Kitchen DIY: Pickled eggs

pickled eggs

A few years ago, I made the long drive across the entire state of North Dakota to my hometown with my four-year-old and my two-year-old. Two small kids, in a car, for over 8 hours. I was so proud of myself for having arrived with my little kids and sanity intact that you’d have thought I split the atom. 


While heading back to my roots, I had plenty of time to think about the treasured moments from my own childhood, and one memory that kept coming up was pickled eggs. I grew up with jars of these treats sitting on our counter. While pouring over childhood pictures recently, I noticed that there was an egg jar in the background in so many photos, and that's because my mom made the best pickled eggs — we absolutely loved ‘em.

Through the years, my brother and I have made adjustments to our mom’s pickled-egg recipe. We’ve been on a quest to improve upon ‘the best’ by making it a bit spicier. Below you'll find my latest version. If you don’t fancy spicy food then you can skip the chili peppers and the red pepper flakes. My family prefers to eat these eggs with a basket of pretzels, a few drops of Chalupa (or a Louisiana-style) sauce, and a nice cold beer. Perfect.


One important note: In line with my food philosophy, I use high-quality eggs in all of my baking and cooking.  I’m talking about eggs that come from a farm where the chickens roam freely and peck at nutritious food — not the cheap, supermarket eggs that sell for $1 a dozen, as these generally come from perpetually caged chickens that have never seen daylight. Yes, organic/cage-free eggs are a bit more expensive, but compared to your other proteins (meat) they are affordable. Free-range cage-free eggs are not only a great source of protein, but they provide healthy Omega-3s. They’re also relatively low in calories.


Pickled Eggs

Makes roughly 2 dozen eggs, hard boiled

1 liter white vinegar

1 jar hot chili peppers and the juice (Mezzeretta is my favorite brand for these)

1 white onion, thickly sliced

1 bulb garlic, cloves peeled and left whole

1 teaspoon pickling spice

1 tablespoon peppercorns


To boil the eggs:  Gently place the eggs in a four-quart sauce pan. Cover with cold water. Let cook over medium heat until water begins to boil. Boil for 1 minute only. Cover and remove from heat immediately. Set a timer for 12 minutes. After that, pour out the hot water and run cold water over the eggs to stop the cooking process. Let cool completely before peeling.  (Note: older eggs peel more easily than fresh ones)


Once your eggs are cool and peeled, start layering your ingredients into your jar except for the vinegar. This doesn’t have to be precise. After the eggs, onions, garlic, hot chili peppers and its juice, peppercorns, and pickling spice are in the jar, then you can add the white vinegar. Make sure you have enough liquid to cover the eggs. These eggs will start to taste “pickled” in about 3 days, and will keep getting better and hotter the longer they sit. They can be stored, tightly sealed on your counter. Enjoy!



Laurie Jesch-Kulseth is a lifelong home cook who has always believed that eating healthy food is an important part of a balanced life. A wife and mother of two, she pours her heart into the meals she makes for her family. She photographs and writes about it all on her blog, Relishing It, where a version of this story first appeared.