Pickled Eggs

Gluten-FreeVegetarianEggPickle

Pickled eggs! Four ways. Brilliant fuchsia red beet pickled eggs, a Indian version featuring yellow curry, jalapeno pickled eggs, and a tarragon mustard version.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

What are pickled eggs?

Have you ever made pickled eggs? I had never even heard of them until a reader asked for a recipe, and when I mentioned them to my dad, he told me they were bar food.

(“Since when do you go to bars, dad?” “Before I met your mother.” “So 50 years ago you could get pickled eggs in bars, in Minnesota.” “Yes.”)

Bar culture aside, two of my favorite foods are pickles and hard boiled eggs, so why not pickle the eggs? 

Beet Pickled Eggs

Apparently a popular way to pickle eggs is in beet juice, so that the egg whites turn a pretty fuchsia pink. A few weeks after I made my first batch I was served beet pickled eggs in a salad at a bar/restaurant in Gettysburg. They were pickled all the way through the yolk, turning the yolk slightly pink as well.

The longer you keep the eggs in the pickling liquid, the deeper it penetrates into the eggs. I’m guessing to pickle them all the way through you have to keep them in the liquid at least a couple of weeks.

Beautiful Pink Pickled Eggs on Plate

How to Make Pickled Eggs

What follows is the result of several weeks of experimentation (and several dozens of eggs!) with different pickling mixtures. We have a beet pickled egg with cardamom and star anise, as well as a curried pickled egg with Indian spices, a jalapeño pickled egg with cumin and oregano, and a tarragon pickled egg with mustard seeds. Take your pick!

I think the best pickled eggs are the beet pickled eggs. They are my favorite because they’re so pretty and I love beets. The spice combinations are prime candidates for experimentation, play around with them and include your favorite spices or herbs for egg salad.

These are refrigerator pickled eggs. I don’t really know how long they’ll last in the refrigerator, but I’m guessing at least several weeks.

Quick Pickled Egg Tip

I did find that the pickling liquid needs to have vinegar diluted with water. Straight vinegar is just too acidic. I like adding sugar because it helps balance the acidity of the vinegar and I like a slightly sweet pickle.

If any of you are old hands at making pickled eggs, please feel free to share your expertise (or favorite recipe) in the comments.

Updated July 1, 2018 : Introduction updated

Pickled Eggs Recipe

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  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: Makes 6 pickled eggs

Ingredients

Beet pickled eggs with cardamom and anise

  • 1 beet, peeled and roughly chopped into 1 to 2-inch sized pieces, cooked*
  • 1 cup beet juice*
  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/4 onion, sliced
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 cardamom pods
  • 1 star anise
  • 6 hard cooked eggs**, peeled

*Simmer the chopped beets in a cup of water, covered, until tender, 30-40 minutes, or used canned beets. Use the beet juice from the cooking water, or the juice from canned beets.

Curried pickled eggs

  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 onion, sliced
  • 3/4 cup white granulated sugar
  • 3 cardamom pods
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds (yellow or brown)
  • 1 Tbsp yellow curry powder
  • 6 hard cooked eggs**, peeled

Jalapeno pickled eggs

  • 3/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp white granulated sugar
  • 6 cloves
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, sliced in half lengthwise, seeds removed and discarded
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry oregano
  • 1/4 onion, sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 6 hard cooked eggs**, peeled

Tarragon pickled eggs

  • 3/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 onion, sliced
  • 2 sprigs fresh tarragon
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp white granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon herbs de provence
  • 6 hard cooked eggs**, peeled

**Steam the eggs until hard cooked. To steam the eggs, place in a steamer rack over boiling water, cover and steam for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and rinse with cold water. 

Special equipment:

  • 1 quart-sized canning jar

Method

1 Peel the eggs and place in the bottom of a clean, quart-sized glass jar.

2 In a medium saucepan, add the vinegar, water (or beet juice if using), the onion (and jalapeno if using), sugar, and spices. Bring to a boil and cook, uncovered, until the sugar has dissolved and the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool a few minutes.

3 Pour the vinegar onion mixture over the eggs in the jar, covering the eggs completely. If you are making the beet pickled eggs, place some or all of the cooked beets in with the eggs in the jar (this will help to bring color to the eggs, and you will have pickled beets as well.) Secure close the jar's cover. Refrigerate up to a month.

The pickled eggs will be ready to eat after a few days. The longer the eggs sit in the pickling juice, the more the pickling juice will penetrate the eggs.

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Products We Love

Links:

Pickled Turmeric Eggs from Heidi Swanson of 101 Cookbooks

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Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

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125 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  • Bill

    making them today for a reunion next Saturday; 2 doz. eggs, boiled & peeled; 3-15oz. cans whole beets; 2 cups sugar; 1 1/2 to 2 cups cider vinegar. Place eggs in 1 gal. glass jar, place all beets (drained) on top to hold down eggs. Heat all beet juice, vinegar, and sugar in pan until sugar dissolves; cover the eggs with the hot vinegar solution & let cool to room temp. Cover and let stand in the refrigerator about 4 days before serving. Will keep in the refrigerator at least a month or more; they will be eaten long before that.

  • Marge wiseman

    Gram had beet eggs every 4th of July and Easter. She made everything from scratch. I found that buying sliced pickled beets in jar tasted almost as good. Just get a large glass container with lid. Add hard boiled eggs, pour in pickled beet juice and some of the beets and keep in fridge. Ready next day and lasts for weeks.

  • JC Schneider

    Just a note. If you want hard boiled eggs that peel perfectly every time, bring water to a boil, add the eggs and boil for 13 minutes, then remove and place in ice water. Got this from “Cooks Illustrated”. It has never failed to work.

  • Gail Berish

    I made 2 quarts of pickled eggs in September, 2016. Did not try them until April, 2017. My son said they were the best eggs ever. I did keep them in the fridge the whole time. Also my recipe called for Dill which I didn’t see in any of the recipes printed above. Just an added spice that is sometimes hard to find.

  • Gordon Russ

    Have put eggs in left over pickle juice or pepper juice for years. Now will try canned beet juice. Yes many working man bars had pickled eggs, pigs feet and schrimp. They were a main stay for years. yes I have bought them there. The schrimp were a little messy they had to be pealed.

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