Egg Salad Sandwich

The perfect egg salad sandwich is all about the little tweaks and a smart ratio of eggs to other ingredients. This is my favorite. Served on garlic-rubbed toasted bread with chopped celery, onion, and whole-grain mustard.

Egg Salad Sandwich

I have strong opinions about egg salad sandwiches. Usually I take a pass. Like, if I see one on a menu, or at a deli, I choose another sandwich. Egg salad tends to be so gloppy, or too much mayo, soggy bread (yuck), or the trifecta of all three. But it doesn’t have to be this way! When I make egg salad sandwiches at home it’s heart emojis all around. I like to use well-toasted bread rubbed with garlic. The egg mixture I make isn’t much of a departure from the classic, but the devil is in the details and ratios. There’s crunch from chopped celery and onions, a dollop of wholegrain mustard, and just the right amount of yogurt in place of mayo.The Perfect Egg Salad Sandwich

A Couple Egg Salad Tricks

There are some tricks I like to deploy when constructing an egg salad sandwich. The eggs are a soft component, so I like to introduce crunch and structure wherever possible, for contrast. So, in this recipe you have crunch celery and onions. Good quality, extra toasty slices of bread bring more crunch and structure. And I like to add a few sturdy, fresh lettuce leaves between thread and the egg salad to keep the bread from going soft.

Invest in Good Eggs

You want to use really great eggs if you’re making egg salad. The ones where the yolks are rich and bright yellow. Eggs from pastured hens. Peeling really fresh eggs can be challenging, so I tend to use good eggs, but the ones that have been in my refrigerator longest are the ones to use here. For easy peeling.The Perfect Egg Salad Sandwich

Getting the Eggs Cooked Just Right

I've realized that 90% of the challenge here is properly boiling the egg. You need to boil them so the centers set yet stay moist. You also need to avoid the dreaded grey ring that surrounds the yolk in many hard boiled eggs. I use a strict technique that works flawlessly for me every time. Basically, you need to avoid over-cooking. To do that you simply move the eggs into a bowl of icy water after removing them from the water they were boiled in.
The Perfect Egg Salad Sandwich

Egg Salad Sandwich Variations

Once you get your sandwich the way you like it, it’s fun to play around with variations. Here are a few faves.

- Egg Salad with Broiled Gruyere: Broil some thinly sliced gruyere cheese onto your toast, top with the egg salad mixture, sprinkle with fried shallots, and serve open-faced. Inspired by a version I would eat on occasion at Il Cane Rosso in San Francisco.

- Curried Egg  Salad Sandwich: This is so good!  I think of it as a wintery version where you add curry powder, chopped apple, toasted pecans, and onion.

- Chickpea Salad Sandwich: You can use the same general idea for a vegan version. Pulse a couple of cups of cooked chickpeas in a food processor and proceed with the recipe, adding more yogurt if needed to bring the ingredients together.

More Ideas and Tips from You

There are so many great ideas from you down in the comments. I wanted to highlight a few here!

Lirion says, “Don’t freak out, but my egg salad uses eggs and a mango relish. Yup, that’s it. After assembling and before adding the second piece of bread, a shot of fresh cracked pepper and all of 5 grains of salt.

I love a secret ingredient, and Quinn says, “I keep my egg salad ingredients to a minimum, eggs, shallots, chopped pickle, mustard, a lil mayo, and salt and pepper. oh, and I add Old Bay too.”

Or listen to this variation from Shawn! “I just made some delicious Japanese flavored egg salad with homemade wasabi mayo. For the mayo I used two egg yolks, 500 mL of olive oil, and two tsp of rice wine vinegar. After the yolk had accepted all of the oil I added fresh dill, lemon juice, salt & pepper, and a sizable squirt of wasabi paste. For those of you who like a little crunch I suggest chopped water chestnuts drained and briefly pan fried. Eat it on bread as dark as pumpernickel or as white as wonder; it’s all about the mayonnaise.” Genius!

Kate lends some technical insight, “I’ve found the best tool for mashing up eggs for egg salad is a grid-style potato masher. Those square holes make the perfect sized bits of egg white. More consistent, yet chunkier than the results you get with a fork. “

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The Perfect Egg Salad Sandwich

4.26 from 27 votes

Always use good quality eggs - but something to keep in mind, the fresher they are, the harder they are to peel after boiling.

Ingredients
  • 6 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons Greek yogurt (or mayo)
  • 1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 stalk celery, washed and chopped
  • 1/4 cup minced yellow onion
  • A tiny squeeze of lemon juice
  • 2 small handfuls of lettuce
  • 8 slices of whole grain or sourdough bread, toasted
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled
Instructions
  1. Place the eggs in a pot and cover with cold water by a 1/2-inch or so. Bring to a gentle boil. Now turn off the heat, cover, and let sit for exactly eight minutes. Have a big bowl of ice water ready and when the eggs are done cooking place them in the ice bath for three minutes or so - long enough to stop the cooking. Crack and peel each egg, place in a medium mixing bowl.

  2. Add the yogurt or mayonnaise, the mustard, a couple generous pinches of salt and pepper, celery, onion, and lemon juice. Mash with a fork. Don't completely overdo it, you want the egg mixture to have some texture. If you need to add a bit more yogurt to moisten up the mixture a bit, go for it a bit at a time. Taste, and adjust the seasoning - adding more salt and pepper if needed.
  3. To assemble each egg salad sandwich: rub the toasts with garlic, place a bit of lettuce on a piece of toast, top with the egg salad mixture, and finish by creating a sandwich with a second piece of toast. Repeat with remaining slices.

Notes

Makes 4 sandwiches

Serves
4
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
8 mins
Total Time
18 mins
 
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Recipe Rating

Comments

you forgot the mustard.

Bill

All of the above are wonderful! I add a pinch cumin, and bob's your uncle, mmm...sometimes it doesn't last long enough to make it on to the bread :)

carey

This is how genius happens! Taking a more mundane recipe and making it into something memorable. I had not been very adventurous with my egg salad but you have encouraged me to think outside the box a bit in utilizing those leftover hadboiled eggs!

Deborha Dowd

I use Greek yogurt instead of mayo; it's a lot healthier and I personally like the taste better. I agree that a good egg salad needs a little crunch-- I usually chop up some mild onions for that. And I'm chiming in with the others who said that curry powder is a nice addition!

Caroline

I have always hated egg mayo until now, I'm pregnant and I can't get enough of the stuff!!! You're sandwich sounds amazing!

Pamela

I am getting reallllllly hungry for an egg salad sandwich after reading your posts. I feel I must add one of my favorite egg sandwiches....add about 3 slices crisp, crumbled bacon to 4 hardboiled chopped eggs,salt, pepper. mayo, dash of curry powder, your choice of onions chopped...green or red or white...to taste. also maybe a little chopped celery.and a teaspoon of pickle relish...and a tsp of lemon juice...and here is the kicker...one can of tuna in oil...drain the oil....I just like its flavor better then the tuna in water....and serve on SOURDOUGH TOAST....it is absolutely deeeeeee lishous.....This was served to me 50 years ago while visiteng a friend by her mother...I have made it ever since........

Gerrie

I love what you did with a standby that is probably revered for its economical and nuitritous qualities.Why shouldn't it be delicious too? While working at a great deli, I learned to add hot sauce and a smidge of cream cheese to egg salad. It really helps with the goo factor. In my personal opinion egg salad is far better "open faced" on bread or with some terrific crackers. Do you have some good cracker recomendations (sans hydrogenated fat & bleached flour) that might be available in more rural areas than lovely SF?

Maeg

i make my egg salad with yougurt, i.e. strain the yougurt in a cheese cloth for a few hours until all water drains out. this should be of a thick consistency. at times i add either hot sauce or paprika powder + cumin and use it in place of mayo.

jigi

Heidi, The fact that there are already 36 comments on something as seemingly mundane as an egg salad sandwich is a testament to your genius! And to the rippling effects on the community of readers who take the time to post comments & ideas. I love the suggestion of using softened butter mashed with the yolks. Now I'm thinking about trying arugalo in place of lettuce - or maybe making a homemade basil mayo to make it really special? There are probably so many possible variations you'd never have to eat the same sandwich twice, unless you wanted to! Another great post, thanks Heidi!

Pam

My "friend" and I were making deviled eggs one night - and we started adding a little of what seemed like everything - they were the BEST - but what was left over made the best egg salad sandwich I had ever eaten. We added fresh bacon bits - a small amount, finely chopped peppers, onions, sour cream, mayo and just a little ranch dressing. Then we added chili powder, salt, pepper and peprica. The peppers that time were mild, but since we have added some hot peppers - they are GREAT.

Cindy Taylor

A trip to Helsinki introduced me to the wonders of the Finnish egg sandwich: perfectly cooked eggs (with an extra yolk or two) mashed with perfectly softened butter and a little salt, spread on delicious wholegrain bread. This treatment goes down particularly well with little kids and is very comforting to egg-loving grown-ups, too.

Laura Miller

You've done the (almost) impossible--made egg salad sound good enough to try again! It's been too long around here. In the past, I've always added either some chopped green olives or drained capers for a bit of zip, and perhaps a bit of shallots. A dusting of spicy cayenne or pimente d'Espelette is especially good too. (Don't tell anyone, but sometimes I like to add a handful of sunflower seeds for crunch.) Off to go boil some eggs!...

i like to add shredded carrot for extra nutrition and color. doesn't add much to flavor though. chopped apples or pickle relish add a bit of sweetness and chopped walnuts add texture and nutrition. welcome to the love of egg salad : )

Raquel

Curry powder is a definite must in egg salad. In Australia, we have a tradition of the curried egg sandwich with the chiffonade of lettuce. As scorned as iceberg is, it adds that counterpoint of crunch to the egg. Wholewheat bread, lots of grain also adds to the appeal of the curried egg sanger.

Amanda Page

I agree that I am generally loathe to eat 95% of egg salad sandwiches out there (so much mayo! so little taste!) but yeah, there are totally ways to make it genius. My mom's egg salad, also full of chives (I think chives are key), eggs cut up really finely so that the salad is more of a paste/spread, and the colour pink with paprika, has converted every single egg-salad naysayer I have ever met. So yes, it is possible! (And I totally recommend experimenting with paprika.)

Anna

my recipe is similar except i use finely chopped cucumbers instead of celery. Also, i like to add in a pinch of wasabi powder. the only mayonaise i use is Kewpie brand, which is imported from Japan and is found in a lot of asian supermarkets. it comes in a soft squeeze bottle and has a richer egg taste than american-style mayo, and is not as slimy and vinegar-y.

m from oc

I am not a big fan of egg salad either and never have been. The smell of them cooking was enough to make me ill when I was younger. Since then, I've had an aversion to it but I decided awhile back to try and make hard boiled eggs because i loved deviled eggs. I have seen so many recipes calling for different amounts of time to leave them in the pot with the water - from your amount to 16 minutes. I find if I leave them covered for 12 minutes they seem perfect to me. I don't like them too soft. I am not a fan of the overly soft yolk. Are you sure that the yolks will cook enough in this amount of time? Seems too little IMHO. Just curious how firm the yolks get. I have undercooked them in the past and gotten yolks that ran too much.

RisaG

I am SO making that tomorrow :) Thanks for a lovely & inspiring blog!

Geninne

Wow, I've never been a fan of egg salad sandwiches mostly due to the fact that they're always messy and soggy. I just might change my perceptions now . . . :)

Cherie

I thought I was odd for disliking egg salad as much as I do... so I tried making it with scrambled eggs... better... and now with the hints from some about adding curry... I think I'm on my way to many happy egg "salad" moments! Thank you all.

Suzanne

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