Recipe: Classic Southern Deviled Eggs

Recipe: Classic Southern Deviled Eggs
Just in time for Easter festivities, you'll want to try Stacey Little's tasty Classic Southern Deviled Eggs. Little adds the perfect amount of spice and allows cooks to add their choice of garnish. Get fancy with a dash of paprika or go 'old style' with a little pepper. Either way, these deviled eggs are sure to please! (Stacey Little)

I just love deviled eggs, but for whatever reason, I don’t make them very often. But when Easter rolls around, it’s always the perfect way to use those leftover colorful eggs.

You know, recipes like this are funny because everyone has their own way of making them. Oddly enough, every recipe I’ve seen and all the eggs I’ve seen that other people have made have paprika on them as a garnish, but I never once saw my mom make deviled eggs with paprika. Not once.

Now, I always say that the way your mama did it was the right way, so I’m showing them both ways here – some with paprika and some without.

The other thing I like in mine that’s a little different is that I prefer dill relish to the much more popular sweet relish. This recipe works with both, but I’ve just never been a huge fan of sweet relish. In fact, when I was a kid, mom would make potato salad for me separately and chop up dill pickles in it rather than sweet ones like everyone else’s. Wasn’t she sweet to do that?

I see all these pretty photos where folks have piped their filling into their eggs so daintily. I never once saw my mom do that, either. She just spooned it into the white. If you’ve got the time and energy and want to make them look special, you just go on with your bad self.  I’ll be over here spooning it into mine because I’m just ready to eat.

The other thing worth mentioning is how to get these eggs cooked. Boiling them is the traditional method, but I’m gonna flip that theory on its ear for a minute.

The big hassle for me when making hard-cooked eggs is peeling them. Now, I’ve seen (and tried) all the tips and tricks to try to make them easier to peel – using older eggs, adding vinegar to the water, adding baking soda to the water, starting with cold water in the pot, etc., etc. For me, none of those work consistently. But you know what does? Cooking the eggs in an electric pressure cooker. While they’re virtually the same thing as an Instant Pot, I’ve had an electric pressure cooker for years before folks knew anything about an Instant Pot. Pressure cooking the eggs on low pressure for about 8 minutes with a manual pressure release will deliver perfect hard-cooked eggs every time and the shell will peel right off. Now, why does this work? Well, the theory is that the steam causes the membrane inside the egg to pull away from the shell, making them easier to peel. That makes sense.

Leftover Easter eggs make handy snacks, with a little extra spice added! (Stacey Little)

But realizing that not everyone has an electric pressure cooker, I found this egg steaming recipe from my friend Elise Bauer at Simply Recipes. She confirmed that steaming them is the reason they peel so easily. Testing it myself yielded virtually the same results as the pressure cooker method.

SO!  I wrote this recipe to include the method of steaming the eggs. Give it a try and let me know how it works for you. Feel free to click that link to follow Elise’s recipe as she has much more detail in her instructions. Enjoy!


  • 6 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons yellow mustard
  • 2 dashes vinegar-based hot sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic power
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons pickle relish sweet or dill
  • salt
  • pepper
  • paprika (optional)


  • For easy-to-peel eggs, steam them rather than boiling them. To do so, add about 1/2 inch of water to the bottom of a medium-sized saucepan with a tight-fitting lid. Add a steamer basket if you have one, but it’s not necessary.Over medium-high heat, bring the water to a boil. Turn the heat off. Carefully add the eggs to the basket or just to the bottom of the pan. Cover and return to a boil. Steam for 12 to 15 minutes. To check the doneness, you might add an extra egg and check it at 12 minutes to judge the cook time. Once cooked, place the eggs in an ice bath until they are completely cool.
  • Peel the eggs and slice them in half lengthwise. Carefully scoop out the yolk and place them in a small bowl. Use a fork to mash up the yolks. Add the mayonnaise, mustard, hot sauce, and garlic powder. Mix until smooth. Add the pickle relish. Add salt and pepper to taste. Spoon the mixture equally back into the whites.

Related Stories