12 Ways To Upgrade Egg Salad

Egg salad is a classic and has served as a lunchtime staple for decades. In fact, the history of egg salad goes back as far as 1866, when "Mrs. Crowen's American Lady's Cookery Book" suggested adding slices of cold boiled egg to a sandwich.


At its core, egg salad is simply hard-boiled eggs (made with a dash of baking soda for easy egg peeling later) and some form of dressing, traditionally mayonnaise. After that, the sky's the limit for egg salad add-ins. The creamy, tangy salad sandwiched between two pieces of bread may be timeless, but there are many ways to give the traditional egg salad recipe a refreshing boost. Whether you try out a new method for chopping eggs, want a little extra crunch, or are looking for a new flavor to swap in, there are plenty of ways to flex your culinary muscles and upgrade egg salad into a flavorful masterpiece.

1. Try a different mayonnaise

Swapping out your usual jarred mayonnaise for a different dressing can completely change the flavor profile of egg salad. A traditional mayo is the standard for the classic egg salad, but other alternatives can help spice things up. Although Miracle Whip and mayonnaise have differences, Miracle Whip can make a suitable substitute in almost any dish, including egg salad. It has similar ingredients as mayo, and the added sugar and spices give a sweet yet tangy essence to egg salad.


Kewpie mayo is another alternative worth testing out in your egg salad. Manufactured in 1925, the tangy condiment became Japan's first mayonnaise. Kewpie mayo contains twice as many egg yolks as classic French mayonnaise, giving it a yellow tint, smooth texture, and umami – a richer and more savory flavor. This condiment is used in a variety of ways in Japan, from Japanese egg salad sandwiches — called tamago sando — to being drizzled on fried chicken. Kewpie mayo has become a very popular condiment in the U.S., and it may just be your next go-to for dressing egg salad.

2. Ditch the mayo altogether

Mayonnaise is not the only option out there for dressing a bowl of egg salad. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, 100 grams of standard mayonnaise contains 680 calories. Swapping out the mayo for a different egg salad binder can bring in unique tasting notes that can meld with all sorts of ingredients. Choosing a lighter dressing alternative can even provide multiple nutritious benefits.


Greek yogurt mixed into egg salad creates a similar texture to a mayonnaise-based egg salad while adding a pleasantly sour note to the dish. Incorporating cottage cheese as egg salad dressing adds a different textural element. Cottage cheese is creamy and very mild, allowing it to be versatile in a dressing and mix well with other ingredients without overpowering them. Both Greek yogurt and cottage cheese are packed with protein, helping you feel fuller and giving you a boost of energy to carry you through the day. Even if you are not ready to fully swap out the mayo, trading in a spoonful for these nutritious substitutes can make a big difference to your egg salad.

3. Freshen up egg salad with chopped herbs

Sometimes all a recipe needs to make it feel like new is a burst of freshness from some chopped herbs. Whether they are picked fresh from the garden or shaken dried from your spice jars, chopped herbs can give egg salad a refreshing taste as well as a vivid green pop of color.


Chopped herbs can be very adaptable and add deeper layers of aromatic flavor to egg salad. Different types of herbs have distinct flavor profiles that suit a variety of tastes. Parsley has a mild and slightly peppery flavor that pairs well with both traditional and Mediterranean takes on egg salad. Dill has bitter ye sweet notes that go wonderfully in egg salad, especially if diced dill pickles are in the mix. Chives have a slight onion flavor that breaks through the creaminess of egg salad without being overwhelming. Whether they are stirred in or used as a garnish, mixing and matching different herbs and flavors can give egg salad a garden-fresh feel.

4. Add avocado for a heap of health benefits

Incorporating avocado is a delicious and nutritious way to upgrade your egg salad. The health benefits of avocado are numerous; avocados are full of fiber, potassium, and vitamin E, and are rich in antioxidants. Other than giving egg salad that familiar avocado-green hue, the subtle nutty flavor and buttery texture of avocados pairs naturally with the savory notes in egg salad. Simply mash a ripe avocado with a fork, potato masher, or food processor until smooth. Replace part of the mayonnaise with mashed avocado for a lighter egg salad, without sacrificing the creamy texture.


Looking to take your avocado egg salad to the next level? Adding avocado to your egg salad is the first step to making a delicious Cobb salad-inspired egg salad. Cobb salad is packed with many flavors, colors, and textures that make it such a delight to eat. Dice up some grilled chicken, tomato, and onion. Combine the chopped ingredients – along with some bacon bits, blue cheese crumbles, a squeeze of lemon juice, and some chopped herbs — into a bowl of egg salad for a flavorful new take on an old classic. The combination of crunchy and smooth textures with savory and fresh flavors may make this version of egg salad your new favorite recipe.

5. Mix in a spoonful of aioli

At first glance, aioli may seem like garlicky mayonnaise because of their similarities in color and consistency, but their flavors and ingredients are vastly different. Traditionally, aioli is made by emulsifying crushed garlic and olive oil into a silky sauce. The history of aioli can be traced as far back as Ancient Rome, where Roman historian Pliny the Elder described a sauce similar to aioli being used in Spain. As Aioli evolved over the centuries, modern recipes incorporate eggs to bind the oil and garlic, but lemon, herbs, and other seasonings are commonly mixed in to develop different layers of flavor.


The garlicky notes and creamy texture of aioli make it a flavorful addition to egg salad. Homemade aioli is delicious and easy to make. Whisk egg yolks and oil together until thick, then mix in mashed garlic and lemon juice. Aioli is very versatile and works well with a variety of ingredients like roasted red peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, pesto, and truffle mushrooms. Add a tablespoon of aioli to your egg salad recipe for a garlicky and zesty flavor profile.

6. Incorporate acid for easy cooking and a flavorful zing

If your egg salad is feeling a little flat in flavor, consider adding an acidic ingredient. Acidity plays an important part in a dish. Acids act as a flavor enhancer and balance the richness of a dish while adding refreshing tartness and bright notes. It can also help in the cooking process for a variety of different dishes. When boiling eggs for egg salad, add a couple of tablespoons of vinegar to the water before turning on the heat for easier peeling. Vinegar helps break down the chemical composition of the egg's shell — making it easier to peel — and helps the egg whites set faster.


A little acidity goes a long way in developing complex flavors in food. If your egg salad is missing something, there are many acidic ingredients that pair deliciously. From adding vinegar to fried and scrambled eggs to mixing a splash into egg salad dressing, there are many vinegar varieties that bring different flavor essences to egg dishes. Apple cider vinegar has a slightly sweet and tangy taste that pairs well with mayonnaise. Lemon juice can add delightful citrus undertones. Even adding a little pickle juice to egg salad can add some tanginess and flavor from the pickle seasoning. Cooking can be a balancing act, so it is important to add acid in small amounts at a time and taste your dish as you go to make sure the flavors are to your liking.


7. Fold in bacon bits

There are many foods in the culinary world that taste amazing together, but bacon and eggs are a perfect pairing that may just be an unbeatable combination. The history of bacon and eggs goes back to the 1920s, a time when many Americans were eating light breakfasts like fruit and coffee. A public relations consultant named Edward Bernays was requested to push the sale of bacon. Bernays developed a campaign backed by 5,000 doctors that encouraged Americans to add bacon to their breakfast table, and a hearty meal like bacon and eggs was a perfect way to start the day. The famous power couple of the breakfast world was born.


Bacon and eggs are the dynamic duo of the breakfast world, so why not combine them into a delicious egg salad? Fry up a few slices of bacon until crispy, chop into crumbles, and fold the bacon bits into your egg salad. The bacon bits add a sharp saltiness, smokiness, and crunchy texture that compliments the smooth and creamy mayo and mashed eggs. The savory bacon naturally mingles with the classic flavors in egg salad while adding a visually appealing color contrast, taking your egg salad to the next level.

8. Spice things up with a kick of heat

If you're looking to turn up the heat in your go-to egg salad recipe, there are many ways to kick things up a notch to fit anyone's spice tolerance. Dijon mustard is a natural addition to egg salad. Simply mix Dijon mustard into the dressing for a tangy and slightly spicy essence. Fresh or pickled jalapeño peppers are easy to add in for a slight kick. Chopped fresh jalapeños add a refreshing crunch and spiciness to egg salad while pickled peppers from a jar add a slight tartness that compliments the flavors well. If you want to experiment with adding jalapeños or other pepper varieties and are sensitive to spice, slice open the pepper and remove the seeds and veins to take away some of the excess heat.


Shaking a few dashes of hot sauce into egg salad dressing can help bring the heat. There are so many varieties of hot sauce in the market to try that suit all spice tolerance levels and flavor preferences. Make a fresh take on buffalo wings by adding buffalo sauce, celery, carrots, and blue cheese crumbles or ranch seasoning to your egg salad. Taste test something new with unusual hot sauce brands you've never tried. If you're looking for a sweet and spicy profile, there are many hot sauce options infused with fruit that would be perfect for switching up egg salad flavors.

9. Revamp a classic appetizer with deviled egg salad

Be it an appetizer at a family holiday or a side dish at a backyard barbecue, deviled eggs are always a crowd-pleasing dish. Deviled eggs have just a few ingredients and are very easy to make. In fact, deviled eggs have many similarities to traditional egg salad. Both dishes have mashed components, egg salad having mashed whole eggs while deviled eggs have mashed yolks. Egg salad and deviled eggs are both combined with similar dressing ingredients like mayonnaise and seasonings. The differences lie in how the dishes are served.


Since the dishes are so similar, why not reinvent traditional deviled eggs into a new dish? Deviled egg salad is easy to make and incorporates all the classic flavors of deviled eggs into a creamy egg salad. Hard-boiled eggs are peeled, mashed, and combined with mayonnaise and mustard. Add vegetables and mix-ins that coordinate with the mayo and mustard flavors, like chopped celery, onion, pickle relish, and herbs. No need to fuss over piping the yolk mixture or seamless shell peeling with this deviled egg dish! Decorate with a sprinkle of paprika before serving for a touch of smokiness and a pop of color.

10. Amp up the creaminess with cream cheese

Cream cheese may not be the first ingredient that comes to mind when substituting mayo in egg salad dressing, but it is a delicious alternative worth trying. In fact, Polish egg salad (pasta jajeczna) uses cream cheese as its main dressing ingredient instead of the traditional mayonnaise used in America. The cream cheese adds a satisfying tanginess, makes the egg salad incredibly smooth, and gives the egg salad more structural integrity than traditional mayo, making it very versatile for lunch, snack, or your next potluck.


Egg salad with cream cheese is easy to make at home. Mix a block of softened cream cheese with a little mayonnaise. Fold in chopped hard-boiled eggs, salt, pepper, and herbs, and enjoy on toast, in a sandwich, spread on crackers, or with vegetables for dipping. Add chopped vegetables like onions or celery for added crunch or diced meat like ham or smoked fish for a boost of protein.

11. Give your egg salad a Greek twist

Transport your egg salad to the Greek islands with the flavors of the Mediterranean. Greek cuisine has a rich 4,000-year history and typically centers its flavors around aromatic herbs like oregano, mint, and dill, as well as olives, olive oil, feta cheese, yogurt, and fish. Greek dishes have evolved over the years to fuse flavors from Arabic, Turkish, and Italian cultures.


Incorporating some Greek ingredients is the perfect way to revitalize your egg salad with a little Mediterranean flair. Swap out the mayonnaise for classic Greek tzatziki sauce. Tzatziki is a creamy sauce made with Greek yogurt, cucumber, garlic, lemon, and herbs. It's light, refreshing, healthy, and a delicious substitute for mayonnaise. Salty feta cheese crumbles, briny kalamata olives or capers, a squeeze of lemon, and chopped anchovies are some flavorful additions to combine with Greek egg salad. Enjoy with pita bread and crunchy vegetables or as a dip with pita chips.

12. Switch up how you serve it

If the old standby egg salad sandwich is starting to sound a little stale, it might be time to switch up how you serve egg salad. There are many bread varieties and alternatives that can elevate your next egg salad sandwich. Experiment with different types of sliced bread like whole wheat, potato bread, or sourdough. Egg salad spread on your favorite type of bagel is also a delicious option. For an added crunch, toast the bread or bagel first before adding the egg salad sandwich filling. In the event that you aren't craving a sandwich, pile egg salad on a bed of lettuce and other crispy vegetables, or enjoy it as a snack with crackers for dipping.


For a low carbohydrate choice, ditch the bread for veggies. Lettuce wraps are a popular alternative for bread, but feel free to experiment with cabbage leaves, collard greens, eggplant slices, or portobello mushrooms. All of these low-carb substitutes for bread are perfect for anyone on a specialty diet like Keto and Paleo or for those with gluten intolerance.