My mom’s classic Southern deviled eggs have been part of family gatherings, holidays and special occasions all my life. This recipe is simple to make, deliciously creamy and the traditional Southern style I grew up with. (And I’ve got some fun topping ideas you can try!)
Can you believe it's officially spring?! 🌷💐🌿
We've had a bit of a cold snap (though nothing compared to those of you still with snow) so it doesn't quite feel like it yet, but I'm happy it's here all the same.
Today, I’m excited to share with you an old family favorite.
This is my mom’s classic Southern deviled eggs. And I’ve been eating them ALL my life.
These traditional deviled eggs were part of nearly every Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter spread we had growing up, as well as most picnics and BBQs.
They are easy to make - I was always in there beside my mom, and often my grandmother too, helping to mix and stuff the eggs - and they turn out fabulous every single time.
The pickle relish in this recipe makes these more of a Southern style, as does using Duke’s mayonnaise if you are a traditionalist.
(My Aunt's version also adds a pinch of sugar or Splenda. We like to add sugar to all manner of foods, but I don’t think it’s necessary here and didn’t include it in the recipe card below.)
I think deviled eggs with relish have a great texture and a hint of sweetness that makes them extra irresistible.
I will say, I had to measure carefully as I was creating this recipe for you.
Both the recipe card I got from my mom and my Aunt’s recipe that she gave me did not include exact amounts. My mom just listed the ingredients and wrote, “Amounts depend on the # of eggs - you know!”
Cause we’ve made them so much, we do just know the consistency and taste when we get it there.
But I wanted to be a bit more specific for you.
You can feel free to invoke that spirit though and add a little more of this, that or the other as you make these to get them just the way you like.
Oh, and if you don’t particularly care for deviled eggs with pickle relish, you can leave it out. I’ve done that when I didn’t have any on hand and they were still delicious. Even a bit smoother, which some people may prefer.
(You can also check out my Google web story for these Southern deviled eggs!)
I also wanted to answer a few common questions about Mom’s classic Southern deviled eggs in case some of you aren't as intimately familiar with them as we are.
I made sure to consult my mom and I even checked with my Aunt on these as well, because I knew she would have opinions too.
All good Southern women do.
And we don’t always agree on the “right way” to do things.
Shocking, right? 😉
What’s the best way to peel hard-boiled eggs?
We are mostly old school. My mom and I let them cool a bit, tap them all over to crack them, then peel them under running water.
They say it helps not to use super fresh eggs. It has to do with the acidity level in the whites of the egg. Eggs bought at the grocery store are at least 30 days old, so they should be fine.
My aunt’s method is to drain the water from the pot they cooked in, then swish them around in the pan to crack them. She adds ice water, let’s them sit for about 5 minutes and then peels them.
There’s also a few other hacks you can try. Here's an article with 5 egg hacks (including videos) if you want to check it out.
By the way, you can also do baked hard boiled eggs instead of boiling them.
What are the best occasions to serve deviled eggs?
Anytime! Deviled eggs are especially great for holidays (Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas especially) as well as picnics and potlucks, BBQs and funerals. They work for brunch spreads as well as dinner spreads, so they're perfect no matter what time of day you have your big meal.
How many deviled eggs should I make?
My mom recommends cooking at least 1 full egg per person and probably a few extra.
What are the best toppings for deviled eggs?
You know I love toppings! Some fun ideas for deviled egg toppings: Sprinkle of paprika, chopped parsley, snipped chives, capers, pimientos, caviar or cooked, crumbled bacon.
And my grandmother used to serve these with an olive slice on top. 👌
How far in advance can you make deviled eggs?
You can make deviled eggs up to one day in advance.
How long do deviled eggs keep in the refrigerator?
Deviled eggs will keep for up to two days in the refrigerator. Store them in a single layer in a covered container.
What can you do with leftover deviled eggs?
Leftover deviled eggs can be used for appetizers, on salads or chopped down and used to make egg salad for sandwiches (like my egg salad BLT sandwich).
I also serve them on my Thanksgiving leftovers chef salad if we have extras after the big meal.
There you go, folks.
Decades of deviled egg wisdom for you, distilled down, plus a recipe with actual ingredient amounts. 🙌
I hope you give these a try and make them part of your family traditions.
P.S. That sweet little chicken plate in the photos? That was my grandmother’s, who we called Jamma. My aunt has her other deviled egg plate and she sent me this one to keep. ❤️
You can also check out some other holiday brunch recipes if you're looking to round out your spread.
Mom’s classic Southern deviled eggs
My mom’s classic Southern deviled eggs are simple to make, deliciously creamy and perfect for holidays, family gatherings and special occasions!
- 1 dozen large eggs
- 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
- ¼ to ⅓ cup mayonnaise (reduced fat is OK)
- 3-4 tablespoons sweet pickle cubes, drained (optional, see notes)
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Sprinkle of paprika, hot sauce or sriracha, chopped fresh parsley, snipped fresh chives, capers, pimientos, sprinkle of cayenne, caviar, cooked, crumbled bacon or an olive slice
- Place eggs in the bottom of a large pot and cover with cold water.
- Bring water to a boil over high heat. Turn off heat, cover the pan and let the eggs sit for 20 minutes.
- Drain the eggs and rinse them with cold water. (Alternatively you can do baked hard boiled eggs in the oven or make Instant Pot hard boiled eggs if you prefer.)
- Peel the cooled eggs then cut in half lengthwise. Scoop out the yellow yolks and place them in a small bowl. Plate egg white halves on serving plate.
- Use a fork to mash the egg yolks. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Season the mixture to taste with extra salt and pepper as needed.
- Fill each egg half with the yolk mixture, mounding it up a little. Sprinkle with any desired toppings and serve.
Relish: I use a sweet pickle relish, also sometimes called sweet salad cubes, for this recipe. It adds great flavor. However, some people prefer to skip it. I haven't tried this recipe with a dill pickle relish, so I can't say how that flavor would be.
Make ahead: You can make deviled eggs up to one day in advance. Store, covered, in the refrigerator, until ready to serve.
Leftovers: Leftover deviled eggs will keep for up to two days in the refrigerator. Store them in a single layer in a covered container.
Toppings: Fun topping ideas for deviled eggs: Sprinkle of paprika, hot sauce or sriracha, chopped fresh parsley, snipped fresh chives, capers, pimientos, sprinkle of cayenne, caviar, cooked, crumbled bacon or an olive slice.
Serving Size:1 deviled egg
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 56Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 94mgSodium: 66mgFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 3g
Officially spring but we have snow and minus degrees - a bit depressing! My grandmother in Romania used to make her deviled eggs exactly the same way, the same ingredients you use, world's apart. 🙂 🙂 They are delicious, I make them myself too from time to time.
Aw, I love that - how food brings us all together, no matter where we are! Such a classic recipe too 😊I hope spring temperatures find you soon Adina! XO
Liren | Kitchen Confidante
There's nothing like deviled eggs this time of year! I adore the platter, too!
Completely agree! And thanks, it's so special to have one that was my grandmother's!
What a wonderful recipe! Mom's recipes are always the best!
Thanks and I completely agree! 🙂
Toni | Boulder Locavore
Classic is always the best!
Abdul Rahman Qureshi
I will try
Do you use dill or sweet relish?
Hi there! It's not relish but it's the sweet pickle cubes or sweet salad cubes, as they are also called. I hope that helps!
Uhoh I got dill pickle relish!!!! Think it’s ok! I hate to have to fight these people back to the store. Wonder if the measurements would be the same??
My mom uses dill pickle relish and it tastes great!
Oh, great to know, thanks for sharing Megan!
I think that should work fine! And yes, same measurements. You can taste the filling as you go and adjust to your tastes. Hope you enjoy them!
I have always used sweet pickle relish! My family loves them ! Happy Thanksgiving!
“I’d hate to have to fight these people back at the store” 😂😂😂 I feel that! I bought dill pickle relish too, I’m sure it will be delicious
Haha, I know, I wouldn't want to go back to the store either. 😂 I'm sure they'll be great. Happy Thanksgiving!
I didn’t read once and got dill picked relish ugh. Nasty. Family recipe always called for sweet pickled relish.
I'm sorry it didn't turn out for you! I've never used dick pickle relish myself; I always use the sweet pickle relish or sweet pickle cubes for deviled eggs.
Pretty much my mom’s recipe too. We mix some paprika and a couple dashes of cayenne powder with the egg yolk mixture and top with more paprika and dried dill weed. Looks very Christmasy with the red and green.
That's great! Personally love a kick so I'd love the cayenne in mine, plus I love the red and green theme for the holidays! Thanks for sharing! 😊
My family loves deviled eggs. This is same way my great grandmother, grandmother and mom make theirs. I added a pinch of garlic powder (I use garlic in almost everything). Family loved them. Thank you for sharing!!
Yay, I'm so happy to hear you enjoyed these Kim! Thanks for sharing! 😊
Dukes is a must, and in Tennessee (among church folk) they’re called “dressed eggs”.
Duke's is definitely traditional 😊 And I love that - dressed eggs! Thanks for sharing Susan!
I like to use horseradish instead of relish in my deviled eggs. I call it my secret ingredient. My children love them!
Oooh, that sounds like a fun swap! I'll have to try it. Thanks for sharing Cecelia! 😊
My dear nana passed away unexpectedly this past September and the one thing I’ve been regretting not learning from her was how to make deviled eggs. My favorite part of thanksgiving dinner. She always had the yolk mix finished before she called me and my sisters to help so none of us could remember. With thanksgiving coming up I’ve been scrambling to find a recipe that was at least similar to hers so that if I couldn’t have her cooking I could at least have these. And this is EXACTLY what she made. I cried both tears of joy and of sadness when I tasted it to check. Thank you so very much for giving me a piece of her back.
Oh Liz, this brought tears to my eyes! Thank you for sharing this sweet, personal story. I'm so sorry for your loss, but so happy to hear this recipe brought you right back to your nana's kitchen. Wishing you and your family a very happy holiday season. ❤️
I lost my Dad, who was 56, 18 years ago this past September. Then 2 weeks before Christmas, I lost my Mom, who was 49, that same year. The holidays have not been the same since.
My Mom knew that we would have to carry on the holiday traditions with our own kids, so, before she passed, she wrote each of us a letter goodbye. Included in our envelopes were a copy of her dressing recipe and her deviled egg recipe.(Both were her Mother’s Recipes.) It was priceless! I can not wait to pass it down to my son and daughter. Cherish the time you spend with your families, gathered around the table, we are not promised tomorrow.
Oh my goodness! What a sweet and thoughtful gift she shared with you. And I love that it's going to continue to be passed down for generations to come. ❤️ I'm sure the holidays are a tough time, but I'm wishing you and your family some special time together and plenty of new happy memories. XO
love this "MOM’S CLASSIC SOUTHERN DEVILED EGGS", this seems so unique, thanks for sharing this . Will definitely gonna try this
Love this classic Southern deviled eggs , stuffing on top of eggs actually making attraction, will love to make this , thanks for sharing
ingredients and instructions.
Love this classic Southern deviled eggs , the way this recipe decorated very perfect. Thanks for sharing this one.
Love these mom’s classic Southern deviled eggs , these seems super delicious and amazing
I hope you enjoy them Sara!
I love this classic Southern deviled eggs recipe, seems delicious and unique . Always excited to try new recipes , thanks for sharing new recipes.