Pickled Eggs

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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.

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Pickled Eggs Recipe

  • 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 apple 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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236 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Jasen

    Love the beet juice idea… although I cheat. I buy a jar of pickles and reuse the juice… one jar is good for 1-2 uses… lol. #semihomemade

    xxxxxyyyyy

  2. David

    My mother made these when I was a kid and that was back in the 50s when pickled eggs were staples in beer joints sitting on the bar at all times. So I’ve used everything from traditional pickling spices to any combo I feel like, it all works and the eggs literally keep forever. If they last that long. Quick on the run protein or egg salad! Ummm…

    xxxxxyyyyy

  3. Peter

    I have pickled eggs this way for years I also like to put sliced tomatoes ln with eggs and beets Oh yer you should try puting in a few garlic cloves as well.

  4. Rick

    Thank you for all the great recipes, I’ve already tried many of them and I am excited to try the pickled eggs. The pastrami and corned beef has so far been a huge success (have a batch on the smoker right now!). I really like to see the different combinations of spices people are using because I think there is nothing better than putting your own personal note of flavor into what you love to make for people. Simply recipes is quickly turning into my go to site!

  5. Bea

    All the options sound wonderful!! And they are on my list to try. Was wondering if you strain the liquid before you place it in the jars? (wondering about the floating dry oregano, etc.). Thanks!!

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