Secret Ingredients You Should Be Adding To Your Deviled Eggs

As it is with most things in Western civilization, it seems that we owe the Romans another debt of gratitude. Deviled eggs, those popular party snacks, can be traced back to ancient Rome. And apparently, the Romans really knew how to do them right. Their version of deviled eggs got a treatment of fancy schmancy spices and was served at very chichi affairs. They even had a phrase for all of this egg-eating: "ab ova usque ad mala," meaning "eggs to apples," which signified the egg's importance in their shindigs. 


One doesn't know if the deviled egg recipes of today would measure up to the tastes of man's Roman ancestors. What is known is that it would be hard to imagine a picnic or even a Super Bowl party without at least one tray of deviled eggs. This speaks to the staying power of the simple yet elegant appetizer.

There is one advantage, however, to not having one's Roman ancestors around to try the modern versions of this recipe. It leaves home chefs plenty of room to experiment with different ingredients, the goal of which is to take their deviled egg recipes to the next level without a Roman gourmand looking over their shoulder. If you count yourself among this unruly brood of egg rebels, then you've come to the right place. The ingredients in this article promise to make every platter of deviled eggs as unique and delicious as their ancient ancestors.


1. Pickle relish

When you're making egg salad for sandwiches, it's common to include ingredients like pickle relish in the mix. When you add sweet pickle relish to your egg salad recipe, you get a sweet-and-savory juxtaposition that makes both of those flavors stand out more. On the other hand, adding a bit of dill pickle relish adds a bit of savory and sourness to the flavor of this eggy favorite. It's worth noting that adding relish to a recipe automatically adds more spices and seasonings to it because the relish itself comes with plenty of seasonings, so if your recipe comes out on the bland side, relish may be a flavor option for certain dishes. And on a related note depending on the relish recipe, your deviled eggs could also take on hints of curry, vinegar, cinnamon, celery salt, or ginger, in addition to the usual suspects, like dill weed. 


It stands to reason, then, that if pickle relish tastes good in your egg salad, it'll also dress up your deviled eggs as well. These elements bring a more nuanced flavor to your favorite deviled egg appetizers. To make this version of the recipe, start with your favorite classic deviled eggs recipe and add a bit of your favorite pickle relish to it. Blend until everything is evenly distributed within the yolks. Garnish with green onions.

2. Olive bits

Egg recipes are such that the addition of the savory element adds a little somethin', somethin' to the flavor profile, and if you're like many home gourmands, you add ingredients like salt to pick up the savory a notch. While this isn't wrong, there may be a perfectly excellent ingredient to add to your eggs to make them more savory that isn't so run-of-the-mill: olive brine, and by extension, chopped up olives.


Because there are so many different kinds of olives, in theory, you could use the same basic deviled eggs recipe and yet have a multitude of different flavors of briny, so to speak, depending on the kind of olives you use in each batch.

For example, mixing the brine from green olives into your yolks and mayo produces a pleasantly salty deviled egg (as does adding chopped up or sliced green olives to the top to garnish). Or if you're leaning more toward a very Mediterranean flavor, forgo the mayo and substitute olive oil instead. Then, mix in Kalamata, black olives, or both. The flavor of olive brine remains in this recipe, but the flavor will be more nuanced. Finally, garnishing your deviled eggs with chopped olives gives you a variety of olive flavors in each bite, without requiring you to mix the olives or the olive brine into the yolks.


3. Avocado or guacamole

Fat is a three-letter four-letter word, so to speak, in most people's diet vocabulary, and yet human beings actually can't live without healthy fats. The human body needs them to absorb vitamins like A and E.  Fortunately, the vegetable kingdom is filled with an assortment of delish healthy fats, chief among them being the avocado. Or its spicy chip-dip equivalent, guacamole. The fatty content in either plain avocados or your favorite guacamole recipe adds a delicious creaminess to your deviled eggs that's also healthy to boot.


Adding avocado in any of its various forms also allows you to do away with the mayonnaise that most deviled egg recipes call for. Avocados or guacamole become the substitute for mayonnaise in your deviled eggs recipe. When you add avocado to your deviled eggs, you're bringing in nutrients like potassium and magnesium, as well as vitamin K, vitamin C, and vitamin E. And while its nutritional makeup consists of 67% fat, most of that is monounsaturated. All in all, this makes for a healthy and delicious new take on your deviled eggs.

4. Butter

Want your deviled eggs to taste both delicious and look kind of handsome in the process? Then you may want to add a common ingredient that's likely in your house right now: butter. Apparently, it's butter that allows your buttercream frosted cake to maintain its gorgeous shape when your cake is sitting at room temperature. And what it does to make your buttercream frosted cake so shapely, it can also do for your deviled eggs. Of course, it's also freakin' delicious to have about two tablespoons of butter shoveled into your deviled eggs recipe, so there's that, too.


Adding butter to the mix doesn't require you to change your favorite deviled egg recipe. You simply need to add a little bit of room-temperature butter to the deviled egg recipe that you already use, and then mix it up as usual. And for a pretty flare, try piping the egg yolk mixture into the egg whites instead of adding the yolks in with a spoon. Because the butter will give the yolk mixture a more "solid" form, the mixture with hold the shape of the piping, including the fancy curly-Q designs that often come care of a piping bag's metal tips.

5. Cream cheese

Every type of cheese has qualities that make it memorable. Cream cheese, for example, is known for its tanginess and smooth-as-silk texture that makes everything from jam on toast to deviled eggs taste just a bit better. As a complement to the mayo in your deviled eggs recipe, its creamy tanginess does wonders for the recipe.


Mayo itself has a degree of tanginess, but it doesn't have the near-addictive taste that cream cheese does. A little bit of room-temperature cream cheese added to your deviled eggs recipe takes care of that. Start with one tablespoon of cream cheese, though you may find that it's so delicious that you want to add more. Experimentation is encouraged here. It's not less is more in this case. It's more is more, and it's incredibly fabulous.

Other ingredients to add to balance out the taste and make it more memorable include a dash of vinegar, a little Dijon mustard, and some white pepper. Cayenne pepper works here, too, if you don't have white pepper. A dash or two of paprika adds a colorful garnish at the end.


6. Tuna

In delis around the Big Apple, millions of lunchtime restaurant-seekers get belly up to the counter of their favorite eatery and order tuna sandwiches on hoagie rolls with one special ingredient: hard-boiled eggs. But to enjoy the flavor of tuna and eggs together, you don't necessarily have to have the hoagie roll, or even live in New York City.


You can mix the tuna into the egg yolks of your deviled eggs and enjoy bite-size portions of this popular flavor combination. Add some chopped-up red and green onions, a little Dijon mustard, and plenty of creamy mayo to bring this flavor duo to life. If tuna isn't your thing, then try a variation of this recipe, but make it with salmon or chopped chicken.

Your egg leftovers will be safe to eat if you tuck them away in the fridge in an air-tight plastic container with a lid. They'll be good to go for about four days. If they last that long, that is.

7. Curry

If you grew up eating a decidedly Western breakfast of eggs and bacon, it may stretch your imagination a bit to think of eggs and curry in the same dish. But eggs and curry are a thing in Indian cuisine and a very popular one at that. The Indian version of it sees hard-boiled eggs immersed in a tangy bath of tomato sauce with a dash of curry to add some extra Asian flavor. It's one of many egg dishes from Indian cuisine that has made it to the West.


In any event, the deviled egg version does away with the tomato sauce and sees the curry go straight into the yolk and mayo mixture. Once the mixture goes into the eggboats, sprinkle a little powdered curry or chopped parsley or cilantro on top as a garnish. Also, it's worth trying some experimentation with this dish, given that curry comes in red, green, yellow, and more.

8. Dill weed

You probably already know how tasty dill pickle relish is with egg salad (and, by extension, deviled eggs), but if, for whatever reason, you can't see your way around putting a bunch of pickle relish in your deviled eggs, a little dill weed will give you a similar flavor but without the pickle chunks.


If you'd like to try this in your deviled eggs, you should keep in mind that dill comes in both weed and seed form. Each has its own taste, but generally speaking, the dill flavor that you love in pickles comes from dill weed. The seeds will give you more of a lemony flavor, but if it's lemon in your eggs that you want, you may just want to go straight for a squeeze of lemon. After all, lemon elevates the taste of scrambled eggs, so it's likely to be an excellent choice here, too.

But if given a choice, go with fresh dill weed instead of dried. Add it according to your taste to your favorite deviled egg recipe. If you're concerned about adding too much dill to the recipe, start with a small amount and gradually add more until your deviled eggs take on the dilly flavor that you desire.


9. Taco seasoning

Huevos rancheros is a popular Mexican-themed breakfast, which features two eggs, usually sunny side up, on a bed of tortilla chips and refried beans and smothered with a blanket of spicy Mexican sauce. The eggs make it a traditional breakfast, while the taco seasonings, along with ingredients like spicy green peppers, grated cheese, guacamole, and corn chips, make it taste like tacos with eggs.


It's this dish that serves as the inspiration for this deviled egg recipe. It's simplified quite a bit, meaning that there's no taco-flavored sauce to go on top of the eggs. However, a little taco seasoning, along with shredded cheddar cheese and sour cream, hints at your favorite Mexican breakfast dish. The taco seasoning, sour cream, mayo, and shredded cheese get blended in with the egg yolks and then stuffed in the egg whites as usual. A garnish of chopped green onions or a dollop of guacamole takes the Yum Factor of this appetizer to the next level.

10. Bacon bits

Deviled eggs topped with bacon bits make your bacon and egg breakfast both bite-sized and portable when you're on the run. Just adding bacon bits to your deviled eggs makes for a tasty version of this party boat appetizer. When time is of the essence, this is probably the simplest way to do it.


However, you can take this recipe from Middle-America wholesome to completely heavenly by frying up some bacon and putting aside some of the bacon grease. Once it cools, mix it in with your egg yolks, garlic powder, mayo, and other ingredients. Be sure to include your freshly chopped bacon bits. Or, if you'd like a tasty variation on this theme, consider switching out the mayo for ranch dressing to give your eggs a bacon ranch flavor. Sprinkle with some chopped green onions or a dollop of sour cream to add extra flavor and color to this bacon-and-egg love fest.

11. Miso and soy sauce

Fried rice. Egg foo young. Chinese soy sauce eggs. These three Asian dishes demonstrate without a doubt that eggs play an important role in Asian cuisine. And now, if you like these flavor combinations, you can bring a little Asian Cuisine to your favorite deviled egg recipe with a play on the comforting flavors of that Japanese favorite, miso soup.


With Asian deviled eggs, you're going to do something slightly different than you normally would when you're making this recipe. Eventually, you'll cut the eggs apart and work with the yolks as you normally would, but first, you'll put the hard-boiled eggs whole into a marinade consisting of ingredients like soy sauce, cardamon, brown sugar, ginger, Chinese spice, cardamon, star anise, and garlic. Marinate the hard-boiled eggs for six to eight hours before proceeding.

Once the eggs are done with the marinade, you then add miso, mayo, white pepper, and honey to the egg yolks and mix them up. Assemble the deviled eggs and garnish them with chopped green onions and seasonings, like togarashi.

12. Pepper Jack and cheddar

Some flavors, like eggs and cheese, just seem to kind of go together. If you're a fan of omelets at all, then you know this to be true because different cheeses like Pepper Jack, cheddar, and Swiss cheeses often appear in omelets, starting with the simplest plain cheese omelet and advancing all the way to the Denver omelet. In this variation of the deviled eggs recipe, you'll add all of the cheeses mentioned above, as well as a little bit of that ooey gooey cheese item called Velveeta.


Start by preparing the yolks. Crush them up in a bowl and add grated Pepper Jack, cheddar, Swiss cheese, mayo, and other spices. Heat the Velveeta in the microwave until it's melted, and then pour it into the yolk mixture and mix again. Pipe the cheesy yolk mixture into the egg whites, chill, and then later garnish with chopped green onions, paprika, and your other favorite spices. This results in the cheesiest deviled eggs you've ever made — and we mean that in a good way.

13. Smoked salmon or lox

Smoked salmon — or its counterpart, lox, which is cured salmon — is a favored ingredient alongside cream cheese on a bagel or as a smoky, briny flavor component of a charcuterie platter. Smoked salmon also works well with egg dishes like smoked salmon omelets. As such, it's not too big of a stretch to think that smoked salmon or lox would also taste pretty darn good on deviled eggs, too.


This flavor combo represents an amalgamation of a lot of different flavor combos that you already love. That is to say, capers, lemon, and pepper or dill, or both, remind the taste buds how delicious this combination is and, at the same time, introduces a new flavor, deviled eggs, to the mix. How could it possibly be bad?

Despite having some pretty sophisticated flavors, the execution of this version of a deviled eggs recipe is fairly simple. In the beginning stages of this, you follow your favorite recipe as usual. However, when it comes time to garnish the eggs before you serve them, substitute common garnishes like parsley or cilantro for toppings like smoked or cured salmon, capers, and fresh dill weed.


14. Crab meat

Cajun and Creole cooking are some of the gifts to the foodie world from the Louisiana area. Although there are some differences in the styles of cooking, which makes people refer to Cajun cooking and Creole cooking interchangeably, they aren't the same thing. That said, they both embrace a love for different kinds of seafood, including crawdads, shrimp, and, of course, crab. 


Additionally, certain types of spices, including pepper mixes and paprika, play an important role in this cuisine. Because of the complexities of flavors, as well as the use of local ingredients to form the basis of the dishes, these styles of cooking encourage experimentation. If one ingredient is missing, for example, very often, you can substitute another. 

That's why Cajun- or Creole-style deviled eggs are such a mashup made in heaven. In this recipe, you'll combine flaked crab meat, spicy mustard, paprika, and mayo to create your yolk mixture embodying a Cajun or Creole flavor experience. However, due to the flexibility of Cajun and Creole cooking, you have lots of options for substitutions. Here's how that would look. You'd substitute Creole spices for paprika or spice up your mayo by adding a bit of sriracha to it. If you're feeling adventurous, chop up some andouille sausage into small bits and sprinkle those small bits on top of the eggs as garnish before serving your crab-stuffed deviled eggs.