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Classic Egg Salad Recipe

A classic egg salad recipe is so easy to make and perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner! And with so many variations on egg salad you can have a different version every day!

A classic egg salad recipe is very simple to make.

I happen to love egg salad, perhaps because it always reminds me of summer.

Hard boil some eggs, choose your favorite variation and you have a super simple meal.

What makes egg salad classic?

Well, that is anyone’s guess, but I would say a classic egg salad recipe is made with real mayonnaise, not Miracle Whip, a touch of diced celery, dijon mustard and fresh chopped raw onion.

Apparently some like to stir in sweet pickle relish, but I’ve never been a fan.

I love a good egg salad sandwich made with fresh herbs such as finely chopped chives or fresh dill or tarragon.

There seem to be those who like a rough chop of the hard-boiled eggs, but I prefer mine chopped fine.

I prefer to chop them when they are still slightly warm so the warm eggs kind of melt into the bread-and white bread-the old fashioned kind- is to me what makes the best egg salad sandwiches.

I just returned from Philadelphia where I helped my daughter move into her first apartment. I am happy for her but it is bittersweet for me and I am not going to dwell on that today.

What we are dwelling on is how hot it was. (I always know it is hot and humid when my upper lip starts to sweat.)

We moved up 2 flights of stairs in an unairconditioned building (though her unit was) in 100 degree weather. 

When I left Colorado it was also that hot but I have returned to a bit cooler weather. I’m loving it!

classic egg salad

Anyway all that heat got me thinking about summer foods and that got me thinking about egg salad.

When I was growing up in Illinois it was hot and humid. On those miserable days when my mother didn’t feel like cooking we ate salads.

Not the kind we eat now because all the wonderful produce that is available now, wasn’t available then.

So…. She made great egg salad and tuna salad, but before she did that we went to the farm stand on Court Street and bought fresh sweet, delicious ears of corn and a watermelon.

Then, like kids in a candy shop, we picked out glorious colorful gladiolus to grace our home.

That was my favorite part because there were always too many colors to choose from.

They never cost more than 99 cents a dozen and there were always buckets of them on the cement floor.

We then went home and made tuna salad and egg salad and fresh corn in the new microwave that seemed to take up the entire countertop, and cut up fresh cold watermelon.

Our thirst was quenched with Diet Pepsi out of a glass bottle, which was always a special treat over the common glass of milk.

It was a good meal and one that I made for my kids on those days during the hot summer when I too, didn’t feel like cooking.

I however, substitute Diet Coke in a can because I prefer that over Diet Pepsi.

Classic egg salad recipe

I love my egg salad simple and fresh. I like it finely chopped and still a bit warm from the heat of the egg after it is boiled.

I don’t add much to it and I chop it by hand and not in a food processor.

How To Make Classic Egg Salad:

Place eggs into a large pot and fill with cold water intil the eggs are covered.

Bring to a boil over high heat without a lid. When boiling turn heat down to medium low and simmer for 10 minutes.

Immediately run the large eggs under very cold water until the outside of the eggs are no longer hot. This also keeps the green ring from forming around the yolk.

And for the record, old eggs are easier to peel than fresh eggs.

If you really eat a lot of eggs, buy an egg poacher. Now that I have one I find it so much easier to make the eggs and they always turn out perfect!

Chop the eggs to the consistency you prefer and then mix with the celery, onions, (use a red onion if you want), mayonnaise and mustard in a medium bowl. (If you don’t like dijon, yellow mustard is fine.)

I use 1/4 cup mayonnaise to six eggs.

Stir is some black pepper and salt to taste.

And if you must add a spoonful of dill relish.

It’s always amazing to me how a few simple ingredients make up many a great recipe.

I like my egg salad served at room temperature and if I’m not having a classic egg salad sandwich I love it served on a bed of lettuce so I can make my own lettuce wraps.

Many people who are counting calories use Greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise. Do what you must!

Egg Salad in bowl with spoon

How long does egg salad keep?

Egg salad can be kept in an airtight container and should keep about 5 days in the fridge.

This is the best egg salad recipe I know and probably because this is the way my mother made it!

If you are in need of some new recipes, check out some of the variations below.

Have a little bit of egg salad leftover? Not enough for a sandwich? Feel free to mix it into tuna salad or potato salad and create some new family favorites.

Variations on Simple Egg Salad:

1.   Truffle oil drizzled over the topof the egg salad is heavenly and you could also substitute truffle salt for regular salt.

2.   Smoked salmon is great on an egg salad sandwich. Make sure to sprinkle with minced green onions.

3.   Crisp bacon bits mixed in are wonderful, or add some slices on top, and with the addition of sliced tomatoes make a great sandwich.

4.  A touch of curry powder raises egg salad to exotic.

5.   Fresh dill and Dijon mustard and a touch of chopped celery also works well.

6.  You could add a can of tuna and make a great tuna/egg salad.

7.   Smoked paprika mixed in makes this work for a great deviled egg filling.

8.   Finely chopped fresh jalapeno adds zest and is good for those of us that like zest.

9.  Egg salad makes a great filling for celery sticks and hollowed out mini tomatoes.

10.  Egg salad on tiny black breads with caviar and a sprinkle of chives would make an over the top appetizer.

I’d love to hear your version of perfect egg salad. This classic recipe is so simple, but so flavorful; please enjoy!

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This is an updated post from July, 2012.

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Classic egg salad

Classic Egg Salad

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  • Author: Abbe Odenwalder
  • Prep Time: 15 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 Minutes
  • Total Time: 15 Minutes
  • Yield: 2- 3 Servings 1x
  • Category: Salads
  • Cuisine: American


Classic Egg Salad is an easy recipe to make. I serve it for breakfast, lunch and dinner and it even makes a great appetizer with crisp potato chips!


Units Scale

6 hard boiled eggs

1/2 c finely chopped onion

1 stalk finely chopped celery (optional)

1/2 t salt

1/2 t pepper

1/4 c Hellmann’s or Blue Ribbon mayonnaise


Put eggs into a pot of cold water to cover. Bring to a boil over high heat without a lid. When boiling turn heat down to medium low and simmer for 10 minutes. Immediately run under very cold water until eggs are no longer hot. This keeps the green ring from forming around the yolk. Old eggs are easier to peel than fresh eggs.

Remove shells and finely chop. Add finely chopped onion, celery if using, salt, pepper and mayo. Fold in gently.

Eat and enjoy preferably with a bunch of gladiolus gracing your table!

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Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

Aditi Bhardwaj

Tuesday 22nd of February 2022

I think this is great recipe for breakfast. i don't think so after knowing this recipe any another dish would be my favourite breakfast. loved the recipe. thanks for letting me know this tasty and delicious dish.


Friday 18th of February 2022

I love eggs and this looks fantastic and perfect for me!


Sunday 20th of February 2022

Just love this classic recipe, Angie!


Monday 16th of July 2012

Try it fresh and you will notice a difference. It kind of melts in your mouth. Thanks for reading.

Kitchen Riffs

Sunday 15th of July 2012

I remember those huge microwaves! I haven't made egg salad in ages - probably several Easters ago, to use up all those dyed eggs. It's good stuff, though. I don't believe I've ever had it made with warm, just cooked eggs - a great idea. Nice post - thanks.

technology capitalists

Thursday 12th of July 2012

I wish I were there to share egg salad and sweet corn with you NOW... fyi, I do read!