Sometimes, old classics simply reign supreme, and this less is more approach is just the one Laura Sampson, who blogs and shares recipes at Little House Big Alaska, has taken in developing a basic egg salad recipe anyone can throw together with a few spare minutes and fewer than six ingredients. Sure, the Alaska native told Mashed there are a few ways to spice up this easy egg salad, but if you have a hankering for a lunch like your mom used to make, this bare bones yet totally delicious and satisfying dish will be right up your alley.
We asked Sampson when she likes to make her egg salad, and as she told us about her family, "We make a lot of egg dishes starting about now [in late January] because that’s when our hens start laying heavily." It’s a good plan, seeing as she also told us, "We do our best to keep up with them because they lay eight to ten eggs a day!"
Even if you don’t raise hens, who hasn’t bought a few too many eggs, or just plain felt like sinking their teeth into doughy bread and creamy egg salad? Yup, us too!
Gather a few ingredients for this egg salad recipe
We are into any egg salad recipe that comes together without a trip to the store — or an Instacart order — and with fewer ingredients than it takes to make a ham and cheese sandwich! You will only need hard boiled eggs, mayo, mustard, salt, and pepper to master Sampson’s basic egg salad.
Of course, we wondered if someone who uses so many eggs had any tricks up her sleeve for hard boiling them to perfection. Sampson told Mashed, "If we’re using fresh eggs, I like to let them age a week or two since really fresh eggs don’t peel easily." Who knew? She also offered this tip: "When I’m cooking hard-boiled eggs, I like to put them in a pan covered with cold water, bring them to a boil, then turn them off and let them sit covered for 12 minutes before rinsing them in cold water and peeling them."
Peel and mash your eggs for this egg salad recipe
After you have mastered hard boiling your eggs, the first step to pulling off this basic yet blissful egg salad recipe is to go ahead and perform a much-dreaded task — peeling all those eggs! The good news is that Sampson also has a little tip to share with home cooks when it comes to getting the shell to come off the egg more manageably. "Use older eggs," she advises Mashed, adding, "If the eggs are proving hard to peel, sometimes peeling them under running water makes the job easier." Another tried-and-true trick is to add a bit of vinegar to your hard boiled eggs to make peeling off the shell a less aggravating chore.
Once your eggs are de-shelled, you will place them in a bowl and get to mashing them with a fork, creating chunks that are larger or smaller, depending on your preference.
Combine your other ingredients with the mashed eggs for this egg salad recipe
To your mashed eggs, you will simply add the mayonnaise, mustard, salt, and pepper to make this egg salad recipe — how easy is cleanup going to be after this recipe is done? On that note, one word to the wise: Avoid putting egg shells down your kitchen sink drain. Not only can they create clogs, but the membranes can do damage to your garbage disposal.
Meanwhile, after adding the other ingredients to the eggs, you will stir combine. And now comes the best part: the tasting! Sampson recommends adding more salt and pepper to taste. Speaking of taste, we couldn’t help but wonder, um, what if you don’t care for mayo? Sampson told Mashed that luckily, there is a suitable substitute non-mayo fans can turn to, noting, "You could absolutely try using Greek yogurt."
Serve your egg salad recipe
We are so not mad at a simple recipe like Sampson’s classic, just-the-basics egg salad recipe. But we wanted to know if she had any tips she could share for spicing things up a bit if someone so desired. And guess what? It turns out her family is full of spice lovers as well, with Sampson telling Mashed, "We love sriracha in this recipe!" If this isn’t quite your cup of tea, she suggests, "You can also add bacon bits, pickle relish, dill pickle relish, more salt, Dijon mustard, and so much more to the recipe!"
Once you have customized your egg salad to your taste, Sampson recommends serve it on simple, soft white bread or wrapping it up in tortillas. This dish also works well served with crackers or pita chips as a dip, say, for a quickie appetizer, or even for lunch. Or why not simply scoop some egg salad on lettuce for a satisfying salad?