For Thanksgiving 2015, I was fortunate enough to have my mother visit us all the way from Virginia. And to celebrate the occasion, I was determined to make her a full Thanksgiving dinner completely from scratch – something I could never do before because I didn’t start to “really” cook until the last few years, long after I’d already moved to Arizona.
So even though I had a grand holiday menu planned, I made sure to ask her if there were any other dishes she wanted to add. You know, maybe something she had not had in a while. Maybe a family recipe that I could also feature on “the blog” (hint, hint).
And she only took a moment to make her choice:
We were going to make deviled eggs.
Now, I’m a big connoisseur of deviled eggs – they’re just one of those foods I pick up from the deli whenever the mood strikes me (which, okay, is usually quite often) – but before Thanksgiving, I’d never made them at home before.
And as ashamed as I am to admit it, this was also the first time I’d ever tried my mother’s recipe for deviled eggs. I didn’t develop my affinity for them until I was already living on the other side of the country.
So when we finally got down to cooking the holiday feast, I was just as anxious as she was to see how they turned out.
And the final verdict?
I absolutely loved the extra “crunch” the celery seed and onion bits brought to this traditionally soft side dish (hence the name of this recipe).
I’ve always been a big fan of celery seed, but never once thought to put it in deviled eggs.
My mother is a crafty one!
Like I usually do when I’m cooking, I tweaked the recipe a little to my tastes – my mother is a fan of the “1 to 1” ratio of mustard to mayonnaise while I liked a little more mayo to soften it up.
I also added a little parsley for color and some smoked paprika, because smoked paprika simply makes everything better.
How do you make deviled eggs?
No matter what recipe you’re following, almost all deviled eggs start out with the same basic steps:
- Boil some eggs, cut them in half, and remove the yolks.
- Mash the yolks with mustard, mayonnaise, and some salt and pepper to taste.
- Add any additional flavors you like. In this case, I used celery seed and dried onion.
- Pipe yolk mixture back into egg halves in a decorative way.
- Top the yolk mixture with other herbs, seasonings, meats, or veggies as you see fit.
How can you tell if an egg is still good?
If your house is anything like mine, you might go to grab an egg from the fridge only to discover that the expiration date on the carton has long since passed.
However, there’s no need to throw all the eggs out. Eggs can last beyond the printed date and still safely be used in cooking and baking.
So, how can you tell if an expired egg is good or not?
The easiest way is to fill a deep bowl with water and gently drop the egg in.
If the egg sinks, it’s fine to eat.
But if the egg floats, you shouldn’t eat it. Eggs release gas when they begin to spoil, which causes them to float in water, so that’s a clear sign that they’re not safe to eat.
What flavors can you add to deviled eggs?
This recipe is originally written to include celery seed and dried onion, but there are lots of other flavors you can add. Get creative and mix and match to make the perfect deviled eggs for you!
Some of my favorite additions are:
- Shredded cheddar cheese, sharp or mild (about 1/2 cup).
- Grated parmesan cheese (about 1/4 cup).
- Green onion, chopped (about one should do).
- A small avocado, mashed with the egg.
- Fresh chopped cilantro (about 1/4 cup).
- Pimientos (about 4 oz).
- Dill pickles, as a garnish or added in the egg mixture (about 2 tablespoons).
- Sweet relish (about 3 tablespoons).
- Bay shrimp (about 1 per deviled egg, added as a garnish).
- Cooked salmon, sliced thin and added as a garnish (about 4 oz).
- Cooked bacon (about 1/2 cup).
- Deli ham, chopped (about 2 slices).
- Hot sauce (about 1-3 teaspoon, or to taste).
- Jalapeño (about 1-3 teaspoon, or to taste).
This list could go on and on.
If you have a favorite addition or flavor combination, I’d love to hear about it in the comments!
Notes & tips for making the best deviled eggs:
- Before making deviled eggs, make sure you have a deviled egg tray. It makes transportation and serving so much easier. The tray I have is similar to this one.
- When boiling your eggs, there are a few steps you can take to make sure they cook well and peel easy. I always reference this guide whenever I’m making eggs: The Key to Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs.
More great Thanksgiving recipes
This recipe was originally written on Decenber 9th, 2015. It was updated on March 27th, 2018.
The Best Deviled Eggs
Easy and delicious, this is my family's recipe for the best deviled eggs. We like to flavor them with dried onion and celery seed, but there are notes in the recipe on how to remove (or add!) other ingredients to create the perfect classic deviled eggs.
Boil eggs to desired doneness. For a great tutorial on the perfect boiled egg, check out this guide.
Allow eggs to cool completely. Cut eggs in half and scoop out the yolks into a large bowl. Use a large fork to break apart and fluff the yolks.
Add mustard, mayonnaise, celery seeds, dried onion, and salt to the bowl. Use the fork to mash all the ingredients together until thoroughly combined. Do a quick taste test to make sure the mayonnaise / mustard / salt ratio is to your liking.
Garnish deviled eggs with smoked paprika and chopped parsley.
Keep deviled eggs refrigerated until serving.