pickled eggs recipe

Pickled Eggs Recipe – Easy Guide & Variations

This pickled eggs recipe is my favorite for making traditional pickled eggs. They’re tangy, salty with a bit of spice, and they’re absolutely delicious.

In this guide, we’ll dive into what makes pickled eggs such a great snack, show you how to make your eggs peel perfectly every time, and give you a delicious pickled eggs recipe that’s super easy to follow. I’ll also toss in some variations you can try and tips on how to serve them. Whether you’re trying to jazz up your snack lineup or find new favorites for your meal prep, stick around to learn all about mastering the art of pickled eggs.

eggs in cartons for pickled eggs recipe

Why I Love Pickled Eggs

Pickled eggs are a great snack. They’ve got everything you could want: they’re tangy, they’ve got just the right amount of salt, and they pack a nice little kick of spice that wakes up your taste buds. But there’s more to my love for pickled eggs than just their delicious taste.

First off, they’re incredibly healthy. Eggs are a powerhouse of nutrients, packed with high-quality protein, vitamins, and minerals, all wrapped up in a low-calorie package. When you pickle them, you’re not just extending their shelf life; you’re also infusing them with flavors that turn a simple egg into a delicious treat.

Then there’s the practical side of things. Anyone who raises chickens knows the struggle of having too many eggs. During peak laying season, I often feel like the eggs are taking over my kitchen! Pickling eggs is a great solution. It not only helps manage the surplus but also ensures that we have tasty snacks on hand. Plus, seeing jars of beautifully pickled eggs lined up on the shelf is strangely satisfying.

pickled eggs recipe
Pickled Eggs Recipe

What Are Pickled Eggs?

Pickled eggs might sound fancy, but they’re really just hard-boiled eggs that have taken a long soak in a vinegar-based brine. This process not only gives them their distinctive piquant flavor but also preserves them, which is why they’ve been a popular staple in many cultures for years.

The Pickling Process

The basic idea behind pickling eggs is simple. You start with hard-boiled eggs, peel them, and then submerge them in a mixture of vinegar, salt, spices, and sometimes other flavorings like garlic or herbs. The eggs soak up these flavors over a few days, transforming them from plain boiled eggs into something entirely different.

A Bit of History

Historically, pickling was a way to preserve food for longer periods. Before refrigeration, people needed reliable methods to store food safely, and pickling eggs was an excellent way to keep a protein-rich food source available throughout the year, especially in rural areas.

Why Vinegar?

Vinegar is the key ingredient in the pickling liquid because its acidity not only flavors the eggs but also creates an environment where bacteria can’t thrive, which helps preserve the eggs. The acidity of the vinegar softens the eggs’ exterior, allowing the flavors of the brine to seep in, making each bite a burst of tangy, savory goodness.

The Versatility of Pickled Eggs

One of the beauties of pickled eggs is their versatility. They can be as simple or as complex as you like. Some people love their pickled eggs spicy, adding chili peppers to the brine for a fiery kick. Others might prefer a sweeter version, using beet juice to add sweetness and a vibrant pink color that makes them a visual treat as well.

pickled eggs recipe

Making Easy-To-Peel Hard-Boiled Eggs

Anyone who’s ever made hard-boiled eggs knows the frustration of peeling them. Sometimes the shell sticks, tearing chunks out of the whites and leaving you with a less-than-perfect looking egg. Luckily, there are a few tricks to ensure your eggs peel easily, making them ready for their pickling debut.

Start with Older Eggs

It might sound counterintuitive, but older eggs peel more easily. Fresh eggs have a lower pH level, which causes the egg white to adhere more strongly to the shell. As eggs age, the pH level rises and the membrane separating the white from the shell loosens, simplifying the peeling process. So, if you’ve got eggs that have been in your fridge for a week or two, those are your best candidates for hard-boiling.

Use the Right Boiling Technique

The way you boil your eggs can also affect how easily they peel. Here’s a foolproof method:

  1. Bring water to a boil – Start with enough water in a pot to cover the eggs by an inch or two. Bring it to a rolling boil.
  2. Add eggs carefully – Lower your eggs gently into the boiling water using a slotted spoon or a ladle. This helps prevent the shells from cracking on impact.
  3. Boil for the right time – Boil large eggs for 12 minutes for firm yolks. 
  4. Shock in cold water – As soon as the boiling time is up, transfer the eggs to a bowl of ice water or run them under cold tap water for a few minutes. This stops the cooking process and causes the egg to contract slightly in the shell, helping it separate from the shell lining.

A Bit of Baking Soda

Adding a teaspoon of baking soda to the boiling water can raise the pH of the water, which in turn makes the eggs easier to peel. This isn’t necessary if your eggs are already a bit older, but it can help if you’re using fresher eggs.

pickled eggs recipe
Pickled Eggs Recipe

Pickled Eggs Recipe

Now that we’ve mastered the art of making easy-to-peel hard-boiled eggs, let’s move on to the exciting part—making the pickled eggs recipe! 


To start, gather the following ingredients for your pickled eggs:

  • 12 hard-boiled eggs, peeled
  • 4 cups of apple cider vinegar (can use white vinegar if you prefer a clear liquid)
  • 1 tablespoon of pickling spices
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/3 cup of sugar
  • 2 medium onions sliced thin
  • Optional: garlic cloves, chili peppers, or beet juice (1 cup) for added flavor and color


Boil the Eggs:

You’ve already got this part down from our previous section. Just make sure your eggs are hard-boiled and peeled smoothly.

Make the Pickling Brine:

  1. Combine the Ingredients – In a large pot, combine all ingredients except the eggs. If you’re adding garlic, chili peppers , or other spices, throw those in too.
  2. Bring to a Boil – Heat the mixture on medium-high until it reaches a boil, and simmer for 5 minutes. This helps the flavors meld together and ensures the salt and sugar to dissolve completely.
  3. Cool the Brine – Remove the pot from the heat and let the brine cool to room temperature. This is crucial, as adding hot brine to the eggs could cook them further and change their texture.

Pickle the Eggs:

  1. Place Eggs in a Glass Jar – Arrange the peeled eggs in a large, clean jar. You can use one big jar or several smaller ones, depending on how many batches you want to make or if you want to try different flavor variations.
  2. Pour the Brine Over the Eggs – Once the brine has cooled, pour it over the eggs in the jar, ensuring they are completely submerged. If you’re using beet juice for coloring, add it now to achieve that vibrant hue.
  3. Seal and Store – Close the jar tightly and leave on the counter to cool for 24 hours. After this, place in the refrigerator. The pickling process will take about a week, during which the eggs will absorb all those wonderful flavors. The longer they sit, the more flavorful they will become.  These can be safely stored in the fridge for 3-4 month, but I doubt they’ll last that long!

And that’s it! You’ve made your batch of homemade pickled eggs. Remember, patience is key—the longer your eggs pickle, the better they will taste.

pickled eggs recipe
Pickled Eggs Recipe - Variations
pickled eggs recipe
Pickled Eggs Recipe - Variations

Pickled Eggs Recipe Variations

Here are some enticing variations to the classic pickled eggs recipe that you might want to try that allow you to customize your pickled eggs to suit any palate or occasion:

  • Spicy Pickled Eggs: Add slices of jalapeños or habaneros, or sprinkle in some crushed red pepper flakes for a fiery kick.
  • Beet Pickled Eggs: For a dramatic look and earthy taste, add a cup of beet juice and some cooked beet chunks to the brine.
  • Curry Pickled Eggs: Spice things up by adding a tablespoon of curry powder to the brine. For extra zing, include turmeric, cumin, and a hint of cayenne.
  • Garlic and Herb Pickled Eggs: Create a European-inspired version by infusing the brine with crushed garlic cloves, dill, thyme, or rosemary.
  • Create Your Own Flavor: Feel free to experiment with different vinegars, such as balsamic or red wine vinegar, and add other spices or herbs to craft a unique flavor profile.
pickled eggs recipe
Pickled Eggs Recipe - How to Serveecipe

How To Serve Pickled Eggs

Now that you’ve got a jar full of flavorful pickled eggs, you might be wondering about the best ways to enjoy them. Here are some fantastic ideas for serving your homemade pickled eggs, whether you’re enjoying them solo or sharing them at a gathering:

 a Standalone Snack

    • Classic Snack: Serve pickled eggs as they are, chilled from the fridge. They make a perfect low-carb, protein-packed snack anytime.
    • With a Twist: Slice them up and sprinkle a little paprika or a dash of hot sauce on top for an extra flavor kick.

On Charcuterie Boards

    • Elegant Appetizer: Place whole or halved pickled eggs on a charcuterie board alongside cheeses, meats, and crackers for a delightful contrast in flavors and textures.
    • Garnish with Herbs: Garnish with small sprigs of dill or parsley to enhance their visual appeal and add a fresh flavor note.

In Salads

    • Protein Boost: Chop pickled eggs and toss them into your favorite green salad for a tangy, protein-rich addition.
    • Potato Salad: Mix sliced pickled eggs into a potato salad for an extra layer of flavor and a colorful presentation.

As Part of a Meal

    • Sandwich Filler: Use sliced pickled eggs as a filling in sandwiches or wraps, especially with meats like ham or salami that complement the eggs’ tanginess.
    • With Legumes: Serve pickled eggs with a side of beans or lentils for a hearty, nutritious meal that balances the eggs’ acidity.

At Parties

    • Bar Snack: Offer pickled eggs at your home bar; they’re a perfect match for cold beers or crisp ciders.
    • Picnic Treat: Pack them for picnics as they are convenient, mess-free, and delicious, even at room temperature.

Creative Plating

    • Deviled Eggs: Turn your pickled eggs into deviled eggs by halving them, removing the yolks, and mixing the yolks with ingredients like mayonnaise, mustard, and spices, then spooning the mixture back into the whites.

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