Deviled eggs are perfect as appetizers for party or a side dish for potlucks and picnics. As popular as these two-bite appetizers are, they’re not typically healthy. Classic deviled-egg recipes are loaded with fat and calories. Our healthier version of deviled eggs has about two-thirds of the calories of a classic recipe, half the total fat and about 25% less cholesterol and sodium. Although making deviled eggs is pretty straightforward, it is definitely possible to mess them up. It’s easy to add too much salt by accident. Other mistakes: way too much mustard or no mustard at all or (gag) broken eggshell in the filling. When done right, they’re smooth and creamy and the filling has the perfect balance of tangy and salty flavors. But if you follow these rules for making perfect deviled eggs it’s not hard to make them delicious and healthier too. How? Here are 6 simple secrets for perfect, velvety deviled eggs.
—Jessie Price, Deputy Food Editor
I know that sounds odd, and for most applications the fresher the better. But in this case, you don’t want to use eggs straight from the farm, as they’re harder to peel and you’ll end up losing half the whites in the process.
My mom always said put them in water and boil for 12 minutes at a hard boil. Now I know gentler is better so that the yolks get just set, but not overcooked. Place the eggs in a saucepan filled with cool water. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce to a gentle simmer and cook for 10 minutes.
After you boil the eggs, run them under a little cold water so that they’re cool enough to handle. Then crack them all over and put them in cold water to finish cooling. This makes them easier to peel.
(The yolks have most of the calories and fat in eggs. One yolk has 5 grams of fat and 54 calories, compared with only 16 calories and no fat in an egg white.) Instead, use nonfat cottage cheese to stand in for some of the yolks—it keeps the filling velvety and rich while reducing some of the fat.
It has 15 calories per tablespoon and 1 gram of fat. It really is a miracle in creating a velvety filling.
It has the right acidity and saltiness that adds a special punch. (If you’re a mustard snob, you can do a blend of a more high-brow mustard with a little yellow mustard.)
Most of all, have fun! You don’t have to go just straight up and put mustard, mayo and paprika in your filling. Think of fun mix-ins like anchovies, olives, sun-dried tomatoes, chives, cilantro or Tabasco. Or even try stuffing them with guacamole. And don’t forget this important food-safety tip: don’t leave deviled eggs out longer than a couple hours. (If your parties are anything like mine, your guests will eat them much faster than that anyway!)