Friday, December 26, 2008

Traditional Southern Deviled Eggs

Deviled eggs are a southern staple. You'll see them everywhere, at just about every event and every holiday. I like my deviled eggs pretty traditional and basic, but you can certainly jazz them up with any number of variations.

Traditional Southern Deviled Eggs

Folks add all kinds of things to their deviled eggs and often use exotic garnishes to fancy them up these days. Me, I kinda still prefer them very basic and traditional, well, in the Southern way... humble, and I find most other folks Down South expect to find them that way too. Still, it's nice to shake things up every once in awhile I guess, so I say embellish away if ya like!

I boiled 2 dozen eggs for our Christmas party using this recipe - that's 48 deviled eggs - and they were gobbled up super fast! They always are. We sure do love our deviled eggs in The South. Amounts are pretty variable so adjust the mayo, mustard, pickles and seasonings to your own likin', but you do want the filling to be creamy - not goopy, not runny y'all - just nice and creamy, so start slow especially with that mayo and only add a little more at a time. As with all cooking, taste, and adjust seasonings a little at a time also.

I really do find that piping not only makes for a prettier presentation than spooning does but it also makes your filling go further and you'll likely have a bit of deviled egg filling leftover to enjoy for yourself on some crackers or in a couple sticks of celery! I used a #199 Wilton tip and piped it deep into the egg white, raising the bag up as it filled in the white, but if you don't happen to have any tips, simply stuff the filling into a zipper storage bag, squeeze out the excess air, twist the bag to push all the filling down into one of the bottom corners, secure the twist with a twist tie, snip off just a bit of the corner, and squeeze on the bag to pipe into the whites. Works great!

I'm afraid like many traditions in Southern households, deviled egg plates have fallen out of favor to easy, carry trays. If you were not lucky enough to inherit an heirloom deviled egg plate don't fret. They are not difficult to find and they range from the very basic to as fancy as you like.

What variations of deviled eggs do you love to make?

Recipe: Traditional Southern Deviled Eggs

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 15 min | Yield: 24 halves

  • 12 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1/4 cup regular mayonnaise, more or less to taste
  • 1 tablespoon Creole, Dijon or yellow mustard
  • 1 tablespoon sweet or dill pickle relish
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon of Cajun seasoning (like Slap Ya Mama), or to taste
  • Paprika, for garnish, optional

Place eggs in a sauce pan so that they are crowded with little room to move around. Cover with water and add 1 tablespoon of salt. Bring to a full, rolling boil (about 10 minutes on high), then immediately cover the pot and turn off heat, but leave the pot on the stove eye. Allow to sit covered for 15 minutes. Carefully drain the pot and place under the faucet tap, letting the eggs rinse under a steady stream of water, emptying and refilling the pot with cool water several times until the water is no longer hot. Let the eggs rest for 10 minutes in the cool water.

Peel the eggs and split in half lengthwise, removing the yolks and setting aside the whites. Using a fork or pastry blender, mash the yolks well. To the yolks, add mustard, pickle relish, salt, pepper and Cajun seasoning and stir together, adding only enough of the mayonnaise for desired consistency. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Pipe the yolk mixture into the egg whites using either a pastry bag and tips or place into a plastic storage bag and snip off the corner. Piping not only looks nicer, but it also makes more efficient use of the yolk filling. Serve immediately or refrigerate filled eggs in a covered bowl that leaves room so the stuffing is not disturbed.

~Cook's Notes~

Tip: You can also make deviled eggs by cutting off the narrow top of the egg to stuff them upright. If the egg doesn't want to stand upright, cut off just enough of the bottom to make it level. Remove just enough of the top portion to expose the yolk, scoop out the yolk and prepare filling and pipe the filling into the egg so that is standing upright. You'll only get one appetizer per egg this way, so make plenty of boiled eggs for this method!

Make Ahead: Want to get the eggs boiled and filling ready ahead of time? No problem! Boil the eggs and remove the yolks as usual. Place the egg whites in a zippered storage bag or other container and refrigerate. Mix up the filling and spoon that into another zippered bag, seal and refrigerate. Same with garnishes. When it comes time to make the eggs, cut the tip off of the corner of the bag and pipe, at home, or at the site, and garnish. Perfect for tailgating!

To Transport Prepared Deviled Eggs:  Place two or three layers of paper towel into the bottom of a large lidded plastic storage container. Lay the piped eggs in a single layer into the container, just touching each other and filling in all the way into the center. The paper towels will help to absorb moisture and will help to keep the eggs from sliding around and bumping into each other while traveling. Once all of your eggs are in the container, lightly sprinkle the tops with paprika for color. You can also tote your egg whites and bagged filling to the party and do the piping there, it really only takes a second to do if you don't mind taking a few minutes to do it.

Presentation: Don't have an egg platter? Or just want to put out more eggs? Layer a large platter with curly leaf lettuce, breaking off the rough stem ends and placing the lettuce with the curly leaves out in a circular pattern around the platter. Transfer the eggs to the platter laying them out in a similar circular fashion toward the center until the platter is full. Refrigerate remaining eggs until time to replenish the tray.

Toppings or add-ins: Can mix into the filling or simply top each stuffed egg with a little pinch for presentation. Horseradish, caviar, chives, crumbled bacon, chopped cooked shrimp, lump crabmeat, baked ham, deviled ham, jalapeno, finely chopped green onion, finely shredded cheese, fresh salsa from the deli, sweet baby gherkin pickles, sliced into thin strips, and chopped pimento are a few good suggestions. Swap out part of the mayonnaise for cream cheese, softened at room temperature, or some folks like the sweetness of Miracle Whip instead of mayonnaise.


Pimento: Substitute 1/4 to 1/2 cup of homemade or commercial pimento cheese.

BBQ Ranch: Mix in one packet of dry Ranch dressing and a dash of Liquid Smoke. Stuff eggs. Just before serving, drizzle each stuffed egg with barbecue sauce (a squirt bottle works best for this)  and garnish with sliced green onion. If you have any leftover smoked meats, finely chopped about 1/4 cup and add that in with the yolk mixture.


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©Deep South Dish
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Check These Recipes Out Too Y'all!

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Set of 2 - Deviled Egg Tray with Snap On Lid!

Leave it to Rachael Ray to solve a problem! This is a fantastic tray for those who like to do the upright deviled eggs - no more wobbly eggs!

Need an egg tray? Click on the pictures for more information. Purchases from my store help to support this site!
Posted by on December 26, 2008

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  1. Yum! I love deviled eggs.... from basic to fancy. I do have to admit that I prefer them as no-frills as possible, though!

  2. Yummy! I love deviled eggs anyway I can get them. :-)

  3. I like mine basically the same. Only variation...Miracle whip instead of mayo, and chilli powder instead of paprika (or cajun spice. The chilli powder imparts a great flavor and mild kick to go along with the sweet/tartness of the Miracle whip.

  4. I love deviled eggs and have figured out a fool-proof and easy way to make them. I use Kraft Tartar sauce instead of regular mayonnaise. Add a little mustard and you've got deviled eggs. I used to use pickle relish and then tried the tartar sauce method. I've never looked back. I also discovered that if you want your eggs creamier, you need to add a little melted butter when you're mashing them up.

  5. Hmmm... I'm sure using tartar sauce is nothing but good, but it's rare for me to buy tartar sauce to be honest. It's expensive and it would go bad before we would use it up!

    It's so easy to make tartar sauce yourself with a little mayo - which of course is a staple here :) and tastes great when homemade so that when we want some I just whip it up. In its purest form it's simply mayo and pickles, but you can jazz it up to your liking too of course with pulverized onion, lemon juice, hot sauce, even capers - whatever you like. I usually don't. Make it ahead if you can to let the flavors mingle a little bit, but we usually make it up, and use it right away to be honest. Any fat will help make deviled eggs creamy - I don't usually add butter, just the mayo but not too much. I think that's the mistake a lot of people make - too much mayo & then you can't take it away - but butter. how can you go wrong with butter in there?!

    Thanks for your suggestions & thanks for reading Deep South Dish!

  6. Here In Central Missouri we love our deviled eggs also. I always make some simple ones. BUT I love to add crumbled bacon and jalapenos or jalapenos and cheese. they go so fast I have no idea they are even gone.
    I add dry mustard also gives them a bit of a kick

  7. We don't do the relish, either. I'm apt to add finely diced red onion and jalapeno to mine, sometimes with finely diced celery. We usually just eat 'em basic, tho - egg yolk, mayo and some mustard with Tony C's sprinkled on top. I've only had bad deviled eggs once... and that was here in the Pacific Northwest. Bless their hearts.. ;)

  8. Every time I try to think of something to bring to a "bring a covered dish" event, I cant think of something both inexpensive and not too hard, this is that! And heck if nobody eats 'em I'll eat the whole TRAY

    1. It is Steve!! And believe me, they'll be gone!

  9. I like to add horseradish to mine. A trick I read somewhere when you are going to make deviled eggs, is the day before, lay them on their sides. The yolk will distribute to the center more evenly and you lose having the yolk at the very end as usual.

  10. I am so accustomed to them looking this way but I recently was reminded about that tip too, though I've heard to just flip them over and they will center that way too. I just keep forgetting about trying it whenever I make them, but I should add that tip - thanks for the reminder Bev!

  11. Read your devil egg recipe and it sounds like the one we do but we started adding a small amount of curry to the mixture. Everyone comments on "what is that flavor" They can taste it but can't figure out what it is. Just be careful not to add too much.

    Never tried tarter sauce but may have to try it. I like you would make mine not buy one because of the sodium content on so many prepared items. Glad I found your blog. Enjoy reading and changing some of my recipes creating a new adventure each time.

    1. Hi Ginger & welcome! I'll have to give that curry a try!

  12. I add a small amount of curry to mine. Everyone can taste a flavor they like but cant identify it. Just don't add too much

  13. I too like too add a little horseradish sauce to mine (not enough to clear your sinuses though, just enough for a slight kick)along with a little relish, but because my wife's family doesn't like horseradish in theirs, I make 1/2 with and 1/2 without, the to distinguish one from the other, I add little cocktail shrimps to the top of the spicy ones and either a square of bacon on top or just paprika to the ones without. Either way I love 'em ;0)

    1. I really LIKE that shrimp idea Bill - great presentation! And ssshh.... don't tell anybody, but I do sneak a little horseradish in on mine too every now & then. :)

  14. Hi Mary, I am an absolute Southern Girl - North Carolina!!! I love deviled eggs. Where I come from deviled eggs come 2 ways: Sweet (your basic recipe, but using only sweet relish) then there's the other way, the BEST way, MY way.... I follow Your basic recipe, using only Dill relish, but add Apple Cider Vinegar!!!! :-) Omg!! I was shocked to not see a single mention of vinegar in any of the comments. Even if they're made Sweet, there's always a glass dispenser of vinegar on the table. Do I have any fellow vinaigrettians out there?

    1. I guess not, but I really don't know why!!

  15. I also use sweet Jalapeno relish, reg Jalapenos, sweet or dill relish. Depends on my mood at the time.

  16. I use the usual recipe; Mayo, onion, mustard, but no sweet relish. I also add a dash of black pepper, and the secret ingredient...a dash or two of celery salt. Yummy! Also, one time I was in a rush and grabbled cayenne by mistake instead of paprika for the garnish, and it was great! So now I make 1/2 topped with paprika, and 1/2 topped with cayenne.

  17. I don't use pickle relish but I do add horseradish! Yum!

  18. Deviled eggs has always been one of my favorites. I’ve used horseradish in mine. Coming from NYC, I had ready access to good Kosher and Polish horseradish. It’s melt in your mouth good. However, if one gets heavy handed, it will melt your mouth; especially fresh Polish horseradish. Since moving south, I’ve found a great alternative; Texas Sweet n Hot Jalapeños. Dice a few of those up and use them like the pickle relish or just top each egg with a ring. It is outstanding!

    1. I love a bite of horseradish myself but I'm afraid I mostly use just plain ole prepared horseradish & never fresh. I've tried Trappey's Sweet & Hot but not heard of Texas brand - will have to see if those are sold around here - thanks!

  19. Hi Mary,

    When my son was about 5 years old he called them "doubled eggs." Recently my grown daughter told me that "deviled eggs" are named for their spiciness (jalapenos, cayenne, etc.) and that what I make are really "stuffed eggs."

    I love many variations, but typically I just add mayo, dry mustard, salt, and pepper. However, I still call them "doubled eggs" in honor of my sweet son's observation..."They double when you make them."

    Thanks for all your great recipes and stories!

    1. Aw, you're welcome Jan! Blogging became my outlet after Hurricane Katrina literally washed away my career and I never expected what has followed. Thank you for reading and for being a part of the family here!

      That's really what they are - stuffed eggs - but I really love that your son deemed them doubled eggs! Very clever if you ask me!! I also have a chuckle when people say they've renamed their deviled eggs as "angel" eggs because they don't want to use the term devil! You're absolutely right. The term "deviled" came about to mean a food or dish that was highly spiced and nothing to do with a red colored trouble maker with a pointy tail & pitchfork!!

      Thanks so much for taking the time to stop and say hello. I hope you have a Merry Christmas Jan!

  20. Well bacon of course! I do mayo, small amt of reg mustard, small amt of Dijon, crumbled bacon (crisp), finely diced celery, both sweet and dill relish. Paprika on top. DELISH!

    1. Bacon does make everything better doesn't it?

  21. Mary,
    I think I’ve hit on something different with deviled eggs. I’m sure that you’re probably familiar with the Biblical accounting of St. Mary Magdalene, the first to see Jesus risen from the grave, and the Paschal Egg. The name of our church is St. Mary Magdalene Anglican Church, Camden, SC, and our symbol is the Paschal Egg. My friend and Vicar, the Deacon and myself, have been renovating an old building and turned it into a church. Last Easter was our first Easter. As the Jr. Warden and head chef, I was asked if I could do a little something special for Easter. I made Deviled Paschal eggs. I know, that sounds like an oxymoron. It also sounds somewhat evil, but I assure you that they’re anything but evil. They’re delicious and not hard to make.
    It’s just a matter of making your usual deviled eggs but dying the finished egg white. I don’t use red dye; although you can cheat if things don’t work out right. I instead use several jars of Aunt Nellie’s Pickled Beets, some water and a splash of white vinegar (if needed). At least one of the jars of pickled beets I run through the blender and add it to the brew for a deeper color and flavor. I can’t really give you exact measurements because it varies with the quality of eggs, water and the fact that I’m usually making at least 4 dozen eggs; as I am right now for Easter Sunday. They’re impressive looking, with that deep red and bright yellow filling. They must be good. Out of about 45 parishioners, all 96 eggs disappeared.
    May you and your family have a blessed Easter. God bless.

    1. Great idea Chris, thanks! Someone on Facebook did mention dying the egg whites also (but not the name!) and I really love your suggestion of the pickled beet juice - excellent!

  22. I add crab meat, everyone loves my deviled eggs I always make for the holidays.


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