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Traditional Southern Deviled Eggs

Traditional Southern Deviled Eggs are a classic for a reason! They’re simply the perfect side dish for any party, barbecue, cook-out, or holiday. This classic recipe is easy, quick, and delicious!

A finished deviled egg on a white plate.

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No matter what the occasion, Traditional Southern Deviled Eggs are a perfect choice to serve and they’re so easy to make. You’ll boil a few eggs, mash the yolks together with a few simple ingredients, and you’re done! 

This is the very recipe that I learned from my mama. It’s the same way that everyone I grew up with made deviled eggs. They’re creamy and tangy with just a hint of sweetness. I’ve been eating them for as long as I can remember and they’re one of BeeBop’s favorites, too.

Deviled Eggsalso known as stuffed eggs, Russian eggs, or dressed eggs, are simply hard-boiled eggs that have been peeled, cut in half, and stuffed with a filling made from the egg yolks mixed with other ingredients such as mayonnaise and mustard. 

The term “deviled” in reference to food was in use in the 18th century with the first known print reference appearing in 1786. In the 19th century, it began to be used most often with reference to spicy or zesty food, including eggs prepared with mustard, pepper, or other ingredients stuffed into the yolk cavity.

Hope you enjoy this very simple, classic deviled egg recipe.

❤️ Why You’ll Love This Recipe


  • It’s so easy to make! Beginner cooks can easily accomplish pretty results with this recipe.
  • They’re so flavorful. That sweet-savory-tart combination of mayo, mustard, and pickle just can’t be beat!
  • They’re very versatile and can be served as either an appetizer or side dish with the filling adjusted to suit your personal preference.

🍳 Kitchen Tools You’ll Use


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🛒 About the Ingredients


Ingredients needed for making the recipe.
  • Eggs – Well, of course. People say that they’re easier to peel if they’re not super fresh. I’m not so sure about that. I prefer my eggs fresh. I think ease of peeling has more to do with the way they’re cooked and cooled than with their age.
  • Mayonnaise – I always use Duke’s mayonnaise. Or homemade. Use your favorite.
  • Mustard – For this recipe, plain old yellow ballpark-style mustard is the best choice.
  • Sweet Relish Sweet pickle relish is easy to find in any supermarket. Or you can finely chop your favorite sweet pickles or gherkins. I’ve used finely chopped bread and butter pickles as well – hint: they’re delicious!
  • Paprika – In my book, it’s not really a southern deviled egg without a little sprinkle of paprika on top.

You’ll find detailed measurements for all ingredients in the printable version of the recipe at the bottom of this post.

🔪 How to Make Classic Deviled Eggs


Boil and Peel the Eggs

  1. Place the eggs in a single layer in the bottom of a medium saucepan. Add water to cover the eggs by 1 inch. Cover the saucepan with a lid.
  2. Bring the eggs and water to a boil. Turn off the stove, remove the eggs from the heat, and let them stand in the water for 12 minutes.
  3. Drain the water from the saucepan Lightly crack the eggs in the pan and fill the pan with cold water and ice. Let the eggs stand in the ice water for 10 minutes.

👉 PRO TIP: My method for cracking the eggs is to drain the water from the pan leaving the eggs in the saucepan. Place the lid on the pan and briskly shake the pan to lightly crack all the eggs at once.

Boiled and peeled eggs.
STEP 4.
  1. Crack and peel the eggs under running cold water. Dry the peeled eggs.

Make the Filling

  1. Slice each egg in half lengthwise.
  2. Gently remove the egg yolks and place them in a small bowl.
  1. Mash the yolks with a fork.
  2. Add the mayonnaise, mustard, pickle relish, and salt and black pepper to taste. Mix until well combined.

Fill the Egg Halves

  1. Using a piping bag, a plastic resealable bag with one corner snipped, or a teaspoon, fill each egg white with the yolk mixture.
  2. Dust lightly with paprika.

⏲️ How To Make Ahead and Store


Deviled eggs may be made one day in advance and stored, covered, in the refrigerator. I recommend letting them stand at room temperature for about 15-20 minutes before serving for the best flavor. It goes without saying that they just really can’t be frozen.

Finished deviled eggs on a wooden board.

🔀 Recipe Variations


  • Add a teaspoon of prepared horseradish to the filling for a real kick!
  • Some cooks like to add curry powder. Use about 3/4 teaspoon.
  • Try adding two slices of very crispy crumbled bacon.
  • Garnish with a slice of pimiento-stuffed olive on top of each half.
  • Use a dash of cayenne pepper instead of ground black pepper.

❓ Questions About Deviled Eggs


How many deviled eggs should I make per person?

I count one whole egg (two halves) as a serving per person for deviled eggs.

What can I do with leftover deviled eggs?

Leftover deviled eggs make fantastic egg salad! Chop the deviled eggs and, if needed, add a few tablespoons of mayonnaise. Serve on your choice of bread. Or add them to a big chef’s salad. I’ve even had leftover deviled eggs sauteed, filling side down, in a tiny amount of butter, and served on toast – delicious! 

Finished deviled eggs on a white plate.
Lana Stuart.

More Questions? I’m happy to help!

If you have more questions about the recipe, or if you’ve made it and would like to leave a comment, scroll down to leave your thoughts, questions, and/or rating!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

📖 Recipe

A finished deviled egg on a white plate.

Traditional Southern Deviled Eggs

Traditional Southern Deviled Eggs are just about perfect for any party, barbecue, or holiday. This classic recipe is easy and delicious!
5 from 7 votes
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Course: Side Dishes
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 105kcal
Author: Lana Stuart

Ingredients

  • 6 hard boiled eggs
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
  • 3 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • paprika

Instructions

  • Place the eggs in a single layer in the bottom of a medium saucepan. Add water to cover the eggs by 1 inch. Cover the saucepan with a lid.
  • Bring the eggs and water to a boil. Turn off the stove, remove the pan from the heat, and let stand for 12 minutes.
  • Drain the water from the saucepan. Lightly crack the eggs in the pan and fill the pan with cold water and ice. Let the eggs stand in the ice water for 10 minutes.
  • Crack and peel the eggs under running cold water. Dry the peeled eggs.
  • Slice each egg in half lengthwise. Gently remove the egg holks and place them in a small bowl.
  • Mash the yolks with a fork.
  • Add the mayonnaise, mustard, pickle relish, and salt and black pepper to taste. Mix until well combined.
  • Using a piping bag or a teaspoon, fill each egg white with the yolk mixture.
  • Dust lightly with paprika.

Notes

  • To easily crack the eggs, drain the water from the pan leaving the eggs in the saucepan. Place the lid on the pan and briskly shake the pan to lightly crack all the eggs at once.
  • Deviled eggs may be made one day in advance and stored, covered, in the refrigerator. I recommend letting them stand at room temperature for about 15-20 minutes before serving for the best flavor.

Nutrition Information

Serving 1 | Calories 105kcal | Carbohydrates 4g | Protein 6g | Fat 7g | Saturated Fat 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat 2g | Monounsaturated Fat 2g | Trans Fat 1g | Cholesterol 188mg | Sodium 287mg | Potassium 69mg | Fiber 1g | Sugar 3g | Vitamin A 357IU | Vitamin C 1mg | Calcium 27mg | Iron 1mg

Nutrition information is calculated by software based on the ingredients in each recipe. It is an estimate only and is provided for informational purposes. You should consult your healthcare provider or a registered dietitian if precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.

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Finished deviled eggs on a decorative platter.

— This post was originally published on May 4, 2010. It has been updated with new photos and additional information.

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63 Comments

  1. Merrill Guice says:

    The reason for using 2 week old eggs is the the protein membrane between the shell and the egg white has weakened.

    I am a fan of putting eggs in a steamer. Nine minutes, pull them out to iced water and go on as before. You get perfect boiled eggs with NO DIVOTS!!

  2. 5 stars
    I have added three recipes to my collection today, Lana, the Leek and Potato Soup. the Easy Peach Turnovers and these casual and comfortable Deviled Eggs. Thank you so much for sharing them with us. I am very grateful to you. Everything I have made form your weekly messages has been a success and I am asked for repeats by my family. I hope you have a terrific weekend and next I will be studying your Easter goodies. Thank you, Marjory

  3. ColleenB.~ Tx. says:

    Family loves deviled eggs so when ever the eggs are requested I am normally the one who makes them which means I end up boiling 3 doz. eggs to please the family.
    I do add just a bit of Dijon mustard in mine along with the yellow mustard. and adding just a ‘pinch’ of curry powder makes for a nice touch.
    ‘Wicked Chickens Lay Deviled Eggs’ :}

    1. Lana Stuart says:

      I think my mama puts a little curry powder in hers. It’s very good!

  4. I just love deviled eggs. Always have. I like to make extra so that I can use the leftovers to make egg salad. One trick that I picked up for egg salad is to grate the eggs. That is supposed to be the way that they do it at Augusta National for those traditional marvelous egg salad sandwiches. Give it a try!

    Miss P

    1. Lana Stuart says:

      That’s a good idea! I’m going to try it next time.

  5. I also use the Ziploc bag method I use my pinking shears to cut the corner off of bag and then squeeze onto egg white, makes a pretty pattern

  6. Like this recipie. Am going to make them as per your recipie before I add Curry Powder which I am partial to. Great one to share with my vegetarian daughter. thank you

  7. Lisa M in Indy says:

    Perfect. Can’t improve on perfection.

  8. And I also am from Georgia (Atlanta) and I, too, have never heard of putting onions in devilled eggs…regional thing, I imagine…

  9. Sometimes the spices are too strong for me in sweet relish, so I usually use minced baby kosher dill pickles. I also like using Miracle Whip. And I really like the idea of using a zip lock bag to “squirt” the filling into the egg halves. I am going to try that next time!

  10. I make mine with equal parts mayonnaise and horseradish sauce, but no relish. I’m a bit of a purist when it comes to the smooth texture. ;)

    I use the ziplock bag when transporting, too, and always freeze the egg plate before using it. Another nice touch is to top with either the traditional paprika and/or a slice of olive.

    And drat! Now I’m hungry for some!

    1. I use a sandwich bag to “squirt the yolks back into the shell. my girlfriend adds bacon and uses miracle whip instead of mayo but the bacon is so yum in the eggs!! ALL of your recipes and other variations are great! thank you so much!! Happy Easter!!

  11. This is exactly the recipe I have been making since 1967….My family always wanted me to bring the deviled eggs and the potato salad to every family get together….

  12. Hi Lana, Happy Easter! I’m not a big egg eater, so when my son was a child and wanted Deviled Eggs I found a way to make them so that I could eat them. No mustard, no pickles in eggs( I love both ). I use equal amounts of mayo(Hellman’s) and sour cream, salt, white pepper, onion powder, dash or 2 of garlic powder and dill weed(fresh or dried). I use dill weed on top/sometimes chives/and real bacon crumbled is delicious. I would love if you would try it. Spices are to taste- just be sure to use enough. They never last long!

  13. I don’t use relish in mine, but I do use pureed Vidalia onion, and push the yolk thru a strainer, I also use half honey mustard & half yellow mustard.

  14. sue buresh says:

    another ingredient that is delicious is deviled eggs is horseradish. Really gives them a kick!

  15. Jean Campbell says:

    I’ve lived in north Georgia and south Georgia and never had onions in deviled eggs. Never had pickle in deviled eggs in north Georgia. Our deviled eggs were mostly egg. My late SIL put a pimento-stuffed olive slice atop hers. I would not be opposed to ripe olives in or on my deviled eggs.

    1. Lana Stuart says:

      I haven’t used onion in mine either, Jean, but I’d try it.

  16. I’m from Georgia and I have never made deviled eggs without onions.. To me, and everyone that I know from the south, say’s that they are just not southern made deviled eggs without them. Everything else in this recipe is perfect though..

    1. Lana Stuart says:

      Isn’t that funny? I’m from Georgia, too, and I’ve never had deviled eggs *with* onions. Nobody I know puts onions in theirs, either. Interesting how recipes differ from place to place.

  17. sue buresh says:

    I add horseradish to my deviled eggs. Delish!!!

  18. Joleen Greenwood says:

    Am I the only one who also adds in real bacon bits or crumbled crispy bacon to the yolk mix?

    1. Lana Stuart says:

      I don’t Joleen, but it sounds really delicious!

  19. Lisa in Indy says:

    Your recipe is identical to mine – 2 great minds! Others I’ve heard use pickle juice w/o the relish but we like the relish tang. I also add finely chopped onion. I wonder if a dash or 2 of Tabasco would enliven them, but how can you improve on perfection?! I sacrifice a whole chopped boiled egg to the yellow to give more filling to the halves. Also, I boil the eggs and then when they are rolling for a short few seconds, I remove the pot from the heat. Let sit for about 20 minutes. Drain and run under cold water and let sit in some ice water until cooled. If you tap the ends of the eggs and let sit in the cold water, it seeps in and helps loosen the shell. When ready to peel, I roll the egg on the counter until all the shell is in tiny pieces on the egg. Then I peel under cold water. That seems to help avoid the eggs from being shredded by the shell. Also, using eggs not newly purchased is supposed to help in peeling. Thanks for the recipe and reminder. I was just wondering what to take to the family Independence Day Celebration!

    1. Lisa in Indy says:

      …plus, I sprinkle smoked paprika on the egg tops.

  20. Louise MI says:

    I use a straner and smash the egg yoke through the size you use to sift flour with, it really makes the filling creamy.

    1. Lana Stuart says:

      That’s a great idea, Louise! I’ll remember to do that next time.

  21. oops. I forgot to mention the addition of parsley!!

  22. I use salt/pepper, dill, grated onion, yellow mustard, Hellman’s Mayo (aka Best Foods), sometimes a bit of cayenne pepper (if the crowd is a tad younger), and after filling the whites again, I sprinkle paprika and stick a tiny square slice of carrot in the top. Folks have been favorably commenting on that bit of crunch.

    My deviled eggs are asked for everytime I am invited to a get-together. Well, so, too, is my fried cauliflower! Oh yum!!

  23. I use the same recipe but I like mine with a little twang to it. I put a little vinegar and some cayenne pepper to spice it up a notch!!

    1. Lana Stuart says:

      That vinegar and cayenne sure sounds good, Dee! I’m going to try that next time I make these.

      1. I think you’ll like them . Enjoy!! ;-0

  24. Try adding a heavy pinch of curry powder. It’s really great for a bit of a change-up!

    1. Lana Stuart says:

      Great idea, Janine. I’ll try that!

  25. Melanie White says:

    I make my deviled eggs the same way you do! I do add a few drops of Lea & Perrin’s sauce….

    I just found your website on Pintrest…..I love your recipes…and pictures!!

  26. Thank goodness you add pickle relish. I married into a Yankee family and for 30 years I’ve had to cart my own relish to holiday meals to add to my deviled eggs!

    1. Your comment just made me giggle. I can just picture you carrying in your jar of pickle relish :-)

  27. Mmmm Deviled eggs! I make them exactly like this. They are totally awesome!

  28. I love your recipes because they are so easy to make and they yield such lovely looking results! Definitely going to try this recipe and the cilantro lime shrimp over summer! xxxx

  29. I put 3oz of soften cream cheese it really gives it a great change.
    Also I have tried cheese spread the kids really like.

    1. I would never have thought of cream cheese in deviled eggs. I’ll have to give that a try!

  30. I use the cooked egg yolks, mayo, mustard, a little finely chopped onion (either vidalia or green onions — with the green onions can sprinkle a little of extra green part on top), finely chopped celery, and dill pickle. Dang, now I want a couple!!!!

  31. Instead of paprika I us cayenne pepper. Same color but more of a bite!
    Yum, yum!

  32. Exactly how my southern belle mother made them!!! I love reading your southern recipes.

  33. Just a heads up for future reference….the recipe looks great but your 3rd photo of the cooked/sliced eggs could have been better. The eggs are waaaay over cooked. Eggs should never be cooked to the point where they turn that strange shade of grayish-green. There are plenty of sites showing the proper way to boil eggs. :)

  34. Rosemaryandthegoat says:

    I love deviled eggs and we can do bar-b-q without having them. I have also put a small dollop of guacamole on top of each egg. Delicious.

    1. The guacamole sounds great! Yum.

  35. Your beautiful photograph is on the front page of Serious Eats right now. (In case you didn’t know).

  36. Amy from She Wears Many Hat says:

    This is one of my favorite of all time too! Makes me hungry looking at em. AND no carb (or extremely low carb).

  37. Such a pretty photo! I love deviled eggs, but for some odd reason, I’ve never made my own. Yours look simple and pretty perfect!

  38. Deanna @ marzipan says:

    a touch of mustard and a touch of horseradish!

  39. I make mine with dill relish, dijon mustard and mild herbs such as Fines Herbs which is a mix of chervil, parsley, tarragon and chives. They are so different that they just disappear!! Best of all, nobody can quite put their finger on what makes them unusual.

    Also, a trick I learned was to put the deviled part in a ziploc bag for transit to the picnic or potluck. When you get there, all you have to do is clip the corner of the ziploc and pipe the goodies into the egg halves. That way, you don’t have to worry about everything getting all mushed up together during the ride.

    1. Great tip about traveling with deviled eggs! Also, some really interesting additions to the filling with the fines herbs, etc. Thanks for the great information, Tracey.

  40. I love those little devils! I like them with sweet pickle relish too!

  41. laurel chmielowiec-tanaka says:

    i leave the egg deviling to my mom. i know she uses mustard powder, and dill pickle juice, but i can’t remember if she uses sweet relish or chopped dill pickle…

  42. Barbara @ moderncomfortfood says:

    Deviled eggs and summertime go together in my mind like salt and pepper: a perfect match I keep experimenting with weird new variations — my husband suggested the addition of anchovies today (yuck!) — but keep coming back to a classic recipe like yours as the tried and true best. Just wonderful.

    1. Barbara, It seems that I’ve heard of someone else adding anchovies to deviled eggs. Or maybe placing one atop the finished egg. The flavor could be interesting.

  43. I totally miss the curry powder in these! That tastes awesome :)

    1. I never thought of using curry powder in them, but I bet it’s great! I’m so going to do that next time.

  44. My entire troop loves deviled eggs. That is one thing I can count on there not being leftover after having dinner with them!

  45. jenn (Bread + Butter) says:

    Mmmm…before or after Easter, it doesn’t matter as long as you post it up. Yummy delicious deviled eggs.