Egg salad is tasty, easy protein. It’s a great way to make boiled eggs feel like a fancier brunch. It’s also awesome when you have not planned a meal but happen to have eggs in your fridge. However the traditional recipes are insanely high in fat because the “sauce” is almost pure mayonnaise,so making a healthier egg salad while keeping the creamy texture is WINNING!
I am not a proponent of calorie counting as a rule as I much prefer to use and teach hand portions. However, for the sake of knowledge I quickly calculated the numbers for this recipe made “traditionally” (i.e. with a full ¾ cup of mayonnaise).
The whole recipe would contain 1086 calories, 120 grams of fat and no protein. (I used Hellman's nutrition info). That does not even count the fats from the eggs. Just mayonnaise.
That’s 226 cal and 24 g of fat per serving from the mayo alone. Hol-ay guacamole!
There’s nothing wrong with enjoying your mayo, of course. It makes sense as a sandwich spread, but when you get up to the quantities required for saucing up an entire salad, it seems…unnecessary.
And, as it turns out, it actually IS unnecessary because we have other creamy options that are not all fat!
Making a healthier egg salad
Enter, greek yogurt. Plain greek yogurt or skyr has a lot in common with mayonnaise in that it is creamy and slightly tangy. Where it is vastly different is the nutritional profile. I used Oikos plain nonfat Greek yogurt in my recipe. ¾ of a cup of the yogurt has, by contrast, 100 calories, 0.7 grams of fat, and 17 grams of protein
Big difference, isn’t it? That’s because greek yogurt is a protein source. ¾ of a cup is one normal serving. Mayonnaise, on the other hand, is a fat source that has a serving size of one tablespoon. ¾ of a cup of mayonnaise is the equivalent of 12 servings.
Now, in the recipe itself, I actually mixed 1/2 cup of yogurt with a 1/4 cup of garlic aioli (i.e. flavored mayonnaise). I find this is a nice balance for my family.
Reasons to make a healthier egg salad
There are plenty of reasons why you may want to reduce the fat even more than I have. Perhaps higher fat:
- gives you heartburn,
- someone in your family has high cholesterol, or
- you’re planning to put your egg salad on avocado toast and already have enough fat in your meal
Regardless of the reason, you can simply swap out more aioli for yogurt. If you end up swapping it all out, I recommend adding a sprinkle of garlic powder and a teaspoon of dijon mustard to get a similar flavor.
Secret Tricks that make hard boiled eggs WAY easier to peel
Older Eggs Easier to Peel
I am not a fan of peeling eggs, but if it needs to be done, I have an important hack for you: Use older eggs. At least a week old, if possible.
Eggs have a membrane that is attached to the inside of the shell. When eggs are super fresh that membrane is well hydrated and very well attached (i.e. a nightmare to peel). As the eggs age, the membrane dries out slightly and starts to pull away from the shell. Voilà! Easier to peel.
When we coloured Easter eggs as a kid we always set aside a dozen of our fresh eggs so they would be properly aged for easy peeling.
Peel Egg with Spoon
There's also an amazing trick where you use a teaspoon to crack the end then slide the spoon between the egg and the shell for quick and easy peeling.
Instant Pot Egg Loaf
My personal preference is to skip the peeling entirely by cooking an egg loaf in my instant pot. Honestly, it's a major reason why I started making egg salad after a lifetime of "yeah right I'm gonna peel that many eggs at once." Damn, I love pressure cookers.
Fresh herbs or dried?
If you have them, absolutely go for fresh herbs, but if you don't have them, dried will still be delicious. The main thing to remember is drying concentrates the flavor, so you'll typically need about half if you're swapping in dried herbs.
My favorites are parsley, dill and chives for this recipe. If your preferences are different, feel free to mix it up! Chives can be swapped for green onions or skipped entirely. If you don’t care for dill, maybe you’d like to try some oregano. No parsley? Add extra celery. Celery and parsley are in the same family, so they add a similar bright flavor.
And if for some reason you don’t like the crunch of celery (to each their own) you can go the other way with extra parsley and no celery.
What to serve with your healthier egg salad
One of my favorite ways to eat egg salad is on top of crusty toasted multigrain baguette with a bowl of cozy soup.
I have also used it as a protein topper on either a grain bowl or a salad bowl, which is a good way to balance a meal that’s a little shy of protein.
For hiking or a road trip I pack a container of egg salad along with some sturdy crackers or flat bread. I have an aversion to soggy bread so I almost always assemble them on demand. This is also why any sandwiches I do eat are toasted. To all of my peeps with texture aversions…I see you!
You are, of course, welcome to make a more traditional sandwich. Sometimes we forget that we can use foods in new ways, so I like to offer some alternatives to get the imagination going!
However you decide to eat your egg salad, I hope you enjoy every bite!
Mealtime conversation starters
The best form of self-development is getting to know another person and understanding their perspective.
Life would be pretty dull if we never asked questions. By asking questions it can open up new ways to see and understand the world.
Today, see what can be learned from asking:
Question: What is a problem in the world you hope to see solved within your lifetime?
Healthier Egg Salad with Greek Yogurt
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- 10 large eggs hardboiled
- ½ cup plain greek yogurt, fat-free
- ¼ cup garlic aioli *see notes for homemade version
- ¼ cup celery diced
- 1 tbsp dried dill or 1/2 tbsp fresh
- 3 tbsp fresh chives chopped, or 1-2 Tbsp dried
- ¼ cup fresh parsley chopped, or 2 Tbsp dried
- ½ tsp fresh ground black pepper to taste
- pinch salt to taste
Hard boil your eggs (can be done a day in advance);
- Instant pot (6 qt) egg loaf method: Crack 10 eggs into a greased 7" oven proof dish. Put 1.5 cups of water in the bottom, place the dish on the trivet. Cook on sealing for 6 min and allow 10 min natural release.Remove the pan and let cool for a few min. You can set the dish in room temperature water to speed the process (too cold could crack your dish) . Run a rubber spatula around the sides to loosen. Overturn the egg loaf onto a cutting board to finish cooling. Roughly chop the eggs.
- Stove top method: Place 10 eggs in the bottom of a pot with a lid and add water to cover them. Put the lid on and bring just to a rolling boil. Remove the pot from the heat and let sit for 14 min. As soon as the timer goes, drain the eggs and place them in cold water to stop the cooking. Once cool, peel and rough chop them.
Make your dressing
- Mix yogurt, aoli, and herbs together.
- Gently mix the celery and eggs into the dressing until everything is coated. Add salt and pepper to taste or let everyone add their own.
- Bon appetit!
Hand Size Portions
When you look at the nutritional values of a meal to log what you are eating, that is called tracking macros. A lot of people use this method to reach their health goals.
Looking at hand portion size and using this method to gauge how and what you eat is also a great method to help you reach your health goals. Many people who use this method often think this form of tracking meals is easier and more sustainable for a lifetime.
Want to learn more about hand portion size and how to use it to reach your goals? Check out the article How to Get Started with Hand Portion Sizes.
Health Ninja Jeanette Marcotte is a health coach and professional geologist, who is obsessed with helping fellow professional women reclaim their time and energy by weaving healthy choices into their daily lives.
When she is not coaching or looking at rocks, you can find her hanging out in her garden with her dog, collecting new hobbies, and/or reading far too many books at once.
Find other articles written by Jeanette on her coach profile. Hang around for mindset strategies and micro-habits that will transform your health & confidence so that you feel like a Health Ninja, too!