Deviled eggs don't have to feel intimidating anymore! Learn how to be the potluck hero with our tips and tricks for making this heavenly appetizer or side dish!

Close-up image of deviled eggs on a white platter. The yellow yolk filling is piled high with a green garnish on top. - Shelf Cooking

Deviled eggs might be one of those dishes you've eaten your whole life but never stopped to ask, “why the heck is it called a deviled egg?!”. Well, don't worry! We consulted the internet for you and will impart our newfound wisdom!

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In relation to food, the term “deviled” dates back to the 1700s and was used to describe foods with spicy or zesty flavors. Personally, we love the mild kick of flavor in deviled eggs! We've done the research, and we are ready to share all the best hacks for creating this tasty dish so that you'll be singing it's praises in no time!

Achieving The Perfect Hard Boiled Egg

Halved hard boiled eggs on a wood cutting board with small green leaves as garnish - Shelf Cooking

In order to learn how to make deviled eggs, the most important step to master is cooking the perfect hard boiled egg. There are some things we want to avoid in a hard boiled egg:

  1. Overcooking the egg, resulting in the weird greenish-gray ring around the yolk. (Still totally edible, just not as pretty looking!)
  2. Undercooking the egg, resulting in a yolk that is not set.
  3. A hard to peel egg, resulting in an egg white that looks like it lost a fight.

There are a few methods that people swear by for getting their egg juuuuust right.

  • Boiling – The most common method! Because, duh, hard-boiled egg, right? But just boiling the eggs for a random length of time could result in the problems above. To boil your eggs perfectly, put them in a single layer in the bottom of a pot (don't pile a whole bunch in there!) and cover with water. Bring to a boil, then cover and turn off the heat and allow them to sit in the hot water for 10-15 minutes. That's it! Seriously.
  • Baking – We know, we know, it's not called a hard-baked egg. But hear us out! Preheat your oven to 325 degrees, place the raw eggs in the cups of a muffin tin, and then bake for 30 minutes.
  • Instant Pot – Lots of people love cooking eggs with their pressure cooker! Check out this post where we outline the process, as well as other helpful hard-boiled egg tips!
  • Ice bathThis is a tip that we cannot stress enough! While your eggs are cooking (using any of the methods mentioned above), prepare a bowl of ice water. Once your eggs are done cooking, they need to go for an icy swim! This will stop the cooking process and prevent overdone eggs, making for perfect yolks and easy-to-peel shells.

Creating The Right Filling For Deviled Eggs

The second hack for making a delicious deviled egg is making sure your yolk filling is smooth and flavorful, and that it looks pretty, too!

A traditional deviled egg is usually made by combining cooked egg yolk with ingredients such as mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, salt, pepper, and paprika. There are variations on this, but we'll get to that in a minute!

First, using a sharp knife slice your eggs in half lengthwise.

Next, carefully remove the yolks and place in a bowl and combine with ingredients, mashing with a fork and mixing until you achieve a smooth consistency.

You can then spoon the mixed yolk mixture back into the holes of the halved egg whites. Or, for a professional look, use a pastry bag to pipe the yolk mixture into the egg whites, just like you would frosting!

No pastry bag? No problem! Spoon the mixture into a resealable zipper bag and push the contents toward one of the corners and twist the bag behind it. Using a pair of scissors, snip off the corner about 1/4 – 1/2 inch from the end. Voila! Instant piping bag!

Deviled Egg Recipe Variations

Close image of deviled eggs on a wooden table, with diced chives as garnish on top. - Shelf Cooking

While the traditional deviled egg recipe is popular for a reason (it's delicious!), there are a wide variety of fun tweaks to make it a totally unique dish each time! Here are a few of our favorites:

  • Change up the toppings – A sprinkle of paprika is the most traditional topping, but don't stop there! The sky is the limit when it comes to deviled egg toppings:
    • Make things spicy by adding cayenne pepper or jalapeños.
    • Sprinkle herbs like thyme, dill, or chives for something fragrant and fresh.
    • Top with sliced olives, smoked salmon, bacon, or cheese for a savory pop of flavor.
    • Add pickles or capers for some briney goodness.
  • Creative fillings – Mix up your yolk mixture with some of these fun ideas!
    • Replace the mayonnaise with Greek yogurt or ripe avocado for a healthier option.
    • Spice it up with a few dashes of hot sauce, finely diced chipotle peppers, or Ranch dressing.
    • Blend in bleu, pimento, or goat cheese for a flavorful twist.
  • Add some smoke – If you have a smoker, this is a great way to make some truly unique deviled eggs! This how-to over at Hey Grill, Hey gives all the details you need to know to be the star of the BBQ.

How To Make Deviled Eggs

Deviled eggs on white platter

The Best Deviled Eggs

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 6


  • 6 eggs
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp vinegar white or apple cider
  • 1 tsp mustard yellow or dijon
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • paprika for garnish


  • Place eggs in a single layer in a saucepan. Cover with enough water so there's at least one inch above the eggs. Bring to a boil, cover, then turn off heat and allow to sit for 15 minutes. Immediately add cooked eggs to ice bath for at least one minute.
  • Gently crack egg shells and carefully peel the eggs. Pat eggs dry with a paper towel if needed.
  • Using a sharp knife, slice eggs in half lengthwise. Gently remove yolks and add to medium bowl, and reserve egg whites on a serving platter.
  • Mash the egg yolks using a fork. Add mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, salt, and pepper and mix until smooth.
  • Using a spoon or pastry bag, disperse egg yolk mixture into egg white cups. Sprinkle with paprika and serve.
Keyword appetizer, eggs, side dish

How To Store Deviled Eggs

We can pretty much guarantee these eggs will be gone in a flash! They are the perfect bite-sized little morsel that people just can't get enough of.

However, if you do need to store leftover deviled eggs, they will stay good for 2-3 days in an airtight container. This is also great if you want to make your eggs a day or two in advance—perfect for party planning!

Do you have a favorite way to make deviled eggs? What new variation are you excited to try? Let us know in the comments!

Graphic with text and image of deviled eggs topped with garnish. - Shelf Cooking

We've got loads of tips, tricks, and recipes on the blog. Check these out!

We can't wait for you to make this egg-celent dish!