Classic Egg Salad

I haven’t always had a lovey-dovey relationship with summer picnic salads. You know the usual suspects: potato salad, macaroni salad, egg salad (and I’m sure there are more). Pretty much any “salad” that involved drowning perfectly good ingredients in so much mayonnaise that the actual contents of the salad become a mystery. I love mayonnaise for what it is – a condiment. A little smear on a sandwich or burger is great. When it drowns out perfectly good food? So not a fan. And so for a long time I avoided those types of dishes, until I uncovered some great recipes that let the good ingredients shine through and utilize the dressing for what it is meant to be – a condiment. With Easter around the corner and folks busting out their grills, I thought it would be a great time to start sharing some of these recipes with you! First up – egg salad.

I love eggs – scrambled, omelets, “dippy eggs” (hello Pittsburgh phrase!), in a chopped salad, and of course, I totally dig a good egg salad sandwich. Pita preferred.

As you can tell, this recipe calls for very little mayonnaise in relation to the amount of eggs and other ingredients; it’s the perfect balance. The softness of the eggs is contrasted nicely with the crunch of onions and celery, and the seasonings add just the right amount of flavor. This salad is officially a winner from someone who is semi-averse to mayonnaise-y salads 😉

Important Note: This is, hands down, the best method I have ever found for making perfect hard-boiled eggs. They come out perfectly cooked every single time. And totally easy!

One year ago: Honey-Vanilla Sour Cream Pound Cake

Classic Egg Salad

Yield: 2½ cups (enough for 4 sandwiches)

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes


6 eggs
¼ cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons minced red onion
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley leaves
½ stalk celery, chopped fine (about 3 tablespoons)
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons lemon juice
¼ teaspoon salt
Ground black pepper


1. Place eggs in medium saucepan, cover with 1 inch of water, and bring to boil over high heat. Remove pan from heat, cover, and let sit for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, fill a medium bowl with 1 quart water and 1 tray of ice cubes (or equivalent). Transfer eggs to ice water bath with slotted spoon; let sit 5 minutes, peel and dice medium.

2. Mix all ingredients together in medium bowl, including pepper to taste. Serve. (Can be covered and refrigerated overnight.)

(Recipe adapted from Cook's Illustrated, March 1999)


39 Responses to “Classic Egg Salad”

  1. Kim L on April 14, 2011 at 1:07 am

    Lol! Dippy Eggs are definitely a regional description. I called them that down south and had people looking at me like I was crazy.

    I am a mayo fan, so I tend to go heavier on it, but this looks super yummy and is now high on my “urgent cravings” list.


    • mhw on October 1st, 2011 at 8:49 pm

      This recipe will be the basis for all my future egg salad sandwiches. I decreased the mayo by 1 Tablespoon and decreased the lemon juice by 1 tsp to suit my taste. The recipe is excellent.

      I’m going to try your recipe for Pumpkin cupcakes and cream cheese frosting.


  2. Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) on April 14, 2011 at 5:43 am

    I love the looks of this egg salad and even tho I haven’t eaten egg salad in years, I think I need to try it again!

    Thanks for the perfect-egg-cooking tips, too!


  3. Ruth on April 14, 2011 at 6:13 am

    This has got to be the best sandwich ever!


  4. Lauren at Keep It Sweet on April 14, 2011 at 6:58 am

    Egg salad reminds me of being a kid! My best friend would always bring an egg salad sandwich for lunch and we’d trade half for half:-)


  5. Penny Wolf on April 14, 2011 at 7:20 am

    I am not from Pittsburgh but went to school there and was born and raised in the area so I am familiar with “DIPPY EGGS” too. I am gone from the area now and didn’t realize it being a regional thing. That’s fun! Looking back I guess friends have remarked on my choice of words. Red up has been ridiculed right out of me.
    Great recipe!


  6. Gemma on April 14, 2011 at 7:59 am

    made this today as I wanted something different for lunch!
    replaced the mustard with a bit of french salad dressing because I can’t stand mustard, and it was yummy 🙂


  7. Lindsay on April 14, 2011 at 9:43 am

    This looks so yummy! One question: When you say to cover the eggs with one inch of water, does that mean put enough water to completely cover the eggs + one inch? Or just add one inch of water to the pot? Thanks!


    • Michelle on April 14th, 2011 at 10:05 am

      Hi Lindsay, Enough water to cover the eggs, plus one inch.


  8. Jeff on April 14, 2011 at 9:48 am

    Egg salad…I’m not a believer in true evil, but it exists, it’s egg salad. I’ve always eaten the egg white out of a sense of obligation because I’m eating the yolk if it’s a fried egg. Cooked plain yolk is chalky, but to add the 2 of them together and slather them with mayonnaise is an abomination. Egg salad is an eldritch horror that man was not meant to know.


  9. Aleida on April 14, 2011 at 10:18 am

    This sounds super yummy! I’d likely leave out the onion and celery for myself since I’m not huge on veggies but the rest sounds fine.

    I know exactly what you mean when it comes to using too much mayo. I’m always careful of that when making my potato salad and it’s even won over people who had admitted to hating potato salad. Who knew?


  10. Rachel @ Baked by Rachel on April 14, 2011 at 10:24 am

    This brings back memories! My mom always made egg salad sandwiches growing up. I haven’t had one in SO long. Looks great! 🙂


  11. Cindy on April 14, 2011 at 10:42 am

    My Daughter love egg salad and she is 12 and makes it on her own and its almost like this recipe.and im up north of Pa and we call them runny eggs or dippen eggs LOL.


  12. Becky on April 14, 2011 at 10:45 am

    I like mine with chopped green olives mixed in, yummy!


  13. what katie's baking on April 14, 2011 at 11:12 am

    this is the PERFECT recipe.
    i hate the overpowering mayo, too, so i can’t wait to try this. looks fabulous!


  14. Nancy Foulke on April 14, 2011 at 11:47 am

    It would be helpful to have the nutrition information with the recipes. Thanks.


    • Michelle on April 14th, 2011 at 12:20 pm

      Hi Nancy, I have never been one to track nutritional information of the foods I eat so that information is not included in recipes, however after a quick Google search I found this calculator that you might want to test out if you are interested in getting the nutritional stats for particular recipes:

      Please note, however, that I can in no way verify its accuracy.


  15. Ky Foley on April 14, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    MMmm, I haven’t had egg salad in a while I think I may want some now! Great photos, thanks so much for sharing =]


  16. Grace on April 14, 2011 at 2:53 pm

    This looks like a good recipe. Thank you for NOT including pickle relish! In this part of the world you just don’t make any kind of summer salad without pickle relish and I’m so tired of that! For me, relish belongs on hot dogs or on the plate as a condiment. Ok, rant over.


  17. T. on April 14, 2011 at 4:25 pm

    I don’t like eggs. All year long I go without eating an egg (outside of a cookie recipe, of course). But then suddenly, Spring hits and I start craving hard-boiled eggs. I have just been thinking all week that I should make some egg salad. This looks like it’ll just hit the spot…thank you for sharing!



  18. k on April 14, 2011 at 4:54 pm

    i live at near 5000 ft altitude / it takes 25-30 minutes to “hard boil'” an egg using the method you describe / not ten minutes which would leave the egg pretty undercooked


    • Michelle on April 14th, 2011 at 5:56 pm

      k – All of my recipes are made at a regular altitude, so anyone baking or cooking at a high elevation needs to take that into account when making the recipes and adjust accordingly. I make some suggestions for high altitude baking on the Baking FAQ page:


  19. The Café Sucré Farine on April 14, 2011 at 5:15 pm

    You make an egg salad sandwich look like a piece of art! I will be trying this for lunch soon!


  20. Maris (In Good Taste) on April 14, 2011 at 9:07 pm

    This sandwich looks very delicious! A classic indeed!


  21. Cheryl and Adam on April 14, 2011 at 9:10 pm

    Egg salad is food of the gods to my husband and yours looks delicious. I agree about the mayo, too less is more to get the right balance otherwise it’s too mushy…


  22. Krissyp on April 14, 2011 at 9:57 pm

    I love egg salad (light on the mayo) too. I have found that adding some vinegar to the water helps the proteins in the egg coaggulate well and makes peeling the shells much easier. I did an egg salad this past week with a bit of crumbled bacon and smoked paprika…WOW! Can’t wait to try your recipe, photos look great.


  23. Viv on April 14, 2011 at 11:50 pm

    I like to make ‘deviled egg salad’ by using basically the same recipe but adding in the crucial (to me) ingredient…horseradish! Makes it nice and tangy 🙂


  24. dagny on April 15, 2011 at 7:52 pm

    Just in time for Easter egg leftovers! Can’t wait to try this, thanks for posting it!


  25. marla {family fresh cooking} on April 16, 2011 at 8:20 am

    I am with you, I do not like my egg salad too gloppy either. This looks like the perfect picnic or lunch box sandwich!


  26. Dee Dee's Delights on April 17, 2011 at 3:46 pm

    This sound great, I am hosting a linky party called Sunday Buffet, Your welcome to add these to the Buffet line!


  27. Sunny on April 18, 2011 at 10:39 am

    I actually LOVE egg salad and will have to make my mom’s recipe soon. This one looks great as well. I’ll have to try yours one day. The Dijon mustard is a great addition!


  28. Cedarglen on April 18, 2011 at 4:43 pm

    Yes!! This low-mayo formual is a good one. In my view the reael key to success is to chop the veggies as FINE as possible. THey need to be there, but we do not need big chunks! THe other essential is the bread. White, Whole wheat or multi-grain, for egg salad it MUST be soft and moist. Nothing worse that good, but dry bread, begging for mayo just to remove the hasrsh edge. Use Soft bread!


  29. Thanks so much for this recipe! Now I’ll know what to do with all those Easter eggs!

    Warmly, Michelle


  30. Cedarglen on October 1, 2011 at 10:07 pm

    YES! Yes, darn it. This is the classic ESS. It is just fine exactly as published.
    That said… I see some ideas in the Comments that I sorta-kinda-mebbie like. I’ll be trying a few of th em. I don’t that we will reinvent the wheel here, but a little variation is a good thing.
    As for the basics, I LIKE your method of sticking with the basic, cube-cut egg. Even with a variety of dressings, it should still look like egg and that simple, home-style cube cut is what we do. Yes!! Thanks! -Craig (of Cedarglen)


  31. Jenn W on November 22, 2012 at 3:30 pm

    I stumbled across your blog via Pinterest and I’ve been reading and repinning your recipes for the past hour. I knew you had to be from Pennsylvania when I saw the term “dippy eggs” in the intro to this recipe. We live just north of Harrisburg and that is what we’ve always called eggs over easy, too. I remember ordering them on our vacation to Orlando and the waitress looked at me like I was nuts!


    • Michelle on November 23rd, 2012 at 11:09 am

      Ha! I love it!


  32. Joe on April 25, 2013 at 9:54 pm

    Loved this recipe! I left out the lemon juice, onion, and parsley because I have super plain taste. Plus I used garlic salt instead of regular salt. It turned out absolutely perfect for me! Thanks a bunch!


  33. Hannah on May 6, 2013 at 1:35 pm

    My boyfriend has been asking for egg salad for a while now and I had never made it before so was a little hesitant. I finally did a google search and found this recipe. I made it last night and it is absolutely phenomenal. I hate salads with a ton of mayo and the dijon in this recipe really makes the whole thing pop. This is definitely my new go to egg salad recipe- which I will now be making much more of in the future.



  34. Summer on July 30, 2013 at 2:06 pm

    Delicious! I love this variation, and the fact that the mayo ratio was perfect. My son loved it too. Thank you.


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