1 teaspoon mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Paprika for garnish (optional)

Mix all this goodness together in a small bowl:

  1. Push egg yolks through a fine sieve into the bowl. Although tempting, don't mash them with a fork — this will make your final mixture heavy.
  2. Fold in the mayonnaise, vinegar, and mustard until the ingredients are well-mixed.
  3. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Pipe the filling into the eggshells using a tip like Wilton's 1A or 2A.
Quick Tip

If you don't have the right kind of tip, don't worry. Fill a quart-sized plastic bag with your deviled egg filling and cut the corner off. It will work just as well as a decorating tip for piping filling into your white.

Eight Deviled Egg Variations to Make Your Mouth Water

The great thing about deviled eggs is that they are one of the most versatile appetizers. Try these scrumptious variations to bring something surprisingly new to the table.

Lighten It Up

Deviled eggs don't have to be unhealthy. Replace the mayonnaise in the basic recipe with plain yogurt and use lemon juice instead of vinegar. It's a recipe for guilt-free goodness.

Add a Little Something to the Filling

fancy deviled eggs

If you like it, you can probably add it to a deviled egg. While we draw the line at sugar sprinkles, we're all about some of these ideas:

  • Add chopped, roasted almonds to your filling, and top with either sliced or whole, roasted almonds. Use wine or wine vinegar in lieu of plain white vinegar.
  • Top with bacon. If you really love bacon, add bacon bits to your filling. Pickle juice makes a good acid for this all-American version.
  • Add chopped pickles to your mixture.
  • Try spicy brown mustard for a kick. Use wine as your acid to balance out the kick of the spicy mustard.
  • Add up to a teaspoon of sriracha and a dash of rice vinegar in place of mustard and vinegar for a spicy egg. 

Get Creative With Garnish

deviled eggs with various toppings

While paprika is generally the tried-and-true garnish of deviled eggs, there are lots of other delectable ways to garnish your deviled eggs. Try one of these toppings for a delicious twist:

  • Minced scallions
  • Chopped olives
  • Capers
  • Pickled onions
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Dill
  • Sour cream, chives, and smoked salmon slivers
  • Shredded cheddar cheese

Old Bay Deviled Eggs

seafood deviled eggs

Almost everything is made better with a dash of Old Bay, and deviled eggs are no exception.

Start by adding cooked seafood to your filling. You can add about ½ cup to the mixture. Any seafood that you love is fine, but crab, lobster, imitation crab meat, or scallops make ideal additions. Add one-half teaspoon of Old Bay spice to your filling and use white cooking wine as your acid. Sprinkle with Old Bay Seasoning.

Peppers and Ranch Eggs

Deviled eggs with peppers

In lieu of mayonnaise, use ranch dressing. Add copious amounts of finely chopped red, orange, and yellow bell peppers.

You don't need to add vinegar to this recipe, and maybe even better yet, the filling will be too chunky to pipe. Just spoon the mixture into the egg halves. The color in the peppers will make the presentation look pretty.

Boursin Deviled Eggs

Instead of mayonnaise and mustard, mix the egg yolks with Boursin Shallot and Chive spreadable cheese. Use a splash of lemon juice and add chopped walnuts to the mixture. Garnish with a whole walnut and thinly sliced apples.

Creamy Deviled Eggs

creamy deviled eggs

Use herbed cream cheese (or herbed spreadable cheese) in lieu of mayonnaise and mustard to give your palate a true reboot. Options with garlic or dill make an especially tasty mixture. Top with a sliced olive.

Pink Deviled Eggs

Mix cooked beets into your basic deviled egg recipe that omits the mustard. If you like the mixture more on the tangy side, add a dollop of sour cream (but taste test so you don't make them too tangy). Top the mixture with crumbled blue cheese.

Try Deviled Egg Cupcakes

Feeling brave? Try out the TikTok trend of deviled egg cupcakes. Instead of serving the eggs as, well, eggs, you can make them into ultra-attractive, savory "cupcakes." We think this is just way too tempting to pass up as a kitchen experiment. BC Egg has a great tutorial

@jortskitchen The worst part about making deviled eggs is peeling the shells! This recipe avoids that! #deviledeggs #egg #cupcake #recipe #fyp #trending ♬ Sugar, Sugar - The Archies

Tips to Serve Deviled Eggs

Now that you know how to make deviled eggs, it's time to think about serving them. The issue here is that they're delicious — and slippery. Don't put all that work into creating the perfect appetizer only to stick them on a plate and have them slide all over the place, losing filling and messing up your pretty garnishes.

colorful deviled eggs

Ideally, you can put them on a tray that is specifically made for deviled eggs, with indents where the eggs will sit prettily on display. However, don't stress if you don't have a deviled egg tray. You can still create an appealing display with one of these tricks:

  • Artfully arrange large leaves of romaine lettuce on a round plate. Gently place the eggs on the leaves. The lettuce will keep the eggs from slipping.
  • Use grilled asparagus as a bed for your deviled eggs. Use a square or rectangular serving plate and arrange the asparagus so that all the tips are facing the same direction. Place the eggs in a zigzag pattern along the length of the plate.
  • Use a wide, shallow bowl and add black dry beans to the bottom. Then, you can nestle your deviled eggs into the beans to prevent them from slipping and create an appealing, high-contrast table display at the same time.
  • Serve your eggs in cupcake papers, even if you didn't make deviled egg cupcakes. This is an ideal presentation for a bridal or baby shower, where you can get cupcake liners to fit the theme.
  • Place each egg on a sliced olive. It's a simple solution to the problem of them sliding around.

Make an Impression With Deviled Eggs

It's not hard to make an impression when you serve deviled eggs; they're just a head-turning finger food or holiday appetizer. Whether you get creative or go classic, these are often the first things to go at a party. Plate them so they're pretty, and your dish might just be the talk of your next party.

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How to Make Deviled Eggs: Recipes, Variations, & Pro Tips