If there’s a single crowd-pleasing appetizer, especially around the holidays, it has to be deviled eggs. Everybody seems to have their own recipe, usually passed down through generations, and claim it’s the best deviled eggs recipe ever. Even though deviled eggs have origins dating back to ancient Rome, the incredible simplicity of ingredients not only makes a timeless classic, but provides a blank canvas for making changes so that you can call a recipe your own. And if you’ve sampled enough deviled eggs at parties over the years, you’ve no doubt encountered some that are inexplicably bad.

To avoid being the guest who brings dry and bland deviled eggs to your next party, you’ll want to try this recipe that has a secret ingredient that I can guarantee nobody else at the party is using in their eggs. It will provide a unique kick that tastes great, but nobody will be able to put their finger on what it’s from. Let’s get started.

The Best Deviled Eggs Recipe


  • 12 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise or Miracle Whip
  • 2 Tbsp dijon or spicy mustard
  • 2 Tbsp kosher dill pickle juice
  • 1-2 Tbsp sambal oelek
  • Salt and pepper
  • Paprika
  • Fresh dill for garnish

Preparing the Deviled Eggs

This goes without saying, but you’ll start by hard boiling the eggs. This simple step alone can create debates as to the best way to boil an egg, so just stick with the method that works best for you. For those of you who may still have trouble getting the perfect egg, I’ll share my process.

Start with old eggs. Usually we are in search of only the freshest ingredients, but when it comes to peeling hard-boiled eggs, fresh eggs will be nothing but trouble. So, let the eggs sit in your refrigerator for a week or so before boiling them, or seek out eggs at the store that are close to the sell by date. Next, place the eggs in a saucepan or pot and cover with cold water. Place on high heat and bring to a boil. When the water begins to boil I set a timer for 12 minutes and continue boiling for for two minutes. Then I remove from the heat and let the eggs sit for the remaining 10 minutes. When time is up I dump the water out and fill the pot with cold water, drain, and fill again once or twice more until the water remains cold. After letting the eggs sit in the cold water for about 10 minutes they will be ready to peel and will be perfectly cooked.

After peeling the eggs you’ll want to cut them in half lengthwise and carefully remove the yolks to set aside in a bowl. Another quick tip: If you want to make sure you have plenty of filling, boil two extra eggs for the yolks. This will ensure you don’t run out of filling, and it gives you a couple extra backup whites in case some of the eggs don’t peel easily and become damaged.

Separating the Whites and Yolks

Separating the egg whites and yolks.

Now it’s time to add the goodies. But before we get to that, it’s time to mention the secrets to this recipe. For starters, deviled eggs need a little heat. Most people simply rely on dijon mustard or possibly some horseradish, cayenne pepper, or hot sauce. Those work great, but if you want something really unique, you’ll want to think Indonesia. Crazy, right? For this recipe we’re going to get most of our heat from sambal oelek. If you’re not familiar with sambal, it’s a chili-based sauce or paste that’s typically used as a condiment in southeast Asia. Sambal oelek is certainly spicy, but it also has an amazing rich pepper/chili flavor that you simply won’t get by adding a little hot sauce or cayenne pepper. Most large supermarkets carry it, but if you don’t see it in the ethnic food aisle, any Asian market will certainly carry it. And it’s inexpensive. There are different brands, but below is the most common that you’ll find in stores here.

Sambal Oelek

The most common brand of sambal oelek in stores.

Now that we’ve identified the primary secret ingredient I just wanted to touch on a few more subtle recipe notes that make these deviled eggs stand out. When it comes to mustard, any dijon or spicy mustard is fine, but there’s one style in particular that I think works the best. I always go for a Belgian style mustard with some horseradish in it. Again, this adds another layer of heat that goes perfectly with the eggs. If you’re local to the Michiana area, look for Stanz mustard at Martin’s Supermarkets. Stanz is a South Bend company so not only does it taste great, but it’s made right here.

Next, I only use kosher dill pickle juice. To me, this gives you more garlic flavor and less vinegar and dill. This is a personal preference thing, but I’d give the kosher dills a try for sure if you’ve got some. Even better, if you make your own pickles, you can put that juice to good use.

Finally, the great mayonnaise debate. Should you use real mayonnaise or Miracle Whip? Purists will say it has to be real mayo, while others swear Miracle Whip is the way to go. I love mayonnaise on sandwiches and won’t even touch Miracle Whip if I have a choice, but here’s the thing. I’ve made deviled eggs dozens of times over the years and I’ve tried both real mayo and Miracle Whip, and guess what? Miracle Whip wins. I don’t even like to admit it because of my love for regular mayonnaise, but for deviled eggs and this recipe in particular, the added zing of Miracle Whip is best. If you’re a real mayo fan and don’t trust me, go ahead and split the yolks and do a batch with each and try it for yourself.

With all of that out of the way, add the mayo/whip, mustard, sambal, pickle juice, and salt and pepper to taste to the bowl of yolks and start mashing it together with a fork.

Deviled Eggs Recipe Ingredients

All of the filling ingredients in the bowl ready to be mashed.

While I provided measurements for a batch of 12 eggs, keep in mind that this is just a starting point. You should be tasting the filling as you go and make adjustments as necessary. Not spicy enough? Add more sambal. Can’t taste the mustard? Add another tablespoon. Consistency too thick? Add more mayo or pickle juice. After a few tastes and additions, you’ll have it dialed in so that it’s perfect for your tastes.

Finally, all that’s left to do is to grab a spoon and start stuffing the egg whites. Personally, I like the more rustic look of just using a spoon instead of piping the filling in, but that’s up to you. On Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Easter when I usually make deviled eggs, they get eaten so fast nobody pays attention to what they look like anyway. But to give the eggs a touch of elegance, garnish with a sprinkle of good paprika and a little bit of fresh dill or chives. The bright green and red really stands out against the white and yellow egg and make them look great.

So, give this deviled egg recipe a try. It sticks with the basic framework of the classic, but with a few twists that make it unique. You’ll wow your guests and everyone will be begging you for the recipe.

Deviled Eggs

A bunch of deviled eggs waiting for the guests to arrive.

About the Author

Food is an experience. It's a way to share a bond with friends and family, and most importantly, it's fun. Join me as I explore the local food offerings here in Michiana and share some of my favorite recipes and tools of the trade.

5 Comments on this article. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Jen L | Tartine and Apron Strings November 7, 2012 at 10:24 am - Reply

    Definitely retro, but with a modern, exotic twist! I love Deviled Eggs!

  2. alex November 8, 2012 at 12:10 pm - Reply

    Made these as a potluck contribution last night and they were a huge hit! I even put them on a special devilled egg tray from the 50s.

  3. Jeremy Vohwinkle November 8, 2012 at 12:37 pm - Reply

    Great to hear, Alex. Glad they turned out and were a hit.

  4. Lazy Man and Money November 10, 2012 at 8:44 pm - Reply

    Found that the eggs peel easier if you put them in water that is already boiling, rather than heat the water with the eggs already it.

    I also recommend this egg timer: Norpro Egg Rite Egg Timer. Just add it to the water with the eggs.

    When the timer shows that the eggs are ready, I cool them quickly with ice water (plenty of ice).

    That’s just me and I’m not anything close to a cook.

  5. Yum Girl December 11, 2012 at 3:05 pm - Reply

    What a beautiful presentation. If I may, I’d like to invite you to submit your photos to the new YumGoggle, a photo sharing site with the philosophy that if you worked hard to cook it and photograph it, we should show it off! Hope to see you there soon! http://www.yumgoggle.com/gallery/

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