Chicken eggs are an everyday wonder. With a carton in the fridge, you’re never more than a few minutes away from a satisfying meal. Add greens, cheese, hearty bread or potatoes, and you’re most of the way to a simple but wonderful dinner. They’re inexpensive—even high-end pastured eggs from birds that spend happy lives scratching in the dirt and eating bugs don’t top $2 a serving. And they’re ubiquitous.
Worry over the amount of cholesterol in eggs crops up periodically, generally in a cycle of health panic and then debunking. The evidence is still inconclusive, but the short answer is that unless you already have issues with cholesterol, and if you are generally eating a healthy diet, don’t stress about eating a couple of eggs a few times a week. And in the weighing of eggs’ nutritional upsides and drawbacks, it’s worth asking what you might be eating instead. Eggs are so easy to make and widely beloved that they qualify as a convenience food—and replacing them with takeout, pizza, or chicken fingers isn’t always a nutritional win.
There are a number of methods for perfect hard-boiled eggs (including of course in the Instant Pot). The main point of contention is whether to add eggs and water to a pot and then bring it to a boil or to add eggs to already boiling water. The later method makes peeling easier, Serious Eats found. I also think that it’s a lot easier to add eggs to boiling water and then set a timer (10 minutes for hard yolks, eight for medium, six for soft), than to watch for the water to come to a boil and then take it off the heat.
One way to make them even more convenient and easier to eat is to hard- or soft-boil them a half dozen at a time and keep them in the fridge. Here are 12 ways to enjoy eggs more often. (They’ll also come in handy if you happen to have a surplus of boiled and dyed eggs over Easter weekend.)
The simplest and arguably best way to eat a hard-boiled egg is peeled and dipped in flakey salt. I will sometimes just slice them in half and make a sort of lazy deviled egg by smearing mustard over the yolks, and topping with a little Maldon salt, and maybe a cornichon or two. These are best eaten standing at the kitchen counter, reading a magazine or listening to a podcast.
Martha Stewart’s recipe for creamy deviled eggs is a real keeper. Use regular mayonnaise, not light—and ignore the comments from people who find the combination of white wine vinegar and dijon mustard too tangy. Topping these with capers is an optional but delicious finishing move. (Question: Is there any reason not to eat deviled eggs for breakfast? Answer: No there is not, especially with toast on the side.)
I definitely don’t agree with the food writer Alison Roman that deviled eggs are a waste of time, but Roman’s egg party looks amazing. She uses soft-boiled eggs as the base of a sort of tapas picnic, which could work just as well with hard yolks, piling on smoked fish, herbs, and fish roe for a luxe snack that can easily be a meal.
As Food52’s Kristen Miglore puts it, this recipe is “a love letter to eggs.” It’s a bit painstaking, but I find that this kind of attention paid to seemingly ordinary dishes can be revelatory. This is an exercise in perfectly boiled eggs, homemade mayo, and crisp garlicky toasts. Every step is a small lesson. Every bite is delicious.
Egg salad is simple. This recipe from Zabar’s in New York City calls for just mayonnaise, salt, pepper, and dill. I’d add a few tablespoons of dijon mustard and some chopped pickles, but that’s just me. Spread it on your favorite sandwich bread with a couple strips of bacon, and you have the best sandwich available (when it’s not tomato season).
Keeping the fridge stocked with hard-boiled eggs to add to salads or grain bowls is easy, but not super sexy. A soy marinade transforms them from a slightly dutiful staple into something you’ll actually crave.
Similar to the soy eggs, these are thickly coated with miso then refrigerated for four hours. Add them to soup or noodles, or eat as a snack sprinkled with shichimi togarashi, a spicy Japanese seasoning blend.
Smørrebrød piles toppings like smoked or pickled fish, cured meats, butter, herbs, pickles, and eggs on top of a a slice of a dense, seedy, sourdough rye loaf. It’s a traditional Danish treat—children often load theirs with butter and chocolate. Smørrebrød topped with smoked salmon, creme fraiche, cornichons, and sliced eggs, with a dusting of dill, is a solid lunch plan.
Two different colleagues recommended mixing eggs and avocados, and not just because of the pleasing alikeness of their shapes. One mashes hard-boiled eggs, avocado, and dijon mustard into an egg salad that she spreads on toast. Another slices hard-boiled eggs and layers them on top of mashed avocado, with a dash of chipotle sauce. The possibilities are endless. (Come to think of it, avocado would be an excellent addition to my smoked salmon smørrebrød.)
Everyone has their thing, the dish that feels somehow fancy, but also healthy, like you’re really treating yourself and taking care of yourself all at once. For me that is a salade niçoise. It’s basically a platter full of vegetables, olives, oil-cured tuna, and hard-boiled eggs, united by a sharp, mustardy vinaigrette. I love composing each bite, stacking bits of potato and olive on my fork, then going back for egg, tuna, and a crisp green bean. Really, you can combine any number of items into a delicious composed salad, custom-making something exactly to your taste, and boiled eggs are an excellent addition to almost any salad you can dream up.
You can use fermented eggs, which are very similar to pickled eggs, for anything that calls for hard-boiled eggs. They make extra flavorful egg salad, and are excellent snacks, for a modern sort of Cool Hand Luke moment.
A creamy sauce in which hard-boiled yolks are emulsified with oil and mustard, and chopped egg whites, capers, cornichons, and herbs are added, gribiche lives somewhere between egg salad and tartar sauce. The yellowish green, creamy, herby sauce cannot be photographed in a way that makes it look anything other than ghastly. Rest assured though, spooned over roasted vegetables or boiled potatoes, it is delicious—and feels terribly fancy.