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.

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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Pickled Turmeric Eggs from Heidi Swanson of 101 Cookbooks

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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138 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Rick Goodwell

    So far my favorite is the curry pickled eggs. I have several pickled egg recipes and your curry is nearly the same as mine. Go to an Indian market and try it with several different curries until you find your favorite. I like the hotter ones.

    I don’t refrigerate my pickled eggs. I use ph test paper to get the acidity to a ph of 4.3 to 4.8 and keep them at room temp. The colors and flavor go deeper faster at room temp. Any ph below 5 is enough to kill most pathogens. Mine last 6-8 weeks at room temp. Like kimchi and olives, storing at room temp also encourages the growth of probiotics. All this was the point of pickling for the several thousand years before we had refrigeration.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  2. Rick

    I pickle eggs all the time. I use test paper to make sure the ph is at 4.3 to 4.8. (adding vinegar lowers ph, adding water raises ph) When the ph is right, I DO NOT refrigerate them. That’s the point of pickling. They will be good for 8 to 12 weeks. On occasion yeast will form on the surface of the pickling solution. You can ignore it or you can skim it off rinse off the eggs, boil the pickling solution for 5 minutes and put it all back together in a clean jar.

    P.S. color and flavor go deeper, faster when not refrigerated.

  3. Frank

    Easy, flavorful protein. I love pickles and you can always change the herbs and spices. Something good about pickling everything, seriously you can pickles anything!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  4. Thomas

    I just thew a bunch of eggs in the pickle juice from an empty bottle of Clauson pickles, a week later “Yummm” these recipes are my next step thanks.

  5. Linda

    Just watch out with the jars of pickled beets . Aunt Mille puts high fruocorn syrup in her beets. Bad stuff, but they use it because it is cheaper than sugar. That is why I just use the salt free canned beets and add my own sugar and mothers apple cider vinegar. That is the best. 2 cans of salt free red beets with juice. And enough water to liquid of beets to make 4 cups. 6 Tlbs sugar and 6 Tlbs organic apple cider vinegar. Heat the liquid till sugar has devolved then pour over the eggs and beets and refrigerate for at least 3 or more days. These are the best, believe me.

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